I was going through some old pictures today. Pictures from when I was pregnant and from when they were really small. Every time I look at those pictures I’m thinking “I wouldn’t wanna go back there”.
It is a magical moment, so they say, but I remember not having enough time even to cry. I was not allowed to break down and I certainly couldn’t rest. I wanted to cry from lack of sleep. Seriously.
I remember sleeping for a whole 20 minutes on the day my girls were born and thinking “Oh, God! I fell asleep! I CAN’T fall asleep”.
I watch movies where you see a sister, a mom or a friend holding a newborn so that the mom can rest from the labour. Well, that never happened to me. Main reason being because only my husband were allowed to enter the hospital and we had two babies and a mom with no milk. Do your math.
I also remember being trapped inside the house. I couldn’t go anywhere. I had to breastfeed a baby every hour. They’d spend 25 minutes in my breast to stimulate the milk, then I’d switch to the bottle, then I’d change the diaper, rest for 10 minutes and pick up the other baby. That was the routine, including in the middle of the night.
Seven days after the girls were born, I actually left the house for a couple minutes. I felt so free! I could walk again and I didn’t look like THIS anymore:
I remember one day, they were 2 months old precisely and my husband and I had to take the IELTS exam… so, we left the babies with our parents and went out alone for the first time. We felt SO guilty, we finished the test and even though we wanted to take a walk and grab something to eat, we couldn’t do it! We HAD to hurry back to them, even though they consumed every last sign of strength in our bodies.
We couldn’t go anywhere with them really, because any small excitement would cause endless cramps and suffering, so we avoided leaving the house with them because we desperately wanted to sleep for more then one hour straight in the night. I’m not sure if it solved the problem, but the few times we ignored our own rule I WAS HELL. So, we pretty much stuck by our rule and waited for the 100-ish crampy days to go by. Slowly, very slowly.
So, for five months they cried and cried and cried and the only moment they’d stop crying was when they were sleeping. ‘Til one day… they started crying for 3 hours straight instead of 5. Next thing I knew, they were crying for 10 minutes. It was magical!
They actually woke up crying every day until they were about 16 months BUT it was nothing compared to the first 5 months. We wanted to go out, like normal un-encacerated people but we could never take them (harly ever, I mean) and it sucked. It really sucked leaving the house without our babies… our minds were never really there.
I kept imagining what it would be like when they were a bit bigger, when the cramping days would be over, when we could take them to the mall with us and have a good time…
So, one day…
See my point here? Having a newborn beats being pregnant with twins at anytime. Having a 6 months old baby beats having a newborn and having a one year old is a lot less complicated than having a 6 months old baby. I can barely wait to have a baby I can actually talk to and who’ll tell me WHY they’re crying!
Things are always changing. For better!
moving update: 2 and a half weeks to go, people!
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.