Pregnant: Just days before Sonny Jim was born
When I was pregnant with Sonny Jim, I spent (almost) the entire time fretting that something would go wrong.
I refused to let anyone buy me anything baby-related until I was at least 24 weeks along. We didn’t decorate the nursery until only a few weeks before his due date.
I shunned all soft cheeses (and I LOVE soft cheese) I didn’t eat prawns (again, one of my very favourite things) and touched about half a flute of Prosecco the entire time.
As an IVF pregnancy, it was automatically classed as high risk. But my pregnancy was totally textbook and drama free. He even helpfully arrived six days early, sparing me from a swift induction.
Even still, there were so many things you were not supposed to do and were told to avoid it sometimes felt overwhelming. Continue reading
Worth it all: My Sonny Jim
The first IVF baby was conceived on this day, 40 years ago (#IVFis40).
To mark the (rather amazing!) milestone, as a mama of an IVF tot, here are some rubbish things no one ever tells you about it…
- If you are a needle-phobe, it will either break you – or cure you.
By my reckoning, one cycle of IVF probably involves you getting stabbed about 70 times (in your belly, your thigh, in your bum cheek.) A lot of them you’ll have to do yourself, or get your other half to do. You’ll even have a special yellow toxic-waste sharps bin – like actual drug addicts on TV. Continue reading
Doing it like a mother: Keri Jarvis (centre) Photo by Petra Blacklock
“We have grown up thinking we can have it all, but we don’t realise that that means ‘do it all’. And we’ve got to look good at the same time…”
The rarely-spoken about challenges of being a mummy have inspired a hypnobirthing teacher to set up a new motherhood mindset mentoring program.
Mum-of-two Keri Javis, 32, of London Road, Westcliff, has helped more than 200 women have hypnobirths – yet grew frustrated with how the support for women seemed to end as soon as the baby was born.
She said: “When my first son was born, the transition into motherhood was such a shock. Once the initial excitement of meeting our baby had faded, and everyone else went back to their own lives, (including my husband 8am-6pm, five days a week) I felt utterly blindsided. I spent a lot of time alone with Louis, because when I forced myself out to groups, I just didn’t feel a connection to the women talking about how well their babies slept or some version of how amazing it was to be a mum. Continue reading
Prosecco and a newborn: And I deserved every sip
This week, so-called “slummy mummies” have come in for a bit of a lambasting.
Authors of books such as Hurrah for Gin and the Unmumsy Mum (who I adore) have been decried by a national newspaper for sharing their exploits of feeding their toddlers frozen fish fingers, swigging gin from baby cups and potty mouthed ranting about their kids online.
Which, as a mama and coming hot on the heels of mental health awareness week, rather makes my blood boil.
Being a mum is hard. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE being a mother. Sonny Jim is truly all my oh-so-long awaited dreams come true. But I’m not superwoman – try as I may. 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
So lucky: My wonderful baby boy
Tomorrow will be my first Mother’s Day as a mama. I am beyond thrilled to be able to type that.
But as wonderfully special as the day will be for me, there are so many, many women for whom the day is the hardest of the year.
Before Sonny Jim, even though I’m lucky enough to still have my wonderful ma, I disliked this day. I waited nine years for my baby. Spent more than five of those years under various hospitals, undergoing tests and procedures, being stabbed with hundreds of needles, pumped full of different hormones and then constantly disappointed. Mothering Sunday became a day when scrolling through my Facebook feed felt a bit like death by a thousand papercuts. All those gorgeous babies snuggled up to their mamas. All those cute kids with their homemade creations. It hurt. More than I can explain. Continue reading
The pictures behind a single snap: Getting nice photos of babies is actually not that easy!
Posting pictures of your baby online – along with posting pictures of your pregnancy scans – can be a bit of a divisive subject.
Some are vehemently anti it – look at their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page and you’ll find little trace of their little folk. Others share *literally* everything. On a daily basis you’ll know what the little mite has had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, every single activity they’ve been involved in, and quite possibly their bowel movements too.
I make no apology for being a bit of a #babybore (though with the exception of my husband and my NCT mummy chums I have never felt the need to keep people updated on how many poops Sonny Jim has had – yet.)