We were balancing plates, nibbling chicken wings, making polite conversation, when she asked that dreaded question.
"Would you like another child, Nikki?"
The honest, nonchalant, answer would have been a simple, yes.
Under any other circumstances, I might have succumbed to the easy route and just said yes.
Whether it was the heat, Prosecco, or proximity, I did not nod politely and reply with a positive, basic, yes.
I told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I explained, with plate and drink perched, and whilst other friends were in the garden area, that for the past three years, almost immediately after Tommy's birth, Mark and I have tried to create a sibling for him.
Frustrated and concerned, there have been numerous appointments for advice and guideance. Scans, fertility drugs, false hopes, brutal conversations, shattered dreams. Myself and Mark have experienced them all.
Not to mention a bucket full of guilt, on my part. It's my problem, my eggs are now practically rubbish.
I'm sorry Mark and Tommy.
As usual, Mark has been completely understanding, patient and optimistic.
I dread the day Tommy asks why he hasn't a brother or sister, or admits he craves or fantasies that we are a four member family. For personal reasons, the one thing I didn't want was for Tommy to be an only child. I guess it wasn't my decision to make.
At nearly forty four years old I have to admit almost defeat. And of course be ever thankful that we produced Tommy.
I will continue to love and appreciate Tommy and Mark, and achieve everything in my power to ensure Tommy's life is full to the brim with love and happiness, friends and family.
We are fortunate that we have friends with similar aged children. Children I will encourage Tommy to grow and nurture with. Also, when he reaches school age I will always welcome his friends to our house for play dates, dinner times and sleepovers.
Whilst balancing plate and drink one Saturday afternoon, my friend was noticeably surprised and concerned when I opened up about our predicament.
There were only a handful of people in this world who were aware. For I can sometimes remain very private with regards to my story within.
Yet sometimes, I admit, it's healthy to share our journey, our thought process.
In one way or another, we are all soldiering on. Some days it's good to talk about stuff.
I recall the great Robbin Williams once quoting, "Be kind to each other, you never really know what battles people are facing."
Ain't that the truth.
I'll leave you with pictures of that Saturday afternoon, and Tommy playing with the kids.
Feeling ever so grateful that we have them in our lives.
All the kids. Love the way Tommy is looking at his cousin and the watergun. Can you see him?
Tommy and cous Will. Sweeties under the trampoline.
Show us your bumps! How special, all experiencing second pregnancy together and all future babies will grow together. Of course I wish I was in the picture too, boasting my bump, but some things aren't meant to be.