Helen Earley ‘When I became a mother…’

I don’t remember being given my baby to hold immediately after he was born – I was knocked out from Pethidine – but as I looked into the cot beside me and saw my baby for the first time I knew that I wasn’t going to give him up.

It was the late 60’s, I was a single mum and the advice from social workers at that time was to give the baby up for adoption.     

The labour had been long and lonely, I had no partner or family with me and I don’t remember being shown much sympathy or kindness or getting any congratulations in the labour ward. Presumably it was because I was single and attitudes were very different from today. However, nothing could take away the pride and surge of joy I felt as I looked at my beautiful boy and knew that whatever the future held it would be me and him against the world and we would be a team of two. 

My parents were amazing and took us back home – loving us, rebuffing any comments and curiosity at my situation, supporting and protecting me from gossip and there was plenty as they were well known in my home town as respectable people!

I am thankful that attitudes have changed from the past when so many women were not able to keep their babies and the sorrow that must have caused them. I used to have a recurring nightmare that I had given him up but although life was hard at times and I was sad for my son that he didn’t have a father for several years. I was one of the lucky ones, and eventually a wonderful man came into our lives and took us both on! 

If you would like to join in and share a story about motherhood, we’d love you to post a picture on Instagram, with the hashtag #whenibecameamother and tagging @dontbuyherflowers. You can find the details on our Instagram page. One person will be chosen at random to receive two Any Occasion Packages, our Mother’s Day bestseller. For more Mother’s Day gift ideas click here£1 of every package sold for Mother’s Day will go to charity Kicks Count. 

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