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All posts tagged happy children

For this glorious piece, mums Pippa, Emma and Vicky wrote themselves an open letter, going back in time to the day they found out their beautiful children had Down’s syndrome. The letters are poignant, powerful, funny, sweet and so lovely. Just like their children! I am so proud to work for the Down’s syndrome community, doing what we can to represent the reality of Down’s syndrome in the media so that families of the future understand that it’s not to be feared. Down’s syndrome has made these incredible children who they are.

Out now in Best. I worked on this piece in partnership with The Specials, which is a wonderful project. Check out their videos here.

The incredible story of first time mum Carolyne, who flew to India to have a type of IVF called ’embryo adoption’ at 58 years old. Using eggs from a younger donor and a sperm donor too, a fertilised embryo was transferred into Carolyne’s womb and she successfully carried the baby to term.
Now 59, Carolyne is a single mum raising the gorgeous Javed on her own, surrounded by supportive friends and family. While Carolyne’s story is controversial, she argues her point well and no-one can dispute that Javed will grow up knowing how loved and wanted he is.

You can read the full story here.

If you happened to watch the excellent Let Down on Netflix, you’ll know that motherhood is having a moment. I was inspired to write a piece about the reality of parenting because, as the Let Down so wonderfully celebrated, it is not always Instagram-perfect and is more often about putting the phone in the fridge and forgetting your own birthday.

These champion mums came forward to make my idea a reality and provided warm, witty, real anecdotes about life raising kids. Catch Rachel’s account of makeup on her walls and sick in her hair, and other motherhood greats, in Best this week!

Isn’t this a gorgeous piece? After pop princess Kylie announced that she’s more likely to be a step-mother than a mother now, we asked Cath to share her step-situation with us. Cath is step-mum to four lovely children but doesn’t have any biological children of her own, so I like to tell her she’s basically Wales’s answer to Kylie.

The piece is a celebration of step-families, blended families, happy families – all the wonderful ways we make our families. Thank you to Cath for sharing! Out now in Bella.

I’m really enjoying writing about sperm donation and single women seeking out this wonderful way of making their dreams come true. I’ve had a few articles published on this topic now and this latest one, in Reveal, is a fantastic celebration of women becoming mums despite not having found a man to parent with.

These aren’t necessarily career women who put off having children, but also women who never found the right man, or had health circumstances get in the way of something they always presumed would just happen the old fashioned way. When it didn’t, they stepped up. And now look at their gorgeous babies!

 

I worked with the wonderful charity Scope to bring this story to women’s magazines. Christie was so wonderfully determined to share the darkness she experienced following a difficult pregnancy and traumatic birth, in the hopes that her story will help others experiencing similar difficulties to feel less alone. There’s way too much pressure on women to have instagram-ready pregnancies and births. Just look at Kate Middleton looking all blow-dried, high-heeled and gorgeous hours after her third birth, yesterday! But what happens if you don’t feel like posing for photos after your child is born? What if you feel like everything’s gone wrong? It can happen – Christie was diagnosed with PTSD after everything that happened to her.

After little Elise was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Christie has been supported by Scope. Please do contact them if you are affected by the details of this story. Out now in Best.

 

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day! Time for my annual love fest – click below to see a collection of the incredible families I’ve written about in the last year. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to use my pen (alright, keyboard) to celebrate so many inspiring young people. These are the game-changers, the rule-breakers, the cliche-defiers – while there’s never been more urgency to highlight what Down’s syndrome actually is (and not what medical professionals would STILL have us fear it is) these little legends are going about their legendaryness with aplomb. Just by being who they are, the ripple effect across society says We. Are. Awesome. So while NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) looms into view, the Down’s syndrome community are here to say #wouldntchangeathing.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

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Is it too soon to say it’s spring? January has flown by and there is definite floral evidence in the garden that winter is waving goodbye and spring is waving hello. We’re super busy at Phoenix Towers, writing about all things Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and beyond.

We’ve been working on some really interesting stories about incredible women like Danielle, who’s identical twins are not quite identical, and Gail, whose daughters were tragically diagnosed with a cruel childhood condition that could see them develop all the symptoms of dementia before they reach their teens. There’s hope for Gail’s daughters – thanks to a pioneering trial, they might be able to delay the onset of symptoms and while they’re at it, change the future for thousands of children like them. It’s a story of hope and love and you can read all about it over on our ‘Recent Stories’ page.

This is the heartbreaking yet hopeful story of the beautiful Rich family. Tragically, eldest daughter Nicole was diagnosed with Batten’s disease, a cruel condition that means she’s lose her sight, ability to swallow, walk, pick things up. And in time, she’ll suffer all the symptoms of dementia. As if fate had not been cruel enough, youngest daughter Jessica was also diagnosed.

But there is hope. Both daughters are on a trial which could change the world. For Nicole, there has been a dramatic and unexpected improvement in her symptoms. For Jessica, who was diagnosed before she even had symptoms, the trial drug might just delay the onset of symptoms for years or even forever. This has significant ramifications for a whole host of childhood diseases. In short, the outcome of Jessica’s trial might just change the world for thousands of families.

Gail and her family are beautiful and brave and it was an honour to write about them. Out now in Best.

Extra big story this week – three pages in Best Magazine. Absolutely love all these champs, writing open letters to their future selves. I love this style of writing, it’s so powerful. We have Claire, advising herself on life after her three eldest sons flew the nest… Tracey, discovering what truly matters in life after fighting cancer (and celebrating the news of a new baby on the way – whoop!) and Lou, a divorcee looking forward to new beginnings in 2018.

Thank you all for working with me and here’s to a wonderful new year x