EMOTIONS flit through you at speed in those early weeks, making for a strange time.
For me the most powerful emotions were a mixture of breathtaking love and equally breathtaking fear. The love came the moment I saw his little bare bottom over the screen in the theatre (I had an emergency caesarean). It is the kind of love where you know you would throw yourself in death’s way to save him from harm without a moment’s hesitation. This was something new for me.
However, that kind of love brought along with it a fear - a gut-wrenching fear of anything bad ever happening to this tiny, defenceless bundle.
In those first two months I would wake each morning feeling less fearful but then as the day progressed and I grew more tired the fear would creep in. I felt a relief at the close of each day just knowing that Callum had made it through one more day safely.
There were also occasional crippling attacks of self-doubt. Was I doing as well as I should be? Was I doing everything right for Callum? Was I doing as well as everyone else?
This was often caused by too much time spent reading parenting books and websites or by careless remarks from other people.
There is such a dizzying array of things you supposedly should be doing for the benefit of your child from day one, according to the literature, that it can’t but leave you feeling inadequate at times. On top of that, people telling you that their child slept through the night from six weeks of age or that they went on a backpacking holiday to Nepal with said six-week-old does not help either. It is particularly unhelpful when you have been up every 90 minutes during the night and can’t even figure out how to use the special baby trolley in Tesco!
But gradually as that tiny baby started to smile up at me and curled his warm little body into mine like I was all he needed in the world, those feelings of fear and self-doubt were pushed aside and a budding confidence emerged.
Maybe I was meant for this job and maybe I will get even better at it - and, like a huge bonus, there is always that breathtaking love, getting stronger every day.
* Mummy Mania – Diary of a First-Time Mum is a monthly blog written by Barbara Daly, Louisburgh. Read it on the first Tuesday of every month on our print edition