Birth story

‘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

 

Week 34 Pregnany

October first, which means we are officially at week 34 of this pregnancy. This means that the baby is around 45cm long from head to heel, and weighs about 2.1kg. That’s approximately the size of a school bag and the weight of a cantaloupe melon. Our due date is in the beginning of November, so really not far to go.

I haven’t’ been too active here about this pregnancy so I thought I could share how everything has been going as we soon reach the final stages of this journey. We only have a month to go, which feels absolutely surreal. I just started packing my hospital bag, in case the little one decides to come early. I was born a month early myself and so was my husband’s sister and they say, this can be in the gene pool.  However, there are no signs of labor yet, which is great so our little one can keep growing and developing as much as possible. At this point, I’ve gained 10kg of weight myself and apparently at the end, the weight generally escalates. Much throughout my second trimester, I had only gained about 6kg and clearly there is a difference during this last trimester. I would personally say that the second and third trimester have been relatively easy. I had no problems during the second at all, only during last week’s I’ve noticed the discomfort of a large belly. It is harder to feel comfortable sitting or standing and my legs get tired so much easier than usual. At times dog walks feel really heavy or walking up a flight of stairs. Thankfully though, I have not experienced any swelling to this day. I haven’t had any cravings either, which I’m grateful for, so I have had a somewhat normal diet throughout this journey. However, it is hard to find a comfortable position to sleep at this point, even with a pregnancy pillow. I feel the belly is pressing against all my organs, which not only creates discomfort but also acid reflux. I have had acid reflux for the past month at least, that has by far been my most annoying/uncomfortable symptom, as it is constant. I’ve never experienced acid reflux in my life before, but now it is daily and can be very bothersome. It’s the worst when you sleep, which makes it quite hard to get any rest. However, I keep telling myself it is temporary and at the end of the day, no matter what symptoms I have, I am extremely grateful we are this in our pregnancy. Additionally, my lovely friends threw me a baby shower, which was amazing to see all my girlfriends during this special time. It felt so heartwarming especially during the pandemic, as I have really limited my social life just to be on the safe side. They really gave me an energy boost to hustle through this last month. My husband, of course has been wonderful too and cannot wait to see him shine as a father, I know he will be amazing at it. We have purchased all the necessary baby supplies; the pram and crib are set up and the baby seats are installed in both our cars. I feel like, now the waiting game is about to begin and I’m going to take this last month to gather some energy, try resting as much as possible and enjoy the peaceful time before our lives will change forever. Currently, I’m not nervous about birth, but I have a feeling when the time comes, it will be a mix of all types of emotions, including nerves (and pain!). The best thing about this moment is defiantly feeling his strong kicks on a daily basis, which gives us comfort knowing everything is going as it should.

Happy autumn everyone, time to bring out pumpkin spice, cozy knits and enjoy the comfort of your home as the air gets crispier and darker.

A journey towards motherhood.

A beautiful, but scary Journey towards Motherhood.

At week twenty-four, my belly is growing larger and life inside me is reminded by little kicks throughout the day. The passing of DNA to the next generation feels surreal and as days go by, the bond between baby and I keep growing stronger. I notice myself rubbing my belly when I’m about to go to sleep, sending positive vibes to the little one inside. It seems like yesterday we found out we were having you. The memory brings tears to my eyes. I was so afraid to take the pregnancy test, afraid of what the future might hold. Afraid of my inadequacy to be a mother but all the fear was coated with an overwhelming degree of joy.

Now that the first trimester is well past behind; the constant nausea, tiredness, bleeding and fears have slowly faded to the background, making the second phase of pregnancy much more enjoyable. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I’m struggling to recognize the shape of my new body. The expanding breasts and waist line, the weight at a constant rise on the scale and the overall uncomfortableness the body feels can easily cause a little bit of insecurity. However, I personally feel more relaxed and accepting that this is actually happening and as days go by, my confidence grows. I know I will carry a degree of fear with me till the birth of our child, but I’m learning to soak in the positives too. I feel that the relationship I have with my body is a critical component of a happy and healthy pregnancy, and a healthy pregnancy is what we all hope and pray for.

I’m grateful for my body that is providing a safe space for our little baby that is adapting to his needs. Once you are able to enjoy glimpses of this journey, it is by far the most beautiful experience one could ever be a part of. This goes not just for mothers, but for fathers as well. It’s one of the most unique and special types of bonding and love that exists and I’m eternally grateful I am living it right now. It is normal to have tough moments throughout this journey, physically and mentally, after all your hormones and body keep changing. I sometimes feel vulnerable about life with a newborn and the uncertainty of not knowing what to do and perhaps doing things wrong. This I hear, is a common fear of new parents and you just gradually learn along the way.

I’ve started to wonder what you will look like; will you have my husband’s thick hair or my deep blue eyes. Will he be tall, like everyone else in our family and will he have a need for speed, just like his father? Your existence in this world has shown me so much already and you haven’t even taken your first breath on earth. Deep down, I hope and pray that you are just like your daddy. He loves fiercely, works whole heartedly and is the most loyal and trustworthy man there is. He is my hero and he will be yours too. I still can’t believe I’m in the sixth month of pregnancy already, time goes by so quickly, it really makes you want to savor the moment.

 

 

A New Chapter.

Hey little one,

Already, we have waited for you for quite some time and I can’t believe I am looking down at my growing belly and feeling your little fluttering kicks. It still doesn’t seem real even though we looked at the +3 week positive pregnancy test early March and now I am past midway at 21 weeks. God bless everything goes smoothly and in November we get to hold you in our arms. I can’t wait to see the look on your daddy’s face when he sees you for the first time. My husband is the best gift I can give our future child as I know he will be an amazing father. My body has been changing in ways I didn’t think were possible. Just for you little one.

The journey here has not been easy. I think I have grown such a barrier of protection, after the countless negative tests that you try to coupe with the best way possible. We did all kinds of testing and there was nothing wrong with either of us, which made the process that much harder. Sometimes, infertility is unexplained which leaves you with no answers. Last year we had a glimmer of hope, but it was washed away with a miscarriage followed by an overwhelming degree of sadness that you force yourself to push through. Children’s birthdays felt hard, it is a dark cloud, even though you have a support group around you, it is something you need to grow from, on your own. However, those who have ever suffered from miscarriage know the type of scars it can leave you; you become scared with the sight of blood and you are left with worry, of it happening again. There is the fear of the unknown, that is unsettling. Siena has been a therapeutic addition to the family, as they say, animals often are. I was worried I would be left bitter and not happy for others’ growing families, until I realized I just needed time to let myself heal from all the pain.

I watched others’ grow their families, feeling sorry for myself and getting used to the idea that maybe we weren’t meant to have our own biological children. I kept thinking that maybe because we have such a good relationship, that is what was meant for us, as you can never get everything you wish for. We both agreed that we would still live a happy life together, just the two of us designing a new kind of life full of travels and adventure if that was in the cards for us. Still deep down, neither of us lost hope and luckily with a lot of patience and perseverance, we are here today, ready for a new chapter in our lives. Going through all these tough times together with my husband has taught us many important life lessons and brought us together in a different kind of way.

Looking at the future, I can only hope that we can be the parents that you deserve. We promise to guide you through life in the best way we can. We will let you make your own way but will never be too far behind to catch you if you fall. You are already, so loved little boy.