Not long before Sonny Jim was born I went to lunch with one of my best friends.
Strangely she had turned down the offer of a lift, meaning she wouldn’t be drinking either.
The reason was soon revealed. She was pregnant too. It was very early days, but that didn’t stop the two of us giggling together about our little ones being friends and working out just how much of our maternity leave would overlap.
Soon after I had my baby boy. And she had her dating scan at 12 weeks. I got to grips with life as a new mummy. And her pregnancy progressed.
Until 21 weeks. When her little boy, Alfie, was stillborn.
As I laughed watching my son start to work out how to roll and giggle, she was looking at her son lying silently in a cold cot in Southend Hospital’s butterfly bereavement suite. Continue reading
Not just a mama: At my first pole dancing class
Often when you have a child, a big chunk of your identity gets lost.
Overnight you become the most important person in the world to someone else.
You’re their food source, their comfort, their safety…. You’re their mum. And everything else in the world is secondary to that.
As they get a bit bigger they obviously don’t need you quite as much – their neck can hold the weight of their own head for a start.
But still, being a mummy can be the thing that defines you.
After waiting for nine years for my boy, and undergoing fertility treatments galore, I can hand on heart say that being Sonny Jim’s mummy is the best title I’ve ever had. I’m a work-from-home mama for the sole reason that I want to grab every minute that I possibly can with my little lad while he’s growing up. I never actually realised I’d love “mummying” as much as I do. Continue reading
A proper toddler: Sonny Jim
Sonny Jim is still a good few months off the terrible twos yet, but it seems he’s starting early.
A tantrum in a café when I wouldn’t let him lay on the floor to watch the ceiling fan (honestly, the boy loves anything that spins) got me thinking that you know you’re a mama to a toddler when…
1 You think nothing of sticking a half-eaten banana in your coat pocket. And you only remember it’s there when you go to put another in.
2 The cold leftovers of your little one’s dinner? You totally eat them.
3 While you spent the first months of your tot’s life sterilising EVERYTHING, now you’re all about the five (make that 30) second rule. Continue reading
So worth the wait: Me and my Sonny Jim
Next week is National Fertility Awareness Week (#TalkFertility.) As someone who waited NINE years for her baby boy, it’s a cause close to home.
So, to mark it, here are nine things people who are struggling to have a baby really hate being told…
*Just relax… it’ll happen just as soon as you stop worrying about it.
Trust me, hearing this does not make you feel zen. At all.
*You’d be such a great mum/your husband will be such a great dad.
When you’re living with the fear you’ll never have children, this cuts. Deeply.
*It could be worse… you could have cancer.
Yes, generally things can always be worse. But this is kind of like comforting a person whose mother has just died by saying, it could be worse your mum and dad could have both died. Continue reading
Fear free – Sonny Jim runs along the esplanade
There’s a rather famous poem by Philip Larkin, which opens with the line “they f*** you up, your mum and dad.”
It was a somewhat outrageous read when I was 14 and studying for my English Literature GCSE – but the sentiment stuck in my mind.
Now almost two decades on, a mummy myself, I find myself pondering the truth of his lines,
“They fill you with faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.”
I am a worrier. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had anxiety over something gnawing away at my gut, prickling just at the edge of my consciousness. In a weird way it has probably spurred me on in life. I might as well put myself out of my comfort zone, take the big leap, I’ll worry it about it, whatever I do. Continue reading
Long wait: Me pregnant with my Sonny Jim
Today one of my best friends is having her baby shower. I’m really looking forward to it…which is a new thing for me.
Pre-Sonny Jim, when I was struggling to fall pregnant, one of the things I found most tough was going to baby showers.
When you’ve been trying for a baby for years, have undergone a load of fertility treatment and nothing seems to be working, spending an afternoon looking at teeny tiny babygrows is painful. Continue reading
A cut too far – I have my boy because of IVF on the NHS
ESSEX is within in touching distance of being the worst region in the country for access to IVF on the NHS.
Three Essex CCGs have already removed all provision of NHS IVF (Basildon and Brentwood, North East Essex, and mid-Essex.) West Essex is set to do the same.
And Southend? Well the CCG is looking to stop all NHS provision here too.
Currently eligible couples are offered two partial NHS-funded IVF cycles. About 50 people unable to have children any other way are helped here yearly – costing the NHS about £200,000.
IVF is silly expensive to have privately. Do you have a spare £8,000 (minimum) to blow on a single cycle with no guaranteed baby at the end? I don’t.
But it’s not a done deal yet. Southend CCG is consulting until October 26. And it’s so important you make sure your voice is heard. Continue reading