Monday, October 15, 2012

A Message from Papa

My dearest girls,

I have waited so long for you to join your dad and me; I never thought that the day would truly come.  Thank your dad that he did the ironing that day, yes it is a funny story but he can tell you all about it over the cup of tea you make him, while you sip on a drink also.
I can honestly say that I am so proud to be your papa; I love you with all my heart, to the moon and beyond.

The early years will be hard my darlings, but you will forget the entire trauma you think you went through, it is all part of learning to become the people you turn out to be in the future. 
Over the years, you will get frustrated with us and vice versa, but remember this honey’s, I would walk thousands of miles for you and back.

I have been sitting back in the back ground watching you develop into the beings I know you will become.  I had a dream that I would have 2 beautiful girls and hearing that I had two daughters born made me feel like I was a giant.

I will try keep you safe, but realise that there will be times when I am not there to catch you in person, but I will be there in spirit.  At times I may not succeed, but rest assure I love you.
You both have so much to learn and I love seeing you discover new things each day and hear the flexion in your voice when you do this.  I am blessed to see this every day.

I love your dad very much and society may not fully understand, but that is not important.  The important thing is that you know that and that I have waited a very long time for this and I want to cherish every moment and that this is real!! I am glad we were together to share this event
To watch your world open up to you each day, no words can describe.  Simply all I can say is that it is wonderful to share this with you.  You will master anything you put your mind to.


Taylor, continue to laugh and work things out in your brain, I see this will be one of your strong points, your wit is golden.  I love watching your mind try and work things out… BUT stop biting your nails; you are safe and a confident person.




Willow, stop growling with frustration! I know where you developed that little gesture and I can say that it was not me, but will not say that it was  as it was given with love and nothing else.  Your laugh is contagious and your inquisitive mind is another strong characteristic of yours.  Never be frightened and keep moving forward as you have conquered so much so far.  Remember Papa will try and carry you on his shoulders to keep your spirits lifted an you feeling high.


You are both beautiful in so many ways that I cannot describe.

The coming months and years may be hard for you both.  There is so much to learn, to do and achieve ahead. Take it in your stride and keep being yourselves; you will master them…eventually… BUT do not stop trying.

I hope one of the things I am able to teach you is internal beauty, love yourselves and then you will be able to love others unconditionally.  Dad and I love you and will be here for you while we can, but with nature things change.

Remember the wind that hits on your face is me, your Papa kissing you. Remember that the day you were born and each day I spend with you are a blessing that I will never forget and cherish for the rest of my life. 

Remember you are my daughters and that I love you and wish you all the love in the world and that you find happiness, even in your darkest times, as everyone will face them at one time.

Be yourselves, be bold enough to challenge the world and continue to make it better for your child that is if you choose to go down that path at the right moment in time. 

I LOVE YOU

With all my heart, Your Papa xx

Sunday, March 04, 2012

40

In ten days time I will turn 40. Forty. XL. I'm not sure what it means yet, but I seem to be spending a great deal of time contemplating it.

I quit smoking when I was 30. Between then and now I managed a number of other achievements. We bought a house. Demolished a house. Built a house. We traveled. I completed post graduate studies (albeit a certificate, of which I am very proud). We managed to have two amazing daughters. It is this last achievement that is behind most of my contemplation. I have two amazing daughters and I am a 39 year old obese man with many of the comorbidities  that go with that.

My weight worries me. It always has. I have written about it before. I feel that it defines who I am more than the fact that I am gay. In fact over time I have received more grief about my weight than my sexuality. Rarely has anyone been rude or cruel to me about being gay. My weight however seems to attract an open slather of "harmless jibes", "good meaning quips" and down right rudeness. I once had a line manager ask me if I "really need that" when I took a Tim Tam from a plate offered to me in a meeting. I hadn't eaten all day, but hey, she was just meaning well. I almost died and crawled under the table to escape the unveiled discomfort on my colleagues faces. I still took the Tim Tam though. 

I am not going to sit here and write a whole posting on why I am so overweight. Nor am I going to sit here and write about all the reasons why I need to lose weight. I could bang on and on about depression and passionately plead the case for losing weight for the girls, for Vince, for me. I watch biggest loser for that kind of fix. However my weight is an enormous (excuse the pun) source of consternation for me. Not only does it consume so much physical energy to lug this body around, but I waste so many countless hours mentally agonising over it. It affects so many areas of my life. As I approached 30 I was not so overweight. I did however smoke. I was a heavy (no pun intended) smoker. I was an unwell smoker heading towards the proverbial early grave. I wasted a great deal of time agonising over that too. I gave up for a number of simple reasons. We were considering our options for childern and smoking was a large negative for that. Financially smoking was beginning to hurt. Physically, smoking was beginning to hurt. It took a while but I finally decided to quit. It was only once I made that very conscious descision that I successfully quit. Ironically that is kind of when my weight became an issue. Part of my plan for coping while quiting was to not worry about my weight. I would worry about that later. How hard was it to lose weight compared to quiting smoking after all. Who new. Well I am now at the point where for some simple reasons I decided I needed help.
  
Up until now I have always said surgery was not something I would consider. Gastric banding has been all the rage. Working in ICU I saw some horrible outcomes due to complications. In some cases it ruined peoples lives. I have spoken to so many people who have had it done and it turned out not to be the answer they were looking for. I know that soon the number of bands being removed may overtake those being inserted. I have read about all of the ongoing complications that occur. So it was not for me and I have always been a strong adversary of it. Then Dad had a gastric sleeve done in December last year. He looks terrific and I can see the impact it is having on his life already. I want that.....
 
Ward 5A RPH
I had only heard of a gastric sleeve being done as part of gastric bypass surgery for seriously morbidly obese people. So when Dad said he was having his done I did some research and I felt comfortable with what I was reading. The more I read the more it appealed as it seemed to tick a number of boxes regarding my concerns with bariatric surgery. The next time I went to see my GP I raised the issue of my weight and wham bam thank you mam I am booked to have bariatric surgery on the 26th of March. So in consultation with Jon my surgeon that is what I am having done. A gastric sleeve. Funnily enough Jon was a resident on the general surgical ward when I first started at RPH. I was a lot thinner back then.

So that is were my contemplation has lead me. For my fortieth birthday I am giving myslef another gift of life. I am really nervous about the surgery and actually scared of the prospect of complications. But I trust Jon and I am beginning to trust myself. That I have made the right decision. When I quit smoking the literature told me to ask for help. To seek the support of friends and family. It worked. Which makes it seem appropriate to seek that help again. I ask for yor support. Your patience and above all your understanding.

J. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Equality



First Archbishop Hickey states that child abuse and neglect are on the rise because of same sex marriage. Now I have just read that Joe Hockey stated on ABC radio tonight that although the majority of his constituents support marriage equality, he would not vote for it. He believes that children should be raised by a mother and father. I thought Australia was a secular state and had a separation of Church and State. Marriage is a civil union sanctioned by the State. I do not want the churches "blessing" or "sacrament". I simply want equality for my family.

It is becoming more and more difficult to not feel like a second class citizen who's rights are determined by my peers. I want Willow and Taylor to grow up knowing that their family is accepted, acknowledged and free from persecution by religion.

Those people who want to protect their personal religious views should remember and cherish the fact that Australia is a secular state. Otherwise they could find their religious freedom disappear! We have a right to practise religion, not persecution.

I am also concerned that many people are "supportive" to ensure they appear "politically correct" and in private are happy to support the status quo. Things are only going to change if those in our life take a moment to genuinely support equality for our family. It only takes a moment to write an email. Please email your local federal member expressing you support for marriage equality.


It only takes a moment to write an email. Please email your local federal member expressing you support for marriage equality.

Here is a link to the current members contact details.

Current List of Members of Parliament

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Thousand Words

It has been a while but I think I am ready. I have had so much to say but so little time to write. However I want to make an effort to keep our story going. What inspired this new motivation was a special event that occurred today. Since the arrival of our two cherubs all I have wanted was a really nice "family shot". Like one of the ones that hang proudly on the wall of most family homes. I did not want a stage directed expose. Just a comfortable image that tells a thousand words. It also had to be achieved on a shoestring budget as I am not back at work yet.

After extensive research on the net for a photographer and a few near cardiac events brought on by returned quotes, I settled for good old portrait place. Simple, professional and cheap. Well cheap compared to all the others I contacted. After a 45 minute sitting I walked away very pleased. They managed to capture exactly what I wanted. Now I just have to wait because the package I chose was a little out of the agreed budget so it is now on lay by.

When we were going through the proofs I had the most pleasant warm feeling of contentment. We have had some nice photos taken over the past 11 months. None however seemed to capture our happy relaxed family. There always seemed to be something distracting one of us or lots going on around us. Today was just simple and relaxed. I also very much dislike having my photo taken. Today I felt comfortable. I can't wait to pay off the lay by.

Having not written anything for so long I feel a little rusty and hope that I can quickly get back into the swing of things. In the mean time here are a couple of recent photo's of the girls. These were taken by Ann Jones at the Grant's Christmas Drinks last weekend. I think they tell a thousand words.....


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sharing

I went out today on a social outing. My friend Amy invited me and our friend Gemma to hers for lunch. It was great. Between us the were four babies. Amy's Noah who is one in May, Gemma's Aiden who is the same age as Willow and Taylor. I had the best day. It was really amazing sharing with Amy and Gemma, knowing that they are going through similar situations as we are. I also learned a lot from them. We all worked in ICU at RPH together. Ive many fond memories of ICU and am actually looking forward to doing some casual shifts there (if they'll have me) in a few months. I have heard others say that coming back to work either part time or casually was more for the social aspect. Some adult time. I can understand this as I think for me, although it is for the money mostly, it is about the social interaction. It will also give Vince some quality time with the girls.

This week we have also had some great laughs. Both Grandma's have been here and I have really enjoyed their company and appreciate their help. The girls have been interacting a lot more and are even beginning to smile more. They have also given us a few laughs. Willow loves giving the bird and Taylor is always doing her super girl pose.

Of interest this week was the Insight program on SBS. It was about Surrogacy. I found it difficult to watch. Mostly because of some of the participants attitudes and opinions. I truly believe that most of those opposing surrogacy have no understanding of the reasons behind it and so easily apply their own experiences to it with such narrow blinkers that they cannot see any other sides of the argument. Where as those who are using surrogacy are usually fully aware of the same issues  but work through them or find ways to make it better. They usually have agonised over the ethics and morality of the situation they are in and considered all the facts. It is not a selfish act. It is usually a well planned heart felt journey has been heavily researched and analysed. Like all situations in life it is not always perfect and their will be those who sully it with their inappropriate behaviour. Their is also room for improvement in the processes available in India and I know that this will improve as India comes to term with the burgeoning industry it has created. I hope that sharing our story helps some people understand. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions and we should respect the differences and seek to tolerate and understand.

Tomorrow I am off to Bunbury with Mum for an overnight trip to visit family and friends. Fingers crossed that all goes well. Vince is staying home to try and finish his final assignment for his MBA. I also hope that he gets some much needed sleep. I know I will be trying to while in Bunbury with so many hands to help with the girls.

J