Hello and welcome to The Cuckoo Mama. I’m Caro, mama to Sam and Pepper pup and wife to Hugh. I’m an IVF survivor, freelance writer and infertility advocate.
I’ve tried to set out my blog so that those battling infertility can, hopefully, find a safety net of support, care and shared experiences without having to plough through other, possibly hard to read, posts about parenting after IVF. To get straight to the infertility pieces I’d suggest starting here and following the links at the end of each article. There are also specific category tabs which will take you directly to all posts relating to infertility and IVF.
I’ve always had a love of words and writing and am a self-confessed pedant! At age seven I began my writing career with typewriter written tomes about ‘Jane of Lilac Grove’ (insert Anne of Green Gables here!) and graduated with a journalism degree in 2003. During my studies I fell head over heels for the column pieces, finding a joy in the freedom to write about anything from my point of view. Obviously, in the early 2000s, when the internet was new and slow and actually had a dial tone to connect (!) blogging wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye and I knew that, in all likelihood, I’d never be a columnist! Therefore, upon graduating, I decided not to pursue a journalistic career but rather ended up in Private Equity.
And, many years later, discovered I was one half of an infertile couple.
Further years later, in May 2017, after, finally, creating and carrying and staying at home to raise my miracle child, I took the plunge; I returned to my writing roots and The Cuckoo Mama* was born!
I’d originally set out to create a blog which could act as a forum for creative play, nutritious meals and generally be a place for veritable Mary Poppins-esque folks to connect. I’m not sure why, but I was NEVER going to write about infertility.
And then it all changed!
One day I felt hugely compelled to write about our story and that’s where my words have taken me. Finding my voice didn’t happen overnight, I tried out various styles until I realised; I just need to be me. Which is hopefully what I am. I’ve found a place where I can raise my voice and shout from the rooftops that IVF is tough, infertility is cruel, and miscarriage is heart-breaking.
Since beginning to blog, I’ve been award nominated and also recognised as a top ten 2018 and 2019 UK fertility blog. I write for the Huff Post UK, Fertility Smarts and have picked up some truly wonderful fertility freelance work too. I volunteer for Fertility Network UK working with the inspirational team there to raise awareness about all things infertility, offering support and a shared experience; all feats truly surpassing any imaginings I had when I first tapped away on my keyboard during a nap time.
But, most importantly, I’ve started to heal. I’ve found peace, acceptance and even happiness in my situation. I never wanted to be defined by infertility yet these days; I do. I’m proud. I want to raise my voice and shout from the roof tops that IVF is tough, infertility is cruel and miscarriage is heart-breaking.
And so I’ll keep on speaking out, I’ll, hopefully, keep on healing whilst knowing there is still so much more for me to learn, on this journey called life. I’ll fail at some things and thrive on others yet these days I’m not scared of life, I trust it again and have faith.
As Louisa May Alcott, so beautifully puts it: “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship”
And that’s exactly what I’m doing – why not come and sail yours with me too!
*The story behind the name…
The village where I live is named after the cuckoos who, apparently, still come and visit! As I initially set up as a parenting blogger I wanted something which would convey my bonkerness, my motherhood and love of the outdoors; The Cuckoo Mama did that. When my writing became predominantly infertility related, I did wonder whether I needed to change it but actually liked the connotation of the cuckoo laying eggs in different nests; it somehow seemed to echo how my son had been incubated in his petri dish “nest”, whilst feeling resonant of how medical science helps create families in so many differing and wonderful ways. We don’t all have to be conventional in conception! Although please note; I don’t advocate throwing eggs out of trees!