New life blossomed despite the lupus that shook mum’s world

Llydia Bannocks, Blossom Primrose, Lupus, #whatkatydid, Essex, Fiona Kennedy

‘That smile gets me through’ – Llydia Bannocks with partner Graham and Blossom Primrose
Picture by: www.fionakennedy.co.uk

Imagine having a condition that masquerades as several other illnesses.

For those living with Lupus – an incurable immune illness, mainly suffered by females – it’s a reality and part of the reason that diagnosis can take so long.

Hairdresser Llydia Bannocks, 37, of Ironwell Close, Rochford was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007, after two years of debilitating symptoms and misdiagnosis.

Llydia recalls: “I suffered everything from severe fatigue and hair loss to extreme pain in joints mimicking flu, an enlarged lymphatic system, intense rashing in the sun, corn beef looking pattern to the skin on my legs…

“I was extremely fit and active prior to my Lupus manifesting. I would go to the gym at least five times a week, work reasonably long hours without breaks and feel absolutely fine. Continue reading

Injections, sedation and tough chats… all in a bid to have our baby

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, IVF baby

A long time coming: Our little Sonny Jim

Two years ago, much of May was spent fretting about having a bit of an awkward conversation with my boss.

After almost a decade of trying for a baby, my husband and I were about to have IVF.

Six rounds of clomid and three rounds of IUI – despite there being nothing medically wrong with either of us – still hadn’t resulted in a baby, so we had finally been referred to Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

We were lucky. This was before the cut backs the NHS is now suffering. We were entitled to up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS. We didn’t have to face decisions like donating my eggs to fund our own fertility treatment. We just had to think about us. Continue reading

Gym to offer NAPPING classes? Er, yes please!

Napercise, What Katy Did, David Lloyd

Napercise classes? My kind of workout!

David Lloyd Clubs is set to become the first UK fitness brand to offer group napping classes – scientifically designed to reinvigorate the mind, improve moods and even burn the odd calorie.

“Napercise” is launching in the wake of research revealing a “tiredness epidemic” across the UK, with 86 per cent of parents admitting to suffer from fatigue (er, yes that’s me) and 26 per cent regularly getting less than 5 hours sleep a night (oh that’ll be me again.)

19 per cent of tired parents admit to having had a kip at work (only not me because I’m a WFH mum), 11 per cent have found themselves drifting off while driving (I don’t really drive – thankfully!) and 5 per cent have forgotten to pick up their child from school due to their tiredness (oh hello me in three years time!)

So in a bid to combat this, David Lloyd Clubs is launching “Napercise” – a new type of wellbeing class for exhausted parents that consists of nothing but climbing into a bed and having a sleep. Continue reading

13 things the first 13 months of motherhood has taught me

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, What Katy Did, motherhood

Sweet boy: Sonny Jim has taught me a lot

First things first. I’m not one of those mums who, when asked how old their child is, replies with something like 47 weeks, or 22 months.

My maths isn’t good enough for that. I stopped with the weeks things when I got muddled up at around 14 weeks (or was it 15 weeks?)

Anyway. Sonny Jim is one. BUT as I have 13 points, it kinda wraps things up nicely to tie that in with the fact he is almost 13 months.

Right. That’s that cleared up.

Here are the 13 things that motherhood has taught me so far: (Obviously there are a lot more than this – some big, some small – but these are the ones my damn-that-sleep-regression-or-is-it-teeth muddled brain can bring to mind right at this moment.) Continue reading

You need to be made of strong stuff at soft play!

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, soft play, the Fun Factory

Soft play Sonny Jim: safe from sharp edges and hard floors

Since Sonny Jim started crawling a couple of months ago I’ve been desperately trying to wear the little menace out so as he stops wanting to continually open and close doors, climb up everything in sight and use any part of my anatomy that’s in range as a bouncy castle.

So soft play it was. Our first venture into this weird world was the Fun Factory, on the Purdeys Industrial Estate, in Rochford. Sonny Jim adored the slide, was terrified by the ball pit and crawled around free from his mum’s usual fretting about sharp edges and hard floors. Since that first trip though, I’ve realised that whatever soft play place you go to, there are always these kids hanging about too… Continue reading

Why I’ll be holding my baby extra close tomorrow

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, lucky, Mothers Day

So lucky: My wonderful baby boy

Tomorrow will be my first Mother’s Day as a mama. I am beyond thrilled to be able to type that.

But as wonderfully special as the day will be for me, there are so many, many women for whom the day is the hardest of the year.

Before Sonny Jim, even though I’m lucky enough to still have my wonderful ma, I disliked this day. I waited nine years for my baby. Spent more than five of those years under various hospitals, undergoing tests and procedures, being stabbed with hundreds of needles, pumped full of different hormones and then constantly disappointed. Mothering Sunday became a day when scrolling through my Facebook feed felt a bit like death by a thousand papercuts. All those gorgeous babies snuggled up to their mamas. All those cute kids with their homemade creations. It hurt. More than I can explain. Continue reading

A labour of love

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, newborn

A year ago today: Finally I hold my baby boy in my arms

Today Sonny Jim is one. ONE. I’m going to have to drink a lot of Prosecco to cope with this fact. But anyway. His first birthday has got me thinking about my first (giving) birth day. And as every woman’s birth experiences are so different I figured I’d share my own little labour of love…

9pm, March 21 – six days before baby’s due date: I’m making chocolate Ferrero Rocher balls, having painted a patch on the kitchen ceiling earlier in the day. My belly aches a bit, but I am TOTALLY DETERMINED that I must make these chocolate balls. I don’t know why. It doesn’t occcur to me that I am displaying the classic nesting-overload-so-baby-must-imminent signs, because I have NO desire to clean the kitchen floor. Or rearrange cupboards.

10.30pm: Go to bed and actually sleep for more than two hours without needing to pee. Continue reading