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- 03/31/19--02:33: _When is Father’s Da...
- 03/31/19--03:30: _Mum close to bleedi...
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- 03/31/19--04:46: _ASOS is selling an ...
- 03/31/19--04:59: _Grandmother gives b...
- 03/31/19--05:33: _Mum receives over 1...
- 03/31/19--05:43: _Girls confront the ...
- 03/31/19--07:03: _Teen vlogger shows ...
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- 04/01/19--03:30: _Testing pregnant wo...
- 03/31/19--02:33: When is Father’s Day 2019 in the UK and does it change every year?
- 03/31/19--03:46: When is the 2019 London Marathon and can you still take part?
- 03/31/19--07:03: Teen vlogger shows how easy it is to fake being a rich socialite
- 03/31/19--23:04: Straight white men to be banned from comment sections
- 04/01/19--01:14: Jägermeister launches limited edition Jäger Easter eggs
- 04/01/19--02:08: Tired today? Try these 5 easy ways to improve your sleep
Mother’s Day will see mums around the country receive gifts and be treated to trips out today as part of the annual celebration.
Flowers, chocolates and alcohol are some of the more common presents to be handed out at this time of year.
It is one of many days that honour specific family members, including Grandparents’ Day in October and Siblings Day in April.
Father’s Day is the other big celebration and it usually sees dads treated to funny mugs, fishing equipment and new golf shoes.
If you’re wondering when Father’s Day will be celebrated this year then here is everything that you need to know.
When is Father’s Day 2019?
This year Father’s Day will take place on Sunday 16 June.
That means it is being held around two and a half months after Mother’s Day, so you still have plenty of time to plan ahead.
It changes each year because it is always held on the third Sunday of June, which means that the date usually changes by just a couple of days.
Unlike mother’s Day, Father’s Day is celebrated on the same day as many other parts of the world including the US.
It has been a prominent celebration among European Catholics since the middle ages, originally being celebrated on 19 March with a feast on Saint Joseph’s Day.
America was then one of the first countries to make Father’s Day an official holiday, with Richard Nixon introducing it under US law, and many other countries then adopted the day too
Making greeting card, holiday gift for dad
When Kellie Cantwell fell pregnant again in early 2017, she couldn’t wait to for her boys Liam, now seven, and Seán, four, to have a little brother or sister.
As she had an ectopic pregnancy before they were born, she was monitored closely.
But her joy turned to terror when her six-week scan showed that the baby had grown along the c-section scar left from her previous deliveries.
Known as a caesarean scar ectopic pregnancy – one of the rarest of these type of pregnancies, where a fertilised egg gets stuck outside the womb – Kellie was told she was at high risk of rupture, meaning she could bleed to death.
‘Hearing that I’d have had minutes to live was so shocking. I couldn’t even leave hospital, as I needed to be around doctors should the worst happen,’ she said.
‘It was strange, as I didn’t feel sick physically, but mentally and emotionally, I was exhausted. All I wanted was to be back home with my boys.’
As surgery and a traditional termination were both deemed too dangerous, due to the risk of bleeding, she instead had to end the pregnancy using methotrexate, a type of chemotherapy drug.
According to the NHS, the drug can temporarily reduce fertility, so Kellie was amazed to discover she was expecting once again in January 2018.
Speaking ahead of her first Mother’s Day with her miracle daughter Éabha, who was born in September last year, she said: ‘I didn’t tell anyone for about two weeks after I first found out – not even Andrew.
‘I didn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up after they’d felt so helpless before. I took about 14 pregnancy tests to be sure before I told Andrew.
‘Even now, six months on, when I look at Éabha, I can barely believe she’s real.’
Before having Liam in January 2012 and Seán in January 2015, Kellie had experienced another ectopic pregnancy.
So, with her history, when she fell pregnant again in early 2017, it was agreed she would be closely monitored.
Then, in March 2017, a six week scan revealed she was suffering from a caesarean scar ectopic pregnancy.
She recalled: ‘I didn’t really understand what was happening, but was told not to Google anything, as I sat in the waiting room for a doctor to come and speak to me.
‘Of course, I did what everybody does and Googled it. All I saw was these horror stories that sent me into a panic.’
According to the charity The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, the high risk of bleeding, which can need a hysterectomy to control it, means that, if a caesarean scar pregnancy is diagnosed, patients are usually advised to terminate.
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition that affects 1 in 80 pregnancies.
It means ‘an out-of-place pregnancy’ and it occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside the womb.
The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tube but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located.
In some rare cases, it can be implanted in the scar left in the uterus following a caesarean section.
The evidence suggests that these pregnancies, if they continue, will be associated with the placenta becoming deeply implanted into the scar and often through the scar into the space between the uterus and the bladder.
If the pregnancy survives, the placenta then fails to come away at delivery and there is a very high risk of severe bleeding, needing a hysterectomy to control bleeding or worse.
Early in the pregnancy these scar pregnancies may also bleed heavily.
For this reason, Kellie was admitted to hospital right away, before being given a methotrexate injection the following morning.
Designed to stop the pregnancy from developing any further, it works by temporarily interfering with the body’s processing of folate – an essential vitamin needed to help rapidly dividing cells in pregnancy.
Kellie recalled: ‘I had been so excited, even telling the boys they were getting a brother or sister.
‘They were beside themselves, chattering away when they came to see me in hospital, telling the lady in the next bed that, “Mummy was going to have a baby before Halloween.”
‘It broke my heart telling them that wasn’t going to happen anymore.’
Eventually, following a second methotrexate injection when Kellie’s levels of hCG – a pregnancy hormone – failed to drop as expected, she was discharged after two weeks.
But it wasn’t until four months later in July 2017 that she was officially declared as clinically no longer pregnant.
The following month, after follow up tests showed her body had been virtually stripped of folates, disrupting her hormones, she took to the internet in search of help.
She started taking fertility supplements that blend folic acid, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
She explained: ‘I wasn’t actively thinking about trying for another baby. I just thought they’d help get my body up to optimum level.’
After such a crushing ordeal, some long-overdue happy news then came for Kellie when she fell pregnant again in January 2018.
At first, afraid of raising her family’s hopes, she kept it a secret, not even telling Andrew until two weeks – and 14 tests – later.
Finally, the pair did an early detection test together, which turned out to be positive.
From there, Kellie rang the hospital and went in the next day for a blood test, which confirmed the news.
‘They were so great with me. There was no waiting around, as they knew how nervous I was,” she said. “I was really closely monitored, and it soon became clear the baby was growing as she should.
‘The relief I felt was indescribable. After that, the pregnancy was great – but I still couldn’t get excited. I felt as if something was going to come in at the last minute and take it all away.’
Thankfully, Kellie’s pregnancy progressed well, and in September 2018, at 38 weeks, she delivered Éabha by caesarean section.
She continued: ‘It was so surreal. Holding her, I didn’t even know how to feel.’
Now, Kellie is sharing her story to raise awareness of scar pregnancies, and offer hope to other women out there who are experiencing the same thing.
She said: ‘When I was searching, there were no positives, no light at the end of the tunnel.
‘I want to show others out there that it can be okay. This time last year, I was nearly dying, but now I’m getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with my boys and miracle girl.
‘I’m not sure what the kids have planned for me yet, but as long as we’re all together, I’m happy.’
Mum will celebrate first Mother?s Day with miracle baby, after warning she could ?bleed to death within minutes? because of ultra-rare caesarean scar ectopic pregnancy
Today’s clock change means that the days are set to stay brighter for longer and the warm weather isn’t too far behind, which means that marathon season is almost here.
Various races and running event are held around the country each year with many runners try to improve their held while also helping to raise money for charities through sponsorship’s.
The London Marathon is one of the biggest in the world and it attracts runners from across the UK and even other parts of Europe and in the US.
Mo Farah will be taking part in the event once again, as well as Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge who is a three-time winner.
Mary Keitany will also be returning to compete int the women’s race for the fifth time after winning on three separate occasions, and she will be joined by last year’s winner Vivian Cheruiyot.
When is the 2019 London Marathon?
This year’s London Marathon is set to take place on Sunday 28 April.
The Elite Wheelchair Races will start at 9.05am, followed by the World Para Atheltics Marathon Championships at 9.15am and the Elite Women’s Race at 9.25am.
The Elite Men’s Race and Athletics Marathon Championships and mass race will then begin at 10.10am.
Can you still take part in the London Marathon?
The ballot entry for the 2019 marathon is closed, as it was open between 30 April- 4 May last year, and this was the same for the international ballot.
Hopeful runners do have the option to claim a charity entry, which are set up by specific charities that have a set number of entry places available for the London Marathon.
If you are given one of these places then you are required to raise a certain amount for your charity through sponsorships.
You can apply for this by contacting your chosen charity and you could be given a golden bond or silver bond.
It is likely that many of the charities would have already filled up their remaining runner spots with people who have already applied.
If you are still looking to take part in the race then your best opportunity will likely be to apply for next year’s race as soon as the ballot opens.
Who are this year’s celebrity runners?
As usual plenty of famous faces will be taking part in the marathon to raise money for their charities.
Some of the celebrities running this year include Emma Barton, Chris Evans, Natalie Cassidy, Ed Gamble and Helen Skelton.
Former England international Katie Chapman will also be involved to raise money for Plan International UK, and sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher will be running for the Safe Hands charity.
2018 London Marathon
What did we do to deserve cats? We’re not sure but somehow some of these majestic creatures have ended up on the streets and have to fend for themselves.
Pregnant stray kitties especially have to be extra careful, they don’t want any harm to come to their babies and need stability to take care of them.
One expectant cat on the streets knew she needed a place for the immediate future, a place of warmth and nutrition for her kittens.
So when a family fed her one time, she decided to keep going back to the same house every day to nourish herself and also hoped to be taken in.
She waited by the window in the cold every day until someone fed her. The family realised that she was packing in a lot of food.
They then decided to call a local cat rescuer to see what could be done to help her.
Rescuer Nadia brought her to Chatons Orphelins Montréal, a rescue group in Montréal, Canada, where a foster family was waiting for the kitty, but none of them knew she was pregnant.
And now the cat, newly named Laloue, is loving her new life in her foster home where she gave birth to four healthy tabby kittens.
Laloue had been used to grafting for herself so as soon as she was picked up by Nadia, she took to her straight away.
She didn’t mind being moved around until they found a foster family for her. When new owner Louise came to pick her up, Laloue went in for cuddles immediately. She knew she was safe from the cold streets.
Mama Laloue has been doting on her little tabbies and monitors them, purring away next to them.
At ten days old, the kittens opened their eyes and are now at healthy weights, eating every day.
We’re just glad they’re all safe and together.
Stray kitty goes to the same house every day to get someone to take her and her kittens in
Ever wanted to look like a baseball? No, us neither but apparently it is a thing.
ASOS are selling the latest from the Ivy Park range, created by Beyonce.
And there’s a particular item that is a little confusing – the baseball skirt.
The skirt is made from white sweatshirt fabric, held together with bright red stitching, like on the distinctive ball used in the American sport.
The skirt is also tied at the front with the red laces.
The description on the website says it is has a stretch waistband and ‘body con fit’ that ‘holds you close.’
There’s also a top to match so you can be a baseball from head to toe.
The top is a high neck sweatshirt with dropped shoulders and gaps at the elbows.
It features the same contrast red stitching as the skirt.
You might think it’s actually the perfect outfit for your next fancy dress party but a £55 for the skirt and £65 for the top, you might be better with the old sheet-as-a-toga trick
The baseball co-ord set is part of the first Ivy Park range to be stocked by ASOS.
It’s not the only slightly out there style from the online brand.
Yesterday we told you about the corset belt that barely fitted around a woman’s leg.
India McCall shared the photo earlier this week and in it, her friend can be seen wearing the red, size eight corset around her thigh.
She wrote: ‘I ordered a red corset belt in a size eight and it just about fits round my skinny mate’s leg. Not happy.’
When Tracey Smith was 15, she went to the doctors as she hadn’t yet started her period. She was told she had working ovaries and fallopian tubes but sadly did not have a womb.
Tracey, now 31, was diagnosed with MRKH (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome) – a genetic condition that causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent, though genitals develop normally.
That meant she couldn’t have children.
Devastated to hear she couldn’t become a mum which she knew wanted even at the age of 15, the nursery worker from Coventry confided in her own mum Emma.
At the time, Emma told her she would do anything to help Tracey become a mother, and now she has been true to her word.
The 55-year-old agreed to have Tracey’s child for her meaning she would be giving birth to her own grandchild.
She has now given birth to granddaughter Evie and the family are delighted with their newest addition.
Tracey and her husband Adam now have to adopt Evie as per UK law which says the surrogate mother has legal custody.
‘I was heartbroken at the idea that I wouldn’t carry my own child. I’d always known that I wanted to be a mum, even at 15,’ said Tracey.
‘Straight after my diagnosis mum made an offer to do what she could to help. I knew that she meant one day she’d carry my child for me.
‘Over the years she mentioned it in passing but we never really made a firm plan.’
After struggling with laws surrounding surrogacy, Tracey and Adam decided to approach Emma to see if she still meant her offer.
They were delighted to hear she did and had been waiting to be asked.
‘Every moment of heartache was so worth it just to have our little bundle in our arms,’ added Tracey.
‘I am so grateful to mum for her amazing gift to us.’
‘It was such an incredible, emotional moment [when Evie was born]. I was so nervous that everything would go well for mum and for the safe arrival of our baby.
‘I just waited to hear that cry and burst into happy tears.’
Emma, a supermarket worker from Lampeter, west Wales, lost six stone and took hormone tablets to prepare her body for the pregnancy.
Using IVF, doctors took an egg from Tracey and fertilised it with Adam’s sperm in a laboratory. The embryo was then implanted into her mother’s womb.
Against the odds, it was successful at the first attempt. Evie was born then by Caesarean section after a routine pregnancy.
Surrogate mother Emma said she was gutted when her daughter was first diagnosed.
‘I remember sitting on her bed and saying, “I’m here if you need me”,’ she said.
‘Despite my age I wasn’t worried about giving birth at all. All of my focus has been about doing this special thing for my daughter.
‘I don’t feel any more attachment to Evie than any other proud grandmother.
‘Tracey is my baby and I did it all for her to be a mother. I’m glad to be back to work and getting back to normal, but I have offered to do it all again if they ever want a little brother or sister for Evie.’
Hopefully you haven’t forgotten it’s Mother’s Day.
If you have, quick – get out and get a card. There’s still time to tell your mum how special she is.
One mum who knows how much receiving a card means is Fiona Oldfield.
After over six years fostering children, she has received over 100 Mother’s Day cards – and she treasures every single one.
After growing up in care herself, she knew she wanted to foster children to try to give them a happy childhood.
The 37-year-old, from the West Midlands, and her husband Paul have fostered over 15 children since she started working with Foster Care Associates.
She currently fosters four brothers, all aged six and below, who are brought up alongside her birth children, a 13-year-old son, eight-year-old daughter, and a 10-year-old daughter, who has learning and physical disabilities.
Fiona and Paul also provide a home for 18-year-old Shannon Clifton, who was previously fostered by the family.
With so many people in one house, life is pretty hectic for the Oldfields.
Every day Fiona takes six children to four different schools, and each week, they get through 84 pints of milk, 14 loaves of bread, 70 bananas and 28 industrial-sized loads of washing every week.
Many of the children they fostered who have moved on elsewhere still send cards to Fiona because of the impact she had on their lives.
Every Mother’s Day she cooks a roast lamb dinner for all her family and some of her previous foster children, before they all relax on the sofa and watch films together.
Fiona, who fosters through Foster Care Associates (FCA), said: ‘I love Mother’s Day, though it gets harder every year to find space for all the presents and cards.
‘My most rewarding moment as a foster carer came on Mother’s Day a few years ago, when Shannon, who wasn’t living with me at the time, sent me a handwritten Mother’s Day card.
‘It really meant a lot that she took the time to do so, and now she lives with me full time as an adult. It’s great to have impacted someone’s life so much. My birth children see her as an older sister and adore her and their four brothers.
‘It breaks my heart to know that there is currently a shortfall of 8,000 foster families across the UK. All you need is to be over 21, with a spare room, and willing to give a child a loving and stable home. This Mother’s Day, I’d urge anyone with love to give to stop for a minute and think about it.’
Mum with 100 mother\'s day cards
When we’re at school, we constantly hear the words ‘boys will be boys’ used to excuse all sorts of behaviour, from the innocent to the insidious.
After a group of girls at a high school in Marland, U.S, found out that the boys in their school had been passing a ‘hot or not’ list of 84 female students, they weren’t going to stand for the ideology.
The girls said they felt objectified and violated by the boys who gave them each a number between 5.5 and 9.4, all based on looks.
Students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School decided to tell a teacher who gave detention to one of the boys involved.
The girls felt that wasn’t good enough and didn’t address the inherent problem, so they decided to rally together.
They piled in to the headteacher’s office and read a letter to show their disappointment in the system, demanding further action.
So, a meeting was called with all the boys involved in the incident and beyond, headed by the girls to tell them about their experiences of everyday sexism and sexual harassment.
And thankfully, the boys seemed to listen.
When the female students were told that the school’s investigation into the notes ended with only one person being culpable, they knew it was time to say something.
They wanted the boys to know how they were complicit in upholding a sexist society.
‘It was the last straw, for us girls, of this ‘boys will be boys’ culture,’ one of the students told the Washington Post.
‘We’re the generation that is going to make a change.
‘We should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.’
In an almost three-hour meeting, the teens told the group of boys about how they felt and their past experiences.
The boys then apologised and admitted that they needed to rethink their behaviour and thoughts regarding women.
One of the boys, who says he didn’t start the list but was an enabler, told the Post: ‘When you have a culture where it’s just normal to talk about that, I guess making a list about it doesn’t seem like such a terrible thing to do, because you’re just used to discussing it.
‘I recognise that I’m in a position in this world generally where I have privilege. I’m a white guy at a very rich high school. It’s easy for me to lose sight of the consequences of my actions and kind of feel like I’m above something.’
And the students didn’t just stop there, they decided to hold these meetings regularly in the future to discuss toxic parts of teen culture, and the issues that they respectively face.
Now, can we have these meetings in all environments?
Upset teen talks with therapist
It’s easy to see Instagram posts of gorgeous people carrying large designer bags or flying in their private jets and think ‘I wish that was me’.
One vlogger decided to show people that it really could be you, with the help of a few Photoshop edits.
Byron Denton, who vlogs on YouTube and Instagram, decided to prank his followers for a week and posted a series of pictures showing him living a lavish lifestyle.
The 19-year-old student wanted to see if his fans would buy into the luxury life that so many socialites seem to have.
After editing in Louis Vuitton bags outside the designer store and showing himself in a private jet, and going on holiday, Byron ended up with 1,000 followers in just three days.
Not only were his followers impressed, but he also attracted a newer crowd who seem to enjoy watching rich people do rich people things.
In seven seconds, he received 500 likes, with more comments than he is used to with some saying: ‘This whole aesthetic is so pleasing’, ‘goals’, and ‘we love a shopping spree which entirely breaks the bank’.
But he revealed it all on his YouTube channel, saying it was all done on his phone while sitting in his student flat and eating a jacket potato.
In the video he explained: ‘After seeing my recommended box get filled with videos of people faking holidays or going on TV shows I thought it would be fun to put my own twist on it and fake being rich on Instagram for a whole week.’
To really get his followers to believe, Byron went to the Louis Vuitton store, uploaded various Boomerangs and polls to ask his followers if he should get it.
He then used an image of Jaden Smith carrying loads of large bags with the LV monogram and added the bags to his own pic.
And like clockwork, the likes, comments, and followers blew up. Byron revealed he had thousands of new followers on his account.
The private jet pic also attracted a lot of attention and even his mum rang him when she was asked where he was off to.
After wearing real Off White and Balenciaga labels in one of his shots, Byron received the most likes and comments. ‘This experiment is going the way I thought it would, wearing designer in your photos does, in fact, engage people a lot more which is weird,’ he said.
The fake photo of him on a private charter flight was difficult for him to upload though as he knew his fanbase would catch onto the prank.
‘This is so embarrassing. I’m deleting this picture as soon as this video goes up. They all know I’m not a multimillionaire,’ he said.
One of the comments on that picture said: ‘We stan a rich b*tch’ and it seems people really, really do.
Though Byron had a laugh with the social experiment and revealed that it was all fake, other pseudo socialites have got in trouble for taking it too far.
Anna Sorokin who went by Anna Delvy on social media is now on trial for swindling friends, hotels, and banks out of money to curate a luxury high life.
19-Year-Old Fakes Living A Luxurious Life For An Instagram Experiment, Is Surprised With How Easy It Is, Byron Denton
Shannon Ellis is just 22 but in January she bravely took on her five siblings after her mum Shelley, 39, died in January this year.
Already a mum-of-two, she became a mum of seven overnight.
This Mother’s Day she received handmade cards, boxes of chocolates and bouquets of flowers from her brothers and sisters – Mia, 16, Neve, 15, Bracken, 13, Keevie, 10, and Blaine, eight.
The brood also paid tribute to Shelley by visiting the tree where they spread her ashes near the park she used to take them to.
Shannon was already mum to Harrison, three, and Rowan, two, when she lost her mum.
Not wanting to see her siblings placed in care or split up, she decided to take them in and raise them as her own, with her partner Kieran Ferguson, 23, at their home in Hartlepool, County Durham.
Shannon, who is a full-time mum, said: ‘I always wanted to be a mum, but I never imagined I’d have to fill my own mum’s shoes and go from a mum of two to a mum of seven overnight.
‘But I promised mum I’d look after my brother and sisters.
‘She’d have hated to see them split up or in care, I never would have let that happen.
‘We have our moments, but we’re still one big, happy family – just as mum wanted.
‘Mum was just brilliant.
‘She did everything to provide for us – despite being a single parent and raising us all on her own.
‘She’d take us on family trips to the seaside and would muck in with us playing games. On a Saturday night she’d always rustle up a huge home-cooked feast.
‘We had an amazing childhood and always felt very loved and protected by her.
‘She made me want to have children of my own and she was over-the-moon when she became a grandmother to my two little boys.’
Shannon was born seven years before her next sibling, so for the first years of her life, she and mum Shelley were inseparable.
But when Mia came along, she slid into the role as their big sister, and she doted on her younger siblings.
‘I remember the first time I met Mia and mum said I could give her a kiss,’ Shannon said.
‘She was sleeping so peacefully and I carefully kissed her tiny face – I was so scared of breaking her, she was perfect.’
As the number of her siblings grew, the Ellis’ became one big happy family, even after Shelley broke up with their dad.
‘We were all really close,’ Shannon said.
‘We’d have the odd fight as brothers and sisters do, but all-in-all we looked out for each other and mum made sure we were always happy.
‘I would help her out where I could – getting my younger brother and sisters ready for school and out the door – mum couldn’t do it all by herself.’
Keen to start a family of her own, Shannon fell pregnant aged 18 after she and Keiran had been dating for eight months and had two sons – who Shelley doted on.
Harrison, three, was born in May 2015, followed by Rowan, two, in January 2017.
Shannon and Kieran moved just around the corner to give the family some more space – but that didn’t mean they weren’t together all the time.
Shannon said: ‘Mum was an amazing grandmother – she absolutely adored the boys.
‘Not a day went by where I wouldn’t see my mum.
‘She helped look after the boys if we were busy and taught me the tricks of the trade.’
But the family’s lives were turned upside down after Shelley was taken unexpectedly ill in January 2018.
Shelley was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, Hartlepool, where medics discovered she had a rare disease.
Shannon was told by medical staff that her mum Shelley would never be the same, and had a maximum of two years to live.
‘I’ll never forget hearing those words,’ Shannon said.
‘I couldn’t contemplate losing her but the doctors assured that would be the case.’
When Shelley heard she didn’t have long left, she became unbelievably worried about what would happen to her children left behind.
‘It was horrible seeing the worry in her face, she loved us all so much,’ Shannon said.
‘But I promised her that the kids would never be alone and that I would step up to look after them.’
Shelley’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and just two days later they were told the end was imminent.
Shelley was moved to Alice House Hospice, Hartlepool, to make her final days more comfortable, and the family gathered around to make their heart-breaking goodbyes.
‘I can’t thank the staff there enough, they were brilliant to poor mum,’ Shannon said.
‘They were so lovely and understanding and made sure she had everything she could have needed until the time came.’
On January 25, 2018, Shelley sadly passed away aged 39 – just nine days after she first started to feel unwell.
Shannon knew she had to keep her final promise to her beloved mum and stepped up to become the legal guardian for her five siblings.
She said: ‘I couldn’t have done it all without Kieran – he had no experience of looking after girls, let alone teenagers. But he took my siblings under his wing and was a pillar of strength for all of us.
‘Mum was always a brilliant judge of character and she adored him, so I’m glad she will have known that he will always look after us.
‘I can’t believe how strong my brother and sisters have been.
‘To be so young and suffer such a devastating loss is heartbreaking, but to still act as maturely as they have is amazing.
‘They are coping really well and I’m really proud.
‘We talk about mum all the time and constantly get photos out and laugh about the joy she brought to our family.
‘I think she’d be smiling down at us, proud of how we’re doing.
‘She will always be the head of this family, and I am trying every day to follow the incredible example of motherhood she set.’
When it comes to weddings, lots of people want the traditional trimmings; the white dress, a veil to go with it, the church.
But some brides prefer to eschew once-sacred wedding day traditions. Others prefer a new twist on an old favourite.
Take the veil for example.
Instead of the fine white net over their faces, some brides are choosing to go for headgear like flower crowns, headbands, and turbans.
The turbans are available online for nifty prices, so are we going to start seeing these headwraps in mainstream bridal fashion?
On Etsy, there are various turban style veils for brides who might want to wear it for cultural reasons, health, or just because they like the look of something unique.
Some turbans are advertised for women with alopecia, who may want to wear something white to go with their dress but cover their head at the same time.
For some, like Sikh, Muslim or black women, it holds religious or cultural significance. They may wear turbans and headwraps everyday but choose to wear a special bridal one for the big day.
On Instagram, #bridalturbans have over 700 results, with a large part showing black and Muslim women beautifully adorned with the headpiece.
There are over 1,000 results for #weddingturbans showing men who also wear a turban on their wedding day as is popular in South Asian and Afro cultures.
Though the idea is not new, it is now being adorned by both women and men of all different ethnicities and religions.
Some brides-to-be are all for it, others though had concerns.
Nina Frank said: ‘Not my thing personally, but I love when brides take a risk, show their individuality and wear something unusual, including things I wouldn’t wear myself. More power to you!’
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✨Adopting the fashion of glamorous starlets like Marlene Dietrich & Greta Garbo – a bridal turban with style & grace ✨🙌🏻 . . Repost @pacific_brides | Creative team: Photography @marniecornellphotography Planning/ Design / Florals @rockandstoneweddings Cake @amber_markland Stationery @inkandsable HAMU @pacific_brides Models @frankieadair @emersonshotwell Headpiece @bridalturban . . #DifferentWeddings #weddingtheme #weddingsuppliers #differentvendors #nontraditional #nontraditionalwedding #traditionallydifferent #bridalturban
Some were worried about cultural appropriation – when important parts of a group (usually a minority) are ‘borrowed’ from a dominant group for a short period of time without knowing its cultural significance.
‘They’re really beautiful, but make sure it’s not culturally appropriative,’ said one woman.
Emily Rogers added: ‘They can be very pretty but I do think the “why” and style is important – if you’re wearing it solely for fashion, just make sure you don’t pick a style that has important cultural significance for other groups’.
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Barakahllahu Fihi sis, which you a blessed home, @sully_raj Thanks for your patronage always my dear. . . . . #hafsohbeautygalore #muslimahbridal #muslimahwedding #hijablook #makeup #beauty #peopleofalihamdulillah #peace #marchbride #abeokutabride #islam #turbanlover #bridalturban #ogunentrepreneur #studententrepreneur #ibadanwedding
Others said it could be done beautifully and maybe even have a small veil coming down from the top to make it more traditional.
We spoke to wedding expert Siu Coll, from bridal fashion brand Liberty In Love.
‘Over the past few years, we’ve definitely seen brides embracing every type of bridal headpiece, so it’s little surprise that some brides have chosen to wear turbans or head wraps on their big day,’ Siu said.
‘I think the rise in popularity of social media, wedding blogs, as well as the boho wedding trend, have been big influences on encouraging brides to be braver in their style choices.
‘That being said, the classic veil shows no signs of being any less popular. Judging by our sales and inquiries so far this season, the classic veil will continue to reign in 2019, too.’
Veils will always be popular but maybe we’ll start seeing bridal turbans being embraced by all sorts of women.
Perhaps bridal fashion creators will start to include turban options to appeal to different groups to whom it has cultural significance.
Either way, it’s a style that will definitely continue to be popular.
Crocs – the Marmite of the shoe world.
One person though as really tried to make them edgy.
These ‘goth crocs’ are available on Etsy.
As a former goth, they do certainly tick all the boxes – black, dangerous looking metal spikes and chains.
But at the end of the day, they are still Crocs.
The shoes cost £190.60 for the basic style, with or without large side spike.
For £206.48, you can get an ankle chain, with or without the spike, that can be attached to the bottom of your jeans so you’ll never lose them, no matter how hard you mosh.
The spikes are nickel plated and the chain is high sheen stainless steel.
They were designed by @garbage_b0y and sold by Heavey Cream – a company based in America, which means you need to add another £28.30 for delivery.
They’ve actually proved to be quite popular on Twitter, but one person was pretty disappointed that they just didn’t pick the perfect punny name – Punk Croc.
the only thing that's upset me more than the phenomenon that is 'goth crocs' is the fact that no one has fucking called it 'punk-croc' yet pic.twitter.com/ZMuM4sXOWP
— gracie hoos (@cottoncandaddy) March 29, 2019
Another person added that this was the turning point for Crocs for them. They said: ‘I know, I have never in my life wanted to own a pair of crocs but THIS!’
‘Spiked goth crocs are honestly the most valid kind of crocs I’ve seen,’ another comment said.
Adilene added: ‘Am i gonna drop 260 bucks on goth crocs ? Probably.’
We’re not quite sure what to think but I guess goths need something to throw on when they are taking the bins out.
Goth crocs exist
The first rule of writing is that you should never read the comments.
Whether it’s a personal slight against the writer’s looks, or a snide comment about the quality of the writing, comment sections are known for being stressful places, where interesting and nuanced observations are drowned out by rudeness.
Now, a new initiative has arrived to try to reclaim the comment section, spearheaded by campaigner Aye Haightmen, a polyamorous feminist 26-year old student from Brighton.
Aye is writing a thesis titled ‘Why straight white men are everything that is wrong with the world today’.
As part of her research she launched a campaign to have all straight white men banned from the comments section of any and every site on the internet.
The project, which is being rolled out internationally before 1 April 2019 will see anyone who wants to leave a comment subjected to a privilege quiz.
Questions include: ‘Do you think that ‘gammon’ is a slur?’, ‘Do you own a wide variety of waistcoats?’, ‘Do you feel that the Black Panther film was mostly about ‘showing off’?’, and ‘Have you ever thought that actually yes, Piers Morgan might have a point?’
All your privilege points are totted up (being white, straight, male and privately educated carry the most points) and your privilege score is calculated.
You can also win back woke points for having facial piercings, coloured hair or living in a commune.
Anyone with a privilege score of over 10 will be unable to leave comments on publications.
It’s an answer to cries of ”you can’t say anything these days’. The campaign says no, if you are a straight white man (AKA the true victim of modern day society), you indeed cannot say anything. At least not online.
The news hasn’t been popular across the board. Gary Ammon told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s political correctness gone mad. You can’t say anything these days without a fat ugly snowflake accusing you of being rude.’
However others have responded positively to the news. Gaia Estrella Moncler de Monfort, who runs the not-for-profit feminist ‘zine Fanny Letter said: ‘For too long men have had access to both computers and smartphones, and they’ve proved that they cannot be trusted. It’s best that we remove temptation from them.’
Hundreds of publications have already signed up to this exciting initiative which will go live before 12pm today.
Straight white men banned from all comment sections
Back in June 2017, Little Bear Schwarz feared she would be single forever because of her beard.
But when she posted on Facebook about her fears, a comment popped up and a man called Tobias Bradick, 45, asked her out.
Now, the pair have married in a Christian-Satanist ceremony to celebrate both their religions, near Little Bear’s home in Tacoma, Washington, USA.
The pair first met through an online polyamory group in 2014 but it wasn’t until the Facebook post in 2017 that they started to see eachother as more than friends.
Little Bear, 36, has polycystic ovary syndrome since she was 14 – a condition affecting fertility and often causing weight gain and excessive body hair, including on her face – and she was worried that she would never meet someone who would see beyond her beard.
Little Bear said: ‘I’d had relationships in the past, but they all fell apart, so I was feeling pretty low.
‘I was worried that I’d never be able to find a person who could see past my beard.
‘So I wrote a post on Facebook and then an hour later I got a message from Tobias saying that he hoped it didn’t come across as too opportunistic, but he would love to take me out.’
Quickly falling in love, a year later the couple were engaged and on February 24 this year they tied the knot in front of 40 friends and family at a special venue for ex-military personnel.
She continued: ‘Tobias is a Satanist whereas I am a Christian, which might sound like we are at odds with one another.
‘But really, we have the same ethical codes – we just express them through different means.’
And while they both remain polyamorous, they are also very much devoted to each other.
‘In the same way that you can love several of your children or friends, Tobias and I believe that you can be in love with multiple partners,’ said Little Bear.
‘But that doesn’t at all detract from the love I feel for him. Really, he’s the first man that I have felt totally comfortable with, who loves me for the person I am – beard and all.’
Sprouting hairs on her chin, upper lip and chest when she hit puberty, Little Bear, who changed her name aged 31 from Renee, began shaving daily in secret from the age of 14 – camouflaging rashes from the razors with make up.
But after meeting her ex-boyfriend in 2013 and moving from her home state of Florida to live with him in Seattle, Washington, she finally felt ready to let her hair facial hair grow – feeling her new environment would be more accepting.
And she never looked back, celebrating her hairy face by entering a local competition for bearded ladies called Whiskerinas – which she won in 2014, and going on to join a sideshow called the Wreckless Freeks, which she toured with for nearly four years.
Sadly, though, as her career took off, her relationship with her ex-boyfriend floundered and, by early 2016, single once more, Little Bear, feared she would never have another significant relationship with a man.
She said: ‘For me, it’s difficult to find someone, as they have to be really confident and proud to be with me, because, inevitably, they will be known as the person who goes out with a bearded lady.
‘On the other hand, though, I’ve always been wary of people who fetishise my beard, as I want someone to like me for who I am – not just a specific feature.
‘And that balance was often difficult to find.’
But Tobias, who was still married when he first met Little Bear in July 2016, was the exception.
Single again, like her, when they had their first date in 2017 at a Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle, they clicked immediately.
‘From that moment we knew that we were the right people for each other,’ Little Bear recalled.
‘I think he respected the fact that I wasn’t afraid to show off my beard and that I embraced it as part of my life and part of my femininity.
‘And for my part, I recognised immediately that he was a really kind and handsome guy.’
From then on, the pair were inseparable. They called each other daily and Tobias, who lived in Tacoma, visited her in Seattle every weekend and eventually popped the question a year later.
Little Bear, who has since moved to his house, recalled: ‘Tobias was really awkward and nervous about it and said to me, “I have this ring that I bought 20 years ago in Hong Kong while I was in the Navy – I don’t know if you’d like it or not?”
‘So, I shot back at him and said, “If this is the question I think you are asking you have to actually say the words!”
‘It was so sweet and so like him – I wouldn’t have changed that proposal for the world.’
At their wedding in Tacoma on February 24 in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club, the pair said their vows surrounded by friends and family, sharing their day with many of Little Bear’s old sideshow colleagues, who included clowns, wrestlers and burlesquers.
Wanting also to represent their respective beliefs and cultural heritage, Tobias – who has Celtic ancestry – wore a kilt, while Little Bear wore a purple velvet dress.
‘Having a Satanist and a Christian getting married, you’d have thought there might be problems,’ she said.
‘But there were none at all. We both brought our respective beliefs and values to the ceremony and we both respected the other person’s.
‘Because at the end of the day, marriage is about two people loving each other – and that’s all that matters.’
Bearded lady who feared she?d be single forever weds man she met in an online polyamory group in a Christian-Satanist ceremony
If there’s one thing missing from Easter eggs – it’s alcohol.
Yeah we love gorging on chocolate, but adding booze to the equation can only make Easter Sunday more fun.
Jägermeister have answered our prayers and delivered the boozy Easter egg we didn’t know we needed.
The new, limited edition Jäger eggs are made of smooth milk chocolate infused with the unmistakable German liqueur.
Look, we know its 1st April – but this genuinely isn’t an April Fools. Although that is how the concept started off.
In 2016, Jägermeister announced on its social media channels that it had created the Jäger egg – that was an April fools joke – but since then, Jäger enthusiasts have pushed for the fictitious product to become a reality.
And now, here we are. Jäger eggs exist, so we hope you’re all happy with yourselves.
‘The last three years we’ve been inundated with customers demanding the #JagerEgg, we’ve had everything from desperate DM’s to pleading phone calls,’ says Tim Hawley, innovation controller at Jägermeister UK.
‘It’s personally kept me up at night thinking about all those people tossing and turning, dreaming of the #JagerEgg that never was – so this is for them.’
There were 250 limited eggs available to buy exclusively at jagershop.co.uk, but unfortunately they have already sold out. But it’s not all bad news for Jäger obsessives – the company have told customers to keep an eye on social media platforms for details of further releases.
The Easter egg gift pack costs £9.99 and it comes with two Jäger eggs, two Jägermeister shot glasses and a 10cl bottle of the liqueur.
Jaeger easter eggs
People lie about lots of things on dating profiles. Or they let their pictures do it for them.
After Tinder said it would be introducing height verifications for men on their apps to make sure they were being honest about it, one man was not pleased.
He said there ought to be a weight setting for women, then, if men had to be upfront about their height.
The folks at Tinder claimed they wanted men to send in screenshots of them standing next to tall buildings which they will use with their ‘state-of-the-art’ equipment to figure out whether it’s a lie or not.
Those who claim to be six feet, for example, and are verified to be such will then receive a badge on the profile.
Feeling that the new implementation is unfair, the man posted on Reddit to say women need to disclose details of their proportions too.
But, unlike the rest of the internet who clocked on that it was an early April Fool’s joke, the poster did not get the memo.
So all that sexist energy for nothing.
‘Tinder just announced a setting for men to show their height, under the reasoning that too many men lie about their height on the app and as they put it, are “height fishing” women,’ the angry man posted.
‘I can just about guarantee they won’t do a f*cking thing about weight for women. I have friends who have been fat fished. That’s essentially the same damn thing. Why the hell should guys show their height if women won’t show their weight?
‘It annoys the living f*ck out of me that women aren’t held to the same societal standards regarding attraction that men are.’
He reassured everyone that he doesn’t hate fat women nor does he begrudge anyone for not finding him attractive due to being 5 ft 9.
He just thinks there are societal double standards when it comes to attraction to the opposing sex.
Tinder has yet to confirm whether they’re joking (we’ve asked and they’ve said they’re keeping schtum. We’re certain that it is a joke though).
Their press release was very tongue-in-cheek which made people immediately question the announcement.
Also interestingly, we picked up that in their promo video where they showed how it all works, their sliding scale of height options goes straight from 5 ft 9 to 6 feet when everyone knows there are 12 inches in a foot.
So according to the scale, there’s no option for the 5’11ers.
What did Tinder say?
It’s come to our attention that most of you 5’10ers out there are actually 5’6. The charade must stop. This type of dishonestly doesn’t just hurt your matches — it hurts us, too. Did it ever occur to you that we’re 5’6 and actually love our medium height? Did it ever occur to you that honesty is what separates humans from sinister monsters? Of course not.
Introducing Tinder’s Height Verification Badge (HVB), because yes — sometimes it matters
Simply input your true, accurate height with a screenshot of you standing next to any commercial building. We’ll do some state-of-the-art verifying and you’ll receive your badge directly on your profile.
Oh, and by the way? Only 14.5% of the U.S. male population is actually 6’ and beyond. So, we’re expecting to see a huge decline in the 80% of males on Tinder who are claiming that they are well over 6 feet.
That’s fine by us — as long as we’re all living our truths.
Redditors commented in their droves, most of them calling out the joke while some people worryingly agreed with the poster that women should stop lying about their weight.
Many of them didn’t share the poster’s sentiments.
One person wrote: ‘Just say you have a fragile ego and hate women and move on. Fat fished isn’t a thing, it’s literally just catfishing except you’re singling our fat people.
‘And wow, saying women are not held to the same standards of attraction as men….bold of you to say something so wrong.’
Tinder logo is seen on an android mobile phone
Jillian Faith, 34, says she has transformed both her body and mind by eating a meat only diet for four months.
After years of suffering from PTSD, she spotted the extreme ‘caveman diet’ on social media and decided to give it a go in a bid to improve her general wellbeing.
Now her daily menus begin with breakfast of elk meat and beef with beef fat, followed by a bowl of bone broth later in the day and finally a supper of beef brains, liver and beef fat – all only just cooked.
But although Jillian, who lives in California, U.S., claims she is healthier than ever, experts aren’t totally convinced.
UK nutritionist and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, Linia Patel, is not surprised that Jillian is feeling so much better on her high protein, high animal fat diet, because ditching carbs can help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Her weight loss has resulted from her body having to burn fat for energy, but Linia warned that such an extreme diet does have drawbacks.
‘Wholegrains and plant foods are important for building the good bacteria in the gut, but animal protein does the opposite and feeds the bad bacteria,’ she warned.
‘There is no one diet that works for everyone, but you have to ask is this way of eating sustainable and the best way to eat in the long term?
‘People on this kind of diet may struggle to do any high intensity exercise and, since we know exercise is important for stress relief and sleep amongst other things, we would always recommend a more diverse.’
Jillian, who was a bassoonist and drummer for the US Army reservists for nine years, says she was left traumatised from a combination of events but particularly after being raped as a teenager.
Determined to get on with her life after the attack, she honed her musical talents – putting them to good use in the army reservists, despite still suffering with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which include anxiety, nightmares, insomnia and depression.
Unable to work because of her health, four months ago Jillian saw people talking on social media about following an extreme carnivorous diet and decided to give it a go.
Dubbed the ‘caveman diet’, because it harks back to a time when we were hunter gatherers, relying on meat, Jillian claims it is a more natural way for human beings to eat.
‘The animal fat in this diet is very important because it’s where I get my energy or fuel from now that I don’t eat any carbohydrates,’ she explained.
She also said the bone broth, which is a staple of the diet, helps her stay hydrated and provides her body with electrolytes, which are crucial for muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses.
‘I only eat now when I am hungry and because this diet is so high in fat, I’m not very hungry throughout the day,’ she said. ‘I don’t snack or graze, I don’t have any cravings and I only eat high quality, grass-fed meats.’
Rather than using a diet or health manual to prepare her meals, Jillian now has supervision from a team of nutritional experts and doctors at a Hungarian centre, which specialises in this type of eating.
‘They have recommended that I try and eat 500g of liver and 200g of brain or bone marrow every week. They are all really high in nutrients that are good for the intestine which is what I need most,’ she said.
‘I was raised on fast food, so I do find some of the meals quite difficult to eat, especially the liver, which I chop into tiny pieces and have to swallow with water, but your body quickly gets used to it.
‘And there are huge benefits. My mind is now so much clearer, my memory has improved, I sleep better and I feel ready now to tackle the PTSD I’ve suffered from since my teens.’
While Jillian, does not claim that her extreme meat diet has cured her problems, she does feel ready to tackle her PTSD now that her diet has improved her general sense of well-being.
She continued: ‘I’m not saying this meat diet has cured my PTSD, I’m saying for the first time, I feel well enough to explore treatments, whereas before, my mind was so clouded, I didn’t know where to start.’
Buying quality meat in bulk, Jillian freezes what she is not eating immediately and while meat is pricey, she eats less, so does not find her new diet expensive.
‘My family and friends think it’s a strange diet, but they can see how much healthier I am and if you think about evolution, this is how we all used to eat,” she said.
‘I know I am going to upset a bunch of vegans eating this way and will probably get hate mail, but all I can say is that eating this way is really working for me.”
Jillian is now such a fan of the carnivore diet her own dream is to own a few acres of land and farm and eat her own animals.
‘I know I don’t really fit into normal society, which is down to the traumas I have been through,’ she said. ‘But I have always felt a connection to the land and nature, so my dream would be to live in peace and have that same connection with the food I eat.’
Former military musician transforms her mind and body with an extreme meat-only ?caveman? diet
Life can often feel like it’s moving at a million miles per hour and whether you’re trying to juggle a demanding job, screaming children or a busy social life – not having the right amount of sleep can really get you down.
In a dream world Brits want seven hours of deep sleep each night, but really are surviving on much less and it’s taking its toll. In fact, the reality is that Brits are only getting around 5.8 hours a night, according to the Bensons’ Sleep Wellness Survey. That doesn’t sound like much.
But don’t let your sleep shortage start to worry you, you’ve got enough on your mind. In fact, getting hung up on your lack of sleep can actually cause more issues, according to Bensons for Beds sleep expert, Stephanie Romiszewski.
‘The worry that people have around this is growing, which only increases anxiety which leads to worse sleep,’ she says.
Getting a good night’s kip actually helps reduce feelings of anxiety, according to the survey, and that’s why we’ve called upon Bensons’ sleep expert to put together her top tips for a better night’s sleep. All you have to do is be consistent and get back to basics.
Here are her top five tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:
1. Go to bed when you feel like it
This might feel counterintuitive, because you want more sleep, but actually listening to your body is key to getting the rest your body needs.
‘Give yourself permission to go to bed later if you’re not sleepy. It really is ok. Quality sleep is much more important than quantity,’ Stephanie explains.
2. Use your alarms
Set reminders for your bedtime if you have to. This will stop you working too late or binging too long on your latest TV series. Setting a reminder might get your body into a proper routine and signal that it’s time to go to bed. Stephanie suggests that you get up every day at the same time, even at weekends. Even if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, it doesn’t warrant a free pass for extra snooze time. Get up and start cracking on with your day, as this will hopefully put you in good stead for a better night.
3. Let there be light
‘Light is not the enemy,’ Stephanie says, as she encourages people to get more light during the day as it’s a natural signal to the brain it’s time to be awake and also puts you in a better mood. Picking the right lighting for your bedroom can also create a relaxing ambiance, which can also improve your quality of sleep.
4. No napping
From now on, nappings are banned. People try to get a quick nap in to give them more energy, but Stephanie insists that after you’ve had one, ‘they have literally stolen some of your sleep “fuel”.’ So if you’re wanting a full eight hours of sleep, you will need to ‘get rid of the naps’.
While technology can be one of the factors causing sleep issues and people are often warned to put down their devices and step away from their screens a few hours before they hit the hay, there are a number of benefits and relaxation apps are one of them.
There’s an array of apps for tablets and phones which can help you practice mindfulness and even reduce anxiety, but they won’t make you drop off instantly.
‘It is a proactive tool, not a reactive one,’ Stephanie explains. They are designed to help you manage stress and therefore sleeplessness.
What is sleepPRO?
Take the first step towards a better night’s sleep with sleepPRO by Bensons for Beds in five simple steps.
Step 1: Pop into your local Bensons for Beds store.
Step 2: Visit the in store sleepPRO area and try out the exclusive technology that analyses the way you sleep.
Step 3: Lie down while the sleep expert adviser adjusts the firmness levels from a scale of 1-5 (1 being softest, 5 being orthopaedic grade) to find your perfect comfort level.
Step 4: The system analyses your pressure points to detect where your body needs support most.
Step 5: Get your personalised sleep profile and use it to find your perfect mattress in store.
For more information about your nearest store visit bensonsforbeds.co.uk.
If you’re getting married, you probably want all the special people in your life by your side.
Jennifer Hindieh knew that she wanted her family and friends – but she also wanted her dog Bailey to be right there with her.
Jennifer and her then boyfriend, now fiance adopted Bailey from the North Hempsted Animal Shelter in New York when she was five months old.
When they got engaged last October, they knew they wanted her to be as involved in their big day as possible.
Jennifer decided to walk down the aisle with Bailey and her dad, so when she was choosing a dress, she realised her pet would need something to wear too.
She looked online and found CocoAndBushkaCouture, who make dresses for dogs.
Jennifer picked out a white dress with ruffle skirt and diamante detail for Bailey to wear to the wedding in September.
She posted a picture online and said: ‘Her dress is fancier than mine. Now all she needs to remember is not to jump on dad when she gets down the aisle.’
Jennifer told The Dodo: ‘I decided to get her a dress because honestly, she is my family, my baby and our life with her is what makes every day so special.
‘I don’t know if I can ever have kids, but for me, she’s like my kid.’
Apparently they’re getting her a mini dog wedding cake too to make the day just as special for her as it is for them.
Bailey, you look beautiful.
Even if you’ve never been pregnant, you probably know the basic rules that come with it.
Raw fish, any kind of exciting unpasteurized cheese and heavy lifting are all off the cards.
Drinking alcohol isn’t totally forbidden, but it’s discouraged and the official rules say that the safest way to proceed is to drink absolutely none.
Smoking on the other hand is verboten.
There is no debate about smoking, during pregnancy or otherwise. It’s bad for you, it makes you more likely to die earlier, and in pregnancy it is associated with lower birth weights and higher incidences of still birth.
All of this is true. But it still doesn’t justify the new measures being rolled out across the UK to ‘test’ women to see if they are smokers or not.
Under the current system women are asked at their midwife appointment whether they smoke. They can say no even if they do smoke, and there’s no proof.
But now, in an attempt to tackle still birth rates, the NHS is bringing in a screening service where women will be given a breath test to check their carbon monoxide levels.
Not only will the test represent whether or not she is a smoker, but also whether she lives with a smoker or in a smoke free home.
Everything about this initiative is terrifying.
Women apparently cannot be trusted to truthfully answer the question ‘do you smoke?’ or the follow up question ‘do you live with a smoker?’
Rather than simply expecting a woman to be honest, the NHS want to bring in a device to check up on them.
If the woman is found to be a smoker she will be given ‘help’ to give up in the next 24 hours, and then ‘re-tested’ at every appointment.
The smoking test plays into a longstanding mistrust towards women and their bodies during pregnancy.
Ever since Eve was painted as a snake loving liar in the bible we’ve had a public perception problem towards women.
We’re temptresses, liars, manipulators and seductresses.
We are not believed when we talk about abuse we’ve suffered or harassment we’ve experienced. We’re not even trusted by our own doctors and midwives to tell the truth about our smoking habits.
It’s all starting to feel a bit Handmaid’s Tale, really.
During pregnancy your body is still your body, and if you want to pollute that body with nicotine, that is your choice. Just because it isn’t a very nice choice doesn’t make it any less valid.
Becoming pregnant doesn’t mean that your rights to free choice are suddenly absorbed by the foetus.
During pregnancy you are not obliged to consent to any medical treatment – at all.
You can decline to be induced if your baby is overdue, you can decline to be weighed if your midwife thinks that you are overweight and you can decline any medication that you do not feel comfortable taking.
It might not be a good idea to decline the advice of a medical practitioner. It might be a very bad idea. In some cases it could probably kill you. But it is still your choice and moreover, it is still your right.
Women know that smoking during pregnancy is bad. When they choose to do so anyway they are making an informed choice. Even if it is not the choice that you would like them to make, you have to respect that.
Being pro choice isn’t always a comfortable position to find yourself in.
When someone asks ‘should a teenage girl be able to get a termination six weeks into her pregnancy?’, that’s an easy answer.
But when an adult woman wants to smoke and drink through her pregnancy, but still give birth to a baby at the end, a baby with a much higher risk of a low birth weight or still birth, that’s harder.
Harder, but essential.
Women have to retain full control over their bodies during their pregnancy.
The right to choose does not end the moment a woman decides to have a baby rather than an abortion.
It remains the woman’s choice what she eats, drinks smokes and does. She can make a choice based on a sliding scale of risks, whether it’s having a half glass of champagne at a wedding or doing a tandem skydive.
When we get to a position where we are policing what choices women make during pregnancy then we are prioritising the rights of the unborn above their mothers, and that way lies a terrifying Dystopic hell scape where our capacity as womb havers trumps our bodily autonomy.
90% of women do not smoke during pregnancy, at all. In an ideal world, 100% wouldn’t.
But having women take tests to check whether they are telling the truth, rather than just believing them, is not the answer.
Pregnant women need to be supported, not micromanaged.
The moment that we cease to trust women we start down an extremely slippery slope, towards the removal of reproductive freedom and the priorty of pregnancy over life.
Column: smoke tests prove we don\'t trust pregnant women