This week Claire shares her story of being a mum to 5 children (including twins!), battling PCOS, the loss of a child and living with a child with complex needs and how her journey has helped to shape the person she is today. Thanks for getting involved Claire xx

Hi there,

My name is Claire, I’m 38 years old, a mother of 5, but not all is as it seems where that is concerned, but I will get to that, I’ve been engaged to the gorgeous Karl for nearly 4 years now!!

Now 20 years ago at around 18, I was told the chances of me ever having children was slim due to PCOS, even though at that time I was still studying to be a childminder and working with disabled children, I wasn’t really that interested as I still had intentions of conquering the world…don’t we all at 18!!!

Fast forward 12 years and a couple of failed relationships to my 30th birthday where all of a sudden it hit me… it was now or never.

Being single and knowing the chances of me falling pregnant naturally were slim, I decided adoption was the route I was going to take. It was a big decision to make and it took me another 18 months to pluck up the courage to see if they would even give a single person the opportunity!!!

At almost 33, I became the proud mamma to 18 month old boy/girl twins.My beautiful lady has cerebral palsy but I couldn’t love them any less ever, they have just turned 7 and I still struggle to believe anyone had enough faith in me to allow me to be in charge of these innocent babies, but they did and anyone who believes you can not have the same relationship with an adopted child as you can with a child who you have given birth to is so wrong!!!

When the twins were 2, I was in a casual relationship. During this relationship I found out I was pregnant after going to the doctors because I kept being sick!!! I never gave pregnancy a second thought and my only reaction at being told I was around 9 weeks pregnant was Holy S***!!!

After going for a scan, I found out I was actually 19 weeks pregnant and all was well, the Father didn’t want to know, so I prepared myself for being a single parent of 2 year old twins (one with massive additional needs) and a newborn!!! Arghhhhh!!!

At 26 weeks, my BP started shooting through the roof. At 27 weeks I was admitted to Lincoln County Hospital for observation. After going for a scan I was told my baby had stopped growing at around 23 weeks and I then had to make the choice between giving birth and hoping for the best or allowing him to die naturally in the womb, a decision no woman should ever have to make!!

I decided to give birth to him and hope they could do the best for him, so he was transferred to Sheffield neonatal unit by ambulance. I went alone as I needed my family to look after my twins who were too young to have a clue what was going on, even at this challenging time they were still my main concern.
I gave birth to the beautiful Jacob on 16th September 2013, weighing 1lb 4 but alive, kicking and fighting. I was very poorly after being put to sleep to allow them to give me a quick c-section so I didn’t get to see him until 6 hours later, but he was beautiful!!

He kept fighting and things were looking up but on the 30th September his lungs collapsed, he was simply too tiny and under developed, my world fell apart!!
Jacob never got any better and on the 2nd October 2013 I had to make a second decision that no mother should ever have to make, should my child live and be severely disabled or take him off life support now… if I decided the latter, was I keeping him alive for him or me?? If I allowed him to die what kind of mother am I??
In the end I made the decision to withdraw life support for him and for the children I already had who needed me, did I make the right decision?? It’s a question that I will live with forever,

He died peacefully, but fought every step of the way.

His funeral and burial were the worst days of my life, unlike the day he died where I just went numb.

My beautiful angel twins got me through all of this stage of my life, giving me something to focus on and fight for, they had already been let down by one set of parents and I wasn’t going to be the next!!

Shine Bright Little Star!!

Shortly after this I met Karl, who gave me a gorgeous teenage (new challenges) step daughter and since a beautiful granddaughter!! The days got brighter from here, being a proper family but Jacob was never ever forgotten and is always talked about.

In April 2016 I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant, a terrifying time, I had a perfect pregnancy but could not enjoy 1 second of it for fear of what could happen, I got past 27 weeks and relaxed a little but the constant scans and having to explain to the midwives at the hospital why I was there so often wound me up every time!

This story ends well, on 2/12/16, 1 week early and by planned section, I gave birth to the beautiful Lucas Michael weighing 6lb 6oz and crying from word go!

Every single part of my journey into parenthood has been worth it. My children are my pride and joy, they make my life worth living and drive me insane at times, but it’s been a long hard slog to get here!!

Brooklyn, Lexi, Jacob, and Lucas Mummy loves you forever 💖 xxxx

My Stepdaughter Jade, you may not have always agreed with what I’ve said but that’s because I treat you like my own child, so suck it up lady!! You understand now you have a child of your own!! Love you both 💜

If you wish to talk to me about any of this, I am more than willing to listen, but please bare in mind I have young children, and 1 with complex needs, but I will talk to anyone who needs support.

Over and out xxxx