My heart ached with a sense of loss while my mind almost turned happy somersaults. My heart was heavy with the feeling that my baby was growing up, while my mind was not-so quietly delighted by the same prospect. This, I realised, was the motherhood paradox.
You tentatively get out of bed and as you take each ritual step into the nursery you realise that your steps are a little lighter and the quick sand you feel yourself walking through most days is now more like a muddy puddle. Your head feels, dare you say it "clearer" and the morning routine not as daunting.
Over the last couple of months I have been immersed in the breadth of work Barnardo's carries out to help vulnerable young people, and each conversation has brought home to me the huge difference that we as fathers can make to our children's lives.
I became a teenager. We were no longer close. I came to hate him: I wanted more from our relationship. I longed for times past, but that wasn't to be. He wanted respect; I wanted intimacy. I refused to call him Dad. I broke his heart. We fought. Then I heard that he was dying.
We were quite lucky because by chance we were the first of all our various groups of friends of our generation - school, university, work -to become parents, and so we were going into it totally blind. The amount we knew about bringing up a baby could literally have been written on a postcard.
When scrolling through my twitter feed yesterday evening I came across a tweet by the lovely Mike from Talk About Autism, he was sharing the BBC Radio 3 program, "How Was your Day Joe?" that was available to listen to again via the BBC website.
We all have a role to play in doing this for our girls and boys. The media of course is key, but we cannot underestimate the roles of parents, teachers, sports coaches, advertisers and all of us as consumers. We must continue to tell our girls they can play any game they want. They can be anything they want. They can do anything they want.
I think reality TV has been around long enough now that people are aware of the potential pitfalls of being on TV. In particular, the kind of women who want to give birth in the woods are more than likely to be strong-willed and resilient enough to make their own choices regarding being on TV.
I've never had an ideal relationship with my parents. In particular, with my mother. We've always differed in our values and morals. As a result, we fought a lot as I was growing up. However, as our relationship stands right now, it's the best it's ever been. Why? Because I've learned to love her for who she is, instead of desperately trying to change her.
As a child of a working mum, I always wondered about mothers who stayed at home. I was a bit jealous when my friends were picked up from school but then, I thought, why aren't their mothers doing something proper? I was sure I would never end up something as boring as a stay at home mum.
I am a mum of two whose ethos, I would say, is pretty sympathetic to "attachment parenting". In my view, we are basically mammals, and natural birth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby-wearing are all normal and natural things for mothers and babies. Here's the thing, I am also a qualified paediatric nurse.
The stories told within the book illustrate beautifully, I feel a father's perception of and reaction to experiences in life when caring for a child with special or additional needs. Many of the real life stories take us from the birth of the child up to adulthood, sharing many happy and painful experiences along the way.
Reading the energy of an unborn baby is so magical, pure and present. There are rarely any energetic blockages in an unborn baby, which makes it really easy to tap into their needs from and questions for the parents. What's been striking is that there is a clear recurring pattern of needs that nearly every unborn child has for and from their parent-to-be.
I used to be THE perfect parent... before I had children of my own. My parenting skills were so beyond reproach that I could even tell other parents not only how to raise their kids, but explain to them exactly what they were doing wrong.
I am also not ashamed to admit that I am angry beyond belief that it chose me in the first place. I didn't want this battle. I just wanted to be a mum. I wanted the full Technicolor heart bursting moments, I wanted to be exhausted from night feeds rather than exhausted from trying to keep my panic levels under control.
"What do you think, is it too big?" I asked tentatively, the realisation kicking in that nobody was having a good time. "No, it's fine," she responded wryly, "but I'm wondering... where is your handbag?" What happened next is what Arianna Huffington would describe as my 'fight or flight moment'.