The other day I was listening to a sermon by Bishop TD Jakes and he used an analogy of penguins huddling together to illustrate his point about people working together and supporting one another. I became very curious and began researching more on the Emperor Penguin. My top five facts are
- Emperors are the largest of the 18 penguin species.
- They are only found in Antarctica in the wild.
- They have four layers of scale-like feathers to provide a waterproof coat and protect them from icy winds.
- The male Emperors can go up to four months without eating from the time they arrive at the colony to breed until the egg has hatched and the female Emperor returns to feed.
- 5,000 or more colonies of adults and chicks tightly huddle together for warmth and shuffle around so that those on the outside don’t get too cold.
You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about penguins right? Yes, this is still a fertility blog and not a wildlife one lol. You see, when I experienced a miscarriage and was going through the multiple rounds of IVF, I was so happy that I had people around me that I could huddle with. When it was cold “outside”, I had people that would sit with me and wipe my tears away, people who would sit with me and cry, sit with me and talk about how hard the journey was or simply sit with me and listen…
When I say cold “outside”, I’m not speaking literally about the weather, I’m referring to the challenges of infertility… the waiting, the pain, the financial costs, emotional turmoil, physical pain and so much more. I guess, in life we all experience some kind of cold – it just comes in different forms. We all need that someone or a group of people that we can lean on to somewhat help shield us from the cold.
The Emperor penguins use heat from each other to keep themselves warm… they work together. Over the past year, I’ve become more active on social media in an aim to raise more awareness on the topic of fertility. Along the way, I have met some pretty amazing people. Now, you may be thinking that you never really know who people are because it’s social media but, I guess the same could be said for people you know personally also… Anyhoo, as I was saying, I’ve met some amazing people who have really demonstrated true courage, strength and vulnerability to encourage others and break the stigma of fertility challenges.
The Trying To Conceive (TTC) community has really opened my eyes to a whole new level of the meaning of support. I have been able to reach people through my journey and encourage them – give some of my heat when it’s cold “outside” for them and yes, I too have received great encouragement and heat from others when it’s been a little cold “outside” for me.
My question to you is, are you providing heat, huddling together for that someone who is facing a challenge? Are you so focused on yourself that you can’t see someone shivering from the cold? It may not be fertility, it could be death, work, finances, marriage or even a business… are you so wrapped up in me, myself and I that you haven’t taken a minute to consider that huddling together produces the greatest results?
For anyone who is still on their journey to parenthood… you are not alone. There’s a whole community out there waiting to share some heat with you… waiting to huddle around you when you don’t have the strength to to put that coat on and wrap your scarf. You see, when we huddle together, we use less energy and withstanding the cold doesn’t seem as bad as it would be when we try to do it on our own…
I’ll leave you with a scripture
Be Encouraged, Be Expectant