My computer has had a funny five minutes and sent me three emails this morning alerting me to the fact that some of you have made comments on posts, some even from last year! I have read them all and apologise if I had not replied at the time – I probably didn’t because there’s no option to Reply, only to Delete.
So, belatedly, I thank you all collectively, especially Barbara, Liz, Mark, Jackie, H Lu, No Name, Jemimah and Sri (and Anonymous) for your kind words, congratulations and blessings, and to Kenneth for your tip on managing my site that wasn’t displaying categories properly.
In particular I’d like to say:
To Barbara/Bee, I was so sorry to read your comment about your own circumstances, which has touched my heart, and I thank you for your very kind words. I sincerely hope that you have had more precious time with your family than your prognosis indicated. You are right – there is only time, and it is very precious. I make the most of every second with K, and will never take that time for granted.
One or two comments were critical, and I fully appreciate the points made.
Re. our ages, my parents are still here, and I sincerely hope that K will have us around for many more years yet. I’ve said this before, I know, but repeat it here: we are both fit, healthy and active. We still manage our allotment; she comes with us and there are other babies on the site. As she grows so will they; their parents and we are going to give our children part of the allotment so that they can learn to grow their own things. It is a healthy pastime, growing healthy food in the fresh air. She also has two young cousins who adore her, and a baby the same age next door to play with.
Since giving birth I have lost not only my pregnancy weight but nearly a stone on my pre-pregnancy weight, and am much healthier than I was before. I can ‘run around after her’ with no trouble as she crawls through the house. We have a garden and parks nearby and when she can walk, run and play we’ll be walking, running and playing with her.
I have never moped about the house in my dressing gown groaning that I’ve had no sleep, and not got bothered to get dressed all day because I’m so tired and have no energy. I’m not tired and, if anything, have even more energy than I used to have. I’m always up and about in the mornings and when R leaves for work I’m washed and dressed and downstairs eating breakfast with K. I’m positive that I must have more stamina than someone half my age.
Having said all that, though, I’m also sure that when I was 25 I too would have said that 55 was too old – but when you reach that age, you might realise that maybe it isn’t! Mind you, I still wish that I’d had a baby in my 20s.
Yes it was a long hard road, but in the end has been worth everything. We’re just a normal couple who hoped to have children like other people; we didn’t seek publicity and didn’t want to advertise and have the whole world know about our private heartache. But sometimes Life won’t let you just hide in the background; sometimes it makes you do things that you’d never dream of doing otherwise.
When I was 17 and at college one of my classmates found me knitting a winter hat in the lunch break. He was off out to the pub with his mates. As he passed good, shy little me sitting there quietly on my own with my sandwiches and knitting he paused, shook his head and looked amused. "One of these days, Linda". he said, "you’re going to break out of your shell and shock the world!" I managed a smile but didn’t believe him. But he was right, wasn’t he? I’ve recalled that incident more than once over the last few years.
I truly believe that we were meant to go through everything we went through because we weren’t meant to have A baby – we were meant to have THIS baby. And she could only be in the world because of the circumstances that led up to her birth. I look at her and realise that if I’d been lucky like everyone else and had a baby earlier, K would have been denied the chance to ever exist. And I watch her laughing and exploring and discovering and loving life, and being excited to see birds and butterflies, smelling flowers, finding new tastes, playing with toys, turning pages of books with deep concentration, loving to stroke the cats, cuddling her bears and holding her arms out for a cuddle, snuggling her face into my neck, her squeak of joy when she hears Daddy come home, the look of pleasure on her face as she eats strawberries … and I realise that she was meant to be in this world, enjoying it and loving it as she does. And I think that the world was meant to have her in it.
Not only that, but I know that we have recruited more donors because of our experiences, and so there might well be other babies in this world, giving joy to other couples, who would otherwise not have been here. Only last week someone read about us and contacted me to say that they were inspired to donate eggs and asked me how they might do so.
We have been accused (elsewhere, not here) of commercialising the process of having a baby because our story has appeared in the press. I don’t want to make a big thing of this but we didn’t want to be plastered all over the media and certainly didn’t do this to make money out of her! And not everyone pays for your story – most of them have read the bare facts from a press statement, and in some cases taken great liberties with the truth, I have to say – but where we were paid we donated the money to the maternity unit where K was born. They have bought equipment in her name that will help many other babies for years to come.
I am so grateful to our donor, and privileged to be a Mother to such a wonderful little girl. She might not have us for as long as many people have their parents, but all her life she will know just how much she was wanted, and how much she is loved. Not everybody can say that.
I’d do it all again tomorrow with no hesitation.