It’s Miscarriage Awareness Week and my wife’s doing a bake sale at work to raise money for Tommy’s, a charity which endeavours to conduct research into miscarriage and stillbirth and support families undergoing these traumas.
Nothing particularly unusual about that.
However, she’s doing three half marathons as well.
And that’s because the experiences Tommy’s helps couples through are very close to our heart.
Delve a little deeper, uncover the heartache we personally went through two years ago this month and you’ll see the scar tissue is still raw.
I don’t tell our story at all to curry sympathy or to make anyone upset.
But if in some small way it helps people be a bit more open (and donate to this excellent charity too via her Just Giving page) it’s definitely a good thing.
Five years ago, London 2012 exploded into our living rooms in a tidal wave of golden hysteria.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tom Daley and Laura Trott led the charge as Team GB’s remarkable exploits captured the nation.
As for us, we were sat watching from our new Chorlton living room having made the switch from Lincolnshire’s Grantham to the suburbs of England’s most ambitious city.
And we’ve never looked back since…
Our Austrian holiday “peaked” at 2600m on top of the Wetterkreutz.
Sophie and Harry’s first mountain was certainly a good ‘un.
I’ve always loved mountain walking but always on the condition we get to scale summits and tick them off on my mental list.
So when Andrew suggested we go on a longer walk I jumped at the chance to notch my first Alpine peak.
It was a real excitement to pull on my boots, pack up a chunky picnic and look up at the imposing rock face that stood ahead of us.
The only slight complication was the addition of two small children into the mix.
And there was no question of them staying at home.
We’d come prepared – my wife had a sling for Harry and I had a backpack to carry Sophie up. We were also to hugely benefit from a ski lift taking us 2000m of the way. From there though it was climbing steeply in the heat of the day with the children in tow.
It was hard work if I’m honest but we invented a guessing game to keep us entertained. It essentially involved me shouting animals and Sophie shouting colours. Plenty of blue penguins and yellow meerkats on offer.
Towards the top, a sheet of snow – more like compacted hail – made life even tougher. Andrew picked a way over it carefully and I followed suit. Sophie was hanging out of the backpack, shifting my centre of gravity really unhelpfully but I was able to navigate it.
Next came my wife with Harry and he’d decided to wake up by this point. As she tested the ground, his sling slumped forward putting pressure on the back of her neck and weighing her down. She did marvellously well though and made it across.
From there we could really see the distinctive cross which marked the top of the mountain. Just a short zigzag round the summit, a zip across some more snow and then we were there.
Views from the top were absolutely glorious and we even managed to get a classic shot of us looking like a Christian missionary family. (There would certainly be worse places to work).
For the way down I took Harry and Andrew carried Sophie. The temperature had sunk as we’d ascended but this swiftly changed and it was hot and uncomfortable by the time we made it back to the ski lift.
(Naturally my inner child kicked in as we approached the finish line and I raced away from the others so Harry and I secured a glorious victory. At least in my head we did anyway.)
We’d done it – first mountain for the littlies conquered. Many more to come I hope.
On our recent holiday to Austria, I thought it would be a tremendous idea to nip over the border into Italy and have a pizza.
My wife could have coffee, Sophie could have ice cream, Harry could have…er…bread(?) and everyone would be happy.
After all, it was only about 50km to the border. Simple.
Little did I know what I was letting myself in for…
OK, so we’d survived the night of all of us in one room. Just about.
And we’d had an incredible holiday in Austria (more in future posts).
But we really hit a low point with the security check on the way back. I mean, we’ve only been flying for twenty years…
First with Sophie and now with Harry I have signed myself up to the “dream feed” – a late evening bottle to give them a boost and stop them waking my wife up earlier than she needs on the night shift.
It’s always been a special time of bonding with the children, where I can do my bit to help out and look after them in a way they absolutely need.
Six months in though and the parameters have changed and my body is starting to feel the pace…
When I was left in charge of getting both children out of the house today, all was going really well.
Both Sophie and Harry were dressed, fed and watered and were all set for Sophie’s dancing class. We were well ahead of schedule and set to actually be early for an organised event.
(This was made all the more remarkable by the fact my wife – normally our chief family organiser – was out doing Park Run for the first time since Harry was born)
As I put Harry into the car seat in the living room in preparation, I smiled to myself in a congratulatory way.
How overconfident can you get…
Can you remember your first sleepover?
While I don’t remember my first time sleeping over somewhere different, I tend to associate sleepovers with Championship Manager marathons, bad films, sweets and very little sleep.
Anybody else have similar thoughts?
Well, Sophie had her first friend sleep over in her bedroom recently and while the Playstation stayed well and truly off, there was still plenty of fun and games. Continue reading
Three days into Potty Training.
I’ve not left the house for almost 72 hours.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears has been spilled.
Our little girl is sick to death of the little green toilet we keep asking her to sit on.
But, whisper it quietly, I think we might be getting somewhere.
When our little girl unleashed the contents of her stomach across her bedroom floor two hours after she should have gone to sleep the other evening, we knew it would be no ordinary night in our house.