I have been with my husband over half my life and he knows me better than I know myself. We are the best of friends and have been there for each other through thick and thin. Looking back on it now, I think that we became each other’s family on the day that we met each other. I had just moved over from Northern Ireland, with a car and a stereo and no money to my name and I needed a job – pronto! I got that job in a local hotel, working behind the bar and my husband was the hotel manager – I’d like to think it was love at first sight. We moved in together after two months and have been inseparable ever since.
Five years on, I was teaching and he was driving trucks and we decided to tie the knot. Much to my mother’s horror we didn’t tell anyone of our plans, instead we said ‘I do’ at the local registry office with only a few witnesses in attendance and a drunk photographer (long story). The whole day cost £200 (and that included our outfits) and our honeymoon was a night at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton, with a lot of time spent on the Palace Pier.
All was perfect and then the time came to have children. I was so excited when we started trying and had never assumed that trying for a family wouldn’t be easy. No one else around me seemed to have problems and in fact I was surrounded by pregnant people at school. It appeared however, that parenthood wasn’t to be for us which the doctor confirmed. Initially, this was heartbreaking as I had always wanted a large family. At the age of 10, I had made the decision that I wanted four sets of twins – Daniel & Daniella, Christopher & Christina, Thomas & Thomasina, Alexander & Alexandra – now I couldn’t even have one.
I cried. I grieved for the children I wouldn’t have and then I picked myself up and brushed myself down. My husband and I have always been silver-lining people and whilst we really wanted children we focused on the positives – we thought of the holidays we could have, what we could do and worked off that financially we would be much better off. We would continue to be a family of two and after our plans, were excited about what lay in our future.
Six weeks later, a nurse called. I had been in for blood tests as I hadn’t been well at all and she was phoning with the results. I remember the moment vividly. I was in the photocopier room and she asked if I was sitting down, I said yes (I wasn’t). I was so sure that she was going to give me bad news but instead she told me that I was pregnant. I told her that I couldn’t be, but she assured me that I was. I sent a swift text to my husband, who was on a golfing holiday in Malaysia, and went back to work.
Ten months on (they say it’s nine but it isn’t) I gave birth to our baby girl. She is beautiful, funny and incorrigible. In my eyes I have the perfect family and I so grateful for the time that I get to spend with them currently. We may be on lock-down but I get to be locked down with my two favourite people.
We adore each other, we frustrate each other, we wouldn’t know what to do without each other – we are family!