Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why The Questions?

Is this normal practice when you congratulate expecting parents? I know that when family, friends or work colleagues announced they were expecting we never asked these sort of questions or made such comments. Perhaps it's because we're a same sex couple. Maybe people think because we don't have a traditional 'mother' in our family unit that some how we won't be able to cope and people seem to be counting down the day til our demise. It could be that after 13 years together, people think Darren and I are looking at impending parenthood through rose coloured glasses? Or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive and perhaps they are right...

Am I crazy and delusional?

Are we wrong to be so excited about Noddy's birth that smelly nappies and sleepless nights don't come into the equation? We know that with a newborn baby comes sleep deprivation. We know that our time is no longer our own. We know that for the rest of our lives we will have a life depending on us as parents. We know that we may never again be able to leave the house, hair perfectly quiffed and shirts vomit free and you know what........we can't wait!

Some of the questions and comments I'm referring to that some people seem to be throwing our way include:

" You won't know what hit you" - Thanks, I never thought of our baby as a hazardous projectile!

" Give it five to six weeks and then I'll ask you again" - The reply when asked if we're excited.

"Just wait til the baby won't sleep and stop crying" - Response to Johnny's excitement of being a stay at home dad.

Then there's the chuckle from mothers. A chuckle similar to a secret handshake as though they are members of an exclusive club and now that we have 'signed on the dotted line' there's no turning back. A chuckle so sinister that it's true meaning will only be understood by us when Noddy arrives. Then and only then does the reality of membership to this club reveal itself.

I now want to ask a question. Does this happen to you dear reader? Is this normal and have you had to answer such questions or had similar comments thrown your way? Like I said, perhaps I am the crazy, delusional and overly sensitive one here?

What do you think?

Noddy's room is not quite 100% complete but we are almost there. The timber has all been painted and the prints we bought at Disney Land in 2005 finally have a home in Noddy's room. There is still a bookcase and toy box to paint and then that's it. No more painting of furniture. YAY! All of Noddy's clothes and bed linen has been washed and folded and we have his/her bags packed for our return to India. We on the other hand will most likely pack a few days prior to our scheduled departure.

Fetal size: crown-rump 33cm (13.2 inches), crown-toe 45cm (20.25 inches). Fetal weight: 2.5kg (5.5 pounds). Fat has continued to build up under your baby's skin and is responsible for providing energy and regulating body temperature. These fat deposits have also changed the appearance of the skin, making it pinker (rather than red) and less wrinkled. Fingernails are developed on the fingers, but still may be growing on the toes. Eyelids can be opened and closed and blinking is possible. The irises are also now light sensitive and will dilate and contract depending on exposure to light.


  1. Firstly congratulations! I feel sorry for those who make such comments because they don't appreciate exactly what they do have and that is a gorgeous new life. Yes it is hard work but it will be the most rewarding gift you have ever been given. This beautiful baby is very blessed to have 2 parents who unconditionally love them. You go ahead and enjoy every moment. Oh and my daughter has the same room as your baby! good choice as she loves it.

  2. The questions really are insane and insensitive, aren't they?

    My favorite idiot question recently when I told a friend that we are pregnant: 'Was it on purpose?' Well, I consider myself a fairly smart person but do I really need to explain the plumbing involved to prove how this was 100% on purpose!?!?!

    This is second only to the 'Who's baby is it?' I guess that's natural curiosity but can we please remember our manners? Would you ask this to a pregnant woman?!?!

    Point is, people are often completely ignorant to the effort that has preceded yearning to be parents....especially for 2 men! Couple that with someone who HAS had a child and there is a potential for arrogance that is shocking.

    Truth is....your journey is YOURS. And you get to enjoy all the wonderful joys and challenges and odors and smiles that come along with the life change you are privileged to experience!

  3. Congrats guys, you're so far along and the nursery looks absolutely beautiful! I get insensitive questions too - like, questions about how "the mother" feels about things. And they don't mean me!
    I am happy to answer the curious, but the smug and insensitive should just keep their mouths closed.
    I think you've proven that with the effort you've gone to to create your family, who could be more ready and willing and able??
    Can't wait to hear happy news of a delivery!

  4. I swear those are normal comments that every expecting parent hears. It IS a secret handshake type of thing. I promise they probably weren't snide remarks!

    Want to talk about insensitive? My old boss screamed at me when I told her I was having my second child. Screamed that I was ruining my daughter's life and that I should be ashamed. WTF? This woman didn't know me or my family at all. Only that I had a daughter.

    Loving the room! Do they make that bed in my size because I just want to crawl right in, it looks so cozy and sweet.

  5. What you're experiencing and hearing is common. It gets more interesting when the baby comes along I can definately assure you of that. Some quick shreds of wisdom: stay away from the negative "dragon mamas" as we refer to them who are typically married females in their 20's/30's raising kids - they tend to make you feel very small and very awkward; always go by your gut instincts in all matters when the baby arrives because truth is if you ask 5 people their opinion about something, you will get 10 answers at least; sadly, you will lose some of your gay and single friends who either feel betrayed or jealous of the situation and no longer feel the friendship is the same (brace yourselves this one will REALLY HURT), we have lost some of our most dearest sometimes without even an explanation; you'll get new people in your life - like the neighbor with kids who never gave you the time of day before but now feels that you are part of his/her tribe and suddenly warms up to you, very superficial indeed, hit the IGNORE button with these types as you'll find down the road you never really had much in common as before; when in public if people get too nosy just say they are adopted, this usually puts a smile on their face and they treat you like a savior for having rescued said child from some horrible predicament, sorry they simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND surrogacy and especially surrogacy in India... I can go on and on but know you boys are smart and will deal with whatever comes your way.... Just remember that a lot of the relationship dynamics with friends, family, co-workers will definately change, some for the better and some (sigh!) for the worse. We are still mourning the loss of our "primary" hag, a person we have known for a gazillion years and whom we have shared so much with but who shocked us by vanishing from our lives without a trace soon as she heard we were pregnant..
    Good luck boys these next few weeks.
    I'm convinced it's a girl!

  6. Agree with Geek and (sorry Edward!!) still laughing at what he was asked. I can guarantee that once baby arrives you'll be 1) in on the secret handshake and 2) the conversation will turn to all things about Noddy, with how you got him/her and the rest of the logistics a thing of the past. And one of the added bonuses - it will then be up to you to choose who you tell what to instead of having to explain it to all and sundry that yes you are actually having a baby and someone else is carrying it for you and, in my case, my fat belly is simply that, fat.

  7. I get the smug "I know something you don't know" from club motherhood too. I just say we will have a full-time nanny and I'll sleep better than a baby. That shuts them up quicker than telling a Jehovah's Witness trying to sell you a copy of Watchtower you're Catholic.

  8. Before Blaze was here, we got, "Are you sure you really want this, Babies are a lot of work!", recently I got, "where did he get that skin tone?" and "how long have you had him?"

    Sometimes, people just DON'T think!

    Love the nursery!!!!

  9. AHHHH!! I hate the questions and the unsolicited advice! We just come up with clever ways to respond. People are so insensitive. I hate when they ask about "Why India?" or "How does the birthmother feel about the adoption" I know they are not educated on the process or anything but my goodness show some compassion. It is not as easy for everyone to have a child. So when they say "how are you going to get them to stop crying? you say "How am i going to get you to stop talking!"

    Very good post! You got my blood pressure going!!

    Love the Nursery. You guys did a great job. We can't wait to meet you both in Mumbai.


    Rob and Greg

  10. Johnny and Darren,
    Your motto about never giving up have been such an inspiration to so many people -- I can't tell you how many times I've quoted it to other people -- and anyone who has spent even 10 minutes with you, as we did, will know that being parents means everything to you. People are ignorant and insensitive, and I think in particular are biased to believe that two men still need a wife to raise a baby (come to think of it, I could use a wife too!). Ignore the people who are mean-spirited, try to educate the people who are ignorant, but above all, enjoy every minute of your new life as parents. What the cynics who say "your life will never be the same" don't realize is how much you've longed for that to be true. Can't wait to see the first pix of Noddy!

  11. Firstly, your nursery looks just beautiful. Love the crib! And the post, too.

    People do ask insensitive questions before the baby comes and many have some stupid comments after the baby is born. After our negative surrogacy attempt in India, we got blessed with a baby girl we adopted. When I all excited told the news about getting a baby to one person, her first comment was "Will you even know how to take care of her?" Gee, thanks for the encouragement. So many have managed, why not me?! (my daughter will be one year old next month, and I am copying just fine).

    Or my other "favorite". For several weeks, we became the gossip number one not just in our street, but in the extended neighborhood. One particular neighbour kept "discussing" with the rest how we could possibly have a baby, when I never had a belly. But the most hurtful comment was when another neighbour rushed to our pram with the question "What does she look like? Let me see." The way she said it sounded as if she expected our daughter to have at least 3 eyes since she was put up for the adoption.

    Ignore those insensitive people (not worth your time, nor thoughts) and enjoy the fact that you are gonna be parents real soon. And from the posts I have been reading here one FANTASTIC PARENTS!!! I wish you all the best and cannot wait to read about the birth of Noddy and see the picture of the three of you - your own family!

  12. People ask a lot of questions and say a lot of dumb things to people before they have kids. I remember that well. Noddy's nursery is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!

  13. You'll get lots of stupid questions. Just wait until the stranger in the market asks, "how much did your baby cost?"

    I was naive about the work involved with raising kids. It changed our universe as my partner says. Still, I'd never go back to my life before kids. My life was about me and now it is about "them." It feels great. Soon you'll feel it too. Congratulations on week 34!