Coming (un) clean – why the continence conversation, however difficult, needs to start now

birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding, feminism, incontinence, shame

Daring to bare is difficult and odd.It also makes you ponder strange things, like why am I persisting in writing about something so embarrassing? Will it come back to bite me in the bum when people realise how rank my health has been? And what will my dad say if he reads a piece I’ve […]

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Call The Midwife – Continence Heroes (Part 1)

feminism, incontinence, patient, shame

Last week’s episode of Call The Midwife caused a Twitter storm before it had even started.  The continuity announcer introduced it as gentle nostalgia. The sort of adjectives suggesting a quaint, mild, uncontroversial, quiet show. I wonder why, I think, snarling and growing another skein, why does the announcer emphasise the idea this show is […]

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AND Another thing. Antenatal Depression

birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding, depression, hope, shame

Being pregnant is a fragile time, and yet it is easy to imagine any complex feelings you have, from ambivilence to fear, from hysterial to doubt, are unusual and some sort of personal indicator of your lack of worthiness. I always think of Antenatal Depression as Postnatal Depression’s slightly more stigmatised and demonised little sister.  […]

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SMTWTFS

hope, patient, shame

Every Sunday morning I have a chore. It is just a small job, five minutes, maybe ten tops, but crucial. I have to refill my pill box for the week, and note down if there are any I need to re-repeat. It doesn’t take long, though it is fiddly. It is also a useful thing […]

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In Memoriam – Part II


family & parenting

My 6 year old son is more sentimental about the past than his Great Grandmother who was born in 1920. And yet… he combines this nostalgia (for when he was a small boy, that day when I let him have 3 polos, the time he found a stick in the park, the birthday party three […]

25th May 2014

Home Coming


depression, family & parenting

In Belfast airport this evening, on the return leg of a work trip, I was confronted with my son’s first love. Sophie The Giraffe! There she was, a tiny statue version of herself, dancing on a music box in a tourist shop. A last minute gift for a busy parent like me to grab at; […]

28th November 2013

Pot(ty) Luck


family & parenting, incontinence

I loathe the phrase ‘quality time’. Possibly because I can’t work out what it means. And I am both suspicious and indignant about things when I don’t know what they mean (and everyone else seems to). I’m told my husband and I should have more of it. And I should feel guilty for not spending […]

16th September 2013

Don’t Touch


family & parenting

My favourite parenting nightmare is when a simple conversation with a toddler is revealed later to have a different, often diametrically opposite meaning to each participant. Or indeed when many conversations appear to have been at cross purposes. Such as in February when we realised the toddler thought that the word for the ladder on […]

9th May 2013

Wobble


family & parenting

Eldest child has his first wobbly tooth. This is the sort of thing which makes me feel unimaginably old, but also so very young and green and quick. It unites the child me and the grown up me, sheds light on the foolish me of my twenties when I was clear I’d leave a twenty […]

9th April 2013

To do


family & parenting

David Attenborough was allegedly asked once which animal he found most fascinating to observe and replied an infant human. I concur. I was holding a baby yesterday and her mum remarked on how the wee one liked me. I put it down to a combination of experience at mumming and the fact that uncivilised babies […]

22nd January 2013

No shame…


incontinence, patient

I know, I know you must all be sitting at home thinking what on earth happened to thatwoman after she got all embarrassed at a urogynae appointment and spilled it all online. Why did she stop blogging? Is she dead? Or is she still scrabbling for her Oyster card and messing up her life?

30th October 2012

Shame


incontinence, patient, shame

I loved the film Shame. I found it moving, and simple, and complicated, and dirty, and clean all at the same time. I was drawn in but horrified, not by the central character’s sex addiction but the easy decline of me into voyeur, and the extent of that voyeurism. I was as pulled into the […]

20th August 2012

July / Birthdays


birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding

This month was a well of nostalgia. July always is. I am thrust back to the past, however hard I cling to the present. However hard I work I’m hurled with my broken nails into maudlin reminders. A month of anticipation and worry, niggling silliness. A week, two days, 24 hours until the anniversary of […]

25th July 2012