NIGHTMARE (as told by Eliza’s mother)
Two years later, in May again, for the fourth time, we had a girl. But then, nothing happened the usual way with her.
After my two losses we considered Bendi a present himself, but as he was so far away from his brothers in age (eight, six and one and half years olds), after a while we thought that it would be nice for him to have a ‘pair’, too.
With the older ones, I had already been carrying the second one when the first one was only ten months old, but now we were way after the first birthday and I hadn’t even had an ovulation …. Of course, the long breast-feeding! And then suddenly I realised that there had been one and it had conceived, too. It was a bit later than with the older children, there would be a bit more than two years in between the two smaller ones. So I was due at the beginning of June.
I had a little bleeding in the first trimester again: we were walking the two bigger ones to an afternoon lesson, and Bendi was in a carrier on my stomach. We were walking over the closed-down Margit Bridge and towards the end it felt like when you’re menstruating and a big piece comes out. I was shaking when I arrived at the ‘place’ with the children, I went to the toilet immediately and yes, there was a big blood patch in my knickers. You only know what it is like to see a blood patch in a pair of knickers when you are expecting if you’ve been there yourself. I will never forget the feeling, nor the end of the two hour long pottery lesson when eventually I could go home. I had questions swirling in my head: Why? Why again? Why does it happen to me, to us?
A day in bed, resting, calming down, and the truth is that there was not a drop of blood more apart from that one portion. It could have calmed me down but I had seen this before, too. On Sunday morning I phoned the outpatient department of the assigned gynaecology to see if there was anybody on duty to do a scan because this and that had happened to me. The nurse said that there was always somebody on duty so I should go in and the doctor on duty will do the check-up. I only find it important to mention this because I met ‘my doctor’ here again, the one I had met at my second loss. The nurse was the same, too, with that exotic name. She recognised me too.
The doctor doesn’t though. He takes me in to the ultrasound room and orders me to undress. I tell him that I would only free up my stomach. He says it wouldn’t be good because he wants to do a vaginal one. I reply saying that I wouldn’t like that as long as there is a chance that the baby is there alive, I wouldn’t like him to handle the area around my cervix (there had been doctors who had messed it up) -and it’s interesting that when we didn’t have vaginal ultrasound they were satisfied with the stomach one…. He looks at me disapprovingly, and then he says: this is not a wish list. I start begging, my God, this person was completely different a year or two ago. Of course, I don’t say this, but what a thing this is, the doctor orders and the expecting mother bows to him. I know that to him, he is doing a favour that I walk in on a Sunday morning because I am worried and he is kind enough to look at us even if we are unknown to him, and then I want to order him around… He gives in and does a stomach ultrasound. And that shows that the baby is fine, normal heart functions, suitable size for its age, no pathology to be seen. I could hug him, even though he has changed a lot since two years ago. I am happy, leaving I call home but I weep into the phone with relief, poor them at home, they think there’s something wrong, I can hardly say that everything is fine.
It is a long time till the fourth but for some reason I buy all the stuff for giving birth – I am in town anyway, looking for birthday presents for Simon and Bendi. Shortly after these days pass and it’s the fifth when, completely unexpectedly, I give birth.
There’s nothing in the morning. At noon, the piano tuner arrives and by the time he leaves, I need to pick up the older ones from school, at 4 o’clock. I also pick up a guest at the school, my friend, Péter, who helps us with our taxes. I always give birth around the tax date because we always leave it till the last minute. It is the last but one day today, too, so I’m taking Péter home, too. They are sitting at the computer with T, they count, divide and multiply, this is how the afternoon goes by.
The children are having baths and dinner, luckily my mother-in-law is here and she is taking care of them, because I’m not hungry for some reason, or I’m not in the mood to eat or to be with them. They should go to sleep and it should be all quiet. What is happening to me? Alright, it can be like this near the time, but this much and so soon?
T and Péter are at the computer, I am lying down at the back – the office, the bedroom and the living room is in one at our house – so I am lying there and I don’t feel like doing anything, only lying and sleeping when I feel something I’ve never felt before: like the dilation of my cervix and a very long pain that bears no resemblance to a contraction happening at the same time. I start sweating, because of the fear and the pain and mostly because I don’t really know what’s happening. I have given birth three times, but I don’t recognise this thing that has just happened, but also, each of the three previous ones was different.
I struggle to the bathroom: a few steps up to the children’s room, across that and into the bathroom. I’m sitting on the toilet again, out of habit, there’s no reason for it though, but I’m calling the birth number: I know it’s not with Ági, she’s having a grandchild-day, we spoke in the afternoon, she’s a grandmother now, until 9 in the evening.
We’d spoken in the afternoon to see if I wanted to walk over to do a CTG scan, but because I have an appointment at the hospital for the same thing for tomorrow (Tuesday), we agree that we can talk later, after 9, to see if I had the energy to walk over for the scan and the examination that I had missed on week 37, or if I wanted to see her after the hospital appointment tomorrow.
So I know that the number is not ringing on her phone, but I don’t mind, I hear the other Ági answering it, I tell her what’s up and she asks, surprised: ‘You’re already there?’ well, I say, I’m surprised, too, – the usual is after week 40 – but people give birth in week 38 and it seems like now this is the case. While we are talking, there is another sensation, similar to the previous one, the toilet is not doing any good and it’s cold, too – this is a cold, wet May – so I go back to the ‘bedroom’ and lie down.
I sleep for maybe a few minutes when I wake up with a very strong pain. I call it this because I can’t find a better word for it, it takes my breath. I start walking to the bathroom again, T turns back, looks into my eyes, I look into his, I nod and he understands and then I disappear upstairs, I think, he is making arrangements, I call Ági G anyway on the way, though it’s not nine o’clock yet, I know, but it’s nearly there and she lives close by, not like the other Ági. I don’t know what I ‘m saying and she is saying, and I don’t make it till the bathroom, in the rooftop bedroom there are only the two beds of my older boys, two desks, a shelf, stuff, toys, just like in a room of two boys eight and ten years old.
I flop down next to one of the beds, and I can only feel that it is a PUSH in both senses of the word. I’m down on all fours, on the hard tiles next to the bed, I would like something soft under my knees though it would only make me slightly more comfortable and I can see the bruises on my knees for days after, I feel them hurting. But my arms were hurting, too as I was balancing myself, it would have been good to lie on the bed at least with my torso, but I can’t do it, I bite the mat with pain and I concentrate on letting everything go, and I can’t do anything else, but it’s so difficult, beyond all my strength.
T is arranging everything in the meanwhile, I think he asked poor Péter to leave quickly, he transferred the bed sheets for the big boys to the downstairs, to the small room, my mother-in-law is going to sleep on the guest bed in Bendi’s room, T takes care of them and then he’s running back to me, to ask where the equipment is. I tell him that it’s are in the small bath in the living room, then he is back with me, puts decabitus lining under me, and paper wool and a cushion under my knees but it’s too small for my stride and it only bothers me anyway because my knees keep sliding down off it (that’s why I have the bruises), he prepares the heating fan and then eventually he sits down next to me on the tiles and tries to massage me. He knows what to do, he’s doing it for the fourth time, but now it doesn’t feel good, I would like to tell him not to touch me, but I can’t, I’m screaming like mad, I believe, all the time, although I bite a hole in Simon’s mat, still (Máté asked me a few days later ‘Mum, is it like this all the time?’ ‘What? Giving birth? The noises? The screaming?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Well, this wasn’t quite normal but it is usually similar to this, yes.’), but it is not really painful, it is just very strong, it exhausts me, I would need my strength to let it go, to let it out, but the whole thing is very fast and very intense. Apparently, I keep saying it, too, like I’m letting you, I’m letting you, but I can’t do it so fast, and I take big breaths, unconsciously, to be able to stand the pace the child dictates. It is really feels like it wants to get out as soon as possible, let me go, let me get out of here quickly! I really can’t do it quicker, I only feel that I’m going to tear apart, it is so painful, like I was torn to hundred pieces, but it’s not me but the amniotic sac!
The head is born with the amniotic sac and as the head slips out, the sac breaks, something that had never happened before, I have never given birth to a child still in the sac and if it’s like this, I don’t want it again, it hurts so much, but then it’s finished, because the whole child is outside now or nearly, because a foot is stuck inside and stays there. I can hear it sneeze and Ági is here now, too, and tells us to remove that foot, the umbilical cord is too short, the baby can’t be put anywhere, only where it is now, at the exit. I would like to see it though, oh my God, I’ve given birth in about 20 minutes, but I am so much more conscious than I was at the previous ones, I want to hold it, but I can’t even see it between my legs, so I ask who it is and they say it is a Lizuska, funny, because we didn’t even choose a girl’s name, but then she will be Eliza later, so anyway, some Lizuska, I can’t believe it’s a girl, give her to me now, I say, put her on the cushion – it is there in between my legs, the one I couldn’t use it for my knees – but they understand it as put her on my back, how stupid, but we laugh at that because neither of them is possible, onto the cushion or onto my back, the umbilical cord is too short.
Ági says she has never seen such thing, the string has to be cut literally inside my body, we are debating what to do, because normally it is not cut so soon, we usually wait until it stops throbbing so the baby is breathing with its lungs but I want to see her, the baby is beautiful, looks fine, so they cut the string.
And this is where the nightmare starts, the baby faints immediately, I can only see a beautiful little girl (3400 g, 54 cm), who is breathing heavily and getting paler, Ági is sucking it, running to the oxygen bottle, and looking for the number for the Cerny-ambulance. She gives me the phone, sucks the baby once more, starts the oxygen and I am telling the operator: baby born at home, breathing heavily, and then he tells me to call a normal ambulance car because they don’t have a free car at the moment. What? Monday evening, at 10 o’clock all the Cerny cars are occupied? – I only think of this later. So I call 104.
But meanwhile I can see that the baby is beautiful and pinkish, opens her eyes, so I cancel the call, I didn’t talk to the regular ambulance. Oops, I slightly regret that we panicked and called the ambulance, perhaps we shouldn’t have, sometimes there is this momentary adaptation problem, then all is well. I hold the child in my hands again, perhaps all the trouble is over.
But soon enough I can see she is suffering again, she cannot breathe properly alone, the oxygen is back, which helps her but we cannot take it away from her, we try it a couple of times but she falls back. God, and then the children are already here, in the living room, a few steps away from their room where their little sister was born, T. is rushing off, I don’t know what he is telling them, wait, there’s a little problem, go back to your beds, and wait quietly, he’s rushing back, the child is better, then there is an incoming call on Ági’s phone from Cerny, they are here at the front gate, we should let them in. Ági leaves to meet them but my mother-in-law is already there at the gate, she had heard the door bell, they are already approaching, meeting Ági face-to face in the kitchen. So there was a free car in the end after all. Ági is going down for them, but my mother-in-law already went out to the gate, she had heard it downstairs that they were ringing, and they are coming towards Ági already. So they found a free car after all.
Behind Ági two women and two men rush into the room, ’Where is the child?’, that is all, the child is in his father’s arms, we tried to pick her up, I was just going to put something on. I was sitting on Mate’s bed, naked, the umbilical cord was hanging out of me, even if short, so I put on my clothes quickly, the ones I gave birth in, and which got off me at some point, perhaps when I took the baby in my arms, I do not know. So the ambulance men say: ‘Put it down!’ T. puts her down on Simon’s bed, and they start to work on her, T. goes down again as the other guys are asking for our papers, I am trying to pay attention to what they are doing, but they say nothing and ask nothing, Ági says that I should not get worried, the baby seems lifeless because the ambulance men anaesthetized her. Anaesthetized her? But why?
T. is coming, he is bringing our papers, with three men behind him, in boots, visibility vests, bags, they come in without greeting, where is the mother? They get at me, saying, let us go, like this, ‘Come with us, madam.’ I am saying: But where? Into the hospital. I am not going. I am fine. But they are going to take me. But why? Because I gave birth. So what? I have no problem at all. Really. We had no time for me yet, but apart from the fact that the placenta is still in me, and the umbilical cord is hanging, I have nothing that would need any treatment, specially not hospital one. Where is the placenta, they ask. I say that it is, by the way, in me. So you see! Madam, you must go to hospital. To give birth to the placenta? Well, I say, I would have given birth to it a long time ago if you were not standing here, strangers. The guy is impolite, disrespectful and very rude. He wants to look after me, but it does not cross his mind that he could be tactful, polite or understanding, as I have just given birth. Moreover, I am in a difficult situation since my baby is not well, and I do not know what is wrong with her. Of course, it is all because I gave birth at home, as you know, we deserve to be treated rudely and impolitely. Perhaps even the ill child, we got it now! We had incredible luck four times, but now, eventually, we learn a lesson. I do not even understand how these guys got here, we did not ask them to come, since I have really no problem at all, and they could not have done anything with the newborn anyway, they do not really know how to do it, at least not as Cerny, who are the experts. So, they are trying to pick a quarrel with me all the three of them, while the others are working on Eliza ceaselessly, I cannot pay attention because of these three, who are repeating the same stuff pointlessly, madam, you are not compos mentis, and that it is my duty to go with them. What I think is that it is my duty to stay next to my child. Of course I cannot go to the place where they are going to take her, that is also worked out so cleverly, even parents are not allowed into the newborn intensive care unit except during visiting hours, from 11 a.m. till 6 p.m., so I cannot go with my child, they want to take me to the local hospital, but that really would not make sense. But they do not understand that it is needless. In their mind they have a bleeding woman in bad condition when they hear the word homebirth, though in reality it is just the opposite, women after homebirth do not need any treatment in general, but they know only the ones who give birth in hospital. They see me with their own eyes, that I am getting up, going around and I am completely well, they cannot grasp it. What is more, there are more and more of them, the first four people from Cerny, then another four arrive, one more followed from Cerny, eventually two more, are the drivers also coming up to us, or what? So there are altogether eleven strangers here, I count them only later, but in vain, it is completely chaotic, is it needed?
Ági interrupts the argument, comes, gives birth to the placenta, we go over to the bathroom, and she closes out our pleasant company. I should sit on the bidet. That is going to be just right. I sit down on it, and the placenta slips out right after, sure, I was just keeping it inside for some time. Ági examines it, everything is fine, she goes down to the kitchen for a dish, she puts the placenta into it, and she takes it out to the ambulance people, ‘Look, here is the placenta, you can have a look at it.’ As if frightened, they refuse to look at it, what does she want with it, well, if it is intact, then there is really no need of hospital treatment, on the other hand if it is broken, I would certainly go with them. No, no, they are not interested in the placenta. OK then. But the Cerny guys want it, they are taking it together with the baby. But the ambulance man does not leave me in peace. He wants to take my blood pressure. Go on with it. It is fully normal. So, you see. But I have to go with them anyhow. He gets started again. I am not of sound mind. And this ‘ma’am’. I cannot make a decision about myself. The law says… etc. Very tiring and outrageous too. I wish I could switch him off with a remote control. I would like to pay attention to my daughter as she is being taken away; they put a picture of her in my hand, spread out, mask on her mouth, catheter in her hand… And a description of what they have done to her and what comes next, where and when I can enquire about her.
They leave, I don’t even know when and how, because I keep fighting with these people, being more and more exhausted and incompetent. Well, if they don’t leave, then I will get going. Where am I going? (Or rather, ‘Ma’am, where are you going?’). I’m telling them, to my bed. I am going to lie down. I get going, taking those few steps, these people following me, and they continue: No, this is out of the question, I have to go with them. My goodness, still the same old song? Leave me alone, really, I have just given birth, my baby has been taken away, my boys are standing around, poor them, in pyjamas, barefoot, with frightened eyes, and I am arguing with three men wearing boots and high visibility vests. Absurd. I give it a try again: can’t you see that I don’t have any problems? Really, I am not bleeding at all (as long as Eliza was put to sleep for days, this has remained like that), my blood pressure is fine, my perineum is perfect again, my general condition is good, and please stop saying that I am not of sound mind (but understand ma’am that the law says that the drunk, drugged, those who have just given birth – and one more as there are four, he has repeated it a hundred times, but I still don’t remember the fourth one, these are not of sound mind and they can be taken away against their will), OK, then here is my husband, who is of sound mind, he will decide for me.
T. tells them that I am staying. Then they start arguing with him, telling him what kind of a character he was. Why aren’t the children in bed yet when it’s almost midnight? Their kids are in bed at eight. What nonsense! I don’t get it; aren’t ambulance people trained on how to behave in other people’s home? If these doctors (as they are doctors if I am not mistaken) or officers do not know it by themselves how to behave decently, why aren’t they trained in this? Why aren’t they taught to respect another adult’s opinion no matter what they themselves think, and why aren’t they taught that they cannot judge another person? Or even if they do, they have to keep that to themselves, and should refrain from expressing that judgement? And I am telling them, but for what reason I don’t know, that our children were in bed as well but since then a few things have happened and indeed if they are willing to leave finally, then I could attend to my children, this is actually what I wish for too.
But it is his duty to take me with him and he is going to use force. He calls his boss on the phone in the headquarters, talks to him, calling me all kinds of names. He tells me to talk to his boss. No way, I’m not going to argue with his boss as well, let’s cut the whole thing. What am I going to do? For example, I would like to call my mom. They laugh at this. He laughs to his boss on the phone, saying: ‘This one here wants to call her mom’ (that is why I also feel free to call them ‘these people’). I don’t know what they find strange in this. Who doesn’t call their parents first when their child is born? And after all it is not his business at all. But this whole thing makes me very very tired.
I am lying in my own bed, surrounded by three men in boots, on the other side my kids, I am staring at the snake on Máté’s pyjama, the crocodile with its gaping mouth, Simon had the very same pyjamas on when Bendi was born, since then he grew out of it, now Máté has it, but where am I going, I am more and more exhausted and numb, I am listening to this mantra: ma’am, you are not of sound mind… I am looking at the boys and then suddenly I jump out of bed and I open the drawer (at the head of the bed), I take my panties and am ready to leave, God, I just wish this to be over with!!! What am I doing? I tell them I am leaving, I just need to put on my dress.
Dear Ági Geréb in the other end of the room (the living room!) silently comments: ‘I wouldn’t go with them because then I couldn’t go and visit my little baby in the intensive care unit tomorrow morning.’ How great that she is here! She clears my mind, suddenly I come to my senses. Today it is the second time I turn into a mother lion (the gaping crocodile?): ‘Leave this house immediately!,’ I shout at them. They are taken aback but won’t let it go so easily: ‘And how are you going to sort out your children?’ ‘That is my business! How am I going to explain your behaviour to them, that is what I do not know!’ (’They talked as porters do’ – Simon describes them ever since. I apologize to every nice and polite porter. The porter at Simon’s school is really like that.) ’But leave the place immediately, we did not ask you to come!’ (We really did not ask them, it turned out much later that one of the drivers from Cerny called them without knowing if they were needed or not.) ’Madam, is it going to be good for you if the police comes and takes you by force?’ Me: ’Yes, that will be fine, just you should leave, immediately!’ The woman in confinement who gave birth two hours before was standing half-naked in the living-room, with hands on hips, and shouting to three ambulance men in boots and visibility vests. Tragicomical. But it worked. They collected their stuff and went down the stairs. ’Let’s get the f… out of here!’
At last. Ági and T. also left, they went after the baby to the children’s hospital. I put the children to bed, we talked a little of course, I was trying to calm them, tiredness took over, two of them fell asleep, but not Simon, he was worrying, too shocked by the events. We locked up the entrance.
The police arrived soon. It was midnight, a little later perhaps, they were pushing the bell, banging on the door, pulling at the door-handle. Simon was worried, we must open the door. Poor one. I told him we did not have to open it. There was no crime, no mortal danger, what happened was that a baby who had been born normally got unwell due to some unforeseen reason, Ági took good care of her, handed her over to the professionals in charge, so the operations that were going on were totally pointless. The authorities were misusing their power and trying to intimidate us because they wanted to use us in their unjust campaign against Ági. If we did not open it, they would soon leave, but if we did, the whole chaos would continue, which was pointless.
The pulling of the door stopped, and Simon fell asleep.
I’m trying to speak with T, or waiting for them to call me. An SMS arrives – a name must be chosen. We haven’t chosen a name yet, neither boy, nor girl, and yet now we need to say something. Then he writes, the name became Elza. Oh no, I write back, not that one! That is the neighbour in my mother’s village, a big woman, dark, deep voice. She is cool, but my mom will faint if she hears that her granddaughter will get her name. But then rather let it be Eliza.
But this is now unimportant, rather: how is she? They don’t know anything yet. They were not allowed in, only the police was. They were taken into custody. What? Two plain clothed men (detectives) came, and said: You can’t go anywhere now, you are in custody. Then they want to forcibly take him home to open the door, because I am not opening it. He is not willing to go anywhere as he was needs to be there. So now they are in a tug of war. They try to threaten T, that he will get in big trouble if he collaborates with this Geréb. Finally after two three hours they also give up and let them go, and leave. T is allowed to the little Eliza, Ági, of course, is not . They say, it is due to severe oxygen deprivation at birth, she even had a seizure in the ambulance, she is on the respirator, and will be cooled down for 3 days. That is the treatment in such cases.
They come home, we talk a little, don’t really understand this severe diagnosis: there hasn’t really been oxygen deprivation… Definitely not around the time of birth, she was born pink, although she breathed with difficulty afterwards, but always reacted well to oxygen, definitely had not been severely deprived of oxygen. Fits? Seizures? That is really hardly plausible.
We still need to accept the situation, this is what there is for now, we’ll see what in the future, Ági says goodbye, goes home, and we go to bed, can’t even tell how the night passes, maybe we sleep a little, I keep thinking about this whole thing: how was it before, when I gave birth, what a solemn, wonderful time, my children never spent a minute in strangers’ hands, we lay down together in our own bed, and now, she is not here, my baby is not here. I have never understood how mothers can bear when their baby is taken away from them, and now, indeed, one can bear even this one, one can survive this.
I can hardly wait for the morning and I call early, I know they only let people in from 11.00 but I ask if I can go in anyway. Given the circumstances they say yes. But of course this then frightens me even more; maybe she’s no longer even alive?? My God it takes so long to get there, and with the constant traffic jams it’s almost impossible to fight my way through the city, if only I could fly!
We finally get there but before they let us in the head doctor comes to outline the situation….this is all so strange for me, hospitals, intensive care departments and doctors, so I’m fearing the worst, I’m not even sure what to say and can only ask: Can we have her back? But he doesn’t understand this, or rather he actually does and he says what I didn’t dare: Are you asking if she will die? He answers his own question saying that like every patient in intensive care there was a 5-10 percent chance she could, but given Eliza’s present condition he doesn’t think this will happen. She has stabilised, her body has cooled down and she has been put on the ventilator; she’s on antibiotics because of the infection and sure to recover. However, at this point the doctor couldn’t say if she would suffer any permanent damage. I didn’t care about that, I just want her to live, I thought to myself, or perhaps I said it out loud.
He takes me to her, and there she was, my little girl wrapped only in a nappy with pipes sticking out in all directions. This is both alarming and exasperating at the same time for a non-medical person but that night a very kind person would write to me that when her own little girl had been on a ventilator, she had been horrified by all the pipes as well, but then she realised what a good thing it was that she had what was needed. This helped me a lot, and not just this message but all the others, which although brief, touched my heart: that day my mother-in-law was due to travel home but she stayed instead, which was a great help for me. I was able to go to Eliza every day, she looked after my family at home, while my good friends provided meals for me in the hospital, which was wonderful as I was able to remain at Eliza’s bedside in the hospital. The nurses – although very kindly – looked on shaking their heads and even remarked that it was inappropriate for someone who had just given birth to sit on a chair all day. I told them that visiting time was only seven hours out of 24, and that was all I was able to give to my daughter at that point. (I related the other things that happened in the hospital in my book published under the title Children Who Change Our Fate)
The correct diagnosis was finally established, based on the medical reports I received during my pregnancy. On the afternoon of the Friday before the birth I had received a lab result which showed a Streptococcus infection, but I hadn’t had time to deal with it because I unexpectedly gave birth to Eliza the following Monday. I had planned to talk about this infection at the surgery and tell the midwives but had no chance to do it in the end. That’s how it happened, and was it anyone’s fault?
In the meantime, the police kept calling, which I know because there was an ‘unknown number’ which just would not stop, and which I refused to pick up, and in the end they had no choice but to call me in for questioning by letter. Obviously, they were just doing their job, expecting that a woman who had just given birth, spending her time in hospital with her baby, could pick up calls any time. What I thought was that I would deal with this problem after I had taken Eliza home. And that only happened after two weeks of being in hospital: after cooling her body down, they warmed her up, on Sunday she was taken off the ventilator, started receiving my breast milk, first from a bottle and then by breastfeeding, and defying all expectations to the contrary she was breastfeeding like a natural! She was cured of the infection caused by streptococcus – which led to the respiratory problems – by the antibiotics treatment, so we ‘got her back’ after the two weeks.
Two years have passed since then and regarding Eliza’s condition, I sometimes have the feeling that she was given more treatment than she would have needed: she is so full of life that she outdoes all of her three brothers, who in return love her to bits (saying they have the most beautiful little sister in the world). And Eliza rewards their praise amply: when the boys arrive home from school she welcomes them with one the famous cool greetings from the book ‘Hello, Spider Monkey!’ a top favourite in our family. And if she doesn’t like something, she just says ‘I don’t care!’ ‒ she has her role models to learn such things from. So, everything is perfectly fine.
The only thing that is not at all fine is the whole procedure that still goes on: the hearings, the indictment drawn based on those hearings and the trial(s) that we still have to face – this is not at all fine! That this is one of the ‘cases’ based on which Ági has been kept under house arrest for two years. And that it is possible to make a ‘case’ out of this experience in Hungary. This is not at all O.K.