joi, 12 septembrie 2013

Life's surprises

“I'm just not built for fairytale surprises.” 

"I know it doesn't taste very good ... I'm sorry for that. One of our neighbours offered to help me next time ..."
"To Hell, Alleken! It tastes even worse than the last time!"
"I know ... I already said I'm sorry! It's just that I'm not good at it ... "
"You're not good at cooking, you burned my underclothes the second time this month and because you can't make one decent seam we have to call the dressmaker every week! The only thing you know how to do doesn't help me at all, because you spend your damn whole day seeing paupers and strumpets!"
"Husband, please calm down."
"Don't 'husband' me! I'm starting to doubt you can even carry out your duty as my wife and produce an heir!" 

Two years into our marriage and everything was already on the rocks. To everybody else though, we were still the perfect married couple.
Gregory was busy administering his family's farm, so he spent at least three days every week out of the town, while I finally managed to open the consulting room, so we didn't see much of each other. Even so, our relatives started to ask questions, wondering if there wasn't something wrong with one of us for not yet having children.
What children, if even when my husband finally got to spent five days together with me, we were both so busy with our own concerns? Of course, the fact that I still lacked most of the standard housewife skills didn't help at all with our problems.

As for our first problem, I can't say that we didn't try. At least during out first year of marriage. Seeing that I was still not with child, I was beginning to worry, because I knew that there shouldn't be anything wrong with me. Even Teacher saw me and assured me of that. And there was nothing wrong with Gregory either, not that he would ever allow me or Teacher to make sure of that.

My work with the patients kept me busy, so I didn't really have much time to give it a second thought that summer, but at the beginning of fall I started to notice some signs and in less than a month I was already certain I was with child. I told Gregory that very night and he couldn't be more excited. He finally started spending more time at home and I have to admit, I couldn't be happier. I thought all our problems would end with the birth of this child.

Of course, things didn't turn out as I expected.
As every new mother-to-be and despite all my knowledge, I was scared and starteled even by the slightest new detail that didn't go 'by the book' and although I had a fairly easy time during my first trimester - I only suffered of occasional headaches and my weight remained almost unchanged - during my 22nd week I knew there was something uncanny about this baby. I discussed it with Teacher and we both had our share of suspicions, but we decided to wait a couple more weeks. Of course, by my third trimester, both of us were certain about the fact that there were at least two babies, most probably three. And that's when I became really worried.

Even if twins were a common event among humans, multiple births occured almost stricly among elves or other species, mostly naiads or selkies and with me beeing a first time mother, things wouldn't be as easy as I would have liked them to be. Gregory became concerned too and insisted that I should stop seeing other patients. Teacher agreed with him and I had to comply.

The labour lasted for almost 20 hours and I have to admit that it was the most bloodcurdling experience in my life, not only because of the pain, but mostly because I was so nervous and anxious about the babies beeing born too early and their chances of survival. By the time everything ended, even Gregory was exhausted. I gave birth at 32 weeks of gestation, not that would have been a surprising thing, taking into account the fact that I carried three daughters and a son. The boy and one of the girls were slightly underdeveloped and I was really worried for them, but they survived. We named them Francis, Matilda, Rosaline and Lyonnete and had all four of them christened by the third day.

I knew that Gregory would never be able to accuse me of not fulfilling my obligations.
And that's how our sleepless nights began.

We both agreed that it would have been nearly impossible for me to care for four newborns by myself, regardless of how much experience I already had with young children - I didn't really have any experience with such young children ; I knew how to deliver them and I was good at instructing the new mothers what they were supposed to do, but everything is so different when it concerns your own children - so we brought another girl in the house to help me. Even so, I didn't get more than two or three hours of sleep every night and by the time the babies turned one, I was nearly exhausted. Gregory tried to help me at the beginning, but he gave up after almost a week and even my mother couldn't resist more than a few months.
Still, in spite of all those things like sleepless nights, infantile colics and the occasional colds, I can't say that I wasn't happy to be a mother and I enjoyed every moment of it. Now that we already had four children to concern ourselves about, Gregory didn't really care too much about our old arguments.

2 comentarii:

Ekho spunea...

I did not like the way Gregory was speaking, considering the pressure he's putting on his new wife. And she's what? 17? But beside that, wow, four babies in the first go, I don't know how she managed it.

Vincent Meyers spunea...

Loved it!

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