big bother | 

Brian Dowling can’t put on his wedding rings as his swollen fingers are ‘like sausages’

‘My wedding rings are, like, coming halfway down. I’ve noticed that, in the mornings, swollen, engorged, fingers, like, sausages. Why?’

Brian Dowling

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Brian Dowling has taken to Instagram to complain that his fingers have swollen up “like sausages” to the extent he can’t put on his wedding rings.

The former Big Brother contestant revealed the unusual affliction in a short clip in which he expresses his frustration.

“Everyone, happy Wednesday, were nearly halfway through the week and it’s coming up to 7.30pm. Got a good night’s sleep, yay,” he begins.

He then adds: “My fingers, my hands, are so swollen I can’t put on my wedding rings.

“My wedding rings are, like, coming halfway down. I’ve noticed that, in the mornings, swollen, engorged, fingers, like, sausages. Why?”

Earlier this month, Brian and husband Arthur Gourounlian revealed the difficulties they faced while going through surrogacy.

Brian and the Dancing with the Star’s judge welcomed their daughter Blake in September after Mr Dowling’s younger sister Aoife acted as their surrogate.

The couple were speaking ahead of the release of their one-off documentary, Brian & Arthur’s Very Modern Family, which followed the trio as they prepared to welcome the new arrival, as well as the difficulties they faced along the way.

Mr Dowling said the documentary which aired eel this month, captures the highs and lows of their journey to parenthood.

“For us, it was sharing what happens when Instagram stops. We always keep our Instagram quite positive and fun and light, and I think what the documentary does is it kind of goes behind the scenes a bit more,” he told

“How vulnerable we felt, the legality of it all. We were going through surrogacy when there were no regulations, it wasn’t legal or illegal in that sense.

“People get a chance to hear from Aoife; it’s quite nice to hear Aoife’s voice and how she’s feeling. I think for us, to get the opportunity to do that on Irish television as two gay men, you don’t really see that that often.

“I think we wanted to show people that it’s not been plain sailing, that it has been a struggle.”

Mr Gourounlian added: “I personally never even knew where to start with surrogacy, I’m still learning about legislation, so if it helps a couple of people then my job is done.”

Mr Dowling said under Irish law, his sister Aoife is considered Blake’s biological mother even though the couple used a donor egg.

Currently, there are no laws in Ireland to govern either domestic or international surrogacy.

“Behind the scenes, there’s so much going on in our situation with paperwork. As it stands with Irish law, and our experience with our daughter, my sister Aoife is considered Blake’s biological mother, which she is not,” he said.

“Only one of our names is down as father. Obviously, Blake only has one biological father; we always knew that and that’s not an issue for us.

“As a father and a man, myself, in this day and age, in hospitals and in law, the mother has all the say. If Aoife was married, her husband would go down as Blake’s father.

“Aoife doesn’t want to have her name down on any legal paperwork regarding Blake as her mother. Aoife wants that removed with new legislation. Even the day Blake was born there was a lot of paperwork going on.

“Aoife had to sign paperwork to allow us to have some sort of input into our daughter's medical care and that was very odd; Aoife wanted no responsibility for that.

“On the day, we were very lucky. They looked after us at the National Maternity Hospital, they were so good. Obviously, our situation is unique. Arthur and I were in one room and Aoife was in another; we had the baby, you don’t see that every day, but the staff were great.”

Mr Dowling said Blake, who is now six months old, has a “sassy” personality and hates to miss out on anything.

“She’s sitting up, she’s very determined. She’s very quiet – she rarely ever cries, she cries if she’s overtired, but she hates to sleep to miss out on anything,” he said.

Arthur added: “Since I’ve lived in Ireland, I know Irish people love to gossip; I was like you’re definitely an Irish-Armenian woman. We call her nosey Nora.”

Arthur, who speaks four languages, said he is adamant to raise Blake in a bilingual house.

“I think French is the one I was comfortable to speak to her, so I’m always trying to speak French to her, and she loves it,” he said.

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