Life moved fast when I met my husband.
Within a year of our first date, we had bought a house together. And within another year I stopped taking the Pill, and was pregnant almost instantly.
The passionate, can’t-keep-our-hands-off-each-other stage ended abruptly when the stick turned blue; we didn’t even notice at the time.
Watch: Questions about childbirth (answered by mums and non-mums). Post continues below.
Mine was a planned pregnancy, but it did not turn out the way I expected.
I was almost instantly uncomfortable. I was bloated before I even had a bump, swollen all over. I had constant headaches. I feared miscarriage to the paranoid point that I was afraid even to have gentle sex.
We got married six months into the pregnancy, and our wedding night was the only time we actually had penetrative sex in the whole of the pregnancy. I didn’t even stop to think this might be unusual.
After the wedding, I gave myself over to the discomfort of my ungainly, difficult pregnancy.
I sat on the sofa and ate ice cream. I felt myself disappear. I was neither happy nor unhappy; neither depressed nor elated. I felt like I existed only to bring a baby into the world.
But I did not have time to think about it deeply, because my new son was so very demanding.
So demanding, in fact, that we soon clocked that his constant crying could not be normal. And it turned out that it wasn’t.
We spent a lot of time in the hospital with him over the next months. It was a strange and difficult time.
(My husband and I still did not have sex, but at that stage neither of us wanted to. It didn’t feel like a problem, or even something worth mentioning to each other. We were too stressed, too sleep-deprived).
Life got gradually more manageable.
We moved to a bigger house, and decided to have another baby. Again, I stopped taking the Pill. Again, I fell pregnant instantly. My husband joked that he’d been looking forward to a bit more time trying to get pregnant, but I just laughed off his comments.