This is the reaction - either said (but not in so many words) or unsaid - from people who found out I was pregnant with my first at 42.
I look back and laugh now, but at the time, the hormonal me used to get REALLY annoyed! I think that without fail, when I told people I knew that I was pregnant they ALL had more or less a similar reaction - even my own mother! Although to be fair she was absolutely delighted once she had recovered from the shock! In fact when I told her the good news, it was me who had to ask her if SHE wanted to sit down, rather than the other way round!
But with most people there was that brief look of horror slash surprise. It was maybe only a millisecond, but I always noticed! Then they would remember, smile widely and congratulate me before saying the inevitable - "was it planned?!" Sometimes, this would be followed by "did you have treatment?" - and if they didn't say it, then I'm pretty sure that many were thinking it - or maybe I just got more and more paranoid!
It was like the only way that I could possibly be pregnant at my age was either the result of an "accident" or "treatment". Was there no room for natural conception over 40? I have nothing against IVF at all and have total respect for anyone who puts themselves through it, but not everybody over 40 has it.
And was there no way that it could be intentional? The truth is it was neither unplanned or planned. As I have said before, we knew what we were doing, we were just seeing what happened and if nothing did then that was what was meant to be. Luckily for us, it WAS meant to be!
The only person who didn't even flinch was my GP who, when I said, "I'm not too old for all this am I?" said, "If you were too old to be pregnant you wouldn't be sitting here telling me you were pregnant!" I could have kissed him!
But nevertheless, I don't think I had ever been so gossip worthy - well, not for about 20 years anyway!
At 32 weeks pregnant I snapped but rather than be rude to someone I resorted to my usual means of getting things off my chest - I wrote it down - and felt better! This is what I put!
"This is for all those who looked so shocked on discovering that I am pregnant with my first child at 42!
1. Why do you look so shocked? I am over 16 and happily married - I honestly think you would look less surprised if I was 12!
2. No, I didn't have any treatment to get pregnant - it IS possible to conceive naturally when you're over 40. And anyway, if I did who cares, it's none of your flipping business.
3. Whether it was planned or unplanned is none of your business either. For the record, it was neither - it just happened naturally.
4. Just because I haven't had any children before, doesn't mean I don't like them and didn't want them. I am absolutely delighted to be having a baby, I just hadn't been desperate for one and didn't go on about it continually. (Actually, I'm not over keen on other children - but mine's lovely!)
5. Yes - there are risks with being an older mother, but there are risks whatever age you are?
6. Yes - I am a bit nervous about being a new mum - but isn't that a natural thing? There really isn't any need to add - AFTER ALL THIS TIME!
7. If I was too old to have a baby, then I wouldn't be pregnant would I? FOOL!"
Since having my baby I have met a number of other women in the same situation, who all experienced similar reactions. Luckily I haven't been mistaken for my little one's nan yet - but I'm sure that will come eventually and I fully intend to make the person who says it feel as small as I possibly can!