By GUY WILLIAMS
A Queenstown woman is setting up a fertility support group in the resort after feeling ‘‘pretty lost and alone’’ during her struggle with the issue.
Eva Hooper says it took three years for her and her husband to conceive a baby, and she wished she could’ve shared her experience with others going through the same thing.
Now the mother of an 11-month-old after IVF treatment, and with the nearest support groups in Dunedin and Invercargill, she wants to fill the gap.
Hooper, a German who moved to the resort with her Kiwi partner five years ago, says unless they’ve experienced fertility issues themselves, family and friends often can’t relate to what a couple is going through, and sometimes make well-meaning but unhelpful comments.
Infertility affects one in four New Zealanders, and the psychological impact is underestimated, she says.
‘‘Infertility is a massive ‘club’ that no one wants to be a part of … and unfortunately, there’s still a stigma around it which can lead to people feeling isolated.
‘‘They suffer in silence, or think it’s not appropriate to talk about.
‘‘With the group I want to try and change that mindset, and encourage people to be more open about it.’’
She contacted Fertility NZ last year about setting up a group in the resort, and has since completed a training workshop.
A registered charity set up to provide information, support and advocacy to people experiencing fertility issues, it’s helping her set up the group, and will provide ongoing support and advice for her and its members.
The meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month, with the first on February 9, from 7pm to 8.30pm.
She’s still looking for the ideal venue, though.
‘‘We need a place that has some privacy, but you also want it to be a casual environment.’’
To connect, go to ‘FNZ Queenstown Support’, on Facebook, or email email@example.com