I always feel a little bit guilty when I talk about my situation as while I was, and still am, absolutely delighted to have a my gorgeous daughter, I never had that burning desire, that ache, to be a mum - and then my baby arrived and I can't imagine being anything else now!
But I also know that there are many women, and men, out there who, since they were very young, have always planned to have children, know the number of them that they want and have even picked out names, nursery colours and themes. But then, when it comes to it, they find it extremely difficult to conceive, if at all.
They probably hate me.
So I'm sorry if what I write here offends anyone in anyway. I truely don't mean to but this is what happened to me and these are my thoughts about it. It's an accurate record and you can't help or change what's happened to you in life, or how you feel about it, for anyone.
My story is that I never really PLANNED, as such, to have any children although I also didn't PLAN not to. When I was younger I just thought it would be something I would probably do but as I got older I realised it might be something I would never do!
I never felt broody - ever - never went soppy when I looked in a pram, in fact I wasn't sure I ever really liked children enough to be a mother to one!! I always considered myself to be child-free not childless! I thought I was too selfish and had no patience and would be a rubbish mother.
I guess you could say I was lucky in that respect. If I had been one of those people who had always been desperate to have a child and felt that they would not be complete unless they were a mother, then I would have probably been a very unhappy and frustrated person because I didn't get married until I was 40.
Before that I had not been with a man that I felt I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so there was no point in even thinking about children. If I had really wanted a child at any cost, then I could have got myself into something that would not have been a good idea!
I have to say though, I was never completely opposed to the idea. There was always a bit of a nagging thought in my mind about it, but it was mainly more of feeling that maybe I shouldn't miss out on it, and wondering what it would be like, rather than a burning desire for a child. I also thought a lot about growing old with no immediate family. I was - what I recently heard referred to as a PANK (Professional Auntie No Kids) and while I doted on my nieces and they loved me back, somehow they are not quite the same in old age!
My husband is 10 years younger than me and when he asked me to marry him we had the "children" conversation. Because of my age he knew that children may not happen but we decided that if we were blessed with a child that would be fantastic, but if not, then that was absolutely fine too because he was marrying me for me. We were happy as a couple and lived life to the full, travelling and going out etc. We were hardly ever at home!
We didn't actively try to conceive (ttc), we just didn't try to prevent it and thought we'd see what happened. After nearly two years, when frankly I didn't even think about it anymore, hey presto - PREGNANT! I was stunned, I mean, I know how these things work but still - I was shocked, terrified and excited - probably in that order if truth be told! Our daughter arrived a week before my 43rd birthday.
Now she is here and I think in a different way as our world revolves around her rather than ourselves but I'm still glad we had that selfish time, because I don't feel I have missed out on anything. My patience that I thought I never had, knows no bounds and I am only selfish for her, in that everything I want is for her! I am so happy, grateful and thankful for this beautiful gift who I will do everything within my power to protect and nurture.
I'm not saying I wish I'd done it younger though, I think that it was only now that the time was right, which is why it happened (and certainly it wasn't with the right man before!) I am a great believer in fate and what will be will be. I adore my daughter and can't imagine now what life would be without her, but I am also sure that if she hadn't come along we would still have been happy, just in a very different way.
I would have another if I could conceive today and it popped out tomorrow! I don't even mind the child birth bit, it's the whole pregnancy thing I don't want to do again!