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As parents we have asked ourselves many unexpected questions. Is it okay if Annabelle eats nappy cream? What if Annabelle thinks she’s a dog? Can a baby sleep too much? You get the idea. I’m sure if you are a parent you could fill a page with the bizarre things you’ve Googled.

Then there are questions you do expect. Questions you know you will ask and questions you know you will be asked by your child. We thought we would be waiting for Annabelle to grow up a bit more before answering some questions including ‘what do we call our private parts?’

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.

As you may or may not be aware I have been working from home for over 4 years. When Covid-19 hit and self-isolation was ordered it was, in some ways, business as usual for me. In fact 93% of my company were working from home with 3 days of the announcement.

Don’t get me wrong things are different. There are no trips to my office booked. No meetings in the calendar. Or quick trips to the shops to break up the day. There is less to talk about on calls – no ‘what are your weekend plans?’ or ‘what did you get up to?’ I mean don’t get me wrong there are still things going on but we are two weeks into isolation and things are starting to get a little quiet.

Work however is busier than ever.

It’s the little things that I find help when working from home. Now I don’t want to overload you with advice as I’m sure anyone new to working from home will have had plenty of it recently. However here are my suggestions for for making things a little easier.

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:

Having an energetic toddler means we are always looking for ways to wear her out. When we were invited to check out our local trampoline park – Rush – we jumped at the chance (pun intended!). Checking out their website we noted the closet site to us was less than 10 minutes away. With a rainy weekend forecast we booked ourselves on to the toddler open jump session that started at 10am.

Trampoline parks seem to have been springing up over the last few years around Birmingham but we never had the opportunity to visit one. Then along came pregnancy, Annabelle and having a small baby and it didn’t make sense to check out what the parks had to offer. In all honesty this was probably a mistake.