Scheme may end cold-calling on our maternity wards

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

Hours old… and already being mined for his data

A while back I wrote a piece questioning why Bounty reps were allowed to cold-call mums on our maternity wards.

Picture the scene, I said.

You’ve just pushed a baby out. Or basically been slashed in half to birth your little one.

In your arms is the most precious thing you’ve ever held – and you have no idea what you’re doing.

You’re in a state of complete exhaustion/elation. You’re an emotional wreak. You’re in pain. Parts of you that you didn’t even know existed are hurting. You have no real idea what day/time it is. You’re in a total just-given-birth-blur. And then, at the foot of your bed, is an unsolicited, cold calling sales rep, wanting to take your baby’s photo and mine you for their data.

It hardly seems ethical. Should this really be allowed?

The response I got at the time surprised me. Continue reading

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Why I hate soft play…

soft play, ball pit, Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson

Soft play session: Sonny Jim and pal

I’ve been pretty good at avoiding soft play. Particularly – and especially – during school holidays.

But the other week, I capitulated. And Dante’s circles of hell have nothing on these padded-cell like death traps as far as I’m concerned.

I understand to the uninitiated, this probably seems unreasonable. What could be better for parents than indoor wonder worlds of mazes, slides and ball pits? So, consider this my attempt to enlighten you. Here’s exactly why I hate soft play centres…

1 Other people’s kids: You’d think no parent would want to be the one with feral kids. You’d think wrong on this. I don’t know what happens, but when kids get inside these centres they turn faster than a Mogwai in rain. Continue reading

Preschool has left me an emotional wreck!

preschool, Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim

First day: Off we go to pre-school

So, last week was the week.

The week I’ve been dreading. The week I’ve gotten tearful about more times than I’d like to admit. The week I’ve been so tempted to push back. To put off. To ignore until I can’t ignore it any more.

Last week, Sonny Jim started pre-school.

It was only two mornings. A grand total of six hours. But it has left me something of an emotional wreck.

On his first morning, I was stunned in the best way, when my rather shy boy shed not one single tear when I left. Simply gave me a kiss, a big wave and a reminder to be “back soon mama.”

It didn’t last.

Continue reading

He’s ready for pre-school… but I’m not sure I am!

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, Pre-school

Big step: Pre-school starts this week

This week Sonny Jim is going to start pre-school.

He’s almost two and a half, it’s only for two mornings a week and it’ll do my rather shy little lad the world of good.

But, however I dress it up, for me it’s a big HUGE (I’m channelling Julia Roberts here) thing.

It’s my boy’s first real steps of independence. Of venturing out into the world without mummy (or daddy) there to hold his hand. It basically marks the end of his babyhood.

And although I think he’s so ready for it – I’m not sure I am.

In this respect, I don’t think it makes any difference what age your little one first starts nursery/pre-school/school – it’s still a wrench.

Continue reading

Why have I not realised the boon of family pubs?

Zach Willsher, Benfleet, Essex, Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim

Living the life: Sonny Jim at the Zach Willsher

I made a bit of a discovery last Saturday night.

My brother was celebrating his 30th birthday at the Zach Willsher in Benfleet.

And, as most of my family were going to be there, including rather a lot of my cousins we don’t get too see that often, I decided we’d head along too.

Nevermind that it’d be a late night for Sonny Jim and he’d probably be rather grouchy on the back of it come Sunday.

His daddy was out at the football, so we’d give an evening at a pub a whirl.

What I hadn’t accounted for though, was the brilliant little play area at the Zach.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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