My heart: Sonny Jim and me
It’s a man’s world… so the saying goes.
And nowhere is that patriarchy more apparent than when it comes to fertility.
For all the strides that have been made over the last century. For all the hard-fought rights (to vote, to own our own homes, to smash those glass ceilings) when it comes to having children, nature has us pegged at a real disadvantage.
Women get maybe a 20-year window in which to have their babies. And that’s it.
However we dress it up. Whatever advances that have been made by science, no one has really found a viable, risk-free way for women to put off children well into their forties.
At 35 women’s fertility goes off a cliff – conceiving gets harder and the risks to baby and mama go up too.
Fellas though? Well there’s absolutely nothing stopping them having little ones into their dotage. Continue reading
Newborn days: With my Sonny Jim
FRIENDS of ours have just had twin girls and seeing the pair of them, daughters in arms, and joy positively emanating out of photos, really took me back to Sonny Jim’s newborn days.
In some ways (clichéd as it sounds) it seems forever ago and yet I can’t believe that I have an almost two-year-old.
It got me thinking how it’s really easy to say the wrong thing to a new mum. When you’ve just had a baby, especially your first, the most insignificant observation can seem like a criticism. You’re pretty emotional, you’re SO tired and you’ve, quite frankly, NO idea what you’re doing. So, here’s my list of things you totally should not say to any new mamas in your life…
- Is he a good baby?
Well, he killed the cat last night… seriously what does this even mean? They all cry, poo, drink milk and sleep. Some more than others. There are no bad babies.
- Are you feeding him?
No, he’s living off air. What this is actually asking, is are you breastfeeding? And, honestly, why do you need to know? I desperately wanted to breastfeed Sonny Jim and he absolutely couldn’t do it. It was a bit rubbish.
Hope: My Sonny Jim
In an ideal world, having children would really be as simple as wanting to have children.
But it’s (increasingly) often, not that simple. And when you start negotiating your way through fertility treatments, you can begin to feel like you live in a bit of a will-I-ever-have-a-baby? bubble.
In all honesty, it’s not a particularly fun place to be. It can be lonely. Often it’s not something you really talk about with other people. And even the ones that you do talk to, most of the time don’t get it. They’re either full of well meaning, but a little bit patronising advice (“just get drunk and have a good night, it’ll happen”) or they tell you to “relax.” (Word to the wise, hearing this does not make you feel relaxed. At all.)
Throw in some added hormones once you start actually having treatment and it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a big swirl of longing, fear, envy and god know what else. Continue reading
Trolley tot: Sonny Jim
EARLIER this week, I think I was in the same queue in the supermarket as the midwife who delivered Sonny Jim.
She had paid and was gathering up her bags as I wheeled my trolley with toddler aboard into line, so I only caught a glimpse. But it looked like her.
And it was the strangest thing.
For a moment, I was about to rush up to her. To show her how lovely the little boy who she guided into the world was growing up to be. To tell her all about him. To get him to give her one of his high-fives and waving hands.
And then I realised that she would probably have absolutely no idea who we were.
Opening soon: Bourn Hall’s new purpose-built IVF clinic in Wickford
Sonny Jim was conceived thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at Barts Hospital, in London.
We were living in Leigh-on-Sea (in Essex) while undergoing the process. And while I think I would have travelled to Scotland three times a week, if it meant the treatment would be a success, there is no doubt the commute to the clinic did take a bit of a toll.
Juggling a job on a regional newspaper, with the newsroom based in Basildon, but travelling into London to undergo internal scans (always a joy!) and blood tests and egg collection and embryo implantation was not exactly easy. A lot of the appointments were mere minutes long… but the round trip meant it was at least a 3-hour plus process. Which was not simple to slip in before work. It meant I had to tell my boss I was having IVF – and while he was very understanding and good about helping me work shifts around it, I would still have rather not have had to tell him. Continue reading
Best buddies – Emily and Sonny Jim
One of my pet parenting peeves is the way some people make a big deal about raising baby boys vs baby girls.
I only have Sonny Jim, but I can’t imagine I’d be doing anything much different if I’d had a daughter.
Admittedly there may have been a few more bows and frills knocking around our house (I am bit partial to them myself!) but surely the core values you teach any child – be they boy or girl – are the same?
Be kind. Don’t snatch. Be gentle. Share.
In as far as under two-year-olds can have best buddies, Sonny Jim’s is Emily.
They’ve been around each other since they were bumps – thanks to their parents meeting at an NCT class. Continue reading
Bargain: Baby sleeping bag
Ahem. Feeling the pinch after Christmas?
Aldi’s popular Baby and Toddler event is back and available online (aldi.co.uk) from Thursday, January 11 and in stores on Thursday, January 18.
The average British family spends up to £800 celebrating Christmas, with £473.83 on presents alone… so some super cheap baby and toddler buys can only be a good thing.
Top of my must-have list for mamas and mummies-to-be are the and 2.5 tog baby sleeping bags (£9.99) and oh-so-handy cellular blankets for only £2.99.
Plus for anyone with a little one on the way, that hasn’t already got the nursery sorted… the Aldi Mamia furniture set is luuuuurvely.
It includes nursery wardrobe (£119.99), nursery cot bed with drawer (£129.99), and nursery changing unit (£99.99). With a combined cost of £349.97, its 75 per cent cheaper (!!) than the popular Silver Cross Nostalgia Complete Room set that retails at £1,402.50. Continue reading