My wife's expecting our first daughter in August this year, and I can't wait. I'm so excited about being a dad. But rewind just a few short years, and I could never have imagined this would be happening to me. Because my cancer surgeon had just uttered the words "the treatment will almost certainly leave you infertile".
New parents are inundated with unsolicited parenting advice and no topic is more eagerly discussed than sleep. After countless sleepless nights, the exhausted state many find themselves in can make it harder to separate fact from fiction. So here, for the benefit of tired parents everywhere, is a list of baby sleep advice you can safely ignore.
There's a brief but reflective detour in this hugely ambitious, perhaps definitive, telling of the autism story, some hundred or so pages in. Steering from the text's omnipresent objectivity and exhaustively researched facts, the authors make a personal observation that, I believe, has universal resonance.
I do not have the likes of Ms Hopkins social presence and media privilege in which to air my views, but as a mother of a child with autism, what I do have is a voice and the right, as does anyone else, to say how her views impact upon those with a disability. Her words impact upon me, my family and wider society.
One huge fact that we will never reveal is that we are lonely. We are often on the outside looking in, looking in at both society and our own child, unable in a way to reach both. We are isolated from society due to our caring role, lack of financial support and understanding. We are isolated from our child as we are never truly allowed 'inside'.
This week signals the end of the Christmas holidays and the return to school. I love having my children home for the holidays but I absolutely dread the return to school. For my youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum this total change in routine is very upsetting for him and you can visibly see his anxiety levels rising.
There's no doubt that adopting a child in England is becoming easier and quicker. Almost everyone I speak to tells me about someone they know who has had a horrendous experience of adopting years ago - whether it was the agonisingly slow process to be approved as an adopter, or the lack of support after they actually managed to adopt.