‘The day our lives changed forever and gave it that much more meaning’
It was Saturday the 6th of November, six days until the official due date, when I decided it was the perfect quiet weekend to do some major cleaning before the baby decides to arrive into the world. We were invited to a wedding, but I decided not to go as I was so close to birth and sitting down for many hours was rather uncomfortable at that point in time. My husband decided to go with the car so he could see some friends and I planned for an evening of organizing. That day I took some belly photos (39+1 day) as the lighting was good outside as I figured it was going to be one of the last photo sessions I would have with the belly. In the evening, I played my birth playlist (that I had made for the hospital) and began scrubbing our kitchen tiles on my knees with a steam hose. This process is rather strenuous on the body as you have to really scrub the tiles with force and keep going up and down on your feet and knees. I was told that this process can help you go into labour and I was ready for the baby to come out sooner rather than later. I drank my first glögi of the season, cleaned the tiles, vacuumed, mopped the floor and really made the house look as good as new. In the evening when everything was complete, I decided to take a lovely relaxing shower as my entire body was aching from all the hours of work. I took my time in the shower, feeling the heat of the water all over my body. I washed my hair, scrubbed and was ready to put on my pj’s and watch a good movie. It was 18.00 and I came out of the shower, dried off and felt a gush of water running down my leg. I instantly knew my water had broken. My first thought was that, “thank lord I’m in the bathroom and not in bed, as this would have ruined our freshly clean sheets.” It was a proper slightly pinkish/water puddle that could not be mistaken for anything else. I called my husband (who did not pick up immediately) and wrote him a message on WhatsApp telling him to come home right away. There were speeches going on at the moment and as he saw my message, he called me back and made his way home. I called the hospital that told me to come in for some testing. In Finland they test to see if the water has actually broken and also for some type of bacteria. After a couple of hours spending time at the hospital, it became clear that my water had broken and we were advised to go back home and wait for the contractions to begin. We had also scheduled an appointment for inducement for the following day at 18.00 if none of my contractions would have begun.
So, with a lot of excitement flowing through my body we decided to head back home. We went to go pick up Siena (who was at day care at my brothers and his wife’s house), went to Mc Donald’s for a cheese burger and headed back home. I decided to go relax in bed and watch some Netflix and try to get some rest. I wasn’t tired at all, but knew it would be better to just try and relax. At 23.00 I started to get random contractions every now and then but by 2am, they were at best 1-2 minutes apart. At this point they were strong, but because I didn’t have anything to compare it to, I didn’t know how strong of a pain it should actually be. I felt like I could have taken stronger contractions (even though these were crazy strong) so we decided it was time to head to the hospital as they were so close in time. We took our hospital bag, baby car seat and headed off to the hospital, took many contractions in the car (the cobbled stones were the worst and sitting down did not help either).
The hospital (naistenklinikka) was lovely and calm once we got there at exactly 02.15am in night and immediately got a lovely spacious room. Still at this point I was not nervous at all. The nurse checked my condition and I was dilated by 2cm, so it was good we came to the hospital as I was in labour at this point. Still, I had heard that you can be dilated for a really long time and was prepared that I will probably give birth in the next 24 hours or so.
As the contractions got stronger, I tried some laughing gas that did not work for me at all. It made me feel nauseous when breathing into it as it tasted like a shot of tequila every time. Our nurse was so kind and soothing and my hubby was giving me great support on the side lines. The atmosphere was calm and peaceful, everything I had hoped it would be. I asked for the epidural at 03.30 and after 15minutes all the pain went away. It was great, I just looked at the machines and saw I was contracting but did not feel a thing. At this point we decided with my husband we should try and get some rest. He slept a little bit and I just rested with my eyes shut. By 05.55 am I started to feel the pressure again as the epidural usually wears off after a few hours. At this point the nurse suggested we give me another dose of epidural to numb the pain. I got the dose, and she checked my situation and I was actually already 10cm open. We couldn’t believe everything had happened so quickly and she casually told us “It’s time to have the baby now”. This was exciting. She taught me when to push and after 8 minutes, our little precious baby came into the world. The pushing is painful, the pain is unlike no other but for some reason your body can take it. It feels more like intense pressure than anything. The second epidural dose did not have time to help at this point and I can tell you, the most painful part was when the shoulders came out and at this point, I was screaming so loudly, that I didn’t hear the instructions on not to push. I ripped some due to this, as you should only push when contractions take place. Despite this, our baby was out, he cried and was lifted on my chest. It was so emotional, beautiful and we both had tears in our eyes as finally our little precious darling came into the world at exactly 06.48. He was perfect and the entire birthing experience was better than I could have imagined. The nurse helped latch the baby onto my boob and we rested there for some time. It was so quick and because everything went so smoothly, we transitioned to a hospital hotel (scandic perhepesä) next door that evening which was such a lovely place to spend the next few days with our new born. It is a hotel with nurses and doctors that do routine checkups and help you get started with your newborn. You are treated to hotel food and the room was cozy with a large bed and tv. There was a sauna section, which my husband enjoyed and together our life as a little family started just there. We were both so pleased with the staff and service that as we left on Tuesday, we ordered them a box of donuts and left them a cute note as we felt so grateful for everything.
It was exciting to come home as a little family where our new life started. Everything went great for the first week, but just on the seventh day I started to get feverish. It rose up to 40 degrees Celsius and had to go back to the hospital for a checkup. It became evident that my uterus was infected as there was some blood stuck inside it from birth. I remained in the hospital for 3 days to cure it with some procedures, drips and antibiotics and got home afterwards. The hardest part at this point was being away from the baby, it felt like torture but luckily my husband took good care of him at home. I was able to pump milk for him and my husband visited me twice a day so I could see and feed the baby as much as possible.
Luckily now, I am all better and we are back home as a little family. Everything feels so new, I can tell you I barely have time to shower, eat or sleep but I guess that is what life is with a new born. It is indescribable the feeling I have towards our son. I just want to protect and love him forever and make sure he feels safe in our arms. He is so tiny and makes noises like a little bird as I stroke his head and he loves to curl up into my lap and hold my fingers with his little hands. My body has recovered well from labour, the stiches will have melted in a week or so and my belly has disappeared completely too. I can’t believe I was pregnant for such a long time and now our long waited, boy is finally in our arms. I wanted to write this birth story for myself, so I can remember what an amazing experience it was. I truly believe giving birth is an exceptional experience and I feel so lucky to have become a mama to this little darling. I love our little family…
last belly pics