Category Archives: Expectant mother

Kidney Appeal – a fellow mum’s story

I have the pleasure of working with an absolutely lovely lady. She was pregnant with her first child when I was expecting my second so we had lots to talk about and share. She is due any day now with her second child – a girl. As usual, decisions over type of delivery, family support, time off work etc. have been priorities – and for most us,  enough to cope with!

However, her sister-in-law is also in urgent need of a kidney. Just 33 years old, Premila suffers from  Systemic Lupus Erythamatosis and currently both her kidneys have failed. Premila is amazing, but I can’t help also  thinking about my friend who has all the normal growing family challenges and things to think about, but also the worry of a close member of her family being in need. That puts my daily worries into perspective.

If you can help my friend and Premila with their kidney appeal – even if by just sharing the link to her story, I would be eternally grateful. I’m hoping we can put some of our collective mum network and support to amazing use!

Premila is looking for a kidney donor compatible with blood group O or A.

To read Premila’s story and to find out more about kidney donation visit her website.


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Be prepared – then wing it!

Preparing for parentingI started this blog because I was getting apprehensive about my ability to cope with a second child as my due date got ever closer. It’s not that I was changing my mind about having a second child, but rather I was going over every possible scenario in my head and trying to work out how I would manage it when two children were involved. Everything from bathtimes to nappy changes – how would I keep both of them happy and safe?

Friends kindly gave me parenting survival guide books to read with guidance, but the more I read the more I became convinced that I would just have to wait and see what happened.

Every child is different – how they sleep, eat, cry, smile and develop – and there is no way to pre-plan for looking after a tiny character you’ve not yet met. Apart from that, every day and mood is different so no one set rule will work all the time for every child.

Having had our second child, it became clear that you do just manage. Some days are easier than others – for you as the parent as well as the child. Planning works well when it comes to what to pack in bags for a trip out for the day, but for day to day care I truly believe it’s a case of one step at a time. The good news is that every day I’ve learnt a little bit more about my children and myself.

What I love is that through the stress, worry, craziness, there are the most amazing smiles which make it more than worthwhile!

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Protective big brother

One of my biggest worries when my due date for my second child got ever closer was that my older son wouldn’t like the new arrival or would feel jealous of them. So I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I see my eldest going for kisses and cuddles with my youngest and the look of joy on my baby’s face when he sees his big brother – fascinated by his antics!

I don’t think it’s bad that my husband and I can ask our two year old son to ‘look after his younger brother’ while we pop into the kitchen for a minute only to return to see the youngest surrounded by a huge selection of toys and being told a story from a book his big brother has memorised.

I have a number of friends who have got children of a similar age gap and they tell similar stories. I don’t know if there is a difference between brothers and sisters or whether it is down to an individual’s personality. I’d love to hear your experiences.

I’m hoping my children stay close as they get older, although I have no doubt there will be some highs and lows! It should be an interesting ride though!



Filed under Expectant mother, Parenting

Family Reconstructed – Guest Blog

My sister has just sent me a beautiful, if quietly haunting picture.

In the centre foreground is the top of a new-born baby’s head emanating from his tightly swaddled little body.  Two adoring grandparents look down at him, oblivious to the camera.  Behind them, from the shadows, a beautiful young woman in a hospital gown looks down at the baby from her hospital bed having given birth to the baby two days earlier.

The grandparents are my parents.

I have not met the young woman who is twenty years old and, as I understand it, does not feel ready to raise a child.  She is the birth mother to nephew – my sister and brother-in-law’s newly adopted child.

They have all agreed to have an open adoption which means that on some level this little boy will always know his birth mother or parents.  It also means that I have gained family in a manner that I have never envisioned.

I have often heard people say that they choose their family by making their friends into their family.  I have never been able to get on board with the idea that you can trade in your blood family for people you choose.  Even though I have friends who are so close that I consider them to be like family, there are not many of them and they are a happy addition to my family, friends that I have known for so long that they are close to me and my family.  They are not a trade in.

But this is something different.  This is two families adding, trading and reconstructing for all of their benefits, the birth family, adoptive family and mostly the little boy.

Looking at the picture again, I don’t know why I should be surprised.  ‘Grandpa’ is my father and my sister’s, but ‘grandma’ is my mother, not my sister’s.  Nonetheless, she is thrilled to be grandma to this little boy.

We all create and recreate our family according to necessity and convenience.  We often think of this as a new phenomenon in these days where 50% of marriages end in divorce and remarriage is common.  But of course it is not.  For years and years families have reconstructed as necessary whether it was children going to live with aunts and uncles or grandparents, or being sent off to live with strangers due to death, illness, poverty or other factors.

Of course every marriage is a sort of a reconstruction as well.  A son is gained, a daughter is gained, but how do the two families fit together and balance.  Do they find enrichment, love, hatred, inconvenience?  You hope mostly the former although I know that it is not always the case.

This adoption seems to me to be a different kind of marriage, one where there is no vow but where divorce is not possible or nearly so easy.  I will be very interested to see with time how these families reconstruct and stay in touch and how we all fit together.  I don’t believe that it could always be easy.  But hopefully everyone will be enriched by the new relationships that are built.

I would be very interested in hearing about other people’s experiences with the reconstructed family, whatever that might mean.


Guest Blogger: California Sarah

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Pregnancy brain – myth or magic?

I was gutted to read in the news when I was pregnant this time around that ‘pregnancy brain’ was a myth. While I didn’t lose use of all my senses, it was nice to know that there was a reason for some lapses in brain power. For example, in the last week before giving birth I called out the AA to fix my unresponsive car only to find I had flooded the engine (hitting the accelerator instead of the throttle).

As with a lot of things that the human body does to help repair / protect itself, it makes sense that the female form would offer some way of reducing the memory of the physical pain of childbirth. After all, there is no way to avoid that the wonder of childbirth does mean a lot of unusual strain on the body!

Myth or magic? I truly believe human beings are amazing things – I just have to look at my children to be reminded of that! Would be great to hear your thoughts / experiences.


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Sibling rivalry – the highs and lows for new parents

Worrying about how my two year old was going to react to the new addition to the family ranked highly in the lead up to the new arrival. I had been given the top tip of giving a present to my child ‘from’ the baby at their first meeting. I’m fairly sure that the fire truck with sirens and ladder that our newborn gave his older sibling helped a great deal in terms of first impressions and would highly recommend this approach to any expectant mum with existing children.

I was so relieved when my child seemed to take well to the newborn – cuddles, kisses and shaking their hand. It’s also lovely to see them ‘protect’ their young sibling from others. However, children are people with emotions, having good days and bad like any of us. Added to that are the floods of hormones racing through their fast-growing bodies, as well as lots of new things they have to face and absorb on a minute by minute basis – everything from words to mastering motor skills.

It’s no surprise then that even the most loving sibling will feel jealousy at no longer being the sole focus of their parents and having to share time, energy and cuddles with another. For mothers that are breastfeeding, this can be an even greater issue as a hungry newborn wants to feed as much as possible and creates a physical barrier for the other child in terms of access to their mum.

This is a challenge I’m facing myself and I think will be one to learn on the job. No matter how many books you read, every child is different, emotions vary and everything from how much sleep the children have had through to the food they’ve eaten will have an impact.

Please do share any top tips you have found that have worked – it’s great to have a range of approaches to try!

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Filed under Baby care, Expectant mother

New arrival

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog – mainly due to the new arrival that joined our family four weeks ago. Despite having done it all once before, it’s amazing how much I had forgotten – about the birth, right through to the early hours/days/weeks.

It has to be said that the time has flown by and it’s wonderful having another healthy – and overall, happy – family member.

The experience has given me plenty to think about and I plan to share some of these thoughts over the next few posts in the hope that they will be helpful to other mums. I hope you find them of interest and do share your feedback, as well as your own tips and advice!

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