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OK so I’m going to gloss over the length of time I’ve been away, and merely suggest you ask my husband why it is so difficult for him to get round to uploading photos and video to the interweb so I have something interesting to show you. Anyway, instead, you get to just read some exciting words and use your imagination. Yeah it’s that dusty thing out back of your brain last used to supply dolls with hot steaming tea / turn a cardboard box into a racecar (delete as appropriate).

Anyway, item 1 on the agenda ... Ina May Gaskin. Oh yes, Ina May frickin GASKIN ladies and gents, who is one of these itty bitty people who can fill a whole big room with an instance sense of calm, and wisdom and, all the other things I might one day possess when I grow up.

We were at the NCT Big Weekend which was just such a thrill for me. A whole weekend of talking to other women about birth stuff, and seeing babies in slings all over the place, most of them passed out with their heads at impossible angles, others being breast fed without any sense of having to move discreetly into a dark corner to avoid the embarrassment of others.

Anyway I digress, top of a very exciting list of speakers was the lady herself and sitting in the lunch hall on Sunday with Keith and Alfie, I was just a little bit excited, and possibly distracted as well. We were busy solving the issue of how to give a whole banana to a boy who (understandably) isn’t too keen on slime as a food texture (despite eating some of the goop during “Goop Time” at the crèche). We finally figured out that bananas come ready installed with the solution (the skin) and that just cutting down the skin to half way provides a perfect handle for a now highly enthused little boy (a little too enthused actually, there was some gagging). 

Feeling triumphant, I went to collect up the excess slimy nana and (can you see where this is going yet) lost grip, firing a piece out into the general mêlée of the hall. Right into a lady who was walking not a foot from our table at the time. A lovely lady with grey hair and a lovely green jacket and OH MY GOD IT’S INA MAY!!! I just fired a piece of banana at Ina May GASKIN. To be fair I don’t think she even noticed, she just sailed serenely on towards the hot food bar. But seriously, Ina May if by some weird quirk of life you might ever actually read this, I’m sorry.

And on the subject of crèche stays, it was a roaring success for young Alfie B (as the staff christened him) who came away from the weekend with a certificate thanking him for entertaining the staff, and for enjoying music time. If Keith ever tames his new mobile, there will be a video on ewe choob which will make infinite sense of both those statements.

One of the things I found out while I was away was this and frankly I have few words to describe how poor I find this. Ina May’s talk was very much about how the US is following the Brazilian maternity model which in private hospitals has a C Section rate of 95%.

Can we just pause for a moment to really take in what I just said.

95% of babies are cut out of their mothers in urban Brazil.

That is just so wrong on so many levels I’m not even sure where to start.

Anyway, I really hope the UK can stop and think long enough to realise that the US are not a great role model in this respect and make the choice to move in a different direction that provides healthy choices for all birthing women.

Moving on I have other news.

We went to see the dermatologist about Alfie’s skin the other week and predictably we were given some hydrocortisone creams. Just as predictably, they are doing an amazing job of fixing the little fella, which is great. The important thing for both Keith and I, though, was that the doctor (who we had researched and specifically requested to be referred to because of her work in paediatric dermatology) listened well to the history of Alfie’s condition and agreed to his being allergy tested as part of an holistic approach to tackling his condition. Huzzah! He goes back pretty soon to discuss ongoing management of his flare ups, so fingers crossed the next meeting is as positive as the first.

Incidentally, there are some new photos in the album, but if you want to keep up to date with the Daily Bumbo (as it has now become), start badgering Keith on Facebook. In fact, badger him anyway, he might actually get round to uploading those videos!!

Oh and as a final little snippet of juicy gossip, I got an honourable mention in a writing contest recently. Check out Rixa's blog if you don't believe me!

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