As the doctor spoke, my daughter Neepy and I sat hand-in-hand, our eyes full of tears and with the ‘big C word’ echoing around us.
The room went cold and we couldn’t believe what we were being told. It was so unexpected to hear that my daughter had cancer, and we were both devastated. Neepy felt sick to her stomach while I had to suppress my screams, my tears and my fear, to show her I was going to get her through this dreadful nightmare.
The words felt so feeble in that moment, but I told my sweet Neepy that she was not alone. I’d be with her every step of the way.
Neepy hardly went to the doctor so it was really unusual for her to go to the GPs in May 2017 with severe back, stomach pain and sickness – it was the first time she had ever been on her own. Little did we know that these were the early signs of her cancer.
The GP told her she had a urine infection and she was sent home with antibiotics.
After three days of taking them, Neepy suddenly blacked out. My husband took her to the hospital where she stayed for a week and was told she had a severe kidney infection – but after being discharged, Neepy’s symptoms continued. Over the course of 10 months she went back to GPs around 10 times and on each occasion she was sent away with painkillers and told to exercise and do yoga.
When Neepy could no longer use her left leg, and she was in unrelenting pain, I took her back to A&E and insisted on an X-Ray. After seeing the result, the doctors immediately admitted her and in April 2018, aged just 23, she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma of the pelvis, a very rare form of bone cancer.
In the days after her diagnosis, it felt as though we were living in a bubble.
All the family tried our very best to stay positive but I would look around and see their faces were etched with sadness. We’d try to act ‘normal’ but simple things like eating and sleeping became a luxury as fear that we might lose Neppytook over.
To know that GPs had failed to properly refer her made me feel extremely angry. Her kidney infection was one of the first signs of Ewing Sarcoma and knowing how much pain she was in, it saddens me to know that her symptoms were not taken seriously. Why was she being asked to take such strong pain relief – and why did that not raise any alarm bells?
I wished she had been diagnosed when her symptoms first began to show – I feel let down by the delays and poor communication we experienced, both of which meant we were unable to explore a second opinion and other options.
Instead, Neepy had to start chemotherapy straight away – it was life or death – and our world changed again as her treatment began, along with all the side-effects. Poor Neepy was so naïve, she had no clue what she was facing. She was going to have to endure 26 rounds of chemotherapy and six to eight weeks of radiotherapy.
For the first time in my life, as a mother, I had no control in making her better and it left me feeling helpless.
In January 2019 we were given the devastating news that the cancer had spread.
She had more chemo and radiotherapy but as treatment came to an end in July 2019, Neepy was advised that the cancer was terminal, and that she should live the remainder of her life to the fullest.
One of her wishes was to be part of my wedding so my husband and I brought it forward and wed a month later. We made many precious memories that day. The joy in her face was unforgettable – and as we entered 2020, things were looking up.
Neepy was getting her strength back day-by-day, making plans to go on holidays and was even considering going back to work. We all felt so happy seeing our her spirits so high.
That all changed a month later. The cancer had spread further, and my daughter was given a few months to live. I remember us both looking at each other in disbelief.
During that time, Neepy started writing her final wishes in her notebook. I only found out after she passed away as she had told her boyfriend if anything happened, he was to give me it, so me and her brother Jay, knew exactly what to do. She had thought of every little thing and was so brave it broke my heart. No child should have to write down their final wishes and no parent should have to see it.
On Sunday 12 July 2020, my gorgeous daughter, my true best friend, gained her angel wings at the age of just 26. She had developed a brain tumour and gone into palliative care but we eventually brought her home to her bedroom, where she desperately wanted to be, surrounded by family and friends. The memories we made during that time are very special and I shall cherish them forever. I miss her so much.
The loss of a child doesn’t just affect the parents. It affects their siblings, wider family and everyone around them. Delayed diagnosis can put people through this needlessly: our 10-month wait for a diagnosis cost my family dearly.
Had we known about Neepy’s illness earlier, it would have given us so much more time together as a family, making more memories and giving Neepy the opportunity to experience all the things a young person should.
People will continue to die if things don’t change and the starting point for that begins with increased awareness about cancer, especially in young people, and early diagnosis.
I want young people to know the symptoms of cancer – things like lumps, bumps and swellings, persistent pain and extreme fatigue – so that they question that ache or pain and get it checked out quickly. If they still have concerns, they shouldn’t be afraid to go back to their doctor and press for tests or answers.
For so long after Neepy’s death, it felt like the walls of our home were crying with me; I would lay in Neepy’s bed with her dog, Timmi, who would cry by my side.
Now what’s getting me and my family through is raising awareness of cancer by supporting Teenage Cancer Trust’s #BestToCheck campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourages young people to see their doctor at the earliest opportunity.
It also encourages healthcare professionals to err on the side of caution and refer patients for further investigations, even with lower levels of suspicion.
I don’t want any other young person to go through what Neepy did. I want them to make their voices heard.
CHRISTMAS is just one month away, and everyone is asking whether it is safe to see family – even if the Government allows it.
Three households will be able to form an exclusive ‘bubble’ for five days over Christmas – thought to be between Christmas Eve and December 28.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Michael Gove convened leaders at 4pm today to finalise plans to save the holidays, after Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that families will be able to enjoy Christmas together.
Until then, England will go back into a tougher new tiered system from December 2 when the national lockdown ends.
Officials have said the public "will be advised to remain cautious" during the festive period, "and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.
What are the experts' views on how to approach the festive season?
Should we relax the rules for five days?
The Prime Minister is set on relaxing the Covid restrictions to allow families a break at the end of "an incredibly difficult year".
But he has been warned a five-day relaxation in the rules could reverse any reductions in infection rates in the lead up to Christmas.
It could mean a potential 25-day period of tighter measures into January if the Government follows advice from Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).
For some, this decision could lead to their last Christmas
Dr Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at Royal Society of Medicine, said: "Five days is excessive. There are not family gatherings that last five days, I think that would be too much.
"A long relaxation, particularly of the rules around alcohol and hospitality, I think that would be unhelpful and would feed the virus. We have to remember the levels of the virus are still very high, even though we are supposed to come out of lockdown next week."
But he added: "I do think for those who want to do it, it will be good to have some loosening of the rules."
Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, founding president of the Avoidable Deaths Network, said: "In my opinion, 'the relaxation for five days' is an emotive decision, not based on science.
"It is a decision of high risk with high impact. Sadly, the impact will be evident through the increase in the number of deaths.
"We will lose lives. For some, this decision could lead to their last Christmas."
Even if they let us have a normal Christmas, is it safe to relax?
Dr Scally, a member of Independent Sage which today published a report with practical suggestions for a safe Christmas, said: "The first thing to remember is that it's not compulsory.
"A lot of people have decided not to do anything this Christmas. They're going to meet online and stay in touch that way because they feel so passionately about keeping their relatives safe.
"We've got to remember the big star rising in the east is the vaccines, so it's a small sacrifice to make over the past few months."
Lucy Yardley, professor of health psychology at the University of Bristol and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said some people have taken the good news about vaccines to think "Oh, it's all over. I don't have to take it seriously anymore."
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: "[There is] still time to have another peak of infection that could kill many more people.
"So, actually it should be the other way around – we should think that 'We're so close, we've only got to keep doing it for a little bit longer', and the worst possible Christmas present is to cause this infection to spread in our families."
How can you make it less risky?
Professor Ray-Bennett, an associate professor in risk management at University of Leicester, said: 'Through effective management of the Covid-19, I believe our vulnerable citizens can enjoy many more Christmas’ in our lives.'
If you chose to come together with family, Dr Scally said the most important thing to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading is ventilating the home.
"If you are meeting indoors, you need to make sure there is good airflow. It's not just opening one window, it's two either end of the house or one on the top and bottom of the house, and keeping doors open. You don't need a gale, just movement of air so you're not getting stale air.
"It's an old fashioned idea to prevent infection, but it’s very good."
Prof Yardley said: "At the moment, people don't really realise that they need to do things in the home and that there are things they can do to make everybody safer if they do come together."
She suggested taking the same precautions that pubs have to, including cleaning surfaces every hour.
HOW TO HAVE A SAFE CHRISTMAS
The Government will soon give guidance on how to celebrate Christmas safely. Experts have given an idea of what to expect:
SELF ISOLATE FIRST: Experts say if you want to be extra careful, isolate for 10 days to two weeks before seeing relatives to make sure you have not got the coronavirus.
MEET OUTDOORS: It would be safer to meet people outside your household outdoors, where the coronavirus is less likely to spread. Go for a walk or meet in the garden if you can.
VENTILATE THE HOME: Ventilation is the most crucial way to prevent infections this Christmas, experts say. Open the windows for ten minute bursts or continuously, and keep doors open to allow for air flow.
WEAR MASKS: A face covering protects both the wearer and those around them. Using them both indoors and outdoors adds an extra layer of risk control.
DON'T SHARE FOOD AND DRINK: Ideally, Christmas dinner guests would be spread out as much as possible. But if the table is small, experts say at least don't share plates or cups.
AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT: It's still not safe enough to hug our loved ones. It's best to socially distance, especially from the most vulnerable, until they can be vaccinated.
LIMIT CONTACTS: Even if the Government allow for a number of households to mix, it is recommended to limit how many people you see as much as possible.
Can dozens of people can get together for parties?
The Government will permit a number of households to see each other for a few days. But it isn’t known if the number of people will be capped, and if children will be exempt.
If not, it potentially allows for big gatherings.
"That is the worrying part, if numbers are too large and the space is too small," Dr Scally said.
"It's a function of three things – the numbers, space and what's going on. If everyone is standing around talking face to face that's problematic.
"One of the problems for us is that traditionally christmas gatherings are multi-generational. I think that will be the most dangerous thing."
If you go to the pub then see family, that's the most dangerous situation of all
Prof Yardley said: "When people come together with people they know well in their homes it's a particularly risky situation because they let their guard down.
"They spend a lot of time with them and that's actually when the infection is most likely to spread."
Dr Scally said if people decide to have large gatherings, "they need to think about making them as safe as possible".
But he suggested instead meeting outdoors for a Christmas walk, or if possible, in the garden while wrapped up warmly.
"Even though the government has dropped the two metre social distance rule, try to maintain that. It's a very good way of reducing the risk," Dr Scally said.
"The other thing to do is wear a mask because they add a lot of protection to both those wearing them and others; if everyone wears one, it’s a very good way of reducing the risk for all."
Should we self-isolate for two weeks before seeing relatives?
Dr Scally said self isolating before seeing relatives at Christmas was a "sensible and caring" thing to do.
He said: "Families have to have a discussion so everyone is comfortable with the arrangements. That means some may isolate for 10 days or 2 weeks before so they know they won’t pose a risk."
Prof Yardley warned of the risks of celebrating the festive seasons at the pub with friends – if their tiered restrictions allow for it – before mixing with family.
She said: "Obviously, if you go to the pub then you go to see family members that you haven't seen and stay with them for a couple of days, that's the most dangerous situation of all."
Can we sit at the same table and eat together?
Dr Scally said eating at the table with a group of people from outside your household was problematic for a number of reasons, and was one of the most risky things you can do this Christmas.
He said: "Not everyone has a house big enough for a big table to spread people out, so people are sitting close together.
"They are eating and not wearing a mask, and they may be drinking alcohol and talking, possibly loudly because there is music."
Prof Yardley also warned against "sharing plates and cups and so on".
Should I hug my grandparents?
We’ve been yearning to hug our loved ones for months.
But health chiefs have said to resist the urge. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio last week social distancing rules of "one metre plus" will remain in place over Christmas.
Asked if we can give our grandmas a cuddle over the holidays, Dr Scally said: "Give them a promissory note to be cashed in when people have been vaccinated."
Is it safe to stay overnight?
Under the new tiers guidance set out by the Prime Minister last night, people in Tier 3 are not allowed to travel to other parts of the UK and stay the night.
Those in Tier 1 and 2 are encouraged to "avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas" to limit the spread of the virus.
But at Christmas, this could change. It's expected that there will be a relaxation of restrictions on overnight stays.
Given that officials in the UK’s four nations are working together, it’s expected people will be permitted to travel freely between countries.
Dr Scally said he does not think overnight stays are a problem, "provided the house is suitable and that's possible to do to contain distancing, and keeping surfaces clean".
Is it okay to see my family on Christmas day, and the in-laws on Boxing Day?
The Government has yet to clarify how household mixing will work, raising questions about whether limited households can "bubble" together for several days, or whether you can see different households on each day.
Dr Scally said either way, "the more people you see, the more networks you are connecting".
"We should do as little mixing as possible," he added.
How do I set rules in my house?
If you’re hosting people this Christmas, you may feel awkward telling people to abide by some rules.
Dr Scally said: "It's about reaching agreement, not imposing their view of things on someone else.
"Masks is a good example – the benefit of masks comes from everyone wearing them, because the mask really is effective in stopping someone transmitting the virus. So saying to someone, I'd like you to come in, but only if you wear a mask, it's working out how to say that in a non-threatening way."
The expert also cautioned to be considerate, saying: "We've got to be very careful about older people and those with vulnerabilities, and there will be people of all ages with underlying health conditions.
"We must be respectful of that, and understand why people want mask wearing or social distancing observed if they have people round."
Is it safe to invite someone who may be lonely?
Scientists at Independent Sage have said no-one should be alone this winter, despite the pandemic.
Dr Scally, who is part of the group, said people should invite isolated people over for Christmas if it can be done safely.
He said: "We should be thinking about those who are isolated. Even if you’re knocking on their door to wave at them through the window.
"That neighbourliness is very important, and that's what communities should be doing to look after those who can't see families."
My boss is holding a virtual holiday party where we are supposed to wear an ugly sweater. He also wants us to do some stupid white elephant game by sending a gift to his assistant, who will then send them out to a random member of the team. I am Zoomed out, and this forced merriment might just push me over the edge. Do I have to participate?
Sounds like someone needs to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Listen, George Bailey, we are all Zoomed out and want to say goodbye to 2020 as fast as possible. In theory, you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do, but sometimes, it helps to just be silly with family, friends and, yes, even your colleagues, to help ease the tension and stress of daily life.
Maybe you don’t go out and buy one of those sweaters designed to win an ugly contest — or maybe you already have one in your closet that you didn’t mean to enter into a contest but would be a strong competitor anyway — but play along. And do the stupid white elephant game, too. It’s better than having to figure out the perfect real gift for someone at work. Now, that is stressful.
Can my employer restrict my travel plans this holiday season?
The government can restrict travel, and some government officials are trying to tell us how many family members we can celebrate Thanksgiving with. They are also urging that you don’t sing or shout. (Have they ever been to an Italian family gathering?)
Employers have to tread far more carefully. They can recommend that staff avoid travel and require employees to report any personal travel plans, given the workplace impact with possible infections, exposures and quarantines.
They can also require compliance with any current CDC travel restrictions.
However, restricting any personal travel beyond what the government mandates is unchartered territory, so it’s highly unlikely to be strictly prohibited.
Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.
As England went into its second national lockdown the slow the spread of Covid-19, people mourned the closure of shops, pubs, and restaurants.
What people might not have noticed also shutting down are baby classes and support groups for new parents.
These closures could have a huge impact on mothers of under ones and their babies.
Mums such as myself rely on baby classes and groups as a way of remembering we’re not alone. As the mother of a seven-month-old, suffering with postnatal depression, baby classes decreased my mum-guilt, because it was an opportunity for my son to socialise beyond his immediate family – something that all babies should have the chance to do.
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I’m worried that if my son doesn’t have this normality, his development may be affected. And I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Lauren, 25, from Bournemouth had her baby, Rex, back in April, during the first lockdown.
She tells Metro.co.uk that her worries around her son’s development have increased since England ended up in its second lockdown.
She said: ‘I’ve been worried about his social development the most. Not being held by other people very often since he’s been born and not interacting with many children, I honestly worry every day how this will impact him in the future.
‘I’ve noticed he hasn’t rolled back to front yet and he isn’t reaching to stand. I don’t know what he’s behind in because I haven’t been told.’
Lauren says her biggest worry about Rex’s development is how he interacts with people. She’s terrified to return to work because of their joint separation anxiety.
‘I understand there are restrictions in place but women’s mental health and their babies’ development is being brushed under the carpet,’ she says. ‘Being a first time mum during a pandemic is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. I really hope it hasn’t affected my son… but I suppose time will tell.’
Flo, 25, from Aylesbury, gave birth to baby Jett in May.
She’s been worried about not being able to take him to baby groups or having help with his development.
She says: ‘As a first time mum, I didn’t know what to do with a baby. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t supporting him in the best way possible, which then had me worrying about him having delayed development.
‘I’ve been most concerned about his social interaction. When he first met another baby, he was 15 weeks old and freaked out. It made him cry.
‘I was really worried about how the lack of interaction with other babies might affect his socialisation skills in the long term. I can help with sensory play and reading and singing and everything else, but I can’t help with socialisation if we can’t see anyone.
‘I just don’t want him to have any struggles when it comes to mixing with other babies or being left with grandparents.
‘I also don’t want him to have any kind of delayed development simply because there’s nobody to regularly check him over or look for signs of anything serious. It worries me and means I’m so alert to anything he does.
‘New mums – especially first-time mums like myself – really have been completely forgotten about in this pandemic and it’s just not good enough. There are so many of us and we all need more than we are currently getting.’
33-year-old Lucy, from Kent, gave birth to baby Aubry in April.
She tells us: ‘In the early days and weeks of her life I wasn’t really worried about her development, as I was recovering from an emergency C-section and was more concerned about sleeping and keeping the baby alive – but as she has got older my biggest concern is the lack of interaction with any other babies.
‘We did go to a baby sensory group for a few weeks but it shut down in lockdown, and seeing how much she loved seeing the other babies and how excited she was made me feel sad that she’s missing out again.
‘I fear she won’t be socialised in the way she would have been if there wasn’t a pandemic. I wouldn’t say it induces anxiety, but more a sense of sadness – especially as I’ll be back at work in a couple of months, so will have less time to meet with other mums and babies.’
Charlotte, 30, from Manchester, gave birth in June.
She says she’s most concerned that her daughter, Murphy, has been born into a forgotten generation; ‘one where she was born into isolation and anxiety instead of surrounded by love and making social bonds’.
She says: ‘I worry that all of the pressure is on me to make up for this, and the detriment that this will have on my mental health and on her development in turn.
‘Fortunately, my baby has met all of her milestones so far, and I’ve had good support from our health visitor to know what to look for.
‘I’m getting a lot of support from the mental health services – the lockdown and restrictions in place when becoming a new mum have really taken a toll on me. I know that people may look unkindly on this, but I am continuing to mix with friends and family because I refuse to let my baby’s development and wellbeing suffer.
‘The first years of a baby’s life are crucial and we are social creatures who need lots of stimulation and a wide support network to develop and thrive.
‘It’s also incredibly difficult to meet all of my baby’s needs and cope alone. I’m not prepared for my baby to be hindered with the disadvantage she was born with.
‘I’m really concerned as to how this will impact on her development. I’m trying to do activities with her at home, but it’s difficult to reach the same level of stimulation and there’s no socialisation or variety involved.
‘My biggest worry is that my baby will be part of a generation who have fallen behind.’
Ellie, whose son turned one at the start of the first lockdown, says he was such a ‘sociable child’ before the UK’s first lockdown.
When baby classes closed, she wondered whether she’d be able to encourage his development in the same way.
Ellie, who also has a newborn daughter, says the biggest concern of social development for her actually presented in her son once the first lockdown lifted.
She said: ‘He was extremely nervous around other people, even family. He didn’t smile or wave at people in the shops and he was very clingy.
‘He definitely regressed with social interaction. Luckily this built up again with familiar adults and his language development has excelled. We managed to arrange a couple of play dates with children closer to his age, he was so new to sharing and interacting with them.
‘I am hoping this second lockdown doesn’t have a negative effect on him too, hopefully it won’t be as long as the first.
‘With my daughter, I want her to build close bonds with her family and those that love her. Only time will tell how we will be able to do this!’
According to UNICEF, for optimal brain development children require a stimulating and enriching environment, learning opportunities and social interaction – but under the pandemic measures, access to these needs is restricted.
They state: ‘Unsafe conditions, negative interactions and lack of educational opportunities during the early years can lead to irreversible outcomes, which can affect a child’s potential for the remainder of his or her life.
‘The ongoing crisis is likely only to exacerbate the situation of children living in home environments characterised by a lack of access to developmentally appropriate resources, such as toys and books, low levels of stimulation and responsive care, or inadequate supervision prior to the crisis.
‘Mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19 on young children will require strategic multi-sectoral approaches and the synergy of interventions in health, nutrition, security, protection, participation and early education.’
If you’re a new mum worried about your child’s development and social skills, Katie Reid, a child psychotherapist in the early attachment service within the NHS, recommends seeking out online baby groups – but reassures us that the most important form of socialisation is the bond between a parent and their child.
Katie tells us: ‘As a parent, it is hard to sustain feeling and being playful on your own at home without the company of other parents and babies.
‘Make use of your social networks and family support in any ways you can, and look to social media and local children’s centre offers that are available online.
‘Lots of services are offering online baby groups which will give you great ideas for play, songs, and give you an opportunity to meet other parents. There are also some great free online resources with ideas for play and information about your baby’s development, such as BBC Tiny Happy People and the Baby Buddy app.
‘It is the relationship with a primary caregiver who is able to be responsive and regulated, engaged and attentive that provides the most robust building block on which all their babies development sits, language development, social skills, curiosity and learning about the world.
‘This first important relationship also provides protection for babies when they encounter later stresses.
‘The current situation is a challenge for everyone, and there is clear emerging evidence that for some babies lockdown is having a detrimental impact.
‘If parents can manage their own feelings of isolation and stress while maintaining a sense of stability and connectedness, their baby should thrive.’
Still healing. Kimberly Van Der Beek shared a vulnerable message with her followers as she marked the anniversaries of her recent miscarriages.
See James Van Der Beek’s Sweetest Moments With His Family
“Tomorrow, Nov. 17th marks one year after I was taken to the hospital after a 17 week miscarriage put my life on the line. It took two hours to stabilize me,” the Washington native, 38, wrote via Instagram on Monday, November 16. “My life was saved by blood donors and hospital staff. Tomorrow, Nov. 17th also marks the due date of a baby I met far too early as I had another miscarriage at 17 weeks along, June 14th. Blood transfusions saved my life a second time.”
Kimberly shares five children — Olivia, 10, Joshua, 8, Annabel, 6, Emilia, 4, and Gwendolyn, 2 — with her husband of 10 years, James Van Der Beek. The former business consultant has suffered five miscarriages through the years, including one in November 2019 and another in June this year. As she reflected on her devastating pregnancy losses, Kimberly encouraged those who’ve followed her journey to donate blood and help save lives.
“We are getting into the holidays and there’s been a lot of distress in the world. If you’re healthy and motivated, please consider donating blood tomorrow or sometime soon,” she wrote on Monday. “Please share far and wide and let’s fill those blood banks up for the holidays. THANK YOU DONORS!!! ❤️ cc: @vanderjames.”
Becca Tobin and More Stars Who Are Honest About Their Fertility Struggles
One month before commemorating the emotional day in her family’s history, Kimberly opened up about how she and the Dawson’s Creek alum, 43, have continued to move forward in the wake of their losses. During a Q&A session on Instagram, Kimberly revealed that she and the former Dancing With the Stars contestant had chosen names — John and Zachariah — for the babies.
As the anniversaries of her miscarriages approached, Kimberly noted that she hoped to host a blood drive from her family’s new home in Austin, Texas, to pay tribute.
“That’s something that came to me very clearly to do,” she said in October. “Because people donating blood saved my life. … If I’m feeling strong, I will also be giving blood.”
In the aftermath of her health scares, Kimberly has focused on “being tender” with herself and her body, even if that means putting family planning on hold.
Rainbow Babies: Stars Who Had Children After Miscarriages
“I need to feel really good in my body if I’m going to explore [having more kids],” she explained during an episode of “The Make Down” podcast in October. “Right now, I’m not there. … I’m in very much a healing mode right now.”
Despite her reservations about expanding their family further after Kimberly’s “very harsh” pregnancy losses, the couple haven’t ruled out a sixth child entirely — and aren’t currently using birth control. “Listen, the possibility is there, if my body agrees to it,” Kimberly said on the podcast.
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It’s not just the children issue coming between us. My husband thinks it’s a sign I don’t love or want him and this simply isn’t the case. How do I get my sex drive back without forcing myself to have sex I don’t fancy?
DEIDRE SAYS: I’ll send my e-leaflet on Reviving A Woman’s Sex Drive which explains self-help sex therapy, but start by looking at your feelings about becoming a mother.
You say you long to start a family but are there doubts or bad memories you’re trying to ignore? That could be blocking your sexual responses. Counselling could make all the difference. See bacp.co.uk.
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Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newest restrictions on indoor family gatherings ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, declaring he’ll gladly flout the changes.
“I’ll be having more than 10 ppl at my house on Thanksgiving. My address is public record. Some family will come from (gasp!) New Jersey,” the Republican city councilman tweeted following the third-term Democrat’s announcement Wednesday that no more than 10 people are allowed to gather indoors at once.
“Kids will see their grandparents, cousins will play in the yard, sis in law will bring strawberry rhubarb pie, & a turkey will be overcooked,” he added.
Cuomo’s newest statewide order includes a 10 p.m. curfew for all bars, restaurants and gyms in the state — effective Friday, Nov. 13.
Reached separately by The Post, Borelli defended his position, arguing it’s his job “to question the executive branch” — meaning Cuomo.
“I think there’s a coronavirus problem everywhere in the city. I think people should take responsibility,” he said.
“We still have a comparatively small number of cases compared to elsewhere in the country and maybe we’re overreacting,” he argued, taking a line from the governor himself, who has frequently compared New York’s comparatively low positivity rate to other states’.
The news comes as the Empire State reported an alarming 2.9 percent coronavirus positive case count Tuesday.
The Big Apple’s own count shows the seven-day average has grown to 2.52 percent positivity, the highest figure reported since June.
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Viewers are left ‘broken’ as Robert Rinder hears woman, 97, tell how his Jewish relatives were shot and buried alive in a ditch by the Nazis – as she recalls ‘the mound was moving for several days’
TV star Robert Rinder travelled to Voranava in Belarus to find out more about the fate of his realtives in BBC documentary My family, the holocaust and me
He meets Helena Sheshko, 97, who was a child when his family, Jews from the Lithuanian town of Dieveniškės, were killed in a shallow ditch in May 1942
One viewer said the lady’s account of what she had heard was ‘heartbreaking’ as three million viewers tuned in to watch the first of the two-part documentary
BBC film saw Rinder meet second and third generations of three families affected by the Holocaust as they hunted the truth about their relatives
Viewers watching television judge Robert Rinder learn how members of his family were mercilessly shot and buried alive by Nazis in a shallow grave during the Second World War have said watching his emotional BBC documentary left them ‘broken’.
The first episode of his two-part programme My Family, the Holocaust and Me, aired on BBC2 on Monday and saw Rinder travel to a small town in Belarus to meet one of the few people still alive who remembers a day when nearly 1,800 Jews were killed by Nazi soldiers and locals.
Re-tracing the Levin family on his grandfather’s side, Rinder travelled to Voranava in Belarus, where he had a ‘heartbreaking’ conversation with 97-year-old Helena Sheshko, who vividly remembers the moment men, women and children were rounded up and killed, or buried alive, in a trench in the town in May 1942.
In her native Russian, she recounts how the mound of earth was ‘moving for several days’. Rinder called hearing her talk of the atrocity ‘the most profound moment of my life’.
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Television judge Robert Rinder travelled to Voranava in Belarus for the BBC documentary My family, the holocaust and me to hear about the fate of his family on his grandfather’s side. His journey took him to a mass grave on the outskirts of the town of Voranava where members of his family were killed for being Jewish
Rinder meets Helena Sheshko, who was a child when his family, Jews from the Lithuanian town of Dieveniškės, were killed in a shallow ditch in May 1942 at the hands of German soldiers and locals from the town
Speaking Russian, Shesko told Rinder that many were buried alive and the mound of earth ‘moved for days’; the mass grave remains as a memorium to those lost
Viewers watching the TV judge meet up with the elderley lady, who recounted her horrifying childhood memories of the massacre, said the two-part documentary had left them ‘broken’
Some three million viewers tuned into the first episode of the programme, which saw Rinder meet second and third generations of three families affected by the Holocaust as they hunted the truth about their relatives
Some three million viewers watched the documentary, which follows second and third generations of three families affected by the Holocaust, with many taking to social media to say the lady’s account had been extremely difficult to watch.
Rinder told how his family on his grandfather’s side, the Levins, were forced to move to Voranava in 1941 from their home in the Lithuanian town of Dieveniškės.
Sheshko recalls how on the early summer’s day she heard screaming, machine gun-fire and the sound of the ‘earth moving’ as hundreds of people were slaughtered by Nazi soldiers.
Viewers watching at home took to Twitter to say how emotional they found the meeting between Rinder and Sheshko, particularly their tearful embrace.
@Gilana25 wrote: ‘Very moving and hard to watch. Thank you for making this. Your comforting the old lady in Belarus was my personal breaking point.’
@parko1967 added: ‘All the stories were heartbreaking, the woman from Belarus at the end telling the story of the mass killing was especially so. To have lived and carried that horrific murder of innocents all her life is unimaginable.’
@Luda_6550 wrote: ‘Thank you, my family had similar death as yours shot in one grave in Belarus. We all carrying the trauma of our families. Bless you for making such touching programme.’
People took to Twitter in their droves to thank Rinder for making the programme, saying of Helena Shesko: ‘To have lived and carried that horrific murder of innocents all her life is unimaginable’
Moving: Viewers watched as the TV star made his way to the grave that remains in the town
He told viewers that the site was the ‘death of humanity’ before breaking down in tears
@grizzbear60 said: ‘Totally agree that those special moments with the lady in Belarus was one of the most heart rendering parts of your documentary.’
@danpom wrote: ‘The scene with the women in Belarus talking about how the ground was still moving just got me emotional, what our people went through just because they were Jewish breaks my heart.’
Speaking to the Mirror about making the film, Rinder said: ‘I was listening to the testimony of the 97-year-old who is the last hearing witness of the massacre and only I and the fixer could understand what she was saying in Russian.
‘What she said landed with infinitely more power if you understood it in the Russian – ”mound was moving for several days”.
‘It was without question the most profound moment of my life and I’m certain it always will be.’
The second part of My Family, the Holocaust and Me with Robert Rinder airs on Monday at 9pm on BBC2
WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST?
The Holocaust was a genocide committed by the Nazis between 1941 and 1945 across Europe. As part of Hitler’s Final Solution, what was known as Shoah in Hebrew, the six million Jews and millions of other minorities were murdered.
Studies have also revealed that the true death toll could be as many as 20 million people. Many victims were kept in concentration camps and ghettos across Nazi-occupied Europe.
One in six Jews killed in World War II died at Auschwitz concentration camp after being brought to the camp across Europe by train.
In the five years that Auschwitz was open, an estimated 1.1 million people were killed at the concentration camp. 90 percent were Jewish and the rest were a mix of Romany people, Soviets and Poles.
January 27, 1945 is the day the Auschwitz concentration camp in modern-day Poland was liberated by the Soviets.
With the Soviets arriving nearly eight months before the war ended, many had been sent out on a death march and 7,000 sick and dying people remained.
Rinder was praised on social media for his concluding speech during the first episode of the documentary, as he looked on at the mound of earth where the massacre took place, saying ‘death of humanity is here’.
After the programme aired, he tweeted: ‘Last night over 3 million people from every community, age & background, from every region watched a programme about the Holocaust. The usual hate on social media was silenced. This is why we are a great nation. We ALL understand: The responsibility to defeat evil starts with us.’
In 2018 on Who Do You Think You Are? Robert learned seven of his relatives were slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps, with his grandfather, Morris Malenicky, the only member of the family to survive the war.
The second episode of My Family, the Holocaust and Me with Robert Rinder airs on Monday at 9pm on BBC2