This time of year can often leave a person feeling quite deflated. The festive season and the build up to new year celebrations are an enjoyable time for many, who look forward to time off work to spend with the family. Then it's over. Back to reality and mundane everyday living.
My aim in the next few minutes, whilst you read my article, is to make you smile, show you life isn't all bad, that positive things happen.
I have read a few negative articles in the press recently regarding surrogacy. Allow me to tell you my story, in the hope of leaving you with a fuller heart. Infertility is still a fairly taboo topic. Yet the reality is that many people need help to have a baby. It is a serious issue, and it was for me too.
My prayers were answered in the form of a gestational surrogate, who carried twins for me. It takes a special person to be a surrogate and the decision to go down the surrogacy route is by no means an easy one. My husband and I exhausted other options first, but after hours and days of research, speaking to experts in the field, others who had used surrogates, we felt it was the right thing to do.
I have no regrets. Yes, I was anxious, there were trust issues on both sides. But I realised I had to trust her. I found it interesting that she was as anxious that I wouldn't want to keep the babies as I was of her not handing them over to me.
We sought legal advice, covered every eventuality as best we could, and had counselling together and individually. It was surreal, delving into the unknown, venturing down routes I'd never in my wildest dreams had thought we'd be going. But we did, we got there, our story is a huge success.
There were numerous things we agreed upon between us. One of which was that after the birth we would stay in contact, but only get together once, a few months after the birth and send the occasional text. This helped us get on with our own lives, and enabled me to overcome (as much as possible) the difficultly of going through the pregnancy and watching another lady carry my babies for me because I wasn't able to.
Not only did my husband and I gain a beautiful daughter and son, but our eldest (conceived naturally) was blessed with siblings. She is a fantastic big sister and our lives were not complete before they came into the world. Cliché, but so, so true: not a single day goes by that I don't think back on the five years of heartache we went through to get them. But it was worth every second, having patience and determination paid off. Surrogacy was the answer to our prayers.
And so, on the eve of the first birthday of my special twins, I'd like to dedicate this article to our surrogate, a very special lady we will be eternally grateful to and will never ever forget. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Tomorrow, tears of joy will be shed, to replace the tears of frustration and despair.