In October last year, I posted some pictures that I took of myself pregnant with the twins, up until 23 weeks. I realised today that I didn’t post the second lot of pictures, and so have decided to do so now :) The twins are 15 weeks old today; 3.5 months old. It is honestly scary how fast time is going by.
A while back I wrote a very long winded post about being under debt review, which is what I am. Basically what that means is that I pay a set amount to an agency every month, and they then distribute that among all of the people that I owe money to; credit cards, personal loans, clothing accounts etc. I started my debt review in August 2009, 2 months before M-L was born. I’m STILL under debt review.
Whilst under debt review, you cannot apply for any credit whatsoever; car finance, cellphone contract, any accounts of any kind (apart from a bank account), credit card, loans etc. This does present a problem, especially when you, for example need to buy a car, but don’t have the R200k for one.
When I started my debt rehabilitation process in 2009, I was almost R100k in debt. For a 23 year old, that’s insane. And the really sad thing, apart from the fact that I’m still paying off my debt 6 years later? I have absolutely NOTHING to show for it. No car, no clothes, no gadgets, nothing.
So what has it all been for?
I want to be debt free. I have about R18k left to go, and I’m done. I am really hoping to have it all paid off within a year, but the agency says that it might take up to 2 years. But once it’s done, I’m free. I can then start rebuilding my credit rating, so that I can eventually buy my own car, look at a home loan etc. And even though this whole process has been a painful one, what a lesson.
But the price of debt hasn’t been cheap. I’ve missed out on holidays, get-together’s, road trips and so much more. All because I just didn’t have the money. I’ve been unable to buy my daughter things that I’ve wanted to, little treats and spoils, all because I just didn’t have the money. The only reason I went to my 10 year high school reunion supper is because a friend gave me her ticket that she’d paid for; I couldn’t afford the ticket myself.
So it’s been an expensive, humbling lesson to learn.
But I consider myself well taught.
I am not, and will never be, skinny. Ok, in my younger years I was kinda skinny, but with curves. Fast forward to now, at age 29, and looking at myself in a mirror, I don’t recognise my body. In fact, I am grateful that my mirror only shows my upper body, because from my waist down, I can’t even look.
But then I had a ‘moment’ a few days ago. This body of mine, scarred, damaged and traumatised from weight gain and loss, and more recently 2 pregnancies that gave me 3 precious children, is my body. I can’t change what the past 5.5 years has done to my body. No, I don’t like what I see, but I’ll be forever scarred. I’ll forever have that little pooch hidden by my pants. I’ll never wear a bikini again. My boobs will never face the same direction. I will most likely never be a size 10 again. I will never be skinny again. And somehow, I’m actually ok with all of it.
My body, as damaged as it is, has housed and nourished 3 children, 2 of them at once! My children are healthy, were born healthy; in fact when the twins were born both my OBGYN and the pediatrician were pleasantly shocked at their weights; 3.1kg (6lb13oz) and 3.52kg (7lb12oz). For twins! So I’ll never be a swimsuit model. That’s fine with me. I am not one of those moms who look like they never had kids, but have like 3 or 4! Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie to be exact!
No, I don’t like looking at my body in its current state in the mirror. My clothes fit me weirdly because of my lumps and bumps, and I have aches and pains that I never used to. But what exactly is bitching and moaning about it constantly going to do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So when I am ready, I will get back into my running. But there’s no rush.
This is my body, full of stretch marks and cellulite, curves and bumps.
And that’s ok.
I was chatting to a colleague a short while ago about my previous blog post. I told him that I’m really struggling to come to terms with what happened, to make sense of it, of which I can’t. He then mentioned that a friend forwarded him a blog link, for a blog that their Pastor had started, about the loss of his 15 month old son.
I shouldn’t have clicked the link.
But in a way I’m glad I did. This is a man of faith, who is struggling with what happened to his family, especially since he feels responsible, as he was the one who left the pool gate open. Upon reading his first entry, he asked for guidance, for words, for anything to help him understand why. Why. Why. No one has yet commented on any of his posts; his blog was 1 month old yesterday. That’s how long he’s been without his baby.
I don’t know what both my colleague or this Pastor are going through, and I hope that I never do. Thinking about losing one of my children… I can’t even. But I’m asking each and everyone of you who reads this post, to head on over to this man’s blog, and leave a comment. It doesn’t have to be a long comment, perhaps you can even offer him words of sympathy, or God forbid, empathy, but this is a broken man, and he needs support, in every which way and form.
I’m a mom. The twins will be 3 months old next Tuesday, and I have a 5 year old as well. Maybe that’s why this story is hurting me so much, I dunno.
Yesterday I was told that one of my colleague’s wife had a baby on Tuesday. She was 2 months premature, as the mom’s blood pressure had sky rocketed, and the little one wasn’t getting enough blood in her womb, so the doctor’s opted to deliver her early, essentially to save her life. So this precious little girl was delivered 2 months early, weighing a mere 780g. But apart from being in the NICU, she was ok. Weak, but ok.
She died last night.
She didn’t die because she was weak, because she was 2 months premature. She died, because there was load shedding (for those of you not living in South Africa, our power utility is a piece of crap and can’t keep the lights on, because they don’t know what maintenance is, thus they cut off our power anywhere from 2 to 4 hours at a time. They’re called ‘planned outages’ but they themselves don’t know what a schedule is, but that’s a story for another day) and the incubator that she was in, did not have an adequate power supply. There is an investigation into what exactly happened, but from what I’ve been told, the generators kicked in about 3 minutes or so after the power went out, and there was no UPS (uninterrupted power supply) keeping the incubator going in the interim.
Maybe if the little one had died from natural causes, it would be ‘easier’ to take in a sense, but this was preventable. Yes, she was 2 months premature, but premature babies pull through all the time. And what’s even scarier in a sense, is that this happened at the very same hospital that I had the twins at 3 months ago! I experienced load shedding 2 out of the 4 days that I was in hospital (yes, they even load shed hospitals) and what if my twins were in the NICU, in incubators? Would I even have twins now? I am so very grateful that I gave birth to healthy babies that didn’t require any medical assistance, but it doesn’t make my heart any less heavy and sore right now.
May that little princess soar above us in peace, knowing that she was loved for every second that she lived.
Last week was the last of my maternity leave. 4 months, gone just like that. So of course, Murphy had to get in on it, and have some fun.
2 Friday’s ago, I started having some pain in my right lower abdomen. Nothing too serious, so I didn’t worry about it. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the pain was unfortunately far more significant, and I was battling to move, sit, stand, walk etc. This continued, and finally on Sunday night I told my husband. He wasn’t too happy, and poked and prodded me to see if it was appendicitis. The pain, even though presenting in the right area for appendicitis, wasn’t acting like appendicitis pain, if that makes sense. Eventually on Tuesday, I made an appointment to go and see the doctor, as it was really unpleasant, and it was hindering my ability to take care of the twins, and to just do normal things! My GP wasn’t happy with the pain, and sent me off to the general surgeon at our local hospital. I was told that he would only see me on Wednesday morning, so I was admitted into hospital, where the nurses promptly gave me supper. 20 minutes later the surgeon arrived to assess me. Thanks Murphy, thanks. After assessing me, the surgeon agreed that it was appendicitis and that if I hadn’t had supper already, he would have operated that night. He said that an ultrasound would be scheduled for the Wednesday morning, followed by key hole surgery to remove my appendix. Yay. Night one away from the twins was now well under way. Thank goodness for my amazing mom, who spent both nights that I was away at my house, taking amazing care of the twins.
At about 11pm the nursing staff came through to setup a drip, as the surgeon had prescribed antibiotics, for ‘just in case’.
I left hospital with 4 different drip sites, as the first one blew, the second one was removed during surgery for the third one to be inserted, the third one also blew and the fourth one held until my discharge. So I was really the human pin cushion!
I awoke on Wednesday morning, and apart from my body demanding that I breastfeed the twins (thank goodness for breast pumps – and I actually remembered to pack mine!) I was feeling a bit better, until I decided to get up. I went for the ultrasound a few hours later, and it was determined that something wasn’t right, but that they couldn’t see what. Oh yay. My surgery was then scheduled for 1pm.
Just before 1pm, I was told that the surgery had been postponed to 3pm. Ok great, another 2 hours of waiting. Once I arrived at the waiting area to be taken into theater, I was told that my surgery had been postponed again, to 4pm. Eventually I was taken in, and awoke an hour or so later in recovery, completely high on whatever drugs that had me on. It took me 2 days to figure out why my backside was so sore, until I realised that when I was back in my room, they had jabbed me with more pain meds! Because the surgery had been rescheduled for so much later in the day, I had to spend another night in hospital, but luckily was discharged by 8am on Thursday morning. When the surgeon came to see me on Thursday morning, he explained that yes, my appendix was inflamed and infected, but the main cause of my pain was actually my right Fallopian tube, as it had formed an abscess from my previous surgery back in February (I had my tubes tied during the c-section) and had stuck to my abdomen wall. Yeah, not cool at all! So he removed both the tube and appendix.
When I was discharged, my husband collected me. I got home, had time to unpack my bags, kiss my babies, and then I had to climb into the car (as in drive the car!) to go and fetch my eldest daughter, and then go down to the unemployment office about 30km away, to submit my April paperwork for my maternity leave. And it had to be done on the 30th, as the 1st of May was a public holiday, I started work again yesterday, and you can’t submit any paperwork once you’re back at work!
I had also planned to send my car in to be checked out on Wednesday, as I wanted to have everything ready for work on Monday, and didn’t want my car issues to interfere with my work. Well, thanks again Murphy, because I had to cancel the appointment for my car, as I was lying in a hospital bed, and reschedule it for today, when I’m back at work!
So Murphy, well, well played.
Children are a blessing. I won’t deny that. But I also won’t deny that they’re tough to deal with, especially in their first few months. Multiply that 1 baby by 2, and you have my current situation.
My mom-in-law was with us for the twins’ first 3 weeks of life, and for that I’m so grateful. She was such an incredible help, and very rarely did I have to deal with both babies. When she left to go back home, almost 1000km away I sort of lost it. All of a sudden I had to deal with both babies, at once! The lowest point was when the twins were 4 weeks old, and I didn’t know what I was doing, why I was doing it, and why the hell I’d decided to have another baby. My family was just perfect with the 3 of us in it, but I was adamant that we needed to add to it, and now I had these 2 little people that relied on me 100% and I thought I was losing my mind. I would definitely say that I had a bout of post-natal depression, but it was up to me to pull myself towards myself and get over it.
Luckily, this time around I did get over it very quickly. With my eldest daughter, it wasn’t so easy but I had a constant support system as we were living with my mom. This time around I had 2 babies and we were in our own home, and I was alone for all intents and purposes. In a few days I was almost back to normal, as I realized that no amount of “what if’s” were going to change my situation. I was a mom to twins, and they needed me. So I went into robot mode, and did the very best that I could, and knew how.
The twins are 8 weeks old this Thursday, and I can happily say that things are so much better, and I’m no longer in “robot mode”. I’m really enjoying them now, I’m enjoying being their mommy. I’m interacting with them more, talking to them, cooing and laughing, smiling and encouraging their personalities. Yes it’s been tough. Yes, I was depressed. Yes, I didn’t want them. Post pregnancy hormones are nasty buggars. It wasn’t a pleasant few weeks. But I feel like I’ve really got this now, and I’ve even managed to start to engage and interact more with my husband and eldest daughter again. For those first few weeks I locked myself away with my thoughts and loneliness, and it hurt me. It hurt my family. But this hasn’t exactly been a “normal” situation.
We are a family of 5 now, and I honestly can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.
Yes it’s been tough. But nothing worthwhile has ever been easy.