Up the duff without a paddle!

Up the duff without a paddleToday’s guest blog is from author Amy Ransom, whose first novel ‘Up the duff without a paddle’ has just been released and is a humorous and touching portrayal of the challenges of pregnancy and the transition from woman to mother. To celebrate the launch of her new novel we have ten copies to give away. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.


Pregnancy – it’s the most magical time of your life, isn’t it?

It is fair to say that I am a planner.  I’ve been a PA for the past ten years; I’d be pretty

Amy Ransom

Amy Ransom

useless at my job if I wasn’t.

So the conception of our first daughter was well orchestrated, down to the month in which I thought it would be nice to have her (summer, naturally).

I remember telling my sister we were thinking about having a baby.  ‘We’ll announce it on Dad’s birthday,’ I told her.  I wasn’t even pregnant yet.  ‘How are you going to make that happen?’ she asked, clearly wondering what sort of deal I’d made with Mother Nature.

But we were lucky, I fell pregnant quickly and we did tell my parents and sister on my Dad’s birthday, in November.  If you’re thinking I’m one of those smug, ‘life’s so perfect’ people, read on, you’ll see I’m really not.

I actually didn’t mind being pregnant but from the outset I found myself resisting the idea of motherhood.  It was an odd reaction for someone who’d planned it so vigorously.  I couldn’t comprehend what it meant for me as an individual and I desperately worried I’d lose my identity.  I’d seen women transform overnight from cool, girls about town to a completely different species.  It frightened me.

It didn’t help that all everyone wanted to talk about was pregnancy.  ‘I’m still capable of talking about other things,’ I wanted to shout.  I also met my fair share of mums-to-be who seemed to be lapping up impending motherhood.  They made me feel even more abnormal.

Up the duff without a paddleSo a few months into my pregnancy, I started writing what has eventually become UP THE DUFF WITHOUT A PADDLE.  I’ve always written for pleasure and wanted to write a book but  instead of writing an autobiographical journal about pregnancy, I found myself creating the heroine, Kate and other characters and sub-plots.  Looking back it was probably a form of escapism.

I finished the first half before giving birth and then I had nappies to figure out so I didn’t return to writing the book until 18 months later, when I fell pregnant again.

I needed the escapism more than ever this time.  Our second daughter was an accident, you see, payback for controlling every detail the first time around.  She was born in early January.  I think Mother Nature was trying to make a point.

This time I finished the book and having been through motherhood twice, I finally felt like I could answer Kate’s question at the beginning of the book about why people have kids and what it feels like to be a mother.  Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

Mustering up the courage to put myself and the book out there was the hardest part.  But then something happened, which threatened my sense of identity more than pregnancy or motherhood ever has.  I miscarried our unplanned, third child whilst at work.  In my darkest moments, I didn’t recognise myself and I thought I might never recover.

It was on the back of this that the book was published.  They say that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve always believed it does.  There has certainly been a lot of healing power in thinking that my miscarriage might not have been for nothing.

The reaction to the book has been incredible; so many women have told me how much they relate to Kate and how she made them laugh.  It’s reassuring to learn there’s a lot of us out there who don’t find pregnancy to be the most magical time of our lives.

Read more about Amy and her first novel on her Facebook page.

and on Amy’s blog.



Up the duff without a paddleWe have ten copies of ‘Up the duff without a paddle to giveaway.

To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post and from all comments received by midnight on 30th April, we will pick out ten lucky winners. Usual Netmums terms and conditions apply.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Authors, Books and reading, Competition, motherhood, Mums, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to Up the duff without a paddle!

  1. Jessica Anslow says:

    Wow – I was hooked on wanting to read the book from the first paragraph of your article, but when reaching the part about your miscarriage (I’m so sorry to hear that) I definitely want to read it. We suffered two miscarriages last year and we too thought we might never recover. We’re still trying and are not giving up on our Rainbow baby.


    • Amy says:

      Thank you Jessica. And I’m glad you’re not giving up. I’m in awe of women like you who have gone through it more than once. No one warns you how soul destroying it is x

  2. This sounds like a comprehensive outlook on the ups and downs and joys and pain that motherhood and / or loss can bring. I’m sorry to see that about your miscarriage and would love to read what you’ve gained from it, because I’ve never really come to terms with mine. Plus, a good laugh never goes amiss. Very well done on getting it out there 🙂

  3. Vera Pope says:

    Would love to win a copy of this book to give my good friend, who is expecting her first baby….

  4. Congratulations on getting your book out there, it sounds like a very honest and real discussion of what pregnancy is like. So sorry to hear about your miscarriage!
    Hoping to read it – as Jessica said, the first paragraph had me hooked too. x

  5. Stacey H says:

    I REALLY want to read this book, I’m execting my third child (fifth if you count twin miscarriage) and I’m now resisting the idea of starting all over again!! This would be a good read for me – I need a laugh! x

    • Amy says:

      Congratulations Stacey! Very sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I think there is a natural inclination to resist future pregnancies as we know what’s to come. Having said that, whilst the pregnancy was rubbish I was surprised about how much I loved our second daughter and how instantly x

  6. Selina says:

    I would love to win a copy please…it would be good to get back into reading.. 🙂

  7. Amie O'Loughlin says:

    Oh how I wish I came across this book before my 2nd pregnancy. I left 10 years between my children. I was cocky and thought I could handle it because I already had 10 years experience. How bloody wrong was I. It was harder and tougher than I anticipated. Out of my depth and feeling like a milking machine I was so down and couldnt see a way out to be me again. This book looks like it could help……alot.

    A xx

  8. Jennifer Kalra says:

    Would love to read this book. When I was pregnant I too didn’t believe exactly how my life would change. Everyone said ‘ oh you’ll not know yourself when the wee one comes along” to which I replied with a smile and said “yes, it’s not like having a dog, where you can leave it in the house for an hour while you go shopping!!”
    And it certainly wasn’t when she came. It took a while to accept that I had a baby to constantly feed, change and wind. I was covered in sick for 6 months, greasy hair and permanent red eyeliner. But I wouldn’t change her for the world. Love my little girl xx

    • Amy says:

      You’ve summed it up perfectly Jennifer. Motherhood is a complete contradiction. A frequent desire to run for the hills followed by overwhelming love for our children.

  9. Emma Barge says:

    A book about being preggers that doesn’t cover the usual ground is definitely lacking and Kate sounds just the sort of girl I might like – look forward to reading it! Emma (mummy of 11 week old Harrison)

  10. It’s good to hear that not all mummy’s to be think pregnancy is magical! I felt very strange not feeling this glowing magic you are supposed to feel and I even cried when I fell pregnant the second time around and not for the right reasons. This all came on top of alot of guilt due to very close friends and family members going through numerous miscarriages :0( but now my two girls share as much love as they can with everyone around them, worth every second of the pain and misery.

    • Amy says:

      You’re not alone Claire. I cried too when I found out about number 2 and then again about number 3 although that one wasn’t to be…

  11. Vikkii says:

    Congratulations on the book release! This sounds like exactly the kind of book I could have done with when I had my little one and I’d love to read it now.

  12. Sounds a great read x

  13. Jade says:

    It is such a relief to find out that there are more people out there who did not find pregnancy the experience they expected wether they planned it or not. I didn’t fell pregnant at 19 while in my second year of university and discovered this as I had just left my boyfriend who then turned in2 a headcase and has not seen my daughter since she was 2 months old. I never enjoyed being pregnant and just felt like my life was slipping away from me and that i did not know who i was anymore. Whereas my friend discovered she was pregnant late on with a guy she didn’t even know had a great pregnancy and took to it like a duck to water. It doesn’t matter who you are or what situation you are in pregnancy can be a difficult time for any mum and more people need to realise that. So well done for getting your book and this issue out there! Hope I get to read it!

  14. ransirini says:

    Congratulations on the book! Sounds like a very interesting read for any young mum.
    I’m currently on maternity leave and feel that this book will really uplift me at times I feel down after a long day of taking care of an active toddler and baby.
    Couple of weeks ago both my little ones were in hospital due to a horrible viral infection and there were a couple of days when we were not sure if my toddler would pull through as she was ventilated. It was a harrowing experience. I treasure every milli second I get to spend with my little ones even more so than before.
    I feel this book will be great read for any mum.

  15. Debbie Burfoot says:

    a great read, having been through multiple miscarriages and feeling very alone I can appreciate what its like. Would love to read the whole book.Now I am so blessed to have 4 children and feel very lucky. Never give up is what I say, Even in this day and age it was never talked about, almost a taboo subject so thankyou for writing this book

  16. nadia akhtar says:

    i am completely hooked. and i so so wanna read this book.. too bad im out on vacations.. i so wish i win this copy but even if i don’t im sure gonna buy it :).. kudos

  17. Vicki says:

    Would love to read this, as I love books about real mothers. Having had three kids I feel I’m done, but I’d never say never to another one – I think I’d be tempted to start again when they’re teenagers (just to embarrass them!)

  18. Elliotandme says:

    This sounds like the kind of book I should have read a couple of years ago – motherhood, with all it’s highs and lows, is a real challenge… we too suffered two miscarriages last year, though I have a 2 year old son who helps keep me smiling every day 🙂 best of luck with the book!

  19. Kate Oakley says:

    Look forward to reading it, although it’s always a little strange to read books where the main protagonist has your name!

  20. Ayne says:

    I was one of those women who had her life planned out when she was young. I decided before I had even met my long term partner that I would have a baby at the same age as my mum had me, 28. Well I will be 29 in July and I have been putting it off and putting it off, although me and my partner have been together for 10 years. I was scared of losing who I am, my identity, but battling against the fact that I truly do want my own child. I was diagnosed with endometriosis last year and had to have surgery for large chocolate cysts(not nice as it sounds). it was quite severe and we are now unsure wether we can have children. But it brought it all home and if it done anything it showed me that I need to go for it, although it terrifies me!

    Your article really got my attention for lots of reasons and I would love to read your book.

  21. Jenny says:

    I’d love to read this just getting back into reading used to read a couple of books a week now …

  22. hollie says:

    One I certainly want to read!

  23. Jo Hewitt says:

    Great to hear about a book that isn’t just an instruction manual for mothers to be! I love the sound of this and think it’ll make a great present for all my pregnant friends. I wish I’d has this to read when I was expecting. The perfect mix of reassurance, comedy and eye opening anecdotes. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Hope getting this book out has helped you focus on something positive.

  24. Cathy W says:

    Sounds like a book coming from a very different angle from the usual pregnancy stuff – the transition to motherhood needs exploring. Would love this book to share with the expectant mothers I work with

  25. Fee Morris says:

    Sounds like an interesting, thought provoking and truthful read. One to benefit from as a Mum or soon to be Mum x

  26. Lucy Fraser says:

    This sounds like an amazing book! 🙂

  27. Carly McDonald says:

    This books sounds amazing. I’m a young mum with a 2yo DD, my fiancé and I have been trying for another baby for almost a year now with no luck. Look forward to reading this book, when my little girl naps I always find some time to read!

  28. Jemma says:

    This could be just what I need!! 🙂

  29. would love to read this, reading inbetween naps with my 4 kids – love books like this! Funny and you can relate to it all!

  30. Sobha Kandel says:

    I really want to read this book!!! I admire the author for all that she has been through. I think that having a miscarriage must be one of the most hardest and painful experience for a woman.
    I am mother of 4 kids and suffer from polycystic ovaries. I am lucky to have my children and they are a joy to me although they can be little monkeys at times!! Balancing my own business, studying for a Msc and looking after 4 kids under the age of 6 is hard!!! I am grateful to my mum and others who have helped me on this journey.
    Us women really have to go through a lot and being a mother is a transformative experience. I am a completely different person to how I was before having kids. I am passionate about reading in my spare time ( if I manage to have any!) and having a copy of this book would be a pleasure!

  31. grubbyfaces says:

    As I travel through this parenting life I realise that each one of us has a different story to tell. Its wonderful when these stories can be shared. I can nod and relate to some parts and learn and grow to parts I have not experienced. Best of luck with the book and your parenting journey. Clare x

  32. nichola says:

    Would love to read this book!!! Love your writing style just from the above paragraphs so a book would be a joy to read 😀

  33. Sandra says:

    WOW, hooked already, would love to win a copy to read. x

  34. Pippa Cain says:

    Certainly sounds a gooc read and I admire your dedication writing away 30 mins before giving birth I imagine this is a very graphic account

  35. Kelly says:

    Will definatley be on my list to buy if I do not win a copy that is 🙂

  36. katie walters says:

    would love to win a copy

  37. TJ says:

    Would love to win a copy of this book x

  38. Sounds as though you had lots going on while writing – v inspirational! I really enjoy your style.

  39. Jess says:

    This should like a fantastic book. Win it or not, I’ll read it!

  40. JB says:

    This looks like a fantastic book. Win it or not, I’ll read it!

  41. kate lishman says:

    This sounds such a great read, i am expecting my 3rd (unplanned) and so far its been a rollercoaster of emotion. I love to plan too and all needs to be just right! 🙂

  42. Anna says:

    This blog is so true. I, like you, fell quickly and I don’t think how fast you fall makes you any more or less prepared for the world you’re about to enter. I love my baby friends as they understand what I’m going through as well as being great fun and can talk about plenty of other things!
    If the book’s as funny and honest as this blog I can’t wait to read it!

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  44. Laura T says:

    Awww, I so want to read the book now, may have to buy it (much to OH annoyance as my big collection of books – i’m somewhat of a bookworm whereas he computer geek) I love writing too, and as usually i write some short bits of fantasy mainly but I have been tempted to write one abut misguided points of pregnancy – I WAS MISLEAD, THIS STUFF ISN’T ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE!!!
    I may have to do just that… all these pregnancy is brilliant faff, i’m only 6 months and want it over and done with already and I know i’m not the only one!!

  45. catherine halloran says:

    sounds a good read to me 🙂 x

  46. Fiona says:

    Can’t wait to get a copy and read have asked other half to look out for this for me whilst out shopping. Have spd at 23 weeks pregnant with second baby so getting out of the house isn’t an option. Can’t wait for the Frank truth about pregnancy…… Finally!!

  47. sarah says:

    I can definately relate to the pushing motherhood away! I was definately thinking and hoping it wouldn’t affect my life, that i could go ahead and return to work within a couple of months, and that my baby would basically be something i would only have to deal with when i was at home, and i could carry on with everything else in my ife as normal… Oh how i was wrong!!!

    After antenatal and post natal depression, my daughter is now 20 months old, i left my last job, and have just started working as a volunteer to finish my teaching qualification, and i thinkg about her the whole time i’m at work, but i wouldn’t have it any other way!!! xx

  48. lindsey bluff says:

    this book looks fantastic and your review if it is brilliant, its really got me wanting more!

  49. This looks like a brilliant read! The review on this book makes it all the more intriguing and really makes you want more!

  50. Really enjoying your blogs Amy and would definitely like to read Up The Duff Without a Paddle when I get time In between playing mum and Wife! But as you have made the time and effort to write a whole book I should have no excuses!! I really admire this blog as it can not have been easy at times but I think it is good to share these experiences and it can help the healing process and its great to understand your motives and emotions behind the book a perfect synopsis xxx

  51. Nikki Hamilton says:

    I completely relate to the planning (I’d looked at all the statistics about the average time it took to conceive) but subsequent ‘resisting the idea of motherhood’ even though it eventually took 3 years for me to become pregnant first time. My partner and I knew we wanted children but once the event was finally on the horizon, I realised that I knew very little about babies and couldn’t picture myself with one at all! The same rang true for my second child, with whom I got pregnant within only a couple of months. We knew we wanted two children, but it came upon us so quickly, it was even more of a shock! Can’t wait to read the book!

  52. Brigit Colwill says:

    This is the book I wish I’d been able to read when I was pregnant…. so now hope to win it for my pregnant best friend!

  53. lindarumsey says:

    This book sounds like a good honest read!

  54. Chrissie says:

    I can identify with the feelings thrown up during and after pregnancy especially as it’s painted as all rosy all the time earth mother and all that – the reality can be quite a lot different. But for all the crosses we bear having our child(ren) I wouldn’t be without mine and would die for mine. Your book reads brilliant from this blog and I’ll buy it if I don’t win it 🙂

  55. BD2012 says:

    ohhhhh im left in suspense now i want to read this book!

  56. Rachel Moss says:

    I’m up the duff without a paddle (or even a canoe) so would love to win! Thanks

  57. Catrin says:

    Fantastic title! Can’t believe I’ve not heard that before.

  58. Donna Stokes says:

    Brilliant title, definitely a book I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on. Xxx

  59. thebeesleybuzz says:

    well done on the book especially given the difficult time you went through xxx

  60. lynda Sanderson says:

    Just reading the reviews has inspired me, and would be an ideal book to give / loan to others.
    Well done and good luck

  61. Spencer Broadley says:

    My next door neighbour who’s up the duff wud find this a good read

  62. Zoe Warren says:

    Reading the sample chapter makes me want to read more, makes a nice change to see a book out there telling it how it really is, looks great!

  63. katrina adams says:

    I would really love the chance to read this book and even if I don’t win a copy I will be putting it on my must-read list. I think you’re really brave writing about your pregnancy and the things that you have been through. Congratulations on the publication.

  64. I want to read this book as soon as I am finished with my other one!

  65. kathy says:

    this sound hilarious!

  66. Fiona Matters says:

    I have to say that this sounds really interesting. Fingers crossed.

  67. julie baxter says:

    very sorry to hear about your miscarriage…. would love to read your book xx

  68. I was lucky enough to really want to be a mum & all that entailed, but would love to win this as I can tell from the intro you’re a good writer!

  69. Jas says:

    I think its great to see a book out there taking on the ‘real’ symptoms of pregnancy (not just the bump and water retention) with style and humour. Would be great for something to relate to and share amongst fellow mummy and mummy to be friends.

  70. Would love to win this, would be nice to be taken back to when Monkey was Bump and I lived in blissful ignorance of what lay ahead. Well done on getting your book published

  71. Susan says:

    I’d love to win a copy of this book! Currently 16 weeks pregnant with our first!

  72. aimeejane12 says:

    Hope I get to win one x

  73. Sue Jackson says:

    Great comp x

  74. clair downham says:

    would love to win a copy sounds like a great book to get me back into reading

    • veena hirani says:

      WOW…..What a Title….how did you come up with that????? I was intrigued by it, and almost dismissed it coz I thought it’d be comical/farcical and too modern for me, but, how wrong could I be – I immediately got hooked onto it as I finished reading the first sentence!!! Well done for getting your 1st book out there…..honestly, how did u do it???? I tried to write when I was pregnant….but ended up being too critical of the world/hubby and got frustrated, and when I gave birth, found no time for anything at all!!!! I do sympathize/empathize with the character – is it ur autobiography – but naming somebody else…..i think its clever the way you’ve done it…….I also had my second daughter very close and then I lost my third child – very traumatic for me, as till date (apart from now) I have not talked about it – and since losing the child I had been counting the days of when it would’ve been born…..its first, second and third birthday! Anyway, I’d love to read it and see what happens next – as reading is a time for me to relax, and it’d be great to start relaxing again!!

  75. veena hirani says:

    WOW…..What a Title….how did you come up with that????? I was intrigued by it, and almost dismissed it coz I thought it’d be comical/farcical and too modern for me, but, how wrong could I be – I immediately got hooked onto it as I finished reading the first sentence!!! Well done for getting your 1st book out there…..honestly, how did u do it???? I tried to write when I was pregnant….but ended up being too critical of the world/hubby and got frustrated, and when I gave birth, found no time for anything at all!!!! I do sympathize/empathize with the character – is it ur autobiography – but naming somebody else…..i think its clever the way you’ve done it…….I also had my second daughter very close and then I lost my third child – very traumatic for me, as till date (apart from now) I have not talked about it – and since losing the child I had been counting the days of when it would’ve been born…..its first, second and third birthday! Anyway, I’d love to read it and see what happens next – as reading is a time for me to relax, and it’d be great to start relaxing again!!

  76. Mazgoli says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book for my amazing daughter who has two daughters a year apart and has felt pretty much exactly the same way that you seem to have felt during pregnancy and early motherhood. She speaks of feeling that she has lost her identity as a person and needing to talk about other things apart from her children – not that she doesn’t adore them, just that she is more than just a mum. She also has had some sad times along the way, and at one stage felt that she may never have children; I think that this book would really help her to realise that everyone feels the same and it’s okay!

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  78. MANDY DOHERTY says:

    Hope I win, sounds like a great read and my daughter is trying for a baby and I know she’d really enjoy it

  79. mike leonard says:

    sounds a good book…look forward to reading it !

  80. Louise w says:

    Cant wait to read this book & hope im lucky enough to win a copy. Seems very down to earth highlighting the rollercoater of journey & emotcions at the same time

  81. liaburns18 says:

    omg this book sounds so good soooo want to read!

  82. Vicky Edwards says:

    I would love to read this book I need a new book for when my little one has an afternoon nap. That’s my me time!

  83. siobhan marie says:

    would love to read the book just shows pregnancy has its up and downs too

  84. liz ferguson says:

    Would love to read this book!

  85. Sam says:

    I’d really enjoy this book as I’m planning baby number 2

  86. irene gilmour says:

    would love to read your book

  87. jayne says:

    definately want to give this book a read

  88. natalee gosiewski says:

    i love reading books just would love to read this 🙂

  89. S Ripley says:

    sounds like a brilliant book, i havnt had much time for reading since having my second child, would love to start with this one

  90. Rachel says:

    Would love to win this book. As they say “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. A humorous novel sounds just wonderful, delightful read.

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