Archive for federico

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!


four of four

they warned me, they all said after three months everything would change. you’ll regain some of your life back and you’ll see how different everything is. i believed them, but i think i jumped a few steps… i thought the biggest change would be that my boys would finally sleep a whole night without eating at 4am like they used to, and that they would soon start detaching themselves from my breasts, introducing food into their lives… but i was wrong. my boys still eat at 4am and still drink only my milk, with one exception because they have a daddy who is willing to feed them a bottle of NAN milk just before he goes to bed so that their mommy can sleep a block of 6 hours in a row before she breasfeeds them at that awful hour that 4am is and because she will have to stay awake with the boys from 5:30am on… so clearly things haven’t changed a bit in this department… but should i complain? no!

their fourth month, OUR fourth month went by swiftly making things literally easier for all of us. what i mean by easy is that my little boys are grwoing very well, lenght and weight wise and look adorable like never before. they smile everytime you look at them and slowly but surely they start making new tricks everyday. things like sucking their thumbs or reaching for things, or putting things in their mouths and making horrible faces depending on fabrics, textures and tastes is just too cute. there are reactions on just about anything, if you smile they smile back, if you sing they listen carefully and move slowly to their side, if you talk low to them and it’s almost sleeping time, they start pulling any fabric around them pull it uup to their faces. if daddy’s near and tickles them or just talks they laugh out loud making a very cute sound which i imagine it to a tiny lion learning how to growl. it’s a sound that mean whatever you or them want it to mean, like “again”, or “hello”, or “stay here with me and play” or even “put me down” or “pull me up”. it works.

at 4 months we, i include the parents in this because it is definitely a team effort, have learned to do some amazing exercises, their mother shold learn too, sitting up and holding still, belly down and looking up, roll left and roll back, roll right and roll back again, all of which makes them smile greatly and makes us, dumb, drooling and proud parents so much more in love with these little things we created.

probably the greatest test of this 4th month was for me personally because i had always read that babies should have their own room from the beginning and if not at least from when they were 3months old… and i really believe that for them eventually but especially for you, mommy… and for the couple that made them, it is an essencial step to letting them grow up, even for just a little bit. and so, when they were 3months and 3days (i had to way for a saturday night… so whatever happened i had sunday to relax if things went wrong) my boys slept for the first time in their own beds… at night. that’s another detail, they were sleeping in our bedroom (not on our bed) at ngiht but during the day always in their new beds in their new bedroom, in order for them to get familiar with the smells and feeling of it all… so that first night by themselves it took them seconds to fall asleep, but i stayed awake fro a ocuple of hours… not really knowing what to do but realizing that i couldn’t hear them breathe anymore, or see them or just know that they were there. it was a big challenge but we all made it. sure, it was a test and a hard one because they too, i think felt the distance and cried more than usual, but we held tight and made it through the night… until now. we never gave up and right now they play in their beds before crying to call me, they stay looking at their toys as if they know there’s no need to cry because i’m safe here. and mommy sleeps well, and daddy too… and we know we did the right thing… even if just to make our bedroom looking like an adult place.

so we all had to learn new tricks this month, hoping it never ends and that it only gets better from here. they are indeed growing up very well and soon they will start eating normal food, i wanted it to be at 4months, but their doctor says that my milk is too good for me to give up, so i’ll have them clinging on to me for another while… it’s ok in the end. i wanted to stop but will it be that easy? i don’t think so, so let me just enjoy this for a little bit longer, because now specially now, they eat and really look at me… so why shouldn’t i do it still? it’d be stopping something too beautiful to describe.

they0ve gone to the beach, they’ve seen and heard how tropical rain drops and smells, they have met wonderful people, they know how to chat through skype but mostly they know how to make us happy… except when it’s 40degrees and i have to stick them in the car and the screaming begins an all those smiles seem to have been forgotten… until i give them a bit of water it seems… yesterday on the 10.10.2010 they have their first sip… SIPS… of water and it seems that they like it… or need it. either way, it’s new and we all love new things around here.

waiting to give them a taste of coffee and beer…

detail #036

two boys who don’t cry in the bath makes days like today become great.

three months of the four of us

i was right, the big challenge was definitely going to be Maputo. we made a choice to come back no matter what and we did. we have a house here and jobs we can’t afford to lose, some very dear friends and a life we have to admit is ours and we like it. sure there are a few… no, lots of things i can’t stand here and will one day explain but you have to live it to know it, but this was our choice for a life now and eventhough it’s very hard to explain to anyone, specially family, it’s our choice as individuals, as professionals and foremost as parents now. we believe in this choice, no matter how difficult it can be.

and without sounding like Charlotte in the SATC2 movie, who has lots of difficult moments with her two babies and has full time help and happens to be a millionaire… things can be rather difficult here too. i decided when we arrived that i wasn’t going to work so i can keep breastfeeding my babies and be quietly at home enjoying their fast growing days, but soon after i realized that while he was working and i was home with Edite, our housekeeper, the babies needed constant attention, not because they’re spoiled i believe but because between diapers, helping them fall asleep, breastfeeding, dressing, playing or just plain old organizing them, i couldn’t handle it. i know, there are people who have absolutely no help and still manage, but probably those people sometimes have family around… i don’t. and though that is sort of my choice, i am living my boys to the fullest and that’s why i hired a nanny and i get time not just for “myself” but i can finally work from home and though it’s not much that i can do because like i said, i’m still breastfeeding and for two babies that’s a lot of time busy.

but so, this month was a good month. i started working like i mentioned and again, it’s not much but keeps my mind off of diapers and milk and bottles or whatever, and because it’s from home i can still get up if they need me or just run to their room and kiss them ’til they get fed up, because they do these cute kids! and how cute are they!!?!!! the third month is indeed a great one, a changing one and a very compensating one. just when you think you have no more energy for the routine they’ve got you on, for the crying (which again i can’t complain too much about) for the surprise diapers that make you prefer moving rather than cleaning the house, they start SMILING… and not just those wierd moves they made with their lips when they were “babies”, no, this is definetely a smile, these you can take pictures of, these you can enjoy and brag about it without sounding like you’re too anxious, these mean something… and to me these smiles mean “i know who you are and you’re funny!” when they smile at me.

there is no “crying to be fed” that isn’t calmed down with a small word and a smile in return. that makes up for just about anything. almost as when i was pregnant and when i felt that first big kick and all the nausiousness i had felt went away. sometimes you get fustrated or angry even at yourself because you can’t calm them down, or they refuse to sleep in the afternoon when all you want is to work for an hour or so, or take a nap, or even just have a cup of tea staring at a wall… no matter how angry you can get, when you finally get a smile from them, it just seems all useless, all your stress, they can cure it. that’s how i got through my last months of pregnancy, when they kicked i laughed and felt no need to take naps, now when they smile i feel no need to worry.

but wait. smiles indeed are adorable, but what are smiles without baby chuckles? or without baby hands that try to reach their lips but aren’t coordenate enough, or baby feet that kick and baby legs that seem to want to walk, or baby arms that reach to get you, baby lips that frown when you say “wait one second while i go to the bathroom”, or baby eyes that shed tears when you take too long to get them from their beds in the morning? nothing…

this month was without a doubt a wonderful month for discoveries. specially for personalities, and though all books say never when you have twins compare them, i can’t help but notice how different they are in a few things. M. likes to have people around and will only smile with a chuckle if you tickle him, daddy’s beard works best and mommy’s singing, F. smiles from the moment he sees you and will not give up unless you dissapear, M. discovered his hand and loves eating it while F. only eats his hand if mommy takes a while to notice that he’s awake and hungry in the middle of the night. M. can put his little tiny feet on the bed and pull his butty up almost like asking “pick me up” and F. lifts his arms to ask for “colinho”. i have two boys who love being outside and though they scream while getting in the car, they love the wind, the sunny breeze and the attention they get from aunties, uncles and plain strangers. they have made friends who we try to see as often as we can, such as Mila, Gaspar, Dinis, Madu and hopefully so much more.

they fall asleep to the sound of the Simpsons song and also Futurama and nothing beats the music toy i played on my belly throughout the whole pregnancy. or the 50 laps we do around the hosue in the dark…

this third month took a while, people say it goes by fast, in some things it does, in others it seems perfect. i have two of each little new thing i can’t handle time going by too fast… i am loving getting to know them and i need time. that is why it’s so complicated thinking i won’t be home all the time in the future… i will eventually have to leave for work one day, and this is why i am starting the process of having them sleep in their own room at night too. it’s confortable, more for me, to have them right nex to my bed to breasfeed, but now they already take the day nap in their room in their own beds, so i eventually have to let them go. it’s a big step for them and gigantic for me. i confess… the thought of changing rooms twice during the night makes me a bit lazy, but i know i can do it, we can all do it. it’s for their best.

and then, maybe then, i can start working in the office again and pretend i don’t have two adorable bunnies at home. but won’t it be worth it having them greet me with kisses and hugs? yes it will…

but until then, i’ll enjoy having them close in every sense and being able to give them the most wonderful food of the world, the most natural and the most safe makes me feel important and that somehow we’re still attached… funny because there are some days when i silently wish it to stop and for them to not depend on me so much, breasfeeding takes time, energy and iron away and somedays i feel dead… but then there ARE those smiles again and i wonder if i truly believe in detaching them from me…

maybe next month…

ah and by the way, it feels great to have them know exactly who i am and who he is. to be the special person who after hours in someone else’s arms can calm them down with just a kiss… this is my revenge for all the kids i babysat since i was 12 and only calmed down when mommy dearest arrived. there! i have two kids that adore me too!! ;)

another detail… they hate taking a bath…

detail #034

twelve weeks and not yet three months

detail #033

today… was a great day for both of them to START SMILING!!!!! two smily faces in one day, it’s too good!

detail #031