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We're blessed. It's a permanent buzz.

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Tuesday 04 June 2013. Shankhill. L to R: Paula Doran with sons, Cathal (10) and Ois?n (8) with glasses.

Tuesday 04 June 2013. Shankhill. L to R: Paula Doran with sons, Cathal (10) and Ois?n (8) with glasses.

Tuesday 04 June 2013. Shankhill. L to R: Paula Doran with sons, Cathal (10) and Ois?n (8) with glasses.

PAULA Doran from Shankill had her first daughter, Aoife, at 23 and her second, Saoirse, at 26 while her two sons arrived just before she turned 40.

"I did think I was finished as the second one was such a difficult baby. It definitely put us off going again and it wasn't until she was six that we thought, 'will we, won't we'?

"At 32, she started trying again but this time, nothing happened. We already had two so we decided if it happened, it happened and if it didn't, it didn't."

After a few years, Paula assumed she wasn't going to get pregnant again and went back on contraception. However, she says, "I did regret then that I hadn't done something about it when I was younger."

When Paula was 37, she decided to give it one last shot. A year later, she was pregnant and gave birth to Cathal a few months before her 39th birthday.

But Paula still didn't feel finished. "I was breastfeeding Cathal and I had seriously contemplated not doing it as I knew it would reduce my fertility chances," she says. "Then he weaned himself very suddenly and very quickly, and my mum said to me, you might be pregnant."

She was right. Oisin was born just before Paula turned 40. "I didn't find it any harder than in my 20s," she says. "I was on a permanent buzz. We are so blessed. We had the chance all over again."


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