I have made several starts on this post, as you might well imagine. But there are two little squirts and now a full time job which are rather taking up all of my time.
Where are we now? Well there have been lots of developments with the squirts and also in our circumstances.
They are now:
- Grabbing and shaking things slowly
- wanting to sit up
- enjoying tummy time and press-ups
- Smiling, laughing and blowing raspberries
- gazing enthralled at our faces and reacting to our smiles
- “swimming” (yes, incredibly, even Ivy (formerly-known-as-The-Hater-of-All-Things Watery))
- staring at their hands, playing with their hands, rubbing their hands together
- sleeping at 7.30 -8 with one feed
- following us around the room with their eyes and heads
And further, completely distinct little people:
Olive is generally chilled out, a l’il lazy, perhaps; and a full kilo heavier than her sister. Ivy is totally frenetic and loud. Her crying, talking and movements are loud. Olive always loved bathtime, but she is relatively still and relaxed- Ivy hated it and now moves around rather as though she were me if I had been told (for example) I had been bought tickets to see Bjork (can’t get umlauts on this keyboard so you’ll have to imagine them) whom I have managed successfully three or four times to narrowly miss playing – it’s a lifelong desire as yet unfulfilled).
We are now through the trauma of the return to work – it’s still not wrinkle free, but it has been two weeks and we are mostly ok. Work has told me and the parents my role will be one thing when actually it’s another, and pumping in my scant breaks is a real strain. My pump was working on Thursday afternoon adn broken on Friday morning which really peed me off. Lucky I got myself two then, eh? I was called to immigration last Monday and was there for 6 hours without a pump and I had to milk myself in the toilet – just like a cow. I ended up doing it on Friday too. It’s interesting to do it that way but not very efficient! Perhaps over time it would become so (maybe my technique is off!).
Going back to work has been… hard. I have been put in a fairly awkward position by my employer – it’s very interesting but very intensive – 3 and 4 year olds demand a lot of attention and the break is only 20 mins from 7.10- 12.30 (and did I mention that I am pumping milk in that time?). We are not allowed to leave until 2.20 – and I have to say that I have been off like a bullet from a gun as soon as I can (as I ran home on Friday, please imagine something more like a bullet being spat out by Yosemite sam and rolling along the ground). AW and Auntie have been amazing at looking after Olive – she has found it very weird going from breast to bottle. However, we are getting there.
Minor annoyance – we take so man y pics of the girls with our iPhones – suddenly though when we plug them in, the icon no longer appears in Windows and so the photos can’t be extracted to the computer except by emailing them (5 at a time… zzzzzzzzz) to myself and saving them (5 at a time!). What a massive pain in the bum!
Anyway, I don’t mean to sound moany – the experience of being mummies so far is just lovely. I feel as though I was made to do this. AW too is absolutely stellar, although she does sometimes express insecurity about being a non-bio mum. I tell her to buck up her ideas because she’s legally their mum and the girls will know her as mummy, and I didn’t plan to have these babies by myself!
I am really excited at the prospect of leaving Thailand in the near future and starting the kids experiencing the cold and the rain; the poverty and misery caused by the current government’s hell-bent conviction that Asterity is the right path; the tiny rooms of UK overpriced housing… Hey…. wait a minute…! Seriously, although all that is true, and life in the UK will be more of a challenge, it means we will be living in the real world again. If we decide that the real world is not for us, then we may return – I have permanent ties to Thailand now; family here and children who are half Thai. I also have a good employment record and contacts, and Thai language now too.
It won’t be the end of Thailand for us, but it will be a chance for AW to extend her career, a chance for the girls to know their British roots and their British family and a chance to reconnect with HOME and teaching in normal state schools with friends I have missed so keenly out here. I feel that as half of a binational lesbian couple we are outsiders here in a way we never would be in London or Brighton. I feel a bit stressed about not knowing where in Europe we will be going first, but not stressed out about having to go to Europe.
If you are interested, please stop by at this website, BRITCITS and this facebook group, I LOVE MY FOREIGN SPOUSE to find out more, and lend your support. Many of the issues are being discussed, including leaving the UK to work in Ireland, gaining residency for both spouses and then returning to the UK visa free. This option is removed for many who are caring for British children from previous relationships, who’ll lose their UK home if they move etc etc. Thankfully it’s open to us, but Theresa May, and the (similarly right wing) immigration authorities of Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are putting pressure on the EU to tighten the laws for free movement of workers, so I’m concerned that we don’t have much time.
For me a crucial ideological difference is that when using the EU freedom of movement, you are presumed an innocent and truthful citizen when applying – the permits are entitlements which are not allowed to be refused unless the government sees you as a threat to public security. By contrast, national immigration in the UK treats all immigrants as suspects until proven innocent – the home secretary very deliberately lumps us all together with the rhetoric of criminals and the image of extremists such as Abu Hamza (and I am not sure I even subscribe to the public image of him, seeing as it is formed by Daily Mail scum).
Political rant over – but I can’t help it – now my family is politicised, sadly.
Here they are:
I have got on board with my body as well – I think in the two weeks back at work I have already begun to slim down, which is what I had hoped. I have been for two runs. I can’t expect my belly to return to its former beauty as it’s all rubbery and stretched, but that’s not too apparent if I am standing. It’s weird if I am lying on my side how my whole belly slides down and I have a rib-to-hip flab roll! >.< The main issue is the weight gain / sticky weight which has come about by my using “it doesn’t matter – I’m breastfeeding!!” as an excuse to eat 1 MILLION digestive biscuits.
Big love, and big congrats for those girls over at and baby makes 3 hopefully