I thought I had my thirties all worked out. I got married, bought a house, started a business (a side-hustle while working a full-time job to keep the dollars rolling in) and had a baby. Sure, a few years in, my marriage was not exactly what I pictured it was going to be, the house was seriously hard work and financial stress began taking its toll, but that’s what adulting looks like, isn’t it?
When anything went wrong I could always find the silver lining. Think positively and it will all work out, right?
I was in for the shock of my life.
Nothing had prepared me for what my reality was about to become.
In 2010, I had my son Isaac. A few weeks later, his dad moved interstate for work. We would be lucky to see him one weekend a month. Our already strained marriage was about to become seriously tested.
Clare: 'Hope was keeping me alive when reality battered me.'
The newborn stage was a blur of sleep deprivation and learning what this little piece of delicious needed from me.
It became sink or swim in trusting intuition.
I was not blessed with a ‘sleeper’. I was, however, blessed with a mostly easy breastfeeding experience. Which as it turned out was lucky in ways I could never have imagined at the time.
In August, my six-month-old baby had an anaphylactic reaction to dairy. I had tried him on formula when he was about three months old, in the hope that it might help him sleep longer. Maybe what I was giving him wasn’t enough? He took the bottle without any problem, once a day for a week.
Then, on day number eight he refused, pursing his lips shut. Cemented shut. He never took the bottle again, no matter what I tried.