Figured I’d tell my pregnancy story in a few pictures. So here it goes.
It started with this. I was 2 months pregnant. I should have known they were twins before I found out, since I was already getting big.
Then I became like this. I thought this was huge.
Then this was like, wow, to us.
Then it started showing even with heavy clothes on.
Then came Christmas time.
Then I started eating off of my belly.
Then mom visited and I was like.
Then this happened.
And those happened.
And then,they happened.
I was talking today to a cool mom and it made me remember when we asked ourselves, Salim and I, if we were ready to have a child.
And here’s the story.
Before our wedding, Salim and I used to think that we were going to wait for a bit before we « rush into » kids. Then we had this huge Adrenaline rush after our awesome wedding.
So when we went back to Paris, right before our honeymoon, we rented a two-wheel and wandered in the streets of Paris. And this is when and where we asked ourselves: When is a good time to have kids, anyway?
We realized that there is no perfect time, really. You’ll always have this or that before you really want to have a baby. It’s either financial, or emotional, or professional… There’s always an excuse.
So in my opinion, here’s your essential checklist:
1- The father/ the mother:
They’re going to be the father/the mother of your child. That’s kind of a big deal since your child is like, you know, the most precious person ever. Would you allow a random person to handle your diamond ring?
2- A minimum of stability:
I’m talking to you, high schoolers.
That’s it, really. You will learn to care for and love your child. No one is born this good.
If you’re hesitating, go for it. It’s the coolest most awesome gift ever. And you definitely won’t regret it.
I realized that telling you my pregnancy and birth story touched a lot of you, so I decided to ask another new mom, Romy, to write hers.
Romy has a 6 months old (just a month older than my twins) handsome boy.
Her story is extremely beautiful and I just had to share it.
So here’s her touching story, that she named « Am I going to see my baby this time?« . Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
And here’s my inspiring, nerve-wrecking, beautiful little story.
It all started in May 2013, when I found out that I was accidentally pregnant. Elie (the father) didn’t believe me for like a month so much it was unpredictable. I, who had a miscarriage next to birth giving women in the hospital back in December 2013, was afraid to believe it.
But guess what! The ultrasound showed a tiny little egg with a heartbeat… I cried, why? Well obviously because I had mixed emotions. A part of me didn’t want to live this dream and have it crashed all over again and another part was so freaking excited… Ok! Back to reality!
On the night of my Birthday, I started bleeding, red blood! This took me back to a lot of painful memories… Started crying again…yeah a lot of crying happened and I must say that crying brought along a lot of contractions!!! And I hopelessly told Elie: “ If this is happening now and I’m only 2 months pregnant, then how is my baby going to survive for 7 more months???” He gently wiped my tears away and told me that the journey isn’t over yet and that we can still hope…
I ran to the Dr. the second day, the one who have already witnessed my first 11 weeks pregnancy loss, and he told me: “ Romy, get yourself together! There’s an expensive genetic test that we doctors usually ask women to do after 3 consecutive miscarriages. We can wait and see how your pregnancy will evolve or you can choose to do the test now”
Ok peeps, I will explain to you what this magical, expensive, genetic test is. In fact it studies your genes and shows you the possible diseases that you might encounter later on in life. In my case, doctors usually want to find out if I have Factor V Leiden.
Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia is a genetically inherited disorder of blood clotting. Those who are homozygous for the mutated allele are at a heightened risk of complications. Such as? Well blood clotting between the mother and the baby. When clotting occurs, the blood flow stops nourishing the fetus and he/she would suddenly die even at 7,8 or 9 months of pregnancy IMAGINE THAT!
The Dr. told me that it’s a very rare condition and it’s very rare to have it with a homozygous mutated allele. He really had doubts about me having it…
To stay on the safe side, my husband and I decided to go for this test and guess what people! It showed that I have factor V Leiden and guess what! With a HOMOZYGOUS MUTATED ALLELE!!!!!!!!
What’s the treatment?? Well 9 months of nonstop injections in the belly! Injections??? Is this really happening to me? Me, the trypanophobic (fear of needles) freak?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t know how to react to this…I was scared of the treatment, extremely scared of the whole idea! But then I have decided to take it this way by asking myself this question: What would you do if your kid next to you stops breathing whenever you stop injecting a solution in your belly? The answer in my heart was crystal clear: I’d inject everyday in a heartbeat.
And the journey began. These injections made everything happen smoothly. My awesome husband and mom injected like pro nurses every single one in my belly. At around 4 months, we found out that we were expecting a boy, little James. The little shrimp started kicking (pretty cool feeling by the way). I got to live the pregnancy honeymoon phase so fluently…but hey! My belly was covered with bruises because of the huge number of injections. But they later on proudly became my pregnancy marks.
The third trimester finally began, and we all said hello to stress ever since. My doctor warned me that the anticoagulant injections should be stopped 48h before delivery in order to prevent bleeding events during labor! Yiyks!
But he made one thing clear to me: women with factor V Leiden, cannot keep babies in their womb for more than 39 weeks. Ok so let me get this clear: I will need to feel all the contractions before the 39th week??? Endless thoughts hunted my sleep! I started to have nightmares, frequent nightmares about me having complications during delivery, about the SIDS (sudden infant death sydrom), etc.
I entered the 39th week with a closed cervix! Obviously, there were no signs of a normal delivery…The Dr. insisted that the baby should come out and immediately. Cervix is still closed. Injections should be stopped! Baby’s movements should be monitored closely and intensively for 48h! Will the blood clot in the last 48h?
C-section announced itself on the D-day: January 25 2014. Oh Lord! Am I going to come out of the operation room alive? Am I going to see my baby this time? What will I feel? It’s a surgery I won’t feel anything pushing…. Will it be painful? Will it be nice? Just like in the movies? Well guess what people it was way better! The way I delivered was so special. The cool anesthetist saw me nervously scared, so he asked me an awesome question: ”Do you like music?” I said “Hell yeah! I need it! I need it right now and please keep it during my delivery!!!” And there I was delivering to the sound of BB KING “the thrill is gone”. This song along with the anesthetic effect created an epic cocktail that flew me to another planet. Straightaway, James’s pediatrician said to me “Ok Romy they’re breaking the water now, your James is going to come out now any minute…” My whole world suddenly stopped couldn’t hear a thing anymore neither the music, nor the doctors…and then the sweetest sound came out, a sound that I always dreamed of hearing came out…That sound was my baby’s cry…. I felt shivers all over my body…my heart started beating so fast! I burst into tears and shouted: “My baby! My baby’s here! Thank you GOD!” This very moment will be engraved forever in my heart… For all you women out there, who are struggling through their pregnancy, or have gone through miscarriages, be strong! For once you hear your baby’s cry, you’ll forget about all the pain you’ve gone through!
With love,Romy,Jamesy’s mom.
And here is a picture of this cool mom and her cute James.
My twins have come to a point where they’re not vegetables anymore, as their father says.
You know, vegetables, when they’re born and all they do is eat and sleep. Not anymore! They now want you to entertain them. There’s a good and a bad side to that. The good side is that they’re more fun, they respond and they laugh. The not-so-good side is that you can’t really rest anymore, especially when there are two of them, looking at you, waiting for what you’re going to be doing next.
So when your arms can’t hold them anymore, put them in a safe place and follow these steps.
Here are my 7 easy ways to entertain a 5 months old (or two):
It is always a good idea. Adapt your song and way of singing to the entertainment’s goal.
And I don’t mean slow dancing. I mean go-crazy dancing. Not sure about yours, but my kids have wide open eyes when I dance like a mad woman. I’m not sure if they’re interested or plain scared or even just can’t believe they’re stuck with me for life, but they sure do calm down. And I’m happy.
Calmly. My twins absolutely love when I talk to them. I narrate random things, tell them about how Salim and I met, about their families and family members… Depending on your desperation level, you might start explaining some pretty random things. Do not be scared of yourself, just make sure you keep smiling to them and speaking in a calm and soothing voice.
Out loud. I know they don’t understand one word yet. But trust me, it works. It’s like talking when you don’t feel like making up or telling stories. It definitely doesn’t have to be kids’ stories. Read the books you want to read, just out loud.
5- Making them play with each other:
Ok so yes this only works when you have twins or when their age difference isn’t that significant. But it’s totally worth it. Remember when we used to play with dolls and soldiers? Well now I have Diane and Alexandre. It is mostly entertaining for me, but hey don’t judge.
6- Putting on a puppet show:
It’s all in the title. Their toys now have names and personalities.
7- Imitating their sounds:
Just repeat whatever sound they make. It entertains both of you and it doesn’t require any brain effort, which is a good thing when your brain can’t function anymore.
What are your ways to calm your little monsters?
4 hours isn’t a lot, one might think. But the tricky part about traveling is that it requires lots of time and preparation before and after the actual flight, which makes the duration longer than expected.
Things we’ve heard/feared about traveling with babies:
1- They’re going to cry, a lot.
2- It’s going to be a long and tiring wait before the actual flight.
3- You should give them their bottles of milk/water during take off and landing.
4- You need to prepare yourself for everything and pack every single thing they will or even might need.
Here’s how it actually went:
1- They didn’t.
My twins cried for a bit before take off, nothing too exceptional though. I’m guessing the passengers thought they’re in for a loooong noisy flight.
But once their « beds » were ready, they actually slept almost the whole time. They just woke up for a cuddle every once in a while.
2- It actually was not.
We kept the stroller and they were comfortable and played with their toys during the wait. We travelled from France, Charles de Gaulle Airport and it was just perfect, the staff was very helpful and their babies’ policy was very cool.
I just need to precise though, that when we landed, the situation was completely different and the Beirut International Airport was tons of stuff, but definitely not baby-friendly. We endlessly waited in line while people had not even one bit of respect neither for priority nor for the actual waiting line.
But hey, that might make another article subject.
3- We gave them their bottles just before take off, they cried till they finished it so we couldn’t keep enough for the actual take off. I was scared of the reaction. It really went smoothly, they slept in our arms.
During landing, we also couldn’t give them their bottles, they also slept through it all.
A quick reminder though: We took them 2 days prior to the flight to the pediatrist who checked their ears in case it would be risky for the ears. I think that’s an important step before you travel.
4- It really depends on where you’re going.
Try to pack the least possible. You usually find almost everything you need to wherever you’re traveling, because of you know, international commerce and globalization.
It will really make your life easier.
Obviously, do not forget the important stuff such as their meds etc.
That being said, it is still definitely a hard day, when you travel with babies. And I’m glad I’m not doing it for a few more weeks.
I never thought I’d be one of those mothers who could breastfeed. And I ended up being right about myself.
I started thinking about breastfeeding in the later stages of my pregnancy. Why not? I thought to myself. I read about the benefits of breastfeeding. I realized I’d be an awful mom if I didn’t give my twins the chance to have those breastfeeding benefits.
I tried. I really did. I gave it my all. But I couldn’t. And here’s why:
What they don’t tell you, when they push you into thinking of how great it feels to breastfeed, is that it’s also very emotionally hard.
I’m not going to talk about the physical problems, because honestly I didn’t have any and it went very smoothly for me.
As I’ve mentioned it before, after the birth of your kids, it’s not all rainbows and flowers. If you add to it questions like: Did my baby breastfeed well? Did he get enough milk? Add to it, in case of twins: The left breast is easier am I favoring the one who’s breastfeeding from the right one?
So as I tell all pregnant women, do not stress on the fact that you absolutely have to breastfeed. Because, while you stress about breastfeeding, you miss out on a lot of things you could have enjoyed with your child. And it definitely doesn’t help you, psychologically.
I know that it’s important to breastfeed, and I do admire moms who do it. But baby’s milk is really well thought of, and cuddling is always a good alternative.
So my advice is, cuddle first, breastfeed only if you’re very comfortable to do it. Do not let the pressure take away the preciousness of those first months.
And kudos to those brave breastfeeding moms!
Here’s a picture of Kendra (You know, Hugh Hefner’s Kendra) after giving birth, in a bikini, holding her baby:
Her body after baby. She exercised and dieted and lost all her extra weight!
But the truth is, even though I admire most women who do have this will, let’s face it: Being a new mom is definitely not the time to be thinking about yourself, or even having some spare time to exercise. I know I was mostly tired, having the baby blues and worrying about you know, my twins.
I never cared about what my body looks like. I’ve been both chubby and thin and none bothered me. But I did ask myself about my post-birth body when random stuff started happening to my skin during pregnancy. Now that the summer/beach season is here, I realized I had to get a one-piece bathing suit since my stretch marks are very visible. I never had a one-piece. It made me think about older women who do wear them to « hide » stuff. I felt a bit weird.
Then came a wonderful thing. A very dear friend of mine got me a wonderful gift: a book about mothers’ bodies. It’s a photography book by Jade Beall.
This book shows different bodies of women, mothers, and their stories. It makes me realize what a woman’s body really is and that the answer to my question is: It doesn’t matter, because your body made a wonderful thing. It created a human being. Or two.
No matter what it looks like, each stretch mark is a reminder of your wonderful baby. He/she/they did this. « This » should not be ashamed of, quite the contrary.
It made me think about what a woman’s body mean. A body should be celebrated, as it is beautiful the way it is.
I know it’s cliché, but we can’t live our lives feeling weird and uncomfortable because of what society sets as standards. Especially not when we gave birth. I’m not judging celebrities, and yes, we should take care of our well-being, but I’d prefer playing with my babies for two hours instead of going to the gym. They’re more fun anyway.
I think women kick ass. We should not forget that mothers are also awesome women.
PS: In case you’re interested in the book, here’s a random example from it:
Here’s Rebekah’s story:
Source: The Bodies of mothers, A beautiful project, by Jade Beall.
Cheers to you, awesome moms and women!
Parents in general, and moms in particular, tend to have rational-or irrational- fears when it comes to their child.
Here are some tips I’ve learned either by reading articles or by personal thoughts, that I think every parent should know, in order to protect your children in random matters.
1- Never force them to do anything.
Especially not hugging/kissing adults.
I’m not talking about not pushing in order for them to finish their meal, but when it comes to relationships with adults, it tends to be more complex. Sometimes, kids feel a danger or have had an experience that parents don’t know about.
This diminishes the risk of adults forcing them to do things, when you’re not around, since kids think they should « obey » adults.
2- Teach them what their genitals are called.
And teach them that they are private parts, that are just for them.
Don’t call it cute names, it’s not cute and no one should touch it. Explain that unless you’re giving them a bath, changing them or the doctor is checking them, in your presence, it’s theirs and no one has the right to touch what’s private. Teach them to say « This is my penis, don’t touch it » or « This is my vagina don’t touch it ». It will definitely make predators kind of freak out.
3- Teach them that they can tell you anything.
And that they can’t have secrets with anyone else.
Tell them that in case they’re asked to « keep it to themselves and not to tell their parents » they should immediately tell on that person.
4- Repeat everything you want them to understand.
Like in school, 1+1=2. Again. Till they memorize it.
« Don’t talk to strangers » « Don’t cross the road before you check that the little man is green » « Be careful when… » And repeat. Exercise theatrically if needed until it’s as clear as how old they are.
1- Eating sushi, with chopsticks, using one hand.
And holding your baby in the other.
2- Holding both of your babies, each in one arm.
And having different rhythms for your movements in each hand, in order to satisfy both of them.
3- Not hearing your baby cry.
Yes, you hear them, but you’re too tired to actually realize they’re crying.
4- Changing one’s diaper while feeding the other.
It’s hygienically questionable, but don’t judge.
5- Speaking languages you didn’t know existed.
It’s usually languages they teach you.
6- Trying to rationalize/negotiate with them.
« I know you want me to hold you, and I will, but I just need to pee, since I haven’t for 10 straight hours. Ok, if you let me pee, I’ll even throw in extra cuddles. »
7- Feeling excited about their first « goo ».
You know, when parents used to tell you how their baby « talked » and you never knew why it was this important to hear them make a sound.
8- Randomly smiling to strangers, when your baby isn’t with you.
Because you’re so used to smiling back when people on the streets are nice because you have a cute baby. Or even better, cute twins.
9- Sleeping in the weirdest positions ever.
When you used to be so picky about your pillow.
10- Loving someone as much as you love them.
How is it even possible to love someone as much as you love your tiny monsters?