I Thought Cancer Had Left Me Infertile But Today I'm Celebrating Father's Day As A Dad For The First Time
I'm so proud and I have absolutely loved being a dad. Without a doubt, my cancer and being told it would never happen has made me appreciate it even more. There is nothing more rewarding than walking through the front door after a long hard day at work to a beaming smile from Sophie, it's just amazing!
The cruelest trait of anxiety is its ability to creep up and blindside you whilst you're sitting eating your mugshot on a Tuesday afternoon. For me, anxiety started as that feeling of rocking on your chair a little too hard and tipping over the point of balance.
When I discovered that I was pregnant, I was completely over the moon - mainly because I had suffered an eating disorder for many years and although I never spoke about it with anyone, I always had a lingering fear that perhaps the damage I had done to my body internally would be irreversible. But thankfully I was able to fall pregnant naturally.
Give yourself a break. You work so hard every single day, of course one day you were going to burn out. Take some duvet days. Leave the music class 'til next week. Watch a film and don't move from the sofa all day. Go for a long walk in the fresh air, listen to music and just get a bit lost. You can't be switched on 24/7 for 6 months without needing new batteries occasionally.
In theory, when sharing a table at a sought-after restaurant, our social manual encourages us to talk around the tricky stuff, snapping away on our mobile phones and naturally sharing our proud moments on social media, but I couldn't quieten the voice that wants to acknowledge their plight.
It's difficult to rouse myself as his cry pierces through the silence, and I beg him to go back to sleep, without daring to glance at the time. At every single wake up I wish we were formula feeding so that my husband could get up and deal with him, leaving me to roll over and go back to sleep.
But every day you will feel the love. The pure, infinite, limitless love which beats in you like another organ. The love that is embedded in you, attached to your soul, which can never be removed, no matter what. The love that is now part of your identity, the relentless, all-encompassing love that you have for your child.
Because when I asked the other parent, 'How on earth do you entertain them ALL day?' they said, 'We don't. It's not our job to amuse them all of the time. They have to learn to amuse themselves. Out of boredom comes creativity. And when there's no media kids have to find other stuff to do.'
And there it is. That first moment in the day when you hear your own dad come streaming out of your mouth like a song you long since thought you'd forgotten but in fact remember every single word to. That's right. Dad phrases are exactly like 'Never Ever' by the All Saints (try it - it's in there I guarantee).
We were more focused on protecting and caring for our child and not necessarily noticing how we were drifting apart from each other though we were married.