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Lotte Jeffs
My Journey Nov 20, 2019
5 Minutes

My Journey: Lotte Jeffs

Our philosophy is that when it comes to fertility, conception, pregnancy and early years, every person goes on their own unique journey. We are simply here to support that. Raising awareness and providing tools and the latest science/experts for you to pick and choose from. We love hearing about inspiring people’s journeys. There is usually a lot to learn from other people’s experiences.

Today’s journey is with Lotte Jeffs.

Lotte is an award-winning journalist and author of How to be a Gentlewoman: the Art of Soft Power in Hard Times. She was previously deputy editor of Elle Magazine and creative director at Ogilvy. Lotte lives in London with her wife and their one year old daughter. Today she shares her path to parenthood with us. 

Lotte’s journey is our first in podcast form – hooray! So click here to listen to the full version where she details how she approached having her child and some of the challenges she faced. She talks to us about the lessons she has learnt throughout the process. We also learn a load of things such as egg sharing, sperm donation and how hypnobirthing had a surprisingly positive impact… 

Quick fire questions: with Lotte Jeffs: 

At the end of each ‘My Journey’ we ask every person three quick fire questions. We have shared this little snippet of this below. However, the full version is full of lots of cool stuff. Click here to listen in full. 

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their Journey? 

Ok, so I would say to start looking into it even before you think you’re ready. I don’t think there is any harm to get a ‘state of the nation‘ picture of your fertility. It is just good to know. Something I know you are passionate about. (Click here for more). For all you know you may be planning a baby in five years and the time will come and you may find you have fertility issues. If you had realised any issues sooner, you could be using that time to work out alternatives, options and what else you can do. 

Specific for lesbian couples starting a family. Listen to our podcast: Some Families (coming soon!) and then just sign up to seminars. There is a lot more information (also free information) out there now than when we started two years ago. The other thing is talking to people. Word of mouth. That was how we found out most things. Talking to other people, asking questions, not being afraid to ask. 

One additional little tip: 

One additional tip that I learnt (although don’t know if it is still the case) we found out that in the UK as a same sex couple you have to be married for the non biological mother to be legally considered the second parent. This may have changed, but I felt that was a key piece of information that wasn’t massively available to us. I think I found it out by downloading a PDF from Stonewall and reading the small print. Something worth finding out about though. 

Click here for more info. 

What was the one product/thing you couldn’t live without through your journey? 

There were a few things. But, one thing that I wished we had bought sooner though was the Sleepyhead. For those who don’t know; it is like a life raft. Basically a padded mattress with sides! When babies are tiny they tend to flail around a bit as they like to be contained and snuggly. So, if you just put them in a cot they can wake themselves quite quickly. The padded edges of this thing make them feel quite safe and secure. As soon as we used it with our daughter (about three and a half months in) she started to sleep so much better. We kept thinking why didn’t we use this from the beginning?!

What has been the one thing that has surprised you most about having your daughter?

I think I was surprised by how unanxious I was in the end. I felt that I was always going to be a really neurotic parent, I was really worried about it. I had a view of myself as going to be terrified of everything. All of the time. Actually I think it’s a testament to my daughter that I don’t feel like that. I have confidence in her, I just trust in who she is. 

Of course I still worry about her, as any parent does, but I had thought I might be one of those parents who was floored by anxiety. Not able to do anything because I was so worried. Thankfully I realised quite quickly that just wasn’t what my relationship with her was like. It was a lot more fun, easy and uplifting than I had ever thought was possible. At every stage. 

Even at the beginning I had thought babies just cried all the time. Its what you see on TV and in films. You typically see these really harassed looking mums with sick all down their faces and terrible hair where the mum is an absolute state! Of course there are moments where you are a bit like that. I quickly learnt that it was not the majority of the time for us. We were lucky that our daughter didn’t have colic or anything like that. However, I very quickly realised is that it was actually totally manageable. 

’It was a really positive nurturing time’ 

Although the early days were so hard in so many ways, I had thought we would have this screaming thing to cope with all the time and that my nerves would be shredded. Actually it was a really positive nurturing time. She was a good baby and although she didn’t sleep super well it was absolutely manageable.

I had actually been really scared of sleepless nights. I have always been someone who had a strong routine around going to bed at a certain time and feeling I needed a certain amount of sleep. But, once you’re in it, you’re doing it and it’s your new normal it is actually ok. You get used to it. I wished I hadn’t been so scared of all that side as I quickly realised I didn’t need to have been. 

Click here for the full version of Lotte’s journey and check her out on instagram @lottejeffs. Her podcast ‘Some Families’ designed to help provide same sex couples with information around starting a family is coming soon! 
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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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Each month we will be giving away a curated box of goodies to suit the individual stage of your Journey, worth £100. To enter the draw and join us, enter your details below. Winner announced at the end of the month.

 

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