I had everything I'd ever wanted: a lovely little house, an engagement ring on my finger, a wonderful stepdad to my daughter (who was six going on 16) and a new born baby boy. What should have been the start of something amazing and the happiest time of my life was instead the trigger of a lethal attack of mental health problems.
Yes, I will be having my partner and someone I met on the internet attend the birth of my second child. But I am happy with this, so that's all that matters.
"What's that?" asked my three-year old son, head skew-whiff. Swamped by bubbles and an army of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period, he was pointing at my lower regions with a Gallimimus in his hand. We were both in the bath. "Erm," I replied...
We married when munchkin was about five months old, and I think I walked down the aisle surviving on about three hours sleep. I felt exhausted and looked rubbish, but felt compelled to glide through the day smiling. I wouldn't recommend it.
For most parents, raising a happy child is the pinnacle of parenting achievement, but in recent years the road to happiness has become muddied by a culture of accelerating consumerism, the impact of new technologies, a competitive ethic (for the best school places, to take one example), and many other trends
Knowing how hard it is to "return", I thought it would be helpful to remind other returners that the skills they have developed while being at home can be reasons for re-employment, whatever they may be.
Cornwall is completely different and in terms of land mass is nearly 10 times the size of my beloved Isle of Wight. So, it is worth spending 10 minutes studying a map before booking your holiday and hoping you can explore the whole county.
We must address the stigma associated with mental health. We heard from many women that they fear being seen as a 'bad mother' and having their child taken away from them. Women are frequently made to feel guilty that they're not the 'perfect mother.
But if cases like that of Keegan Downer and Daniel Pelka will teach us anything, it is that the general public are as responsible as so-called professionals when it comes to keeping children safe.
To ask if people with low IQs, which may include people with learning disabilites, shouldn't have the right to have children is very unfair. There are a lot of stories about people who don't have a learning disability and have children and find out it's not something they can handle.
So it was recently Tube Feeding Awareness Week and in the malaise of awareness weeks that the double-edged sword of social media has brought to us, this is one I could most definitely get behind. When I was pregnant I thought the only feeding choices for my baby were breast or bottle.
I spent the evening with some girlie mates on Saturday, we're a mixed bag which is why we compliment each other so well. We have one that will listen, one that gives an honest opinion, one that you can call from anywhere in the world and she will help, the list goes on but it's comforting to know we all offer something different.
After leaving a furniture shop and sighing with relief that we share the same taste in sofas (a major tick in the marriage compatibility box, I'm told) we stumble upon Rachmaninov on our car journey home. It's here that he expresses a hope that our children will truly soak up music.
I hate that because of you I can't enjoy my son like a mother should. I love him with all of my heart and soul - but I hate that my expectations of what he 'should be' sometimes stop me appreciating what he is.
I'd love to float around in ethereal white robes with nothing but tranquil thoughts swishing around in the motherhead, even when shoes are being wedged up Build-A-Bear's bum. But that's just not reality.
Weaning off the breast doesn't have to be an all or nothing event and it also needn't be a conscious parent-led decision. If you and your baby are happy the way things are, then you may consider continuing to breastfeed until he or she decides that time's up and weans themselves naturally. On the other hand, if taking charge of the weaning process is the right decision for you, it's ideal to take it gradually and as gently as possible.