Lara Jayatilaka, ST5 Registrar
‘It was always medicine first personal life second.
That was the theme of my life for many many years. I am sure that’s not unique to me. I always assumed when the time was right I would have children.
Unfortunately it did not work out to be as simple as that. I found myself in a situation I never imagined would be an issue for me, unexplained infertility. I struggled, I felt guilty when I had to take time off to go for hospital appointments, I felt emotionally distraught when I had to tell yet another rota coordinator that I had a failed cycle, miscarriage or chemical pregnancy. After lots and lots of deliberation and conversations with some fantastic trainers I decided to go LTFT and eventually took a year out of training to do back to back cycles to really give myself the best chance of a positive outcome. Also towards the end of my journey ttc my cycles were abroad and I knew the stress of trying to organise time to cycle abroad would be overwhelming for me. Taking a year out was the best decision I made.
There were doctors I worked with who shared their stories with me, bosses that took the time to talk to me and a Facebook group of amazing medics ttc.
My advice to the past me, don’t wait till all the stars align there is no perfect time, talk to people, take the time you need and put your emotional well-being front and centre. You are not alone.
I write this at 3 am on my phone with my rainbow baby in one arm, phone in other. Without the decision I made, without the conversations I had and without stepping out of my identity of surgeon first everything else second she would not be here.’