IVF is not for the fainthearted, just ask Liz Potter. After 11 gruelling cycles over five years, she learned firsthand how tough it was and how hard it was to communicate what she was going through – something which inspired her to create a new set of emojis to help all those other women on IVF journeys.
The keyboard app is called emojIVF and according to Liz, she came up with the idea to help tackle the emotions that women go through surrounding the difficult process of IVF.
“IVF is incredibly emotional, plus the language around it is often technical or medical, and in a lot of instances a bit yucky or creepy sounding, so I found that I didn’t share what I was going through with a lot of people because it was too difficult,” she says.
“Having an emoji in place of words is the perfect way around this, allowing women to more easily share their IVF journey with loved ones. And because emojis are quite light and funny it’s also a way to bring a bit of humour to a stressful or upsetting situation, especially when the IVF isn’t going so well or a day is particularly tough.”
Available in the Apple store for $1.49, women can easily download the emojIVF keyboard to their phone or iPad which features 95 different emojis. All directly related to the process of IVF, the fun emojis include all the things a woman might need to do, such as injecting the drugs at work, embryo transfers and countless POAS’s (pee on a stick). There are also many emojis to tackle the emotional side of it as well, such as when a BFN (Big Fat Negative) appears on the pregnancy test, waiting for the nurse to call and feeling upset when someone around you is pregnant and you’re not.
“I really wanted to capture the drug process because it’s a massive part and it makes you feel so terrible that it needs a bit of humour,” says Liz. “I’ve also tried to capture the really crucial two week IVF wait that women have to go through when they’ve had a transfer and have to have a blood test plus all the things that you do – such as the old wives’ tales of eating pineapples and Brazil nuts, and all the stuff that’s discussed in the IVF forums.”
She also really wanted to capture the emotional rollercoaster that women go on. “It is such an isolated and emotional journey and there are things that are common for women going through IVF in terms of the emotional experience, so I really wanted to nail that if I could.”
Personally Liz counts herself one of the lucky ones, with her long IVF journey of 11 cycles finally resulting in two beautiful children.
“Most women going through IVF aren’t successful, and that was very much top of mind for me in terms of developing these emojis. So you won’t see any babies or pregnancies in here, except for the first emoji where it’s a baby dream, but I’m very aware that most people aren’t successful.”
And according to Liz, although emojIVF is aimed directly at all the women going through IVF, it could also be a great help for friends and family.
“I think my partner would have used the emojis to communicate with me about it because it’s very difficult for men and same sex partners to talk about it. It’s really hard to relate to what women are going through and friends definitely as well,” says Liz.
“When my friend saw the emojis she cried because she didn’t know what I had gone through in detail and felt that she wasn’t there for me. The reality was that I just didn’t talk to her about it because I couldn’t find the words.”
Now thanks to Liz, women everywhere can let the emojis do the tough talking for them. She is also working on an additional 25 emojis to add to the app, and is even asking women to come forward with their ideas for other IVF emojis that they want to see in there too.
To download the emojIVF app visit the Apple store here.
What a fabulous idea! Would you use IVF emojis?!