Non, je ne regrette rien.

My pregnancy didn't start nicely. I cam back from Paris heart-broken and disappointed. I didn't know what to do, how to do it... I knew I was pregnant and that in few months everything was about to change. I knew that I didn't want to have an abortion not because I am against it but because it didn't feel like a right choice for me. I also didn't know if I can raise Helena by myself. Million questions and doubts, no answers.   I was scared. I was so scared. I spent countless sleepless nights crying - feeling horrible, blaming myself for everything. I hated myself and I was my worst enemy. I was going crazy. I was working but if somebody asked me what I was doing at work, I wouldn't be able to tell. I was there, I tried to do some good and it worked but how... I have no idea really. I was a zombie.

It took me three months of vegetating, mourning and hating myself to wake up one day to a decision that enough was enough. I had a choice to either honour this time or ruin it and look back later in the future at this time and regret that I hadn't been able to love myself and Helena enough to look after the two of us. I made a decision that from then on, I would be my best friend, the one who supports and loves. I said no to the critical vice that tried to convince me that I was stupid, worthless, naive girl. It's been attacking me ever since, of course, but I've gotten better and better at ignoring and treating it more like a background noise in the mall - after a while you don't even realize that the music still plays. So that morning, I made a commitment to myself that I would fight for Ania and Helena. I would be healthy and present for the two of us. Yes, it would be hard but I realized that didn't have to make it harder for myself. I needed to be in my won team and help myself and not sabotage my efforts. I could either be miserable or content and I chose the latter.

I went back to the gym. I've been training for all this time: a bit of running, walking, weights, swimming, whatever felt good. It's been the longest training ever - the one for the body and mind. I've looked after my food and made sure that I was not overeating, though few times I surely stuffed my mouth with cake and pizza... but I made sure that that would happen only few times. Looking after my body resulted in a very easy pregnancy - all the things I was so afraid of never happened: my doctor thinks I'm downright a boring case - she gives me vitamins only (thank god!) My body has been cooperating with me  and I'm so grateful to it for that. I've been feeling fantastic and, what is weird, very womanly or even sexy, I dare say. Here is the result.

Along with the body comes mind and here the work has proved to be a bit harder but it is happening and I'm very supported by people around me. Mostly, I'm optimistic. There are moments when I worry but I don't wake up in the middle of the  night any more (unless they are dreams about my family), short of breath and  sweated thinking that I'm hurting Helena by bringing her to to the world without making sure that her dad is there for her. One thing is that her Dad has contacted me and we've been talking ever since and that gives me some hope she will get to know him, the other thing is that I cannot account for Olivier's decisions. No more guilt there. I've also stopped obsessing about her college tuition and all the things that theoretically I'm not able to afford. Now, I can't buy them now but who knows what the future holds - there is quite a lot of potential at the place where I work, so why the hell would I not be able to give Helena things she will need? And of top of it all she doesn't need things now, she needs a present and loving mother, the rest is not really important. As I don't know the future, I only can do everything I can to make things happen. And if they don't, I will know that I've tried and find solutions to problems when they occur. Today we have no problems. Today is good and filled with love from the world and people around us.

This combination of body and mind work resulted in more peace.  Of course I am scared and anxious but not panicked any more. I'm well looked after and so is Helena by me and by other people around me. We are in good hands.

When I look back to those grim days in February when I was walking the streets of Paris in tears and thinking that I should not be, I'm proud of myself that I decided, after all, to stay and do what I felt was right. And though I don't know what the future holds, closing this chapter, I am happy to look back and say after Edit Piaff "Non, je ne regrette rien." Hopefully, next parts of the story will prove to be equally regretless.


It's Your Fault

I can't get hold of my dad. my father, my old man as I call him when I'm angry. And angry I am. I would like to talk to him but he's gone, drowned in the ocean of alcohol. Still alive but not for long, I fear. 

I woke up in tears this morning, heart pounding, short of breath. I had a dream: my childhood house, it's dark inside. My father on the floor, drunk I guess. I'm standing next to him. We are trying to talk but the only thing he coming out from his mouth is: "It's your fault, it's your fault' it's your fault." I'm screaming to him on top of my lungs, I scream so hard that my voice doesn't seem like mine any more. It's a scream of pain and sadness, and extreme anger. "My fault? What is my fault!? It's not my fault that you chose to kill yourself?! Can you hear me?! It's not my fault!!!!" And I'm waiting for him to say: "It's not" and absolve me and give me a free pass to go but he is stubborn and repeats all over again "your fault, your fault, your fault." My demon, my curse, and my love. Because I do love my father.

But it's not my fault. His drinking is not my responsibility, I can't help him, I can't rescue him. Why am I even bothering to write this all? On morning like this, I feel and realize how much of guilt and sadness is still in me. I like to think that I've come a long way and I understand but what he does still hurts so much. And especially now, when Helena will be born... I'm glad she will never see him this way, on the floor but my heart bleeds when I think of a man I used to know, the one I would like her to know - my father who used to be different. Used to be...

"Sit still and observe this pain flowing through your system. Don't deny but embrace, accept, sit still... make it your friend and not enemy and when that happens it'll loose its grip over you," says the friendly voice inside, the loving voice, the me, the parent inside, the compassionate and loving one, the one I need so much now. 


Power Saving Mode

It was ok till Monday, though after the visit at the doctor's I came back home and the only thing I was able to do was hitting the bed. 

I managed to go swimming yesterday but today already I feel like it might have been my last swim. My body is slowing down. It forces me to rest up to the point that going to the classroom on the first floor is challenging and running up and down the stairs leaves me a bit puffed. And all that happened in only two days. Isn't it crazy? The system must have switched into the power conservation mode. Smart system - it knows better than I do what is coming.

Helena feels like she's started packing up for the journey. She's been moving around the Utero a lot, up and down, a busy bee getting ready for a trip. It's only a few centimeters down the road but I'm sure it'll feel for both of us like climbing the Everest or running an ultra marathon. I can't imagine - I don't considering what I've read recently about dying in labor. Maybe I'll stop here, I want to sleep tonight.

So yes, energy saving mode - I was supposed to go to Ikea today to buy one last thing for the nursery but this had to be cancelled. I might have fallen asleep walking around the shop or in a taxi on my way there. I will be helped with this on Sunday, though. So far I've been able to carry all the shopping bags and groceries by myself but I guess now it's over for a while and I will need some help.

It sucks that in those last days one feels like this - exhausted and sleepy. This should be the time for the lasts: last cinema, last uninterrupted meal with friends, last hairdresser and nails but all I can think about is my bed, and all I can feel is this tiredness in my body. 

Anyway, I've had a very good eight months when my body cooperated beautifully so I should not complain and just give it a break to get ready to the big trial day.

Now... off to bed.


Ten Days

I was asked to jump on a chair, legs up in the stirrups for the doctor to have a quick-peak in the Utero and what she saw, she told me, or actually, what she felt was Helena's head. What?! "Can I as well", I asked, "no, your hands are too short." Awww, but then I thought that poking Helena on the head would be a bit creepy so I'll just wait till she is out. Yes, the heart is beating, Helena is moving and I'm dilating already. I jumped off the chair and the gyn goes: "Ten days, na. I think she'll be here in around ten days." Two days ago I counted twenty-five -  I still had almost the whole month to catch up on sleep and get togethers with some of my friends and now she is telling me that this coming weekend might be my last solo ones?! Say what? Might be that when I have my next check up, dr Suppatha will suggest that I stay in hospital. "Should I bring the bag with little clothes?" No, I live close enough to send me home for a bag and back.  The visit ended. I left hospital thinking that since these are really my last days, I should do something, I should go and do stuff, now! But the reality was that at this stage, after the whole day at work I feel nothing but tiredness, so I went back home and checked in the bed at 7:30 pm. Exciting stuff.

Ten days!!! Waaaa!!!



From tomorrow Helena is not going to be considered premature if she decides to come out. She still has some growing to do but she would survive at this point - no problem. Though, it's still twenty one days that she will spend in the Utero and though I considered inducing her earlier due to my maternity leave limitations, I think I'll just wait till the day comes and get induced only if it turns out that she isn't in rush.

I got a bed for Her yesterday, a beautiful cot from a friend of mine. It's all dressed and prepared and teddy bears from all over the world are waiting as well. The baby clothes has been washed and some even ironed, the stash of nappies are piling in every possible space I could find at home. The furniture has been moved around the house. My bag is packed and waiting at the door. I think I have everything ready. I'm waiting. I'm scared and apprehensive. But I'm waiting trusting that it will all be good. It's very difficult sometimes to trust, though - the level of the trust changes and goes up and down few times a day depending what I've just read yet another time about having kids, though I promised myself I won't read anything anymore to freak myself out. But I still do.

Doctor tomorrow. Then last week at school. Awwww. Helena is closer and closer.

I asked friends from all over the world to get a toy for Helena: from left: the UK, Hong-Kong, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, the UAE, Afghanistan, South Africa, Indonesia. Thank you everybody for you fantastic contributions. We will study geography with these guys thinking of you.


Four More Weeks

Last week on Monday I met my new students and I can't be happier to be a teacher to this bunch of funny kiddos. They are sweet and driven, and just very nice. I hope it wasn't just a hoax on their side to impress me and they will stay this way for the rest of the year.

In two weeks I will leave them for two months, though, and take a maternity leave.  A holiday without a holiday. A time off to meet my daughter, get to know her and spend some time with her. Very little time but it is what it is and I'm not planning to take myself on any guilt trips. No guilt. This is what we have now and this is what has to be enough. The end.

I have four more weeks to go. Few more visits to the doctor and then the very last one when I will be pushing Helena towards this world. After my post about feeling scared of this whole process some friends of mine wrote to me and cheered me up saying that if they could have done it, I can as well. And I will try to do it on my own but if not, the doctor promised she will help. And since I trust this woman, I will stay with the though that I can. I can push Helena out even if it means being in pain for hours and hours. But who knows what really will happen. I only hope that I will not die, or that she will not he hurt in any way. 

Four weeks! Seems like nothing considering that I really think that I've been through the shortest pregnancies in the  history of the world. To me it was like yesterday when I did the test in the cinema toilet, then went to Paris to face my fears, come back and cried till I could no more. It was yesterday when I woke up and made a decision that I could cry more or honor this time and spend the rest of these nine months looking after myself and Helena. 

And so I chose the option number two. 
I must say - it's been a great time. A very anxious time but a great one nevertheless. I know already that I will look back one day and say that I did all I could to help myself. I will be able to say that I was my best friend and did not abandon myself when I needed myself the most. Of course, I got helped from the outside world: family and friends and it gave me more determination and fuel to go on. One day at a time.  I've been my own best friend during this time. What a change, though! I started as my own worst enemy!

When I found out that I was pregnant all I could think was how stupid I was. When it turned out that I will do it by myself, I hated myself even more. I hated myself for being naive, for letting myself being hurt so much when I thought I was safe in the world I had created around me. All had been perfect: my comfort zone. my school, my work, my life... Perfect! I was on the top of the world. And then in a second I was falling into an abyss. And I thought didn't know how to fly. I was too occupied in self-hate and self-pity to see that I do have tools and that I'm not completely powerless. It took me three months of sleepless nights to get to the point where I was so depleted and tired that I could no more go on like that. And then I made the decision that I would not give in. I made the same decision after my mom died. I made it again and I'm sure there will be times when I will have to remind myself of it again and again. I made a decision of being my own friend, of loving myself the way I am and not condemning myself any more. Today, I look into the mirror and say: I love you and I will never leave you, Ania. I feel this love more than at any time in my life even though on weaker days I might forget it, I know it is here with me. I'm here for myself. I'm here surrouned by love of people and the abundance of the world. I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. 

Apart from going to hospital.

Four more weeks and I will meet a little girl Helena. In four weeks all will be the same and nothing will be the same. In four weeks we will start a new chapter. 


What A Beautiful Day!!!

What a wonderful day it's been. My very good women friends got together to shower me and Helena with their love and their friendship. And a shower it was!!! I can't say how good it feels to know that all these people are in my life and they are there for me. Not just saying that they are - but they actually are present and willing to help and support me.

I can't ask for more. I can only say thank you.

So thank you my Friends!!! I can't wait for Helena to meet you all. I can't wait to tell Helena about how you've been helping me through this time. I can't wait to tell her about the world full of compassionate and loving people. I can't wait to tell her that the world is a beautiful place when one has friends around. I want to tell her that we are loved and this love comes in different forms, from different channels and sources. Yes, it is sad that her Dad is not with us and we will feel his absence but we cannot determine our happiness and well being on this only.  We have so much to live for and look forwards to!!! We have the whole world to explore!!! When I look at the picture below, I feel love! I feel so much love and so much goodness. I'm surrounded by Angels.

Today Friends from Thailand were with me but every day I get messages and words of love from my friends and Family from all over the world. The ones who are in Poland and in other corners of the world. I'm greatful for that. My heart if filled with hope and happiness, and I hope Helena can feel it and that she will be entering the world filled with this love and happiness. 

I hope my Mom sees that all from afar and is the happiest mom in the world seeing her daughter surrounded with so many good souls.


A Bit Teary

It was quite an emotional afternoon for me today. The IB workshop finished - for me it was the last one for a while. Of course, not the last one ever... hopefully though I have these thoughts that some things will never happen to me again. Those are voices that attack me saying: oh, you'll never be able to go to the cinema by yourself again, you'll never be able to read a book in peace, and the list goed on and on. It takes work to dismiss these voices and at times they do become overwhelming.

They overwhelmed me today. They started working on me last night with the anxiety on labor pain and finally reduced me to tears when I was asked to write a letter to myself which I'll be allowed to read in a year time.

As I was in the classroom with other people I struggled with holding my tears back, could not any more when I left school.

When I was writing this letter it sruck me yet another time how dramatically my life is going to change. I keep in mind that the change will be possibly good but I'm scared nevertheless. Scared that I'll loose what I've been working on for such a long. Scared that my IB journey will come to an end before it really has taken off properly. Scared that I won't be able to make these things happen. Today, sitting still was not working. Tears become the only relief.

So I sat and cried.

And when I stopped, I felt much better, lighter. I remembered that I don't need to have all the answers today, that all will happen at its time when it's supposed to happen.


End of Pregnency Anxiety

My holiday is over and even though I had few days in Kho Chnag to catch a breath, I had to get back to work quickly: private lessons and another IB workshop offered by the school. And then another one. Why not!? I'm feeling exhausted though. I'm trying to keep up with everything around me: school, extra work, deadlines, social obligations, my own time but in these last weeks of my pregnancy all this leaves me exhausted. Or at least today. I came back home, sat on bed for few minutes and woke up few hours alter. I'll finish writing this up and go back to sleep. I still go to work tomorrow and Friday, and then next week the kids are coming back to school and we start a new school year. My two-month maternity leave starts in September but that won't be at all about resting up.

The chances are, however, that considering the pace I'll deliver in the classroom. That might not be such a bad idea after all as I'd probably feel safer there than in hospital. I've never been to one. Oh, nope, sorry, I've been three times but never with anything as serious as labor. 

I'm horrified. Yes, I'm trying to keep zen and cool abut the whole experience but I'm scared to death nevertheless. 

Today I can't stop thinking of the amount of pain I will  have to go through. Everything I read about labor anonymously states that the pain is immense and only an insane person would do it without epidural. My hospital doesn't give epidural, other hospitals are too expensive for me to go to. My doctor told me I will be given other painkillers if needed but not this one. Initially, I was cool about it but now... Should I change the hospital? Should I pay more have this painkiller injected? What do I do? I'm scared that won't be able to stand it... My doctor smiler from behind her desk as says: "You can. No problem for you", whenever I share my reservations with her. She seems to be really convinced that I'll survive and be well.  I guess when it all starts I will have to endure it and push her out into the world. People walked all the way to Siberia and survived concentration camps... labor doesn't sound so bad compared to these ones.

I just hope I won't be too traumatized by the experience and I won't transfer my negative expereinces onto Helena. 

In the classroom there wouldn't be any painkiller whatsoever but there would be familiar faces of friendly and carrying people. In hospital there will be nurses and I'm not sure if they'll necessarily speak English well enough for us to communicate. I guess I will just concentrate on the survival part of the event, maybe I don't need to communicate with anyone...

It's six weeks left. The time is ticking... In six weeks my daughter will be born. On my way to the gym yesterday when i was locking the door to my apartment I had a reflection that soon enough I will lock this door on my own for the last time. I wanted to cry. Am I ready for this change? Not today. Will I ever be? I don't think so as people basically don't like changes... I can think whatever I want, though, it's going to happen and soon. Helena is almost at the door.