Gay Dad Life

Chris and Christopher, on Life with Their Newborn Triplets

Not even a heartbreaking miscarriage could stop Chris and Christopher from becoming parents. Now they're dads to triplets! Meet Conor, Logan and Parker, born July 3 this year, the adorable sons of two proud dads. We caught up with the Chris and Christopher to find out about their journey to fatherhood and what it's like having three under 6 months.


Chris and Christopher's wedding, October 17, 2015

The pregnancy

When husbands Chris and Christopher's first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage, they were devastated. It had been love at first sight for the couple that met on Match.com in 2011. They had discussed kids early in their relationship and becoming fathers was a crucial part of their future. Chris' sister, Megan, generously offered to be their surrogate, to which they are eternally grateful, but they were left heartbroken when she miscarried in August 2016.

But last year, tried again, and Megan once again became pregnant. But the day before Christmas last year, Chris and Christopher were enjoying lunch with friends when they received a text from Megan that she was bleeding and she'd gone to the hospital. She was 6 weeks pregnant at the time.

With the miscarriage from several years still fresh in their minds, It was an awful déjà vu for the husbands. Chris rushed to return his sister's call and her husband answered. Fortunately, Megan was okay. And so was the baby.

Or, rather, babies. During the hospital visit, Megan's doctor conducted an ultrasound and discovered not one heartbeat, but three.

"I almost fell to my knees in pure terror and joy!" said Chris, who was learning this news while still at lunch with his friends. "I called Christopher over to tell him the news. I then went back to the table and downed a bottle of wine and ate a breadbasket because keeping that secret from friends was a tough one!"

15 minutes before the birth

The birth

Despite the shock of carrying triples, Megan took the news in stride. It was an easy pregnancy and the birth was the same.

Chris and Christopher call Connecticut home so they traveled to Megan's home in North Carolina a week before the scheduled c-section. And they're glad they did.

A routine appointment showed that Megan was 5 cm dilated, and the cramps she had been experiencing all morning were contractions. She was quickly prepped for her c-section and 2 hours later, with Chris and Christopher in the room, Conor, Logan and Parker entered the world.

"The first few hours of parenthood were exciting and stressful," said Christopher. "They had every nurse and doctor on hand monitoring them to ensure they were healthy. As a new parent you have no idea what is going on … Nothing can prepare you for the chaos of that first day."

The triplets stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks despite being healthy weights for triplets. During that time, the new dads never left their side.

The couple slept on the room's pull out couch, and planned skin to skin every day while watching Disney movies on their phones. ("Our children will be Disney kids," Chris said.) The time was exciting, scary, and already seems like a distant memory, they say.

Home with triplets

Before the triplets were born, the dads had prepared by buying three of all the essentials. Three cribs, three Boppy pillows, three blankets. But when it comes to toys, the dads were clear that the boys would learn to share rather than having three of each.

They split parenting duties down the middle, telling Gays With Kids that they are a 50/50 team. What's their other secret to managing three? Sticking to a schedule.

"After arriving home when they were three weeks old, we quickly maintained the schedule they had in the NICU," shared Chris. "They only slept a couple hours at a time during the evening and my husband and I would alternate feedings so the other could sleep for a few straight hours."

The dads are also quick to acknowledge that Conor, Logan and Parker are good babies, not that they don't have the odd day or night when things fall apart and the nothing will appease them.

One of the most challenging parts is getting all three out the door. Gone are the carefree days of leaving the house in five minutes on a whim. Now, they say the simple act of going to the grocery store is like preparing for a two-week holiday.

First walk with the triplets

Advice

As all new dads know, once you become a parent, other people's advice quickly follows. Some of the most useful advice Chris and Christopher received was from another parent of triplets: Accept help when you can, and if one of the triplets wakes up to feed, wake them all up to feed.

Here are 11 pieces of sound advice from the new dads:

  1. The work is 50/50
  2. Get them on a schedule stat.
  3. Cuddle them as much as you can
  4. Take in all the little changes.
  5. Take a ton of pictures.
  6. Don't listen to other people's opinions about parenting, you are their parent and know what is best for them.
  7. Don't compare your child to other peoples kids, each child is different and has different needs and wants and therefore affects how you parent. We have three, and each of them is their own being, they all have different personalities, like different things, laugh at different things. One sleeps the other don't, one eats real well, the others don't. This is all normal and should be taken as you are raising an individual!
  8. If the day gets to be too much, maybe the baby is crying incessantly and simply won't stop, it is okay to walk away and take 5 minutes for yourself, as long as the baby is secure and safe.
  9. Always pack more than you think you need. Poop is your enemy.
  10. When changing, put a diaper under the dirty diaper...saves time and potential messes.
  11. Give them all the kisses.

And even with all the best advice in the world, there is only one person that the new dads really can't do without, and that's each other. They're a team, splitting fatherhood down the middle, loving and providing for their three happy sons.

We wish this family a lifetime of happiness, three times over.

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Gay Dad Life

The Suburban Gay Dad

Are you intimidated by the suburbs? This gay dad was — but then he moved there.

In a recent article for Yahoo! Lifestyle, Steve Jacobs says the thought of living in the suburbs as a gay dad "intimidated" him. But when he started fantasizing about garages, he began to question that notion. Any apprehension he had soon evaporated, he said, one winter morning while trying to navigate the snowy streets of New York City with a stroller.

While "pushing the stroller through snow banks and pools of slush with snowflakes stinging our faces," he wrote, "a vision came to me: I pictured us walking into a garage, hopping into a car, and arriving at a diner with 10 times less drama. This image planted the seed of moving to the 'burbs that I couldn't shake."

Soon, the family of four found a house in a town a half hour outside the city. "It had grass and a beautiful yard for our spirited kiddos. The schools were good. There were even good restaurants. The only red flag: Census data estimated only 0.1 percent of the population was gay male."

There were some "growing pains" while trying to make friends in this environment. "When we attended our first dinner party, within minutes the hostess went to the kitchen and the other wives followed her, while the husbands settled into the living room. Ira and I froze, looking at each other. In the city, our straight friends hadn't separated out like this for the evening. Should we stay with the dudes, exert our masculinity, and blow off the mom we liked? Or does one of us go with the wives and accept the personal branding that comes with that? We did a quick rock paper scissors in the foyer. Ira went with the wives."

But ultimately, "being a parent defined me more than I ever imagined it would," he wrote, and he settled in nicely to his new suburban life.

Have you had a similar adjustment, from city life to the suburbs? Tell us about it at dads@gayswithkids.com for an upcoming piece!

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Guest post Tracey Wimperly

I've recently written a children's picture book (aimed at 2-4 year olds) called "Fridays with Fitz: Fitz Goes to the Pool." Every Friday - when his two dads go to work - Fitz and his grandparents (my husband, Steve and I) head off on an adventure. Through the eyes of a curious and energetic 3 year old, even ordinary adventures, like riding the bus or foraging for fungus in the forest can be fun and magical.

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And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

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In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

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"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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National's Pitcher Cites Wife's Two Moms as Reason for Declining White House Invite

"I think that's an important part of allyship," Doolittle said of his wife's two moms.

Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, declined an invitation to the White House after his team won the World Series this year. In an interview with the Washington Post, he listed his numerous reasons for staying home — and a main consideration, he revealed, was his wife's two moms.

"I want to show support for them. I think that's an important part of allyship, and I don't want to turn my back on them," Doolittle said during the interview.

Trump's treatment of a minority groups, generally, factored into his decision as well. "I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can't get past that stuff."

Doolitttle clarified that his decision had little to do with policy disagreements with the White House. "There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the 'shithole countries.'"

He concluded by saying he respected his teammates decision to attend the White house ceremony. "I want people to know that I put thought into this, and at the end of the day, I just can't go."

Read more of the Washington Post interview here.

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New York Will Fight 'Repugnant' Trump Rule on Adoption, Says Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York promises legal action of the Trump administration moves ahead with plans to allow discrimination against LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents — but he may face a legal fight from (former) hometown. In a tweet, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the proposed move "isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values,— it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home." If the proposal moves forward, he continued. "we'll take legal action to stop it.

Governor Cuomo's office followed up the tweet with a lengthier statement posted to their website:

Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump's proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.

No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance.

Our message to the Trump administration is simple: there is no place for hate in New York or in our nation, and we will not allow this noxious proposal to stop LGBTQ New Yorkers from becoming parents or providing care to children in need.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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