Sally Harrison, 32, lives in Essex with her son Caden, 8 months.
When I first met Chris, finding a man was the last thing on my mind as I'd just come out of a long-term relationship. When we met in a bar, I instantly fell for him and within months we decided to try for a baby.
Although I'd never thought about having children before, it just seemed right when I got pregnant first time. We were married at the end of August last year and our baby was due in February.
Soon, however, the relationship started falling apart and eventually it broke down altogether. I was terrified of facing everything alone, but if I'm honest with myself, mostly I felt relief.
"Now I can just concentrate on myself and my baby," I thought. But there were bad days, too, when I'd cry and worry myself sick thinking, "What will I say when my baby asks for his daddy?" and "How will I cope financially?"
Worst of all, I didn't feel anything for the baby growing inside me. I felt dreadfully guilty and even told my GP I was thinking about adoption. I just wanted the birth over with so I could get on with my life.
When I went into labour, my sister Karen rushed over to my flat and took me to hospital. I was backwards and forwards for two days, but eventually Caden was born with my mum and sister at my side. All my doubts disappeared the second I saw my son, as I felt overwhelmed with love.
He didn't cry straight away, as the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and chest. I was terrified something was wrong but thankfully he was fine. They put him on my chest and I just lay there, staring at this little person and suddenly I knew I'd get through it. I had to - I was a mum now.
Seeing all the proud dads on the ward the morning after I'd had Caden was really hard, though, but at least I had help and support from my family. Caden and I went to stay with my parents for two weeks directly after I gave birth, and then I took him home.
Alone with him for the first time, I felt like crying. It was overwhelming learning to look after him by myself, but gradually I did feel more confident.
When I hear other mums talk about their partners, of course it hurts. But, to be honest, it makes life simpler only having my own emotions to think about and being able to make my own decisions.
Cadens such a happy baby who hardly cries and sleeps for nine hours a night. I feel like someone is looking down on me thinking, You deserve a break!
Caden and I recently moved to a house thats just 10 minutes away from my mum. I cant afford childcare so shes going to look after Caden while I go back to work, which will give me a focus outside my baby. Its full-time, but luckily I can work two days a week from home.
Chris came to see Caden when he was 4 weeks old and he phones sometimes, too. Although its difficult for me, Id never stop him having a relationship with his son.
I still look at Caden and cant quite believe hes mine. Hes my world and I adore him. Its been a struggle, but I feel positive about the future.
|Sally's advice |
- While youre pregnant, make sure you surround yourself with friends and family who will support you and who are positive about your situation.
- Accept offers of help.
- Talk to people outside of the family. I love the chatrooms at www.babyexpert.com