The truth about my pregnancy: Childbirth

So, my water broke.

I got to the hospital from hell and a resident, who wished she was anywhere but there, told me I was 7cm dilated and had 10 minutes to decided if I wanted to move to a better hospital or have the girls there. I had had 2 contractions , just two! The whole thing had lasted about 20 minutes and I had 10 minutes do decide??? What happened with “You have 24 hours to make it to a hospital after you water breaks”?

In my head I was thinking “ok. This ends today, and we’ll soon all be ok. The 3 of us.” And that’s when the resident told me the news: “If there’s no reason for a c-section you’re delivering these babies naturally.” The earth stopped spinning for a second as I decided I couldn’t panic, even though I wanted to. I wanted to scream and cry on the floor like a baby… I wanted to run away. I knew I couldn’t do it. I had been in pain for the past 8 months. I didn’t have the strength to push a human being out of me… and another one a few minutes after that. It was my body, but not my decision. No one cared about how I felt about it or what I wanted, it was a public hospital and I didn’t have the power to decide on anything. “That’s the procedure” the doctor said. I had no idea what that doctor’s name was, since she never spoke to me as a human person. To her, I was a number, an object to be studied. She didn’t care if the 3 of us survived or not.
People seam to rush to attack doctors who prefer scheduling a c-section instead of waiting for the baby to be ready for a natural birth, but they seam to forget that it’s a pretty scary thing to not be ready for a natural child birth and suddenly see yourself forced to have one. I often read about the dangers of a c-section, I not so often read about the dangers of a natural childbirth, but I know they are there and they scare the hell out of me. My grandmother grew up without a mom because of this and also, my mom almost died when I was born. I was scared. I thought I was going to die, I thought I could lose one of my babies or both of my babies. I kept picturing my husband alone with 2 babies, my dad holding his grandchildren and showing them the pictures of what their mother used to look like… I was the living picture of desperation.

But I’m the girl with the luck on her side and baby Agatha made me a huge favor… she somehow moved to a position where natural childbirth wasn’t possible anymore. Aurora was already not in position and so it was decided: There was no time to wait anymore… I was getting a c-section.

A couple months later, at Walmart the cashier told me she was supposed to have 2 babies, but she only had one, because, at that very same hospital, the doctor told her “it was the procedure” and the second baby didn’t make it out alive. She heard the residents say she needed a c-section, but the doctor was working on a budget, apparently. The natural childbirth was a lot less expensive for the hospital so she went back home with her baby daughter and baby boy’s clothes; the doctor went home with a black eye that day. I’m not the one to encourage violence, but you have to excuse a mom who just lost her child. She wanted to kill the doctor, but she didn’t… she had to be home for her baby.

Coincidence or not, the girl standing next to me in line told me a similar story. Lack of oxygen for her second baby or something… I was too appalled to pay attention to what she was saying. They both cried when they saw my girls.

So, there I was, on my way to the evil surgery that was going to make me less of a mom than the other moms, apparently, according to many, many blogs. I didn’t feel the anesthesia at all. At this point I started to panic and couldn’t breathe properly anymore. I asked someone to hold me because my arms was jumping up and down and I couldn’t control that at all. I was living my last moments on earth.
At one point the anesthesiologist looked at the monitor and went “oh, I think there’s a problem with this moment, because she has low blood pressure and it’s reading a really high mark”. It was 170 over something. I looked at that monitor and I knew it was right. I had been there before, many times. I was no stranger to panic attacks. So, I started remembering my yoga classes and tried out some breathing exercises… and somehow the monitor went down after just a couple of minutes. I wonder what couldn’t happened if I hadn’t calmed myself down, since the doctors were not trusting the monitor. I tried saying something about my panic attacks but no one would listen, after all, there are 2 kinds of people in this world: doctors and complete ignorants.

I started paying attention to the doctor’s dialogue with the resident who was performing her FIRST c-section ever: mine! It went pretty much like this:
– Now, you cut here.
– Like this?
– Yes! Now, you cut there.
– How?
– You grab the “….” and cut the “….”
– Like this?
– Yes. Not so hard, is it?

At this point I was paying crazy attention to their dialogue, hoping I wouldn’t hear a “like this?” followed by a “OH MY GOD, NO! That was a bladder!”

So, there I was, alone, naked, soaked in my own blood with a bunch of strangers around, wishing my husband was there with me, instead of waiting in the outside like some random dude at the hall wishing he could witness his first children come to this world… because the doctors said he couldn’t be in the room, since the room was TOO SMALL. And I believed them, for like 3 seconds before I went “wait… what?”

And that’s the story on how my husband wasn’t there when the girls were born.

Well, if you think about it, I wasn’t there much either…

You know that feeling when you are carrying a heavy box and suddenly you put it down on the floor? That’s how I knew Agatha was out! I remember stretching my neck to look at her… I remember a woman smiling at me and saying “look!” I wanted to touch her, and kiss her… but they kept her away from me

Agatha was born first; Aurora was came 2 minutes after.

When Aurora was born, the doctor said “weird… isn’t she going to cry?” as an euphemism to “is this one dead?” and a couple seconds later she started to cry… finally.
But I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t emotional. I knew I wasn’t fine yet and it wasn’t over. They needed to  “sew me back together”, there was still a chance my girls cold grow up without a mom.
I watched the doctors as they sewed me and I couldn’t think about the beauty of the moment, I just wanted it to be over. It’s been a long time and sometimes I still feel like I’m over that table… like it’s not over yet.

I went to the recovery room. There was no one else there. I wanted to let my husband know I was ok. I needed to talk to my dad.

Suddenly a door opened… I looked over and my husband smiled and waved at me. I could smell the nerves on him. He was a dad. He was so cute and naive and proud and scared and so many emotions were showing on his face! My dad was worried about me and my mom was one big walking smile.

A student nurse came to talk to me at the recovery room. She was an angel. The first angel I met that night. We talked about college and random stuff. She said I was going to be fine and she could see my legs moving. She helped “moving” the time that had stopped.

And so, the girls came to me.
Will I know what to do with them? – I thought. Well, I didn’t know. At all. But I but them on my chest, one at a time.

Aurora was so hungry and she, somehow, knew exactly what to do. I remember thinking “how does she know that?”. Agatha didn’t. She struggled with my nipple and just couldn’t get it right. Even when she was older, she’d stay on my chest just to be close to me, she always found the bottle was easier to get her milk from! (she’s taking the computer away from me right now… hahaha)
I went to the room.

it wasn’t a private room. It was filled with people screaming and bleeding and screaming from contractions. I don’t remember putting on my clothes at all. I left my body for a second there again.

I remember lying in bed for the first time in a horizontal position in months! I laughed a little. I had been wondering for a while when I’d be able to do that again.
Staying at the hospital was hard. The bathroom floor was covered with blood. I knew I couldn’t have a fever for 48 hours and I’d be probably ok. Aurora choke, we ran to the nurses. I thought about what couldn’t happened if we were already home with no nurses around.

Agatha started crying like mad, so I took her for a walk in the hall. She was so tiny in my arms and I was desperately trying to make her feel better. I didn’t know the problem was me. I didn’t have enough milk for her both and I thought I did. I had no idea they were just hungry at that point.

As I was walking with her through the hospital hall, one of the nurses told me to get back inside the room because a virus had spread and some babies and moms were already taken to quarantine.

I called the doctor -the one that never showed up- and asked him if he could please some to the hospital and sign us out. He obviously didn’t came.

I stayed a little longer at the hospital. Not because we had to, but because there was no doctor available to sign us out.

My dad came to the hospital, even though security told him not to. My brother-in-law tried to visit us one hundred thousand million times and there was NO WAY he could get in.

You know that scene in movies with the people coming with the balloons to welcome your baby? Well, that never happened.

But my dad did get in, we turned over and there he was. He wasn’t in with good news, though. 12 hours after the girls were born, my grandmother died. It was like she was waiting to make sure the girls were in the world to leave us.

My dad didn’t cry in front of me. He said the girls kept him strong. He said God had waited for the “best” moment to take his mom away from him. A moment were He knew he’d be strong enough not to break down.

They were born on a Tuesday night. Friday morning we went home.  It felt like a couple of months though.

I had picture this moment differently, but the importante thing is, we were all ok. The 3 of us. We were ready to go home.

For months I woke up in the middle of the night feeling I was still at the hospital. But we are home, we’re fine… and I’m glad I can touch them and play with them.

Bottom line is: The old ladies to told me to enjoy pregnancy because I wouldn’t be able to rest anymore once the babies came could NOT have been more wrong!

They are the joy of my life and I’d do it all over again and again just to have them with me.

babiesfirstpicture

Take care,

Shelly.

The perfect job

A few years ago, I was a different person. I was an artist.

Back in 1998 I got my first computer. I was fascinated by those plain 12 color HTML websites. I had to build one! I needed a theme and I chose my new favorite band, Hanson.

Back in the day, the official Hanson website had been build by the band members themselves and that made me believe that if kids my age could do that, I could do it too.

I learned everything there was to learn about it and I was determinate to start a career in graphic design. I spent endless hours studying those simple codes and I’d change the layout of my Hanson website every Saturday. I absolutely loved doing that, with all my heart.

The night before I was going to subscribe to graphic design school at the university my mom entered my room and said “Why are you doing this? Graphic design is not a career. Why don’t you subscribe for architecture instead, WHICH IS A PROFFESION?”. And, ta-da. Here I am. Michele, the architect. To make the story short.

Architecture school was very consuming. I studied during 3 shifts and when it was finally over, there was a whole world of php, css, C++ and so on out there which I knew nothing about. That made me sad, but I knew I had learned a lot about my true passion: drawing.

Although the effort during school gave me tendinitis and my free hand drawing ended up a bit compromised, I had fun playing with photoshop during presentations and putting together banners like this:

bannershellsmall

But then, things changed.

We are moving to a different country and suddenly my architecture diploma is not valid there. I’m nothing! Yet, I feel free… Which brings us back to 1998 and my original dream.

I applied for this job… this perfect, perfect job, where people would pay me to draw. But it’s not happening.

It’s not happening because I don’t know enough anymore. My portfolio is s%$# and C++ is a total stranger to me.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, right?

I was lucky and I met the opportunity. I’m not prepared, but I wish I was. I wish I was 20 and had the time to study this and be one of those geeks who know about video games and coding and all that. But I wonder how old is too old to start preparing ourselves for something new again? To change careers?

I met a doctor who graduated at 55. He was inspiring.

I’m lost and probably will end up washing dishes with an invalid diploma on my drawer and  a dream in the back of my head.

Frustrating, isn’t, it?

But at least my children will have a better chance at life and live in a beautiful new country where people have the right to be whatever they decide to. So, we’re happy after all.

ps: And my Hanson site is still on, if you got curious, it’s www.hanson.com.br =) ’cause it’s nice to feel 15 every once in a while and be allowed to dream.

Take care and wish me luck,

Shelly

The truth about my pregnancy.

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.

Decisions, decisions…

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:

Me, the day before the girls were born.
Me, the day before the girls were born.

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.

It was show time. 

To be continued….

Please, don’t cry

photo 1

It’s 4.10am and she just stopped crying. She had been crying since a little past 3:00am.

I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I’ve tried giving her a bottle, but if I so much to turn her around, instead of holding her tight, the crying gets worse.

We’ve tried distracting her with all the things we use when she’s normally crying, but she wasn’t interested on anything.

We put Frozen on and I started singing. Whenever I stopped singing, she would start crying again. It’s like she couldn’t see us, only listen to me …and feel me holding her.

As I watched the tears going down her cheek I thought of her smile. She’s such a happy, loving baby. I love that smile and the little noise she makes when we find her hiding behind the curtains.

I’m pretty sure she’s hungry because she didn’t take her bottle after dinner like she always does, but she won’t take her bottle. I want to feed her, but I’m afraid she’ll start crying again, she has just calmed down.

It’s neither the first nor the second time this’s happened. It had been a while, though. She wakes us desperate and acts like she can’t see us. Like she’s still sleeping. When I was breastfeeding I’d put her on my chest and she’d calm down. But now, I simply don’t know what to do.

The doctor says it could be night terror.

I think he’s right. It is night time and this IS terrifying. I’ve brought her to the living room so she wouldn’t wake up her sister, who is,  magically, still sleep, even though I’m pretty sure the whole building is up from hearing her crying,

I wonder if she’ll continue to have these episodes when she’s older and tell me what this was all about.

She’s sobbing a little on her sleep, so, I’m staring at her. I cannot leave her alone right now, doesn’t matter how hard I need to pee.

Too much information?

I’m sorry about that

Good night…

Half asleep,

Shelly

I just wanna be me

Remember high school? When we had our whole lives ahead of us and we thought we could be anything we wanted? Did you ever worry about growing old back then? And also, did you ever worry that time would go by so fast that when you actually got super-old you wouldn’t be prepared to be so close to death and started panicking over that thought at the age of 5? Seriously, people. It can’t be just me.

It’s things like that that had my mom believing I was a very smart kid. She still thinks that, actually, but it’s not a compliment anymore. Meaning: “how could such a smart kit turn into such a stupid adult?”. She’ll never forgive me for not becoming a plastic surgeon. She’ll basically never forgive me for not making all of her dreams come true. I did manage to accomplish a few from her list, in fact.

So, when I was young and weird, I took all these puzzle IQ tests and I read, and I read, and I read, ’cause for some reason it was my job to be outstanding at everything I did. It was God’s gift to me. No, wait! Not to me, to my mom.

It was partially ok, because I actually believed I could be outstanding at everything I tried – we’re not talking about sports here, obviously. – But I was no genius, I was a talkative kid with a decent IQ, and now, whenever I fail at something the results aren’t pretty.

Ok, I’m ready to admit it.

I’ve failed my driving test.

A few times.

Wasn’t I the super genius my mom told me I was, who was good at everything she did, even tests she never studied for and could speak languages without ever taking a lesson? Isn’t THAT my main characteristic? Isn’t that who I am?

How could I possibly have believed my mom so blindly that now I’m lost, trying to figure out what kind of quality is left there inside me that’s real?

I’m not the super smart person who is good at everything she does. I’m a pretty stupid person, specially emotionally, who can’t control herself enough to show coordination during a simple driving exam. That’s who I am.

I had no idea. I don’t know who I am anymore. My whole life I might have just believed what people told me without taking the time to analyze myself and finding out what it is that I like, dislike, can or cannot do.

I say I like the winter, but that’s surprisingly my mom’s favorite season. I like English and watching movies. She’s an English teacher (who’s never taught be a word, let’s make that clear)… who loves movies. I don’t know if there’s a part of me who disagrees with her. I might just be the projection of the things she wanted to do with her life, but was too lazy to do it.

I’m pretty sure I like chocolate ice-cream. That came from inside me. And I like ballet. Ok, so, that’s two things. I’m 33 years old and I know 2 things about me already. I hope there’s more to it. It’s probably impossible for a human being to be that shallow. I’ll find out the rest in the morning, I suppose.

I wonder if I have a quality, though. And I wonder what is is.

Also, it’s cold today… so I took a picture of  the girls wearing their hats. I love the cold! Or DO I, now?

I better find out who I am soon enough… these girls need a centered mom with lot’s on answers and not so many questions.

God, I hope I don’t mess them up.

photo 1-4

Love,

Shelly

Please, take me home.

I was reading this beautiful blog and it got me thinking about things…. The way she describes Canada as her home and also the home of her great, great grandparents with so much love and affection got me thinking about what it must feel like to be home.

I’ve been fantasying about walking into my own house, to find my family sitting by the dinner table, or perhaps just having a video game slumber party in the living room for way too long. The house in my head is not big and beautiful. It’s small and cozy… it’s also ours and it makes us not want to leave.

It is a sad thing to not feel at home where you live, to not have your own house. It’s a feeling of abandonment. You want to go home, but home is nowhere to be found.

Ever since I was a young girl I wanted to leave this place. I remember opening my window and crying over the view. I was seven. Everything was deteriorated  and poor and just plain sad. I didn’t belong here. It wasn’t the worst place in the world, it was just not where I wanted to be. I can’t really put my finger on the reason why I’ve never liked it in here… but it’s there, lost in my memory somewhere.

That same window has been threatening me for 33 years now. I haven’t moved an inch, but things are about to change. We are leaving, finally.

People say I should stay and fight for this place, but I don’t think it’s really my battle to fight for a place I’ve never loved. I think I’m lucky to leave. I’ve never wanted to stay.

I just need to be somewhere where I can open my window and smile even if the sky is gray. Specially if the sky is gray, actually. I seem to find the winter rather poetic and welcoming. I’ll finally see the snow.

I hope we all find our homes… and I also secretly, or not so secretly, hope the people in this new place don’t see us as intruders. I hope my girls are well accepted… I’m not really worried about me, as long as they are fine.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes up. A better life is about to start.

Wish me luck,

Love,

Shelly

Because I’m happy

My words probably won’t make any sense, still, I needed to sit down for while, even if it’s 1A.M. and the kids will be up soon, unless I’m lucky and they sleep through the night tonight.

It’s quite ironic, actually… For over an year I’ve dreamt about the day they’d sleep for more than 2 hours straight and, now that they do, I’m the one who can’t sleep. I choose to stay awake and take this time to myself. I have an urge to write, because I feel like it’ll help my organize my thoughts. I’m a pretty happy person, and that’s new to me.

Our lives have changed a lot in the last couple of years (mine and my husband’s). I have changed a lot too. And, although everything that’s happened to us is wonderful, I’ve lost parts of myself along the way. I don’t know who that red haired old woman staring at me in the mirror is. She is also super fat and has a terrible memory… there’s no way she’s me. I’m just the woman suffocating inside her.

I do not miss being who I used to be completely. There’s no me without my husband and children anymore, but I also don’t wanna settle for whom I’ve become. That makes me feel like an ungrateful bastard… specially when I read my own words. That’s why I’m a big believer in writing. It helps making things clearer for ourselves, in my humble opinion.

It all started when I was a kid… and went down all the way through my 30th birthday. I have always been terrified about the idea of going through labour. I never really thought I’d survive it. Anything beyond that moment just sounded too good to be true. Too good to be real life. That might be the reason why I sometimes  stare at my daughters wondering if this is really happening to me. I was the girl who was never meant to be someone’s wife, I was used to being alone and I had accepted that… I had let go of all my dreams. I had no reason to get a good job or my own house. I had no motivation. It was just me in my world.  And I believed that for so long that when my perfect family filled with people came knocking on my door, it took me a long time to realize it was real. I didn’t know what to do! What kind of music should I listen to? Up until that moment Damien Rice had been the soundtrack for my life.  I got lost.

Even though there were so many things missing in my life before I had my own family, that was the life I was familiar with and that place was comfortable… well, maybe not comfortable, but there were no big surprises.

So, I survived all the panic attacks that came along the way, but I’m still learning how to live inside this butter commercial. Part of me believes people shouldn’t be completely happy. That’s something my grandmother always told us “don’t be too happy ’cause if you’re happy today it means there’s something terrible coming your way tomorrow” and I think she was ridiculous for saying that, but the damn thing got stuck in my mind for ages! I had several panic attacks growing up, which don’t seem to strike me anymore.

And now , here I am. I still worry about the world and blame myself for being so shallow, from time to time. But the truth is, in my small world, my small things matter… and I’m so lucky for living in it. There are no big issues here, I am not surviving a war or fighting a disease. I am just me learning to live with the disturbing thoughts in my head… and the happy ones too. I hope we all understand my grandmother was wrong from the way she spelled pizza to her pessimist quotes. It’s time for bed now.

Thank you for listening, Miss Internet.

Love, Shelly