James and Ella

We met at university, went out for a bit, broke up for a few years and then finally got back together after tracking each other down on social media.

James was a step dad to his ex-partner's children. I know he adored them. It's even harder to cope then with knowing we won't have them as James is infertile. We've tried ICSI with no success.

We try very hard to create new occasions. I struggle the most with Mother's Day and Father's Day. James gets a card from his ex's children because they viewed him as their dad for a long time and I agreed it was okay and put them first. I know that this is important him in his situation and there has to be compromise and balance. I could theoretically have children with someone else I guess but I stay with James because he is my soul mate and means so much to me. If he cannot be biological and lifelong dad to our kids, then I truly don't want anyone else. The donor option wasn't for us.

I tend to switch off all social media on Mother's Day. I've long given up attempting to reason that it's about returning to the 'Mother Church', it falls on deaf ears. We treat it like any other Sunday but much less internet. In fact it's not so bad as we read books, play a board game and walk our dogs somewhere which is almost always quiet as everyone else is crammed into a pub. We're out in the fresh air. As I work in an office and it's got flexi-time, I go in later the day after so my colleagues have shared their weekend updates and I don't have to listen to that. If I do hear about it, it's rather gratifying to hear them say how peaceful my weekend sounds. I get the impression that it's not as wonderful as the media makes out!

I am a firm believer in new traditions. We have the right to create new ideals if the old ones do not suit us. We go away at Christmas to the coast, our way of coping and I often think the alternative isn't too bad.