In a candid Instagram post last Thursday, Amy Schumer, 38, shared that she was undergoing IVF treatment.
“I’m a week into IVF and feeling really run down and emotional,” she posted, alongside a picture of her abdomen, bruised from the injections. “If anyone went through it and if you have any advice or wouldn’t mind sharing your experience with me please do. My number is in my bio. We are freezing my eggs and figuring out what to do to give Gene a sibling.”
Schumer, who gave birth to her first child Gene in May 2019, is no stranger to honesty.
During her pregnancy, Schumer was open about complications and the severe sickness that caused her to cancel her tour. Similarly, she posted details of her three hour c-section post Gene’s birth.
However, it’s her latest post that has really struck a chord with people. The response to it has been overwhelming, with hundreds of fans reaching out to tell their own stories and offer support.
I feel for her too.
As a mum to two boys conceived via IVF, I empathise with how Schumer is feeling. IVF is one of the most emotionally and physically draining things that I’ve ever been through. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, with no guarantees.
From the moment you strap yourself in for the journey, you’re committed. You go through the motions of injections, blood tests and scans. Your routine is dictated by the day of the month, egg counting, collection and transfer.
The image of Schumer’s bruised abdomen brought back memories. Sitting on my bed, bracing myself with skin pinched between my fingers, taking a deep breath and injecting the drugs. Each time I hoped this would be the last month I’d be a pin cushion.
No one can truly imagine it unless they’ve lived it.
Sitting on my bed, bracing myself with skin pinched between my fingers, taking a deep breath and injecting the drugs. Each time I hoped this would be the last month I’d be a pin cushion.
While I didn’t have anywhere near the level of support that Schumer has received, I did take the same honest approach. Friends and family were aware we were doing IVF. For me, it was a given.
I considered those people as the ones who would pick me up when I was down. They were the people who’d be the first to know if anything went wrong. The first to offer comfort in the form of tea or wine.
For the most part, they supported me throughout. However, there were well meaning comments that stung all the same.
“At least you know what you’re in for this time around.” “If it doesn’t work, at least you have one healthy child.” “There’s nothing wrong with having only one child.”
For the record, knowledge of what’s to come and already having a child doesn’t make IVF any easier or less stressful. You still have to go through the same physical and emotional turmoil and, if anything, wanting a sibling for our son made us more desperate than before.
It’s something that people don’t always appreciate and it’s something that we don’t talk about either. We rarely hear from celebrities about their experience during IVF. It’s not until their baby is born that they share their tales.
Hopefully Schumer’s post might help change that. It might help other women open up about their IVF journey and offer them hope. It might also help them appreciate that they’re not alone.
It’s clear from the response to her post that Schumer knows she’s not alone. On Saturday she posted a photo of herself reclining in a doctor’s office and expressed her gratitude to all who had offered support.
Noting that her and her husband, Chris, are freezing embryos, Schumer wrote, “Thank you ladies and a few gentlemen. Your stories helped me more than you can imagine. I feel incredibly lucky. I’m really hoping this works and staying positive. Much much love.”
I really hope this works for you too Amy.
Jo Hartley is a freelance writer. Follow Jo on Twitter @hartley_jo.