Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The story of one little sperm

A friend called me today to share her frustration at not being pregnant. It’s the frustration all women feel when they’ve been trying for a while because each month it gets a little bit harder. We can become consumed by our yearning to feel a child growing inside us, and depressed at the absence of said child. We put ourselves on the “baby mouse wheel” where each month we try, we wait, we get the result and we try again. It’s a process that can play havoc with our minds because it creates feelings of want, need, desperation, emptiness, failure and heart ache.

For many women, the only thing that can bring them any peace is seeing the two lines on the pregnancy test. But that peace is often short-lived as it’s replaced with the anxiety of being pregnant and everything that could potentially go wrong. There really is no peace at all until you’re holding the baby in your arms, and even then, you worry about what might happen to them.  

I didn’t suffer the ongoing frustration of trying to get pregnant because it happened so quickly, but I certainly suffered enormous frustration waiting for my body to heal so we could start trying to conceive again. I also know the pangs of emptiness you feel when there isn’t a baby where a baby is supposed to be. To be honest, I don’t know any woman who didn’t worry though her pregnancy.  Perhaps it’s just not in our genetics to have calm pregnancies, but I’m sure there are many women out there who achieve it.
I wonder if a lot of women feel like this because they don’t understand the absolute miracle that has to take place to fall pregnant in the first place. I came across this clip on You Tube that explained the whole process and I defy anyone to not become emotionally involved in it after hearing the first sentence – “Fertilisation is the epic story of a single sperm facing incredible odds to unite with an egg and form a new human life.” I was already rooting for the little guy!

So congratulations, you are the result of that one single sperm, out of the 300 million, that made it!
Watching this, I realised the immense number of things that have to happen to create a baby. I also realised how little control we have over making these things happen. It really is a case of the stars and planets aligning to get an egg fertilised, although technically, it’s more a case of an egg and one intrepid sperm aligning. I don’t know about you, but this movie gave me a whole new appreciation of sperm and the perilous journey they undertake every month in an effort to create a new human. Thank you for your adventurous spirit sperm, for none of us would be here without you!  

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