I am incredibly proud and relieved to tell you that not only did I complete my personal mission of putting these demons to bed I actually managed to light the touch paper underneath every single one of them and watch as they want up in smoke and disappeared forever. You see, what I have come to realise in all its beautiful glory is that my illness and this geographical place are two separate entities that exist independently of each other. It is just a place. I am no longer ill.
I've always been interested in the relationships between parents and kids, and the impact of these in future, and this got me thinking, what other kinds of mother/son relationships are out there, and what are they likely to do to future romantic relationships. Do you recognise your partner from the below categories? If so, I hope the advice here is helpful in helping to shape a better relationship for you.
I started the original One Day Young project in East London back in 2008, photographing over 150 mothers at home with their babies in the first twenty-four hours of life. When invited me to extend this project to Malawi, to raise awareness about women giving birth without clean water or sanitation for their Deliver Life appeal, I was apprehensive.
Comic Relief's Operation Health project, the focus of this year's Red Nose Day campaign, will completely renovate a dilapidated health centre in Iyolwa, Uganda. Operation Health is at the centre of a fundraising drive to improve healthcare across Africa by showing how money well spent can be used to improve health systems.
The spectacular GDP growth recorded by some West African countries in the past 5 years is all of a sudden undermined by the spread of the Ebola virus. The epidemic has put under the spotlight the poor conditions of health systems in the region, but also the fragility of economic models measured only by Gross Domestic Product.
Disability, infertility, being shunned by your community and in the worst case even death: these are just some of the terrifying risks women expose themselves to when they have an unsafe abortion. Yet every year 21.6 million women, 99% of them in the developing world, are so desperate to end an unwanted pregnancy that they will quite literally risk their lives.
This loss of everything I took for granted in my adult life was much more overwhelming to me than the love I felt for my baby. I know, I said it, shoot me world - and what a world we live in when it comes to 'views' on mothers. How we should feel, how we should look, how we should react... the expectations are real and they are fired at a new mother like arrows from a bow.
Fewer women are dying in child birth, more girls are going to school, increased numbers of women are taking on roles in public office, there are more female entrepreneurs and less poverty. But significant challenges remain, and we are still a long way from achieving universal access to reproductive and sexual health and the realisation of reproductive rights for all.
With the recent loss of Nelson Mandela, South African found its voice - and during the memorial service, its silence - in Desmond Tutu. He was Mandela's ally through so many decades of struggle. He remains a hugely respected scourge of the world's wrongs, and irrepressible champion of the oppressed.
Five years' on, maternal health is a UK Government priority, has massive investment, and we are seeing a huge reduction in the number of women and children dying in childbirth globally. Choose the right issue at the right time, and a Parliamentary inquiry really can change the debate - and more importantly, change lives.
When a mother-to-be presents to a maternity ward preparing for the birth of her child, she is admitted to the care of healthcare professionals and should be able to feel confident in their support. By reflecting on those occasions when services have failed, we can devise actionable improvements to better outcomes for patients and staff, and ensure our hospitals are safe.