We have made it through what I now realise is a frighteningly fleeting time in a child's life – precious babyhood. So hard and challenging for both baby and parents at times, and yet so dear and incredible to be a part of.
Becoming a mother has changed me in ways I never thought possible, was never even able to grasp as a concept. Nothing can prepare you for the initial shock having a first baby will bring to your life, your relationships, your very identity. That the overwhelming love you feel for your baby doesn't necessarily come instantly, like a lightening bolt – for me it was gradual and growing. Being able to share my experiences and uncertainties with you has been a gift for me.
The act of writing down my feelings, fears and insecurities and sharing them with an unseen yet hopefully benevolent audience has helped me through this journey in untold ways.
Months ago, articulating on a page my fear of post natal depression enabled me to talk to my friends and family about my worries – during a time when I was too terrified to even utter the words for fear of making them real.
The relentlessness of sleep deprivation, the desolation it brings to the soul – being able to share what I felt was a shameful inability to cope. My (what I now realise as illogical) sense of failure and betrayal when I made the decision to give up breastfeeding, and probably most importantly, having a platform from which to air and work through my grief and anger relating to the circumstances of Oscar's birth.
I have bared pieces of myself to you when writing this column and I sincerely hope that in this sharing, I have been able to help others who may have been feeling the same way, experiencing the same emotions, by showing them that they are not alone, that motherhood is one of the most universal of all experiences.
I also want to say thank you – for listening. I'm happy to report from this side that it does get easier – in some ways!
Other issues and challenges are raised every day as my child gets older and I look forward to talking them head on, with a strong heart, honest intentions, and with the love and support of my wonderful husband, family and friends.
Until we meet again.