It’s going to prenatal appointments on your own and watching happy couples in the waiting room remembering that this was once you in previous pregnancies.
It’s trying to hold it all together whilst having to explain your story over and over again to the various medical professionals you see during your pregnancy and seeing the various reactions.
It’s going to ultrasounds with your best friend or your Mum and Dad saying that you want to give them a chance to experience pregnancy from the other side (ie by not actually being pregnant) but in reality you’re scared shitless to go on your own.
It’s being bone achingly tired, working full time and then taking care of 3 other children when you get home.
It’s having to do it all on your own – set up a nursery, buy all the clothes and furniture to fill it.
It’s being a week overdue and your midwife telling you you’re mentally blocking yourself from going into labour because you don’t want to be on your own.
It’s sitting in the maternity ward with your newborn baby alone scared for what the future holds.
It’s looking at this little baby praying to God that you’ve made the right decision to do this alone.
It’s taking your baby home from the hospital alone.
It’s that first night home from the hospital where the baby won’t stop crying but having no one to help or even bounce ideas off of.
It’s needing bread and having to work out the logistics of how to go to the shops for the first time with 4 kids thinking you’ll never be able to do anything ever again.
It’s preparing dinner every single night during “witching hour” with a baby who was cluster feeding at that time of night.
It’s learning to do everything one handed or with a baby strapped to the front of you.
It’s sometimes having 3 out of 4 children crying at the same time.
It’s breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere and becoming desensitised to getting your boobs out in public because you’re always at a kids sporting event, birthday party or school assembly.
It’s going for days without a proper meal, without a shower and without sleep.
It’s sitting up with a baby who will only sleep in your arms, crying desperately because you just want to get some sleep.
It’s giving up any kind of social life and making sacrifices every single day.
It’s feeling like a first time parent again because you just don’t have the confidence to do it on your own.
It’s taking hundreds of hundreds of photos because you’re battling depression without medication and grieving the loss of a life you thought was planned out for you and you know you might not remember how precious and small he was.
It’s being fiercely independent but having to rely on a village of people, some you haven’t know for that long, just to get by.
It’s allowing these people to see you at your worse.
It’s about putting the needs of 4 little people ahead of your own.
It’s feeling confident about going to the shops with 4 kids and piling them in and out of the car without a second thought.
It’s creating memories as a new family.
It’s being told by your psychologist that your depression is under control and you no longer need to see her.
It’s finding strength.
It’s finding confidence.
It’s sitting back and watching him build a relationship with his siblings, it’s watching him laugh with them, clap with them and wave at them and know that this is the most magical special bond.
It’s seeing him do all these things knowing it was you who showed him how to do it.
It’s witnessing all of the firsts, the smiles, the laughs, the rolls, the crawls.
It’s realising that he’s no longer a newborn, that you’re coming to the end of the first year. That things never get easier, the become different and that you just get used to it and handle it the best you can.
Thank you to my village who continue to support me on this incredible journey. Without you I would not be able to function day to day.