It’s been a while…

My wordpress and website licence have had to be renewed twice since the last time I actually wrote a blog. So I guess it’s about time I write something! I’m currently taking advantage of Heathrow’s WiFi access so I have to be quick!

There is so little spare time these days for two lovely reasons and it’s been two licence renewals, a couple of birthdays, a new job and another child since my last blog so it’s officially time to break the seal and write a few words.

So now, what to write about?

This blog began in 2014 as a blog about our move to Dubai and baby George that we had only very recently discovered had taken up residence in my tummy. It then took an unexpected turn when George arrived too early and after only two brief but life changing weeks with us, passed away. Then it became a blog about dealing with his loss and trying to get through another pregnancy after losing George. The high risk status, the incessant bed rest, the box sets, the drugs, the medical interventions, the cervical stitch, the incompetent cervix, the stress and uncertainty and finally the arrival of tiny Henry at 34 weeks into my pregnancy.

Since then, we have been lucky enough to have another healthy baby, this time born at 38 weeks (never imagined this was possible). Life has been wonderfully chaotic since then, little people, work and (occasional) play, have taken over our busy lives.

So whenever I think about a blog, I wonder what I should say, is this a blog about losing a child, gaining two children, or about something different all together? I think the answer is, all of the above. I’m hoping to blog a bit more frequently (and not have to escape the country solo on a flight to do so!).

So there it is, I’ve broken the seal. Until next time! X

The most pregnant I’ve ever been

I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been cautious to blog this whole pregnancy but yesterday I reached a big milestone…. I am officially the most pregnant I have ever been.

It’s such a massive milestone for me and one which has been more overwhelming than I thought it would be to reach.

This is especially true after spending the day last week at 34+4 in hospital with contractions on a drip and having to have steroids for the baby’s lungs. We thought she was on her way. A great gestation for sure but I felt so disappointed about the thought of potentially not getting to term again. But all is thankfully calmer now which is fantastic news.

I’ve said before that I’d come to terms with the fact that pregnancy was always going to be pretty shitty for me and that continues to be true.

I am not the normal excited pregnant lady. I am not the pregnant lady in the gym. I am not the pregnant lady working until the end and getting on with her normal life. I am not the pregnant lady who assumes everything will be ok.

Instead I am the pregnant lady who is happier the fatter I get as it means baby is growing too. I am the pregnant lady who counts the days down religiously but wishes for as many pregnant days as possible. I am the pregnant lady who knows way more than she wishes about what can go wrong and worries about everything.

But above all of this, I am the pregnant lady who feels incredibly lucky to be pregnant, to be so far into my third trimester and to be well looked after by family, friends and medical staff.

I’m also the pregnant lady who is determined to enjoy whatever remaining time I have of this pregnancy as much as my mind will allow me to. X

Top ten (Non) essential baby things

These are ‘non-essential’ baby items as to be honest your baby doesn’t really need much besides you (cheesy but true) and there is soooooo much stuff out there that is unnecessary. So I have listed what I consider to be my top ten items, things I actually used a lot and would buy again, in no particular order.

1. Baby sense pads


By far my best purchase. I bought this as a bundle along with a Motorola video monitor. They are movement sensors which you put under the baby’s mattress and they set off an alarm if they don’t detect movement, e.g breathing for twenty seconds. A few different brands make these and ‘Baby sense’ as well as ‘Angelcare’ always had the best reviews. I bought the Baby sense ones and we’ve been very pleased as we have never had a false alarm. The only time the alarm has gone off is when we have forgotten to switch it off before taking him out the cot – easily done on little sleep.

They have allowed me to relax a bit once the little man is tucked up in his bed. It just gives me that extra piece of mind. They are unquestionably OTT, but if you are a worrier then they are amazing. Not sure what else I can say about them. The only downside is I am not sure whether I will be able to wean myself off them (they have two in a pack so you can even use them once they start crawling) which will probably mean that I will make my son have these under his mattress until he goes to university.

2. Bogey extractor


Unsurprisingly this is not it’s official name, it’s a nasal aspirator, I believe. A friend introduced me to this invaluable bit of kit. It is disgusting and satisfying in equal measures. Babies get colds and they get all snotty and can’t clear their noses themselves. This means giant bogeys can make their lives pretty miserable. Cue the nasal aspirator, a little device which allows you to suck the snot out for them. Yes, I told you it’s disgusting. But god, it is satisfying!



3. Coffee

If you don’t drink coffee then you will need to start or at least find a substitute. For me, there is no substitute and I went from an occasional latte drinker to a hardcore coffee drinker of at least 3 a day. I bought a new coffee machine, a coffee holder for the pram, a reusable coffee mug and am now on first name terms with most of the staff in my local Costa and Starbucks. Yes, I am now addicted and I feel the effects if I haven’t had my usual dose of coffee. My friend who has two kids recently made me a coffee and I was shaking for the rest of the afternoon it was so strong. Clearly mums with two kids are in a totally different league to me and I am not yet at their coffee drinking level!

stokke 2

4. Baby carrier

I was given a Stokke MyCarrier Cool as a maternity present from work (they are available in Dubai at a few places, including Just Kidding) and I thought it was great as it uses breathable fabric which is important when you live somewhere that resembles an oven for a decent chunk of the year. I have used it for travelling a lot and it is great at the airport as we check our pram in as hold luggage. Also, as my son is super inquisitive (a.k.a nosey) he absolutely loves it. If he gets a bit grumpy I stick him in it and walk around for a bit and he just loves it as he smiles at everyone we pass.


5. Dummy

Ok, so lots of people have different views on this. My sister suggested a dummy when the little man was about 5 weeks old and honestly I’ve never looked back. Yes, I will have to get it back off him one day but it has helped us out on numerous occasions. When I flew with him at 5 weeks I was so grateful for the dummy as I was so concerned about his ears and had been told to feed him on the way up and down. Well, planning feeds like this isn’t that easy, the poor thing kept falling asleep and I’d wake him when I thought we were about to take off so that I could force feed him, only to find we were still taxing etc. In the end I shoved in the dummy and the sucking seemed to help.


6. Feeding cover

My mum suggested I got one of these when I had the little man buut I didn’t fancy one. I should have listened to my mother! In the early days I just used a muslin to cover up when feeding the little chap but as he got bigger he often tried to get me arrested by making me show more flesh in public than is deemed acceptable. So at around 6 months I bought one of these feeding covers with the stiff top bit so you can easily see them as you’re feeding. If you have a fussy feeder like mine who likes to thrash around, these are fab. They are also great as a kind of black out blind for their pram as you can drape it over whilst still being able to see them. Also, I found it brilliant on a day flight as a cover over the sky cot when he needed to sleep but was way too ‘inquisitive’ to do so.


7. Jumperoo

My sister bought us this as a Christmas present and it is truly amazing. It has come into its own since the little man turned 4 months as I needed something to contain him as he started to roll around. The jumperoo is great for knowing he can’t escape! My parents even bought one when we went home for two weeks after they saw how much he loved it (my dad had images of having to bounce him on his knee for hours otherwise!). Please be warned though, the song will drive you totally insane…yes there is just ONE song and it goes off every time they jump, which obviously happens a lot since that is the whole point of it. I have caught my dad and my father in law humming this tune when out and about when the little man is not even around. It is also huge and plastic and bright and will take over your living room. But it is great. Get it.


8. Muslins

People will buy you these, you will buy them for yourself and you will think that you have way too many. You do not. You can never have too many of these wonderful things. They are brilliant as sheets, swaddles, comforters, breast feeding covers, sick mopper-upers, dribble mopper-upers, milk mopper-uppers get the gist. You will have to wash them constantly (they are always white?!) and so more is definitely more. Aden and Anais are the posh ones (Prince George was wrapped in one when he left hospital and my lovely friend bought me the same one for my George). They are really great and available in  Dubai at Db babies. I bought some cheap ones and they didn’t even come close to comparing to the A&A ones.


9. Long sleeve bibs

This is more of an older baby item. I searched high and low for the perfect bib. Yes, I am that much of a loser. I wanted an adjustable back, elasticated wrists, long sleeves, machine washable, stain resistant and a decent pattern. This meant paying to get some Bumkins bibs from the US as I couldn’t find them elsewhere. Luckily I love them and they were worth the money and wait. I would actually prefer a full snow suit style approach as baby food seems to get everywhere and is ALWAYS orange, no matter what food it is, it will be orange.

baby sensory

10. ‘Say Hello to the Sun’ song

If you go to baby sensory (we go to the one at the Change Initiative in Dubai) then you will know this song as well as the accompanying sign language. Baby sensory always begins with this song and the babies seem to love it. If the little man is ever having a meltdown we sing the song and he immediately stops. Honestly, it is unbelievable! In our household there have been many middle of the night renditions of this song (usually with the incorrect words). Its a bit random, as most baby rhymes are, but it’s less violent than most nursery rhymes (I’m thinking of Humptey Dumptey, Rock a Bye Baby, Three Blind Mice, etc. etc.) and addictive for both you and baby. Learn the words, learn the signing, you won’t regret it!

The meaning of Mother’s Day


Earlier I was sat in a coffee shop drinking my skinny latte whilst munching happily on my double chocolate muffin (yes, I get the irony) thinking about the fact that today is Mother’s Day.

My Mother’s Day this year has been hugely different to last year’s which was just 3 months after losing my son, just before his due date and just before I found out I was pregnant again with my second boy. It was a really tough day.

Today, I am sat here with that second boy….yes, he’s here! In fact, he’s been here for just over 5 months but its taken me that long to find some time to sit down, find my computer and start typing. I’ll write another post soon for those who are interested in the bit where the baby arrived (without the gory details).

Whilst sat in the coffee shop, it occurred to me that no one there knew my story, no one knew I lost my first son and I didn’t know their stories either. There is an assumption that today is a happy day for everyone, a celebration of having or being a mum, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Everyone has a mum, but there are a huge amount of people who don’t have their mum with them this Mother’s Day and since losing my son I’ve become much more sensitive to what days like today can mean to different people. There are plenty of people who will find today difficult: those who don’t have their mums anymore; those that are desperate to be mums but can’t; and those who have lost children.

So, although Mother’s Day is still (and always will be) a difficult day for me, I’m not alone.

I feel so lucky to have my son with me today, even though I wish every day that his big brother was here too. He’s here and he’s perfect and I love hanging out with him. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t jump enthusiastically out of bed at 4am, happy that he is awake (again!!) as I am as knackered as the next mum. However, during those tough motherhood moments (and there are plenty) I am more aware than most of how lucky I am that he is here, that he is healthy and that I am his mummy.

Happy Mother’s Day. x

Miss (ing) Independence

I am now 32.5 weeks pregnant. It’s very surreal. Even though when bubs is finally here I am very aware that life will be very different for us in so many ways, I am very much looking forward to being a bit normal and more than anything I am looking forward to having my independence back. I am usually a very independent person. Before I was pregnant I didn’t rely on anyone day to day, I made my own plans, got myself to where I needed to go under my own steam and earned my own money. I’ve had to be so restricted during this pregnancy and I miss being able to do normal things that I would usually take for granted, like having a bath (I can’t have these due to the risk of infection), going for a walk, popping to the mall, driving myself around, working and exercising and being able to act more like a 31 year old rather than a fragile 81 year old!

Not being able to be independent is hard. But I remind myself that this is temporary and so I am actually extremely lucky. For many people, for lots of different reasons, not having their independence is permanent and that must be incredibly tough.  I certainly will do my best to appreciate my independence once I am fully mobile again. I’m also extremely lucky as I have a fab hubby who pushes me around the mall in my wheelchair after he’s been at work all day, drives me around, cooks for me and makes me lots of cups of tea!

Take away pancake breakfast and flowers from the husband

Take away pancake breakfast and flowers from the husband

Even though I am now 32.5 weeks pregnant, I still don’t feel ‘that’ pregnant even though physically I am feeling the effects…I am looking more whale like each day and my fingers, ankles and knees are double their usual size! Pregnancy is soooooo sexy!

Everything still feels very unreal to me. I still check my bump is there every morning in a panic. Then I check my baby app on my phone to check I am indeed as pregnant as I think I am and it wasn’t a dream and then I spend a lot of my day panicking if he stays still for too long and I don’t feel him kicking. So in order to try to enjoy at least some of this pregnancy I’ve pushed myself to do things to make it all seem a little more real.

My husband and I recently braved an IKEA trip for some nursery furniture (the key to getting around IKEA without risking divorce is to feed said husband at the beginning and promise him a hot dog at the end if he gets round without moaning!). We also had a delivery from and as a result we are now the proud owners of a cot as well as a pram and car seat and numerous other smaller bits (many of which I have no doubt I won’t end up needing!). I found the whole buying process quite confusing, there is just so much on offer so I might do a future post reviewing the main items we bought in case that helps anyone who reads this blog.


Our cot (IKEA Sundvik)

I must say were absolutely brilliant! They stopped their free shipping to Dubai a week before I ordered but as I had already enquired about their free delivery, they agreed to ship everything to us for free still. It’s such a shame they won’t continue with free shipping to Dubai as I think it would be hugely popular. I paid less (the tax was taken off) and even with the 5% customs charge it was a fair bit cheeper than buying in Dubai. Then to make me love them even more (no this is not a sponsored post!) they delivered the lot in about 5 days from the Netherlands by airmail when I was expecting it to take around 6 weeks. 

So as I said, we now have some baby bits and the baby’s nursery is starting to take shape. I have lots of craft projects on the go at the moment and I recently made some basket liners (yes, I continue to live life on the edge…).  I have also been doing some paper crafts, partly inspired by a very thoughtful care package I received from two lovely people which contained lots of craft materials to keep me busy during this next month or so. I will post the results of the craft projects when they are all finished.

Living life on the edge - making basket linings! How life has changed!

Living life on the edge – making basket linings! How life has changed!

We have also been attending antenatal classes at Healthbay Polyclinic and again, I would definitely recommend them. It was great to meet some other mums and dads to be and although this is our second baby I still learnt a fair bit, especially in the latter classes.

Our slightly scarily happy baby from our antenatal class!

Our slightly scarily happy baby from our antenatal class!


‘Sometimes the smallest things…..’

Winnie the Pooh is such a classic children’s book, I’ve always loved the close relationships that the characters have with each other and A.A. Milne’s beautiful but simple words. Last December, when I was in need of some beautiful words, I went straight to the bear. It was then I realised, whilst re-reading Winne the Pooh at the age of 30, that the bear and his friends were very wise creatures. That they were able to verbalise the many emotions I was feeling more beautifully and innocently than I ever could. I soon found the most perfect quote:

Smallest things
I immediately knew this should be the quote on our son’s memorial.

The last nine months have been the most difficult and emotional months of mine and my husbands lives. Nine months is the usual pregnancy term for a woman. For us, it will soon be nine months since I had our baby boy prematurely and twelve days after that it will be nine months since we lost him. By these dates I will (hopefully) be over seven months pregnant with our second son. I always have to insert the word ‘hopefully’ as to say with any certainty that I will get to keep this baby feels too unreal.

Over the past nine months, I have learnt how personal grief is and writing this post was not easy as it meant I was sharing a large part of my grief. A large part of myself. I have redrafted this post so many times as I knew that reducing my feelings to words wouldn’t even come close to doing justice to how I feel. Sometimes there really are no words but luckily for me, the bear and his friends were able to help me out a bit.

If there ever

Over the past nine months, mine and my husband’s lives have changed completely. We no longer have luxury of waking up and assuming everything will be ok. We have lost our sense of security, have been thrown in a direction we never expected and have been shown that we have no real control over our lives.

People often ask me how I’m feeling. It’s a perfectly legitimate question that I would probably ask someone in my situation. The thing is, it is probably the hardest question I could be asked. Of course, I say I’m fine. I wish I could say how I really feel but I honestly don’t know, other than I feel completely conflicted from one moment to the next.

I fight an ongoing battle as I struggle to balance so many emotions, such as the gratefulness of being  pregnant again against the loss of our son, the excitement that this baby deserves against the complete fear I feel, moments of happiness against the guilt of being happy and laughter against the aching in my heart and sleepless nights.

Stronger than you think

People have told me that I’m brave or strong but I don’t feel it. They also say they couldn’t have got through this, but they could have. Going through something like this shows you how strong you can be and also how strong the human instinct to survive is. However, just because I’m not in constant tears anymore doesn’t mean I am doing any better than someone who’s grief is more apparent. As I said, grief is very personal and I am just dealing with things differently and privately.

Every day (well, every minute) I feel different. One minute I will feel Eeyore’s pessimism and the next Piglet’s anxiety and fearfulness. Occasionally I will be lucky enough to feel Tigger’s optimism. Someone told me that grief is like a dart board, which is an accurate analogy. The most intense grief is the bullseye. Although there will be times where my grief will be on the bullseye, it is not physically possible to remain there so my grief moves around the board, to different levels. Although certain events, like anniversaries, more intense grief can be predicted, there are also lots of occasions where for no obvious reason at all, my grief will return to the bullseye.

Care too much

I think a lot of people sighed in relief when we got pregnant again and I totally get that. It is because they desperately want us to be happy. However, although we feel beyond blessed it doesn’t make things any easier. It may even make it harder because as we move through this pregnancy it can feel like we are moving further away from our first son as focus shifts to this baby.

I saw a quote in a SANDS article from a mother who was pregnant again after a loss. She said that being pregnant again is like getting back on a plane after a plane crash killed someone you loved. This is very true.

Dealing with people can be exhausting, especially strangers or new friends. People often ask you when you’re pregnant if it is your first baby. An innocent conversation starter, but I know that these people will not want to know the true answer to that question and I never know where to begin. It is also difficult to know where I now belong. I don’t belong with the first time mums as I gave birth and had a baby but I also don’t feel like I belong with the second time mums who have their babies with them. I know that finding my place in the world again is something I will struggle to do for a long time.

Rivers know

Ultimately, despite all of the difficult emotions and pain we feel, I know that we owe it to our son to try to make the best of our new reality. This is not easy and some days I can not do this. However, as much as possible I remind myself  how many things in my life I have to be grateful for and and in the words of the bear: ‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’.

Images by EH Shepard.

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey

It’s been a while since I have posted a pregnancy update. I’m now 27+3 days pregnant (yes I count days…and hours!). Its been a fairly slow 3 weeks since I last posted. I had hoped after 24 weeks and particularly after 24+5 days time would move a little quicker and I could breath a sigh of relief. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case but it has been comforting to know I am getting closer and closer to a ‘safer’ gestation period.

I found myself wanting to do very little after I hit 24 weeks so I don’t have a huge amount to report. However, I have been pushing on with my french, reading lots, doing a bit of sewing, attending weddings by Skype, eating and being very pampered.

I have also just finished off some bow tie onesies I wanted to have a go at making. My mum sent me some much needed press studs from home (I couldn’t find them anywhere in Dubai!) and so I have sewn these onto the onesies so I can interchange the bow ties.

Press on bow tie onesies for the more discerning baby!

Press on bow tie onesies for the more discerning baby!


I can’t tell you how much I like my longer nails (a benefit of pregnancy!) and having manicures and pedicures really make me feel a bit more bling which is much needed since I’ve been living in baggy pants for quite a while now. Perfect toes are essential in Dubai too, I can’t remember the last time I wore socks.

My lovely husband treated me to a great back and neck massage and paraffin wax pedicure (my first!) today. Two lovely ladies from Strawberry Nails Dubai (who are based in Business Bay) came to our flat to pamper me. They were exactly on time (rare in Dubai) and found our flat without having to call me (even rarer in Dubai). They got right down to it, lighting one of their candles and setting out all of their nail varnishes, mainly from the KoKo brand, out for me to chose which colour I preferred.


Parrafin wax pedicure (my feet are like a newborn baby's now!)

Parrafin wax pedicure (my feet are like a newborn baby’s now!)

Pretty toes

Pretty toes

They sat me down and got to work. They were definitely well practiced and the timings seemed to work perfectly as one massaged my back neck and shoulders whilst the other got to work on my feet. Then when the massage was finished they both turned their attention to my feet, dipping them in the paraffin wax and buffing them to an inch of their lives. We then waited a few minutes for the wax to work it’s magic and so sat and watched This Morning which I had playing in the background! All in all, a fab experience which I can definitely see myself rebooking. They are very well priced and from their Facebook page they look to accept Emirates Platinum discount, always a bonus.

I’ve had quite a pampered week actually as I also went to Cleopatra’s Spa at the Pyramids next to Wafi Mall for a facial which was so relaxing. I have been there before and I think they are very reasonably priced for Dubai (and also give a 20% discount with an Emirates Platinum card). The staff are always great and the relaxation area is perfect and me and my two pregnant friends enjoyed a good few hours in there drinking herbal tea and eating fruit whilst chatting about all things pregnancy related.

We also attended my sister’s wedding via Skype. We managed to see most of the ceremony and thanks to Whatasapp, Facebook and Instagram we saw lots of pictures. Not being able to attend my sister’s wedding was really hard and pretty emotional for lots of reasons but I just had to keep reminding myself of the reason I couldn’t go and bubs kicked constantly that day to help remind me.

Finally, we got to see bubs again yesterday,  probably the only sight advantage of being a high risk pregnancy is that you get scanned constantly and so get to see your little one a lot.  In Dubai, all pregnant ladies do a 3 hour glucose test which involves fasting for 12 hours (including no water and yes, it is 45 degrees outside!) and then drinking a horrible extremely sugary drink. I was warned that baby will go crazy but my little fella seemed to go into a sugar coma and slept for a long time. I think he must like savoury as he soon perked up when I treated myself to some salty popcorn that evening!

Super sugar glucose drink, someone really needs to invent a cake version, this drink is a total waste of calories!

Super sugar glucose drink, someone really needs to invent a cake version, this drink is a total waste of calories!

P.S I’ve also just added mum-blings to instagram (mum_blings), twitter (somanymumblings) and Facebook (Mum-blings) … so feel free to follow me on any of these!

The Bones of You

The Bones of You


Writing this review!

As many of you know, I am currently on bed rest as I’m 26 weeks pregnant and at high risk of premature birth. Bed rest is boring and so I jumped at the chance to read a new book and produce a review on behalf of Mumsnet/Pan Macmillan (thanks for the sending the free book to me in Dubai and in hardback too…fancy!). This is my first official book review and so I hope you enjoy it!

What it’s all about….

This is Debbie Howells’ first novel and it is an impressive debut. The sinister title and hauntingly illustrated cover leaves you in little doubt that this story will not end well for someone, and you find out almost straightaway exactly who that someone is.

The first chapter introduces you to eighteen year old Rosie and given that her first sentence is ‘It’s true, what they say about when you die’, I don’t think I’m giving away too much by saying that it is Rosie’s demise that the book centres around. And when I say her demise, I mean her murder.

You are then introduced to Kate, the main narrator, a likeable and trustworthy character who, after Rosie’s death, becomes more and more embroiled in Rosie’s mum, Jo’s life. Each chapter narrated by Kate  is written in the present tense and is intermingled with a chapter narrated by Rosie,  written in the past tense from beyond the grave.

This dual narrative works well as Rosie’s narration gives you a different perspective and an otherwise unattainable insight into a number of characters as she becomes omniscient after her death. It also allows you to get to know Rosie and her family’s story in-depth, which is integral to the development of the plot. Further, Rosie’s insights, which take the form of ‘flashback movies’, fuel your suspicions as to who the murderer is.

A ‘who-dun-it’ thriller 

The book is well written and the plot line is fairly simple (in its simplest form it is a ‘who-dun-it’ thriller) which works well given the characters are fairly complex. This does mean that the plot isn’t exactly groundbreaking but it doesn’t need to be. The author gives you enough information throughout each chapter to keep you interested. However, she avoids giving you too much information so the plot doesn’t become  predictable.

The chapters are short and often end with a revelation or some kind of cliff-hanger, meaning you resolve to read ‘just one more chapter’ to find out what happens next (it lead to a few late nights for me!). This technique makes the book a true page turner and keeps you guessing, as any good thriller should.

Despite being complex, the majority of the characters are believable and Howell’s writing style keeps you questioning the true personalities of the characters throughout the book. Before you know it, you are jumping wildly from character to character, accusing them in turn of Rosie’s murder, like an incompetent detective.

Did I guess the ending?….

There were some surprises in the plot along the way. That said, I did guess who the murderer was about three quarters of the way through but this didn’t spoil the book for me. And the writing style meant I still wasn’t a hundred per cent until it was confirmed in black and white.

As I sped through the final chapters, desperate to know whether my conspiracy theory was true, I started to worry about the ending and whether it would justify the forty three chapters I had just read. Luckily there was a satisfying (but realistic) ending to the book.


A proper Yorkshire brew and some choccy (for bump) whilst reading the book.

My only criticism…

The lawyer in me is conscious that this review needs to be balanced and with that in mind my only real criticism is that, to me, some of the characters were unrealistic. Neal (Rosie’s dad) was too much of an unbelievable caricature for me. Even Jo’s character sometimes slips into the unbelievable. Further, Kate’s long lost friend Laura, whose backstory is that she returned to the town to cover the story all the way from the USA isn’t very believable, despite the media interest in Rosie’s death due to her dad’s slight fame.

Did I like it?

I read this book in 3 days which is quite an achievement for me. I honestly looked forward to reading it and my reluctance to put it down meant a couple of late nights and consequently some rather dark circles under my eyes the next morning.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book as an easy but enthralling read.

‘V’ day

I am now over 24 weeks pregnant. I have mixed feelings about getting to this ‘milestone’. In the pregnancy world, 24 weeks is considered to be ‘viability’, the stage at which if a woman was to go into labour doctors would be willing to intervene to keep the baby alive. However, it is still incredibly early and for me it doesn’t feel like much of a milestone given I had my son at 24 weeks and 5 days but still lost him. That said, every day bubs continues to cook has to be considered a success. I am more focussed on getting to 25 weeks as I am hoping if I get to that stage I may allow myself to have a little bit more trust in my cerclage and let myself believe that things are different this time around.

24 week bump

It’s strange though, as when I eventually hit a milestone, all I am thinking about is the next one and so each milestone never feels like a particularly big achievement. My main millstones are 25, 30, 34 and then 37 weeks. Still a long way to go but we are slowly inching forward. This week has been the slowest week ever though!

I have pretty much put myself on house arrest this last week but have ventured out in the car/a wheelchair for a coffee and a cake and also for some dinner. It’s nice to get out but I do find myself feeling anxious and concerned that I am sitting rather than lying down. It’s difficult being on modified bed rest as I am not ill. In fact, physically I am feeling pretty good. I am at the stage where I am not that big yet so I am not restricted movement wise and I actually have a fair bit of energy. Despite this energy, I do find it hard to stay on task and to achieve the things that I want to achieve. Most days I do some French, some sewing, some admin etc and feel a sense of achievement but at the moment I lack motivation. Because of the stage I am at right now, I have been taking it easy on myself and allowing myself to laze around the flat watching rubbish television and mopping around. I’ll be a little stricter with myself in the coming months and give myself more targets to achieve.

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The other week I did enjoy a trip out in my wheels to Craftland and Paper Lane in a lovely little mall, Town Centre, Jumeriah, just next to Mercato mall. I didn’t buy much but got some quilting batting, some more fat quarters (I’m slightly obsessed with them!) and some embellishments.  I will definitely be popping back in the future and I was pleased to find some decent craft stores in Dubai (even though they are expensive compared to those in the UK). Here are some of my current craft projects.