“We ought to talk more about the difficulties of having children”
Erik Vismer and his wife sought help from an IVF clinic to get children. What they didn’t expect was the effort and time that the process demanded from them. Read an in-depth article series from KI’s Swedish popular science magazine.
As told to: Annika Lund, magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap no 1, 2022 | Spotlight on infertility
“After a year of trying to get pregnant, my wife and I sought help from an IVF clinic. But things weren’t as easy as we had imagined. The first attempt didn’t take and nor did the second.
The whole process and all the uncertainty drained both of us of a lot of energy. I attended all the appointments apart from one. There were about 15 visits in the year of treatments we had. All the planning revolves around the timing of different treatment elements.
We experienced this journey differently to some extent. I don’t know if it’s because we are different as individuals or because the roles in the process are different. It was my wife who had to have all the injections, who lay there in the gynaecology chair and had eggs removed and replaced. All this seemed to lead to her building up higher expectations and thus having further to fall when things didn’t work out.
But we tried to support each other; ‘how crushing a blow is it for you? And how crushing is it for me? How can we understand each other in this context?’ Being able to communicate like that has strengthened and deepened our relationship.
When we were expecting a baby I wrote about it on my social media saying it was through IVF. Lots of people shared similar stories, which was great. Now with hindsight, I sometimes think I should have been open about it while we were having treatment. It would have been a good way of dealing with what we were going through. I think we ought to talk more about difficulties getting pregnant. This is why I want to share my story.
We now have a second child. We were definitely certain that we wouldn’t be able to conceive just by having sex, so we had sex as usual without any planning. And suddenly we were expecting a baby.”
Name and age: Erik Vismer, 35
Job: Project manager in events management
Dad to: Elton, just two and Jason, six months
The dream of becoming someone's parent
According to the WHO, almost 50 million couples worldwide are involuntarily childless while demand for assisted fertilisation is expected to grow as treatments have become both more effective and more widely accessible. Read the first article from a in-depth series about infertility from KI’s Swedish popular science magazine.