One in six couples in the UK is affected by infertility. Tom Webb is the Director of the documentary The Easy Bit which portrays six men’s experience with infertility. Tom Webb has first-hand experience with infertility himself and he and his wife went through fertility treatment to the point where they almost gave up all hopes. In this interview, Tom Webb shares his experience going through fertility treatment and how that lead to the making of the film The Easy Bit.
“The Easy Bit was created because of my own experience with fertility treatment with my wife. We spent 12 years trying to have a child. We had two rounds of fertility treatment, and unfortunately, they both failed. We found ourselves in a position where we didn’t want to continue fertility treatment. It was a very difficult time for both of us. I couldn’t accept that nothing positive had come out of what we had been through.
During the fertility treatment phase, we had written a blog about our experience called Journey to the far side of the womb which was intended to keep family and friends updated on what we were going through. But we ended up reaching quite a lot more people than we anticipated on that platform. One of the most revealing aspects of that was when I would write something, particularly when I was about to go and give a sample. There were several people, mostly women, who commented back that they had never heard what it was like for men to be in that room. Even from their partners. Some of the comments we got were “I just went and apologized to my husband for saying the things I had said to him” or “I just asked my husband is this really what it is like?” It was pretty eye-opening. Not only were people who hadn’t been through fertility treatment not understanding what it was like but actually some people who were going through infertility treatment wouldn’t understand what that aspect was like specifically.
So, I’m a filmmaker and I thought that the thing that I could do for this was to create a film explaining that experience and what it is like.
To conclude my own story, my wife and I spent six months with trying to come to terms with the fact that we were probably going to be childless not by choice to the point where we discussed her having a hysterectomy to draw a line underneath it so we could move on. We saw a consultant and the consultant suggested that we should do one last investigation on my wife. She wanted to do a laparoscopy because my wife had never had one. There were never any calls for my wife to have one to investigate anything like endometriosis. The consultant wanted to do that to tick it off for us and to give us that kind of “we did everything” feeling.
So, we did the procedure and found nothing. But she prepped my wife’s womb lining giving her some blood thinners and said we should try naturally for three months. We fell pregnant in the first month and we now have a three and a half-year-old little girl.
Our story was such an up and down bizarre thing and it was almost down to coincidence. Even though this happened when I was making the film, I still had to make the film. If anything, that kind of doubled my efforts. Even though my story came to the conclusion that me and my wife really hoped, it didn’t mean that it was going to be like that for everybody. And that’s how it all came to be.”
You can watch the entire interview with Tom Webb by Kevin McEleny about the Easy Bit here: