Every now and then I have these 'moments' that make me stop and realise how lucky I am.
I can say that now with confidence cause I'm no longer feeling sorry for myself, but last year, 2016, or as I have nicknamed it.. #projectbaby2016 felt like my worst (and best) year yet.
Unfortunately, I was not one of those women who blinked and fell pregnant quickly. I spent the most part of 2016 prepping myself for IVF. And despite what you think you might know about IVF, for me, this was NOT an overnight process.
I waited to see doctors, I waited for results, I waited to fall naturally, I waited for a period, I waited to start IVF which then lead to even more waiting.
I waited for my eggs to be retrieved, I waited for my embryos to be fertilised, I waited for them to be biopsied for genetic testing, then to be stored and frozen for two and half months until I waited for a natural cycle to occur so they could then be transferred, which of course leads to the infamous 'two week wait'.
I remember at one point feeling like I should have written a book and called it "What to Expect When You Are Still Not Expecting", or " What to Expect When You Are Expecting To Be Expecting." The wait was destroying me.
During this time, one of those defining 'moments' struck one particular evening whilst flicking through channels. My husband quickly alerted me to switch to Nat Geo as March of the Penguins was just starting.
Yes, the documentary.
Reluctantly (and with eyes rolling) I watched on as he insisted it was a touching documentary about penguins. (My enthusiasm lowering by the second).
Until I watched on and realized, it was more than that.
This heartwarming documentary unfolded the story of one year in the life of a flock of penguins as they trek across the freezing Antarctic on a year long journey that has them facing just about every major life experience: from birth to death, from dating to mating, from comedy to tragedy, and from finding love to fighting for survival in the harshest conditions on Earth.
As I watched in awe as the tears rolled down my face, it showed me that it is not only the human who sometimes have to overcome daunting obstacles to create human life but the poor penguin who have to hustle to pro-create also.
So I eventually stopped the pity party and embraced the mammoth IVF task and enjoyed my journey from infertility to pregnancy.
I'm sorry to my nearest and dearest, who had to hear about my anticipated specialist appointments, my husbands sperm, my fibroids and uterus, my polycystic ovaries, the ovulation tests, negative pregnancy results, the surprise periods, the many blood tests and the gory details of my egg collection and frozen embryo transfer.
But fast forward to today:
I am 38 weeks pregnant, am bracing myself for the challenges of motherhood, I'm farewelling the past, welcoming the new future and taking another conscious 'moment' (before I am sleep deprived and covered in vom) to document my gratitude for the miracle of creating human life...
And for the new found respect I have for the humble penguin.