The story of Fatema becoming a mom of twin in a foreign country
Q: Could you please just introduce a bit of yourself and your arrival in Luxembourg?
A: My name is Fatema. I am 31 years old and I'm from London. But my family is in India. I was studying for two years in Luxembourg, then I am now working as an aircraft mechanic for 4 years. I like living here.
Q: Do you speak the local language?
A: No, I could speak a little bit of German but my work is mainly in English. I am studying Luxembourgish.
Q: Tell me about your pregnancy experience?
A: When I started off with pregnancy, I loved every minute of it. From day one, I didn't feel any aches, any pain. I didn't feel like morning sickness, even when I was feeling sick. I was positive. And then at week 24 when we found out that I had an unusual event of twin pregnancy situation, it was just like a car crash. And from then on, we had so many doctor appointments. It was midway through my pregnancy, I decided to change my gynecologist. My dad and my husband told me I should try another one if I don't feel comfortable with the current gynecologist. It was the best thing that I actually tried. The first doctor spent only like 30 seconds with me. I carried twins in my belly so I wanted someone to care about me, to spend time with me. So in the end I took the advice and found the new gynecologist after reading lots of reviews and recommendations. I felt relieved as he was good.
Q: Any advice?
A: I was admitted to the hospital from week 25 and stayed full-time until the babies were born on week 31. Up until now, it's been 8 weeks as my babies are still in incubators. And because of Covid, I wasn't allowed to leave the room. It was so tough. Luckily I got private health insurance so it was covered for my stay.
So my advice is to buy private health insurance. And also, choose gynecologists wisely.
I tried to be positive because I realized if I stress, my babies are stressed. So yeah, another piece of advice is trying to make yourself happy when you are pregnant.
Q: So how did you find all the information you need during pregnancy, about doctors and other baby stuff?
A: I read Google reviews for doctors. And then the gynecologist gave me information about midwives and all other baby things. When I was struggling with breastfeeding, I asked people in a Facebook group called the Ladies of Luxembourg. I usually ask them questions and got really good advice. As you know, I have no family in Luxembourg, so joining a group makes me feel good. Sometimes I asked just to have some reassurance that if I was doing the right thing.
Q: So how do you prepare the stuff for the baby?
A: We have twins but we do not want to end up with a lot of double stuff. Baby stuff is expensive. So I bought some secondhand stuff like nursery furniture, changing tables, the things which we do not need for a long time. I got them from my friends and colleagues, and some from Facebook. With regards to baby clothing, I bought many of them from the UK since I am familiar with the shops there better than here in Luxembourg. My parents also sent me lots of baby stuff.
My friend also gave me a care box which has some bamboo blankets. I brought them to the hospital and I think they are really good. The fabric is really soft and easy to wash. They don't overheat and don't get too cold. I use them as a swaddle, or sometimes I just put them as a bedsheet of the incubator.
Q: Tell me about your best and hardest thing in the first week?
A: The hardest thing for me was a C-section recovery. My babies were taken into incubators so it was very difficult for me. And when the milk came in, it was painful too.
But the best thing is to be able to see them getting healthier. I ran to the hospital every time just to be able to look at them through the window and shout out their names. It was because of Covid they didn't allow visitors.
Q: So far what item do you think is the most important in your baby closet?
A: I guess blanket. I can use them for many purposes like the swaddle, after bath blanket, or bedsheet. Actually, the baby is still in the hospital so I haven't got many things for them.
Q: What is the most challenging thing for an expat mom like you?
A: When you are in your home country, you know how the system works. You know the doctors, or you have friends/ relatives who know them. You also have the language to find all sorts of information you need. But living as an expat in a foreign country, when I was pregnant, the most challenging thing was that I didn't know what to do first. The system is totally different. I had to start finding out every little thing.
Q: If you could tell something to a new mom like you, what would it be?
A: Pregnancy could be tough. Delivery is even harder. But enjoy every moment of it!