It’s that weird time of year again. When there is still work to be done but somehow your head isn’t there. Maybe this is just a woman thing, but I have a tendency to become a (reluctant) resident of what Michael McIntyre called on TV last night, Christmas Land. So my head is full of stupid detail, like do we have any chutney to go with the cold turkey on Boxing Day (when on any other day of the year we would not dream of eating chutney and I know it will rot on the fridge), and making sure that our (very adult) children will be getting the same number of parcels each from Santa! I cannot believe it…but there you go. I was going to say that it all comes of being a mother, and I guess it does, but at the same time I’m very aware that for some of my readers this may be a coveted status that still feels unattainable and that they would do anything to have my dilemmas. The pain of infertility is felt more acutely at this time of year than any other and I suspect this is true for people of all faiths and none. The emphasis on children and families can be heartbreaking and I urge all of you who have yet to achieve what you long for so much, to take care of yourselves in ways that have meaning for you…and if that means avoiding small children and family parties, then just do it.
We should by now have heard about the future of the HFEA but with parliament in recess this is unlikely to happen until the New Year. Early 2013 will also bring news of exactly how the new combined donor recruitment/donor-offspring linking service, replacing National Gamete Donation Trust and UK Donor Link, will be run. I suspect neither will be good news for donor conceived people.
What we can celebrate in 2013 is 20 years of DC Network. February will mark the anniversary of the first meeting of the five founding families in the clinic of the old Jessop Hospital in Sheffield. And maybe we should return to that city for the celebrations. I certainly have retained a fondness for that city – although our first Steering Group meetings used to take place out in the Derbyshire dales – and one of the Trustees has recently moved there from Nottingham. Whatever DCN decides to do it will be fun and for everyone.
There are always new beginnings and there is always hope. When I emerge from Christmas Land next week, I’ll be ready to take them on. I hope you will join me.