‘Moth­er­hood is a bless­ing at any age’

Woman & Home - - In Our Experience -

Char­lotte Rus­sell, 45, is a free­lance graphic de­signer. She lives in Read­ing with her hus­band Justin, 44, and their three-year-old daugh­ter, Fleur. When you’re preg­nant with your first child in your fifth decade you’re re­ferred to as “geri­atric” in your med­i­cal notes. But much as I may have liked to have had a baby at the “op­ti­mum” age, it doesn’t al­ways work out that way.

For me, dis­as­trous re­la­tion­ships had eaten up the pre­vi­ous two decades. When I was 23, I thought my boyfriend was “the one” and we bought a house to­gether. The break-up at 29 was so bad I never wanted to be hurt like that again. I went on dates in my thir­ties but wasn’t in­ter­ested in re­la­tion­ships.

Ev­ery­thing changed in 2010 when I re­con­nected with Justin, who I’d known from sixth form col­lege. I bumped into a mu­tual friend who gave Justin my num­ber and we met up.

There was an in­stant spark be­tween us and two months later he moved in. By this time I was 37. I knew I wanted a fam­ily but Justin wasn’t in­ter­ested. He al­ready has a son, Tom, from a brief re­la­tion­ship when he was 23, and, as much as he loves him, I think be­ing un­pre­pared when it hap­pened had left him wor­ried about los­ing con­trol.

We had reached a stale­mate. As much as I couldn’t imag­ine life with­out Justin, equally I couldn’t imag­ine my life with­out chil­dren. It took four years of be­ing to­gether to reach a po­si­tion where he was OK with the idea of hav­ing a baby. Luck­ily, I got preg­nant nat­u­rally and when Fleur came into the world, we were both de­lighted. I’m so glad that we got past our stale­mate. Moth­er­hood is a bless­ing – when­ever you get to ex­pe­ri­ence it.

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