It's that time of the year again.
I'm not sure about you, but for me the year has flown by.
Looking back to the beginning off 2019 I returned from my first family holiday in Ghana in early January and shortly after returned to work after being on maternity leave for over a year.
A few weeks after, Seb celebrated his first birthday and started going to nursery part time - that in itself gave me a reality check on how quickly the year goes by.
I was scared to be back in a position of just going to my 9-5 job, because since blogging it truly had felt like my purpose and calling had launched...
I began to focus my thinking on being grateful for a job at least , and shortly after this new way of thinking I happened to find an internal part time role which gave me some new experience, and 2.5 extra days of the week. While this meant I was being paid significantly less, at this point I had decided that money wasn't everything and I really started to use this time to develop some more meaningful content on my blog and get involved in some initiatives.
Following that I was fortunate to have been invited by Emma Barnett's producer to talk about my IVF journey from a black woman's perspective on on BBC Radio five live show .
I felt extremely humbled to have been able to appear on her show, and just when I thought that this would be the highlight for the year with regards to my blogging opportunities, I appeared on many other podcasts and shows, and it felt so surreal that the BBC studios in London started to become a familiar place.(gassed)
A few weeks later I joined the fabulous ladies at the sister collective podcast , this was such a special moment for me as I felt honoured to have joined a BBC 5 live podcast that was created especially for woman of colour.
After taking a short break to celebrate me and my hubby 5th anniversary in beautiful Turkey , I came back to being more 'booked and busy'.
I was commissioned to record a short news feature and write an article for Sky about my IVF and infertility journey , and what was it that made it so hard to talk about in our communities.
Whilst these were all fantastic opportunities, being so busy and hearing and reading my own story through all these interviews and articles really made me question the future.
Specifically what it holds if I became pregnant again, and subsequently how this would change my story etc. I even at some point questioned the validity of my story and journey now that I already had a child.
Not before long these opportunities came and went by, I was approached by an editor from Grazia magazine who wanted to feature my story and learn more about the IVF journey from a black woman's perspective. Again I felt so honoured and excited, but the doubts aforementioned came looming in as I felt quite demotivated and insignificant about telling my story once more, but I kept telling myself that there was a fundamental reason why all these parties were interested - and it became apparent the bigger picture was that this was about the 'people' and telling my story was at the heart of someone else hearing or reading about it to be encouraged.
Fast forward to August just when I started to work closer with Grazia to start building the magazine feature, I found out I was pregnant and all be it naturally.
This is a story that will need to have it's own blog entry but the point of the matter is this news completely flipped the script.
Ironically for what this blog is about you'd expect me to convey how finding out the news went down with more enthusiasm and positivity, but if I'm honest, it threw me.
In fact the first thing that came to mind was to drop out of the magazine feature. Here I was commissioned to feature my story in a global magazine to encourage other women of colour about IVF and infertility. Yet this new 'twist' in my own personal journey (if that's what I should call it) didn't quite add up.
If I'm honest this was mainly because I was scared that women/ couples who have followed my journey wouldn't know how to relate to me now identifying as someone who has conceived 'the normal way'.
With all these wild thoughts in mind, and a few reality checks I continued working on the magazine feature, and was dealing with the news in the background.
Before I go any further , I'm not sure if any of you reading can relate, but for the first time I realised how much pressure and onus one can feel as a 'blogger' and 'influencer'. Finding out I was supposedly pregnant was SHOCKING but it also made me feel that I somehow may disappoint or upset women who follow my story closely and feel like they are walking the journey with me , but now I have deceived them because I have moved to the 'other side' and this time naturally.
As ludicrous as it sounds I feel that those especially who are facing their own TTC journey will understand this different version of guilt hits you like a tonne of bricks when you move into a situation that some are still waiting for (pregnancy).
That being said, I'm one of those individuals who can go from 0 -100 and the reverse very quickly. After rationalising with my own thoughts I very quickly realised I don't owe anything to anyone apart from my honesty and integrity. I decided that I cannot control how people feel, but maybe I could somewhat control how this news would make someone feel once I shared it. From that point I decided that once I was 'out of the woods' and in the 'safe zone' in pregnancy. (even though I feel like there's no such thing' as cynical as it sounds). The plan was to do it now (December 2019)
What I had in mind was a cute announcement Christmas family photo all in one , a bit like the one I did last year.
However I imagine you've guessed how the plan changed. To cut to the chase, the most heartbreaking thing I never ever expected to happen - I (we) lost the baby in mid September.
There's still no words to fathom what has happened and it's only now just sinking in now we have a date to lay our very tiny baby to rest.
In the midst of this heartbreak, and after recovering from surgery I recommenced my plans and work with other fertility related projects . One of them being the launch of my community organisation Femelanin . I was also back on the radio to speak with Emma Barnett during fertility week and appeared as a IVF Babble panel member at the London Fertility show.
At this point , being busy helped me to focus, but even now I try and understand why this happened. Again it will take a while to really try and fathom how I feel about this but for now there's one thing that I leave you with- I SURVIVED.
The thought of knowing that I was in a life threatening situation tells me that they very questioning I had during this year about my purpose and the true calling of my heart was answered as my life was spared.
Again I cannot even begin to tell you how painful this is. I lost another baby and also one of my Fallopian tubes. However in light of the fact that the purpose of this post is to remind me to count my blessings. I am thankful for all the opportunities I've had this year to help other women/couples.
Most importantly it helps me to know that God has a purpose for me , and so the journey continues...
Merry Christmas and I hope you have a peaceful and joyful holiday season despite whatever you may be going through.
" There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind"