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Episode Info:

This episode is with Jessica Hepburn, author of ‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’ and ‘21 Miles: Swimming in the Search of the Meaning of Motherhood’. Jessica is the co-founder of Fertility Fest, the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility and the science of making babies. Jessica is also an ‘adventure activist’ and has run the London Marathon, swum the English Channel and will attempt to climb Mount Everest.

In this episode we talked about:

  • Enduring 11 rounds of IVF in a decade, including pregnancy losses and a late ectopic pregnancy. 
  • Going through fertility challenges in secret whilst professional success as a theatre director
  • Writing as a therapeutic process
  • The creation and growth of Fertility Fest,
  • Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame
  • Sharing and speaking your truth 
  • Showcasing art made by artists who have personal experience of infertility and fertility treatment
  • The reality that the success rates of IVF are not high and it doesn’t work for everyone, everytime
  • Being inclusive in the voices in the infertility/ IVF conversation
  • Fertility is not just about women, men are 50% of the equation
  • Calling for better fertility education in schools
  • Returning to a childhood dream of swimming the English Channel
  • Attempting to become the first woman to complete the ‘Pond to Peak Challenge’
  • Parallels between endurance challenges and going through IVF
  • The pleasure and joy of food


Jessica’s two books: 

The Pursuit of Motherhood:

21 Miles:Swimming in the Search of the Meaning of Motherhood : 

You can find out more about Jessica at


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