One of my oldest and closest friends had a baby last month and she is the most loved-up that I have ever seen her.
She was always one of those career girls who were jetting all over the world to make a name for herself.
Babies were never part of her image and she never seemed bothered to settle down with a man.
Instead she was far more interested in working hard and playing hard, networking with clients well into the wee small hours at exclusive clubs and bars in London.
And when she wasn’t working or touring, she would suddenly disappear on an amazing excursion – like riding tandem round Ghana for three months to raise funds for a charity.
So when she met her future husband at a gig just a few short years back no one paid much attention as we all assumed it was just another of her many love affairs.
The fact he was ten years her junior also made us suspicious it would never last.
But then we met him. And despite his youth, he was the most charming, well brought up young man we had ever met. All of us were smitten, not just my best friend.
About 18 months ago when I was ill in bed with swine flu she ordered me to leave my sick bed and see her as she had “the most fabulous news darling!”
Her beautiful new boyfriend had just very romantically got down on one knee to her.
Ahhhh! I was so pleased I immediately went out and bought a hat. And at her hen weekend just six months later we were taking bets as to how long it would be before she had a baby. I said nine months and I was pretty much spot on.
Honeymoon baby bounced into the world just 41 short weeks after her wedding at a whopping 9lbs 6ozs.
Being pregnant hadn’t, of course, stopped her being this whirlwind of a woman.
She completed her PhD and worked right up until week 39. She even upped sticks and moved to Brighton, because she didn’t like the idea of her baby being brought up in London.
All the way up to the birth she was still planning her life like baby wasn’t going to make any adjustments to it. Hmmm…
Five weeks after the birth and the change has most definitely happened.
The biggest change to your life is no doubt the arrival of your first baby. It turns everything upside down.
And for my friend, this was no acceptation. His arrival was just as she planned.
Loved-up and hippy sitting in her birth pool in the front room of her new home with only her husband in tow. Then reality kicked in.
Horrendously the baby stopped breathing after swallowing fluid on the way out and had to be rushed into hospital, spending his first few days in an incubator.
Thankfully he was all right and she was able to take him home. But since having him she has barely been able to speak on the phone to me as the baby, oddly enough, has demanded so much of her attention.
She rarely has time to shower, wearing her bed clothes all day long as she sits in her chair doing nothing but feeding her little man.
But she wouldn’t be without him. It has made such a difference to her. Even though he spent his first few days in hospital, she still persevered with breast feeding and the result has paid off.
She is now the very pleased mum of a growing, thriving, happy little boy and she has never been more proud of anything she has ever done.
She still plans to cart him off abroad to France in the car this summer, but I am not so sure that will really happen…
Her only niggle has been about breast-feeding, which despite her initial struggles is now working really well for her.
But the comments made to her, even by her own family, are doing her head in. Her sister, who breastfed her own three children, even told her off for feeding in front of her husband, telling her it wasn’t “appropriate”.
Thankfully my friend told her what for and didn’t let this put her off.
To celebrate people breastfeeding, a group of mothers are going to be gathering in the Winter Garden on the morning of Monday, June 25 as part of Sheffield Children’s Festival celebrations.
For more information on breastfeeding initiatives in Sheffield visit: http://www.sheffieldc4l.org.uk/about/breastfeeding/