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Robbie’s welcome to sing & gyrate in my delivery room any day

So there’s been a great hoo-hah about Robbie Williams ‘live’ blogging and tweeting updates during his wife Ayda’s labour this week. I have to say if Robbie fancies coming to my delivery room and gyrating around the bed while singing Candy he’s most welcome – what better diversion? – but if Misery Guts tries it he’s likely to get a punch in the face. In case you’ve been on another planet for the last few days, you can watch one of Williams’ offerings here. You’ve got to hand it to Mrs Williams, who appears resigned to her husband’s behaviour throughout. She’s probably used to it. But what fascinates me is who is it behind the camera? Robbie hasn’t balanced the thing on top of a ventilator: there’s clearly someone filming proceedings. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: D-Day has arrived

Week: 40 Waist: 40 inches (no change) Feeling: Ready and waiting What can I say? Today is D-day and the Big Wait has begun. What a 40 weeks it’s been: I’ve put on 10 kilos – that’s one and a half stone in old money – my waist has expanded a whopping 13 inches and my chest has grown from a B to a D cup. I’ve felt enormous for pretty much the entire pregnancy, but looking back at the weekly pictures I started taking at 20 weeks it seems to me that back then I barely even looked pregnant. […]

What IS it about David Beckham?

I’ve been pondering this since writing a story about Haig Club whisky, the result of a collaboration between Diageo (Smirnoff, Baileys) and Becks, before starting maternity leave this week (I’m not sure how much input the man himself actually had, or whether Diageo just threw money at him to front the brand). I don’t mean 1990s matching-leather-Gucci-and-hair-gelled-curtains David Beckham, I mean 2014 suited and booted designer-stubble-with-creases-around-the-eyes Beckham, who you’ll soon see supersized on ads promoting the whisky if you haven’t already (pictured). There’s no escaping it, he certainly looks better with age. Which got me thinking, can the same be said for the fairer sex? […]

By |October 22nd, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Health, News, Parenting, Work life|0 Comments

Running in pregnancy: I made it to 36 weeks

It is with the greatest regret that I have finally admitted defeat and hung up my running trainers. I made [...]

It’s probably not surprising she’s playing up…

Last night marked our ninth consecutive broken night. It all started when BB came down with a bug last Monday, and spent the majority of the day in her nightie on the sofa (pictured). So I expected an unsettled night or two, but not nine. She’s bright as rain now, but the bug has taken her usual night time routine with it. It takes her ages to settle, she cries repeatedly, and then she wakes throughout the night crying out for us. Not what we need when trying to conserve energy for our new arrival in a couple of weeks. Worst still, I’ve got absolutely no idea how to deal with it. It’s probably not surprising she’s playing up – the last month has seen several big changes including a new bed (her old one has been made back into a cot) and graduation from her nursery’s toddler unit to preschool, which unfortunately – and unavoidably – have come at the same time. Add to that impending threat arrival of a brother or sister, and I suppose it’s a recipe for disaster. […]

By |October 8th, 2014|Discipline, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy|4 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we’re technically full term

Week: 37 Waist: 41.5 inches (+ 1 inch) Feeling: Grumpy At 37 weeks – that’s technically full term – the trials and tribulations of pregnancy are catching up with me. It’s been another hormonal week thanks to Braxton Hicks making my evenings uncomfortable, hot flushes playing havoc with my sleep and the discovery of a lump on one of my boobs. I went to the doctor who found not one but three lumps, but because they are all roughly the same size and shape he’s ‘confident’ they’re enlarged milk glands and told me to keep an eye on them and come back if they get bigger, change shape or don’t disappear after breast feeding. I reported this information to my midwife, who helpfully told me she has a friend who found similar lumps while pregnant which turned out not to be enlarged milk ducts, and she had to have them removed. Why did she tell me this? Why why why? […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s no surprise my waist has expanded this week

Week: 32 Waist: 38.5 inches (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Crampy legged I’m pleased to be able to report my craving for chicken soup now appears to have passed. In fact I don’t think I’ll be eating any for a very long time. Instead I’m eating and drinking other things it would never occur to me to consume normally, like squash (the liquid kind). I’ve been ridiculously thirsty throughout the entire pregnancy, and lately I’ve really been fancying squash, which I haven’t drunk for years. So when the nice people at Vimto kindly sent me some samples of their new no added sugar Squeezy water enhancer they came at the perfect time. […]

Foot rubs: I’ve made a rod for my own back

I’ve been rubbing BB’s feet ever since she was a baby. We didn’t go to any baby massage classes, and I have absolutely no training or knowledge of foot massage, I just like my feet being rubbed so thought she might too. What I didn’t bank on was just quite how much she would like it. The plea to ‘rub my feet’ is made several times a week (pictured – excuse the chipped nails and polish, beauty therapist I am not), and must include the whole foot and each individual toe or she shakes it in frustration saying ‘do it properly’. And if I don’t or can’t drop everything to complete the said foot rub she can turn into quite a little Veruca Salt. I thought foot rubs would be a good way of showing her how to have ‘time out’ and of recognising that it’s good to sit back and relax sometimes, but there’s no doubt I’ve made a rod for my own back. […]

By |September 3rd, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Health, Parenting|10 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: procrastination, procrastination, procrastination

Week: 31 Waist: 38 inches (+ 1 inch) Feeling: Sore armed thanks to whooping cough vaccination (for baby, not me) It might be September next week, but I’m still too scared to actually do anything to prepare for the baby’s arrival in case something goes wrong. I told myself I’d start a ‘to do’ list after we got back from holiday, but now that time has come I’m procrastinating. It’s not even a lengthy list, but includes things that mean it could Really Be Happening like unpacking BB’s new born clothes, buying tiny nappies and packing a hospital bag. Things that really do need to get done, preferably before going into labour. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: bye bye second trimester

Week: 27 Waist: 37.5 inches (+0.5 inches but 0.5 inches less than week 25) Feeling: Like I’ve swallowed a stick sideways It looks like we might have made it: against all the odds (it seems to me) this weekend marks the final days of the second trimester. There’s no doubt the baby is getting bigger. According to the midwife he or she is transverse, meaning they’re lying across my tummy sideways. And don’t I know it. With the placenta at the front acting as a kind of ‘shield’ I’m feeling all the baby’s movements to the extreme left and right, and sometimes behind, which feels very odd as this never happened with BB who was most definitely at the front. I also feel like I’ve swallowed a stick horizontally with the skin straining to accommodate it, so am slapping on the cocoa butter with even more zeal than usual. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my waist has got SMALLER

Week: 26 Waist: 37 inches (-1 inch) Feeling: Still chickeny Oddly, my waist measures a whole inch less than it [...]

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Would you have a ‘Viking baby’?

How far would you go to have your ‘perfect’ baby? Apparently more and more Brits are turning to Danish sperm banks because they’d like ‘Viking babies’ with blonde hair, blue eyes and a strapping build. Online sales at one of the largest sperm banks in Denmark are up a massive 20%, with wannabe mums getting the stuff Fed-Exed to the UK with next day delivery. One can’t help but wonder if so-called ‘Nordic noir’ TV shows such as Borgen are to blame – I’m thinking actor Pilou Asbaek (although is he actually blonde?) My curiosity piqued, and with my journalist hat on, I decided to try and find a mum who specifically sought out a Danish sperm donor to find out why she did it. I came across Jessica McCallin (pictured), who single and approaching 40 realised she was facing a now-or-never moment in life. […]

By |July 16th, 2014|Family life, Health, News, Parenting, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Shock horror: I’m running in pregnancy

Week: 24 Waist: 36 inches (no change) Feeling: Pretty good Dare I admit it? I’ve been running throughout my entire pregnancy and with the sixth month almost upon us I’m still clocking up around 12 miles a week. It’s now clear I have a baby on board (pictured) and it’s amazing how many people I’ve been running past since we moved here 18 months ago have suddenly started smiling and saying hello. Which is heartening. When I was expecting BB and carried on donning my trainers it wasn’t long before I discovered people seem to view pregnancy as some sort of illness, requiring one to sit on the sofa and eat crisps for nine months. I also discovered – and became increasingly infuriated by – people who dished out their advice on the subject despite having no medical knowledge whatsoever. ‘I’m not ill, I’m pregnant’ I would find myself saying over and over again. Having run six to nine miles at least twice a week for more than 10 years, there was no question in my mind that hanging up my trainers in favour of the sofa would be more of a shock to my system than continuing to pound the pavements. Every pregnancy book you find will tell you – assuming your blood pressure is ok – to continue your normal levels of activity as far as possible. What’s more, I love it. Why would I stop? […]

‘Don’t worry, you can’t catch anything from the pool’

Living in a fourth floor flat and with the temperature rising we’ve been spending increasing amounts of time at our local public cess paddling pool (pictured – the goggles never fail to make me laugh). BB loves it – she splashes, she wades, she orders me to clap while does laps around the perimeter in the shallows and she fills up her watering can to ‘water’ my feet. As she approaches three this is the first summer we’ve used the pool on a daily and weekly basis, and as the water trickles from the watering can over my toes I can’t help but wonder what’s actually in the stuff. It’s probably best not to think about it. Being on the seafront, as we are, I know the first visitors of the day are seagulls who happily splash and preen their feathers. Then there’s a constant stream of pre-schoolers up until 3 o’clock, after which they’re joined by the bigger kids too. […]

By |July 9th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Health, Parenting|2 Comments