Thursday, 25 August 2011


Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been a bit busy.

Here he is: Charlie William Hobbo. He was born in King's College Hospital at 3.19am on 20th June 2011, weighing 6lb 6oz and feeling like 697lb 48oz.

I won't go through the full labour story here, mainly because I can barely bear to go through it in my own head. Let's just say highlights included being rushed to hospital in an ambulance, and then having to wait to actually go into A&E while the paramedic standing in the entrance finished his fag.

Then there was the delivery room. When I was wheeled in it was lit with a weird green light and the stereo in the corner was playing Livin' on a Prayer. For a moment I thought I was giving birth inside an Xbox 360. In 1987.

They say there is no way you can truly prepare for childbirth, and they are not ****ing kidding. I have no real words of wisdom, just one top tip to offer:

Wearing a sombrero during childbirth may seem like an hilarious idea two weeks before the event. By the time you're 5cm dilated, it won't.

It was all worth it, of course.

I wish I could be all sardonic and cynical about it but the thing is, Charlie is the most brilliant thing that's ever happened to me. Yes, even counting that episode with Simon from Blue.

I don't know what's going to happen to this blog now. I'd like to keep updating it when I have time. So expect more news in 2029.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Charlie's adventures via his Tumblr thingy.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Milking It

Last night I went to the pub with Rupert, Brammers, Janey and James Grant. I told them about my idea for a new drinking game, White Russian Roulette.

It was inspired by Simon's recent party, where he handed out Mystery Shots - an assortment of alcoholic liquids served in opaque film canisters, so you can't see what you're drinking till it's too late.

White Russian Roulette requires 12 players and 12 film canisters. In 11 of the canisters is a regular shot of White Russian. In the 12th canister is a shot of breast milk.

Rupert suggested the breast milk canister could have some kind of nipple drawn on the bottom. You could all stand in a circle and take the shots at the same time, looking around at all the canisters as you drink to find out who got unlucky. It's this sort of thinking which made him MD of his own company by 21.

There followed a discussion about the rights and wrongs of drinking breast milk. Basically everyone went, "It's wrong."

Except for James Grant, who raised his head high and said:

"It would be an honour to drink Ellie Gibbo's breast milk."

Sir, I salute you.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Size Matters

Just five weeks to go now. I am determined to remain in a zen-like state of beatific calm for the duration. After all there's not much to do except pack the hospital bag, make a birth plan, assemble the crib, wash all the clothes, get a buggy, buy all the other stuff, read all the books, frantically cram eight months' worth of pelvic floor exercises into five weeks and move house.

At least we've finished all our ante-natal classes now. Yesterday's was about breastfeeding. I was reminded once again that I am entering a strange new world, one where people can keep an entirely straight face while saying things like, "Can we park the nipple shield for a moment?"

It was during this class I learned the Hooter Hider is a thing that exists. Invented (and one can only assumed named) by an American lady, it is designed for use while breastfeeding in public. Presumably to stop the people around you turning to stone should their gaze accidentally fall on a bit of your tit.

As you can see, it is both stylish AND practical.

Anyway we've managed to buy some nappies, after only a brief row about it.

"What size shall we get?" said Pete, pointing to the packages of newborn nappies marked "Size 1" and "Size 2".

"Well, I am pretty sure newborn babies are quite small," I said. "So I would go for Size 1."

"Hmm," said Pete. "I think we should get Size 2, to be on the safe side. What if Size 1 is too small?"

"Look here," I said, picking up a pack of the Size 1s. "It says this size is suitable for babies weighing up to 11 pounds."

"But just in case..."

"I am getting the Size 1 nappies," I said. "If the baby weighs more than 11 pounds you can get whatever size you like, as I will be dead."

Just five weeks to go now.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Carey in the Community

A thick A4 envelope arrived in the post this morning. Inside was a magazine and a hand-written letter from Jon F, my former bridesman.


Knowing as I do that Mariah Carey has inspired you since adolescence, I saw this and was struck that yet again the paths of your lives seem to have converged."

"Such a photoshoot would be a lovely way to capture you and Pete in the later stages of your pregnancy - what do you think?"

"I've marked my personal favourite on page 10."

"Yours ever, Jon Jon x"

I have booked the photographer.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Bit of a Stretch

I discovered my first stretch mark yesterday.

"Pete! Look!" I exclaimed, prodding it with an index finger. "This is it. The beginning of the end."

Pete glanced up from his game of Bejeweled Blitz. "You are beautiful," he said solemnly. "In every single way."

I stopped prodding. "Oh," I said. "That's lovely."

"I mean it," he went on. "You are beautiful, no matter what they say. Words won't bring you down."

My eyes narrowed. "Are you quoting Christina Aguilera at me?"

"Oh, is that who it is?" said Pete innocently. "I thought it was Keats."

Could have been worse. Could have been James Blunt.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Natal Attraction

Pete and I attended our first ante-natal class the other day. It was very informative about all the things which can happen during the birth, to the point where I was left feeling quite anti-natal myself.

All the other attendees seemed friendly and the teacher was great. I think I knew it was going to be all right when she asked if anyone was planning to eat the placenta. No one nodded.

"Eating the placenta is supposed to prevent post-natal depression," the teacher said. "My feeling has always been, if I ate that, I would become post-natally depressed."

I kept quiet about my plans for an intensive hair conditioning treatment, as inspired by a recent trip to an American pharmacy:

Apparently most people's waters break at night. "You'll want to remain calm at this stage," said the teacher. "So Dads, the best thing to do is open a bottle of wine and pour Mum a glass." I was starting to like this woman more and more.

There was a long discussion about all the things you can do to while away the hours before you actually go to hospital and start pushing. These include having a nice healthy breakfast, doing some squatting exercises, eating some lunch to keep your strength up, walking up and down stairs, going for a lovely stroll etc.

That's all I can recall, anyway. Everyone else was furiously scribbling things down throughout this chat, but looking at my notes now all I have written is: "WINE - BREAKFAST - LUNCH."

On the next page I have scrawled "LABOUR CANAPES" and underlined it three times. The teacher said it's important to have lots of snacks on hand during the birth. I explained to Pete these are to keep my energy levels up, and not for trying to tempt the baby out by poking it with a Pepperami Firestick.

The most exciting part of the day was when we learned about "push presents". This is a new trend from America - the Dad gives the new Mum a reward immediately after labour.

J-Lo's husband gave her a pair of $2.5 million diamond earrings for her push present. For that money I'd want a life-sized diamond replica of my vagina as it was before the event, but I guess it's up to Pete.

After the class was over, Pete and I felt overwhelmed by the realisation that we will soon experience the miracle of life first-hand. We released the tension by having a row outside a pub about whether it's acceptable to text your best mate in the middle of a discussion about perineal tearing.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sucking beer through straws

Less than two months to go now. I have found a role model for this final phase of pregnancy:

I particularly like the spectacular hats and dance moves at 1 min 15. I like the idea of Alice and Lizzy recreating this scenario at my bedside to urge me on during the labour.

Where can I buy a rust-coloured satin bustier? And has anyone got a keyboard Pete could borrow?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lookin' Good

Luke has presented me with the most amazing pregnancy gift:

I love this book. It's full of 1987-tastic tips on everything from shopping for your new arrival:

To keeping active in the run-up to the birth:

To money-saving ideas. Glamorous indeed!

I think my favourite bits are the keep fit sections, though.

I particularly like this page, with its advice on "Testing for rectal separation". Had a go at this earlier. No idea whether I passed.

This is probably my favourite picture, though. For me it captures the real essence of the book, a message that echoes down through the ages from one generation of women to the next:

YES, you can be pregnant AND beautiful - even though you're knackered, fat and living under a Tory government!

Thanks Luke!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Best Laid Plans

Just two and a half months to go now. I'm not panicking. Plenty of time to buy all the things I haven't gotten around to purchasing yet, which is basically everything except several dozen babygros with cute ducks on.

People keep asking me if I have a Birth Plan. I do. It is this:

1. Go to hospital.

2. Have baby.

3. Er, that's it.

I have been offered the option of having a home birth, but this doesn't really appeal. I'd rather be where all the drugs and doctors and surgeons are, in a nice clean hospital bed. I imagine being hooked up to every available monitor with dozens of wires like in The Matrix, with computers keeping track of the baby's every movement and feeding live updates to my Facebook page.

I can't say I fancy the alternative much, i.e. lying on my DFS sofa screaming while Pete runs a Stanley knife under the tap.

People also keep asking me whether I'm getting excited yet. As I've been telling them, it's a bit like when you're a kid waiting for Christmas - there's that same sense of thrilling anticipation and joyful impatience, but with a twist.

You know you're going to have this amazing day where you receive this fantastic gift, but at the same time, you know you're going to have to spend the morning of that day being repeatedly stabbed in the genitals before you can open your presents.

Roll on 24th June.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Big Problems

Pete continues to offer his unique brand of love and support. The other day I was feeling a bit down, having realised I'm now so big that putting my socks on is a struggle.

"I just feel MASSIVE," I said, gazing miserably at my stomach.

"Well," said Pete, placing an arm round my shoulders, "You're not small."

I decided to cheer myself up by researching baby fashion trends for autumn Y2K11. I think I've settled on a few key looks.