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At the end of each year I like to reflect on what happened so I can learn and plan for the following year - I have been following this strategy for the last few years and I call it purposeful living. It’s like stopping to check what I’ve been doing and assessing whether my actions and achievements are in line with my values, the person I want to be and the legacy I want to leave in the world. So I have been reflecting on 2019 and planning ahead for 2020.
At the beginning of 2019, we had decided as a couple that it was going to be the year of building our family - this would be a big breakthrough for me, as it challenged ideas around what family is and what it looks like. But I do believe families come in many shapes, sizes and forms and what I value the most is the togetherness, the support and the unconditional love that family brings (despite the number of family members or how the family was built).
Reflecting on 2019: What Actually Happened
Everything I do, in my personal life and in my professional life, is for this feeling of family. So that I can experience it myself, and many more people who are struggling around the world can experience it as well.
With this in mind, this is what actually happened in 2019:
- Our house became a home! We spent lots of time decorating, painting walls and choosing the style that felt the most like us.
- We got officially married in a small ceremony just with our two sisters to witness.
- We had a big wedding a few months after, bringing together so many family and friends from all over the world! The best day of my life!
- Our family grew as we welcomed our puppy Sammy into our lives. So challenging in the beginning but so worthwhile. He is definitely a good boy and brings calm into our busy lives.
- We went on an amazing honeymoon to Cape Verde and Santorini, where we got to relax and recharge.
- We completed the research trial with London South Bank University and a second with Mumsnet.
- We started the first ever multi centric clinical trial on lifestyle and fertility with several fertility clinics: IVF London, EmbryoClinic, Reproductive Health Group, IVF Spain and Eko to increase accessibility to fertility care and support worldwide.
- I was featured in the media, TV, magazines, congresses and talks, including Forbes, Daily Express, Medical Technology Magazine, O Programa Cristina, The Fertility Show, Fertility Fest, The Fertility Forum, and the #Scream4IVF campaign by Fertility Network UK.
- I created great content, including videos, articles and blogs as part of our fertility education and awareness mission, collaborating with IVF London, IVF spain, Gennet, Reproductive Health Group, EmbryoClinic, Egg Donation Friends, Fertty, Gyniime.
- I worked in my other business of sedation training, growing SedateUK, supporting many NHS and private hospitals and clinics, and collaborating with Medtronic in several projects.
- And finally, not even knowing how this is possible in just 12 months, 2019 was also the year when we visited 12 cities, some of them more than once: Lisbon (7 times!!!), Vienna twice, Paris, Cork, Venice, Lake Garda, Munich, Istanbul, Cape Verde, Santorini, Thessalonika and Santander.
2020: The Year of Stability, Maturity and Growth
Now that I do feel I have accomplished my goal of building my family and helping others build theirs, what do I want out of next year? 2020 will be the year of stability, maturity and growth.
We will continue everything we started and let it settle, stabilise, mature, evolve, and grow. This will be the year of the Enhanced Fertility Programme will grow and help many more people in Europe as we collaborate with more fertility clinics. And it will be the year of reaching out to more disadvantaged countries in Africa and Asia, continuing our mission of improving accessibility to fertility care and support worldwide.
Over the last few years, as I coped with infertility, I realised that focusing on a mission that was bigger than myself, and giving back to others was my way of growing beyond my own suffering and living a meaningful life.
It's strange that sometimes, what we want comes to us in a different way to what we planned. We make so many plans, and think that we know better. But the Universe has its own way of giving us what we need, which is sometimes more that we ask for. I wanted a family, I have one. Different to what I had planned? Yes. But getting more love than I ever thought possible.
To a brilliant 2020, with the heart full of love, peace, joy and gratitude!
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc