I ummed and ahhed for a lot of time about writing my own story – that is after knowing Sam for years, and her own struggle to put her stamp on a world that favours those with children so much.

That, with anything, should show how great the divide is – because even with the most supportive boss, who knew exactly what I was going through, I still felt I should sit on it.

I first knew I was unlikely to have my own children, aged 21, and it is something I sat on, hoping, for 20 years plus. I told myself that I would be a teacher, because that way I could influence the next generation, even if they were not my own. Now, if I look back at me, I feel sorrow that I was a baby, and I had to try to make these decisions. Sadly, as an adult, I had to come to terms with the realisation that those things that physically stopped me being a parent were brutal enough to stop me participating in expected adult child-rearing life at any level.

Frustratingly enough, probably partly due to my own struggles, I would champion every friend’s pregnancy. I was the one crocheting tiny baby blankets for them, because I appreciated how hard it was to get to that point! But say I then needed a day for myself or an ill family member – suddenly that becomes a selfish request.

I honestly think I’ve navigated my sadness at childlessness admirably over the years, but there needs to be more credit for those of us who are told that everything else – our mum or dad or other dependants are of little importance if you don’t have a child yourself.

*name changed to protect the author’s identity