Out With The Family - ZSL London Zoo Event - 13th September

September 2, 2015 21:42 by PrideAngelAdmin

Sunday 13th September 2015

11:00am – 4:00pm.

Out With The Family hold events based in London for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their children. Actors Charlie Condou and Sophie Ward (both of whom raise their children with their same-sex partners) founded OWTF after noticing that the LGBT parenting community did not have a place to come together with their families.

They wanted to create a place that was safe for children with LGBT parents to play with one another, enabling the children to make connections and creating a space for the children to feel accepted and see other families similar to their own. Their parents would also have a place to go to meet with other LGBT parents, offering a chance for them to discuss parenting issues in a safe and supportive environment.

In September 2013, OWTF held an event at ZSL London Zoo, which was a big success and received a lot of positive feedback. This encouraged them to create more events and create another event at the ZSL London Zoo! This event will be taking place on Sunday 13th September 2015. The event will offer a chance for children to meet with animals in the morning and in the afternoon, one hour to explore the zoo, entertainment, and a BBQ lunch where families will come together.

You can book your tickets for the event over on their website - www.outwiththefamily.co.uk.

Tickets cost £20 per adult and kids go free! They recommend to book your tickets in advance as the event has limited numbers. This is a great opportunity to meet with other LGBT parents and straight allies to aid networking of the LGBT parenting community. It is a great family day out and will offer a space for children to relax and enjoy themselves during the ‘back to school’ term.

2nd September 2015 by Gemma, Pride Angel

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Join us at Manchester Pride this Weekend

August 28, 2015 19:59 by PrideAngelAdmin
Join us at this years Manchester Pride, for celebrations in Manchester's world famous Gay Village as we mark the 25th anniversary of charity fundraising events celebrating LGBT life in Manchester.* From full Big Weekend Tickets and Day Tickets to Children's Tickets and Platinum Passes, there's a ticket with your name all over it!

There's a fanastic line up this year, with Texas performing Friday evening, Alesha Dixon and DJ Fresh on Saturday, Danni Minogue and Atomic Kitten on Sunday and Union J on Monday, along with many more fantastic performers.

The Pride Parade will set off at 1pm on the Saturday. The theme for this year is 'Devotion.' Manchester is a city devoted to embracing and celebrating diversity, especially the LGBT communities that have helped shaped Manchester's cultural heritage and landscape over the centuries. We want people to celebrate the fact that Manchester is proud of its LGBT history and shares in its future. We want people to shout about who or what they are 'Devoted to...' For example 'I'm Devoted to my wife or girlfriend,' 'Manchester is devoted to showing its support to its LGBT community,' whoever or whatever you're devoted to - the Manchester Pride Parade is the perfect platform to show your 'Devotion!'

The Expo provides you with the opportunity to get up-close and personal with visitors to Manchester Pride. Situated in the in-door arena this hugely popular community space gives exhibitors the chance to showcase their organisation, spend face-to face time with visitors, promote goods or services and carry out consultations.

The expo is ideal for local community groups, public sector organisations and commercial businesses, and is open over The Big Weekend from Saturday - Monday between 11:00am and 5:00pm.

Why not visit Pride Angel at the Expo to chat over your parenting options.

Article: 28th August 2015 by Pride Angel

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Donor conceived need to find the truth about their sperm donor's identity

August 21, 2015 20:26 by PrideAngelAdmin
Sperm donation is a topic that makes some people uncomfortable. For me, any qualms about discussing sperm vanished when I began producing a documentary about donor-conceived adults for the ABC. Sperm became a constant topic of conversation as we tried to unpack why in the past, sperm donation was anonymous and shrouded in secrecy.

In making our film Sperm Donors Anonymous we are hoping to reach the thousands of men who donated sperm anonymously and say: please watch these stories of children conceived with anonymous sperm. Many are growing into adults, finding out the truth about their conception, and many would like to know about their biological fathers. They have a right to know.

Laws need to be passed in Australia giving them this right. It’s time to put an end to the secrecy and the lack of openness that has surrounded donor-conception. Anonymity is a flawed process causing distress and grief for children, parents and sperm donors themselves.

When we started our project, director Lucy Paplinska and I made contact with sperm donors and donor-conceived adults through the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (Varta).

We met Michael Griffiths, 40, a musical theatre performer who, at 28, found out by accident that he was donor-conceived when he read it in his mother’s unpublished autobiography. This revelation had a profound impact on him, causing a great deal of soul searching. Unfortunately, Michael was conceived in South Australia where many donor records were deliberately destroyed, but he was determined to discover his donor’s identity to complete the picture of his own identity.

At a group meeting in Melbourne, we met Ian Smith, a donor from the Madmen (Melbourne Anonymous Donors). Ian spoke about how he felt for the seven children he had fathered but never met. He and other donors at the meeting revealed a side to this story we hadn’t heard before. Here were guys who donated sperm more than 30 years ago, who at the time of donating thought little about “offspring”. But now they were open to contact, and in doing so, were supporting the donor-conceived people they knew who were fighting for the right to identifying information about their donor.

Lucy and I often asked ourselves what the fertility doctors who used anonymous sperm for almost 40 years were thinking. But it is estimated that the majority of the 60,000 donor-conceived people in Australia don’t know they are donor-conceived. Their parents haven’t told them, the clinics won’t tell them, and it’s not recorded on their birth certificates.

The clinics, in order to get on with the business of creating babies for infertile couples, made a decision in the 1970s that anonymous sperm donation was the only way society could deal with this new fertility treatment. This plan works as long as children don’t find out they are donor-conceived, and parents can shoulder the burden of keeping their secret.

Ross Hunter, who we also met in Melbourne, found out he was donor conceived at age 33. He wants to find his donor but his conception records are still to be located and his donor is not on a voluntary register or DNA database. Along with a group of other donor conceived folk, Ross started a campaign called RUDC? (Are you donor conceived?), encouraging children to ask their parents this question. But encouraging kids to ask also means encouraging parents to tell the truth. Parents are more likely to do this if they think their children will be able to find their donor.

The research to date isn’t conclusive on how many donors are open to contact. However it’s clear from our research that many donors are open to contact. We were fortunate two of our participants located their donors during filming and both were open to contact.

We followed Michael Griffiths as he returned to Adelaide looking for information about his donor. One donor came forward after reading a newspaper article but wanted to remain anonymous to Michael until a DNA test could prove paternity. A few weeks later, I went to visit the donor to ask if he would participate in our documentary.

I discovered he donated as a student. Seeing Michael’s face in a newspaper sent a jolt through him and he became determined to find out about the children he had fathered. He rang and emailed everyone he could think of – clinics, government, doctors. He showed me the file he kept tracking the correspondence; it was huge.

Here was a man coming to terms with the fact that he had children out there. He was willing to do a DNA test and go on a register, but no organisation in South Australia would facilitate a test, or give him information. When he told me his family was very musical (Michael is a singer and pianist), it was hard to hold back the tears. I could see clearly that the power of biological connection was going both ways, it wasn’t just the children who had a need to know.

Victorian clinics like Monash IVF now write to donors when requested by their biological children, as they have kept identity profiles. Some donors reject contact, and when they do, the clinic cannot give the children any identifying information. This rejection is painful. I know that making contact and handing over identifying information isn’t what anonymous donors signed up for, but there are real children out there.

I stayed in contact with the anonymous donor in Adelaide, and through the process of his DNA test with Michael. While waiting for the results of the test, he was on tenterhooks. He said he felt like an expectant father waiting for the birth of a child.

Article: 17th August 2015 www.theguardian.com

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Liverpool in the UK needs to recruit more sperm donors

August 16, 2015 19:56 by PrideAngelAdmin
Liverpool’s sperm bank is running dry due to a drought of willing donors.

Rule changes mean men who donate sperm can no longer hide their identities and are not paid. This has “decimated” the number of willing volunteers, according to Prof Charles Kingsland, founder of the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Prof Kingsland said there is a growing need for sperm donors, but around another 200 men need to sign up in Liverpool for fertility experts to keep pace with demand. Prof Kingsland said: “The law changed so that a child has a right to know their genetic parent and donors cannot be paid for their service.

“Unsurprisingly, that decimated our sperm donation programme. It had a devastating impact. “Who is going to donate if you do not get paid and you are not allowed to remain anonymous?”

The law changed in 2006 to allow children fathered by sperm donors to track down their biological dad once they turn 18. The number of donors coming forward has fallen steadily ever since.

Prof Kingsland, a professor of reproductive medicine and a consultant gynaecologist, said: “The whole process has become much more difficult, but the demand has not gone away.

“We are now seeing more people importing sperm from overseas. The sperm donation capital is Denmark. “They have a whole industry over there because the laws covering anonymity are different and donors can be paid more money.”

The Hewitt Fertility Centre is now appealing for more donors to come forward. Prof Kingsland said: “We need healthy Liverpudlian males who may wish to consider this to help people who are in a position where they need sperm donation.

“We have the Hewitt Fertility Centre here in our city, a huge internationally renowned service, but we just can’t get the number of donors.”

He continued: “Liverpudlians are legendarily generous and if anywhere should suffer from a shortage of donors, it shouldn’t be here.”

The shortage of donors places massive mental strain on the families desperate to start a family. Prof Kingsland said: “Not being able to find a donor takes a big psychological toll. “The rules now mean waiting times are inevitably protracted and demand far outstrips supply.”

The primary recipients of donor sperm are heterosexual couples suffering from male infertility, lesbian couples and single women.

When straight couples opt to use a sperm donor, rigorous testing is carried out to find a donor with similar physical characteristics to the male partner.

Donors must also be rigorously screened for diseases, genetic defects and other health problems to ensure the children are born as healthy as possible.

Article: 15th August 2015 www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

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Pride Angel Journey - Books and Daddies

August 10, 2015 22:36 by PrideAngelAdmin
lesbian family book I walked into the living room to find my parents reading an old book of mine to two-year-old Luna. There was an awkwardness in the atmosphere. It turned out they’d panicked at the appearance of the main character’s ‘daddy’, but explained they’d managed to handle it by saying it was ‘grandad’. Phew!

Still, much as Luna is very clear about what being part of an LGBT family means (looking at the page of ‘Dads’ in the Ahlbergs’ the Baby’s Catalogue: “Does Luna have a Daddy?”, “no, two mummies.”) it would be nice to see our own family structure reflected a little more frequently.

Of course there are some excellent LGBT books for toddlers available: in Newman and Thompson’s Mommy, Mama and Me, the mummies are uncannily like Sal and me in the mothering roles they adopt and Luna is clearly convinced that the story was written about her little life. But you don’t just walk into any old high street book shop and find those books. Not in my experience anyway. Not yet.

In the meantime, we might just have to make a few subtle alterations to some of the stories we already read and have Little Red Riding Hood rescued from the wolf’s belly by the woodcutter the sperm donor and Goldilocks tasting the porridge of Mummy Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

And if a daddy crops up again somewhere? Well, maybe he’ll be with his boyfriend...

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 10th August 2015

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Study shows casual sex may improve a man's sperm count

August 5, 2015 21:01 by PrideAngelAdmin
Men who have sex with new partners will produce better quality sperm, scientists believe. A study has shown that sperm health is improved when men have encounters with unfamiliar women. And researchers at The College of Wooster in Ohio hope their findings will help to improve treatments for fertility Quantity, movement and structure all aid sperm health.

Writing in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science, researchers said they believe these traits may change for the better, with new sexual partners. 'Our findings are the first to demonstrate that men's ejaculate behaviour and composition change in response to novel female stimulus,' the team led by Paul Joseph said.

The study involved 21 participants, all heterosexual men aged between 18 and 23 years old. The men each provided seven ejaculate samples over the course of 15 days.

Those recruited to take part were only enrolled if they had no history of sexual dysfunction, no conditions affecting testicular health and no sexually transmitted infections. In addition, they were not taking any medication and didn't smoke.

Researchers used clips from sexually explicit films, involving one actor and one actress. Each participant watched the clips in the same private room at roughly the same time of day every 48 to 72 hours. The clips were three minutes long and were played on repeat until a man ejaculated.

Six film clips featured the same man and woman but differed in the sexual acts performed. Meanwhile a seventh clip featured the same man while the female differed distinctly, with different facial and body features, hair colour and tattoos.

Each man was asked to record the time he started watching the film clips, and when he ejaculated. Researchers then analysed the men's samples, to ascertain sperm health. The authors wrote: 'In our study, men produced higher quality ejaculates when exposed to novel, rather than familiar women.

'Additionally, men ejaculated more quickly when viewing a new woman after being exposed to the same woman repeatedly.' They said their findings suggest that men 'preferentially invest more' into new sexual situations with unfamiliar partners.

The study's authors said one reason for producing 'better' sperm with a new partner is down to sperm competition and an evolutionary desire to secure an heir.

'An increase in the total number of motile sperm may result in higher likelihood of fertilisation and greater ability to compete with other male’s sperm, whereas a decrease in the time to ejaculation may decrease the likelihood of an extra-pair copulation (with a partner that is not your own) being detected,' they wrote.

They added the results could have an impact on fertility treatments, warning male infertility could be being under-diagnosed. This is because 'ejaculate samples used to test for infertility are often collected with the use of images depicting women other than the man’s partner', the researchers said.

'Our results have important implications for understanding selective pressures on male reproductive patterns, the plasticity of ejaculate allocation, and diagnosis and treatment in the context of male fertility,' they added.

They suggest that further studies would be beneficial to help assist medical professionals in devising improved strategies for male infertility diagnosis.

Article: 4th August 2015 www.dailymail.co.uk

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Thousands expected for Brighton's 25th Annual Pride Event 1st August 15

August 1, 2015 11:49 by PrideAngelAdmin
Some 160,000 people are expected to line the streets of Brighton and Hove for the 25th annual Pride event later, the organisers have said.

The parade, including dance troupes, drag queens and campaigning groups and other organisations such as Sussex Police, will start at Hove Lawns.

The colourful procession, starting at about 11:00 BST, will arrive in Preston Park a couple of hours later. Road closures will affect bus routes and other traffic in the area. In previous years, the parade has set off from Madeira Drive.

The LGBT parade, on the theme of Carnival of Diversity, will make its way from Hove Lawns, along King's Road before joining the previous route of West Street, North Street and London Road. Paul Kemp, the director of Pride Brighton, said: "It's a celebration and it brings in a lot of people from all over the world.

"Economically, it's very good for the city and brings in £3.5m. "Behind the celebrations it highlights LGBT campaigns all over the world. There's a long way to go globally to bring about equality." On Thursday, six people were injured in a stabbing at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade said: "Pride is many things to many people. There are people who are straight who have got families who go along to celebrate the diversity of our city."

Brighton DJ Fatboy Slim will be playing in the Wild Fruit dance tent in Preston Park, and the cabaret tent will be hosted by Lola Lasagne.

Other acts appearing include The Human League, Ruby Rose and Ella Henderson.

Article: 1st August 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

Wanting to be a parent? come and speak to Pride Angel at Brighton Pride

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Testimonial from a new Dad 'Thank you Pride Angel'

July 29, 2015 21:21 by PrideAngelAdmin
Dear Pride Angel,

I have been wanting to write for a long time but finally I have taken the time to do it. Thanks to this website I am now a dad. Ethan was born 17 July 2014. He lives with his two amazing mums Jane and Sarah. I can't believe how lucky we are. We feel so blessed! Legally they are the parents and Ethan is very lucky having the two best mums in the world! Ethan will always know that I am the dad and will call me dad. I think it's important for all children to know where they come from. That was what I wanted from the day I posted my initial profile here on Pride Angel and I was lucky to find Jane and Sarah who wanted the same as me.

I did find another couple on Pride Angel before Jane and Sarah and we tried 11 times to get pregnant but it didn't work out. It was a hard decision to tell them I didn't think it would work. I almost gave up becoming a dad but my paternal instincts were so strong so I tried to find another lesbian couple through Pride Angel. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard from Sarah and Jane- that lived just 10 minutes walk away! We met up many times, we had to build a lot of trust and shared our values and lives. After a while Jane and Sarah trusted me, and I trusted them that they wouldn't cut me off after Ethan was born. I think we tried the artificial insemination at their home 4 times before Ethan was conceived. The following 9 months felt like 9 years, we were so excited.

Realizing I was gay at 15 years old, I never thought I was going to be a dad. So to see Sarah pregnant knowing that another human being was inside her, with half of my DNA felt both amazing and surreal. Towards the end I truly realized the magnitude of what Jane, Sarah and I had done- creating a child! Many thoughts went through my head, were we selfish putting this child into a world that wasn't 'normal'? Was our child going to be bullied? Were we playing God creating babies artificially? Now looking back all those questions seem silly but right there and then, that was what I thought about. When I saw the photo of a new born Ethan and the happy face of his two mums, I felt a sense of piece, my life felt so accomplished. This was what I wanted for such a long time; to help a lesbian couple having a family and somehow passing on my own legacy. It's hard to explain with words how happy I was. Ethan is the most amazing little kid I have ever met, he's so sociable and confident. It shows what an amazing job Jane and Sarah are doing, they give him so much love. Ethan is also surrounded by their amazing family and friends making him feel even more loved.

I see Ethan about every two to three weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less. But only when it feels natural for all of us. There's no pressure. Jane and Sarah have become my two soul mates, they know everything about me. I sometimes come and tell them all my love or family problems and they always listen, they are amazing people. I'm so lucky. And I guess they are lucky too but foremost, Ethan is lucky to come in to this world with so much love. And if it wasn't for your website, he wouldn't be here today. So a huge thank you from Jane, Sarah, Ethan and I.

Kind regards, Andrew

PS. The first couple that I met through Pride Angel was in the end also lucky to have a baby called Jude. They had to do it a bit more complicated with the help of a clinic, they took an egg from one of the mums and planted it into the other mum that didn't have any eggs. A friend of theirs is the donor. So they also had a happy ending and we are all so grateful for each other. maybe one day Ethan and Jake can play together.

Article: 26th July 2015 by Andrew - excited new dad Read more about finding a sperm donor or co-parent at www.prideangel.com

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Donor conceived man wants to change his birth certificate

July 26, 2015 22:46 by PrideAngelAdmin
An Adelaide man, who was conceived with anonymous donor sperm, believes the "donor-conceived community is perhaps the last group of disenfranchised people" after a court ruled he cannot change his birth certificate.

Damien Adams, 40, who wanted to have his father's name changed to "unknown" on his birth certificate, said the laws preventing the change were discriminatory and should be reviewed.

Mr Adams does not know who his biological father is and wants his birth certificate to be as honest as possible.

"So it wasn't just for me, it was also for my children and my descendants. So if anybody ever conducted genealogy in the future, that they wouldn't be led down the wrong path," Mr Adams said.

"So it's not about anything untoward, my dad who raised me who I love very much; it's just a matter of having something that is truthful and accurate."

Earlier this year a magistrate ruled she did not have the authority to make the change.

"I don't obviously hold anything against the magistrate; she can only do what she's entitled to do by law, but I find that it's highly discriminatory that everybody else in South Australian society is allowed to rebut paternity except donor conceived people."

The problem is a law in South Australia deems the husband of a woman who received the treatment as the legal father.

Mr Adams has conceded he has limited options left open to pursue the case.

"One is that I can try and appeal and take my case to a higher court, to see if they have the power to do what I am seeking. Although that is obviously going to be very cost prohibitive. Or the only other option is to try and seek a change in the legislation.

"I think that law is very anachronistic; it's part of the bygone era.

"When it was originally set up so that the man who was the husband of the wife or the partner couldn't shirk any responsibilities later on if he decided he didn't want anything to do with the child.

"But particularly as an adult myself of 40 years of age, there is none of that sort of welfare issue to be dealt with.

"It's a matter of not hiding or concealing the truth, because at the moment we basically enshrined deception into the law."

Mr Adams said governments needed to be doing more to address the problem.

Read more...

'This begs the question whether there should be a change in the law, to allow the ability to add the sperm donor or egg donor details as well as legal parents details. Or in the case of co-parenting, the ability to add three legal parents to the birth certificate, for example the two mums along with the biological father?' Pride Angel

Article: 20th July 2015 www.mobile.abc.net.au

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Co-parenting journey: Our beautiful baby arrives

July 20, 2015 22:19 by PrideAngelAdmin
co-parenting baby Parenthood is… an all-consuming love-filled black hole of the life you once had

So I’ve crawled out from under my eventual baby for five minutes. And I’ve managed to do it without leaving my boob in her mouth so the respite won’t last long. I sit here with tense hunched shoulders waiting for her hunger cry as my partner stands guard over our sleeping babe. The less said about my labour the better. Suffice to say it did involve most of the interventions that modern medicine has to offer as my little sweatheart’s hands were up by her head making passage into this world a little challenging. We all got through it in one piece and she is a very healthy little girl, still with her hands stubbornly up by her head most of the time and boy is she strong.

I have formed many views about the treatment of pregnant and post-natal women and believe me, they are extreme. In a nutshell it is all rather barbaric at times and I can’t believe that any other group of people requiring medical attention due to a known condition would be expected to put up with so much pain, a smattering of avoidable mistakes and then be sent home still anaemic, mildly incontinent, unable to sit down or go to the toilet and with the scantest set of instructions. Follow up midwife visits have proved a lifeline but at one out of the three home visits I was meant to get, I am one of the lucky ones in my area. After that I was asked to travel two miles to a children’s centre and I’m sure it was that bus that gave my poor baby her first cold at a delicate two weeks old.

On the plus side the dedication, knowledge, experience and support of the midwives has been really touching. And guess what, they even seem to CARE!!?? Every midwife we had contact with throughout the entire journey came to visit once she was born. The Maternity Day Unit was a godsend and haven during our days of post-due date waiting. It was the one place we could turn whilst drifting on paper between the GP you rarely see and the nameless consultant in charge of your pregnancy that you’ve never even seen. The super-gentle cervical sweeps administered by those amazing midwives made it possible to avoid induction and I’ll be eternally grateful for that. They never made me feel like I shouldn’t be there asking for help and they went above and beyond the call of duty to care for me and for the baby in the way that I wanted. Even the Birthcentre midwife that sent us away with no pain relief and then made us ‘wait another hour’ throughout my night of contractions came to say hi and I realised, in a strange way, that she was trying to do us a favour.

Now our daughter is four weeks old she is really blossoming into an alert, thoughtful and determined mini-me. We’re starting to get something back after the initial weeks of feeding anxiety, general anxiety, endless nappies and loss of our former lives – oh, to go to the pub on a warm summer’s day for a care free pint – those were the days! To any would-be or expectant parents: do make the most of your remaining independence I’ve been stuck in the same armchair watching more Come Dine with Me and Homes Under the Hammer then I’d ever care for even in my wildest ‘duvet day’ fantasies of my former working life.

She listens when we sing to her; she spends periods of the day awake and looking round entertaining herself but NOT CRYING (OMG!); she looks up and smiles at us from the apocalyptic and multi-coloured scene of her changing station; she notices changes in light from room to room and from inside to out; she pulls through for us at the eleventh hour and does that poo/feed/sleep just at the right moment to enable us to get to an appointment or occasional social engagement; and she gives off an air of superiority and intelligence in the company of the legions of baby boys born at the same time as her (8/2 in our antenatal class alone – a pattern repeated across the south east from what I’ve heard!).* *Heh heh, not so unusual, women have been doing this since time immemorial I think it is the feminine ‘je ne sais quoi’ that we all know and love – I knew I wanted a girl!

The post-natal hormones are quite something; I’d like to say I’ve laughed and cried but it’s mostly been tears. And I mean proper meltdowns. Arguments with parents and partner, crying sessions in public over whether to attempt to eat in a restaurant or not – by now you may be able to taste the anxiety-tang, ‘what am I going to do if she wakes up screaming and disturbs the whole restaurant?’. Maternal angst by the bucket load: She’s been asleep for hours, do you think she’s ok? Vs. Omg she won’t sleep…! She won’t breastfeed properly vs. ‘can you just give her a bottle, my nipples hurt.’

Most of all, my partner and I have spent the last four weeks falling in love with our daughter. This is really the crux of it. The why, wherefore, what and how. It isn’t so easy for some mums and it doesn’t always come naturally but we’ve been incredibly blessed with the most wonderful, beautiful being who we’ve been able to get to know her and nurture even through the tough times. We’re a little team now. And just thinking about it in a sustained way makes me cry with joy (and maternal angst). It’s like having your heart in the vice-like grip of her little hand…

But darn it, my time’s up, I hear her summoning cry.

Article: by Two excited mums - 20th July 2015

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