June 13, 2012

Same Same but Different

"Same, same, but different", often say the Thais in their colourful English (says the girl who does not pretend for a single second her own mastering of the English language is perfect).

Same same but different is a bit how I feel when comparing Malo's and Mieje's births and,the first months of their life.

The birth - Same, same...
Meije announced herself in ways which made me think "well, well, well, that feels familiar", followed by "it seems that, this time again, I won't be doing things in the "right" order".  As for her brother, the sequence of events went like this :
1. waters broke in the middle of the night, long before I could start feeling the slightest contractions.
2. no pain whatsoever, but heading off to hospital because that's what you do when said waters break.
3. Pretty much no dilatation for days. OK, hours, in fact. But trust me, hours feel damn long when it's the middle of the night, you're lying on the uncomfortable bed ever, you have no idea how long you're here for, it is boiling, you cannot open the window because some medical staff are smoking right below your window. I mean, come on, this is a hospital, this is even the bloody (ah ah) maternity ward, the nurse has just performed a test to check your exposure to tobacco, and, although you have sworn you don't smoke, never did, has lectured you 'tobacco-is-evil' style, and medical staff is smoking less than 3 metres from you and the baby you're about to give birth to? This must be a joke. (End of rant)

However I knew better this time than thinking "oh joy, I am about to give birth and it is not even remotely painful", because, from (admittedly limited) previous experience, no labour pain = no good news. First time round, from the moment we reached the hospital, everything that could go wrong did - not dilating fast enough, not contracting regularly enough, baby not dealing well at all with whatever contractions I had - to the big finale, a pretty traumatic emergency C-section.

... But different?
There was however no reason to panic, since, this time, there would be no room for uncertainty. A C-section had been planned for the following week, since Meije was still high, and my pelvis "not the size of a cathedral". It would then just be done a week earlier than planned, right?


Quite the same same old story, actually...
I thought I had, this time, everything under control, which, if you know me, was a huge relief. OK, a C-section was not the dream birth, but at least, this one was planned, so there would be no drama (just a little fear, getting bigger as the date was getting closer, about the anaesthetics and that, this time round, the days post c-section may be quite painful). Everything under control then... except that the on-call ob-gyn was on a mission as soon as she saw me, decided as she was to convince me I may be able to give birth naturally and should at least give it a try.  Hence a huge dilemma : a c-section, no unknown, but the certainty I would never know what it is like to give birth naturally, something I had wanted so badly for Malo. Or deciding to give natural birth a go, to the risk of ending up, many hours later, which could be hours living with intense fear for my baby, with a c-section anyway.  Bottom line is, once again, things were not at all happening the way I thought they would.  Will that teach me a lesson and help me not always being the quintessential control freak? I guess not.

... although with a different - Thank God - ending
In the end, Meije's birth was different from Malo in that she finally was born naturally, some 22 hours after we had arrived to the hospital, she handled the birthing process like a rock star and I was beaming, as I was holding my little girl on the belly after a pretty long expulsion (what an ugly term to describe a baby coming to the world. I mean, I was not always a happy pregnant chick and quite pleased my girl decided to show up almost three weeks early, but still, couldn't we use a term which sounds less like we're getting rid of some illegal immigrant?).  I tell you, having this little bloody, sticky, screaming thing lying on you minutes after she was in your belly beats being taken away in the recovery room, knowing your baby is alone in an ugly plastic box, anytime.

As for the rest...
Apart from their birth story, Malo and Meije have a lot in common. They both made most people wonder how their diminutive mom had managed to give birth to two pretty big babies. Some - including the ob-gyn, even asked how I had hidden it so well, but here, I would beg to differ. I mean, haven't they seen that huge belly of mine in the weeks before giving birth? Don't they think I looked enough like a whale as it was?). So far, they have also both been two rather easy-going babies : Malo started sleeping through the night aged five weeks, Meije aged 8 weeks (I still consider myself more than happy with that, and I am sure most moms would agree I should!), they both seem to find Maman's milk to their taste, having gained 2 kgs in the first two months of their lives. And if Meije has been beaten by her big brother by a couple of weeks on the "sleeping through the night" front, she was ahead by two months when it came to find her thumb and soothing herself with it : she found that miracle device of hers aged two months, which prompted the nurse to say babies usually did not do so before they were three months old, and me to feel very proud... although I may come to regret this later, when we'll start getting bills from the orthodontist.

To end this "same, same but different" account, I should mention the biggest difference of them all, which has actually more to do with me than with my offsrpings : post-partum running.

Hold on with me for a few minutes while I cry my head off.

OK, I am back.

Post-partum absence of running, should I have said. Unless you count 2 min running - 1 min walking, this for 40 min at the most, as proper running, which I surely do not.

That's my little ones being taken for... a walk. Yes, a walk. Not a run, not even a job. A walk.

Why that is so is for another post (and, maybe, I will manage to write that one without waiting another two months), but lets say the "natural birth" and "pretty long explusion" mentioned earlier explain most of it. Does the above mentioned little, bloody, sticky, screaming thing on my belly makes up for it? Sure it does. Kind of. But if I could have both the natural birth and the back-to-running-straight-after-birth, I would take it, anytime. I guess that's what the midwife calls my "Little house on the prairie" tendencies (what, we cannot be living in a perfect world where everybody is nice, things always end for the best... and I am running as much as I want? Sigh...).  Quest for perfection on earth... no doubt that trait of mine is one that will for ever be found in the "same same" category.


PiccolaPineCone said...

so excited to read your birth story and to have news on how things are going after the fact... sounds like they are going well. except for the running part (which believe me, I know is no small except!!). I hope that you are given the green light to run continuously soon.
Bien a vous toutes!!

Nicole said...

I can understand how you must feel. I was in such great shape before my boys and now running several minutes slower. Its all worth it though,isnt it!

Cécile said...

Bientôt tu vas pouvoir courir à nouveau avec ton mega chariot! Ça viendra plus vite que tu ne le pense. Pense positif: genre Paula Radcliffe.
Quand est-ce que tu as pris cette photo? A philadelphie, on a une vague de chaleur. Il fait 40!