‘Motherhood is a blessing at any age’
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.