VIDEO: Gay Dads Matt & Josh Meet Their Twins on the Other Side of the World

17 May

Holding Our Twins for the First Time

15 May

Matt, Ellen and I couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough today.

Of course, that meant we arrived there at 8:30 a.m., only to find out that the social worker that we needed to meet with to begin the process wouldn’t arrive until 9:15 a.m. 😉

Thus began a day of waiting, and extensive bureaucracy, that would lead up to finally seeing the babies. (But until then, lots, and lots, and lots of waiting. Patiently. And sometimes not so patiently. But always respectfully. ;))

Matt, ever the champ, was like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, running around and jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops necessary all over the hospital to get the babies released from the baby nursery (we’re so grateful they didn’t have to spend time in the ICU!) and into a private room where we could finally be with them.

I’ll spare you the minutiae, but I will tell you that it took more than SIX HOURS to complete all the steps necessary to get the kids released to us in a private room for the night. (They’re keeping them one more night for observation, though there are no immediate health concerns, etc.)

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: PHOTOS!

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Our son, Henry Charles, at three days old.

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Our daughter, Julianne Joy, at three days old.

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Our twins, Henry (left) and Julianne, together at three days old.

It’s almost indescribable the feeling of meeting our babies for the first time. It’s shock and awe, in the very best way possible. They absolutely took my breath away.

Henry and Julianne were doing lots of sleeping when they first arrived, so the three of us basically stared and cooed and generally were puddles while watching them snooze after they were rolled into the room. We did some gentle poking and prodding, trying not to wake them, but so curious and excited about those little swaddled beings.

I know we’re incredibly biased. I know. But they are SO CUTE. And loveable. And cuddle-able. My god. I feel it so strongly it almost makes my chest hurt.

Henry eventually woke up and we got to hold him for the first time. He spent a lot of time in my arms, and feeding him a bottle and burping him for the first time was just a gobsmacking experience. There was the probably very normal first-time parent paranoia (“Am I doing this right?!”) and luckily we had Grandma Ellen there (with experience in raising four of her own) to help us along the way.

“Josh,” she said with a kind laugh, “you’re going to have to pat him harder than that if you actually want him to burp.”

I did. And then Henry did. (Burp, that is.)

Bless her.

I got to hold Julianne for a while, too (so tiny! so many facial expressions!), and then we changed their diapers for the first time. We got them into some of the Carter’s half-onesies we brought (the kind that leave room for their still-healing umbilical cords), and swaddled them in the super soft, really cute Aden and Anais blankets we got at our baby shower.

There are so many cliche, over-the-top things to say about all of this. Bliss. Cloud nine. Surreal. Amazing. Over the moon. Knock me over with a feather. I mean, I could go on and on.

But you probably get the picture. (And now literally, having seen them above, you really do get the picture.)

For now, time for some sleep.

More soon from Mumbai.

–Josh

We’re In Mumbai!

14 May

We made it onto our standby flight! It was really nerve-racking for a while, but the critical thing is that we made it.

flying to mumbai new dads on the blockMatt, Ellen, and I flew 14 hours and 10 minutes, direct from Newark, NJ, to Mumbai, India.

The flight really wasn’t so bad. We all watched movies, they both slept quite a bit (I slept only a little), but we got there safe and sound and without too much fuss.

It took 23 hours (almost to the exact minute) from the time we closed our apartment door in New York City, to the time we got into our hotel room in Mumbai. We were so thrilled to take hot showers, change into pajamas (felt like such a luxury!) and head to bed.

In the morning it’s off to the hospital to meet and hold the kids for the first time. (!)

–Josh

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Quick Update

12 May

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THE TWINS WERE BORN!

11 May

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Our son, Henry Charles, and daughter, Julianne Joy, were born at 12:08 a.m. (Mumbai time) on May 12, 2013. Henry is 5.2 lbs. and Julianne is just over 4 lbs. Everyone, including our surrogate, is healthy and doing well. WE ARE SO THRILLED! We will fly out Monday and hold them and meet them first thing Wednesday morning. 🙂

Time To Go To India!

11 May

In the late hours of Thursday night, we got an e-mail from our clinic.

“Your surrogate is doing well, and so are the twins. We spoke with her treating doctor today. Please try to reach Mumbai by May 15/16. The delivery will likely happen by end of next week.”

When you read that kind of e-mail, you just try not to drop your phone. 😉

It’s hard to explain the rush of relief and joy in finally knowing the date to be there, and also knowing that things are going well.

The twins’ pediatrician in the U.S. told us to hope and pray for 36 weeks of gestation and 5 lbs. each. As of today, the pregnancy is 35 weeks along, and the babies are approximately 4.7 and 4.9 lbs. (extrapolated from knowing their weight as of May 2, and the fact that twins gain, on average, almost an ounce a day at the end of a pregnancy), so it seems things are all on the right track.

On Friday I went into the office for the very last time. I cleared out my desk, left my access pass, and said goodbye to my colleagues. (They all knew it’d be hasta la vista once we got that e-mail from our clinic.) I’ll still be answering work e-mails until May 17, but after that, I’m officially a full-time dad.

mumbai india map new dads on the blockOn Monday, my mother-in-law, Ellen, will fly to Newark from Wilmington, NC. Matt and I will meet her there, and then we’ll all hop on a flight to Mumbai together. On Tuesday, May 14, we’ll finally be back in India.

In the meantime, we’ll be distracting ourselves with cleaning the house (so it’s not a wreck when we get back) and packing and repacking.

So, guys, this is it. On Monday we’re heading back to India, and soon we’ll meet and hold our twins. (!)

–Josh

FaceTime with Our Pup

11 May

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Our dog, Butter, is staying with family in Wilmington, NC, until we get back from India with the twins. (We haven’t left yet–we expect to do that next week.) We’ve been away from him for two weeks now, and we’re really starting to miss him!

So, what do you do when you miss your dog? FaceTime, of course!

Above Matt fires up the ol’ FaceTime with his mom, Ellen, and Butter.

Miss you, little guy!

–Josh

Update: Week 34, Day 4

8 May

Our surrogate had another ultrasound a week ago (at 33 weeks, 3 days).

Our doctor tells us that everything looks normal and good with the continuing pregnancy. (Whew!)

There’s other good news, too: as of 33 weeks and 3 days (about a week ago), the babies weighed 4 lbs. 8 oz. and 4 lbs. 3 oz.

baby on a scale new dads on the blockWhen we met with our pediatrician for the first time (this weekend, right before our pre-baby bachelor party began), Dr. C told us that we should be hoping for 36 weeks of gestation, and 5 lbs each. If we can hit that, she said, we’re basically golden.

This Saturday we’ll hit 35 weeks and, considering that another week and a half will have gone by, hopefully the twins will be getting nearer that 5 lb. mark.

Fingers firmly crossed.

–Josh

P.S. If you’re wondering what 35 weeks pregnant with twins looks like, the photos on Google Images are pretty amazing!

For photos from our lives, check out Instagram @joshcentral, and for up-to-the-minute updates on the babies, we’re on Twitter @thenewdads.

Baby Bachelor Party

7 May

PART ONE

My friends Nina and Kirsten decided to take me out for a sort of pre-kids bachelor party.

“Who knows when we’ll ever get to do this again?” Kirsten said.

We started with dinner at Nizza in Hell’s Kitchen.

“We’re going to need a bottle of that prosecco,” Nina said to our server.

Soon we were eating plates of pasta, drinking our bubbly drinks, and talking non-stop.

After dinner, Kirsten and I thought we’d all head home, but Nina had other plans.

“Guys, I have a babysitter for three hours,” she said. “We are not going home. We’re getting drinks.”

flaming saddles hells kitchen new dads on the blockThat is, of course, how the three of us ended up at Flaming Saddles, the pseudo-country gay bar where the cute bartenders do line dances on the bar top between pouring drinks.

As Nina worked on her martini, and Kirsten and I drank our Jameson-and-gingers, we talked about Nina’s kids, and Kirsten’s latest writing project, and watched the bartenders do a few dances on the bar top.

“I’m really going to miss this,” I said as the night wrapped up and we collected our things. Soon we were on the corner, hailing Nina a cab.

“We’ll come and visit you when the twins are born,” Nina said.

“Promise?” I asked.

“Promise,” Kirsten said.

As a new dad staying home with twins, I’ll probably be so excited to see them when they come over that I’ll be the one doing dances on tabletops.

But quietly, of course, so I don’t wake the sleeping children.

PART TWO

On Saturday, our friend Josh S. (yes, another Josh) gave us tickets to the Off-Broadway comedy Old Jews Telling Jokes.

Before the show, Matt and I headed to Ajisen Ramen in Flushing, Queens, for some authentic ramen. Afterward, we saw our 2 p.m. matinee, and had a great time. (We’re still repeating some of jokes to each other, days later.)

“You know,” Matt said when we got out of the matinee, “I really want to see The Last Five Years before it closes. This might be our last shot. Who knows when we’ll be on a plane to India.”

So we hit the TKTS booth in Times Square, and suddenly we had half-price tickets for the 8 p.m. show.

But, of course, what to do with the four hours before the performance?

Why, an early dinner at Junior’s, of course, followed by the 5 p.m. 3D screening of Iron Man 3.

last five years old jews telling jokes iron man 3 new dads on the blockTwo shows in a day, with a movie sandwiched in between, plus two meals out? So decadent. So fun.

After Iron Man 3, which we both enjoyed (so impressed with the series’ ability to balance action with comedy), we headed to our final show of the day.

I can’t say enough about The Last Five Years. It’s now among my top-five favorites musicals. We laughed. (A lot.) We cried. (A little.) It was the perfect ending to our cultural excursion.

We finished our marathon day with drinks at Therapy, where we met a couple of friends and chatted over cocktails.

new york city nyc diner food new dads on the blockBy 1 a.m. we were back in Astoria, at our favorite all-night diner, putting away some breakfast food and reminiscing about our last-chance do-it-all-now-before-kids day of adventures.

Couldn’t have asked for a more fun day, or a better baby bachelor party.

–Josh

The Infant CPR Class

7 May

When Matt and I took our twin infant parenting class, one of the recommendations Natalie Diaz had for us was to take an infant CPR class.

“You never want to have to use those skills,” she said, “but if you do ever have to use them, that knowledge will be priceless.”

Sold.

infant cpr new dads on the block blogWe heard about Little Hearts CPR here in NYC, signed up for the class online, and in no time at all we were sitting in a classroom in the West 30s with a dozen parents and parents-to-be, and a dozen infant CPR dolls.

Matt and I breathed a little sigh of relief after the 2.5-hour class. Hopefully if our kids have an emergency (or a kid at the playground, or a friend’s kid, etc.) we’ll be able to help.

The peace of mind was worth every penny.

–Josh