The Cuckoo Mama is one! Today! Happy Birthday to me! Wow!
And what a twelve months it’s been! Goodness! It’s strange to think of turning one! In some ways it all still seems so incredibly new to me yet, in others, I can’t imagine not spending my nap times writing; tapping away on my trusty laptop as the inspiration hits, and the spark of a post ignites, then comes to life.
When I penned my first piece, on the 13th of May 2017, I had no clue what to expect. I’d, just about, figured out the technology, written a few words, re-written a few words, then, bingo! I hit the publish button.
And that was it!
In some ways it was all a bit anticlimactic. There were no party poppers banging, or complete crashing of the internet as it went live and, with initially, zero views, I was not on course to change the world!
Before venturing out in to the forays of the world wide web, I’d never realised just how big the blogging community is, and how there are a whole host of wonderfully talented people, also tapping away on their trusty laptops, writing about their passions and life stories too. It’s a world I’ve thoroughly enjoyed dipping my toe in to and one in which I have met some truly inspirational people.
I’ve always, very much, written on a whim and have never had a list or schedule of things I want to post about, and I love the freedom that allows me. It’s possibly a bit selfish but perhaps we can call it creative instead! In all honesty, I really didn’t expect I’d still be finding things to say fifty-two weeks later, with an ever-growing readership. Over that time, I’ve, very randomly, mused about all sorts of things from nice fridges, to tantric sex, to The Sound of Music and toddler poo!
And I most definitely was not going to write about infertility.
The past year has been hugely exciting, incredibly humbling, overwhelming and at times, I’ll admit, all a little bit scary too.
Within twelve months I’ve…
Published 48 posts (49 now!) on my blog alone and have guest posted for various others. I’ve, somehow, gained a following of over a thousand folk and have started writing for the Huff Post UK. And I’ve gone global! After being selected as The Baby Spot CA’s blog of the day, I am honoured to now contribute for them. I was featured on Australia’s 9Honey Mums and have had my musings picked up by various fertility charities, around the world, too.
I’ve learned how to tweet, how to self-host a website, adding pages and links and media. I’ve got my own perfectly Caro cuckoo logo, courtesy of the superbly talented, BAFTA nominated, Katy Clemmans. I’ve discovered what SEO actually stands for, and can even remember some of the time, I know what a plug-in is and have realised just how much of a perfectionist I am when it comes to each and every word I write. And how boring and frustrating I still find the technical side!
I became a shortlisted finalist in the UK Blog Awards and attended my first ever awards ceremony, feeling immeasurably proud to see my name in lights and knowing how many people I have helped along the way; that nomination was definitely for all you fellow warriors out there. I’ve completed training to become a Fertility Network UK volunteer, I’m a Fruitful Fertility mentor and have built relationships with so many wonderful, brave women who are fighting their own wars against infertility.
I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that infertility is for life and, whether I like it or not, I will always be one half of an infertile couple. Through acceptance I’m finding peace and contentment in living a life so different to the one I imagined. I’ve discovered a freedom in learning that I don’t have to be the picture perfect parent, but that, actually, we’re all practically perfect, in our own, unique, ways. And we should celebrate that! I’m slowly but steadily embracing myself as a survivor, mother, wife, daughter and friend I am proud of, can love and am happy to be.
I’ve raised and loved and watched a small person grow less small. And my love for him has, and does, evolve daily. I’ve come to count my blessings and be truly grateful for all I have; my life may not always follow the path I expect it should but infinitely I don’t, always (!) know best.
Just as I never expected to have trouble conceiving, I also never expected so many people would take comfort in my words and in the sharing of my story. It hasn’t always been easy, there have been times when I have written words that are so raw I have been left feeling vulnerable and scared about what people might say or think. Yet I’ve kept on going, pushing the fear aside, learning to embrace that it is only through our struggles that we have a story to tell and it is only through the telling that we can open ourselves up to support others. Well, you know my tale and, for so many reasons, I am determinedly wearing my scars with pride.
As Louisa May Alcott said: “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship”
So learn I shall. And sail shall I, whilst trying not to fear what lies ahead; in my life, my writing and as I stand at the crossroads, wondering where my next adventure will take me. Facing my journey into the unknown.
And I thank you for sailing with me! Sincere, heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your continued support, understanding and belief. If ever something so wonderful, and uplifting, can come out of what I’ve done, it’s knowing that I am surrounded by love and give it gladly in return.