­

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: […]

Days out in East Sussex: Drusillas Park

With the weather hotting up we’ve been making a concerted effort to explore the often-overlooked attractions right on our doorstep [...]

By |June 18th, 2014|Family days out, Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|4 Comments

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: it’s time to dress the bump

Week: 20 Waist: 35 inches Feeling: Optimistic with spells of nausea There’s no getting away from it: at 20 weeks pregnant it’s time to dress the bump. So far, being superstitious and fearing that buying maternity clothes will make something go wrong, I’ve cautiously bought a three-pack of maternity vests from New Look (pictured), but that’s not going to cut it for much longer. I’m literally busting out of everything else that involves a waist. A trip to both Mothercare and New Look left me decidedly underwhelmed – think dull coloured tops (Mothercare) and poor quality fabric (New Look). And I’m simply not prepared to spend Isabella Oliver-level cash on clothes I’ll wear for less than six months. Where are the hot pink tees and empire-line linens of my imagination? So I’m going to do exactly what I did when I was expecting BB: cover my bump with a maternity vest, stick to low rise jeans and take to the internet to find non-maternity clothes that can fit over the top. And I’m particularly pleased with one little find: Joe Browns. […]

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. […]

I’m in drastic need of some hair-spiration

There’s something about going on holiday that makes you come back and want to start again, with a new refreshed outlook on life. It’s been more than a week since we returned from Portugal and I’m still doing my best to maintain that post-holiday glow, mainly by slapping on the after sun twice a day. But having actually had time to peruse the fashion mags filled with summer trends while on said holiday, I’ve had my annual ‘it’s high time to change something about my appearance’ attack. The problem is, I might be creative with the written word but I’m pretty useless when it comes to being creative fashion-wise. The whole thing frightens me. Take my hair for example; it’s been the same for years. The only time in the last four years I have deviated from a centre parting and straightened sides was on my wedding day (pictured), when I enlisted the help of someone who actually knew what they were doing, and last summer when my (very creative) friend neatly plaited it for me (also pictured). Even though she painstakingly told and showed me exactly what to do, I still can’t recreate those plaits. And I’ve tried, I really have. […]

By |June 4th, 2014|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

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

Timmy the class bear has a lot to answer for…

BB came home from nursery armed with a new friend this week: Timothy the class bear. He comes complete with a (daunting) looking diary in which we’re supposed to catalogue his stay at our house for the benefit of the other children, preferably with pictures. After reading the previous entry I quickly realised it’s not the other children we’ve got to impress worry about. It’s the parents. According to a story in one of the newspapers this week ‘class wars’ and ‘social divide’ have been sparked by take-home teddies such as Timmy, prompting pushy parents to snap into ‘competitive, aggressive survival mode’. Crikey. Mums featured in the story unwittingly discovered the class bear had been living the high life in Greece and Hawaii and even climbed Mount Everest, while others were pictured lying on sun loungers and in sports cars. Gulp. Where’s my Apache-pilot brother when you need him? Timmy behind the controls of a helicopter would score extra brownie points, surely. […]

By |May 16th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, Travel|1 Comment

Placenta booties: what’s the big deal?

I fear I’ve opened a can of worms. Yesterday a feature I wrote for The Sun newspaper about mums who made unusual keepsakes following the birth of their babies was published online, and as I write there are currently 142 comments on the story on The Sun’s Facebook page. Mainly bad ones. The main objection seems to be to taxidermy artist Alison Brierley who – quite naturally given she’s a taxidermist – made two pairs of baby booties out of the skin of her placenta (pictured, lit up by LED lights). Then there’s young mum Emily Jackson who discovered she loved breast feeding so much she had some of her milk solidified and set into a silver pendant to remind her of the experience forever. Comments range from the mild ‘yuck’ to ‘how sick’ to ‘they must be weirdos and freaks’. What’s the big deal? […]

By |May 14th, 2014|Breast feeding, Craft, Family life, News, Parenting|2 Comments

‘I’ve bought cheaper second hand cars than this pushchair’

At £450, I’ve bought cheaper second hand cars than Quinny’s latest Buzz pushchair, which parenting website Made For Mums has asked me to put through its paces and review for all the newbies out there. I thought I’d share my (highly scientific) findings with you too, in case you’re also in the market for a set of (mummy-powered) wheels. It might be pricey, but if trips out are going to involve a pushchair from now on, my advice is this: you might as well invest in one that’s going to see you through from birth. This one comes with everything you need to get started: the pushchair itself, a from-birth inlay, adaptors for a Maxi Cosi car seat or Quinny carry cot, a shopping basket that will comfortably hold two bags of supermarket shopping (pictured), a rain cover and a sun canopy. Oh, and a parasol clip. […]

By |May 12th, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|2 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 [...]

‘Mummy why do cats have tails?’

BB has finally started asking the why word. To be honest I was getting a bit concerned that this milestone had not yet been reached when all her little friends started asking why months ago. I needn’t have worried. ‘Why are you putting your coat on?’, ‘Why do I have to eat my lunch?’ and ‘Why are you going to work?’ are all questions she’s asked today alone, and more trickily at bath time earlier this week, ‘Why does Daisy have a long tail?’ This is a very good question: why do cats have tails, and long ones at that? (see Eddie & Daisy, pictured). Given I was kneeling on the bathroom floor elbow deep in bubble bath at the time, stalling under the guise of ‘checking my phone’ while nipping onto google to find out was out of the question, so I fudged it by saying that’s ‘how cats are built’ and ‘what makes them different from humans’. […]

By |May 7th, 2014|Cats, Family life, Parenting|8 Comments

Dads on skateboards: no, no, no, no, NO!

Forget scooters. There’s a new scourge of the pavements round our way: dads on skateboards. And not just 20-something dads: [...]

By |May 2nd, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Travel|2 Comments

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