How funny that 'Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day' this year should fall on the same weekend as Mother's Day, since really the two are interchangeable for me. I would like to say that Cerebral palsy has not defined my experiences of motherhood but of course that would be a lie. It has infiltrated every part of my life as a mum from the very moment Elin didn't take that first breath.
Ultimately, support and understanding, not only from each other but also friends, family and work colleagues is what is paramount in retaining your health, sanity and relationship. Don't underestimate people, most folk have experienced a sleepless night and will know exactly how you feel if you're dealing with it on such a regular basis.
Sleep deprivation will twist your feelings and muddy your thoughts like nothing else. I figured I forced her existence by having IVF and that my selfish need to be a mum was being punished. But it wasn't just me being punished, it was Paul too but mostly and worst of all, it was Elin. They were categorically the worst few months of my life.
Ultimately, my question is this: Can someone be proud of something that undoubtedly hinders them? Of course cerebral palsy has made me more resilient and shaped my personality. I would be a very different person without it, but applying Darwinian theory, if there was a fire and I was without an assistant, CP could only be a hindrance.
Today I'll be getting my nails painted gold and my hands will be decorated with henna to celebrate Eid. I'm looking forward to wearing a green shalwar kameez from Pakistan with elaborate gold embroidery. I love the celebrations - all the pakoras, samosas and rice of every colour - and it's a chance to see family and friends.