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Pregnant

I'm pregnant. I never wanted any children, throughout my twenties and thirties, and even as I entered my forties I didn't have those 'urges' that some women refer to. I love babies and toddlers, but am also happy to give them back after a couple of hours. But we had decided that we wanted a child with each other - the Husby and I. And perhaps that's the difference. So now I'm ten weeks preggers, a bit of nausea, a LOT of cramps as the uterus stretches to accommodate the new life, and contemplating my first visit from the midwife, (today) and then hopefully, the first scan. When talking about 'it', I always add 'hopefully', my version of 'god willing'. 

I am forty-three years old. I am due to give birth when I am forty-four (inshallah!). 

I will have to get used to being referred to as an 'older mother'. In my thirties, I was the 'mature student'. The 'eldest daughter' in a family of seven children. But it recalls something a good old friend, Bruce, said to me 'you're ten years behind'. He was referring to the ten years I had spent drinking - from 16 to 26 - (on April 28th this year, I won't have had a drink for 17 years!) so when I was 38, he meant I was really 28. And so now, I'm 'really' 33. I studied from the 'age' of 20, and not 30. It ties in more neatly with societal norms. But our life expectancies are longer. 40 is the new 30. But having spent an inordinate amount of time on genealogy, excavating my family tree, I see that even a century ago, women were having children way beyond their forties, when a lot of women would be lucky to live until 70. They had no contraception, and so kept on pushing them out until their bodies could no longer. My own grandmother, my Dad's Mum, had about 15 children in all - including those who died young - and when my Dad was born, she was 41, and she went on to have a couple more after that. My Mum's Mum had her seventh when she was 40 (a week after her 58-year-old husband died!). So when the media makes a big deal about how 'older women' are having children, remember, it's always been the way. Since the dawn of time. More anon. Now, I'm trying to get some work from Husby done whilst I'm feeling ok, and so will leave this here and return anon. 

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-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

***


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