Fertility myths busted

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

No test-tube used here…

Despite the fact more than 60,000 couples have IVF every year, (us being one 2015’s crop!) there’s still rather a lot of myths surrounding infertility and assisted conception.

So, when the new Bourn Hall clinic opened in Wickford earlier this year I got chatting to one of the fertility nurses and asked her to dispel some of the more common…

MYTH – If a woman is born with no uterus (womb) it is not biologically possible for her to be a mother

FACT – If a woman has no uterus but has working ovaries then she still may be producing eggs. Having some of her eggs removed and fertilised with her partner’s sperm and arranging for a surrogate to carry her child is an option which some women choose. Bourn Hall was the first clinic to provide surrogacy with IVF.

MYTH – “Test-tube babies” are “made” in test tubes

FACT – Although embryology labs do have test tubes they are mainly for storage purposes not the actual process of IVF. The process of mixing the sperm with the eggs is actually done in a petri dish!

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Nothing prepared me for this bit of mummy life… (yes Fireman Sam, I’m looking at you!)

Fireman Sam, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

“A good fireman is never off duty!” Sam has all the lines

Prior to having a toddler, clearly, I was never going to let any baby of mine watch children’s television.

But, well, real life happens doesn’t it? And sometimes the only way you’re going to be able to cook dinner / put a wash on / have a wee is to stick the television on.

And so, it has transpired that Sonny Jim has fallen under the spell of Fireman Sam.

And I have questions. Questions that our daily dose of Pontypandy life is not answering. Questions that I can’t be the only parent watching their gazillionth episode (I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea) is asking themselves.

So, to get them off my chest, and in the spirit of solidarity with other Sam addicts, and hopefully, to stop me fruitlessly asking my agog toddler, here are some of the most pressing… Continue reading

Let’s talk about last night… at Southend’s Seven

Aurum Bar, Southend, Katy Pearson, Seven

Cheers! In the Aurum Bar

Sonny Jim is almost two and a half. And I’ve never spent the whole night away from him. (Obviously nights out with 2am finishes don’t count… I’m always there when he wakes up!)

But my birthday is just a few days away, so we figured it might be nice to actually have a night away.

And with the Seven hotel and it’s Aurum restaurant and bar practically on our doorstep, we couldn’t have dreamt up a better spot for our first baby-free mini break.

The exquisitely designed boutique hotel is set high upon Southend’s cliffs, within the beautiful Clifton Conservation Area. With 37 stunning bedrooms, including 5 luxury suites, a 70-seater modern British restaurant, a gin-centric cocktail bar and outdoor sun terrace, it’s London lavishness right here on Southend’s coast.

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Why cousins are so important

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, family, wedding, cousins

Giggles: At the last family wedding

LATER this summer, Sonny Jim will be flying to the south of France to attend a family wedding.

My second cousin once removed (or is it third cousin?!) is getting married and while I HATE flying and am dreading the 4am taxi with toddler in tow, I really wanted us to go.

This cousin was one of my best playmates when I was little. There’s just six weeks between us, and a mere couple of years between us and her older sister, and almost all of my favourite childhood memories feature them in some way or another.

We didn’t live especially close (me on Canvey, them in Goodmayes) but every school holiday we could be found at each other’s houses.

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Inglorious death of the family album is too sad

Triplets, Nineties childhood

Throwback: Me and the triplets, circa 1990

Last week my triplet (I know!) brothers and sister turned 30.

Which gave me an excuse to dig out the old family albums, tucked away on the top shelf of a wardrobe at my parents’.

For an hour or so I got lost in a little bubble of nostalgia. Laughing at our chubby cheeks and gap-toothed grins.

And then I found myself thinking about the rather inglorious death of the family photo album.

Most of us new parents have probably got more photos on our phones of our little ones in the first month of their lives, than there are in existence from our entire childhoods.

Pretty much every single day of Sonny Jim’s life has been snapped on my phone. A fair number of them end up being posted on Instagram, and being WhatsApped to his daddy.

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Alfie’s Ball will help so many others…

Alfie's Ball, #AlfiesBallNot 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

Babies deserve to stay in their parents’ arms… don’t they?

Daily News, american immigration, Katy Pearson

Heart breaking: This image has haunted me

Millions of people have now seen the photo of a two-year-old girl screaming, while a US border agent pats down her mother.

Taken last week the snap has become symbolic of the “zero tolerance” border policies in America, which has caused hundreds of children to be separated from their parents.

My Sonny Jim is the same age as that little girl.

And I haven’t been able to get that photo out of my head since.

To be entirely honest, I’m not big on world news. So much of what goes on around the globe seems to shoot straight over my head as I battle the will of a toddler who doesn’t like eating dinner or being indoors.

Yet that image, when it flashed up on my Facebook feed, cut through all the little mundanities of my day. Continue reading