When I was fifteen my class was tasked to write about what we would be doing when the millennium came. This was 1990. The millennium seemed so far away – ten years when you’re 15, is, like, forever. By then, I decided, I’d have established my career as a business woman (which is weird because everything I loved was creative), married and I would give birth to my first child – a girl called April – on the first day of the first month of a brand new millennium. I would be a practically decrepit twenty-five year old by then, almost too old to start having babies surely.
When I finally did turn twenty five however, I wasn’t married. And I wasn’t a mother. I was, in fact, knee-deep in the Old Bailey branch of All Bar One’s finest (cheapest) chardonnay. I didn’t spend the millennium giving birth: I spent it dressed as Titania playing a distinctly adult game of pass-the-parcel in a garage in Lincoln. Babies; a husband; a house in the country … it all seemed as far away to me as when I’d written down my millennium plan in that class at school. I wasn’t even a Business Woman. I was a PA and struggling writer.
I didn’t mind so much then, the lack of babies. I was still only twenty five, after all – a total spring chicken in London terms. I’d see the girls out at night, the ones in their thirties with the hunger in their eyes and I’d pity them as I tripped home with one of those men who saw my hangouts as easy pickings. Which they were.
And then I was twenty seven. Twenty eight. Twenty nine. And I was beginning to mind as I crashed through men like an inept hurdler, repeatedly mistaking end-of-the-night settling with love at first sight.
I met a man. Tried to convince both of us that we had a future. We pedalled this to one another so well that we flogged a dead horse of a relationship for four whole years. And then I was thirty-three. Flat-owner. Good-job-haver. But single. And no baby.
God I wanted a settled life. I wanted someone to go to breakfast with. A baby to keep me awake at night. I got cats. They weren’t quite the same – they were rescue cats with baggage who took against affection so dressing them in bonnets and stuffing them in prams was never an option.
I worked the shit out of internet dating, like you have to, and, much to my delight, after plenty, plenty, pleeeeenty of non-starts, I found him. We whirlwinded our way down the aisle a year and a month after we met, bought a house outside of London and began the biggest, most exciting thing both of us had been waiting our whole lives to do.
We began trying to have a baby.
I was thirty-four when we started.
Baby Bee was born three weeks shy of my fortieth birthday.
We tried everything. My horrible, relentlessly heartbreaking, expensive yet ultimately successful infertility journey is logged in another blog. This isn’t about that, thank God. This is about my new life as a mummy – a geriatric mummy to be exact, a term so thoughtfully used for any mother selfish enough to embark upon pregnancy after the age of 35. Which is, like, pretty much most of the women I know? I didn’t want to be a geriatric mother, but here we are – I’m forty and I’m suddenly a mummy to a gorgeous, funny, farty, chatty and pretty much always happy sixteen week old baby boy.
Now what happens?