Positive Solace with Attika Choudhary

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Motherhood Lost with Jessica Hepburn

Season 2, Ep. 7


In this episode of Positive Solace: Women of Vision, Attika meets Jessica Hepburn, one of the UK's leading voices on fertility and family.


Jessica has one of the most remarkable and inspiring stories to tell - overcoming adversity and going on to swim the channel to climbing Mount Everest more recently.


While trying to become a mother, she went through 11 rounds of IVF treatment, and an ectopic pregnancy that almost proved fatal, she was down and out and staring into the abyss. Her long cherished ambition to have a family was over.


The mental and physical strain had been enormous – often IVF stories have an extremely happy ending, making all the hurt and pain seem

worthwhile. This one doesn't – there was no baby and no new life that had come from the deep love, support and commitment of her partner.


She had a successful career in the arts, as executive director of the Lyric in Hammersmith, London, one of the country’s best known theatres and spearheaded its £20 million capital redevelopment plan – all the while hiding her intense pain and hurt – of not having a family.


Describing this time as the “darkest period” of her life, she tells Attika what helped to drag herself from the depths of despair to find

hope, zest and a new hunger for life. She has found the strength and conviction to put her experiences into writing - with a bestselling novel on fertility.


Slowly, and methodically, she found it in writing and then in founding the Fertility Fest, co-creating the world’s very first arts festival

dedicated to fertility and modern family making, and finally and more recently, in Adventure Activism, combining her love of challenges with

raising money for charity. She is no athlete as she tells Attika but set herself demanding physical goals.


Listen to Jessica and Attika talk about how from the lowest of lows, you can find your way back to the top and they of course discuss fertility,

what it means to be a mother or not in today’s world - and how the future might look like for women who want a family… and a life that is

fulfilling too in other ways...



You can find more about Fertility Fest here: https://www.fertilityfest.com/

Also, here are some links to Jessica’s literary work.

‘21 Miles’­ - https://www.amazon.co.uk/21-Miles-Jessica-Hepburn/dp/1783526092

‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’ - https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Pursuit-Motherhood-Jessica-Hepburn/1783061871

With thanks to the Positive Solace Team. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss an episode.

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