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When Babies Don’t Come is a Documentary by award winning Film Maker Molatelo Mainetje. See the trailer here.

We have the pleasure of running a private screening of the film. It has already won numerous awards, including one for Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 African Film Festival in Dallas.

Date and Time: 28th October 2018 from 12noon
Venue: The Bioscope Independent Cinema, 286 Fox Street, Main Street Life, Johannesburg, 2094

My name is Pasco and this is my parents,  Denis and Veronica’s journey to our family:

When Denis and I met in 1980, we discussed and agreed that we wanted children very early in our marriage. Brandon, our son was conceived in our third year of marriage and, we wanted to afford him all the attention he needed, before thinking of our second child.  Time passed quickly and Denis and I tried for our 2nd.  This was not meant to be and after many failed IVF’s and a miscarriage, I was devastated and at the point of admitting defeat that Brandon would be an only child.

In 2008, we started trying for children. I was so excited about becoming a mom, that I actually started baby shopping that very first month. I look back on those moments and shudder, if only I had known what lay ahead.

After a year, an infertile friend of mine recommended we seek help. I was reluctant, I believed my problem was related to the grief I was experiencing over losing my dad. Eventually though, we went to see a fertility specialist. Initial tests seemed to show that all was fine with us, and so we went home and carried on trying.

Life planning, experiences and expectations, came to a halt, when the results of what I thought would never be possible, became evident and positive. After several tests and, to my dismay, I was diagnosed with a very rare condition of Varicocele vein which affects only 15 in 100 men. I was told, the worst and most unbearable news, was the “fact” that this will steal my chance of becoming a parent and father.

I met Dr Volschenk in January 2017, after: 2 fertility specialists, 3 x IUI’s, 3 x IVFs and 3 miscarriages and 3 years of trying. I was at the point that I had convinced myself I was just not meant to carry my own child. But before completely residing to this fact and looking into alternative options such as surrogacy, we decided to go for one more opinion – I knew deep down that there was something being missed. Despite being told time and again there was nothing wrong, throughout our many treatments over the last year and a half.

Twenty-seven. That’s how many times I had heard that my blood test result was negative. I had lost count of the times I did not see two pink lines on home tests.

I had never been pregnant yet after seven years of trying to conceive, countless doctors’ appointments, two surgeries, five failed IUIs, and one failed IVF cycle, I still believed I would give birth to a child one day.

My story begins 8 years ago. For the longest time I have worked with and been surrounded by children, as an au pair both in London and in Johannesburg. They have always been like tiny friends to me, and I’ve thought for the longest time that with all this “training” I will be the most natural mother.

A few weeks before my husband and I got married I kickstarted contraception (yup, that way round), in preparation for a kid-free couple of years. I was 27, he was 30 and we had known each other for just over a year. The concept of children seemed fun but also futuristic. We hadn’t decided if we wanted 2 or 10, but that was future Mike and Ange’s decision… right then our world involved, sleeping in, hanging onto each other up escalators for our weekly sushi and movie night, learning to cook meals, testing those meals on friends, going to church, building our careers, killing our mortgage, hiding ‘SHMILY’ notes (See How Much I Love You), quietly gloating at how happy we made each other and planning some galavants around the globe. You could say that we were really enjoying our ever-so-slightly self indulgent cocoon.

“I’m going to tell you something that is going to blow your mind”. I now know what it means to be haunted by something. Whenever I hear the words “blow your mind” I think back to that day in Dr V’s office.

After we got married at 24, we decided to wait a while before starting a family. We were still young and wanted to travel. If only we knew how precious those years on the biological clock were. Eventually at 27 we decided we might be ready but weren’t in any rush. I was very naïve and gullible.

After trying to conceive for 5 years and 6 failed ivf’s, with a miscarriage at 8 weeks, we were on the last round of IVF that we could afford. The next step would be adoption, we had already made contact with a Social Worker. Then I saw a post on Facebook about a Fertility Astrologist who could help predict when would be the best time to do an IVF cycle. At that stage of desperation we would have tried anything, so we met with Nicky Smut-Allsop over Skype. She gave us the dates to try our final ivf cycle – the following April. We gave birth to our triplets in that same December.

Saskia – IFAASA Director

Our Infertility Journey started back when we were just 26 and 27 years old.
We tried to conceive over a 7 year period and, I always look back at our first IVF cycle in 2007, with incredulity, at how naïve we were during it. We were so sure it would work and we would be pregnant, that we weren’t at all emotionally prepared to deal with a negative outcome, which hit us like a ton of bricks.
This is the main reason that I beg people to empower themselves, with as much knowledge as they possibly can, before embarking on this journey

Leandra – IFAASA Director

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.

My IVF journey taught me to dance, scream, swear, cry and punch things in the rain, with thunder and lightning crashing all around, but the storm did pass and I ended up with 2 beautiful rainbow babies.

Meggan – IFAASA Director

We waited for 7 years before we decided to have a family, it wasn’t a decision we came to lightly. I had never known anyone that struggled to conceive and who spoke openly about it so it came as quite a shock that it was not happening as fast as it should have. And at the same time I was of the age that all my friends were building families and it was common topic of discussion ‘how quickly I conceived’. To this day I still don’t understand why this needs to be compared and discussed.

Our ‘baby making’ journey stared in 2010. I’ve done my own research, as we planned on having a ‘honeymoon baby. Months of ‘not pregnant’ very soon turned into an emotional roller coaster.

After a year, we consulted the GynecologistS in Nelspruit. Each had their own theory. Numerous timed cycles & failed IUI’S. Our hopes were replaced by heartache & this stared to affect our marriage.

A Journey of Emotions & Pain all rolled up in one….My Infertility Rollercoaster…continues…

I am 1 in 6 ladies to have this horrible heart wrenching condition!

Another year has passed by no baby, 7 years of painful tears, dreaming of conceiving my little miracle, dreaming of becoming a mom, clinging onto hope, every second of the day!

These last few years have been horrific, which seems like a lifetime, thinking every year, hey I will conceive really soon, most probably the next month or the next, eventually months went by and here I am in a new year, still hoping tho, never giving up.

I am the adoptive mother of Sam (not his real name) – the most beautiful little boy in the world!! I have travelled the infertility road as well as the adoption road and I know it is one of the hardest things anyone can go through – AND that it is particularly difficult for a woman to go through.

The concept that one faces when having to speak about your life’s experiences can be extremely scary; yet having had to face the knowledge that you’ll never biologically be able to have children of your own is both heart breaking and painful. As a woman you go through life in stages or at least I did. I knew as a little girl that I wanted to fall in love with a man that would sweap me off my feet, that I would have this fairy tale wedding and that we would have a family where we would be happy and nothing in my little mind could change that.

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