I wasn’t married, not even in a long-term relationship, and that proved too much for my strict Catholic parents. They walked away.
So I sat alone in a flat for nine months with no choice but to cope with all the stresses and anxieties pregnancy brings with no-one to share any of it with.
It is incredibly painful to think about, incredibly painful to write about. But the one thing I would want anyone in that dreadful situation to know is that you can do it, even when the odds are against you and you are left feeling like the loneliest person in the world, you can get through it, because I did.
Life since then has not been easy. Being a single parent is often exhausting, over-whelming and the weight of responsibility, with no-one there to help with the care or the decision-making, can feel huge at times. The early days felt traumatic and it took time to recover from those nine months of isolation.
It also took time for a mother-daughter bond to develop, but over time it did as I started to see all the positives of my situation and the little girl I now had in my life.
We’ve come a long way over the last seven years, the two of us. There have been some particularly difficult times as my daughter, nicknamed IJ, has become more aware that our family is different from the majority she sees around her.
Two loving, supportive parents have to be better than one, but IJ has had to accept that she only has me. That’s been hard. I’ve watched her grieve and that was heart-breaking, but she came through it and it has made us closer than ever.
We now have an incredibly tight bond and the pair of us could get through anything. IJ is wonderful, funny, loving and has incredible emotional insight. She is also happy and growing in confidence each day. I am exceptionally proud of her. She has made me who I am today.
Before I had a child I didn’t know how to love, how to nurture or how to mother. My daughter has taught me all that, and so much more. I am incredibly lucky to have her. "