What IS it about David Beckham?

David BeckhamI’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? Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: maternity leave starts here

Week 38Week: 38

Waist: 40 inches (-1.5 inches, possibly owing to bump dropping further down)

Feeling: Relieved

At close of play today, I’m officially on maternity leave. As a freelance journalist I knew I couldn’t leave it too late to accept my last commission in case I couldn’t meet the deadline, but, at the end of a stressful few weeks and with less than half a day to go it looks like I’ve made it. It’s such a relief. Even so, I’m fried: I will have filed 7,250 words this week alone.

With a bit of luck I’ll still have next week before anything happens – the plan is to recharge my batteries as much as possible, and spend time with BB doing mummy and daughter things as it’s the last time it will be just the two of us at home.

The thing is, the list of activities she’d like to do is getting increasingly lengthy. Making Halloween cupcakes, going swimming, a trip to the cinema and a visit to the library are already on the agenda. I suggested it might be nice to rest on the sofa together but this was met with a definite no. Continue reading

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Running in pregnancy: I made it to 36 weeks

Running in pregnancy 2It is with the greatest regret that I have finally admitted defeat and hung up my running trainers. I made it to 36 weeks, running an average of 8 -10 miles a week, but after the baby’s head engaged enough is enough. Quite simply, it feels too weird.

Like my pregnancy with BB, running with a baby on board has been an experience. It’s been fun, sometimes hard but always exhilarating. In the beginning it was one of the best cures for morning sickness – the endorphins released afterwards overrode nausea for several hours at least – and by the end people I regularly pass have gone from completely ignoring me to smiling, saying hello and later offering words of encouragement.

I’ve even made friends with a homeless man who shouts ‘how many weeks to go now?’ as I jog by. Continue reading

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

Broken nightsLast 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. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we’re technically full term

Week 37Week: 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? Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s been a BAD WEEK

Week 35Week: 35

Waist: 40.5 (+0.5 inches)

Feeling: Hormonal

Highs are always followed by lows. This time last week I was feeling rather smug after the baby’s head engaged and instead of feeling even more uncomfortable and full of pressure I felt liberated because I could breathe freely and my heartburn subsided. I did a five mile run in which I felt like I was skipping and marvelled at how well I felt.

Not anymore. This is probably the result of it having been a trying couple of weeks owing to Misery Guts spending two days in hospital with a severe migraine (again) and almost two weeks recovering at home (it’s a long story) and my tiredness from the whole ordeal finally catching up with me.

It all started when we went to Ikea to collect a chest of drawers big enough to take BB’s and the new baby’s clothes. I’d never been to an Ikea before, and I never want to again. It brought out the worst in me, and next time I’ll happily pay the £39 charge to have an item delivered to my door. In fact I would pay more than that if it meant not having to drive for two hours, queue to get into the car park, battle my way through people wandering about in no particular direction in a windowless vacuum with lights that are too bright only to queue to collect the damned thing and then again to pay. Continue reading

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Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we’re engaged!

Week 34Week: 34

Waist: 40 inches (+ 1.5 inches, possibly owing to engagement)

Feeling: Nice and comfy

It’s official: the baby’s head is engaged. The midwife confirmed the momentous milestone on Tuesday morning, but I already knew because I felt it happen last Friday. I cannot describe the relief – my whole bump has dropped a good inch or so, meaning I can breathe again, eat a whole meal again, I no longer have heartburn and my whole upper body feels free. I’m so much more comfortable – for now.

The realisation this had happened sent me running to Boots for all the necessary for my hospital bag, which I’ve now started packing. It also reminded me how unglamorous the immediate aftermath of child birth is. Big pants, breast pads and super strong night-time pads (or ‘wadding for every orifice’ as Misery Guts helpfully called them) are now in a bag by the bedroom door, as are new born nappies and enough pound coins to feed the hospital car park for a day or so. Continue reading

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