Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week: 23 Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory) Feeling: Chickeny I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil). I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) […]

Miscarriage care campaign victory!

Just two weeks in there’s a victory in the next phase of Mumsnet’s Miscarriage Care Campaign: following a live webchat with mums last week shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP has pledged to include better miscarriage care in Labour’s 2015 manifesto. At first I wasn’t sure if victory was the right word to describe the commitment – the cynic in me asks what good being included in Labour’s manifesto will actually do – but the fact is that without Mumsnet raising the profile of this issue and without mums like me sharing our first-hand experiences and demanding action this wouldn’t have happened. So in my book that’s a victory. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: why can’t I just sit back and relax?

Week: 22 Waist: 35.5 inches (no change) Feeling: Like an overactive worrywart With the 20 week scan out of the way and all looking good, I’m now worrying the baby is going to come early. Too early. I’ve spent the last four months silently praying we make it beyond the next milestone: 8 weeks, when my last two babies died, 10 weeks, when the last miscarriage was actually diagnosed, 12 weeks, when we see whether everything appears to be ok or not, 16 weeks, when apparently the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops, and then 20 weeks, when again we see whether everything appears to be ok or not. I hadn’t really allowed myself to think beyond the 20 week scan, and now we’re here it’s almost as though my subconscious self is saying ‘you must have something to worry about’ and finds a new anxiety to harbour. […]

Why is NHS miscarriage care still so poor?

Ok, so I said I didn’t want to write about my miscarriages. However, this week Mumsnet published the results of its Miscarriage Care Survey showing that the treatment and support women receive following miscarriage is often less than ideal and fails to meet official national guidelines. Did you know that half of women who miscarry have to wait more than 24 hours for a scan to find out if their baby is still alive, and are treated alongside women with healthy pregnancies? Or that 58% of women wanted counselling after miscarrying, but only 12% were offered it? In a bid to improve NHS miscarriage care and lessen the trauma of pregnancy loss Mumsnet is calling for the three main political parties to pledge to improve the system, based on its Code of Care, by the end of the next parliament. Of course achieving this means women like me need to speak out about our experience, or nothing will change. There is no doubt elements of my care were less than ideal, and despite considerable – and unusual – encouragement from Misery Guts I have felt absolutely no desire to blog about it. But if sharing my story means another woman doesn’t have to face what I did, I will. So here goes: […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarrigae: the 20 week scan

Week: 21 Waist: 35.5 inches (+ 0.5 inches, possibly owing to indulgent weekend mini-break) Feeling: Relieved It was the day I’ve been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure: the 20 week scan. The scarily named ‘anomaly’ scan, or the day we found out whether our longed for second baby is developing as he or she should, or whether something had gone amiss. Remarkably – and impossibly it seems to me given all that’s happened – everything appears to be as it should be: two arms, two legs, four chambers in the heart, a butterfly brain and blood rushing in and out of all the right places. I can hardly believe it. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my story

It’s been more than six weeks since I first announced we were expecting baby number two, and I think I’ve mentioned the pregnancy in a grand total of no posts. There is a very good reason for this: I daren’t. You see, there was more that went on in the crummy mummy household than met the eye in 2013 – two miscarriages in the space of six months to be exact. While my fellow mummy bloggers have been excitedly charting the days and weeks of their latest pregnancies, I have been too terrified to contemplate next week, never mind next month, praying that this time nothing will go wrong. Instead I have been quietly ticking off each day, and silently congratulating myself on each week. It’s been the longest four months of my life. But next week we will reach a milestone: 20 weeks, or half way there. And the little hands and feet starting to nudge me are finally giving me the confidence to record the experience. It looks like I might really become a mummy again. […]

Top Bananas! The best family recipes ever

At last. It may have taken two years but Mumsnet has finally compiled a cookbook featuring Mumsnetter’s best recipes, which means no more bookmarking pages from the website and balancing my laptop precariously next to the kitchen sink while attempting to recreate the concoctions. The compendium of wise is called Top Bananas! and features the tried and tested recipes of more than 300 mums with dishes ranging from basic Broccoli Balls to Luscious Lamb Shanks. As well as speedy suppers you can create while simultaneously emptying the washing machine and doing general mum things, there’s proper meals for the grown-ups even Misery Guts is game to try. My favourite bit is the chapter devoted to unashamedly unhealthy but rite-of-passage party treats such as Ice Cream Cone Cakes and Party Toffee Popcorn, which will surely send the anti-sugar brigade into overdrive. I can’t actually remember the last time I saw such naughty recipes in a family cookbook – probably my mum’s good old 1980s Jane Asher party cakes book. […]

By |May 30th, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Rushing about with class bears and cameras: we’re all at it

We’re back. A week of lounging, swimming, eating and sleeping in Portugal (Timmy the class bear included, pictured) has done the trick: Misery Guts is (temporarily) less miserable, I’m (temporarily) less tired and BB is bursting with memories of ice cream licking and swimming pool splashing. The addition of Timmy to our party has certainly caused a stir among Mumsnetters. After my last post about class teddy bears having a lot to answer for – and letting the side down in spite of myself by taking the damn thing on holiday to snap in various enviable locations – featured as Mumsnet’s blog of the day, the Twitterati went mad. It seems we’re all at it – rushing around with kids, class mascots and cameras in tow in a bid to illustrate action-packed accounts of the bear’s stay at our house at a day’s notice. It’s like having homework all over again. Needless to say I haven’t actually written up Timmy’s diary entry or printed out the pictures yet – like homework, it’s still hanging over me to do. […]

By |May 28th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|0 Comments

A spring walk in the bluebells: Butcher’s Wood, West Sussex

If you're looking for the perfect place see spring time bluebells in all their glory I've got just the spot: Butcher’s [...]

Tramadol nights (and don’t forget the rolling pin)

Misery Guts has done his back in. Again. This is an annoyingly regular occurrence involving lots of groaning (you’d think he was in labour), the use of tramadol (washed down with a couple of lagers) and, as of this week, a rolling pin. According to one of many websites he has consulted on the subject of lower back pain, placing a rolling pin on the floor and rolling the affected area over it is one way of relieving the pain. For some reason this involves Misery Guts disrobing from the waist down (I’m not entirely sure whether the website advises this or whether it’s his own variation – I daren’t ask), lying on the living room floor with the rolling pin under his bare buttocks and, you guessed it, more groaning. I’ll never look at my rolling pin in the same way again. And nor will anyone else who eats cakes or scones at my house having read this post. But more worryingly, BB didn’t even bat an eyelid when this curious nightly routine began to unfold. […]

By |April 30th, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Health, Parenting|0 Comments

‘Daddy’s diawetic’

At the grand old age of two years and eight months – and after hearing about a two year old on the news who managed to dial 999 after his mummy collapsed – I’ve realised it’s high time to teach BB what to do if the same thing ever happens to Misery Guts, who’s Type 1 diabetic. It’s an unlikely scenario to occur when the two of them are awake and on their own, given that during waking hours Misery Guts can generally feel his blood sugar levels dipping and bring them up again before having a fit or becoming unconscious, but not impossible. So to avoid complicating the situation we’ve added an ‘emergency call’ button to our mobile phones so all BB has to do is touch the button and then the picture of the green phone that appears. After a week of practising she knows that if she ever can’t wake daddy up she should press the buttons, tell the person that answers that daddy won’t wake up and that he’s ‘diawetic’. She can even say her name and address. […]

By |April 25th, 2014|Family life, Health, Parenting|0 Comments

I’ve been expecting you

I’m not sure what I’m more pleased about: the fact it appears BB is going to have a brother or [...]

By |April 23rd, 2014|Family life, Health, Parenting|3 Comments

Happy free-from Easter!

Following on from my last post about free-from sausages and how going without gluten and dairy doesn’t mean going without per se, it turns out the same can be said for chocolate. And Easter eggs. Until six months ago health food shops were alien to me: the sort of places that emit the same waft as you pass by the door (what is that smell? The ryvita? The flax?) and are piled high with daunting looking bags of unidentifiable brown stuff. Until I went in with a list written by my nutritional therapist and actually knew what I was looking for, that is. Admittedly chocolate was not on that list, however one cannot help but notice bright shiny chocolatey-looking packaging amongst the aforementioned unidentifiable brown stuff. And so I discovered Booja-Booja, which not only sells luxury chocolates and seasonal treats like Easter eggs (made in Kashmir and filled with truffles, pictured) but ice cream too. […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

By’eck! I’ve just eaten a squasage

That’s right, a squasage. Also known as a square sausage. That’s what gluten free sausage brand Heck have been busy making in time for the barbecue season, because it doesn’t fall through the rungs of the grill only to be burned to a crisp and lost forever, or roll off the side of the barbie onto the grass (pictured). We haven’t dusted down our barbecue yet, so I’ve been eating mine between two soft and thick slices of (gluten free) bread. It may not look like a traditional sausage sandwich – as BB was fast to point out – but it tastes just the same and makes spreading the ketchup even easier. When embarking on Project No Nasties last autumn I thought living free-from would also mean going without, but when it comes to sausages I’ve found an ever better offering than the standard shelves. […]

By |April 14th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews|0 Comments

Guest post: healthy meals that don’t bust the budget

I couldn’t survive without my slow cooker. Whoever invented them deserves a medal. It doesn’t matter how cheap the cut of meat (pig cheeks make a mean chilli) if you cook it long enough you’ve got at least two separate – healthy – meals everyone will love that doesn’t bust the budget (Saturday night’s pulled pork, pictured). So for everyone who has a slow cooker lurking in the back of the cupboard which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while, or if you fancy the idea of slow cooking in the oven but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from mum-of-two and keen cook Susan Jameson offering top tips on how to prepare great tasting, money-saving family meals: […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting|0 Comments