You could save a boy’s life in just a few minutes

Shelley Legge, Gold Geese, #SwabforCharlie

Fighter mum: Shelley Legge

FROM the moment that my little boy was placed into my arms, I knew I would do anything for him.

There was literally nothing I would not be prepared to do to keep him safe and well.

He was, and is, the most precious thing in the world to me.

Which is why I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache endured by mums with poorly little ones. It must be the most horribly helpless feeling.

Leigh-on-Sea’s Shelley Legge, 38, is living that nightmare. Her 15-year-old lad has two rare types of blood cancer and is in desperate need of a transplant.

I chatted to her last Sunday at the #SwabforCharlie drive in Old Leigh, organised by Southend charity Gold Geese.

I was one of hundreds that turned up to be swabbed and added to the bone marrow register, in the hope of being the match that could save a life.

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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

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

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.

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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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