negative pregnancy test
17 Feb

Kilimanjaro vs the Baby

When I woke up on January 1, 2014, the first thought I had was, “This could be the year that I have another baby.”

It’s possible. There are 12 months in a year and babies only take 9 to cook, so it could happen.

You see, we’ve been trying for 2 years now. I didn’t think I would get so upset if a sibling for Baby wasn’t immediately forthcoming, but the truth of it is that I am. Every month, I experience similar disappoint to what I felt for 3 and a half years while we tried for Number 1.

Like the first time around, people can be inconsiderate with their questions. I find it mildly irritating when people ask when we will be having a little brother or sister for Baby. Or when they tell me that many people who have problems conceiving the first time around find that it’s a breeze for the second. And in my NCT class, half have already had their number twos (I’m very happy for all of them, by the way).

We don’t really want to try IVF. Well, I don’t anyway. We have been down that road before and I found it to be upsetting and I just didn’t like the experience.

And then there is Alex. I’ve mentioned him before on this blog a long time ago. Alex was my little brother. He lived for one hour. I don’t think I really understood what that must have done to my mother and father until I became a mother myself. And I think that deep down I am scared that it could happen to me, too.

So when our friends at Borne asked if I wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro this year and raise £10,000 for their charity, I said yes. Their mission is to save babies like Alex or, in their words, to prevent disability and death in childbirth and create lifelong health for mothers and babies. It sounds like a wonderful thing to do while I wait for my ovaries to kick into play for one last match.


The walk is in August. In fact, I’ll be turning 40 up the mountain (more great news for my fertility!). At best I’ll get pregnant and I’ll have to put off the trip until another time. At worst I’ll be having one of the best experiences of my life up a mountain with a famous English rugby player (that’s you, Will Greenwood!) and many other great people. So I really can’t lose.

We had the initial team meeting for Team Greens, as we are called, the other day at Beaufort House in Chelsea. Charity Challenge, the company running the expedition – and incidentally the same people who took Chris Moyles and Gary Barlow up the mountain – explained the trek to us: 5.5 days up the mountain, 1.5 down, burning days, freezing nights and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. It was classed as “extreme” fundraising. Sounds like fun!

And as I stare at yet another negative pregnancy test, I can’t think of a better time than now to start the race between Baby 2 and Kilimanjaro.

So bring it on! Please help to kick off my donations, as £10,000 is another large mountain to climb, and make sure to check in with the blog once in a while to see how I’m getting on with my training. I’m going to need your support.

PS. Did I mention you can DONATE HERE?


  1. 17 Feb


    Thanks for sharing this ,Julia. Can’t think of a better way to honour your brother’s memory AND take your mind off your attempts to grow your family . xxxx

  2. 17 Feb

    Sylvia Hughes Williams

    Good luck with it all Julia. Xx

  3. 17 Feb


    Julia, Sarah told me all about your plans, and sounds amazing. You are SO BRAVE. Can’t wait to hear about it and see photos.
    - Sarah’s friend Amy :)

  4. 17 Feb

    Jennifer Johnson

    Good luck Julia!!!

  5. 17 Feb


    Great story. You’re living pretty powerfully when your ‘worst’ case is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  6. 18 Feb


    Good luck! I think you can climb a mountain while growing a fetus. (Your sister sent me – I knew you many lifetimes ago, and am stunned that you’re semi famous.)

  7. 18 Feb

    Megan Elizabeth

    This is amazing! Good luck with everything! I look forward to reading about your adventures!

  8. 18 Feb


    Thanks for sharing!

  9. 18 Feb

    Julia Sherwin

    Julia, I know you will do anything you put your mind to! I wish I could climb this mountain with you! You’re inspiring. Many blessings on this journey and on your journey as a mum. You know, 40 isn’t all that bad. I just turned two months ago! Cheers, Julia

  10. 18 Feb

    Kathi Piette

    What a beautiful way to honor your brothers memory and to help save other babies. Good luck Julia.

  11. 18 Feb

    Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    What a wonderful thing you are pledging to do, and a truly special way to honour your brother

  12. 18 Feb


    So caring Julia. Good luck with all your challenges in 2014

  13. 18 Feb

    Jean Boggio

    Thank you, my darling, wonderful and very precious daughter.

  14. 18 Feb

    Kate Richardson

    Wow, I so admire your spirit, honesty and bravery Julia. May all your dreams come true in 2014. Kxx

  15. 18 Feb


    I wish I could climb the Kilimangiaro with you. I guess I will have to settle with looking at you wonderful pictures

  16. 18 Feb

    Karen B

    What a fantastic charity!
    Well done you!
    Good luck x

  17. 04 Mar

    Heather Waghorn

    Hoping that you get to do both (mountain and baby)…although not quite at the same time.

    Stay strong!


  18. 23 May

    Jonny B

    Go girl! As well as the great cause, I’m sure looking at WG’s bottom will keep you inspired :-)

    Whilst making it up will be challengeing enough, have you any thoughts around carrying an actual watermelon up the 6,000m vertical asent of Kilimanjaro?

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