One day we were at a baby shower for one of my best friends. There were only three of us who weren’t expecting or already had a child. One friend was single, but we knew it would be on the cards as soon as she found a keeper (she did), there was me, who was secretly hatching plans to fall pregnant, and there was Veronica, who flatly turned around and said “no way. Kids. Nuh uh. That is so far into my future.” What came next for us was month after month of heartache, followed by test after test, fertility treatment after fertility treatment, OHSS, miscarriage, heartache, loneliness and desperation.

A few years after that baby shower I strolled into the supermarket and bumped into Veronica… who was eight months along. My world crumbled in an instant. There was a lump in my throat. I was panicking and could feel myself start to hyperventilate. Why couldn’t I breathe?! In an instant I blurted out that I was in a rush, turned around empty handed and flew out of the supermarket to my car, where a flood of emotion came over me. Sadness. I came crashing home and continued, wailing as I walked into the walk in robe (which for some reason felt like an appropriate space for the moment) and collapsed in a heap as my husband stood by, jaw open, eyes wide, silent and unsure of what had happened or what he should do.

Subconsciously, I had always thought that if there were one person I could rely on to not fall pregnant, it would be Veronica, and here she was, about to join the club and leave me here, all alone in this lonely, 30-something yet childless world. How dare she? I felt like the last man standing. Would I be stuck here forever, attending baby showers and kids birthdays as ‘Aunty Robyn’?

I think to a degree we all have that person. Someone we never expect to fall pregnant, and when it seems like everyone around us is dropping like flies, consciously or unconsciously, there is a part of us that clings onto the fact that there is someone else with us in this space.

And it can be a tough blow when we learn they are pregnant, yet we know that if everyone in the world waited for us to have children (as if anyone would, or should), there’s a possibility that humanity could die out!

Because despite all of our medical advances, not everyone successfully has a child. Which is why it can feel so lonely.

And why it has taken me 32 weeks to post a picture of me, expecting my second. While I haven’t kept it a secret, I’ve made a deliberate effort not to rub it in, and I think that’s how it should be, but in keeping it on the down low, the more I keep discovering that people don’t know.

And anyone going through difficulty conceiving will tell you, they HATE surprises. They like a quiet heads up, a warning, a bit of advance notice so they can get their shit together.

So yes, I am expecting.

Robyn Birkin 32 weeks pregnant
And no, my body didn’t miraculously kick into gear and ‘remember how to fall pregnant naturally’ after having Chloe.

We fell pregnant fertility warrior style.

I was prepared for the same long, rocky road with Chloe, and while it didn’t happen on the first go, it happened soon enough. We had our first appointment with our specialist in February and by mid-year, on my last frozen embryo (it appears my embryos do NOT like the cold), but only second frozen embryo transfer, we fell pregnant.

But because nothing spells warrior like a challenge, I have not been blessed with the easy pregnancy I had with Chloe, the piece de resistance being that I have managed to get grade 4 placenta previa – at last check that sucker was smack bang in the middle of my cervix (too many people fishing around my insides over the years. Whatever you do DON’T Google Placenta Previa statistics!). But we are nearing the finish line and our second little Miss seems to be doing OK in there, so we are winning.

I’ve always felt quite happy when other fertility warriors get over that next hurdle and fall pregnant, but I’m sure there are a few people who see this picture and think “well FFS, even the podcast/group/blog chick has done it and here I am!”

I’m rapt, as you can imagine, and I think it would be a pretty sad state of affairs if the podcast/group/blog chick never fell pregnant again! If you’re looking at this picture and you’re a fertility warrior, today I offer you hope.

Sometimes things in life are easy, sometimes, they’re damned hard, but keep at it, stay positive and go to bed tonight with the vision of yourself taking this photo of your own belly. And know this: it may feel like a lifetime, but I promise you, that it is just one small part of your story, which has many exciting chapters ahead.