A child is born

A few knew we were expecting a baby. My partner Josephine had miscarried the year before, and so we didn't want to shout about it just in case we suffered the same disappointment again. It was a miracle that time to be pregnant but this time we really thought we had no chance of starting a family. Apart from our ages, my condition had worsened and cutting out all the jokes, getting pregnant is difficult if the man involved suffers from a debilitating illness like ME. We had resorted to various practices without success, such was our desperation. Apart from the physical barriers which have been likened to climbing a mountain, I was concerned about being a proper parent, as I remember reading an account of a father who became ill with ME and couldn't bear his boisterous young children around him and needed to escape to the solitude and quiet of his bedroom. I also worried that if my condition worsened, I couldn't play the trump card of ending my life. Not that I believe I ever would, but I, like many, in the bad times have toyed with the idea. Any non-sufferer reading this will not understand, but the feeling of no hope and despair that ME creates is extreme. The responsibility of being a parent

Certainly puts any such ideas out of the question, although it's easy to say when you are in remission. As luck would have it my condition had improved, and on the 21st March our wonderful little daughter Rianna Nicole (above) was born, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz. We haven't had much sleep since she arrived, but she's worth it. At six weeks she's watching and mimicking everything we do! She is a good advert for the older parents (I'm 52! And Josie is not that much younger) I suffer from ME, Josie was born in Jamaica and has sickle cell trait. Yet, Rianna seems perfect in every way, and in the best of health. n