Archive for May, 2011

a birth story…

that morning i woke up feeling tired for the first time in 37 weeks of a wonderful pregnancy. someone once told me “the moment you feel tired, something’s about to happen”… they were right.

my c-section was scheduled for two days later and i had spent the day before enjoying a wonderful time with friends on our terrace eating a great and tasty bbq. i was not worried, but that morning i woke up wanting to go back to bed. my sister sent me an sms very early knowing i was waking up early too to pick up my in-laws telling me that i should measure my blood pressure just to keep an eye on it until the delivery on wednesday… she knew i had no more appointments until then so as a doctor herself her advice was very clear. as he went into the coffee place i decided to go to the pharmacy and have that blood pressure measured… as the nurse measured it and his eyes become worried i felt a small panic inside… “maybe you should call your doctor…” i did… “stay calm… get someone to drive you to the hospital asap and i’ll be right there” i cried… there was no one to drive me… i drove myself to the hospital with a very high blood pressure, two babies kicking and tears swelling up in my eyes… while i drove, he made a few calls and his parents who were already waiting for us at the airport were picked up by someone else and found out in their first moments in lisbon that they’re 5th and 6th grandchildren were about to be born.

as i parked the car in a non-parking zone and walked slowly to the EMERGENCY entrance at the São Francisco Xavier Maternity Ward in Lisbon i felt better, someone feeling them move and kick made me know we were ok. the three of us.

the doctor that received me was not the onw i was witing for… in a public hospital you can’t really chose… so i took it as it came. she meassured my blood pressure confirming it was too high. she decided that i should calm down a bit before deciding to deliver the babies and with that deciding also to do one last ecography to see if everything was ok.

it was then that my sister walked in and held my hand. things weren’t supposed to be this way but it took about 5 long minutes of silence, 2 more minutes of calling another doctor and a very long sigh… “one baby hasn’t survived” i heard… i’m sure my heart skipped a few beats. my sister, doctor as she is but more importantly my sister, gasped, cried, and left to not make me nervous. i yelled to her not to tell him… and i told the doctor ignorant as i alsways have been in medicine… “it’s not true. they’re both alive… but if i’m wrong, please get my little bosy out” no one had told me they were boys, but i knew it, for 37 long weeks i knew they were boys… two… two alive little boys. but i’m not a doctor, just a pregnat woman speaking as afraid as she’s ever been. tears ran down my cheeks slowly and quietly and a silent prayer was said. i felt the kicks still and secretly hoped the doctor was wrong. another 2 minutes went by that seemed so long until i hear “no… it’s here, it’s here. they’re both alive”, no excitement, no happiness but a beating tiny heart making all the noise it could to make mommy know everything was going to be ok.

after that everything went a bit too quickly eventhough i had to lay down for about 20mins in order to slow down my blood pressure and be ready to deliver the babies in a c-section.

i didn’t tell him straight away, i let him not worry about it until the day after. so i went into this surgery room hoping i’d leave it with two perfect little boys that would be as beautiful as he was… at least to me.

c-section isn’t something i’d chose myself, but i believed and still do that mother’s in labor should suffer the least in order to give their best afterwards. in case of twins, if one delivery can strain you, two is just crazy. i didn’t give much thought, i wanted them out, clean and smelling of CHICCO products, no matter how they got there. but… if i can be totally honest a c-section is a traumatizing occasion. i hated it. i felt as if they were just plainly shaking my body back and forth, i felt nauseous, dizzy, tired and i admit, afraid. not feeling almost your whole body is a horrible experience… until… until you hear that cry.

matteo arrived first right at 13:01, just in time for mommy to skip lunch and there for helping me lose weight… he cried, not loud, but still a powerful cry. Federico arrived three minutes later at 13:04, crying the same tiny, quiet but beautiful sound. this time tears fell again but my heart pounded so much stronger! they were here… just a meter away from me… they were alive. i kept thinking they’d die riht away, thinking that because they couldn’t find a heartbeat that someone they were born with some defection in their hearts…

i cried a lot, silently, watching the nurses clean and dress them, but it wasn’t until they brought them to me, and laid them in my arms that i realized there was nothing to cry about, nothing to be afraid, they needed me and i was ready, whatever came our way i was there. they were finally here… my tiny little boys.

the three of us “lived” together still by ourselves for another two hours, and in those two hours i talked to them constantly, reminding them who i was, what was about to happen and how i wished the best in the world. they were the most perfect little boys and i was the happiest and most fullfilled woman on the planet at that moment. at least until he saw them and named them… then yes, i was done. everything i ever wanted was there… the pain was gone, the fright relieved, and worriness diluted… at least for then. and he was in love.

three days later we went home, from that moment on we were a family, learning everyday, together and for eachother.

i will never forget the day you were born my bunnies and no matter how scared i was deep inside i knew it couldn’t be true. sometimes instinct is all that keeps you focused. trust it… always.


1 year!


10… 11!

it’s not that the 10th months of their lives doesn’t deserve a post of it’s own, but when i realised it was already too late… it went by not quickly but full of so many things that i couldn’t keep up!

it was their first month when they were sick, they had had a cough or so before, a fever a few times but never long and this time it came crashing down on them, to the point of resisting antibiotics. i hate them specially thinking about using them on little babies, of ocurse i wouldn’t be such an idiot if they had to use it, but risting is a priority to me… but we arrived to a point of doing something other european parents never think of… the malaria test! we tried not thinking of it too much but it’s necessary, and it was negative, thank goodness. of course deep inside i thought it couldn’t be positive, but it’s awful to hear their litle cries and realize that you wish you didn’t have to hurt them and live in a place where these diseases don’t exist. so, i cried too with them and hated that feeling because i’m supposed to tell them “it’s ok” and believe it… but for the first time in their lives i realised that i don’t know if it’s going to be ok all the time… i just wish as hard as them that it will.

we spent a few nights not sleeping very well, between feeding them light things and watching not want to play so long, and helping them breath with air masks and holding them for hours because they really needed to be cuddled and held close to our hearts. it went on for a while and a lot of cough syrup, a lot of aerosol machine noises, but they came ou perfectly well and in the end we know they had a “bronquiolite”, someone please trasnlate this is other languages because i sure have no clue what it is in dutch!

anyway to compensate this as soon as they were better their grandmother came to visit and brought them new shoes making them a lot more eager to stand up and hold on to the dvd collection bookcase and trying to get them out and decide for us which movie we’d see. they were slowly understanding how to reach things higher than themselves and how to get around the room… but crawling… that seemed ages from them!

by the time they were on their 11th month we took a weekend off to Ponta do Ouro and relax with our Mozambican “family” and enjoy what might be the last real summer weekend before the african cold comes around. Mila made sure these boys grew up quickly and made up for their ill days. because she, at 19months old, moves and walks and runs like the wind, these little boys didn’t know what was happening but i«m sure it was because of her energy and that good weather and that amazing beach that made them realize that the world is yet to be discovered!!! so… three days with her and by the time we were home i set them down on the wooden floor as i unpacked their bag from the weekend and off they went, crawling like never bef they had been wound up for a few days and were now crawling for the time they had spent not crawling. and they’re FAST!!!! we can’t keep up, and after 2 hours of running after them and saying things like “no!”, “don’t touch that!”, “not the shoes!”, “not the electrical wires!”, “no, no, no!” we gave up… we jsut let them go and wonder what they do next. somethings they have learnt not to do or touch, but others like computer wires and computers in general are too temptive. they basically explore everything and anything, so from this last month, every toom that is forbidden has the door closed, every cupboard with detergents, plates, pans, toiletries, anything is closed at all times. the kitchen is a NO NO zone and they somehow understand it when they’re already 1m away from the door, other rooms no matter how much we try to explain, they still go stright for it. and where one bunny goes, the other one follows. always! M. tends to be the leading man, he talks ALL THE TIME and it’s almost as if he’s talking to F. explaining what new adventure they’ll go on next, they make a line and off they go. one stands up, the other stands up, one picks up a shoe on the way, the other tries to get to the shoe too, one choses one dvd, the other choses another, and so on…

it’s a lot of fun. ok… also a hell of a job, but we love it in the end. because no matter how exhausting they make us, or themselves they alwasy collapse in our arms at night and know just how to become the perfect, quiet, still little boys they were born as. and i love silence, actually i don’t but now i do!

what else? oh yes, new foods have arrived, beans, bread (it took my a while to give it to them… seeing how much i love bread and how much it has given me, i wanted my kids to wait), fruit juices (again, unnecessary sugars), minced meat, a bit of ice cream (oops), one or two french fries (oops again), pizza (they say once they’re 1 they can eat anything… what’s 2 weeks going to change anything?? trying to make them have dinner at the dinner table has been a challenge, i try but i’m so lazy. so we end up giving them their dinner watching “toy story” so they can stay still… because if you’re not careful they’ll be inside the bathtub in one second! it’s a challenge.

and what can i say… they’re growing… and it’s so nice to watch from such a close angle. and hear sounds that almost make sense but only they get it and we pretend to our friends that we’re experts in it, but what do we know? ppfff!

in 17 days we’re off to lisbon and milan for a deserved holiday and 2birthday celebrations (we’re this type of family), one with PARABÉNS and another with AUGURI… soon another with GELUKKIGE VERJAARDAG  hopefully. it’ll be an experience, besides plane rides… and my babies will turn into little boys!

it’s my fault

he’s dying and it’s my fault

i’m making him cry at night

and his heart hurts everytime i pick up the phone

i could blame someone else but i shouldn’t…

it’s me

he will die soon and i’ll be too far from him

i’ll hold his hand but he’ll die without me

i could blame someone else but i shouldn’t

his voice on the phone aches,

his voice pleads me to come closer

i stay

i struggle

and as if in a dream i want to run but my legs don’t move

i want to hold him but my hands are tied up somewhere i can’t quite see

i could blame someone else but i shouldn’t

if we blame we hurt

if we blame we cry

if we blame we bleeds

we watch and become small

the evil heart turns us into evil people

i am dying myself but they keep me up

he will die and it’s my fault

i can’t hold him up ’cause i’ve given up

i could blame someone else but i shouldn’t

he says it’s not right so it’s me… it’s me killling him… slowly and from so far