Some of you are able to answer that question with one word. Clowns, thunderstorms, ghosts…
It is a bit more complex to me.
If I had to answer that question with one word, I’d have to say: “Everything“.
I’m afraid of all things, real or not. But, most of all, I am afraid of the possibility.
There’s a possibility something terrible will happen today. Anything. It could be the day I find out me, my husband or my girls are terribly sick. It could be the day they get hit by a car. Today could be the day that meteor finally hits our house, out of all houses in the world.
Sure, the possibilities are small. Until you google them, and those “rare” facts start looking pretty damn popular…
And so it starts. The trigger has been pulled.
If you think about the possibilities, the only choice you’ll have is to go crazy. Trust me.
But that bullet it’s going pretty fast towards the target, at this point.
In real life it means you got so scared you started acting like all that shit you are afraid of is not a possibility anymore. It’s actually happening. You see signs and symptoms everywhere.
How does it feel like? Torture.
Your breaths are short, you can’t eat, nothing is fun or funny anymore… after all, this IS your last day with your loved ones.
As apocalypse settles inside your chest, you still need to function. You still need to go to work, take care of your kids, be there for your husband and answer to your mom’s 37 calls. “Are you ok?” . “Are you ok?”. “Are you ok NOW?”
I have to admit that sometimes I’m actually slightly distracted, until I get a text from her saying “don’t worry”. So, I actually REMEMBER I’m supposed to worry.
So, how exactly do I handle this?
Well, sometimes the fear is so great, it’s exhausting so I just go: “fuck it, if something terrible happens, I’ll just fix it, it’s not going to kill me TODAY, so TODAY I’ll just watch a fucking comedy movie and enjoy my evening.” – That is a lovely way of handling things and I profoundly thank Seth Rogen and James Franco for being so high all the time (maybe only Rogen?) and creating all these movies whose soul purpose are to get me through this.
After I watch my movie and calm down a little bit, I start trying to put my finger on what caused the crisis. See… in order for the trigger to be pulled, there must be a stressful situation going on, whether you’ve noticed it or not.
Once I figure out what that was (sometimes it’s not clear, sometimes it’s RIGHT THERE) I find a solution for that. Once the solution is found, whenever I think about the possibility again I just figure, “ok, THAT is highly unlikely”.
And I breath again.
All the way until my next crisis.
*Important ps: Finding a solution may involve hours of google search and up to 3 visits to the doctor, it’s not a 5 minute thing… but I’ll get there!
As mothers, all we wanna do is to cuddle with our babies.
When a mother is born, a great fear is born with her. We are afraid of losing our babies and we are also afraid that our babies might lose us way too soon, before they are ready, before they understand what death is.
Death is a big part of the world right now. Therefore, I find myself scared of sending them to school, to concerts, or even to the playground.
Still, this paralyzing fear cannot make me wonder if I should in fact have had children. Nothing could ever change my mind. I was born to be their mom. I knew I’d be afraid. I have always been afraid of everything.
I am a runner who ran away from a place she considered not to be safe for her children. Yet, as I listen to the benefit concert Ariana Grande did for the victims of the attack in Manchester I can’t help but think to myself “is there a safe place”? If there is, can we call just go there?
I know all of us moms would love to be there. This world is not meant for a mother’s heart.
How does a mother who can’t protect her baby in her arms feel? How does a mother who can’t feed her children feel? How does a mother with a sick child feel?
What the fuck is wrong with this world? Actually, what the fuck is right?
People have “unfriend” me on facebook when I moved to Canada. Out of jealousy, maybe. Not the terrorists, the good people. The people who are supposed to “fight” evil.
This is something I’ve learned from my husband and my amazing best friend. I’ve learned to be tolerant, to give people a chance, to just fucking let them be happy – no matter how stupid their accomplishments might seem to you.
But these people can’t do that.
Unhappy people are unable to just let others be. They want everything to be more miserable than they are. That way, they won’t feel like the most miserable people on Earth.
Some people will just envy you, unfriend you from the stupid facebook. Some people will attack our babies and make every mother’s worst fears come to life.
“Terror” is, in fact, a good word to describe it, no wonder they use it.
Right now, I am terrified of life and I don’t know where to run.
I’ve watched the interviews where they asked the children at the Manchester benefit concert “why did you come back?” and they said “because you can’t live in fear. you have to live your life”.
They are right. I have lived in fear for months longer than I can count. Every day I waste worrying about something that is not happening, just afraid of the bad stuff that could happen is a day I did not live.
Fear is a powerful thing.
I hope I can teach my children to not be afraid and to live their lives but for that to happen I guess I should learn how to do that myself.
When it came to pregnancy, I always knew I was different from most women. I’ve notice that particularly when I was pregnant. I was certainly not into natural labour or having the baby at home or whatever. To me, pregnancy would resume in several months of panic wondering about the zillion things that could go wrong with me or my baby and at the end, one of us could actually die, not mattering what kind of labour I chose. I was never afraid of the pain, I was just afraid I wouldn’t survive that moment.
When I was in 5th grade, I shared that thought of mine with a classmate who said to me “You are saying this now, but you’re gonna grow old and mature”.Well, that never happened. I mean, I have gotten old, but I’m still pretty immature.
But the funny thing is, being afraid of labour has never made me not want to have a child! At all. I’ve always wanted to be a mom! I just hate hospitals or going through situations with a risk of death (like flying).
So, I got pregnant.
When I was pregnant a ridiculous amount of women came to touch my belly, without even saying “excuse me”. They’d smile at me on the street and everyone would make the same cliche questions “when are you due?”; “is it a boy or a girl?” followed by, in my particular case, “your belly is so low, you’re almost going into labour! That’s what happened to me!”
Woman, my belly has been low since day 1! I wanted to punch everyone who was so sure I was delivering my babies at the end of the 4th month so hard!
I was in pain. All-the-time. By the end of the second week I couldn’t get up by myself. My uterus enlarged so fast, it pressured my nerve, so, I pretty much couldn’t move. But I did move, of course, it just took me while before I could actually breathe again after changing from one position to another. I certainly did not need strangers coming and touching me and sharing their opinions about my situation.
Not to mention I had a 7cm myoma standing out, so everyone (including the doctors) would exclaim “oh! a little feet!” and, of course, touch it. Don’t touch it, people! It hurts like hell! According to fabulous Dr. Henri: myomas don’t hurt. Well, doc, mine did. A lot! Let’s talk when you grow an uterus.
Up until this day, and it has always been this way, if I see a pregnant girl on the street, I’m thinking “poor little thing, that’s gotta be uncomfortable!”. And that has nothing to do with the baby! I’ve always wanted to have children, and, every time I look at my girls, I wanna have 5 more! But then I’d have to get pregnant again and again and I’m not sure I’d survive that.
So, being pregnant wasn’t special or great or beautiful. It was a sequence of infinite pain, and fears. I was afraid of going through labour, I was afraid of dying, I was afraid I’d hit my belly too hard on something, I was afraid of tripping and falling belly-down, I was terrified if they spent hours without moving (minutes, seconds), I was afraid of posting about my being pregnant of facebook because something could go wrong and all that would be left would be that facebook filled with “I’m so sorry” messages. I was afraid of leaving my girls. I was afraid that the could grow up without a mother like my grandmother did. I was afraid of everything. Absolutely everything. And since I am the girl with the phobias, being afraid is a bit more intense to me than it is to you, normal mom. (is there such thing?).
Well, I was basically to afraid to enjoy the moment. I just wanted it to be over and make sure all 3 of us had survived and that we were ok.
When my 7th month started, the list of experts around me grew. “Twins are usually born early! It’s practically a miracle you’ve made it this far! You’ll have your babies in the next couple of days”. I was googling like a crazy person to find out how far pregnant I’d have to be for my babies to have a good chance of survival due to these comments. They were born with 37 weeks and 3kg each, but thank you for your opinions. All of you. But still, I had never been there before so, every time I felt something, I ran to the hospital.
One time, one of the monsters. I’m sorry, not MONSTER, I mean, special being, sent my God who is by far smarter than everyone else for being become a doctor looked at the wounds in my lower belly (which had been caused by torn skin… like a super stripe mark that split open) and said “Oh, you’ve had a c-section before!”. So, I answered “No, I havent.” And he complemented “ARE YOU SURE?”. NO! I’m not sure! Now that you’ve mentioned, I’ve just remembered I have another baby at home, but I had totally forgotten! I am so forgetful!
I understand that, specially in a 3rd world country, there’s a huge part of the population who is completely ignorant, but, excuse me, Sir., you were talking to someone who had been to university. For crying out loud, how could I possibly not know if I had have a c-section before?
And last, but not least, the hospital was inside the university, which means there are 6 male students watching me, naked over a bed, who thought it would be interesting to learn about what a uterus about to break felt like BY TOUCHING IT.
Suddenly I wasn’t a human being anymore. I went to a place far away from my body and imagined myself flying away. I felt violated. The only reason why I didn’t spend the next few weeks lying on the bed in fetal position was because I couldn’t get in such position. I wanted to cover myself with 1000 blankets and sew my legs together forever.
Week 32 started and the doctor (who thinks he’s God) wanted me to stay in the hospital because, according to him, I was about to give birth to my babies. I would have to spend both Christmas and New Year’s away. This would be really sacrificing for my family. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to not spend christmas with my husband and parents to spend it in a hospital that had blood on the floor and screaming roommates with suspicious life stories.
I told the doctor I wasn’t emotionally stable enough to deal with that. And maybe it’s me being spoiled, but guess what? It is my life and I get to chose what bothers me. And that did bother me. I was huge, in main, scared, I did not need to spend Christmas in a hospital. Me, of all people. The greatest fan Christmas ever had!
So, I went home and promised to stay in bed. Which I didn’t.
I kept on walking every day, like always. Well, not like always, I was obviously taking much shorter walks at this point. And I waited and waited for my water to break at any second, ’cause I believe the doctor when he said it was hours away from happening.
So, I started thinking about labor and delivery, which was something I was really afraid of. It was getting real. My whole life, I thought this was the way I was going to die. I couldn’t picture myself with the babies or any moment after that. That was it. Maybe it’s because I grew up listening to the story of how my great grandmother died after labour and how my mom lost so much blood she passed out several times when I was born and no one knew if she was gonna be ok. She needed a c-section, but my sweet grandmother wouldn’t pay for one, ’cause she decided my mom had to feel the pain to become a mom, or whatever. It’s funny the way people sometimes decode not to help their children ’cause they have to learn things on their own. Sometimes, it’s a bit too extreme. My mom almost died, but she learned her lesson, according to grandma. My parents have always helped me out in any way they could. As I grew up, I started helping them too. And hope my girls feel about me the way I do about them, when it comes to that. It’s important to feel like you’re not alone in this world. In my family, at least, it is. But that’s up for each person to decide, I guess.
As the delivery date got closer, all those people who support the humanized childbirth came on explaining to me that it was indeed possible to have a natural childbirth, squatting, in the bathtub, at home, God knows where, even if I was having twins, triplets or more.
The feeling I got from these groups was of total intolerance. Is was either their way or I was less of a mom than they were. This woman on my facebook mom group actually had a heart attack because she wasn’t able to breastfeed. Moms should stop being so hard on one another. Motherhood is already hard enough without the bullying.
I went to the doctor on a Monday, the 6th. He had lead me to believe that he’d be scheduling my birth for that very same day, or the day after.
So, there I was with my 1.35m stomach (circumference) and I was still 1.51m tall. Totally unfair. The doctor told me I was doing so well, he’d schedule the c-section for the 13th. Here’s a picture of that particular day:
I know, I know, a lot of people give birth to twins, or more and I was being a big baby about it, but I was tired, I was in pain, I couldn’t sit down anymore. You know how people turn to their left side to sleep when they’re pregnant? Well, I couldn’t do that. When I set down and opened my legs, my belly touched the chair. I hadn’t slept in months. Women complain about the 3rd trimester being so uncomfortable, and it had been that way for me since the 4th month. I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE and the doctor wanted me to wait another whole week? A week felt like 2540 days at that point. After I got those news, I spent the whole day crying.
On the next day, I went for a little walk.
That same day I had taken a pill for urinary infection and started peeing myself (that’s not true, but it’s what I thought). I asked my super-experient mom if my water had broken and she said no! She said that what was happening to me was totally different and I was probably just having an urinary incontinence.
So, I went to bed. Which was a terrible idea.
Whe n I laid on the bed, I felt a pain that started in my feet and smashed my head to the size of an egg. I punched my husband, ’cause I didn’t have the strength to say his name and we ran to the hospital
I called my doctor, who was sleeping and told me he wouldn’t come.
It took us around 15 minutes to get to the hospital and the intern told me that not only my water had in fact broken, I was actually 7cm dilated.