Another look – Sonny Jim when I was 28 weeks pregnant
When did you first see your baby?
At the 12-week scan? When they were born?
I first saw Sonny Jim before he was even a baby. Before I was even pregnant.
He was a blastocyst – an embryo of about 200 cells. And it was six days after I’d been sedated to have my eggs collected. Doctors had managed to get 14. Of which 11 survived to the next day. By day five we were left with six still growing in a petri dish at Barts Hospital. Two of them were deemed “A grade.” One of them was Sonny Jim.
When I went back to have the “best looking” of blastocysts implanted – two years ago this month – the specialist spun a screen round to face me. See all that blackness she asked, that’s your uterus. Now see that tiny white speck? That’s the embryo.
My little Speckles. Continue reading
‘That smile gets me through’ – Llydia Bannocks with partner Graham and Blossom Primrose
Picture by: www.fionakennedy.co.uk
Imagine having a condition that masquerades as several other illnesses.
For those living with Lupus – an incurable immune illness, mainly suffered by females – it’s a reality and part of the reason that diagnosis can take so long.
Hairdresser Llydia Bannocks, 37, of Ironwell Close, Rochford was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007, after two years of debilitating symptoms and misdiagnosis.
Llydia recalls: “I suffered everything from severe fatigue and hair loss to extreme pain in joints mimicking flu, an enlarged lymphatic system, intense rashing in the sun, corn beef looking pattern to the skin on my legs…
“I was extremely fit and active prior to my Lupus manifesting. I would go to the gym at least five times a week, work reasonably long hours without breaks and feel absolutely fine. Continue reading
A long time coming: Our little Sonny Jim
Two years ago, much of May was spent fretting about having a bit of an awkward conversation with my boss.
After almost a decade of trying for a baby, my husband and I were about to have IVF.
Six rounds of clomid and three rounds of IUI – despite there being nothing medically wrong with either of us – still hadn’t resulted in a baby, so we had finally been referred to Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.
We were lucky. This was before the cut backs the NHS is now suffering. We were entitled to up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS. We didn’t have to face decisions like donating my eggs to fund our own fertility treatment. We just had to think about us. Continue reading
St Clement’s church: Our boy’s christening day in Leigh-on-Sea
My mum is a priest, so it was inevitable, really, that my little boy would be baptised.
And it was rather lovely that Sonny Jim’s grandma was the one who could actually do the dunking on his christening day.
Contrary to what many may believe, christenings aren’t “going out of fashion”. My mum is booked up for most of next year with baptisms at her church on Canvey (sometimes as many as three per Sunday).
Oddly though, it wasn’t that easy to find some of classic christening staples we’d need on the day. Hence, having *eventually* found them, I thought it only fair to share…
Baby outfit. If you’ve got a little girl you can probably skip this bit. I’m sure you’re aware that Monsoon do the most gorgeous little dresses perfect for a baptism (or for flower girls at a wedding for that matter.) As do John Lewis. And Debenhams. And, well basically everywhere. If you’ve got a little lad though, and don’t fancy them looking like a mini 1980’s wedding singer (why so much satin? Why?!) then this is for you. Continue reading
Ahem. It’s FRIDAY. Feeling like you could drink gin (or vodka, or rum, or…) out of a teacup, and it’s not even noon?
Well, er, I think I’ve found the teacups for you!
Alcohol tea set, £70
From the Hug Doug Spoon Saver (£8.50) and the Cucumbo (a super handy spiral slicer to jazz up your culinary creations for £9.95) to the Pegzini Family (possibly the best pegs *ever*, £10.95) Notting Hill-based firm Luckies certainly know how to make those ordinary chores that little bit more joyful.
Hug Doug – he’s a bit clingy…
As I write this I have watery eyes, slightly shaking legs and chalk all over my hands, tights and quite probably my face.
No, I haven’t gotten into a dust-up with a blackboard, I’ve just spent two hours taking part in the latest craze to hit London – Flying Trapeze.
Made famous in 2003 in Sex And The City (and more recently in a Will Young music video), this trend sees you swinging seven metres (about 24ft) in the air on a trapeze.