"I'm expecting my first child". - Suzanne

My name is Suzanne, I'm 33 years old, I live with my boyfriend and I'm expecting my first child.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with autism. The explanation was nice; finally I know why my head works the way it does. At the same time, it can be frustrating to know that some things won't change. It can make me pretty angry or sad. On the other hand, I'm getting better at adapting to what I can and can't handle, and I'm getting better at dealing with it.

I am proud of everything I have achieved so far. I have travelled a lot. I have lived in Canada, Ireland (2x), UK (London) and Australia. I learned a lot from this, traveling independently to the other side of the world was a huge adventure, and in some places I also experienced a lot of peace. I have lost my heart to Ireland. Ideally I would love to go there twice a year. Unfortunately, that’s impossible right now. During my travels, my love for writing has grown into an actual book. Verbonden [Connected], part 1 of the Verhalen van Schaduw en Licht [Stories of Shadow and Light]. It got published last year and although in the absence of festivals, such as Castle Fest and Elfia, sales aren't great yet. But looking at my book makes me overjoyed! (The book is also for sale through me personally, by the way.)

I am now embarking on a new adventure of becoming a mother. Something I really look forward to, and it excites me. I have worked in childcare for years as a nanny/au-pair and educational staff member. I have dreamed a long time of becoming a mother, and it feels unreal and so special that this is finally becoming a reality.

Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Of course, situations can be difficult, complicated or terrifying. But you can learn so much from new situations and environments. During my travels I did not know that I was autistic, but I felt so much peace and quiet, and I’ve learned so much, including sensing when you can say ‘stop’. I terminated two trips before, because I was not doing well mentally. Listening to your body is extremely important.

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