I'm so proud and pleased that my partner Ayden Callaghan has been nominated for Closer magazine's Celeb Dad of the Year 2016 - Lord know he deserves it, living with me...
Don't be shy, you can vote on the picture below.... let me tell you why he deserves your vote though....
Closer chose a selection of celebs that they like and it then goes to the public vote. He is up against some tough competition. Many of his fellow competitors have a lot more twitter and intsagram, die hard fans, that will be voting as if their life depends on it.
So, I am dedicating this blog to him, so you can all see why he should win and it is a shameless bid to get you all to vote for him too.
Let me paint you the psychotic, stressful picture that was my pregnancy with Phoenix....
For those of you that don't know. I was on the happy drug Prozac for 18 years before I had Phoenix. From age 22 to 40, I numbed my mind with that drug. I tried to stop taking it a few times but I was always unsuccessful. It's such a hard drug to come clean from, especially if you've spent your whole adult life on it, as I have. I don't think Prozac makes you happier, it just makes you more logical and less emotional. It puts a sheen over all the ups and downs that life throws at you. It's a buffer or padding, if you like, for all of life's hardships. Sounds delightful doesn't it? Well, it is and I'm not ashamed to say I'm back on it again now. There is some research however, that suggests that if you take Prozac while you are pregnant, your baby can become addicted to it. Now, if you are pregnant and taking Prozac or any anti-depressant, don't panic. This information is yet to be proved and you should NEVER just stop taking any drugs, I learned this the hard way.
I was first alerted to this information about it affecting your pregnancy in the book,' Prozac Backlash', by Joseph Glenmullen. Having felt the pain of coming off Prozac before, please see a blog re-visited at www.punkonprozac.com I did not want to take any chances that my baby would have to go through any sort of withdrawal from that drug, So I always knew if I was going to have a baby I would need to be Prozac free and I also knew from past experience that's not an easy nor an enjoyable ride.
Let me put it briefly in to perspective for those of you that have not had to go through it; times by a hundred any emotion you feel about anything, then couple that with the confusion of never having lived your adult life without Prozac as emotional buffer and add those psychotic pregnancy hormones and you have yourself a very confused, very vulnerable, very fearful Sarah Jane Honeywell, aka Honeymumster.
I stopped taking it the first time I became pregnant, as I mentioned in my blog,'Changeling'. After my miscarriage I decided I would try and stay off them so we could try for another baby and so that I would have complete piece of mind that if I did get pregnant, our baby would not even have a chance of being addicted to Prozac, as I sadly am. Amazingly I did manage to complete my pregnancy with Phoenix without taking a single drug even though the obstacles that were thrown at us through that time were in the extreme and I'm amazed at the strength of our relationship and just how much it can endure.
Obstacle number one for Ayden was just living every day life with some one who has come off prozac. A bill could arrive and I would be an emotional wreck. I fainted in the bank because they couldn't close an account for me and the pressure and anxiety built up in me until I passed out.
Obstacle number two, was and still is a costly court case with my ex over a property that I brought way before I met him. This is still ongoing though, so no more can be said about it at this time. A court case is stressful at any time, especially if it's been going on 4 years. Off Prozac and pregnant though, it was like carrying a leaded weight and yet Ayden carried us both through it.
Finally, and the main reason he should get your vote and win best dad is because not only did he support me through our miscarriage. He also did things I know that no other actor/celebrity would do.
The whole of my pregnancy with Phoenix was fraught. Because of the miscarriage I was insanely superstitious and just a wreck the whole pregnancy really. From 6 - 12 weeks we went for a scan every week. It was the only way I could cope with it all. I cannot tell you how afraid we were at that first scan that it would be another blighted ovum (even though I'm told they rarely happen twice in a row). When it was confirmed, there was a a baby and a heart beat was detected, we were thrilled. Every Sunday we went for a scan. I'd be OK until about the Thursday and then I'd freak out again that something might be wrong, so Ayden would pay for another scan and off we'd go again. Ayden paid privately every time and it's not cheap. He never once made me feel bad though or like I was being insane and hysterical.
I wouldn't let him announce that we were having a baby or even buy anything for Phoenix until I was 20 weeks pregnant and we finally put it out to his fans on twitter at the Baby Show, on my 20th week.
I had just started to feel OK about it all when we got a bombshell. Ayden was going to be involved in a storyline on the soap he works at, where he would be the father of a still born baby and it would be filming around the time I was due to give birth.
Now, I know it's only make believe but I absolutely freaked the fuck out. Like I said, I was off Prozac, so everything was hitting me like a truck anyway and as I explained in my blog 'Changeling'. In our first pregnancy/miscarriage, we'd had a situation where his on screen character was having a baby at the same time as we were supposed to be in real life. That had seemed exciting until I had had a miscarriage and then I'd had to watch Ayden 'act' having a baby around the same that I would have been giving birth to our real baby. I think if that hadn't happened the first time around I would have been absolutely fine. But because I had lost one baby, the thought of him filming a still birth around the time I was due to give birth this time just sent me over the edge.
It's wonderful that soap operas cover the heartbreaking, barely talked about subject of still birth. If it's done well it can help all of us deal with it - but of all the actors in the show, I wished with all my heart that it didn't have to be Ayden that was doing it and why did it have to coincide with my pregnancy and birth again. What a cruel twist of fate, just as I had started to realx and think that this time everything was going to be ok and my baby would be born safely in to this world.
I hadn't even thought about the possibility of a still birth until then, but now it was firmly in my mind. I just thought, if something does go wrong at our real birth and he is acting that out, I just don't know how either of us will get through that. I wanted to run away from it all. I just did not know how to cope with it. It was like my brain didn't know what to do, so urged me to run away and not stop.
You see, I say I freaked out, what I mean is, I lost the plot. I couldn't even look at baby things or clothes without having blackouts. I stopped putting on weight and on scans Phoenix had stopped growing. At this point I begged Ayden, was there any way he could not do that storyline. I knew I was being irrational but I couldn't help it and it was making me and therefore, our baby ill.
Now it is absolutely unheard of for an actor to ask to be written out of a storyline and I'd say 99% of them wouldn't do it for their family. They wouldn't risk showing that they put their families first and their egos would want to be involved in the storyline of the year. However, Ayden is different to most people and he went to his producers and asked was there any way he could just be removed from the 'still birth' scene? He was so brave. He didn't know if he would be sacked, black listed and he certainly knew that he would lose money - but he loved me and the baby he hadn't even met so much that he put his whole career on the line for us.
If you watch the show you will know that one producer in particular was wonderful and without question took him out of that still birth scene. I cannot tell you what a difference that made to the rest of my pregnancy. Of course I was still like a coiled spring and Ayden had to deal with that too and I'm sure I didn't even seem grateful. But knowing that he wasn't going to be filming such an awful and yet similar scene as I went in to labour meant I could relax somewhat the rest of the pregnancy.
So that's why I think he should win Best Celeb Dad. Most celebrity dads are out getting papped all the time. Ayden is always at home. He didn't even go to the prestigious Soap Awards because he had arranged to take Phoenix to see his great grandparents and he wanted to spend the time with us on a Bank Holiday. He always has time for Phoenix, playing and reading to him constantly. He cooks every meal for him, as I cannot cook. He spends all his money on us and doesn't really have much for himself. He rushes home every lunch time just to see us for 40 minutes. He has supported me even in my most insane hours and he never gave up on us as a family, even though he must have struggled to make sense of my behaviour some times while I was off Prozac and pregnant.
Finally, he has more humanity than most people and certainly most actors, which is what makes him a great dad and partner - but also a phenomenal actor. Lots of actors are egos pouting and posing and that's fine it works for some, especially in this age of self obsession - but great actors, are real human beings, who are brave about real things, who have a depth of emotion that is greater than most and to whom real things really do matter. Great actors are people who will fight for the truth, even if it's not popular and they could lose face. Great actors fight for life and living. Great actors are 'real' people. Ayden is one of the 'great' actors and he is an even greater dad.