Stage 2 Baby!

051daf1c08bf77fc2ad097f6f90f7837--natural-birth-natural-baby

 

Well, we got approved to start stage 2 of the adoption process with the North West Concurrent Planning team, we are by no means close to getting approved, they want us to get our BMI’s down a bit and a lot could go wrong in between now and approval panel, so we will keep having the meetings with our social worker Helen, and keep our fingers crossed that they find us good enough to parent a child.

I wanted to write this post to our future child, I feel it’s a more positive output right now as I’m feeling unsure about so much, but the only thing I am sure about is how much I want a child and the love that is already in my heart for our little one, so here goes;

“Hello Peanut! Well, as I am writing this we are working really hard to get you home. We have around 4-5 months to wait before a panel of proffessionals decides if we can take you home with us, and then we will work with your birth parents to decide the best possible option for you. If it’s decided that your birth parents can’t take care of you then we would be the most happy people on earth to be your parents.

We talk about you all the time, we are not bothered if you are a girl or a boy (although the agency want us to choose) We talk about what we want to buy you, what school you might go to and we wonder what kind of personality you will have. If you will be like me or mummy, or someone completely different.

So far we have bought you a pram, a steam steriliser for your bottles, blankets, clothes and we have started decorating your room (It’s cream, grey and yellow) We still need a baby car seat but we have been told you might come with one of these, and we also need a drop side cot so me and mummy can both pick you up and give you cuddles whenever you want or need them.

More than anything I want you to be happy, confident and loved, we don’t have a lot of money, our hearts are too big to ever make a lot of money, but we have lots and lots of love, patience, time and warmth. We want you to know that you mean everything to us and we love you more than anything else in the world.

Please know this, I will never, ever give up on finding my way to you, I can never say for sure how you will come into our life but I know in my heart that you are close. I cannot wait to meet you, I will always try my best to be the best mum I can be and I hope you know that even though you may not have had a straightforward or ‘average’ start in life, you do have 2 parents who are excited and getting ready for your arrival into our lives,  and we love you so much already. You may not be growing in my womb but you are growing in my mind, my heart and my life xx”

Advertisements

Adoption, Blood Pressure and a long overdue Panic Attack!

stress

I’m sat here with a cup of tea and the washing machine spinning, it’s only Wednesday and it’s been one hell of a stressful week! (Who am I kidding, it’s been a stressful few weeks/years if I’m being honest)

So, we have begun our adoption journey, yay! After knocking on many doors and getting some pretty negative attitudes towards homosexuality, disability and being overweight we found a agency, and a scheme, that not only was happy to take us on, but it’s something that improves the quality of life for a child and possibly the life of our future child, which is beautiful. It’s called concurrent planning or concurrency; you foster a child until a decision has been made about it’s future; if it is decided the child should go up for adoption then you will be the people to adopt them and, if it’s decided that the birth parents have done enough to keep the child, then they will go back, this is an unlikely outcome but it’s still a possibility.

Now it’s all starting to get real and I’m losing my head, and I’m not the only one, my usually calm and placid partner is also feeling the strain. Reference forms have been sent out which is great progress, but our referees are feeling a little pressure as to what to say, and we can’t help thinking that we have asked rather a lot of them, especially considering a social worker has to come to their home. On top of this, the dreaded medical forms have arrived, and we are really unsure what he medical examiner is going to make of our high BMI’s, my anxiety and my partners mobility issues, I guess there is not a lot we can do until a decision is made, I’m just so worried that it will be a no from the medical examiner and our only hope of having a child will turn to dust L

I got a new doctor due to relocation, and my new patient medical was such an ordeal, my blood pressure was up, no real shock there, I was so anxious I felt like I was going to faint, I tried to hide my approaching panic attack and tried to explain my anxiety issues, but the doctor just kept taking different readings, (my bruised arm proof of this!) all the while asking me what I had done to try and have a baby naturally, and telling me I was too fat, and surprise, surprise the reading went up and she wrote urgent on everything regarding my blood pressure, which has really triggered my health anxiety, big time, I’ve agreed to go back at the end of the week to have a nurse take it this time, and my other half to come with me, fingers crossed it will be much lower and they can remove the urgent label or give me a pill to help with it because I’ve just been so upset about the whole thing since it happened.

I’m trying to hard to appear like a normal, sane, healthy, mumsy and posh person, for social services that I feel like I’ve lost myself a bit. I’m really body positive, I like my curves and I love eating well and being active (as well as a slice of cake and the odd kebab) and now I’m just being reduced to a number, the dreaded BMI!!!! (I hear the opening music to jaws then I hear them words) I’ve always been heavy and I have pcos (and I just like food) it has taken me such a long time to accept who I am and treat my body with the respect and nourishment it deserves, that I feel like I have to take a huge step back and tell them how irresponsible it was for me to get ‘this fat’, and how I plan to “lose weight and feel great”, but that’s the thing, I do feel great, right now, with my husky frame and my super charged energy levels because….I eat! Even Carbs!!! (The shock, the horror) I just never realized how hard this process would be and how much I’d have to swallow in order to become a mum. Some days I think maybe it’s not meant to be, that it’s so hard for a reason and fate is telling me there is a different path for my beloved and I. I’m not sure if I’m just feeling discouraged though. Me and my partner have made a pact that if this agency say no then the baby project ends, even if just for a couple of years, we need to feel like us again. And this process strips you of your personality, your dignity and your emotional wellbeing. I truly applaud those who have come out of the other side, you are my heros!

So basically, I’m stressed, I want to cry all the time, my blood pressure may (or may not) be up, we need to baby proof the house and I now need to watch everything I eat, I see no real difference between adoption and pregnancy right now if I’m being honest!

I hope and pray this process gets a little better, once the medicals are out of the way I hope we can relax a bit and enjoy it all a bit more, but for anyone who thinks adoption is an easy option, it’s not. Here’s to creating a stress free zone for the next few days before my nurse appointment, wish me luck! ❤

My Father’s Daughters

Dawn and Dad

I have been reluctant to write about this issue, as it’s painful for me. My father who passed away last year had two daughters, two little girls, who are now women, he was a great dad to them and it shows. They, along with the rest of my dad’s family, have been grieving for him ever since his passing, I, however, have been grieving for much longer. My mum and dad split up when I was young and as a result I didn’t see my dad, over the years I met my aunts, cousins and grandmother, who god bless her soul I’m so glad I got to meet. I did for a brief time get to meet my father, my impression was of a big, dark, shy man who didn’t know what to say to me, I was a shy kid myself and he had a new family, a new wife, two daughters who I were always told were not ‘really’ his, that they had their own fathers, and my dad had given up on his only daughter. My mum was hurting and she couldn’t forgive him for walking away from her, and from me. My dad was however raising his two daughters, and that’s kinda beautiful to me.

Of course I didn’t always feel like this, every fathers day I was the kid with no dad, I made cards for the teacher instead, my mum would cry that I didn’t have a dad, but it’s pretty true that you can’t miss something you never had. I have no idea what it’s like to have a dad, I imagine a dad is someone big, who makes you feel safe, who tells your early boyfriends to treat you right, and gives you hugs after your mum has fallen out with you, this could just be my rose tinted glasses I wear.

But I did grieve the idea of a father, I think I was 7.

When my father did get in touch through his eldest daughter to tell me he was dying, I felt the strongest, most primal pull to him, I needed to spend time with him, to talk to him, be around him and spend whatever time he had left getting to know him. I remember the way he smelt, his big, kind smile and his hands; he once held me as a baby in them hands, and now here he was dying in front of me, I held his hand and I wish I had told him that I forgave him, but I don’t think I truly did until after he had gone. It was amazing to have this brief relationship with my father, I didn’t feel the same sadness as everyone else, and for me this contact was proof that he always thought of me, that he felt something, that now he didn’t have long left it was worth the risk to be in contact with me. We were actually very similar, in ways I couldn’t even imagine, the physical similarities were evident, I even inherited his appetite! He was beautiful, funny, loving and just, well, special, to me anyway. Of course, a few months later he died, I was devastated, I’m not even sure why, his funeral was maybe the worst part of it all, half of his family didn’t know who I was, which sent me back to feeling forgotten and insignificant. I felt on the outside and the truth is I was, he was my biological father, not my dad, and I’m dealing with that. Dealing with my jealousy of his daughters, what’s left of it, and dealing with the uncomfortable emotions of not knowing how to feel about my dad now. Today is fathers day in the UK and I know his daughters are in pain today, they have endured a lot since his diagnosis, up to his death and I can’t even imagine the grief they must be feeling, but a part of me wishes I did.

To dad, I will never understand your logic to not stay in touch with me, but I’m so glad I was there at the end x

Because you’re an early adopter…..

gay.jpg

Well, after two years on our ttc journey we have decided to apply to adopt. This was not an easy decision, when you set out to have children you just assume it will include a pregnancy, well I did. Our sperm donor revealed that he has a low sperm count and that this was a major contributing factor to why we were not conceiving, I cried, hard, then I just felt very clear that adoption was right for us. It is something we have spoke about a lot during the past few years, my partner always being an advocate of it, but this just clarified everything (that and a bad bout of tonsilitus that made me realise I would be a complete wimp if I was to get pregnant, let alone go through labour!) We have had so many signs that we should adopt, and I’m just so relieved that we have decided to do it, we saw a coca cola sign recently that read; “because you’re an early adopter” it made no sense at all, except me and my other half knew it was literally a ‘sign’. I doubt I could go through the anxiety of finding another online sperm donor, it is a stressful, risky and ultimately unreliable process, as we found out.

It feels a little strange to choose adoption when I know I am currently fertile and turning 35 in 3 months but in another way it feels far more liberating to make this decision, ultimately we are a same sex couple and we could never have biological children together, it would be nice to complete our family with a child who doesn’t have parents to care for them, it would be nice to give that a child a happy and supportive forever family, and I think we have the right qualitys to help a child process past trauma.

We are lucky in that two of my aunts have already adopted, and one of them especially, has been really supportive and on hand to answer any questions we have, my aunt said she loves her children like she carried them herself, and I realised that love is not about blood or biology, it’s about intention and character.

We do face some challenges in terms of being approved, both me and my partner have pcos and struggle with our weight, we are under the weight limits for adoption but I’m sure questions will be asked about our lifestyle and diet (which is really good) and also my partner is a wheelchair user and we have been told questions will come up regarding my partners capabilities to care for a child, which is really sad because she is far more physically fit and capable than myself but we are in part used to proving ourselves to the world so hopefully having to do this for Social Services will not prove too depressing. I also take Citalopram for anxiety and OCD, which I intend to play down to it’s fullest, not because I want to trick them, but because I want them to see how capable I am and how the decision to take medication can have such a positive effect on someones life.

I just hope with all my heart we are approved, we know there is a long journey ahead of us and we are very open minded in terms of the child we adopt, I just hope my dream of becomming a mummy is going to become a reality one day, maybe the waiting will make me appreciate it all the more. I feel sad, excited, nervous, and in my greatest dreams I can’t even imagine this becoming a reality, but I really do hope with every part of my being that it does.

Green with Envy

green paper

I’m so so very jealous of all the women I know getting pregnant and having baby’s, I know I shouldn’t be, having a baby is a beautiful, natural and life affirming experience, one I want for me and my partner so desperately, but I just feel sick to my stomach when, yet again, one of my friends has a baby/gets pregnant and the guilt of these emotions just makes me feel worse.

 

A bit of background; deep down I’ve always wanted a baby, as soon as I started having sex I was secretly buying baby clothes (you know, just in case) but I always figured I wouldn’t be able to do it, mainly due to anxiety/OCD, I just didn’t think a pregnancy was something I could deal with. Fast forward to my 30’s, meeting the love of my life and taking a regular dose of Citalopram for quite a while now and I’m ready! But being emotionally ready does not lead to a pregnancy. In fact each time it doesn’t work I am genuinely shocked. I think, well I want this and I’m doing everything right so what’s going on?!

 

I was talking to my mum (we have started talking again after four years of a big fall out so things are still kind of fragile there) but she was saying it took her a good year to conceive me, her and my dad were young healthy, baby dancing to their hearts content and it still took them 12 months. My rational brain is telling me that everything is fine and normal, that these things just take time, but my heart, my emotions are going full on crazy, I cry at any baby related things, feeling like it will never happen for us, I actually have a stash of baby clothes I bought when we started trying and now they are making me feel awful, I just wish I could take some pressure off myself, trust that it will happen and enjoy the ride.

 

So, congratulations to all the lady’s who are pregnant or who have just had their bundle of joy on behalf of us lot who are still trying to conceive, if we don’t seem as excited as we should for you it’s because, we actually really are, we want to cry and tell you that you that you have everything we ever dreamed of, we want to ask you everything you did to get pregnant, we want to hold your baby and pretend it’s ours (ok, maybe that last one is just me) but please know that our envy is not born out of hate or malice, but out of frustration, it’s very hard for a woman to say out loud that she is struggling to get pregnant in our culture, and if we come off as bitter or less than happy for you it’s because we are fighting to hold back all the crap and pain inside us, we don’t want to make it all about us but we do very much understand how precious your baby is and how happy you must be to give life, we understand more than most x

#metoo

moon-at-night-timelapse_-y8_v-klr__M0000

I wasn’t prepared for it, it was cold and mean and unthinkable. No, I wasn’t prepared for it, but am I shocked that it happened? Not really. I didn’t think he could do that to me, did I think he could of done it to someone else maybe? Maybe. He was ruthless, brazen and cold, I believed I warmed him up, ha, did I honestly think I could turn the winter into spring? I’m not so powerful and boy did I learn that the hard way. I do not care to speak of what he did to me, poetic the details are not, but my right to sit in the aftermath, to talk about it and to feel it are completely mine to own, the act itself was nothing to do with me, I know that now.

I had a mental breakdown after I was raped, months of delusions, sleepless, sweaty, disgusting nights of night terrors and indescribable fear and anxiety. It took me years to function normally again, I say ‘normally’ because you never really function normally again after such a trauma, years later and I’m reminded of this each time a man gets into an elevator with me, the fear and sickness is unreal.

What scares me the most is the sheer number of women who have had their bodies attacked, abused, harassed and used in similar ways, I think the raped are left to deal with these actions for many years later while the perpetrator gets to commit this act of savagery and then forget all about it, well not always Mr. Weinstein, not always.

Crazy Baby Mama (but no baby!)

So me and my lovely girlfriend have been TTC (trying for a baby) with a sperm donor, and it is just wayyyy more stressful than I ever anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, having the opportunity to even try for a baby is a complete and utter blessing, I’m equally grateful to my girlfriend who is 8 years younger than me for agreeing to embark on this journey with me, and our sperm donor who is a lovely man with a lot of patience (I warned him about the patient bit, as I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) As a 34 year old reproductively challenged overweight lesbian, the odds are already against me but I figured why not have a go, I’ve wanted a child for so long that it just seemed like the right time to try. 4 months into the actual donations and no pregnancy, which is normal, I’m told, and I’m completely losing my head over all this baby stuff. What doesn’t help is the daily temperature taking, mucus checking, period watching, symptom spotting, the ovulation tests etc it’s just a lot! Part of me wants to give up and talk myself out of wanting a baby, it just seems like it would be easier than crying every month when it doesn’t happen but I don’t think it would be emotionally healthy for me to give up. I don’t have a lot of patience, I think the drive through at McDonalds takes too long to give me my food, so you can see why the lengthily process of trying to conceive is getting to me. I think part of the problem is I can’t control this part of my body no matter how hard I try. As someone with OCD my life is more controlled than I would ever want to admit, for example I have only drunk decaf tea and coffee for the last 3 years because I’m worried it will have a detrimental effect on my health, seems normal enough but I get the sweats in Starbucks hoping to dear g-d they have not given me full-caffeine instead, I double check every time!

Although I was scared to start trying for a baby (I have this irrational fear that a baby will crush my internal organs and I’ll die) I wanted to live my life, not have it governed by my mental health. On top of this I lost my father this year (I didn’t grow up with him as he was chronically anxious himself) and it got me to thinking that I needed to challenge my thoughts and fears if I wanted to live a life with no regrets. So here I am, feeling really rubbish because I’m not pregnant yet, and I feel so guilty, some women have been trying for years and they are still going strong, but maybe they felt the same at the beginning. Who knows how long we will keep going for, my girlfriend says until it happens, which is sweet and I love her for attempting to keep me sane but dealing with a process that needs to happen inside of me that I have no control over has to be one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. Here’s to trying again in a few weeks time and hoping and praying for a little miracle xx

Ov

Art, Mould and Pancakes (in that order)

pancake

My significant other is an artist and she’s still at uni so I get to play with all the equipment, paper, paints, fancy fabrics etc that she buys and I must admit, letting the creative juices flow is quite liberating. Now, I am no artist, every animal I attempt to draw looks like a three year old drew a dinosaur, no matter which animal I try to draw, which is puzzling in itself but that aside, you really don’t have to be good at art to enjoy it. I think in order to keep the arts alive and relevant we need to break the snobbery that surrounds them and start experimenting with art again, even if all you can draw is bizarre dinosaurs, draw them, colour them in, scan them into the computer and digitally manipulate them, there are so many advancements in art and you don’t have to be an ‘artist’ to experiment with them. Personally I’m a writer and I love expressing my inner most feelings in word form, it’s (hopefully) what I’m good at and I love it and although I’m not very good at ‘art’ it does involve a certain freedom of the mind, a permission almost, to create things that exist outside our minds and the realms of our mortal world. I must admit I’m blessed that my fiancé is a practicing artist and this gives me a certain amount of confidence in messing around but it has got me thinking that art should be for everyone and we should all continue playing with paint, colouring in and cutting things out into our adulthood, who cares what people think, fuck them, it feels really good!

I think it has also helped in keeping my mind off family matters or lack of family in my case, I miss my brothers and my nieces so much and I think I have paid a high price to live the life I want in losing them, I hope one day I am able to re-connect with them but letting my mind drift and be creative has helped me confront some painful issues off loss, love and accepting what I cannot change.

As for the mould, it is the blight of my life at the moment and cleaning it is the least artistic thing I have done or witnessed this week. We seem to have brought it with us from our last flat and the clean up has been monumental. We have discovered that baking soda and white vinegar kill it and the dehumidifier keeps it at bay. It’s been expensive, exhausting and I can tell you, trips to the tip when you have OCD are nerve-wrecking and distressing but hopefully our hard work will pay off and it will stay away. *crosses fingers*

Due to the excessive mould cleaning we didn’t get to celebrate pancake day, well I say celebrate, my lady is atheist and I’m some kind of Jewish-Pagan hybrid so celebrate would be too strong a term but we likes us some pancakes and what better excuse than pancake DAY. So we survived the mould and made pancakes for breakfast today instead and they were glorious! We do a fruit, ice cream, Nutella mix up kinda thing and it was the perfect end to some labour intensive days. Now back to the art…..

Our (Emotional) Entitlement Culture

 

Image

 

A weird subject to talk about but I’ve been short tempered all week and when I calmed down enough to think about why it’s because of all the people in my life who feel they are just ‘entitled’ to something. And by things I don’t just mean material possessions, I mean entitlement to the time, space, energy, expertise and resources of other people. I think it ultimately makes people very unhappy and here’s my theory why. When someone offers you their support, makes a thoughtful gesture or lends you a shoulder to cry on, it’s a wonderful thing, we feel loved, cherished, protected and safe; and who wouldn’t want that? But in our instant culture more and more people expect or demand these things rather than accepting the random beauty of these occurrences and worse than this, they show no gratitude or appreciation to those who have provided it and it’s just ugly.

 

 

People expect so much, a good job, money, a house, a car, regular holidays, a ready-made family and friendship circle, a soul mate, children but they now want more than this and they are willing to use and manipulate people to feel a certain way about themselves and it’s become acceptable. What’s worse, they don’t rule out bullying to get this support, which is down right creepy, how can you bully someone into giving you emotional support? But I swear I know people who do it. Emotional Vampires who suck the goodness out of people and all the while telling them it’s not enough. Is this a result of the media and capitalism or a simple, selfish unwillingness to give back?

 

 

I love to help, its part of who I am and I think it’s why I feel so strongly about it. This has however made me question if I feel entitled to anything, and if I’m being honest I do feel a sense of entitlement to a good job, I’ve got my degree and a PGCE, I’ve worked in my chosen career area for 8 years, I’ve trained, worked tirelessly at the bottom only to be treated badly because I’d proved I could ‘handle it’ and I think rather than accept I made a poor choice it’s easier to feel bitter. I think it’s this attitude that stops people from changing their behavior or actions because they sit around waiting for their magical golden goose to lay an egg, an egg that never comes and the person falls deeper into their own misery or they expect other people to fix it all for them. I left my job and now face the uncertainty of what I will do when my temporary job ends but the more I think about it, I’m not entitled to a good job, I have to put myself out there just like everyone else and hope for the best.

 

I also vow to be more appreciative to those who offer their support, time and energy to me because is it invaluable, it nourishes the sanity I still have and I’m a lot happier when I accept even when I feel like the world is against me there is someone in my life who at least wants to make my existence a little brighter and I hope I do this for others too.

 

I believe all human beings are all entitled to the basics, respect, dignity, civility, general courtesy but anything deeper we have to work for, which means we have to give as much support as we receive and maybe we would be a whole lot happier if we accepted this?

How long will my gay tears take to dry?

road

 

I wanted my first ever post to have a really positive message or contain something beautiful that defines me but its not and its tough. It’s about feeling lonely and empty and although little pockets of enjoyment keep me going, e.g. chocolate consumption, American TV, randomly laughing with strangers about nothing, I’m just not happy and I don’t understand why its such a conversation stopper to say you’re not happy?! When people catch up, they pretend they are the happiest they have ever been, its so fake and annoying and most of us do it, all because we would be branded weird if we told the truth? Or people will talk behind our backs? (Well I’ll let you into a little secret, they do anyway!)

The people in my life started behaving weirdly when I first met my girlfriend and I think it’s why I’m so sad. Although I have always been openly bi-sexual I think everyone expected me to meet a man, have some children and maybe ‘grow out of it’ but then I met my lady and people started treating me like I had a highly infectious disease, I got a lot of bulgy eyed looks and uncomfortable silences, even my best friend is now ‘too busy’ to be around me. We used to talk about everything and anything and I mean ANYTHING! But its not just her, apparently lady love is not on the friendship menu and I have to hide all elements of lesbianism in my life so people don’t feel uncomfortable, well I think its bullshit. It’s not as if I want to debate lesbian sex techniques or the price of dildos, I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable but I do want to talk about love and relationships without silence descending, maybe we are mis-sold the idea that we can be what we want to be but the reality of this is a much lonelier pill to swallow.

My own mother has tried to make my life hell because I’m in a gay relationship, she has turned my family against me, threatened my partner and said the most unforgivable, sickening things to me. This is a woman who used to say she ‘loves the gays’ and went drinking down the gay village frequently, she would never share her homophobic views with the outside world for fear of being judged so I wonder if people started telling the truth would the world be a better place or just a more offensive one? I think a more thoughtful truth is better than a lie, for the sole reason that at least everyone knows where they stand, even if it’s outside of everything they know and trust. They say happiness comes from within but I think we need other people to reflect that happiness back to us, as Cooleys, ‘Looking Glass Self/Effect’ states, ‘people’s conceptualization of their own views of self are based on how they perceive how others view them’ and I think it’s true.

I didn’t want my first post to be a rant but I’m pissed off, apparently gay people do not need or deserve support, love or understanding, hell they don’t need families or friends. I don’t want to put people off coming out, believe me I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t, being out and lonely is far better than being in and trapped (for me anyway) I just want to be honest about the rejection and dissociation I have experienced and maybe find solace by talking about it.