'I know it feels like a nightmare'. To every woman facing infertility in this pandemic.


We are deep in the midst of this thing we will all look back on someday called “COVID-19”.

Some call it “coronavirus”.

Most call it a nightmare.

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I recently moved while in the midst of this pandemic and am finally settled into my new home office, sneaking in hours of work while my baby sleeps safe and soundly in his cot.

While we were unpacking boxes and setting up our new home to now call ours, I came across Ferris’ first favourite baby toy. As I was getting the latest donation bag together with items to pay it forward, I removed this one baby toy and brought it back into my office with me.

Ferris wore it out so much when he was itty-bitty that the sticker over the button you press to make the toy light up and play music is almost completely worn off.

Which got me thinking about infertility and 2020.

This toy is one-in-a-million by a very popular baby brand. But I look at it differently because it comes with a lot of memories and moments that started during a very uncertain time for my husband and I.


You see, this toy was first introduced to my son when his doctor suggested he go to physical therapy for torticollis. Throughout all of his little sessions, this toy was the primary one used to get him to tilt and turn his neck and head.

My mum bought him this toy to have for his very own, since he took such a liking to it, and we were able to use it at home to help him overcome torticollis.

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This is a heartbreaking time for women and men who were about to start fertility treatment. Many were told that they needed to stop and place their plans on hold…indefinitely.

For those that are finally able to get pregnant, there is now a sense of panic and worry about appointments that have to be attended alone.

Homebirth or hospital?

Baby showers and gender reveals cancelled or postponed. Much-needed visits called off.

This is tough, and this was never in our plans for life.

As an infertility advocate, let me share with you what keeps me going when it feels like there is a constant cloud hanging over my head.

I remember that I am 1 in 8.

I remember that I am 1 in 4.

I remember that I am not alone in this.

I have survived worse and gotten through things dealing emotionally and physically the way I needed to in order to survive.


And those who are going through infertility or pregnancy right now will do so, too.

Because we are strong and aware of what it feels like to want something so badly, when the world won’t let you have quite as easily as others, and it’s okay to feel anger, anxiety, and unexplainable pain.

One of the things I tell my son when he gets hurt or upset is that “the sun will rise again tomorrow.” Meaning he is going to get through whatever it is that is making him sad, and tomorrow will be another chance to make things right.

This toy of Ferris’ is beat-up and used.

It could easily have gone in the donation bag, or the bin. But it’s still as precious to me as the first memories of him when he used to play with it.

And that’s why I am keeping it as special office décor in my new space. Because it reminds me that we got through a tough time and found brighter days.

It reminds me of strength and love and the power of modern medicine. Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and many others are the helping hands we need when the answers are out of our comfort zone.

Infertility and coronavirus might be a nightmare, but to some, it might be the reset button to a future of tiny toes and little hands to hold. And that will be a dream come true.

Tess Kossow is an infertility advocate and the author of I’m Very Ferris, a child’s story about In Vitro Fertilisation. You can see more from Tess on her website