When Eden Clougher shared an intimate, raw image of herself with her baby girl Nyalath on her Facebook page, she wanted to show a behind-the-scenes image of parenting her baby with allergies.
While some parents still think of allergies as simply 'no peanut butter in the lunchbox', lived experience showed allergy mum Eden that the reality can be very different.
"This is what parenting looks like," she posted.
"3.30am sessions in the shower because she reacted to an allergen and screamed all night.
"It [parenting] looks like love and devotion, and exhaustion and relief. It looks like stretch marks, and prickly legs, and raw desperation. There is beauty here... The beauty of silence... The hot water and skin to skin won. I needed it to win; I was out of options."
The image was shared on Facebook 10,000 times within 24 hours. Her reality was striking, memorable and reminded parents of somewhere we've all been. Out of options; hoping this one last thing we try will settle our child and stop their pain.
"I needed this photo," she wrote. "I needed to freeze this moment so that I can [sic] look back and remember the vulnerability and art that is parenting. The delicate balance between genius, and insanity."
When I spoke with Eden she shared with me:
"Five minutes before this I'd had to set her down for a moment to collect myself. Not because I was angry or losing it, but because the guilt was eating me alive. I was hurting from the inside out because it was my fault she was screaming in pain.
"I was already dairy and egg free so I could continue to breastfeed. But obviously the chocolate I'd eaten earlier containing soy was too much for her little system, and she was writhing in my arms.
I need other women to know that we are all human. I would absolutely give the earth to my children... That does not mean that I don't make mistakes... Holy s**t I make mistakes. I am human... We are all human."
"I am absolutely in awe of the response this photo has had. I was worried I would lose friends over it, but just when you think the world is going to pack... You have sixty messages of support in your inbox, and 10 thousand shares of your moment. That one moment that united women from all over the world. I'll never forget this."Suggest a correction