The way things are


Hello pumpkins, so where was I? Oh yes, telling  you all about last year.

So by March, things were pretty bad for me. I was so depressed that I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and had riotous morning sickness. I never had that with the first kid and would smuggly swan around, my book on tribal pregnancies in one hand, spouting gems like “Morning sickness is undocumented in tribal societies you know, so that means it’s psychosomatic. I don’t believe in it, and so I have none, you see?”

I would have gone back in time and smacked my own face in with a dry cracker as I sat hugging the bathroom sink and dry heaving. I couldn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy except the very nearest and dearest. This was because I had to get a CVS procedure done to make sure that I wasn’t a gonadal mosaic (google it, I can’t be bothered to explain). So I looked this CVS up online and everyone discovered it as uncomfortable but that’s it.

I went and got it done by the good people at Alexandra maternity hospital, Athens, and I was shitting myself I can tell you. I really did not want to get it done. Due to the state I had got myself in (I have, understandably I think, lost control of my emotions in recent years) I nearly died of horror when I was told I couldn’t have Mr Zeus in the room with me. Standard procedure. One unsuccessful try later, I was sent off to tank up on water which I did with shaking hands and floods of tears. To be fair, the lady who did the procedure could see how scared I was and she commented on my age, which made me low risk for needing a CVS. I told her about the Duchenne thing and she was really nice to me. She tried to show me my baby on the high-res monitor, but I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to see the baby until I got my results.

Mercifully, lady Luck took a day off from being a total bitch to me, and my baby’s results were fine. To my intense surprise, the baby turned out to be male. I was absolutely convinced I was having a girl. With Mini me, we had opted not to learn the sex. No such luck going forward, we are obliged to learn the sex for each future pregnancy. To tell you the truth, I am kind of all surprised out anyway.

So then baby was born and, perhaps due to the intense stress I was under during pregnancy, he just cried for the first 3 months and I just cried with him. Seriously, you’d think it would be easier the second time round but no such luck. The birth was quite a funny story and yes, I am going to share it with you because all people ever share are their near-death horror birth stories, and I’ve luckily had two great births.

Two weeks before my due date, pickled and lumbering, I went for a midwife check up. No summer hols for us this year on account of bubs being due in mid September. I had been all up in everyone’s face in the beaches around Athens with my belly just hanging out to compensate. If you saw an extremely pregnant woman in a don’t-give-a-damn bikini and a toddler in tow, that was probably me. The midwife was joking and laughing about me going swimming until she examined me, upon which she told me to go home, put my feet up and do nothing to see if we could steal a few more days of pregnancy because one false move and that baby was practically going to fall out of me.

The delivery itself ended up being like something out of those cheesy American slapstick comedies, me waddling out of the front door after my waters broke at the end of August, not September, sipping on a can of coke and pissed off as hell at having to give birth that day, while my mother in law stood at her door crossing herself repeatedly and saying Panagia moy, The moy sose like I was going to war or something. Less than an hour later, with me shouting “WHERE THE FUCK IS MR ZEUS” because that baby wasn’t waiting for NO ONE, Hans was born. I’ll call him Hans here because against all the odds this kid has been born to me with blue eyes and blonde hair, so my mystery Swedish boyfriend is everyone’s joke now.

The delivery was really fast but then I had to stay in hospital for 5 days because of the ebola virus. Just kidding, Hans developed jaundice and everyone was like “You can remove this child at your own risk!” I was rooming with a girl and her sugar daddy who slept in the same room and snored all night. He also liked to watch TV till 2 am and eat crisps. You get the picture. I was ready to fucking punch him in the face by day two of this nonsense. The other girl in the room was a first timer too, so at visiting time, our room was like Grand Central Station.

By the fifth morning and having managed around 2 hours sleep in three days, not because of Hans, but because of the trelokomio that maternity hospitals are (imagine you’re in a room with two other people you don’t know and three noisy, incontinent room mates, and all night people coming into your room “Suppository? Your baby needs changing? We need to take his blood sugar. Here, breastfeed him and let me see if you’re doing it right”) I signed myself out.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. These days after going through everything that I have been through with my darling son’s diagnosis, I decided I am making a break for my freedom and have been working really hard trying to get my writing off the ground. I’ve had some success, I could do with more. So wish me luck. By the end of this year I hope to be living off my words. Life is good, I have two kids now and am working on getting myself back on track mentally. If my plans all work out I will be glad, because life is really too short to be in a job you don’t care about.


About bollybutton

Hi and welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by. My name is Bollybutton. I'm an Asian woman that grew up in a barely anonymous South Asian country (you could probably guess it if you visit my old blog). I used to like in the UK for 10 years. In 2004, I came to Athens to volunteer at the Olympics, which is how I met my husband. Fast forward through the years and I'm still here, and that unlikely and much opposed romance turned into a marriage and a beautiful son. This blog is a tribute to the experience of trying to settle in Athens as an Asian and a foreigner. My original blog can still be found at This is the place to go for resources and where to find Asian food and ingredients in Athens, though more of the same will eventually feature on this blog. Enjoy!

3 responses »

  1. Hi There!!

    I am just so happy to see your blog, i am having a huge smile on my face while i am reading. I would like to be your friend coz i dont have any here. I mean Indians friends:).

    Best Regards,

  2. I am wishing you good luck and above all GOOD HEALTH for you and your family. You are a sweet sensitive girl and I sympathise with all your problems. We miss you! Please write again!

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