I never planned to be pregnant at 40. But when it did happen I was delighted. I was in a strong marriage, we were both working and we had a lovely house. The baby was planned - my husband is five years younger than me and we had been together a couple of years - so although we were a bit late starting a family, it wasn't something we particularly worried about.
When I was first pregnant, I didn't feel any different than any other woman. I was incredibly tired for the first few weeks - something I now know is normal. I didn't have morning sickness and I tried hard not to tell anyone about the pregnancy until I was 12 weeks which proved difficult - as I am sure it does for any expectant mother.
I remember having a scare at about eight weeks and having to leave work to visit the doctor. Before I left work, I went into a side office and rang my husband to tell him that I suspected things might not be quite right. I was upset and came out of the office and told my boss I needed to go home, but that I couldn't tell him why. When I came back the next day and all was well, I thought it only right to tell him I was pregnant - his reaction? "Thank Goodness it's only that - I thought you were getting divorced!"
I think the first time I felt that I was different by having a baby at 40 was when we went to the hospital. I saw on the notes that I was classed as a "geriatric" mother. OK - I have a few wrinkles, but I thought I looked quite good for my age - and certainly not geriatric. In fact when I looked around the hospital and saw the size and weight of some girls much younger than me, I felt that using the "G" word to describe me was somewhat insulting.
The next thing was the blood tests - when I fell pregnant we had what is known as an AFP test to determine the risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome, spina bifida and other Neural Tube Defects (NTDs). The doctor recommended that I had it - and lots of other women much younger than me were also having the same.
We were told that the risk of having a baby with birth defects at my age was much higher. My cousin had had a boy who was born with spina bifida. He was the most gorgeous baby I had ever known - but he was so ill, and suffered so much and died aged two and a half. I remember being heartbroken and his Mum and Dad split up soon after his death due to the pressure. I wanted to know if that was likely to happen to my baby - I had taken folic acid regularly and I had been told that a cousin probably didn't increase the risk for me or my baby - but I was given a high dose as precaution.
Once we got the results of the AFP test, things really changed. My age made my percentage risk higher and I was one percentage point away from where they recommend an amniocentisis.
I didn't know what to do. My husband and I had decided that if the AFP test said we should have one, then we should have one. But it hadn't - not quite. The midwife was very understanding and said that if it was her, she would have the amnio test. I am sure that most of the young girls who had the blood test at the same time as me didn't have to go through this. It is a very difficult decision to make. If you have the test, you risk miscarriage. If you don't have the test, then your baby may be born with Down's syndrome or other defects. And if you have the test and it shows that - what do you do? I knew that I already loved my growing foetus - and I really didn't know what to do.
My husband and I had to make a decision quickly. We decided to take the test... and pray.
We had no idea what we would do if we didn't get the result we were hoping for. And so began the worst three weeks of my life.
Waiting for the results was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. My faith was a huge support. I never stopped praying. One day about three days before the results were due, I was at work and I had a feeling that I should go home. I nipped home at lunchtime and there was a letter from the hospital - seeing the words "Normal" on the letter just warmed my heart - I couldn't stop smiling. I rang my husband and he shouted down the phone - it was such a relief. We have spoken since about the experience and neither of us knew what we would have done if the result hadn't been positive, but thankfully we don't have to dwell on that now.
From that point on, the pregnancy was pretty straightforward. I ate strange things, I wore jeans with an awfully unflattering elastic panel and I suffered from fat ankles and sciatica!
The next time I realised I was different was at Parentcraft classes. As an older mother to be, I was in the minority. The other mothers in the class were so young. They didn't really want to be there, whereas I was keen to glean all the information I could! I can remember feeling really old and really fat. I just wanted to meet the baby and get back to normal as soon as possible.
I think that when the baby came is when truly I noticed how different I was. I had a difficult labour and a difficult baby. We had a few problems when he was first born and we spent quite a while in hospital. For the first week he was in the Special Baby Care Unit, so I couldn't hold him - and it is hard to bond immediately with a baby that does nothing but scream whatever you do for it.
I was struggling. I was tired and unhappy - and feeling guilty for feeling like that. When I went to the clinic, all the young girls seemed really happy and settled, pushing lovely babies around in pink or blue Mclaren buggies, with little Adidas trainers and tracksuits to match. Me - I was a blubbering wreck, who struggled to get dressed before lunchtime, let alone do anything as complicated as washing my hair or putting make-up on!
And so it went on.Gradually things got easier, and I felt more human and less like the geriatric that I had been labelled. But as well as the disadvantages, there are also advantages to being a bit older when you have your first baby.
Being more financially secure meant that when he was a baby, I could stay at home with my son and then once he started nursery and later primary school, I could afford to take term-time only work and be there for him at the beginning and end of the school day and in the holidays, while still being able to afford nice things for him and let him do lots of activities.
He has kept me young - I still listen to Radio One in the morning and I love Vernon Kay and the Chart Show at the weekend.
I try to look fashionable and smart - so he is not ashamed of his old Mum in the playground.
I think the main difference now is the tiredness that comes with age anyway. And I have awkward hormones that make me snappy. I also have work to fit in and my Mum and Dad to consider, because they are elderly now and need more help.
So being an older Mum is a juggle - and I do feel a tinge of envy when my friends nip off to the pub for a glass of wine while their two teenagers stay together in the house - I don't have that freedom - my son is still too young to leave alone.
Women nowadays do wait to have a baby, to make sure that they are ready, financially secure and have had all the life experiences that they desire - but I do think 40 is a little old. By the time my son is 15, I will be 55 - and instead of slowing down, I will be getting ready to face girlfriends, driving lessons, exams and maybe university fees.
If I could pick a time to have a baby, I don't think I would pick 40. I think I have coped well with it and continue to do so, but I wish that I had met the man I wanted to have a baby with in my late twenties - then I would have had a few years of fun, nice holidays and saving before having a baby about 31 - that would be my ideal... but life doesn't always go to plan, now does it?