Just the very existence of this blog would be a very big surprise to my fifteen-year-old self. I’d only just about heard of the internet at the age of fifteen, the phase “weblog” had yet to be coined, and it would have seemed very strange that some day I’d be publishing my most intimate thoughts for just about anyone to read if they so choose. But that isn’t what would surprise the younger me at all. It’s the subject matter that would come as a complete shock.
For the better part of my life, I never wanted children. As a child, I played with dolls, but mainly because my girlfriends did. I never imagined, as they did, that the plastic doll was a real baby and I was a real mother. The thought of dolls that actually cried, or provided wet nappies after feeding with a special bottle, filled me with horror. I couldn’t understand why my friends got so excited about their baby brothers and sisters.
As I grew up, my lack of maternal instinct remained strong, and formed in to a concrete opinion that I didn’t want children. Ever. I was the odd one out amongst my peers, the only one who felt “never” rather than “someday” would be the best time to procreate.
I never had to deal with any sadness at the fact that diabetes might make it difficult, or impossible, for me to be a mum because I didn’t want to be one anyway. It was either that, or that possibility was what made me, albeit unconsciously, shut my mind down to the decision. Either way, I was unconcerned, content to imagine a life shared with just a partner.
In my twenties a string of general health and gynaecological problems led to me being told that the chances of me having children, especially without assistance, were small.
I still wasn’t all that concerned. I really didn’t want to be a mum.
What I wanted, more than anything, was a relationship that would offer me everything that my parents have. They’ve always been the best role models in every way possible, but especially in terms of what a life partnership should be about. And while, by that time, I was a little bit past the little girl dreams of being a princess on my wedding day, my feelings were very much the adult version of that. Settling down with my soul mate was what I wanted. I wanted to find someone to grow old and wrinkly with. Actually, I could live without the wrinkly bit!
A few years passed. And then I met Ian.
It sounds cheesy. Try as I might, I can’t write this in a way that it doesn’t. All the clichés I’d ever cringed at turned out to be true. The one about finding something when you least expect it. The one about how when you meet the right person you just… sort of… know, that they’re right for you. It seemed that I had found exactly what I was looking for.
And all of a sudden, I wanted children. With a passion that surprised me. The first time we discussed it, as a possible part of our future, I cried the kind of tears that come right from the bottom of your heart. Because suddenly I wanted this so much but was afraid to feel that way. Afraid it wouldn’t be possible. I still didn’t “want children”; but I wanted Ian’s children. All in a moment, it clicked for me. Twenty five years without a whisper of maternal instinct, and suddenly it hit me like a truck.
Last year, Ian became my husband. We had an amazing honeymoon. We made the decision to move out of London, and first found, then bought and finally did up, our new home. We both turned thirty last year. And we made the decision.
Much as we love being a family of two, we were ready to try and make a family of three.