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  • Welcome to GOBLIN CHILD

    Hi, I'm Amber. I'm a blogger, photographer and one of two mums to the Goblin Twins. This space is where I document the growth of my babies, share what they've been wearing and write about the joys and frustrations of being a LGBT parent. Watch out for cameo appearances from my firstborn, Josephine-dog, my photographic muse.

    I'm based in London, England.

    Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Living Arrows – 13/52

It’s beginning to come together.

I think in part it’s your age – you’re at such a nice age – and in part it’s me, making an effort to be a bit more hands-on with you.  You reach out to me a lot these days and who can resist taking a baby when he’s grinning his gummy grin and waving his tiny arms?  So I hold you and bounce you on my knees and you wind your baby fingers through my hair and are content. 

I miss you when I go to work these days.  Sometimes your mummy texts me updates or emails me a picture of what you’ve been up to, which is nice.  I like to show my colleagues how sweet you are, how much you’ve grown.  I like to tell them stories of what you’ve been up to.  Sometimes I roll my eyes and tell mournful stories of teething and tears, sleepless nights and reflux – but it’s mostly for show.  I wouldn’t go back to how it was before you came along, to sleep-ins until noon and uninterrupted afternoons.

These days, mostly I just can’t wait to get home to you.

+ - 5 comments

March 30, 2015 - 9:47 pm

Emma T - Stunning photo. Definitely one for the album. Looks great in black and white too.

March 30, 2015 - 9:57 pm

Sian - Such a lovely, lovely photo. Glad it is all settling down after the crazy early days.

March 30, 2015 - 10:12 pm

Lauren - Oh my GOODNESS!! That is the most beautiful photo EVER!! xx

March 30, 2015 - 10:25 pm

Donna - I feel like I miss so much on working days and I know that I can’t wait to see them after work either. Your boys look like they really are at a great age x

March 30, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Charlotte - Snuggley baths are the best. Stunning photo, everyone’s expression in that are perfect.

#BiBs2015 Brilliance in Blogging Awards

Last summer I was googling birth photography when I came across my first parenting blog, Sorry About the Mess.  It was an old post where Chloe, pregnant with Rory at the time, initiated a discussion about the merits of having a professional photographer there at the birth.  I loved Chloe’s style of photography and immediately shot her an email questioning whether she might want to BE a birth photographer – mine, in fact!

As it turned out, the twins’ birth swiftly degenerated into such a fiasco that having a photographer there just wasn’t viable and we didn’t get to have those valuable pics.  It’s something that I regret to this day.  But that initial nose around Chloe’s blog also inspired me in a different direction too – I decided to set up a blog of my own.  And THAT is how Goblin Child came about!

The blogging community has been a massive support to me during the latter stages of my pregnancy and this first half-year of being a mum.  Your advice was invaluable when I was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis with the twins.  You sympathised with me when their birth turned out to be nothing like how I thought it would be, and when breastfeeding didn’t go well.  Your comments never fail to make me think and your kindness brings a smile to my face every time that I log in.  As a same-sex parenting family I was concerned initially as to how this community would receive us but I needn’t have worried – Kirsty and I, our little boys and our dog, we’ve been welcomed with open arms.

A few kind people have mentioned that they will be nominating us in the Brilliance in Blogging 2015 awards.  I would like to say thank you so very much for thinking of our family.  It means the world.  I would love to be recognised as a Fresh Voice, in the Photography category or indeed as a Family.  If you would like to vote for Goblin Child, nominate me here.

These are my details:

Blog Name: Goblin Child

Blog URL: http://www.goblinchild.com

Blogger’s Twitter ID: @thegoblinchild

Blogger’s Email: amberandkirsty@goblinchild.com

You’ll also be asked why the blogger deserves to win in this category and for a URL to a memorable post – I’ll leave those bits up to you!

Thank you so much for considering me.  There are many simply amazing blogs on my radar and I’m still deliberating my own nominations, but I’ll pop back and share them all with you soon.

+ - 2 comments

March 29, 2015 - 3:47 pm

Donna - Good luck!! Chloe’s blog is one of my favourites, I was due with T about the same time she was due with Rory and we were both planning, and had, homebirths. I’m glad she inspired you into blogging x

March 29, 2015 - 4:03 pm

Jodie - chloe’s was one of the first blogs I found too! Fab photography.

Posy-Dog and her Brothers

A little while before the twins were born I wrote this blog post about how we were preparing our dog Josephine ‘Posy’ for becoming a big sister.  I posted an update when the twins were newly born and five months on, another update is well overdue!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you will know that she’s been the canine love of my life for a number of years and is a cherished member of our family, so I was nervous about she would adapt to her new role as a sibling of sorts to human babies.  But I needn’t have worried because it’s been fine!

From the moment that they were brought home and sat next to her on the sofa for her to sniff at, they were members of her family.  We did see a little bit of resource guarding during the first few weeks, where she was reluctant to let people – particularly men – close to ‘her’ babies but thankfully with a mixture of distraction and gentle correction that behaviour was quickly resolved.

For the most part these days, Posy is politely disinterested in her small brothers.  She’ll tuck up next to them on the bed and completely ignore that they’re shrieking like banshees – very little seems to faze her about them at all!  They on the other hand are often fascinated by the dog and alternate between shouting their heads off and waving their arms about in an attempt to attract her attention.  They love to play with her soft fur and we’re already having to take their hands and practice ‘gentle touches’ rather than pulling.  We don’t ever want her to find herself in a position where she’s faced with either having to put up with being hurt because we’re not on the ball enough to protect her – or the alternate scenario, where she snaps at them in self-defense.

We discovered the other day, thanks to someone – ahem – dropping a bowl of trifle on one of the babies, that Posy won’t snatch food off of them.  She’s very respectful of their personal space.  I’m not sure whether she realises that they’re human or is just treating them as particularly harmless hairless cats (having been swiped at by my mother’s moggies on numerous occasions she’s now petrified of cats!) but regardless of the reason, it’s good to know that she won’t accidentally harm them when food or other resources are involved.

I suspect that it will all become trickier once they’re mobile, and we plan to give her a ‘safe space’ where she can go to get away from enthusiastic little hands, but right now we’re feeling optimistic that we haven’t ruined her life by adding to our pack.

I’ll let you know how she feels about it all once they start crawling!

+ - 2 comments

March 27, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Jodie - when we were living with my mum back when my first born was born, they had a whippet. When she started to crawl and walk, we’d find her and the dog curled up in the basket asleep together. Pets are fab for kids.

March 27, 2015 - 9:21 pm

Donna - It sounds like Posy had really gelled with her new family and loves the new set up. She’s a gorgeous dog x

Donor Sperm: The Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask

When people learn that I have children as part of a same-sex couple, they’re always most curious about the other half of the twins’ genetic heritage.  Most of the time they’re polite enough not to voice their questions which is funny to me because actually, I’m not shy about talking about it.  So if you’ve always wondered, here are the answers that I rarely have to give:

Yes, we did order donor sperm from an actual catalogue.  Yes, an actual catalogue.  On the internet.  During a lunch break at work.

It was quite surreal, yes.

You’re interested in the cost?  We paid £100 to access the catalogue, £370 for the sperm itself and £300 for it to be couriered to London from Denmark.  Then £1,000 for the pregnancy slot with the HFEA.  That would be quite inexpensive, yes, except that we had to factor private IVF on top of that.  Fortunately it worked on the first try.

We do know quite a lot about the donor, yes.  We have a photograph of what he looked like as a baby (quite a bit like Lysander, actually), his medical records, lots of questions and answers about his personality and a wonderful letter that he wrote about himself and his values, amongst other things.

Yes, the boys might well have some half-siblings out there.  The HFEA allows ten families to be created using sperm from the same donor.

It would be quite ghastly if the boys ended up having sex with their half-siblings, I agree.  But really what are the chances?

We would prefer it if you didn’t refer to the donor as their ‘dad’. thanks.  He’s just the donor.

He is open to being contacted in the future.  When the boys turn eighteen, they will be given his name, passport number and last known address so that they will be able to track him down if they’re interested.  We will probably be buying them each a plane ticket for their eighteenth birthday.

No, we won’t mind if they choose to know the donor.  We selected him based on the knowledge that they probably would want to explore the other half of their genetic history.  He seems like a pleasant chap – we’ll invite him to dinner parties and try to find pieces of him in our children.

Yes, we feel tremendously fortunate.  They’re wonderful children.  We’re not worried that the donor will turn out to be a psychopath and that the boys will take after him, actually.  But what a good plot idea for a really crappy novel.

Does he know about the boys?  I think he can find out how many children have been born using his genetic material and their sexes.  I hope that the knowledge makes him feel happy and proud.

If I could tell him anything?  I would tell him that they are beautiful and bright, that they have changed our lives for the better.  I would tell him that we are grateful to him every single day for giving us these children.  That I hope that one day the boys decide to meet him, so that he can see the enormity of what he helped to create.  I would thank him for seeing the potential in families like ours, for knowing that a family doesn’t need a penis at the head of the table in order to be a loving and fulfilling one.  For giving us the opportunity to be mothers.

+ - 3 comments

March 26, 2015 - 10:52 am

Lauren | Belle du Brighton - I loved reading this! I’m so glad that the donor is happy to be contacted in the future, it must be an odd feeling knowing that someday some inquisitive teenagers may knock on your door with a long list of questions! I had a couple who also got their donor sperm imported from Denmark a couple of years ago, although sadly it wasn’t a success for them (though they had a child early this year that is amazingly genetically both of theirs after two attempts in the UK thanks to a Japanese clinic where they now live) but anyway… they also said it was odd to pick from a catalogue, she likened it to picking new curtains from Argos but with slightly more importance!

March 26, 2015 - 12:20 pm

Katie @mummydaddyme - The way you write never fails to make me feel emotional! Another beautiful post. x

March 27, 2015 - 3:46 am

Carol - This is really great to know, my gf and I really want to have babies in the future so your blog is a great perspective for us! We love your posts, your boys and your story! I don’t know if you guys have ever shared how you met and everything but that would be a great post too! Love you guys, greetings from Brazil!