I nearly threw a brick through my sister's telly last week. It was on in the background, and a programme came on which I would never normally watch, but which I knew about from reading reviews. And one of the things I had read about it was that there was a character in this drama who was struggling with infertility.
It started to grab my attention when they started to talk about IVF. Another character had lent this woman's husband the money to pay for their IVF, and it appeared that the husband had gambled the money away. There was lots of angst about whether the infertile wife should be told, then there were some huge arguments, and it seemed that there was now no money for IVF and this woman was going to remain childless.
And then you'll never guess what happened next. She had a huge row with her husband - I think she may have thrown him out, though I was still only half watching this as I chatted with my sister, so I'm not certain. We saw her crying and alone, then we saw her throwing up, and then guess what - she peed on a stick, and sure enough, it turned out that she wasn't going to need the IVF any more, because she was miraculously up the duff.
I can't think of a single radio or television programme I've seen which portrayed a failed IVF attempt. And of course, the print media tend to take the line that with women wanting to have it all and deliberately delaying starting a family while they build their glittering careers, IVF will soon become the normal way to conceive - and they never mention the physical and emotional trauma that IVF entails, or the fact that it's not always successful (or the fact that most of us didn't simply 'choose career over babies' and then expect a quick fix at a time when it became convenient to start thinking about babies).
The other thing you occasionally see in the newspapers is a smiling couple showing off their baby after 'years of heartache and 10 IVF attempts'. Sometimes the article will mention the amount the couple have spent: "Our baby cost us £100,000, but she's worth every penny".
But they keep very quiet about the other side: the couples who endure years of heartache, multiple IVF attempts, and are left with nothing to show for it but debts. The impression given is that most people are successful after one or two attempts - some don't even need that, as they get miraculously pregnant while they're waiting for IVF to start - but everyone is pretty much guaranteed to get there in the end.
And I think that's why so many people I speak to think it's exciting that we're going through this, and can't understand it each time we tell them that it's failed again. Because surely if we were doing it right, we'd have our baby by now.
I think there's a gap in the market here - someone needs to write a realistic drama about a couple who endure unsuccessful fertility treatments. The trouble is, it wouldn't sell - nobody likes an unhappy ending. So we struggle on, with the weight of the world's unrealistic expectations on our shoulders, and hope that one day we'll be the smiling couple telling everyone that it was all worth it in the end - but knowing that we might just become another of those invisible statistics that nobody wants to talk about.