Martina, 36 years old
“I have had two miscarriages. They came completely unexpected and I was terribly shocked. When I asked my mother and family about it, they said ‘Yes, those things happen, but you just don't talk about it’.”
“I was having lots of doubts about having a baby. I just really enjoyed my life. I really like my job, I like to have my own space and time. I knew a baby would be a fulltime job. I didn't decide to have a child until I was 35.”Martina became pregnant shortly after the decision was made. Until then she wasn’t aware that early pregnancies do not always proceed smoothly. What followed was an unpleasant surprise: a miscarriage. After some time she becomes pregnant again, this time with twins. But during the ultrasound they find out that both embryos are not vital anymore. After that we waited for my body to naturally expel the embryos. A couple of days after the echo, I felt very uneasy and I felt like I wanted to get rid of them as soon as possible. I had this weird feeling of being 'dirty' inside. The expelling then happened naturally in about a week. But the miscarriage became very hard physically. It was probably one of the worst nights of my life. I had extreme cramps and lost a huge amount of blood. Afterwards I was just totally exhausted. For a few days I was totally knocked out and was numb because of the pain. I was just laying on the couch with a pillow under my belly. My body could barely react. When after some days my body started to feel better again, I had the feeling of being wrong, because it felt like I wasn’t able to carry a child in my body. And looking at the women around me announcing they were happily pregnant, I felt alone in that."
After the second miscarriage, Martina becomes pregnant again. This time successfully: after nine months she gives birth to her daughter, Noah. Talking about her experience with her midwife, she finds out how common miscarriages are. “They came completely unexpected and I was terribly shocked. When I asked my mother and family in Tuscany (Italy) about it, they said 'yes, those things happen but you just don't talk about it'. I thought: Why didn’t you tell me? I was missing very important information. I felt that I needed to open up, also because I am a teacher. I work a lot with kids and teenagers and I feel responsible to educate them about life. When I mentioned what happened, they were sorry and so concerned. But I told them ‘it’s okay, it’s normal and it happens to a lot of people.’ Somehow that made me find the positive aspect in all of this. The more I talked about it, the easier it became.”
Noah is one and a half years old today. Motherhood hasn’t always been a walk in the park. “There are opposite feelings. I feel this natural protection towards her. I have zero negative feelings towards her. But I hate the lack of personal time and space. Since our families all live in Italy, it can be difficult to manage some private time.”
The child is not my property
“Some people see having a child as the best thing in their lives, the source of their happiness. Sometimes they project on them the life that they never had, their aspirations and ambitions. I don’t think that’s healthy for both sides. Society already puts enough pressure on us and especially on women. I hope that we as parents will be there to support our daughter, instead of putting the pressure of our expectations on her. We can not mold our children into the model that we have in mind. Noah doesn’t belong to us, she’s not an extension of our lives. She’s already a person on her own.”