With just over 8 weeks until the due date I am seriously excited about welcoming this little baby into our family! Third time around I have shopped smart. Investing in quality pieces that will get maximum use as opposed to the vast quantities I have bought in the past that were given to charity still with the labels on!
It was the force of that grief, rather than the shock of Isobel's diagnosis, that I fought desperately to eject from myself. It took great strength to not let it blind me to the very beautiful little girl who had arrived with the potential to light up my life.
At first, you think that you are the problem. That you're new to this world and they know best. After all, they're the ones who have been working in this office for many years.
I then started thinking about all of the things that trouble me about my child, all of the niggling worries that I have about his development, his health and well being. I realised that I'm worrying over absolutely NOTHING. My fears are simply outrageous.
When our youngest daughter was diagnosed with Down's syndrome shortly after birth, I vividly recall thinking that we would never travel again, never even go to our local beach. I don't know what reasoning there was behind that initial fear, born of shock and ignorance, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
There are already so many pressures placed upon women to look a certain way and be a certain way as moms, that a photo and message like this can trigger negative thoughts and behaviors in non-model moms.
There's small talk on the nursery run if you can't avoid it and you wonder if anyone can tell you haven't brushed your hair and still have your pyjama top under your coat and then you realise you forgot to fill in the permission form that's sitting on the kitchen table.
New motherhood can be stifling: you're always with your baby. Time to yourself is such a healer. Leave your baby with the person you trust most (partner, mother?) and go for a quick tea/ walk/ shopping trip on your own.
What I wasn't prepared for was the fear. When I say fear, I mean heart simultaneously stopping, dropping down to your stomach, then, bouncing back up into your mouth fear. The kind of fear that leaves you momentarily frozen to the spot and unsure as to whether you might poo your pants or throw up in your mouth.
They all talk all the time (no idea where they got that from). I love the chats and the sweet singing, but there are some sounds that send me over the edge, that make my heart sink, my head hang or my shouting commence. These things more than others are triggers for me, especially when I'm tired.
These tips include advice I was given, and things I learned the hard way while my son Hugo was being cared for. Having a baby in a neonatal unit is so stressful - I hope this helps other mummies and daddies.
By now I hadn't slept for two months apart from the odd hour or two with sleeping pills. There seemed to be so many news stories about the importance of sleep; I convinced myself that I was going to die from exhaustion (really).
I am the mum who smiles bashfully at other mums walking in the opposite direction after already dropping their kids at school. I am the mum who has perfected my nod of solidarity to other parents racing in consistently late alongside me as we battle to win the race not to be last.
Hey kids, listen up. We all love soft play, right? You can run indoors. Really fast. And not get told off. You can climb up stuff, jump down from stuff, and you can be loud. Anything your Mum won't let you do at home, you can do here. So here it is the definitive guide to soft play through the ages.
Well for my youngest son it turned out to be the night just before Halloween when Daddy was away and Mummy had forgotten to buy any more nappies... literally not a nappy in the house, not even an emergency one in the car.
This growing crisis in care for all ages is having a huge impact on working families, many of whom are facing the cost squeeze from all directions. It will be some time before most families feel their household coffers seem more than half empty.