It's no secret that even a quick scroll of social media can leave you feeling utterly inadequate, as you stare at "the best bits" of people's lives they choose to broadcast.
The perfect snaps of perfect families and the perfect announcements of perfect pregnancies.
And for me, it was these announcements that were one of the hardest things to cope with when trying and struggling to fall pregnant.
Not because I wasn't happy for people - of course I was happy for them. But it was also a reminder of what I couldn't have. That I may never get to make an announcement, or hold a baby of my own, and that these people seemed to have it so much "easier" than I did. All I really wanted was a small grain of hope.
My heart yearned to be a mother, practically my whole life. Though I would tell others that I wasn't sure if I even wanted kids, and my heart would be content with just a loyal dog and a good night's sleep.
The "when are you having a baby?" question was rolling in from those around me, I felt like my body was failing me, as I simply could not seem to fall pregnant. So followed the tests, health overhaul, supplements, acupuncture appointments, holistic health approaches, weekly and at times daily blood tests, scans, yellow forms and finally, three rounds of IVF drug Letrozole.
Being able to only do three rounds in a row, I went for a blood test, as scheduled each month, only to find out I still wasn't pregnant and would now have to wait until I could try the treatment again a few months later.
I burst into tears, as I seemed to every month, and my husband was away so I was dealing with it alone. But three days later something didn't feel right.
I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case, and went on with my evening, forgetting I had even taken it. Several hours later I saw the test still sitting on the vanity and walked over to pop it in the bin, like I had so many times before, when what felt like an out-of-body experience occurred. So used to seeing the one line, I shook is disbelief at the two pink lines. Several expletives later, and conversations with my cat, I screamed: "OMG I'm pregnant!"
Still, in fear of something going wrong and this precious blessing being taken from me, it took me 21 weeks to be brave enough to publicly say I was pregnant. When I did, I shared the struggle with the joy and the gratitude with the morning sickness complaints.
I had promised myself that if and when I did fall pregnant, I would make sure my announcement wasn't the reason someone cried and if they were going through that too, they would know they weren't alone.
Over the past few weeks, The Hits host Laura McGoldrick and ZM host Megan Papas both revealed their heartbreaking struggles to fall pregnant.
McGoldrick suffered a devastating miscarriage, followed by a missed-miscarriage in March this year, heartbreakingly going through the process alone during the level 4 lockdown.
While Papas revealed she and her husband Andrew's fertility struggles and journey towards IVF, before falling pregnant earlier this year.
Both shared their stories, along with an announcement that they were expecting a baby. So why is this so important?
Because both announcements gave hope to women going through the same common but often untalked-about scenario.
According to Fertility Associates, as many as one in four New Zealanders experience infertility when trying to conceive and one in every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. But the number of people willing to talk about this pales in comparison.
And that is what both McGoldrick and Papas did so eloquently - they chose to fight through the tears and talk about it to give hope. They shared their joy, while also sharing their heartbreakingly real pain. Their longing, their crying on the floor of the shower, their disappointment.
As two public figures, they used their platform to make sure others didn't feel alone. Both could have announced their happy news and moved on, sharing scans and adorable baby gifts on social media, but they chose to do more.
For me, my journey to be a mother was built on that hope. Hope for a baby, but also hope that I would be ok without one. That I would find a way to be a mother to something or someone else. That was going to be ok too.
I had a wonderful colleague and now friend who shared my struggles. Knowing those tests and yellow forms. To her I am so grateful. Because she made me feel seen.
That's why it's important for figures like McGoldrick and Papas to talk about these kinds of previously "taboo" topics. Because it makes people struggling to have a baby feel seen when they feel invisible.
For me, I now I have my boy; 15 months old and perfect. And there is nothing I would change about my journey to this point, because the struggle gave me him. Those tears make me take a few extra seconds to soak in the smiles he gives me, and the laughs we share.
I am forever grateful to have my son and forever grateful to strong women for sharing their stories so others don't feel alone.
As McGoldrick put it so perfectly: "You are not alone. You are not alone. Do not lose hope."