Where it all began...

Ten months ago, my life changed completely.  I found a love I never knew I'd find, a love like no other, a love that has taught me so many valuable lessons already in the short amount of time that is not even a year.

I met my baby son.

April 3rd 2013 ;
Total shock. I found out I was expecting my first child. I wasn't in a good place in my life, to be honest I was a bit of a mess. I had developed unexpected feelings for someone who never had any intention of being a part of my future, and now I was expecting his child. I have one word for how I felt and that's  'terrified.''  I shared the news, only to be crushed when he said he never wanted to be a father and couldn't / wouldn't stick around. "Sure" I thought, thinking that any decent human being would eventually come around and that this was the fear or anger speaking. I was wrong. I have tried so many times to  convince him to play a part in Etiennes's life but he never changed his mind and he's never looked back.

April through to December  2013:
My pregnancy was a total roller coaster, not only emotionally but physically too. I suffered severe morning sickness from start to finish. Why they call it 'morning sickness' I'll never know. I was sick throughout most days. I was exhausted, worried about things going wrong with my pregnancy and even more worried about what my life was about to become as a single 23 year old mother. I was anxious about my sons fathers decision and whether he would have any involvement with my son or not, would he mess him around and let him down?
The waiting game was pretty painful, pregnancy wasn't the most enjoyable experience I've ever endured. As for the labour and birth, that's a whole other story! All that really matters is that my son arrived safely on 13th December 2013 and weighed a healthy 7lbs 10ozs. I named him Etienne.

Etienne is my first born baby and my first taste of true happiness. Is it crazy to say that he's a miracle? I can't help but feel that not only was he a wonderful surprise, but that he was meant to be for me. He is the single most delightful part of my entire world and I wouldn't change a thing.
Some may find it interesting that I wouldn't change a single thing, what with the fact that i am  a lone parent to Etienne, a situation  his absent father chose from day one.  Why? I will never truly understand, but what I do know is that it's tied an insanely tight knot in the metaphorical rope that is a mother-child bond . A bond so strong that nothing in this world could break, or even cause to  fray.
This time last year I was scared and I was angry. I felt betrayed and I felt ashamed that I had landed into a situation where I was about to become a lone parent. I worried about everything from 'how will I cope' to 'what will people think of me?' If only I'd known what I know now. I wasted time worrying about something that simply couldn't be more different to how I'd pictured it would be..

Etienne's father never did change his mind and never came to see Etienne.
Being a single mum is the most rewarding and enjoyable job I've ever known. Ill admit some moments are tough  but  the good  times will forever outweigh the  difficult times.
Through spending each minute of every day with Etienne I have learned so much about who he is and the type of person he will grow to become. Babies undoubtedly have their own individual personalities right from the start . I strongly believe that.  Sometimes all I have to do is look over at him and he'll giggle at me.  I have no doubt that we communicate regularly despite the fact that he is unable to speak at this young age.  Every new milestone, every thing that he's learnt, has been learnt from me. That is the best feeling, knowing that I am doing something right in life and that he looks up to me for guidance. He relies on me and I know that he loves me just as much as I love him.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that being a single parent doesn't have to be  a life of stress, and hard times. The stigma surrounding single parents is really unfair. My situation has given me the biggest kick up the backside to become the best mother I could possibly be to my son and every day i strive to do what's best for him. Every day I put him before myself and  do my all to  make sure that he lives a happy life . I never want him to feel that he missed out by not having a two parent family.
I  am almost certain that if Etienne's father had stuck around, I wouldn't be half as close to Etienne as I am today.

We get dealt difficult situations in life all the time in order to challenge us and make us stronger and better  as people.  Not only has this made me stronger but I really feel that this has been the best outcome for Etienne too .  Instead of growing up amongst arguments, bitterness and resentment between his parents, he will grow up surrounded only by the people who truly love him and want to be in his life every step of the way.

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