I found a draft blog post from the beginning of July 2011. Although I had published an abbreviated version as part of a Reasons to be Cheerful post, I had never published the full version. Neither had I deleted it. As I read through, every word I had written still rang true. Apart from the fact that my son is now three and a half and the cake is a very distant memory, I really could have written this post today. For that reason, I have decided to rescue it from the the dusty archives and publish it now.
My baby boy turned one this week, which inevitably involved cake.
But it wasn't all about cake. It was a lot about reflection and celebrating the huge amount of joy that the little fellow has brought into my life.
I never expected to be a mum to a boy. I had four daughters in my first marriage and felt that my family was complete. I did not long for blue baby clothes and trains sets. My girls were everything to me.
When my marriage failed irretrievably I had no idea what the future would hold. I felt so blessed to find a man I truly love and we have a life together that is better than anything I might have dared to wish for. I did not expect babies to feature in my new life. I thought I was probably too old to have much left in the way of fertility. I am so glad that I was wrong.
My first child with my new man was another girl. Was I disappointed? How could I be? I had a beautiful baby girl that I fell in love with instantly.
Against the odds, when I fell pregnant again at the age of 46, I allowed myself to imagine what it would be like if this child was a boy. The pregnancy felt different and I wondered if that was an indication but I was far more concerned with having a healthy baby to give the whole gender issue much consideration.
When people said to me that they bet I was hoping for a boy this time, I would reply that a boy would shake things up and be fun but a girl would fit much more neatly into my life.
I didn't get neat!
When that baby was born and I saw it was a little boy it was quite hard to take in. Even now, a year later, I look at him and have to almost say it out loud YOU'RE A BOY.
He's a laid back, happy little soul, generous with his kisses and cuddles. He loves his food. He is strong and tough and has the softest skin. He loves anything with wheels. He has an expressive little face and a smile that shows his cute, baby teeth.
I love him with a whole new flood of love that came from a place inside me that I didn't even know existed.
He is my son. One day he will be man.