Five years ago, on 26th February 2018, my first book was published. As a lifelong habitual writer, this was never something I intended to do. I never considered publishing a book and never imagined putting something so private out into the public for anyone to consume. So, why, then?
Well, motherhood made me feel responsible for sharing my honest account with other folks who may need that. The isolation of having a baby in intensive care, whose survival was uncertain hour by hour, is palpable.
Sure, there were folks you could talk to, but many well-meaning would stick a knife into your belly to say ‘the right thing’. Sometimes there was nothing to be said. The best support came from those going through it themselves, who were right there in the thick of it—the most harrowing ‘rollercoaster’ where survival is not guaranteed—nothing is.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back is an intimate insight into such a journey—mine, with my child born when I was just 25 weeks into pregnancy.
This book needs a revisit from my side. I admit that it editorially falls significantly short. Much professional experience has been gained in the five years since publication. I came from the experience scathed, and the initial years following discharge from the unit were complex—PTSD didn’t hit immediately, but it did hit hard. I can’t go back there yet. One day I will. So for those who pick it up, be gentle—this was my first, and the experience eviscerated me.