Friday, 26 June 2015

Launching my new website...

Great news! 

After finally getting my head around Wordpress I have put together a website with my very own domain name. I am happy to be able to redirect you to my not quite all singing, certainly not all dancing, BUT much prettier website now!

You can now find me at:

You'll find an easy click through to follow my blog and be updated by email when I post something new, as well as a click button to follow me on twitter!
I definitely earned my wine the evening I figured that out. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Popping my #Britmumslive cherry: my (humble) review

Months ago I had seen 'Britmumslive' being promoted on Twitter. I had no idea what this was. A few clicks and a little research later I realised that as a new blogger and even newer Tweeter it would probably be best to buy a ticket, dust off some of my non-muma clothes (where did I stash them?!), prepare myself for some serious brain usage, and hopefully find out what this blogger business was really all about.

The fact that this event was being held in London made me feel instantly at ease; I know London - well, I lived there for 12 months 8 years ago. How hard can it be to dive back into the city...?
Well for a start I got stuck, actually stuck in between those unnecessarily lethal ticket barriers at Victoria. The machine ate my ticket, I walked through, I got trapped! Great; this was not quite the look of effortless sophistication that I was going for. After some negotiation with the ticket Bull Dog I was freed and sent on my way. No one saw that right?! Only about 200 other commuters... it’s fine.
The rest of the weekend was sure to go smoothly, the karma gods would see to that.
This might sound a little delayed but as I approached the impressive Brewery building I realised that I was all alone. I had assumed bloggers were kind of lone rangers, all sat at laptops scattered over the country tweeting links to their latest posts and uploading countless piccies to Instagram. How wrong could I be? This community was looking pretty tight knit- and a lot of fun. Let me in, let me in- I want to play too!
I pasted on my best 'please come and talk to me' smile and made eyes at countless ladies, basically I looked like a raving perv working the bar at 2am. I knocked back my Lindemans taster and silently convinced myself that the thimble of Chards was all the confidence I needed.
My nerves and unease slipped away as Deliciously Ella took to the stage; I let her inspiring words wash over me and fill me with a teeny bit of ambition. This blogging Belle has it all going on: a successful blog, a book deal, and a huge HUGE following of loyal fans. But, for the first six months of her blog life only Ella and her Muma read it, so even the likes of this Superwoman started at the beginning too.
We then broke a Guinness world record by wrapping our peers in loo roll and headed off to start the sessions... y'know how it is.
As the afternoon progressed I had just about managed to navigate myself around this big building and had attended all of my classes- what a good student (better late than never!) I think I was learning, my eyes were definitely growing wider at the opportunities out there for us bloggers. I was blown away by the success that @englishmum, @knackeredmutha & @honestmummy have had, at the perfectly entitled 'How successful bloggers do it' session. A Sainsbury's ad? London Fashion week invitation? Wow, ok blogging is a far more influential medium than I had imagined.
Classes over, now came the fun part - the bit everyone was looking forward to. Sipping wine and eating canap├ęs with ALL.THEIR FRIENDS - I was bricking it. I spotted a few faces in the crowd that I had (literally in some cases, must work on my spatial awareness) bumped into during the afternoon, but they all seemed otherwise engaged. I was just beginning to consider downing my wine in one and running for the hills, or Barbican tube, when the very gorgeous Hayley of @downssideup flashed me her bright smile and made me feel so at ease. This was much better, I was at last having a conversation with a blogger - and an award winning one at that!
Karma must have been back on side, I met the rather scrumptious Cash of @comebackmum, a newbie just like me. Yippee.
Day 2 dawned, and ‘new girl’ butterflies were back. Selfridges was only how far away? No, no, get your butt to the Barbican Muma.
Carol Smiley's talk of Period Pants, I mean Diary Doll, was insightful... My order is in with John Lewis!
The sessions were packed, good packed. A buzzing energy filled that Brewery, voices grew louder and I really began to realise just how much blogging means to all of us. The line that epitomised this came from a fellow blogger sat in the audience next to me:
We had just been warned by one of the esteemed bloggers hosting this particular session, that we should buy our own domain name, and to basically spread our risk over as many social media platforms as possible. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, youtube etc…) Because, at any time any one of those platforms could be shut down and we would lose that particular account.
well, on hearing this, the Muma next to me turned to her friend (lucky bitch), and said:
"That actually makes me feel a bit sick."
 And I suppose it would; I was beginning to understand that livelihoods are at stake, and huge amounts of dedication is involved in blogging. It’s personal.

Guess what? I did make friends! Rina of @anglonip and Cash @comebackmum are my new blogging buds; I couldn't be happier to have a couple of chicas to call upon over the old interweb, to swap ideas, support blogs and do whatever modern day penpals do...
My review wouldn't be complete without a nod to the real stars of the weekend: the Britmums Co-founders; the gorgeously breezy Susanna Scott @amodernmother and Jennifer Howze @jhowze. Their soft Californian accents, enviable outfit choices and natural charm shone through, not just their presentations, but the sessions they hosted. I have no doubt it was a case of swans gliding across the surface while legs furiously kicked around sorting problems or issues to ensure the whole event ran without a hitch. These Mumas did it with style. Hats off, and thank you for inspiring me to carry on pouring out my random mumblings.
I'll be first in line to book my ticket next year.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Pipe Down C-section Haters

Since becoming a Muma and giving birth (yes, I will use that phrase, no, they didn't come out of my hooha) to our two scrumptious Hells Angels I have come to realise there is distinct snobbery when it comes to the wonderful world of BIRTHING.

You know the kind of thing I'm referencing here:

"Oh there was no time for gas ‘n air, just gentle chanting with a dash of hypnosis." Good for you honey, but please turn off 'pity eyes' when I relay my C-section tale in return.

Here's the thing: I LOVED my Caesarean Section. Yes, you read that correctly. Our first was a stubborn breach baby who chose to arrive earlier than my planned Section, leading to a swift trip straight to theatre. I'm not going to lie, I was bricking it. I had never had an operation before or been admitted to hospital, I had no idea what to expect.

I had endured long nights of NCT classes learning all about breathing and the various stages of labour. But that was all irrelevant now, my unborn baby and I were solely in the hands of a group of strangers - all holding rather sharp implements! That said, the spinal block has kicked in with almost immediate effect, the pain of the contractions had stopped and I was enjoying a strange state of calm. Hubster has a strong stomach and watched the entire process, my body being cut in two and clamped open while they rummaged around to pull Darcie into the world. The stress my body was undergoing was massive, but I was not in pain. I was listening with every fibre of my being for that first cry; for me that was my first 'meeting' of Darcie. I didn't see her all blue and fresh out of the drawer, it was all too quick,and they wanted to check her over. After an eternity we heard a noise I was going to become very familiar with over the next few months, a cry, from a baby: my actual baby!

The reality of having a baby had finally dawned on me, (thank god) this was real, and it felt great.

To add to this kind of idyllic setting, the radio was playing none other than 'Your Beautiful'. Good old Blunt had come up trumps, you couldn't have wished for a cheesier moment!

Major surgery teamed with a new baby was a little tricky - for darling Hubster. For me, it meant sitting on the sofa feeding our baby while he ran around for the first couple of weeks making dinner, bringing me coffee, entertaining the endless line of baby watchers, sorting through mountains of baby washing, basically being a human Jack in a Box. What's not to love about seeing your husband take up the slack after your nine months hard work?

A couple of years later, we were DING DING round two and I was all about the elective C-Section. So off I trotted to the hospital to meet with a midwife around week 25 to 'discuss options'.

This is when I realised that birthing snobbery was far from being exclusive to baby groups: this midwife could run the movement.

I understand and fully appreciate that medical staff have to present you with the facts. I just wonder how much the figures and cost of elective C-sections over hooha births really effect their advice and stance.

Count Midwife's opener was along the lines of: "You do realise by choosing a C-section you are increasing the risk of foetal death and death to the mother?" Super. Just what I wanted to hear. The tears flowed while I was brainwashed into agreeing to attend a V-BAC class with several of her other victims.

Why was I being made to feel guilty for wanting to re-enact the same magical experience I had loved the first time round? What happened to a mother's choice? I hear the haters out there: "Magical?? Pa!" But yes, it was magical. If magic isn't a new life being pulled from a water-logged hole INSIDE of you, whilst you are awake with darling Hubster getting a full frontal of your innards, then I don't know what is.

Finally the pressure from the midwives got to me, "You can do this! Give it a go!" Like they were encouraging me to try the new Big Dipper in Blackpool. So I did. It didn't work. After four hours of labour not progressing as they had hoped I was wheeled into the familiar setting. Once again the contractions disappeared and I braced my body to take on its next challenge. Baby Lila arrived and our world shifted a little more to the right once again. It was cheesy, and beautiful. This time I saw her as a freshy: all blue and icky. A piece of the puzzle I was glad to finally have.

Recovery second time around was not quite as luxurious as the first - my butler now had his hands full with a nearly three year old. However, the scar healed faster, and I felt stronger much quicker; possibly this was through necessity rather than nature knitting it all back together in record time!

I guess all I'm trying to say is, pipe down C-section haters - I earned my stripes just as well as you did. And to those who are dreading their ideal birthing plans ending in a C-section, please try not to. The fear is far worse than the reality.