I had photos for this post ready for some time now, but I felt I can not post them just like that, without a text. And getting myself to write the text was damn hard. I realised I would post photos more frequently if I did not have to write as well. Writing became difficult. And that is strange, cause it actually used to be the easy part. I would just sit on my ass for a while and let it all out. Easy, no thinking, no analysing, simply letting it go. It felt so natural and healing in a way. But than I got criticised that my texts are negative. And I could not handle the critique. I could not handle it because I felt I was not understood. If those people knew me they would know I am not negative I am being ironic, sarcastic and all that shit. Because that helps to keep a distance from oneself. And there were people out there who did not get it and I did not know how to let them know that NO this is not negative. But that is all part of the story I already wrote here before. About feeling vulnerable, about feeling exposed on my own request and about not handling the different opinions on what I had to say. I felt week and shut myself down. All that questioning was becoming bigger than me and I did not want to fight it anymore. And now I sound like depressed weirdo, but now I don’t care.
Well maybe saying that I don’t care is a little exaggerated statement, I’d better say I am learning not to care.
I have been very week when it comes to self-esteem issues my whole life and most of that “public” exposing my life was sort of a fake game I would play to make myself and others believe that I don’t have a problem. And I did that well I guess. I almost stated believe in it. But then Leo was born and I became naked in a second. I became thousand times more vulnerable than I was before. I felt as if someone would tear the skin of my body. Leo was my weak point. My love for him, my fear for him. And that started of processes that I had no idea about. My vulnerability transferred to almost all aspects of my life and as I have been artificially repressing things for a long time, the natural event took place. It all cumulated and exploded as an uncontrolled volcano one day last summer. That was a point when I knew I am not gonna handle this alone. And I asked for help. It was not difficult thing to do. I took a phone and wrote a sms to a psychologist /I had her number in my phone for years and never used it/ that either she will take me next day of I am gonna go mad. She surprisingly did not find it a drama queen self oriented bullshit and offered me a visit next day. It was a beginning of quite traumatic journey that still lasts. But why am I writing it now? No it is not because I find going to shrink IN or cool or worth a special attention. It is probably because I feel that sharing this actually highly negative information might be a step towards accepting myself even if I will be criticised for being actually negative. Maybe because I finally made a decision to come of out my own dark. This is my way of dealing with the advice she gave me on our last meeting. I don’t have to please everybody, I don’t even have to care. I can take on the luxury of doing whatever I want and fuck the rest. So keeping this in my mind I can now easily /TRY TO/ say out loud that our trip to New Zealand this year was the most difficult and physically and emotionally exhausting experience. Yes now I can be that spoiled brat that will cry over flying to New Zealand. OH yes that is exactly what I am going to do right now. This trip was supposed to be the highest peak of our traveling experience as a family of three. Japan and New Zealand. That is a dream come true. And I was sure it was going to be.
Last year in november I was told by my doctor in Slovakia that I can not have babies anymore. Not that I can’t have them, but I should not have them as due to the way my C section was done I would be in life danger if I got pregnant again. She was so strict about it that she advised us as a couple to go for Bart’s vasectomy. That would solve the problem. Well that was a shocking information. Not that we were trying to have another baby at that point, on contrary I actually felt that our life is slowly getting a little organised, we finished the reconstruction, Leo became a grown up 2 year old guy and things seemed to be calming down. But somewhere deep inside I knew I did not want Leo to grow up without brother or sister. I felt that it is not fair for him if we did not at least try. When I was told that this option is no longer an option for us I realised that I actually wanted to have another baby very much /it just was not the right time as usually/. People always have this automatic feeling of power when they feel in charge of things, but when they are suddenly taken the chance to decide they panic crazily. I panicked as well. So after the initial shock I wen to see two more doctors. And luckily I was told that there is no such case that I would be in higher danger than any other pregnant women, but since I was still breastfeeding Leo I was constantly having cysts that were causing my ovaries defunctioning. It is not completely normal as breastfeeding is not really a contraception and definitely not when you breastfeed for over two years, but I seemed to be one of those cases that has to stop in order to get pregnant again. And I was not ready and Leo was not ready.
Anyway I felt secure again that I have things in my hands. I could get pregnant and I am the one who decides when. Apparently I did not get my lesson on humbleness yet.
I was pregnant already when I was visiting second doctor in Poland but it was such early stage of pregnancy that it was not visible. The test turned positive three weeks before our departure for big 2 months long adventure. Well it sure was not a reason for us to change our plans. We planned it long ago and my pregnancy was only a cherry on that sweet pie. And it even felt very symbolic as I actually found out I was pregnant with Leo when I was in Japan 3 years ago. Now we were going back as a family of to be 4.
One doctor told me to cancel the trip because there were some issues that were causing him to have a reasonable doubt that it might not be the best time to travel such distances. But I felt its gonna be ok. Whatever is to happen will happen. Is it a rule that when you feel like you just jumped on a racing horse and take of for the victory you have to realise that you are the only one riding a carthorse?
There is maybe nothing concerning my body that I fear and hate more than vomiting. I swear I would rather die of poisoning than vomit. I never vomited when I was pregnant with Leo. I think my own paranoid fear made me go through that pregnancy as a vomiting virgin. First time in years and years I did puke was on the flight to Auckland. Believe me I almost died. I almost died because it was after the breakfast not long before landing. The small airplane toilette offered everything it had to offer after 11 hours flight. It was THE WORSE, because I did not vomit once, or twice. I had to be locked there for over 30 minutes, while there was a queue of 15 people outside that I had to pass by when I finally left. And I am sure at least firs 5 of them had to witness the symphony of uncontrolled mix of crying and puking that I produced. I was humiliated and devastated at the same time.
That was to be just a beginning. My mood got back to ecstatic level when we picked up our old camper van at the airport. I felt the blood of “always complaining” camper lover in my veins and was ready to forget not only the public humiliation but also the simple fact I threw up. We were all ready to hit the road. Our plans were big and courageous. We had a plan ahead of us. 3 weeks on the road, thousands of kilometres, thousands of photos, tracks and adventures. All that you get to see in picturesque travel guides from NZ. Well we did hit the road but it only took us 20 minutes till we had to stop cause I had to vomit again, and than again and again and again. And I had to vomit each time the car moved, I vomited even if there was nothing more to vomit, it became so natural as breathing, I did not fight it anymore because I had no power. I beated all the records. Once I vomited before we even made it to the camping exit, I guess it took me 10seconds of car driving. I know this is nothing special to write about. It is a normal symptom of pregnancy. But fuck we just made it to NZ. We had a PLAN. We wanted to travel and explore and drive and see and here I am vomiting. And there is nothing that can be done. I thought that was the worse thing that can happen to me. We not only did not make thousands of kilometres, or down the north island, we did not even make it to Raglan. OMG just look at the map what is the distance between Auckland and Raglan. We were fucked. I could not even walk around Auckland at the end of our trip because our walks always turned into hysteric search of public toilettes. I was angry, I felt this was unfair and I did not deserve this at all. I am looking at the photos from NZ now and it looks almost as a ode on Leo not a photos from trip to the paradise. But hell Leo was always around me and I was never too far. I was defeated. At least I thought so.
Three days before we left NZ to Japan I went for first trimester ultrasound. We all went. It was supposed to be the moment we ll remember forever. Happy beautiful family, Leo makes for the beautiful part, showing an angel like looking sweet son his brother or sister for the first time. Happy smiles, white teeth, little bit of tears of happiness and kisses of moved parents.
While I was lying on the bed, Bart was having some hard time keeping Leo in the bearable level of sanity. He just went crazy when he saw me being examined by a doctor!!! He was crying so loud that we did not hear each other, but I still could find some magic in that situation. Until the lady who did the scan was not quiet for to long. I knew something was wrong I just did not want to ask what the fuck was it. I knew that once I ask I will hear something that might change our reality for good. I was waiting for her to start but tears were already going down my face. Bart was so absorbed by trying to calm down Leo that I had to tell him twice that something is very wrong until he got the message. I am pretty sure I have never seen anybody change colour of the skin that fast. He went from brown to completely white in just one second. He looked at me and he did not want to understand what I was saying. I could see in his look that he just decided to reject the information that slipped out of my mouth. Well when the doctor finally decided it is time to share the secret with us we were acknowledged that our child will most probably have some sort of genetic disorder or in a better case major heart disease.
She suggested we do the Chorionic Villus Sampling as fast as possible because blood tests will for sure only approve her suspicion. Whenever in my life I thought things are pretty bad I was wrong. That moment there was THE MOMENT in life when nothing makes sense and at the same time everything makes sense. The very first question was the obligatory one, why US? But than why not US. This happens to parents all around the world so why the hell not us. Why are we different of better or why should we be more lucky. It can be us just like it can be anybody else.
I did not sleep for 72 hours straight. I read all the forums in internet in english, polish, slovak and german. I read everything there was to read about high NT and I felt like I was suddenly living life of somebody else. Sitting next to the toilet in the middle of the night. Alternately vomiting and reading about possible defects that little human that is growing inside of me might have. Does that sound like a dream trip? NO it does not. And it was not, it got us all so affected. Each of us in a different way. I stopped thinking about future, I stopped thinking about myself as a mother of two because I did not know if I will have a second child. There are some defects that require abortion because they put the life of the mother into risk, or the baby dies in womb, or the couple makes a decision to terminate the pregnancy. I did not know what is ahead of us but I knew I can’t let myself develop any feelings for that baby because it might be to painful. Bart had his own way of dealing with things. He seemed to worry less, at least I thought so until the night before our departure. We were supposed to fly to Japan and the evening before he started feeling really bad. I have never seen him in such pain before but he kept insisting that it is nothing and he must have eaten something that made him sick. Well that nothing turned to be acute appendix and when we were supposed to sit on an airplane he was lying on the operating table.
This is getting a little to long and possibly little to boring as well. So much negative shit in one post. I’ll just stop here because this is the end of our epic NZ adventure anyway. We had to wait till Bart would be able to fly, I was a nerve wreck but I guess we managed to do everything possible to make Leo believe that we are having THE time of our life. And guess what. When I look back now, I would never ever want to go through that one month again, it took some time, a lot of thinking and processing for it to become a material for blog post but now despite of all I believe that in a way we had the time of our life, because there is not better way to grow as a couple than to fall down together.
PS: Our story as well as the story of our daughter continues with the next set of photos from Japan. It is not a strategy to keep you all waiting for what happens next, I did not make it to be a soap opera star yet. I just feel that what happened in Japan belongs to the post from Japan. But we all seem to be OK, at least for now and in a extent which is medically provable :)