Child: Evelyn, 12 months
Expectations of Motherhood: I spent my whole pregnancy terrified that I was going to lose my baby. We’d had a little girl who was stillborn at 22 weeks a couple of years earlier and even with regular scans I couldn’t bring myself to look past being pregnant. It was only when I was in labour that the reality of impending motherhood suddenly hit me.
Taking your child home for the first time:Seeing Evelyn sitting in her car seat in the middle of the living room, she looked so tiny and vulnerable and we had a real “oh shit!” moment as we realised we had to look after her by ourselves!
The best/worst advice: I read everything I could get my hands on when I was pregnant so as to be fully prepared for every situation. In reality it meant that I’d read so much conflicting advice that I spent the first couple of months constantly second guessing myself and getting stressed when Evelyn didn’t follow textbook baby rules. The best advice is definitely to trust your instinct.
The hardest parts of being a mother: The worry that I might fail her in some way.
The best parts of being a mother:Every night we sit in Evelyn’s room and have a sleepy cuddle before she goes to bed. I look at her beautiful face and smell her hair. It’s only now that I really understand what my mum meant when she told me she loved me – that all encompassing overwhelming love.
Has becoming a mother changed you? I hope it’s made me a better wife. Having a baby has strengthened our marriage by exposing the cracks and forcing us to work on them. I’m much less selfish and self-centred and my priorities have completely changed.
Hopes for your (growing) family: I want Evelyn to feel happy, safe and confident in herself. I also want us to stay a close, supportive family. I’d hate for her to feel as though there was anything she couldn’t confide in me.
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums: I know it’s been said a hundred times before and it’s not even advice that I listened to, but try and take time to enjoy that first year. I cried a bit on Evelyn’s first birthday because I don’t have a baby any more. I have a stroppy hilarious strong willed intelligent toddler and she’s changing and developing so much every day that I’m already forgetting what she was like as a baby.