Tuesday 10 July 2012

Why I Named My Blog Not Even A Bag of Sugar

I am not a naturally creative person. I guess it surprises people when they see my embroidery, or decorating cakes or painting. I love to do stuff, to make stuff and write stuff, but it doesn't come easily to me. But that's ok. When it came to naming my blog, it just came to me in a flash Not Even A Bag of Sugar.

I think it must have been my Nana that first used that term, not even a bag of sugar, to describe a baby. It stuck in my mind as to be a rather peculiar thing to do, compare a child to a grocery item. I think I filed it away and forgot about it.

When Joseph was born lots of people enquired about his weight. I used to feel embarrassed and ashamed. I didn't want to tell people he was only 1lb 7oz. My mother insisted on putting it in the local paper back home in Tasmania, and a few friends of hers commented that either she or the Mercury newspaper had made a typo. No they hadn't got it around the wrong way. Yes, really, that small.

I found, particularly up here in the north of England a lot of people would say "eh that's not even a bag of sugar is it?" I used to just smile and nod (I think this really should be taught in ante natal classes) and either wander off or change the subject. My baby, at 1lb 7oz, was far more than 3/4 of a bag of sugar. He was a person, with a character, a brain, a circulatory system. Last time I looked a bag of sugar was just a collection of crystals contained in a sack.

When I first started this blog, I had absolutely no expectations. I didn't think it would get read at all outside my own family and friends. At the time I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I've had a number of conditions in my time, asthma, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, and I have always said "I have asthma" or "I have essential hypertension" I never use the word "suffering". But PTSD was a whole different ball game, suffer I did.

Conversations would churn in my head, things that had been said to me months, even years before, would repeat themselves over and over. I was agonising. I hated the term Not Even A Bag of Sugar. So I decided to "own it". If this was mine, I couldn't hate it any more.

I recall when the series Baby Hospital was on, based at the Liverpool Women's, narrator Sue Johnston  kept referring to babies weighing "not even a bag of sugar". I was interviewed for Bliss at the BBC in Manchester and Heather Stott said of Joseph "gosh, not even a bag of sugar" not knowing about my blog!

I have grown to love this term, it opens doors for me. If you type "not even a bag of sugar" into Google, you will find me and my little blog.

And I am immensely proud of my beautiful boy, not even a bag of sugar baby Joseph, who my good friend Merry at A Patch of Puddles referred to as "many many many flipping bags of sugar now", who has inspired me, led me and taught me so much. 


  1. Gemma was the same weight as Joseph.my boss explained to his kids how small she was with sugar and kitchen scales! They wrre about 12!

    Love merry's comment about many flipping bags of sugars. gemma was just over 10kg at last weigh in and feels like a ton weight when she wants carried! So yes she is many flipping,wriggly bags of sugar now x

  2. Our little George was always described in this way. He was just 456g when he was born! I think in some ways relating weight to something like a bag of sugar is peoples way of normalising the situation. Not that I really minded! X

  3. Lol :) I shall look forward to the day you have a blog called 'more than a sack of oats' then :)

    You are an awesome lady :)