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Showing posts from 2017

People watching and prams...

Sunday is a pretty good day for people watching, and my favourite pastime has now got a new logistical spin. Basically, when it comes to the practicalities of bringing a small person into this world, my wife and I aren’t sweating the small stuff. Look, we took five years of IVF clinics and private consultations and plane rides and sperm donors and operations and general chaos to get to the point that we are at now. So things like the day-to-day practicalities haven’t quite caught up yet. We have a friend who is due a month before us, and all they need is the baby monitor. We, on the other hand, have a Barbapapa lamp we fished out of a skip and a book about a giraffe. We have loads of time… but still, we’ve started to think that we might need a pushchair. So in the sun, we sat on the shores of a rather big lake in Switzerland, watching the people promenade whilst paying close attention to the buggies that went by. This has taught us a few important facts – NASA sent less advance techno…

Nursery Schools and compromises

Next week we are going to visit some nursery schools. I wasn't expecting this to happen at all, or at the very least quite so soon, but it seems that a shortage of spaces in the local area means that you've got to get your kid's name down on a list before they've even got a name...
This has also flagged the issue of what we do post birth in regards to childcare and maternity leave. The plan was that one of us would stay at home full time, but recent promotions and retraining make that pretty unlikely to happen. To cap it off, my wife will have only 16-weeks off for maternity leave. And I'll have exactly nada, nothing, zip.
In Switzerland, there is no legal requirement for paternity leave. My company offers a discretionary couple of days, but I am yet to find out whether that'll be extended to me. I honestly doubt it, and have no legal leg to stand on to get a day off even for the birth. It is completely possible that I'll be asked to make up the time which…

"So why write anonymously?"

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Why blog anonymously? Sure, no one has anyone has asked me that, because, you know, writing anonymously… but still, I thought I would address it.  This answer is probably three fold, but to be honest the first and foremost reason is consent. Okay, what do I mean by that? Well, I mean I don’t have the foetus’ consent to write anything about it at the moment. I don’t have consent to post pictures, or to discuss anything that might lead to future small person being identifiable. And you know, the internet is kinda forever in some regard so as a prospective (protective) parent that feels safer to me.  So yeah, consent can’t be given by Cletus (the foetus), so that defaults to me as future parent. And I don’t want to put up baby pictures or intimate details – I don’t think that is right (see my point above on the internet being forever). The other mother isn’t so keen on it either. But let’s get this clear, if you are the kind of parent who posts your sproglet up on Facebook every four minut…

Amanda Palmer's insights always help...

Last night we celebrated the 1st birthday of a friend's child. They were pretty happy about the fact that they have managed to keep their kid alive for 12 months. And then fast forward to this morning, when I’m in the office listening to music whilst working through my morning tasks. I’ve got the Amanda Palmer mix up on YouTube and her song A Mother’s Confession comes on. This largely is a song about keeping going, making mistakes and just trying to keep a small person alive. 


I’m pretty sure that’s going to be me… but, then, I’m pretty sure that’s everyone with kids.

"So who is the father?"

I get it, you want to know who the father is because we fall out of the parameters of what constitutes a family for you. Don't look so worried... I get it. 
But to be honest, here is my point of view. Each time you casually ask "who is the father?", or "how did you pick the father?", I feel a little dismissed.
It is obvious this is a little more about my wife, her contention to rival the size of the Goodyear blimp by autumn is registered and well underway. She is clearly going to become a parent soon, but despite outward appearances, so am I.
I understand your curiosity, I do. But firstly it is a little personal to be asking where we bought cum from and what made us pick that particular jar of man juice. But that is what you are asking every time you say "so who is the father?". Think about that for a moment. 
And the reason reading between the lines makes me think of spermage is because that is what this is to us. There is no father. Instead, there is a …

"Why don't you have a baby too?"

A few people that we have told about the impending small person have been quick to ask why I don't fancy the prospect of pregnancy. This is written to address that specific question.

Firstly, me and my ovaries are not on first name terms. Don't get me wrong, my vagina and I are the best of pals, but anything beyond my cervix is a conversation I don't want to take part in. I'm worse than useless at getting a regular PAP smear, and I am bloody terrible (no pun intended) on my period. A mix of PCOS and possible endometriosis makes each month's (or sometimes my bi-annual) bloodfest an agony induces swamp of hormones and hysteria. 
I don't like my womb. It can fuck right off, so the last thing I want to do is make it bigger, fill it with more things that one day will plunged forth into a living hell of episiotomies and afterbirth. And, added to that, I like the way my vagina looks at the moment - it really isn't in need of a remodel. 
But before any prospective…

Telling people...

Telling people is interesting. You are projecting something that brings you great joy, onto someone else and hoping they mirror it. Sometimes they do. Sometimes the widening of the eyes is enough to translate the complete surprise; sometimes a spontaneous hug; sometimes just stunned silence.

This weekend we told my in-laws and my brother. 
As I’m going to expand on this I might as well address this now – my wife and I are of different nationalities. We live in a third country, one that doesn’t permit single-sex parenting, one that has no laws in place to support gay marriage, and in a village near major cities that have no gay bars or LGBT cafes or even Pride marches – a conservative country. 
You probably didn’t guess it from the description, but we are also in a major European country, and not a developing nation in the back of beyond. To be specific, we are actually in Switzerland. And gay-rights aside it is a very nice place to be.

Going on from that, what I’m trying to say is that di…

The beginning...

I’m about to become a mother. A specific type of mother. To use the correct terminology, I’m about to become a non-gestational, non-biological mum. Catchy, isn’t it?

In reality, what this means is I am not related to the baby that my wife is carrying. But the situation differs from adoption a little, insofar as I will be on my child’s birth certificate from day one, I have been there since conception (well technically neither of us were there, but more on that later), and I have known that this was on the cards since way back when my wife and I sat in the clinic for our first consultation.

For a while, at least, it didn’t look like things would pan out this way. Inseminations, IVF, adoption evenings – we’ve done it all and have a selection of branded items to prove it. But it worked, even though I feel quite nervous about writing this. Things can go wrong. Things don’t work out. That small person might not be okay… I guess this is the drop in the tide before the tsunami of parental fear…