What does it mean to be American?
I found out this week that Annabelle isn’t eligible to carry on my American citizenship – simply because she is not biologically mine & I didn’t carry her. This is despite the fact that Sarah & I were legally married when we conceived her, & that we are both on her birth certificate.
I supported her and my wife throughout her pregnancy, I imagined what my daughter would be like, when she was born I cut her umbilical cord, changed her first diaper, & was in awe of how we created something that beautiful. I’ve been up in the night with her countless times, taught her new things, by now I’ve probably cooked her as many meals as Sarah breastfed her. In no way is she less my daughter because she isn’t of my blood – but yet, that’s what the American government believes.
We are lucky enough to be Mum’s to our amazing Annabelle and Bisbee. However we had a plan that 2020 would be our year to, hopefully, start expanding our family. The reason for this post is to share an update on that because while having plans is great and all, it turns out not all plans work out. Ours aren’t.
Firstly because of unexpected news leading to Plan A not being possible.
Secondly because the world is not the world it was 3 months ago and so many things have changed.
Thirdly because infertility is now part of our story and this post will explain why a whole new plan is required.
As it is national infertility week it made sense to share this update now.
When we started talking about having kids, we had discussed that we would both ideally like to have one each, but planned on Sarah going first as she definitely wanted to carry (I was on the fence about it!) and she is 5 years older than me. We decided after initially wanting to try IUI, to do IVF mostly due to Sarah travelling a lot for work – we found IVF much easier to plan our lives around, whereas with IUI twice Sarah ovulated on the day she was heading to an important meeting or away was for work!
I didn’t feel at all concerned about not having a biological connection to my child – I think maybe it was because from early on we knew that if we were to have kids that it would be likely the case for one of us (whether it was through one of us having the child, or if we’d adopted), it wasn’t something I spent much time thinking about. Also, I love Sarah with all my heart so I knew it would be incredible to have a mini-her running around!
We knew the time would come for Annabelle to have her first haircut but neither of us were looking forward to it. There were a few reasons; Firstly her hair had reached a perfect length to put in pigtails/bunches. Secondly we weren’t sure how she would react to the whole experience. Thirdly what if she wriggled at the wrong point and she ended up with a wonky hair style.
Okay, okay, all but one of those reasons is vanity related but I’ve always feared a haircut in case something goes wrong.
Thankfully Annabelle’s first hair cut was plain sailing. Here is what we did to prepare her:
As Christmas is fast approaching we are getting in the festive spirit. December is always jam-packed but this year is our first taking Annabelle into consideration and making sure that some of the activities are ones she will enjoy.
So when we received an invite to Santa and Steam at Churnet Valley Railway we were SO EXCITED. It was a last minute invite but we agreed to switch around previously arranged plans so we could make it. The invite explained that we would meet the Santa Express at Kingsley & Froghall station in Staffordshire. What the invite didn’t mention was that the experience would be a wonderful, Hogwarts style journey jam-packed with memorable moments.
If you are looking for a festive, family experience that will start the Christmas period of in the perfect way check out the details for Santa and Steam here.
Seeing your baby sick is horrible. Our hearts go out to anyone with a child with a serious illness – you are heroes!
Our Annabelle came home from nursery on Tuesday and I naturally checked her back. Sometimes she gets eczema there and the previous week I had noticed a small rash. That rash had eased and almost disappeared over the weekend so we didn’t consider it was anything more.
As the evening continued the spots had got worse. And stretched further down her back. Annabelle then started to itch her head (well paw at it like some cute animal trying to get a fly). It seemed that in the space of a few hours our girl had gone from energetic to lethargic. Something definitely wasn’t right.
What’s a naming day ceremony is usually the first question we get asked when we mention that instead of a christening we opted for a Humanist Naming Day.
The answer is simple, it is a simple, heartfelt, personal ceremony where the child, Annabelle in our case, is officially named in front of family and friends.
13 months and 5 days ago our wonderful Annabelle joined our family and from the moment she arrived she has been breastfeeding. For the entire time I have been her Mum I have been breastfeeding her.
That was until now.
I haven’t completely stopped breastfeeding but it is slowing down. And both Annabelle and I okay with it. I think. It’s time.