When I give talks about my/the pursuit of motherhood, I often mention the value of fur babies although I’ve never actually had one. That is, until last week when two adorable balls of fluff arrived.

In the lead up to them coming, I noticed I was getting stressed. I’ve wanted a baby for such a long time but suddenly the prospect of the responsibility was making me anxious. I contemplated postponing their arrival until after Christmas. I realized that despite trying so hard to conceive for so many years, the freedom of not having children had become a rather wonderful thing.

I gave myself a talking to and didn’t postpone. After all you can’t pick and choose what date you go into labour. So last Saturday, they came home in a cardboard box, right on schedule. The first thing they did was dash to the safety of behind the sofa. Parted from their real mother, they looked at me with fear in their eyes. They didn’t want me to pick them up. It was a horrible reminder of how infertility infiltrates your mind and destroys your belief that you’re ever supposed to be a parent.

But one week in, we are getting used to each other. They really aren’t a lot of work, they’re just a lot of fun. And when they’re not chasing each other’s tails or decimating the furniture with their tiny claws or kicking the fluorescent orange ball we’ve bought them round the room, they’ll come and sit on your lap. They may even purr. There’s a reason why I tell people about the therapeutic value of a fur baby when you’re trying to conceive, it’s because it works.