Large babies and big families – 15 Kids and Counting

February 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For the average family 2 children and a dog is more than enough. However, it would seem that for some the classic mantra ‘the more the merrier’ is very much true.

Channel 4’s documentary series ‘15 Kids and Counting’ gives an insight into some of Britain’s largest families. Sighting the trials and tribulations of what such large broods bring from financial woes, accommodating everyone and other people’s perception of families who have 10 plus children. It’s most certainly interesting viewing.

Watching the Radford family from Lancashire take their 14 children (Mrs Radford was pregnant with number 15) on holiday to the Canary Islands was astonishing. Ran somewhat like a military operation, as I’m sure many tasks have to be, I was amazed by how smoothly everything seemed to go.

Radford family

The Radford Family

Reflecting back to my many years as a school teacher, a day out with a class full of children was incredibly tiring and hard work, never mind a two week holiday in a foreign country. So such smooth organisation is definitely a skill mastered by the Radford’s.

However, the series hasn’t been so smooth for everyone. The Bland family were suffering from unruly sibling rivalry, which highlighted the emotional heartache which having so many brothers and sisters has on children. Whilst last night’s episode exposed the cruelty which some families have to live with from the press. Jo Watson, who provides for her children with help of benefits, has received plentiful of negative media attention affecting not only her marriage but children’s lives.

Asher Stewardson

Kendall Stewardson with baby Asher

In contrast to large families I read an article today about a super large baby. Born in America last week, baby boy Asher Stewardson was delivered naturally by mum Kendall weighing a breath-taking (and ouch crying)  13Ibs and 13oz.

Astonished by how Kendall managed to give birth naturally to such a large baby boy I researched her a little more. Only to find that, Kendall who decided with her husband to op against surgery unless essential, gave birth without pain relief.

To my surprise Asher isn’t the largest baby to be born naturally; in fact he looks small in comparison. As in 1897, Canadian Anna Bates gave birth to a baby boy weighing a whopping 23Ibs and 12oz. With no medical advances at such a time the baby sadly died shortly after but still remains in the Guinness World Record Book.

Watch 15 Kids and Counting on Channel 4’s online demand service 4OD now.

Helen Skelton reaches the South Pole

January 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Earlier this month I wrote ‘Helen Skelton’s Polar Challenge Sport Relief’, which discusses the Blue Peter presenter’s challenge to travel 500 miles across the Antarctica to reach the South Pole for Sport Relief.

Pushing herself to the limit Helen made the brash decision to travel the 500 miles mainly by bike, however, she also used ski and kite as alternatives.

Helen Skelton South Pole

At the finish line in the South Pole

Recording her travels Helen kept a blog diary which penned her thoughts along the way. The blog is a great read, documenting both the highs and lows of the expedition and giving an insight into how tough and tiring the sub-zero terrain actually was. 

Despite suffering from blistered feet, a nasty cough, dehydrating and poorly stomachs, Helen and her trekking team successfully made it to the finish line in the South Pole last night. Helen was said to ecstatic having completed the trek in only 18 days (she initially planned the expedition to take 20).

A fantastic achievement in itself, Helen also managed to break a Guinness World Record for ‘Fastest 100km by ski kite’, which she did in a fantastic 7 hours and 28 minutes, whilst undertaking the South Pole Challenge.

Helen Skelton south pole expedition

Helen pulled a 82kg sledge for the 500 mile trip

In an interview today Helen said “My body hurts in so many different places, mentally I’m exhausted” but that having seen who Sport Relief funding goes to and how it changes their lives, she visited a village in Sierra Leone recently. Helen said she “can’t possibly complain”, which makes refreshing reading from someone who is so able to influence youngster across the country.   

I think you’ll agree that Helen has done astonishingly well.  A triumphant ending to a magnificent challenge -I can’t think of a better way to get more people involved in Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile.

Show Helen your support by sponsoring her- click here.

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