Ramblings ...

Infertility & Friendships

Once we'd decided we were ready to start a family we wanted it yesterday, we were ridiculously fortunate that we only had to wait a few months before we were 'in the family way' as it were.

I then spent the following weeks popping folic acid and nibbling ginger biscuits fending off what felt like a horrendous hangover, I read the emails from the copious number of baby websites I had signed up to sneakily in the office, amazed at how soon our lil' bean had grown finger nails, developed to the size of a kidney bean, apple, pepper…

And then finally came the relief at the scan, where teary-eyed, bounty pack and little black and white images in hand, I became a fully fledged member of the parent-to-be club. It's an incredible time. As myself and the other half drove home we discussed who to call first and got onto it as soon as we walked through the door… and then it came to the few friends who have desperately wanted to experience what we were going through not for just a few months but for years, without such luck. The dilemma – do we call, or take the easy way out with a text. I put it off, I didn't want to 'rub their noses in it', and would struggle to find the right words. The thought of breaking one of my friend's heart makes my stomach churn.

I do believe children are a blessing, a gift and it seems like a growing number of fit, young healthy couples are experiencing infertility. Of my circle of friends, eleven couples in total, three have struggled or are still struggling to fall pregnant and two took over a year. These are good friends and I couldn't help but put myself in their shoes. I certainly didn't want them to hear from someone else in the pub that I'm pregnant, notice my little bump or even worse …read it on Facebook!

A couple of sleepless nights, a few draft texts, a quick dash around Sainsbury's in case my cover is blown and time was getting on. I needed to bite the bullet. An evening of toying with the idea of doing it over a coffee and a chat turned into me begging my partner to do it. I was scared. I'm sure if my friends had known how much I didn't want to tell them, they'd have been hurt.

For one particular couple my other half told the guy over a beer in the pub – phew thank God that's done I though at first. The outcome? We haven't seen them for 4 years! My friend didn't want to see, speak or hear from me. They had been together longer than we had, they were married and in her opinion 'they deserved it more' than we did. Wow. Harsh? Quite possibly. But they had already been through a long and painful grueling 7+ year journey to start a family, to have my bump under her nose would have been too much for her to bear.

More recently, while pregnant with our daughter. Another couple we were close friends with, got 'the text' and just suddenly stopped contact, almost overnight, I'd hassle mutual friends about what I'd done wrong. None the wiser, I put it down to new jobs, busy work schedules and my hormones turning me into a big round paranoid heap with fat ankles. Edie was born and we didn't hear anything. I was hurt and upset. I'm quite sensitive and hate the thought of my actions upsetting anyone. But I couldn't help but feel hurt myself, there I was experiencing something amazing and wanting to share it with my close friends, and they didn't seem bothered.

It wasn't until our baby was 4 months old when I got a text, she wanted to talk. I felt physically sick. I had no idea what she wanted to say. When she arrived I put the kettle on and we sat, awkwardly, and made small talk. It must've taken everything she had to sit across from me as I held my baby. She tearfully explained how she had fallen pregnant and the baby was due a couple of days before ours was but they'd sadly lost their baby at 10 weeks. To see me at every stage of pregnancy, where she should've been, to buy a baby gift to congratulate us when they were thinking of what they should've been buying for their own baby was just too hard for her. It was easier to shut me out. I sat and I listened. It was very hard, but what do you say, do you apologise?

I explained how she could have come to me earlier, I would have done everything I could to support her. I reassured her I would have understood.

I cringe at just how patronising this must sound. How exactly could I begin to understand how she'd feel.

I remember desperately willing the 'clear blue' stick …well sticks…to tell me I was pregnant, and for the months it didn't I was haunted by travel systems everywhere, pregnant bumps, cute babies and one born every minute! I can't begin to contemplate how it feels to lose a baby, at any stage of pregnancy. I was hurt she felt she couldn't talk to me sooner, but in her shoes I may well have done the same. The pain must have been unbearable and I have to respect she still needs space and time. If it means our friendship has faded as a result I have to accept that. I'd love to see more of her,of course. Perhaps I'm being selfish?

I do have a great old school friend full of life, she would make the most incredible mother, she has so much to give, an incredible marriage, a beautiful home and its just not happened. She's investigating her options, although like other friends of mine now approaching mid 30's she's worrying they're running out of time. I told her on both occasions about our pregnancies, I played it down, swiftly changed the subject, as the months went by, I tried not to mention this huge bump with limbs protruding in protest, so as not to hurt her feelings. But being the strong woman she is she'd ask me how I was feeling, she made them beautiful gifts to welcome them to the world and is genuinely interested in what they're up to.

This must take a huge amount of strength and I love her for it. But I hate, as for many others that for reasons out of her control she can't experience it for herself. Yet. Children are a blessing, a gift. But a gift that many good women are being put through so much heartache to get, if at all.

I can only hope that the next time she drops in for tea & cake she's holding black and white pictures of her own.



Saying Goodbye are an inspirational organisation created from a heartbreaking situation, to offer incredible support should you have suffered loss in pregnancy, birth or infancy.

Please take a moment to watch this short video, it's amazing & explains @SayingGoodbyeUK perfectly…


They have organised in over 20 locations between March and December 2013, services to give parents, family and friends an opportunity to say goodbye.

Visit their website for more information.

http://www.sayinggoodbye.org and follow them on Twitter for updates @SayingGoodbyeUK


You don't have to have lost to care.

Thank You


This article was published on Mumazine January 2013.

Mumazine is a vibrant magazine website for mums by mums, Join the Mumazine family!



Little Crumbs

Ice Ice Baby

Over the last few snowy days Edie's experience of the white stuff has been limited. Peering from under a wooly hat behind her rain cover, zipped into her fleecy pram suit, in a foot muff, with a blanket. She can crawl and sit perfectly, but I wouldn't fancy crawling in the snow, so didn't think she'd be up for that either.

I toyed with the idea of popping her in the sledge to join in the fun but Euan's quite a big lad and visions of baby face first in the snow wasn't convincing me it was the best of ideas.

Browsing Twitter coffee in hand I saw a post on Mumazine where Sam had brought the snow inside for her little ones to enjoy.

Genius Idea! So that's what we did…

We'd had our fun, making a snowman while Edie napped this morning …cue compulsory snowman picture … A humble effort but he was chuffed.

And now it was her turn. Edie and I dropped him off at pre school, had a bit of lunch and got prepared for her first hands on experience of the snow.
Sam at Mumazine recommended having a towel to hand…this is good advice, perhaps also a change of clothes for the adventurous ones. Obviously the more snow you have, the more water you'll have to contend with.
I threw a few toys in, brightly coloured balls, some play doh bits and bobs, an alien, a couple of cups, a few dinosaurs, a carrot and a cheeky maka paka for good measure.
She's a suspicious one our Edie, but the bright coloured toys lured her to investigate what it was all about.
This was so much fun to see her reaction to the textures, temperatures, the noise…the taste!
We then got fresh supplies, for when Euan got home and using an idea I'd seen on a lovely blog capturebylucy.com I got some food colouring, some cups and straws and he sat pouring and mixing the different coloured water, we talked about why the snow had started to melt, and why the colours were mixing and turning murky. What was happening when he poured one colour on top of another.

I'm not sure what the straws were bringing to the party, but we went with it …

After a while, he wanted “the normal snow back now” ….. And it was time for the big guns!

After several trips to the garden to replenish the melting snow, and insisting he wore his gloves if he wanted to carry on playing …. His fingers were going blue!

This kept them amused for ages. Thanks to @mumazine and @capturebylucy for the great ideas.

Little Crumbs

..not even a drip…

Munchkin Click Lock Trainer Cup

On a few occasion's I've stood in the baby aisle of the supermarket bleary eyed a bit overwhelmed at all the cups available, different colours, shapes, sizes, all sorts of teats, spouts, flippy tops. I have at least 5 different 'sippy' style cups I tried with Euan (now 3) and struggled to find one he got the gist of. So now about to embark on the same stage with Edie, I was going to start the cycle again when we had the opportunity to try the Munchkin, Click Lock Trainer Cup. Suitable from 6 months +, and for Edie's first 'cup' experience, it seemed like a good place to start.

You'd be forgiven for being sceptical at first glance of the packaging, afterall those are some big promises to make to a parent….with claims of 100% leak proof spill proof, but still having an easy flow soft silicone spout for Edie to drink comfortably … how?? But then these guy's at Munchkin have 10 of their products ranked Number 1 in their given field. So, they must know their baby stuff!

In no time at all Edie had donned her lab coat and was ready for some intense testing. This cup was going to be put through its paces.

The First Impression's Test.
Very easy to clean with clear instructions on how to put back together, (it's no krypton factor challenge). It's also safe to go in the top rack of your dishwasher.
I put 6oz of water in the cup (it takes a maximum of 8oz) placed it in front of her and let her have a play with it.
Ergonomically the handles are perfect. Just right for her little hands. She picked it up straight away. She was chewing on the spout at first, then once she got a taste of what was inside, and what happened when she tilted it. She had it sussed.
Even when the cup is full it's not too heavy for her to lift, the shape of the handles make it easy for her to lift it to her mouth and tilt it to drink, without having to crick her neck right back.
The cup is BPA free, so you can rest easy that its safe. At the point of this picture, the easy flow soft silicone spout had taken some serious gum chewing, and even a week on it still looks untouched.
So far, So good…

The Highchair Launch Test.

Chunks of apple, pasta, cucumber, rice cakes, breadsticks…Edie's not fussy at what can get launched from the high chair, so why would the cup get any special treatment. Having had the cup for a few days, we sat down for a snack…

Wait for it…spot the left hand….

And 'Thump'

Here is the 'chuffed with myself face' …. Cup successfully launched on the floor.

Granted, I could have swept up …but that aside, I had to document this…note…not a single drop, and that hit the hard floor with a thump!

Happening several times, per sitting for 3 meals a day, and snacks. It's still as good as new.

I think that can be the Highchair Launch Test passed with flying colours.

The 'Sling It On The Passenger Seat' Test.

Now, I have my change bags, kids have their own bags for all the 'stuff' you need when leaving the house, and then I have MY bags, my little treasured bags that I don't put leaky lip glosses or temperamental biro's in let alone a bottle of water with an easy flow spout! *takes deep breath * I was putting alot of trust in the Munchkin cup for this test.

Having had the Munchkin Click Lock Trainer Cup for over a week, I thought it was time. Time I left Edie's bag of stuff at home, and put a few of her essentials in my bag.

Mummies, how many times have you slung the kids essentials in a bag, buckled them in, chucked said bag in the car and had to dash toot suite. Only to reach your destination to a loose Tupperware lid leaving rice cake crumbs, or worse formula strewn everywhere. Or. juice swishing about or dripping over your 'To Do List'. Annoying isn't it.

So we set off to see my Nan. …..here's the bag before

And after a 30 minute journey through 4 twisty villages, over speed bumps, round mini roundabouts and stop starting at traffic lights.
Thankfully, not a drip….. Phew … I'm really beginning to like this cup!
So, having used this cup for best part of 2 weeks, Edie's put it through it's paces, she seeks comfort from it, when her teeth are bothering her. she holds it brilliantly due to its great shape. And more importantly she can use it for what it's intended for, to teach her to help herself to a drink, give her that next small step of independence.
And from a mummies point of view, it looks great, doesn't weigh a lot at all, easy and quick to clean, and more importantly there's NO fuss. No lining up silly symbols or fiddling with bits fumbling to put it together, then wondering if you've done it right, taking it apart to do it again, and still not being convinced….c'mon we've all done it. With this you put the top on, turn it and listen for the reassuring unmissable 'Click'.
There are many more cups to the Munchkin range, from the trainer cup, to sippy cup's and insulated flip straw cups. Ideal for summer.
Moving on from the cups there are many more products, all brightly coloured, well made and developed with your little one's in mind. With Lindam as their child safety brand. Your child's safety and ease of use with their products is clearly evident, if this cup is anything to go by.
You can find the full range of Munchkin Products and what leading supermarkets / stores have stocks through their website here.
I'm looking at the Twisty Teether Ball and the Turtle Shower for my little 'scientist's' next investigation.
Please note that neither Edie or I were paid to write this review.


















Mummy Fashion

My New Baby ….I mean Cardie …

Knitwear is underrated, nothing beats a chunky knit coiled around you particularly at this time of year. But a cardie is more than 'something to throw on' for me …or up on for Edie, it's my comfort blanket, 'How many cardies does Donna own?' Was a question in the quiz at my baby shower…now that's devotion to the cause.

Any time of year it's my emergency go to 'bum, tum, bingo wing cover upper' and a blimmin good job it does to! This key part of my wardrobe has over the years grown to quite a collection, from a heavily worn bobbly trusty old cable knit to 'ones for best', a good cardie has been known to save me from leaky milky boobie embarrassment on a hen do and showing bum cleavage at baby gym …..Louis Smith's training Gym may I add *swoons*….as you were.

All hail the cardie!

Before Christmas I had a good old sort out, a bin bags worth left out for charity. I was brutal in my decision making, and now I have my elite force of much loved cardies.

So, it would come as no surprise that on opening a gift from the in laws christmas morning to find some John Lewis vouchers, at the next available opportunity I was online …Womenswear – Knitwear – Cardigans ….ahhhh you little beauties, come to mumma!!

The following morning I was at Grand Arcade like a rat up a drain pipe, with a list of what I 'needed' to maintain sales carneage focus, swerving through elbowing old women and girls called Poppy Daaaaaarling with scruffy top knots head to toe in Jack Wills (it's Cambridge) I clapped eyes on this Reiss delight …


I had seen this Callister shape on the Reiss website (available in 3 colours) but not in the John Lewis concession before. And at £110.00 I couldn't justify it at the time, now in the sale at £55.00 it's more within my comfort zone. …I may have let out a little squeal.

…que lovely knitting detail appreciation. I can appreciate why it would have been £110, the quality and the fit is beautiful. It's not a cardie of choice for feeding Edie her porridge that's for sure!

I'm not normally a big 'colour person' but im trying to drag myself out of the depressing land of greys, blacks, and muted khaki's and if there's a punch of colour to be found in my wardrobe it will manifest in cardie form, mainly because for something a little bit braver for me in the form of something i feel secure and comfortable in, it dosnt feel like a bold step.

I've been wearing it with my Ash biker boots, that Mr G came up trumps with at Christmas …that's a whole other post!…. A khaki baggy t shirt ….little steps now …trusty skinny jeans and my new huge Clements Ribeiro for John Lewis knitted scarf. I'm obsessed with chunky knits, mixing up textures and colours. My Ash boots are giving the least likely of candidates in my wardrobe a new found edge. I love it.

The high street is full of cardie gems that can be far from 'mumsy'…I'm making it my 2013 mission to build on my cardie army….and perhaps work on making the 'tum cover upper's' redundant.


Kneading Time

‘My Pizza Pie’

A miserable wet day, dark by 2:30, toys were exhausted, a film or 2 watched, and i’d taken down the christmas decorations, my 3 year old glaring at me like I was the fun police I had to use the trump card.

And here it is, in the creatively packaged form of the Jamie Oliver, ‘Mama Mia, My Pizza Pie’  box, i’d got for Euan at the Jamie at Home party i’d hosted, through the delightful Holly.


I’m a sucker for packaging, and this got me hook, line and sinker, packed up like a pizza box, with a recipe card inside emulating a slice of pizza on a plate, The colours, and curiosity grabbed Euan’s attention immediately, He loved that all these little tools were all his, a rolling pin, slice, pizza cutter and a pizza stone, all of high quality and branded with the ‘Jme’ touches.

So, we washed our hands, got aproned up, and rolled up them sleeves ready to get stuck in….

At this point I must come clean, I had made the pizza dough on the quiet before getting Euan involved as we’ve done this before, and I couldnt take the stress…and my cupboards could take no more yeast, water and flour slosh dripping down the front of them, inside of them, underneath them…picture painted?  OCD or a control freak guilty as charged, I’m all for getting stuck in and letting the little ones make some mess for the cause…however making pizza dough mixing using a well method in the flour with a 3 year old desperate to ‘have a go mummy’ is not for the faint hearted… it is however for those with a spare hour to clean up the flour water carneage that insues…so if your’e up to the task, fill your boots lovelies…

So dough proved, it was time to ‘knock it back’, all ready and raring to go, the little man clambered up to the block. We had the recipe card on the book stand and did as Jamie instructed. This was great for maintaining his attention and patience. normally if we cook without recipe’s it can be a bit of this, bit of that, but following the recepie, he was soon asking me, ”what’s next mummy?” …


Euan’s always loved being involved in the kitchen, myself and Mr G are a pair of foodies, so it came as no shock he’d want to know about what goes on in there and we’re keen for our children to know where their food comes from. He was always such a brilliant eater, but of late he’s decided to pass on pretty much everything thats good for him bar his red Innocent Smoothie obsession…oh the joys of being 3… So a great way to get him excited about foods convincing him of different fruits and vegetables is getting him involved, whether that be him making choices ‘this or this’ and making things himself, the colours, smells, the feel of ingedients is a great experience for him.

I chopped some toppings into ramakin’s for him to choose what he wanted, Peppers, Mushrooms, Chicken (griddled first with some olive oil) and Mozarella, obviously you can use as much or as little as you want, but i wanted to take little steps with this one as he’s had THE bug all foods a bit overwhelming for him at the moment. Anyhoo we used passata on the base and off he went….


look at that little proud face!

10 minutes later and he had a delicious pizza to enjoy, even more so as it was  from his own efforts.

The only thing i found a bit tricky was getting the stone out the oven after it was in there to warm through, getting the raw pizza onto it  while trying to keep him from touching it (it’s obviously piping hot) was a bit difficult ”put it on there mummy -goes to touch it!”, so i’d advise for the ultra curious fingers, to keep them out of reach for that part.

We had a great afternoon together as we always do when we’re pottering in the kitchen, he showed his daddy the pictures when he got in from work and I heard him telling him all about it in the bath later on, he was ridiculously chuffed with himself. It’s afternoons like this when I’m so grateful to be at home with the little people….you never know in 20 years on Masterchef, he might talk about this day! ha!

The one night I look forward to nibbling some left overs…and he doesn’t leave me any!


I couldn’t recommend this kit highly enough, i got one for my 9 year old nephew too, who im sure will enjoy it just as much.

You can get in touch with Holly, through her facebook group ”Jamie at Home by Holly” for more details on the whole Jamie at Home range , … you’ll want the lot!

…. now I wonder if Euan will do me some poached eggs and smoked salmon for brekkie….