I do.

I do.

Last week I married the love of my life in what was one of the best days I’ve ever lived.

L looked completely stunning. She took my breath away standing waiting for me faffing with my dress on the landing of the Guildhall in Windsor. She was shining like a new penny and had a beaming smile from ear to ear. I’d waited all my life for this moment.

That morning L asked if she could just turn up to the evening reception so it was great to see her for our ceremony! I was relieved as I knew how uncomfortable she felt about being centre stage but I saw the happiness in her eyes and felt my body relax. I couldn’t wait to say I do as I gripped her hand tightly walking down the aisle together.

We had our civil partnership 10 years ago in Newcastle and, since the law changed allowing us to marry, we had talked about it happening but I never really thought we would do it. There is always something else which comes up and since having the kids I always feel like there are better ways to spend our money. But we finally did it and what a great PARTY it was.

Little G Force and Ducklips were our beautiful flower girls who stole the show completely. They weren’t dainty and angelic, or quiet and compliant. They were the complete opposite,  shouting and moaning, disrupting the service. We absolutely loved it. They were exactly how they usually were and we embraced it with one child each placed on a hip whilst we were exchanging vows. This is our reality and I’m glad everyone got to see it that way.

Although Storm Doris made an appearance we still managed to get some great pictures outdoors and afterwards we celebrated with a wedding breakfast at the Harte and Garter Hotel, Windsor. They have a very elegant ballroom which fitted perfectly with our ideas of grandeur and couldn’t do more to make the day one to remember. It was refreshing to see how geared up they were for same-sex marriages compared to our experience looking at venues 10 years ago in Newcastle, when they only had brochures for heterosexual couples and referred only to ‘brides and grooms’.

There were so many parts to the day which made it awesome, from the piper to the Guard of Honour, my work colleagues did in their uniform, to our best woman performing a rap to the theme tune of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ for her speech. It deservedly received a standing ovation from the guests. Then there was the shot bar in the evening which was well visited. I lost count after 9 although my bridesmaid was keeping tabs!! Both L and myself regretted that in the morning as we tried to enjoy our breakfast in the bridal suite but nothing could bring us down from cloud 9 after such an extraordinary day.

Until 3 days later. Why oh why did nobody warn me about how gutted and emotional I would be a few days later? It was like the baby blues but the wedding blues. Such sadness that it was all over and now normal life was about to begin again, which I had craved desperately through all of the stressful days leading up to it, and here I was doing the weekly shop at Tesco with only the faint glow of the spray tan and the shimmer of my manicured nails to convince me I hadn’t dreamt it.

One of the nursery teachers said “you’ll just have to have another baby”….ha ha! Yes she is right we will!!! I’m so excited for the rest of our lives together.

20170302_210626

Egg Donation – our chance to give back

20170125_234545
Our home – the building site, newborn snuggles, and Ducklips new shoes ❤

It’s been a mad few weeks (even for us!) We’ve had the wall knocked down at home, on week 3 without a kitchen, final dress fittings for the wedding, a trip to Wales to meet my 5 week old nephew with delightful newborn snuggles followed by 2 hours in soft play hell with the stench of deep fried nuggets of doom, which are still haunting me today from my pushchair footmuff, and our little Ducklips has started walking and got her first pair of shoes. To top it all off L and I are both doing dry January in a last ditch attempt to be good before the wedding but both drooling at the thought of drinking wine around our newly constructed kitchen next weekend.

The novelty of eating out every day has worn off as I just want to be in my comfy clothes at home but on the plus side we have managed to catch up with a lot of people we haven’t seen for ages as I’m doing the rounds accepting meal offers from our lovely friends.

Amongst all this, just to add another cup of crazy to the mix, we’ve been to visit our consultant at the fertility clinic to discuss our options for making baby number 3.

Stupidly we turned up early (big mistake!) and they were running late so we were trapped in a confined space with two hungry kids. It was like an endurance test arranged by the clinic to check our suitability to add another tiny human to our family. There were times when we both had the look of ‘how the hell are we going to cope’…I mean there are only so many times your children will laugh at you blowing up latex gloves and the bloody Ipad was out of battery.

The consultant was offered a manky bit of sausage roll from G force which they politely declined several times before giving in to the adament toddler (wonder who she gets that from). Supposedly they were going to save it for later! That’s what I say when I’m faced with the prospect of having to eat something a snotty bug-ridden child has handed me. Hmm yummy!

We discussed the prospect of me donating some of my eggs to someone who can’t conceive with their own eggs. It’s something we briefly looked at when we first started the journey to make babies but at the time it didn’t feel right for us and, although a lot of your treatment costs are covered,  we didn’t feel that a financial incentive was the right reason to do it.

4 years on,  and two babies later, we can truly appreciate what our sperm donor has done for us and we are so grateful that our world has been completely turned upside down (for the better!) by having our girls in it. I feel life rich. It is also since having kids we have met so many people who have/are struggling with conceiving so to give something back feels like the right thing to do.

It wouldn’t all be one sided though as egg donation would involve IVF which would have a greater success rate than the IUI treatment we’ve had previously so hopefully we wouldn’t need any more sperm as we only have 2 vials remaining. So fingers crossed we can all benefit from this treatment.

We’ve been told that it takes quite a while before you find out if you can donate as there’s a fairly lengthy screening process involved. The next step for us is to have a counselling session to discuss the implications with donating eggs and to begin blood tests to screen for diseases. So we shall see and in the meantime I’m gearing myself up for the party we have booked for G forces third birthday next week – L’s face will be a picture spending her Sunday afternoon in soft play hell, forced to climb the 12ft cargo net by G force and having to deal with other people’s kids and their parents! She’s going to be ecstatic!

3 is a magic number!

20170112_080543
Ducklips giving the thumbs up to baby no. 3!

Well we’ve got a big year coming up. L and I are not ones to shy away from challenging situations but we’ve completely outdone ourselves this time.

We’ve kick-started 2017 with a complete remodel of the downstairs of our home, converting our Civil Partnership to a Marriage on our 10 year anniversary in an all-singing, all-dancing wedding next month, having an extension built, our familymoon in April and all while riding the roller coaster of life with our very bossy two year old, G force, whose favourite word is no and the ‘always eating – but never sleeping’,  one year old we call ducklips. And breathe! So just when I think it couldn’t get any more crazy I’ve only gone and gotten L to agree on trying for baby no. 3!! Woo hoo!!!!

You may think that I must’ve just kept nagging and nagging until she would do anything to shut me up. Yes! That is my normal tactic. However, with this she is probably a bit more excited than I am mainly as she “doesn’t do” night shifts when it comes to the kids. An agreement we made early on in our parenting journey for the sake of our relationship. L is the type of person who likes what she likes and can’t be arsed with anything else in between. Her no nonsense attitude attracted me to her but it also annoys me now when I’m trying to get her involved with social gatherings or any extra curricular activity taking her out of her cosy home where she may have to interact with another human being. If she doesn’t want to do something she simply wont. I call her the gruffalo and she quite openly admits she is happy being miserable but when she has to see to the kids in the night her misery levels fly off the chart and even my Patty Simcox chirpy (L says annoying) personality with rainbows, marshmallows and movie scene daydreaming cannot suppress it. So for a good 9 months she’s set for a good sleep and that’s probably what she’s banking on.

So faster than Usain Bolt on speed, the clinic appointment was booked to discuss our treatment options. A quick reaction was essential before L can back out as we are currently experiencing less than satisfactory sleep levels with a poorly baby suffering with a stinking cold which is creeping it’s way round our house.

Waiting for the appointments to come round normally feels like ages but with work, the girls and numerous spreadsheets finalising every minute detail of our wedding – I’m sure it will be here before I know it. Third time round I’m feeling pretty prepared for what is to come with ‘making baby no.3’ and especially for the stupid/awkward/thoughtless questions.

“Is it L’s turn to have the next baby?” Has hell frozen over?!! Not only does the thought of her having a tiny human growing inside of her seem like an alien concept I can not physically or emotionally cope with L in a pregnant state. I don’t even think she would manage to be happy being miserable if she were pregnant.

“Will the next one look like you or L?” (Eye roll) Probably L you absolute moron.

“Will it be the same dad?” (WTF face) Erm no. Our children have two mummies and zero dad’s but we will be using the same sperm donor.

The Proposal!

The Proposal!

L will go mad at me telling everyone about how much of a soppy git she is-it’ll totally ruin her tough girl image and strip some cool stripes off her, but I dont care. I like sharing the story and reminiscing about the day L proposed to me. I loved that day so much. Partly because I wasn’t expecting it so it came as such a surprise as she’s rubbish at keeping secrets but also because she made it one of the most magical moments we have shared together.

It was like one of those stories she mocks me for as she thinks I have ideals of fairytale grandeur to live my life by but really I’m just a girl who has dreamt about being swept off her feet and made to feel like a princess – and that’s what she did. And I’m lucky as she keeps doing it every now and again. I’m sure I will be less than complimentary about her when I get in from work and she’s not tidied up properly, or thrown out the latest dirty nappy, or brushed the kids hair reminding me that fairytales are hard work but for now she can have the glory as it’s well deserved.

We’ve been in a civil partnership now for 9 years and it was me that proposed to L at her 30th birthday and being completely honest I’m not 100% sure I had set out to do it. There wasn’t a plan or ring for that matter but in the moment it just felt right and she said yes and we became civil partners a few months later. It sounds pretty dull doesn’t it!

Anyway since the law changed for us to be able to marry we had chatted about it from time to time but really it just seemed like a pipe dream. There’s always something else to spend your money on and we are not the type of people who like to do things by halves. It’s all or nothing with us. So I was over the moon when L did propose.

We were on holiday in Western Australia where we were visiting family for L’s cousins wedding. It was my birthday and we had planned to go out for breakfast. I was eating breakfast like a ravenous pig as Ducklips was only 3 months old and feeding about 8 times a day and L wasn’t over indulging at all and that is so not like her. She even seemed sheepish looking back but no wonder, poor thing! It takes a lot to put her off her food.

After breakfast we went for a walk along the beach to go dolphin spotting. Both the restaurant and the beach were special to us as we had been there with our family a few years earlier and treasured those memories and we had been so excited to be going back on this trip. It was just a lovely simple moment. Think beautiful sandy beach, bright blue shimmering ocean and bright sunshine like a movie scene and we were chatting and laughing and enjoying being with each other without either G force hanging off L’s leg or Ducklips hanging off my boob! And then out of nowhere there was a ring and the words ‘Will you marry me?’ Eh? What’s she talking about? What’s going on?  The clogs were turning but I was still dazed and even speechless!  Imagine that!! I think I laughed and of course I said yes but was more saying ‘how on earth did you get this past me’?! We cried super happy joyous tears and cuddled and laughed and I was still confused, but on cloud 9. L had made me feel so special in that moment because she had planned every detail but most of all because the hard work was keeping it a secret. Surprises are the best however big or small.  That was one of the moments I would like to pause and keep coming back to.

And the day got better returning to our family’s house where we were welcomed with champagne and big cheesey grins. Turns out they were all in on the secret too! What an amazing day it was. L had also got me this cute little notebook for me to start planning the wedding. She knows I’m like Monica from Friends and would want to get onto it straight away!

As soon as we got back to the UK we got the date confirmed (so she can’t back out now!) It’s all booked for our 10th anniversary to convert our Civil Partnership to a marriage with an all singing all dancing event. Mind you if L keeps referring to it as ‘the party’ she might not make it to the wedding.  I’m turning only a little bit bridezilla…So far! I mean I did buy two dresses. Thank god I got rid of the first one though as I was a bit unsure so decided to show L and she said it was chavvy and so not what she could see me in. Supposedly it was too fancy and mainstream! Gulp. Let’s hope she likes the second one.

All of the preparations are in full swing and I’ve now truly submerged myself into the world of wedding planning and once again the Lesbian ideal for me has let me down. You’d think two girls, wow! We could be looking at colour swatches and mood boards together but NO! Not only that, she said she couldn’t care less about the thickness of the ribbon for the favours. Seriously when she said that I looked at her with eyes that could’ve burnt her soul. How can she not care! The next few months could really test our relationship!!! Ha ha!!!

This weekend is in fact our joint hen do. Really that’s code for an excuse to get a group of friends together to eat, drink and be merry. For L and I (and I’m sure others) it is our respite for dealing with our toddler and baby through the worst sickness bug (SHITFEST 2016) that has hit our household.  We are tired and cranky from cleaning up sick/poo and not sleeping. This weekend we will probably have hardly any sleep and be cleaning up sick (if i’m not sick from over indulging I will be most disappointed) but at least it will be our own and be well earnt after a few dodgy shots the party organiser has enforced! I’m sure she also has a few other tricks up her sleeve knowing her. It’s kind of payback for her hen do in Ibiza a few years back!! Bring it on-let the celebrations commenced!!!

 

Preparing for egg donation – Our counselling session

We survived the 3 year olds birthday party and she had an absolute ball. L and I were both full of emotions…how can our baby be 3 already? Wine helped with all of this now dry January is over and WE HAVE A KITCHEN! We were doing high fives and happy dancing around our new open plan living space like a couple of idiots with the kids just staring at us!!

On the baby front we’ve had our counselling session about egg donation. I pretty much expected it to be a waste of an hour of my life where there would be eye rolling and WTF faces in abundance and L thought it would be a “load of old tosh!” but we were completely surprised as there were some really important points to discuss and plenty we hadn’t even considered.

We found out that as part of the process they have to advise the recipient that we are in a same-sex relationship in case they have a problem with that and then don’t want the eggs. It had never crossed my mind that someone would turn down the eggs based on my sexuality.  Well screw you person who could reject them…go get your eggs from elsewhere!

There was a lot of discussion about my feelings if any child created from the eggs were to get in touch when they are older. To me all i’m offering is a cell. Its nothing more than that. I am not their parent, or their family. Of course I wish them well, and I will write this in my goodwill message to them which all donor conceived children receive, but it’s important to remember that and for me I don’t want to overcomplicate the situation by getting too deep about it. L is worried it will affect me more in the future and worried I will be concerned and emotional about the recipients children if they were to get in touch but that’s 18+ years down the line and I can’t tell you how I will feel about something a year from now never mind almost 20 years!

I was also asked how my parents will feel about there being half grandchildren that they will never meet. I hadn’t thought about this one. I hadn’t thought of them as half grandchildren because they are just an egg so to think of someone in a family member context is quite difficult to get my head round. But my parents are sensible and I’m sure they would see the donation for what it is and not for anything bigger than a donation – certainly not extending our family.

What concerned us most was the implications it can have on our girls when they carry out genetic testing on me as it may reveal something which could affect them. It made us consider whether it’s best to know about these things or if not knowing would be better. We both agreed that we would rather know so that if there were any red flags then maybe we can do something about it. Better the devil you know for us.

You don’t think about all of this when you’re thinking ‘hey let’s help someone out and give them some eggs’ but it’s really important, thought provoking questions and pretty heavy stuff. My head was spinning after it!! We’ve both been over it again and got everything clear in our minds so we can park it for a little while as we have a wedding to plan. Only 2 weeks to go and my spreadsheet is massive but super super excited with the celebrations beginning next week when the ozzie family arrive! Woo hoo!

20170205_163056
L and G force so happy at the soft play party!!!

When there is sperm in the bank and your ovaries are twitching!

This is the current dilemma I have running through my mind at 100mph! I keep telling myself if there wasn’t any sperm then I wouldn’t be thinking we should have a third child. That our family is now complete. We have two beautiful little girls who we absolutely adore and they are perfect. It’s bloody hard work and there are days when it feels too much to cope with and equally there are days where you feel like you’re sliding down rainbows eating candyfloss and ice cream with an ear to ear grin on your face. But would it be any harder or better with a third?

I think it would just take one parent to tell me they considered another baby and didn’t have one and now regret it for me to get straight down to the clinic and be inseminated-do not pass go and do not collect £200!!! You only have one life, its not a dress rehearsal, and I couldnt risk feeling any regret but then is it possible to feel regret the other way? Could you have changed the dynamic for the worse? Would it have been better, easier, happier with two? Geepers how on earth do people make these decisions? I guess you just close your eyes and go for it-take the plunge.

I’ve carried out a short survey with 3 child families…Well what that really means is I’ve spoken to about 4 families who have 3 kids and they are happy and look like they’ve got their s@#t together. I could totally do this. We could totally survive this.

But then there is the when? Geepers both are still currently in nappies, our sleep from ducklips is erratic to say the least, and the last 3 mornings I’ve folded myself in two to try and cuddle G Force back to sleep in her toddler bed (really must get her a proper bed soon or get a block booking with a chiropractor). If we leave it too long though we will get ‘comfy’ and that will be that idea out the window along with the moses basket, crib, sterliser and any other baby-related paraphernalia! But aww cute tiny babies. Little tiny fingers and toes and newborn baby smell. They smell like heaven.

If we did it now…(bugger I must be nuts) we would have 3 kids under 4. Gulp! What the hell am I smoking?! Would we really survive? How bad can it be? Course we would. We can take on the world together.

If the second child was pretty straightforward and easier than the first surely, the 3rd one just slots into place. I guess my biggest fear is what if we forget it. I don’t mean leave it out or not give it enough attention. I mean actually leave it somewhere. We will need to start doing a register wherever we go. They won’t all be wearing shoes or have their teeth brushed that’s for sure and no doubt there will be weeks where I would be lucky if I even shower at all! But weirdly it doesn’t put me off.

Once you’ve had one child you know what you’re letting yourself in for and you either love it or hate it. It’s marmite. There is no in between. And even though it truly is the pits at times. You feel like death warmed up. You flip your lid when another tantrum happens or you’re sick of cleaning up vomit/poo/food. There is still nothing better than that warmth you feel when your child smiles or laughs or cuddles or looks at you with an ‘I love you mummy’ face. I have enough love to go around for sure as it just seems to grow exponentially with each child so much so I could explode and if we had started sooner we would be like the family in Cheaper by the Dozen or the Von Trapps and don’t believe what L says – she would be too!

So while there is still sperm in the bank I’m pretty sure this feeling is not going to go away. Come on L surely it’s about time we made a withdrawal???

A newborn, moving house and the death of a loved one

A newborn, moving house and the death of a loved one

which one is mummy?

They say these things are the most stressful times in your life and that’s when you’re faced with them individually. And here we were dealing with them all at once. Looking back I wonder how we managed to get through it all but at the time it was just a case of getting through each day and with so much happening you didn’t have time to stop and think about it.

We knew it would be hard for us all early on as I was recovering from a section and it’s not like you can just rest up in bed. You go in for any surgery and you’re told to rest and give your body time to heal but with a c section you have a baby to care for and, in our case, a toddler too. I feel like a proper warrior thinking I managed that and all on…

View original post 1,741 more words