Is It Just Me: Who Feels for Princess Catherine and Her Royal Area?

I like the Royals. 

There, I’ve said it, I may be a proud part Scot who plans on hightailing it up there should we get independence, and I may have me own tartan, but I quite like the Royals.

They are kind of like my generation’s posh Jeremy Kyle show guests. A Royal version full of illicit shagging, inbreeding and Horses. Not only that but they have amazing houses, clothes and holidays and my whole upbringing as a kid was surrounded by Princess Diana and my Nan telling me that if I truly believed, one day I could marry Prince William and wear a nice crown.

That so didn’t happen (I’m quite pleased as, although my Elder is 14 years older than William, at least he has all his own hair still on top of his non-ginger head).

I do like Princess Catherine though, the local girl from my adopted neighbourhood and her High Street style loveliness. I want her flicky hair. I have a girl crush on her wardrobe. Mini likes her too.

I feel for her though. She may be surrounded by wealth and privilege, but she’s definitely a bird in a gilded cage.

From not being able to get her bangers out on the beach, to the whole nation going doolally-frantic about the finer details of her being pregnant from the word go, surely it’s only a matter of time before Grazia has a spread on Lady Garden fashions to copy Kate into birth?

That’s the thing. As a woman who has given birth the cheats way twice, I can vouch for the fact that it gets rather busy “down there”, with anyone with a white coat and stethoscope libel to want to get their hand personally acquainted with your nether regions. 

After having babies its all I can do when I go to the GP to not go in, whip off my kecks and jump, legs akimbo on the examination couch. And that’s including when I take Littlest for asthma clinic. They do like having a good root around, in the manner of Elder in his coat pockets when he can’t find his car keys.

However, blushes from us plebs aside, Kate has that plus a metaphorical long range camera lens pointing upskirt too. 

First it was “Bump Gate”. The Mail (spits on the floor) ran a whole article on how other women who happened to also be six months pregnant had massive bumps- but Kate did not. What on earth were they trying to suggest? Its the Royals, they may be weird but baby faking is just the wrong side of a screwy ‘Enders plot for even them.

Then it was what will she wear? Where will she give birth? What is she having? Did she slip up and tell someone it was a boy or a girl? Will it be Princess of Cambridge and where will it be on the succession line?

Christ, when I was pregnant with Mini, all I wanted to do by 8 months was to sleep without cramps crippling me to the point I wanted to saw my own legs off below the knee, eat jelly beans, and sit in the bath for three hours at a time.

the last thing she needs is the nation and the paps peering with untold excitement, on a 24 hour watch akin to Bill Oddie and his Springwatch webcams.

She’s a having a baby. Yes it’s nice that she will soon give birth, but you kind of already know that, the second the baby has left the woman’s body, the tabloids will become obsessed about how quickly she snaps back into shape, is she breastfeeding and how soon will she jet off sans bundle of Royal no doubt Ginger joy?

I’ve had babies, its not always fun, you sweat buckets, nothing fits, your boobs leak at inopportune moments and if Wills is anything like Elder your partner decides to make “waddling” noises behind you as you walk down the street with your ankles swelling like a sponge in a swimming pool.

Leave the poor woman alone!

Go pick on that daft Kardashian woman- she deserves it for that appalling name she chose.


Is It Just Me: Who Thinks Changes to Maternity Care are More Important Than Banning Bounty?

OK dear anon people: Fire away but please be aware, I will tweet the more gormless messages for my followers to laugh at. Just so you know.

I am writing, well, actually, editing a post I’d already written about this so called “Bounty Mutiny” (ahem) (insert face/palm motion here), but for once I’d gone a bit pussy on you all and decided that it wasn’t worth the aggro. One person leading the charge (I feel that’s the correct term as Mutiny is the word being used) suddenly hates my guts for no reason, and Mumsnet also back it (and we all know they truly hate my guts) so hence why I’d kind of face/palmed and not posted it. I know, right, I must be getting old.

Anyway, Emma, who blogs at the magnificent “Crazy With Twins” has decided to go for my Sarcastic Bastard Award (Copyright 2006-2013, erm, me) and written a witty opposing view.

So here’s goes nothing.

I have been pregnant and had babies twice. Both out via a section, with all sorts of drugs involved, awkward singing at anesthetists, one planned but ended up with lots of blood loss (mine), one major scary, emergency 28 week, one. So, I know a thing or two about “traumatic births”. 

(Tell a lie, I don’t actually remember Mini’s birth, I thought I was in and out, I was there for 3 hours, 3 1/2 pints of blood lost, bit scary for a bit for everyone else, bar me. I was high as a kite).

Yes, giving birth is a pain (really), but I don’t think I was vulnerable in the days or hours after it. Not even after Littlest’s birth. What I needed was a friendly face, a comforting shoulder and a cuppa. 

Did I get that from Midwives? Consultants? Other Mums on the ward? 

Did I heck.

They were too busy, too important, or too caught up in their own babies to spend time with me. I wet myself when I had Mini after they took the catheter out without checking I could actually move to get out of bed to go to the loo. It had been left really high up, so despite calling for some help, none came. Sorry if that was a TMI, but just to show what I mean.

When I had Mini, I wanted to bath her when the section pain calmed down. I wanted to bath myself but there was no one there to help when we were allowed to have a bath (outside of visiting times) and you were not allowed to take the baby off the ward. I wanted to go to the loo. Everyone was always too busy, promising to come back later. My section wounds both became infected and I needed antibiotics, due to the dressings not coming off soon enough.

It was even worse when I had Littlest. I’ve said before how for 14 hours I had no idea if he was alive, my surgical stocking was cutting off the blood supply to my big toe so it went purple, but because there was no baby beside me, I got even fewer checks from midwives than before. I wasn’t even given a bell.

Who did come along and offer a hand, a chat, and advice? 

The Bounty Lady.

The first one I had, with Mini, was a doll. An absolute shining example, and why I have the Bounty badge on this blog. She gave me a hug, gave me a heaving bag of freebies, and then, rolled up her sleeves and showed me how to bath Mini. She told me to not worry if she cried, it didn’t mean I was hurting her, but they do that, babies. As you weren’t allowed to bath a newborn if you’d not had one before, this was a godsend. She then told me she’d just do the ward, then I could pop along and have a bath, she’d watch Mini. Which, true to her word, she did. 

Did she shout abuse at me or anyone else? Did she pressure sell me pictures? Did she make up rubbish about government forms? Nope. She was, simply, a very nice lady, doing a job.

When I had Littlest, there were two Bounty ladies. One was a right cow. She made me cry a bit. Because Littlest was in SCBU, she assumed I was having him adopted or taken away, not that he was in a Neonatal unit. She was an arse. She was sacked. I made a complaint, the hospital did too, she went. No messing. 

The other lady sat with me when I was at my lowest ebb. She hugged me, she was like a Granny in her specs, and tartan skirt. She told me everything would be fine, he would be OK, that things would be tough but she could say they’d do their upmost and he’d come home before I knew it. Even if it had of been hocus pocus rubbish, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Not the medical terms, the serious faces, the upset caused by the Midwife. A friendly, reassuring face.

Unlike the Midwife who I’d never met and had no number for, who decided to flounce, shouting into SCBU when Littlest was 3 weeks old. How dare I not phone her. How dare I not come in and get my Red Book. 

Frankly, she’s lucky I was on the verge of the “Epic Nervous Breakdown” or I’d have rammed that red book up her arse.

Or the Section suite, who rang me in November and had a right go at me for not calling to cancel my arranged section, if I’d decided to have a natural birth. They were embarrassed when I said I had had my section. In August. 

The big thing here is not Bounty. No.

There is, to my mind, a bigger, NHS sourced issue here. Time and admin. Or lack there of.

How hard would it be to have a box you tick on your birth plan, saying Bounty: No/Yes?

How hard would it be for Midwives to actually sit down with a Bounty Rep before her visits so she could see who was new, who didn’t want disturbing and who to be delicate with? Or a code on the big white board with all our names on it? Star for yes, Cross for no, Heart for delicate, softly softly?

I think there are far more things that should be campaigned about, that we should wave banners about, and use our voices for the greater good.

Yes, I’m sure there are Bounty Ladies who are more Bounty Bitches. But did you contact them? Or did you just put the fear of them into a pregnant friend so they expect someone on a par with Saddam Hussein after their labour? There are good and bad in every profession, so that is what the email address, twitter feed or phone is for. Report it.

When I talk to fellow parent’s about their labour and overall Maternity care, it’s not the Bounty lot who I hear about. Its the NHS staff who are ignorant, over stretched, under funded and in the cases of some in need of retraining.

Mutiny? Not on this Bounty. 

I say let’s campaign for a better NHS.

And leave those who fund it, alone.

How to Induce Labour, Naturally*

You’ve waited 9 months for this moment… Maybe much longer. You and your family have gone over the old wives tales and speculated on whether or not it will be a boy or a girl, and made bets on when you think he or she going to arrive.
Counting down
You’ve gone through your pregnancy week by week until your baby has reached full term, getting more excited and anxious by the day, and as you approach the final weeks, you pack your hospital bag, revise your prenatal class notes and make sure you and your birthing partner know your birth plan inside out… but wait… 

Where’s the baby at?! 

If you’ve reached full term and there’s no sign of your little one yet according to the date offered by your pregnancy calculator, then here are some handy hints on how to bring on labour, the natural way…


Now whether it really does work or not is open to debate, but eating curry is one of the most commonly talked about ways of naturally inducing pregnancy. Thoughts on the matter are that because curry stimulates the stomach, it may also stimulate your uterus into action, too…

Again, pineapple, if eaten in large amounts, can stimulate the tummy and therefore the uterus. And in addition to this, it contains the enzyme bromelain, which some believe helps soften the cervix and naturally induce labour. 

Castor oil 
It’s not really known exactly how castor oil works, but it’s thought that, like curry and pineapple, it stimulates the stomach and therefore the uterus. However – approach this approach with caution, because castor oil can upset your stomach to the degree that it induces nausea and diarrhoea. 

Alternative medicines… 

The likes of pulsatilla are often used to stimulate labour. There is lots of anecdotal evidence from mums-to-be who have found them helpful. 

Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the energy within the body, acting on very specific parts and organs in different ways – and in this example, the uterus.

Physical techniques…

Nipple stimulation 
When you gently rub or roll your nipples, you can simulate the suckling of your baby and trick your body into releasing the hormone oxytocin, which causes contractions to begin.  

If you and your partner can manage the logistics and feel comfortable doing this, then having sex can, again, trigger the release of oxytocin, while achieving an orgasm could also stimulate your uterus.

Standing upright can encourage movement of your baby down onto your cervix, with the pressure of your baby’s head pressing down on it stimulating the release of labour-inducing oxytocin, once again. 

… Good luck! And a word of warning, please, as always, talk to your doctor before trying any of these out. 

**Image Courtesy of Maurice Waldal

Which Maternity Clothes are Right For Me?*

The market for maternity wear is constantly changing, it wasn’t long ago that the choices available to pregnant women unfashionable, out-dated and extremely limited. Thankfully however, this is no longer the case. 

The women of today have a variety of clothing options available to them, whether they’re looking for appropriate clothing for the office, comfy jeans for when you’re out and about, or a lovely dress for more formal occasions.

The beautiful thing about pregnancy is that no two women will have the same experience. This is especially true for selecting maternity wear. Some women will need to shop for maternity clothes early on, whereas some may not have to until as late as their third trimester. If you find yourself having to shop during the early stages of your pregnancy, consider clothes that have adjustable waistbands – this will allow for growth and can be worn again after delivery as you return to your ‘pre-pregnancy’ figure.

There is also a great variety of maternity jeans available, some will have the ability to stretch as your bump grows, and some are designed to sit below the bump. Jeans allow you to create a variety of outfits by mixing and matching your top half. Consider wearing blouses, t-shirts and sweaters – and combining them with jackets or blazers for a stylish look.

One of the most essential aspects to any item of maternity wear is comfort. There is no benefit to choosing nice fashionable maternity wear if it just isn’t comfy. High quality maternity clothing should be comfortable and allow for ease of movement – ultimately, you should feel relaxed. So it’s time to ditch the zippers and buttons and make way for clothes support and stretch, making it easier to relax and give your body room to breathe.

Some women prefer to wear dresses throughout their pregnancy (weather dependent of course). They are arguably one of the comfiest items of clothing to wear, and are particularly suited to keeping you and your bump cool during the hot summer months. There is a huge variety of dresses available, so you’re sure to find one that’s suited to your style and tastes.

Remember to search for what you’re looking for, the chances are you will be able to find exactly what you’re looking for online, and even try searching for discounts and sales. By looking around different websites you’ll be sure to find what the best look for the best price, whilst avoiding the hustle and bustle of the high street.

If you’re looking for the latest trends in fashionable maternity wear you can also take inspiration from what your favourite celebrities are wearing. Just remember to stick to an pre-agreed budget, it’s very easy to get carried away by maternity clothing, and you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of money saved for when your baby arrives.