No wonder Working Title (the film company behind Bridget Jones and Love, Actually) has gobbled up this amazing love story as a potential project- it has all the makings of the perfect romcom and modern-day fairy tale: Single woman has baby via sperm donor, then tracks him down, introduces their daughter, and the pair fall in love the old fashioned way— except in reverse, as it were.
Drinking during pregnancy is one of those minefield topics that never fails to get parents fired up. How much alcohol (if any) should a mom-to-be drink while pregnant? In an extreme case in England, a mom who drank excessively during her pregnancy has been charged retrospectively for committing a “crime of violence.”
"Excessive" is of course open to interpretation and debate. In this case, the woman downed half a bottle of vodka and eight—eight!—cans of beer a day. That's equivalent to between 40-57 units. So I think it's safe to say "excessive" is justified in this case. But this woman isn't some wildcard. A shocking number of moms-to-be do drink too much.
Not surprisingly the baby, now seven, was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) as a direct result of her mother's actions. And in case you didn't know, FAS can cause a multitude of abnormalities, from restricted growth, facial deformities, to learning and behavioural disorders.
Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, council lawyers are suing the woman for consciously endangering her baby. If the mom is convicted, the case could set a precedent for effectively criminalizing pregnant women who drink to excess.
Of course, the devil always has an advocate. In court, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) spokesperson compared excessive drinking to the pregnant woman who eats "unpasteurized cheese or a soft boiled egg," which is just about the silliest counterargument I've ever heard.
The difficulty with any kind of grey area legislation is where to draw the line. And the jury's still out over the hard facts when it comes to how much alcohol is truly safe to drink during pregnancy.
Though this case was clearly over the top, how many units will be considered "excessive"? Will a woman's BMI be taken into account? Is this yet another example of the government trying to exercise control over women's bodies?
You tell me: Should excessive drinking while pregnant be criminalized?
Still drowning in Halloween candy? You could do this with all those goodies or you always can, er, wear them. A beautician from England got a little candy creative, designing a completely utilitarian dress out of Skittles—4,000 of them.
Sarah Bryan took her inspiration from a themed contest with the theme "sweet like bea." The rest is colourful history.
“After hours of thinking of ideas while I sat and watched my daughter play in the garden with her multicolored balls, they looked like Skittles and it just came to me!” said the 26-year-old mom who spent nearly 200 hours and 90 tubes of glue painstakingly sticking the little candies onto the dress. Bryan took care not to repeat the colours.
“Often my eyes would go funny and I would see Skittles everywhere!,” said Bryan. But the result speaks for itself. The rainbow dress may be heavy, fashioned with three joined pieces, but it's fully functional. It's already been worn to various clubs and photo shoots.
And even though Bryan hopes to get the attention of famously outrageous fashionistas, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, her primary motive is auction the dress to raise money for cancer research.
“She was the only one who didn't give up on me,” Bryan said of her late foster mom, who lost her battle with lymphoma. “So a portion of money raised will go to [cancer research] and the rest to other charities.”
At least is mystery solved: no wonder my son didn't get any Skittles trick-or-treating this year!