On Finally Writing That Book

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Last week was one of the most surreal, exciting and baffling of my life. It was all a bit bonkers and I’m still pinching myself.

Let me start at the beginning. And by the beginning I mean 1991.

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to write my own book: in fact, I did age six, a masterpiece entitled ‘Roger and The Gost’ (sic), a spooky tale about someone called Roger who had a ghost in his loft. My mum helpfully dug it out for me so I could remember my roots, innit, and you can see my literary genius and funky spelling above and below.

Fast-forward to 2001 and I start blogging, as I had neither the ideas or the attention span to write a whole book. I wrote about pressing issues such as boys, clothes and teenage life (oh the angst!) but blogging took a back seat for a couple of years when I meet the love of my life.  By this I mean Will rather than ASOS though both stepped into my world in the same year and both rocked it (and still do).

I started working in the Digital world in 2007 and started writing a book on my honeymoon (I gave up after 5 pages, it gave me hand cramp). This parent blogging journey began in October 2009, the day I took a positive pregnancy test, and I’ve been here ever since; two pregnancies, two c-sections, countless milestones, a near-mental breakdown and approximately 250,000 words later. I love my blog, I love the therapy, the camaraderie of the blogging community. I love the friends I’ve made and the confidence it has given me. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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I still haven’t written a book, though.

But then: BUT THEN! I received an email from a literary editor who had found my blog through Google Images. She complimented me on my writing (the head expands) and asked if I’d ever considered writing a book? HAD I EVER. A few emails went back and forth and I found myself rocking up to some very lovely offices in Holborn this Thursday to meet said editor and an agent. Who will now be representing me in my literary endeavours.

HOLY FUCK MACKEREL.

I have always very much believed in my blog and its ability to not only make me feel better about the person I’ve become since I stepped into the world of motherhood, but other women as well. So there’s nothing like someone (other than my mum) putting themselves out there and saying they believe in me, too. Especially when these other people are actual proper publishing professionals who are going to work as hard as they can with me to shape this blog into a book.

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After my meeting with my new editor (!) and agent (!) I did what any budding author would do: I bought a new notebook and pen and took myself to MeatLiquor for a burger and a glass of Trebbiano. I tweeted a lot and freaked out. I think I’m still freaking out a bit but a little less so, which is why I’m starting to sketch out the plan for More Than Toast: THE BOOK.

I want to create a resource for women that I never had when I was pregnant. I want to write an anecdotal guide for women like me who step off the career rollercoaster into a life of domestic bliss that ain’t actually so blissful. I want to to say the things nobody told me before I had my babies, like “actually, breastfeeding hurts more than a caesarian” and “if you don’t fall in love instantly with your child you aren’t a freak”. I want women like me to know that it’s OK not to feel completely fulfilled by motherhood, I want women like me to not feel alone in those scary few months. I want to lay out the good and the bad that the NCT don’t touch on.

I want to write about the really helpful stuff that isn’t included in those other boring pregnancy guides, too. Like how good Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream is for pretty much anything your baby’s body will throw at you (nappy rash! Chapped nipples! Weird dry skin!) or the best places to buy maternity clothes that aren’t actually maternity clothes and won’t make you feel like a massive frump (American Apparel, baby). I want to help new mums to not feel as lost as I did.

The community of amazing readers that surround my blog have counselled me, calmed me and cheered me in the direst and happiest of situations. And that’s why I am so excited to share this news with you, because I wouldn’t be here without you all. I’ve always maintained that I write for myself, but I kind of write for you more. I love that by sharing my innermost thoughts, feelings and experiences with the world I am making a positive difference to my life and other’s lives too.

Which is why I want to put this over to you. I know what I feel is missing in a book about pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, but what about you? What do you feel goes unsaid in the boring mum guide book world? Should I be writing about my experiences month-by-month/week-by-week or should I go freestyle and divide the book up by subject, Caitlin Moran-style? LEAVE A COMMENT, LET ME KNOW!!

However this book does turn out I can promise you this: it will be choc full of honesty, humour, warmth and wine. Because without those four things I would be rocking in a padded cell weeping for my own mother.

Here’s to motherhood, here’s to the internet, and here’s to making your dreams come true.

PS: If you give me some really good ideas I will totally thank you in the acknowledgements section ;) 

108 thoughts on “On Finally Writing That Book

  1. I think broken down into subjects would be good e.g feeding, sleeping, clothes, SEX, etc etc!
    And I have a wise tip for your new book readers….
    Never Ever attempt to have sex for the first time after baby while wearing breast pads. When he goes to fondle its a bit of a passion killer.

    Congrats Alice you will totally rock at writing a book, I can’t wait to read it.

    • Oh Katie, that really made me laugh out loud! I do have lots to say about breastpads (god, they used to make my nipples itch!). Thank you xx

      • I hated paper breastpads! I bought washable bamboo ones in the end, soooooo soft. I am tempted to wear them in the winter even after I stop breastfeeding just to keep my nips warm.

        I’m not sure how far (ie child’s age) you’re going to be going up to in your book, but what I am struggling to juggle right now is WEANING and how to incorporate baby into my mealtimes, which were previously taken during his naptimes and were my peaceful calm oasis in the middle of the day and now have to be shared with a messy, food throwing baby. Baby led weaning is all very well but it’s frustrating and now he has had 2 ella’s kitchen pouches he goes mad at the sight of them and wants the whole bloody thing, packets and all.

    • ‘Because without those four things I would be rocking in a padded cell weeping for my own mother.’

      By padded cell you mean cell walls plastered in breast pads dont you?

      • big LOL at this. Though I think my cell would be padded with not only breast pad but those huge big maternity sanitary towels as well. NICE!! x

  2. Two things spring to mind….pregnant people live in leggings FACT, please advise people to ask an honest friend to do the ‘transparency test’ before purchasing. Amazed at how many leopard print pants and thongs are being worn by pregnant ladies.

    Secondly, don’t spend a fortune on nappies prior to baby’s arrival! The world doesn’t end when a baby comes, the shops stay open, life goes on. It’s ok not to stay cooped up in the house like every book seems to suggest!

    And yes, you’re very right-sometimes it’s ok to feel like you want to drop kick the baby right out the window.

    • You know what, I should dedicate a bloody chapter to leggings. Before I had kids I vowed I would never become a mother who wore leggings the whole time. Naturally I live in them now, they’re just too comfy not to! Have never done the transparency test though and am now regretting it… x

      (PS: have lost count the amount of times I have rang my husband and threatened a baby going out the window if he doesn’t come home RIGHT NOW ;)

  3. well done that is totally awesome and epic! My ideal book would be in sections. Too many books are week by week based and they just read like a manual. Sections with your stories etc would be funny and informative in equal measure. A real mums surivial guide.

    • Thanks Emma! My initial thought was to do week-by-week, but that just seems quite boring now and I think sections would be the way to go. I’m so excited to get started!

  4. Totally fantastic news!! Well deserved. Clearly your editor has good taste! Can’t wait for yoy to write, produce and publish it, so I can get my copy!

    Maggy xx

  5. You are living the dream! I’m excited for you & a bit (very!) envious!

    I’d say divide the book by subject, but that’s just because I prefer that style.

    Subject-wise I’d love to know your strategies for coping with two, and how you got through colic. Both are things that I bang on about a lot (!) but they took the rug out from under my feet so I’d love to know how you dealt with them. Also things like if your values/outlook on life/relationships have changed because of having kids.

    I can’t wait to read the finished piece, whatever you decide to focus on!

    Good luck and happy writing! Xx

    • Thank-you! Great suggestions on both counts, I actually hadn’t thought of Colic as a subject point (blocked it out, maybe?). Our life was completely changed by a few sessions with a cranial osteopath so I will definitely include that x

  6. OMG congratulations!! So exciting! I agree with the comments above that sections would be great and do include your own personal funny (and not so funny but oh so real) stories too, they will make it sing! Can’t wait to read more about it :-)

  7. Firstly congratulations! I began reading your blog when I was pregnant (baby is now 5 months old) and loved it – I found it (and still do) really informative, useful and funny. Was just talking to my husband today about the impact on our relationship a baby has had (both good and bad) but how nobody really speaks about it so something about that i think would be fab :)

    • Thank-you Gem. I agree, having a baby (and then another!) shook our solid relationship like nothing on earth, so will definitely include that! x

  8. This is HUGELY exciting. The one, absolute, biggest, most honest thing you can do (something I counsel my newly pregnant friends on and write about regularly) is put out a warning that becoming pregnant instantly makes you vulnerable to a) unwanted advice and b) judgment. The amount of times I was stopped in the street as a pregnant lady and told I should be doing this or shouldn’t be doing that – and it only got worse when my baby was born. It’s something I totally wasn’t prepared for (along with the whole competitive mums “My baby is an angel and sleeps 12 hours a night aged 5 days old” thing).

    • It’s so funny you should say this, it’s exactly what I was discussing with the editor (who is 20 weeks pregnant herself). I used to get really sick of people putting their hands on me (what is it with people thinking a baby bump is public property?!) or asking completely inappropriate questions, my favourite always being “was it planned?”.

      Also, competitive mums can bugger off ;) xx

      • Just caught up with your news on the book! Great stuff. Made me laugh this comment on ‘was it planned?’ — people asked me that too. Unbelievable!

  9. SO COOL! I’m so bloody proud of you! Celebratory few bottles of Sauv Blanc next time we see each other Yah?!

    I read Minus 9 to 1 by Jools Oliver when I was knocked up, and I really liked it. I also loved Belly Laughs, which is a humourous take on the SHEER JOY that is pregnancy by Jenny McCarthy. Maybe have a leaf through those for inspiration? Sections definitely. And make it funny, and honest (as I know you will) there are so many drudgy boring books out there, and people love an anecdote.

    You’d better invite me to your book launch! ;-D xxxxxx

    • YOU KNOW IT ;) Ahh I couldn’t be more happy.

      I quite enjoyed minus 9 to one but found Jools Oliver a BIT TOO ENTHUSIASTIC!!!!! for my sour sarcastic jaded self. I still read it cover to cover four times in my first pregnancy and twice in my second, though. Have never read Jenny McCarthy’s but love her so will definitely check hers out.

      You know will be the life and soul of the book launch ;) xx

  10. WOW! I just wanted to say that I would categorically, hands down and definitely buy your book. I wish such a resource had existed before my oldest was born, I would have kissed the author who told me that I wasn’t weird not to instantly think my baby was the bees knees and that I was Earth Mother Supreme!

    I don’t really have any advice regarding content except for the one piece of advice that stayed with me during my early days as a mum…..a friend told me that even the worst of times will pass, and that it does get better. And she was right.

    I have read your blog for a long, long time now, and I love it, you write beautifully, you’re engaging and I bet it’ll be a big success! Best of, best of luck my dear!

    Kate
    Just Pirouette and Carry On…

  11. Woohoo! I ruddy love your blog and would definitely read your book! I agree with the ‘sections’ approach, that way when you’re having a sh*t day you can flick to the ‘how not to punch your baby in the face’ segment and realise its all PERFECTLY NORMAL.

    • Thank you Hannah! I just did a LOL at the suggestion of the ‘how not to punch your baby in the face’ section. I was going to call it ‘how not to chuck your baby out the window’ but I think I like your version better.

  12. Alice I am so excited for you and to be honest, pretty excited for me too!! Getting to read this will be all kinds of fabulous – I think one of the first things I said to you was how much I loved your ability to make writing so bloomin’ real and I can’t wait for the book.

    I don’t have babies yet – not even a chosen baby daddy yet ;) – but I’m excited for that stage in my life when it comes. For me, when the time does come, I hope your book is the one I can have a copy of in my handbag, on my bedside table, beside the bath – ok everywhere. I’ll need advice on pretty much everything. How do you cope?! How do you find time to moisturise?! How do you clean up sick without inhaling?! When do you get back in the errr sack again?!! Why do I look so rough and which products will save me from scaring my child?!!

    I honestly couldn’t think of anyone better suited to writing a book/a manual/a bloody bible for women who need a bit of advice – a bit of help – and a reminder to smile.

    xxx

  13. Congratulations – what an exciting opportunity!

    My preference for books of this genre is by subject – though you could go week by week then have a section for baby essentials, birth, days after the birth, breastfeeding etc.

    What I feel is missing from a lot of these books is a lack of bias – after reading a lot of them I felt like a complete asshole for putting my babies on a Gina Ford-esque routine, and for going back to work (and god forbid, enjoying my job) from a lot of parenting ‘bibles’. I would have loved to have something that said ‘here’s what worked for me, however I have a friend that did this, and one that did that for these reasons and that worked for them. I would have loved for someone to let me know that the love I have for one child can be completely different to what I have for the other and that’s OK. That sometimes I suck at being a parent but that’s OK too. And don’t get me started on the whole PND thing…

    Have I shared my ‘list’ of tips? I think I have, feel free to use it if useful.

    Best of luck x

    • Thanks Tori! The consensus seems to be by subject which is what my gut was telling me. I’m definitely going to do my best to share experiences from different walks of life. I want to share the hard time I had when I ‘retired’ from work to go and live in the country and live The Good Life as a SAHM because it was literally the most depressing thing ever. Work excites me, motivates me and makes me a better mum and there’s no shame in that, no siree!
      I think I have got your list – yep! Thank you xx

  14. My darling Alice, What I would wish for your book, is that it could help new parents with all the things I failed to help you with. However close we are to our family, friends and the professionals there are things that seem to go unspoken or unnoticed. Your writing will give an experience based personal view on your pregnancy and early motherhood and by doing that I hope it will give it’s audience a chance to view things from a different perspective. You, along with those who participate in you blog, have a wealth of learned knowledge and experience that I know you will translate in your special open, witty style into an honest, open look at family life.
    Alice you are and will remain our little star regardless of where this takes you.

  15. Hey! Congratulations – that’s fab news and I for one will be buying it!

    I echo an earlier comment about Minus 9 to one by Jools Oliver – I’ve read this several times and absolutely love it (it has recipes in the back and lists of recommended shops/ websites etc)

    I also really got on well with First Time Parent (i think by Lucy Atkins? Can’t remember and have lent my copy out)

    I agree that sections would make sense. I’d love to know how to cope with two (hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to have another in the future)

    Best of luck Alice! Look forward to reading the finished book! xx

    • Thank-you! You’re the second person to recommend Lucy Atkins to me so I must check this book out. Will definitely be writing a lot about the step from one to two! x

  16. I totally agree with everyone else in saying sections is the way to go. Stage by stage is just boring, and its nice to mix it up. I kind of felt like I didn’t really want to read ahead to later sections when it’s split into weeks/months etc and it got so boring.

    You have some really interesting experiences to bring to your book, having been through two different pregnancies and having had two different children (obviously, but you know what I mean) and the challenges of Elfie’s condition, PND, two under two, relocating, colic and your struggles and successes with breastfeeding.. to name just a few!

    I would have liked to have been prepared for the competitiveness of parents. The judgement, and the competitiveness. The fact that you suddenly come second, not just in your own life but in the eyes of everyone else. You are warned that you have to put yourself second because babies needs come first, but you are not warned that you will come second in almost all conversation from now on. That the new mum friends you make will be too busy feigning interest in how your baby is sleeping, feeding, moving, etc to see if their baby beats your baby in the mental baby Top Trumps they all seem to play to ask how you are doing and if you feel ok.

    Well.. now that that’s off my chest.. again.. *ahem* I wish you the best of luck. I have always enjoyed reading your blog(s), which I found back when you (and I) were pregnant and I was on the hunt for people going through it with me, and even though I’m not planning to ever be pregnant again I’d still buy your book and look forward to reading it ;)

    • The judgement and competitiveness of other mothers are two huge dislikes of mine (and why I don’t go to as many baby groups as I really should) and I’ll definitely be including them. Mental top trumps – definitely!

  17. Congratulations! I’m sure it will be brilliant. Nothing is more important to surviving early motherhood than learning to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of some of the situations you find yourself in but it is easier said than done.

  18. How exciting! I love your posts about kids and pregnancy and I’m not even a Mum, you are a great writer :) A lot of bloggers who write about their kids / babies bore me to death but not you. Am saving up information, and remembering that not everyone is perfect or has to be, when I am a Mum in the future and likely to need all the help and leggings based advice I can get ;)

  19. Yay this is so exciting. Like everyone else has already said, I think the book would flow a lot better if it’s in sections.

    One topic I’d be interested in reading is the dynamics of friendships when you become a mum. Did your friendships with non-parent friends change? (A big thing for me, being the only one of my friends to have children). When pregnant with Arlo I would have loved to have read that in becoming a mum, dynamics WOULD change with my friends, but not for the long term, and I wouldn’t have to swap them all for ‘mummy friends’.

    Not that I read a lot of anecdotal parenting books, but I tend to pidgeon hole them into two categories: the “wondermum” “isn’t parenthood marvellous?” category, and humourous “I make jokes about my bad parenting” category. What would be REALLY nice would be to read a book that isn’t JUST defined by being a parent/parenting, etc. In your blog posts you always manage to put across a real sense of self, it’s never purely parenting, more “I’m Alice…and I happen to have 2 kids”. I have no doubt that you will retain this voice when writing your book, and that it will be the key to its success.

    Sorry for the massive rambling comment. This is what happens when I stay up too late at 34 weeks pregnant!

    • Thanks Chloe- this is so so useful and I nodded along to everything you wrote. I totally agree with the two categories of books, hopefully there will be a way to write a book that will not just talk about the practical bits of pregnancy and motherhood but will focus on the person behind pregnancy and motherhood. Not just the MUM bits, but the ‘person as a whole’ bits.

  20. A few thoughts from me, Alice;
    1. This is totes amazing. You deserve this because your blog is fantastic and you are such a great writer.
    2. Your mum’s comment made me cry a bit. So lovely.
    3. I agree with most people- I’d prefer the book to be divided into subject sections as timed sections make me feel panicked that I’m not going through xxx at the right time.
    4. Please include a section on insider mum tips like “Always have an emergency pack of posh biscuits for that moment your ante natal group friend turns up with her baby unexpectedly”
    I STILL haven’t mastered this one (especially as I just eat any emergency pack I buy….)
    Lots of love and luck xxx

    • Thank-you, Alison! I have not yet mastered the biscuit thing, either. I need to stop buying them, they just disappear when they are on my treat shelf. Ditto Haribo. *rubs belly* xx

  21. Hi Alice
    Congrats on the book very exciting will def be purchasing the book. Just want to say I love your blog read it every day. I came across your blog on Netmums and i watched your wee video on ‘how to be a good parent’ and I loved it, so funny. It would be nice to see more of your ‘you tube’ videos. You have a lovely wee family. I’m a mum of two Aoibheann 4yr old and Sofia 21mths so I can relate to you a lot.

  22. I just wanted to congratulate you. This is soooooooo exciting :)
    I think id have appreciated someone telling me to stop bloody worrying. I spent so long worrying when my girls, particularly Lucy as she came first, were babies. And all of a sudden theyre grown up and i wish id just trusted my instncts more. By the time they start school you really cant tell how they were fed, whether they had jars or homemade purees, when they first slept through and so on. I also like the idea of a Jools Oliver style recipe section :)

  23. This is amazing news – you musy be over the moon!!

    As someone who is working on a book about hyperemesis and severe NVP I know of so very many women who despair at the glossy “pregnancy/birth/motherhood is bliss” books that never get real about what pregnancy/birth/motherhood is like when things are not so rosy. Things like feeling guilty, depression, fear over baby’s health, fears about bonding, the strain put on your relationship with your partner etc so if you’re writing your book with that “real” edge then I can see you having a bestseller on your hands! Good luck with it x

  24. Congrats Alice, you really deserve this as you write so well! Agree with lots of others, book would be great in sections. Can’t wait to see something in print!

  25. Congrats Alice, that is awesome and very well deserved! Definitely subjects! How about some *non medical* words on drinking while pregnant? Obviously you aren’t meant to have a lot but there is a lot of conflicting advice about it …. it’s something I posted about early in my pregnancy with LLC as I did have the odd glass and then got really worried!

    Love your ‘gost’ story too :)

    • Thank-you Tanya! Will definitely write about drinking when pregnant. I had the odd glass of wine too (was pregnant over two Christmases!) and always felt guilty x

  26. Get you??!! Totally amazeballs! Sections, definitely!! You need to mention the bit about the bath straight after birth…you think it’s going to be lush…but flippin heck does it sting!! All the very best with it!

  27. First: massive congratulations! So pleased for you.
    Now, getting down to business: sections. I would totally do sections (I have several of my own, in my head). That way you don’t have to do the chronology, as several other writers have, and write about the the months where not much happened. You can just cut to the chase with your opinions on various subjects, like “how much wine is the right amount given the age of your baby” ;)
    Whatever you decide, good luck, and I can’t wait to read!

  28. Congratulations! So excited to read the final version! I love the sections idea, and think you should reassure people that it is totally normal to stick the hairdryer on in the middle of the night to get the baby back to sleep (I thought I was the only one until I put it on twitter!) x

  29. Hey congrats! Always liked your writing style so am sure your book will be super :-) I don’t have kids but we’re the same age, so my subject of interest would be your thoughts on being forced into retirement from work, however temporary. One of my biggest fears is entering some kind of Groundhog Day scenario of four walls, a kid, and a husband at work all day. I’ve started to realise that by the time you start getting comfortable with your job and life, it’s time to start thinking about kids – you don’t really get a lot of time stretch yourself… Anyway, just a thought! :-)

    • Thanks Shell. That’s a really useful point as the Groundhog Day scenario for me was quite real. So I’ll definitely write about how I get myself out of that rut!

  30. Amazing! Congratulations.! Well done you! I don’t know what has already been said but I like subject sections. and why don’t these books tell you the reality of making and keeping mummy friends especially in a city like london where everyone around you is career oritated and don’t know what a baby looks like and so far away from family that you could literally die from lack of proper real life adult conversation because these baby groups are dire and the mothers only have one thing in commen which is giving birth or when you do relate to someone it’s a matter of keeping the friendship going which is difficult with all the fucking interruptions a baby brings to ones life and this goes to friends before baby as well. Also why don’t these books warn you about how a baby changes the dynamics of a loving relationship because lack of sleep, screaming baby and loneliness will make anyone bite some ones head off for simply not washing up properly. So basically relationships of all kinds plus the family members who think its ok to tell you the right and wrong way on how to bring up baby.

  31. Congratulations Alice! I have been reading your blog for well over a year now and I can truthfully say (hand on heart) When I receive an email from
    More than toast with a new blog I get so excited I drop everything I’m
    Doing to read it there and then! I’m not a parent yet but me and my partner are talking about weddings and babies and are both so excited and cannot wait. I was thinking a section on how you decided as a couple to have babies or if it happened as a accidental blessing, how it changed your lives and how you prepared together! I cannot wait for your book and hopefully it will be out and about by the time I’m
    Blessed enough to see what this motherhood lark is all about! My closest friend just recently had her first baby and I spent one of her first nights home with her baby trying to comfort her as she had been brave and taken a look at her post baby ummmm to want for a better word…… Foofee! :-) she claims she will never recover from the ordeal of checking it with a mirror and doubts she will ever have sex again! I pointed her in the direction of your blog, and I’m happy to say she is now also hooked! Well done and congratulations to getting your dream! Aimee x

    • Thank-you for your lovely words Aimee! I definitely need to do a bit of research as you’re not the first person to mention the post-birth foof. Mine is still intact as I had 2 x c sections! Wondering how I’m going to do this research though without asking my friends if I can have a look at their vaginas… ;) x

  32. I am so excited to read this and it isn’t even written yet!

    I know you’ve said about it already, but please tell people about the struggles of breastfeeding – so many people said to me ‘if it hurts, you’re doing something wrong’ and it just made me feel so inadequate. I would tell people it hurt all the time and they would completely ignore me and say ‘you mean, just when he latches on?’ and I would just nod pathetically and pretend that was the case. I found it so so hard, but ultimately it was so worth it.

    Oooh! And breastfeeding in public! How pointless and ridiculous those breastfeeding covers are and how they just draw attention to you! Your tip about wearing a vest top/cami under your top is awesome and I tell all my pregnant friends. SO many women I know only wore things that buttoned up the front when breastfeeding.

    I love the idea of a recipe section too – I found your blog searching for a pulled pork recipe, and I loved it from that day.

    I wish someone had told me how very weird it is to be at home with a new baby for the first time – I just didn’t understand how someone could have left me alone with this tiny spawn!

    • Thanks so much Liv! I’m definitely going to talk a lot about the things I didn’t know before I went through it myself and the painful breastfeeding was one of those things. I think it took about three weeks for it to stop hurting properly for me.
      So glad the vest tip works for you – I HATED wearing button-up tops!!

  33. Congratulations, fabulous news and so well deserved. Keeping everything crossed for you in getting this published. I agree with the others that sections are most helpful and a collated area of tips from other mums might be useful. I think it’s important to prepare women that your ideal birth might not happen (I too had 2 sections; a traumatic first crash section, the second a tranquil elective) but like my latter experience, sections can be peaceful as well as most importantly the safest option-preconceptions need to change. I hope the book can help women handle the pressures we and other women put on us as mothers. Vx

  34. Ahhh how exciting! Massive congratulations Alice, very much deserved. I love reading your blog. Will have a think and come up with any suggestions xxx

  35. Ooohhh!! How exciting!! Congratulations!! Inspired me to get back to the blog-writing!! I agree with the by subject vote! Not everyone hits the same things in the same week but mostly experience the same things eventually!! I’m a nurse and found motherhood a struggle initially plus I see families who it’s not so straight forward for! Look forward to seeing end result x

  36. So happy for you! It shows that it CAN happen. One day I would love to do that aswell!
    Thanks for the inspiration xx

    loraphilp.blogspot.co.uk

  37. Wow, huge congrats!

    I’d like a reall honest bit about c-sections (I’ve also had two emergency ones). Like. You can ask for baby to stay with you instead of being whisked away after a couple of mins, they play music – might even play yours (Mimi was born on Boxing Day to the strains of When A Child Is Born. I kid you not) but actually it’s to disguise the cutting sounds. Your birth partner needs to be prepared for what they might see, or stay behind the screen. There are bits which need, er, unpacking before they can get to babes. You will have to sit down for your first shower post-C section and parter will prob have to wash your hair. I could go on!

    Speaking as someone who was having a water birth at the midwife-led unit, I didn’t research c-sections & wish I had. I was much better armed second time around.

    Colic & breast feeding is a fun one too. I was a dab-hand at expressing without a contraption (pardon the pun) so I could add the medicine to a bit before the feed. And hand pumps make sounds like donkeys. Or was the just mine?

  38. Congratulations! I have been reading your blog since getting pregnant 2 years ago and I love it.

    I agree wholly with the above comment about a c-section-section. I had an emergency one too and, having prepared for a twinkly lovely water birth, didn’t have a clue what was coming. Being sat butt naked, off-my-tats on morphine, under strip lighting whilst being showered by my other half post-section has to be a low point! Has anyone seen my dignity?…

    Also, catheter removal feels odd. And the sweats! Why does nobody tell you about the post birth sweats that last for MONTHS?!

    Love the idea of a ‘how not to punch your baby in the face’ section. Perhaps followed by ‘how not to murder hour partner whilst they lay their snoring and you haven’t had more than 2 hours consecutive sleep for 4 months’?

    Good luck! x

  39. Wow! This must be everyone’s dream – to get THE email! Congratulations!
    I would definitely go for sections so folks can dip in and out – we all are so time poor, the easier it is to consume, the better! OK lots will read over and over again, but it just helps if you can dip in and out (imho) with guides like this, so you grab what’s relevant! Well done you! x

  40. Eek this is so exciting I could squeal!! What a fantabulous opportunity! My dream too…..one day. Please tell your readers that having a cesarean doesn’t make you a lesser mother than the others – I felt like that after my first but after my third finally accepted it!

  41. Congratulations; what fantastic news for you.

    I agree that a book which doesn’t require reading at one sitting, or in order, would be an appealing format. Ideally, you’d manage to be honest enough so as be useful but not so terrifying as to be off putting to someone still pregnant and yet to give birth. A hard line to judge but I’m sure you’ll succeed. I for one found that a lot of the books in this genre I couldn’t stomach until after I’d actually given birth. It’s amazing how terrifying and anxiety ridden the time pre-birth is, when you have no idea which of the myriad potential horror stories may or may not apply, but post-birth I was cheerfully reading them all.

  42. Have been meaning to leave a comment! Well done on the book! So exciting.
    I’d love to read tips on coping with more than one baby as I found the change from 1 to 2 kids massive! Also i think it would be good to read about expectation vs reality and ‘Mum guilt’, ie. if you don’t get the ‘perfect’ type of birth you were hoping for or breastfeeding doesn’t go as planned etc or if your baby is born prematurely like my second was. Also the change in relationship with partner/friends (especially those without kids) is an interestong topic to touch on! I agree breaking the book up into sections by topic is a great idea. I love your style of writing and honesty/humour, so sure it will be a great read!
    Xxxxx

  43. Congratulations and so well deserved! You right so beautifuly about the trials of parenting. I always look forward to your posts ( I have 2 children of similar ages) btw if you need a cover or advice on the cover /artwork do give me a shout (although your editor/publisher should have that covered)
    X

  44. Firstly congratulations and great news as this is something I will totally want to read (even though my ‘early’ motherhood days have passed)…I had my first quite a while ago (well only 9 years, but a lot has changed in that time) and did the whole NCT thing. Ended up having an emergency section and felt like SUCH a failure, like I hadn’t done it right etc…..this is something I think new mums need to realise, even if you don’t push your baby out, you have still had a baby, you haven’t cheated, it still hurts and it is still tough.

    Oh and Caitlin Moran style I think :)

    XXX

  45. Congratulations it’s such exciting news. I read this post last week and couldn’t think of anything I’d like covered in a book (that isn’t covered by the suggestions here) but I’ve suddenly realised something I wasn’t aware of before becoming a mum, is that you totally lose your identity and it’s hard (on some of us) making that transition into being ‘mum’ rather than who we were before. I sometimes mourn my old life but love my daughter with all my heart (which then makes me feel guilty), I don’t remember being told about this.

  46. Hi Alice,

    Huge congrats first of all and your aim for the book sounds great. I am 27 weeks pregnant currently and one thing i would suggest is that it isnt too negative. It is helpful to be warned of the things no-one tells you about, but too much makes it sound a bit gloomy and would make me wonder if I’m doing the right thing. Lots of practical advice to go with the problems/issues would be super so its ‘awful cracked nipples’, but ‘try this it helps’ so as to not feel worse for reading it. Just reading through other posters comments scared me a little and i wouldnt enjoy reading a book that scared me too! Although there will be difficulties, the over tone of the book should (and I’m sure will be) that motherhood is a wonderful rewarding thing (well I’m hopeing so anyway!)

    Hope this makes sense, please bear in mind I am a hormonal very pregnant woman who is getting to the point of being a little scared of what is so come, but seeing as i will be your target audience I hope my opinion helps a little.

    Keep up the good work lady, you are fabulous xxx

  47. Morning sickness. The seemingly never-ending, life-source-sucking, unbearable, inescapable awfulness that is morning sickness. And how do some people have pregnancies completely free of it??!
    No it’s not wonderful, or joyous, or life affirming, or even in the morning – it’s ****ing horrible and until it passes (assuming you’re lucky enough to have some of your 9 months without it), pregnancy is not fun and it’s bloody hard to be excited about anything, as frankly, it’s hard enough getting out of bed or the bathroom and trying to go to work and pretend that everything’s normal.
    Sorry to bring everyone down there ;-) and GOOD LUCK!! xx
    PS definitely agree to organise it by subject!

  48. Hey, I have been meaning forever to get around to writing a comment on this post, so finally, here I am. Firstly – AMAZING!!!! Well done you on getting the book dead and all that, absolutely incredible and really really well deserved, am so thrilled for you! Secondly – in terms of format, I have this book called The Goddess Guide (here’s a link http://www.thegoddessguide.com/books/ ) and I absolutely love the way it is laid out and formatted and designed. It would be brilliant to have a pregnancy/motherhood book in a similar style that is a sheer delight to devour and tells it like it is, can’t wait! Just wanted to share that… :-) Oh, and also, can you include a bit in your book about how ridiculous it is when you have your 6-week postnatal check and the GP says “so, you’re fine now to resume exercise and sex”… or is it just me that thought that was ridiculous at 6-weeks post partum…!?!? Good luck with the book, it’s sure to be a best seller! xx

  49. This is so freakin exciting! Love it! Congratz on this as I will totally read this when time comes :) Just had our first baby girl and it’s been quite the trip!

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