My parents came to visit the other day. It was a good time, cause we got about a week with her alone to find our own way and then my parents arrived to help out at the exact right time. It was really weird for us though. Most people are in a baby bubble for a while but they have people coming to visit probably from the first or at least second day. We have really been in a bubble and it kind of made the whole situation even more unreal since we were alone with her here all that time and nobody actually met her.
It was really emotional for all of us, seeing my mum with her, and I guess for my mum to see me with her. It feels amazing to have them here but it also makes me a little sad since it makes me think of all the people who are not here to see her and won’t see her for another 2 months. It’s hard to be away from family and friend at a time like this. Not that I would want to live anywhere else, but I would just want them all here right now.
When they’re here we’re also gonna take some time to be just us, which will be hard, since I can barely be away from her at all. But it’s good to practice to go out and do stuff on your own. It’s also good to have them here to suggest going out for lunch and stuff like that so we’re not completely stuck in the house but slowly and surely taking baby steps out of our bubble and comfort zone.
It’s been a week with our little girl and we are doing good. I has been a huge transformation and we’re still getting used to it and getting to know her and ourselves in this new situation. It is completely overwhelming and feels completely natural at the same time.
What has surprised me the most are all the emotions I’m dealing with and it’s completely normal I guess, with the hormones, but oh god how strong they are. Being away from her for too long literally hurts me. I always kind of thought that people were just being a little ridiculous but it’s so real and so strong.
We’re slowly finding somewhat of a routine together, except for when she decides to change it up and keep us up all night. And I am working on incorporating my own routine into that too. Even if we need to rest and just be it’s also important for me to find my way back to my self care routine, or at least a new one, to take care of my mind. We’re taking our time and finding our way and we’re doing great, I think.
So we got home from the hospital and the first thing to do was introducing little Emma to the dogs. She was sleeping so she didn’t even notice them, but they were really confused and also excited. We put her down in the car seat for just a little so they could smell her and then we decided to wait a while. They were confused and a little stressed for a little while but they got used to her being around pretty quickly.
It was so amazing to come home. But also completely surreal. All of sudden we’re just here with this little baby. She slept most of the evening the first night. And we just sat on the couch just letting it all sink in. Anna came home and got to meet little Emma for the first time.
We’ve just spent the last days figuring it all out, trying to learn and get to know her. I had decided to breastfeed, and one would think that the baby just latches on and that’s that. But it’s actually quite complicated. What position to hold the baby, for the baby to latch properly, for the milk to come in, which usually takes 3-5 days. And the pain…
The personal at the hospital tried to be helpful but I ended up just feeling super stressed and I was questioning if I even wanted to breastfeed. The baby is of course also more fussy since she’s not getting proper milk and you try and try while it feels like someone is ripping your nipples off. But when we got home I felt more comfortable and got tips and advice from our doula both with how to do it and also for creams and tricks for it not to hurt as much.
With some practice and the most amazing nipple cream we started to get a hang of it and the milk finally came through. It made everything a lot easier since when she’s hungry she eats and then sleeps, while before she would latch on for a while, still not be satisfied, cry again and then it went on and on like that. Now she sleeps like an angel.
I do believe that we’re pretty lucky. FOR NOW (I will probably regret saying this) she’s easy to get to sleep, the breastfeeding is going well and she’s just so cuddly and cute.
So as you might know we decided to hire a doula pretty early in the pregnancy and we have been happy about it throughout. We’ve gotten great support, we had a great birth class and most of all it was just nice to have one person that was constant since we got different midwifes through the whole pregnancy. But by the time of the birth we really realized what an amazing decision it actually was.
First of all, we would have gone to the hospital a few times and been sent home if it wasn’t for her advise. We were in contact from when the contractions started and she helped us with advise on how to handle the pain. She came to meet us at the hospital and she helped out with the language and with explaining everything that was happening and what has about to happen.
She was an amazing support through the birth. I feel like I literally couldn’t have done it without her. She was there with us, talking us through it all, helping me handle the pain and understanding what was going on. And especially when pushing, Odi didn’t really know what to do, obviously, and she helped both him with what to do and me with surviving haha. She just knew what to do and say and how to say it to make me feel like I could actually do it! She also helped a lot just afterwards with just being there and being supportive. And in a little bit she’ll also do a home visit.
I am so happy that we made the decision to work with a doula and specifically with our doula, it was literally a perfect match and I am so grateful for her help that I don’t even know how to express myself. So if you’re in Barcelona, in need of a doula recommendation, you know who to ask!
So I meet our daughter for the first time, and we stayed in the birth room for a while to just be and let it all sink in. After a while they came to move us up to our room. And during the next 48 hours that’s where we were. I’m really happy with our choice of hospital, it was such a great choice. The hospital and the personal were really amazing. But spending 48 hours in a room is not fun, no matter if the room is good and the personal is nice.
I got a proper bed, Emma got a proper bed and Odi got a sofa bed. We got checked on and we got served food. We got to sleep and shower and rest. And we got to start to get to know our little girl. We also of course called around to everyone to let them know that she had arrived and all the grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles were overjoyed.
It’s all kind of confusing and overwhelming. I all of a sudden life was completely changed and there was this little creature needing us and non of us ever changed a diaper before. But slowly but surely we started figuring it out. It is a bit stressful to have people running in and out all the time and you feel a little watched. So eventually we were just longing to get home to get some space and find our own way.
It was a huge relief to get to leave the hospital. They had us waiting for like 4-5 hours more than they initially said so by that point we weren’t really nervous anymore but just impatient. And finally we got to leave. She slept the whole trip home and it was amazing to come home with our new little family member.
After 36 hours and the traumatic experience of pushing a baby out of your body, and all of a sudden she’s there. She’s just there. And all the movies show you that as soon as they give her to you all the pain goes away and you just sit there and cuddle your beautiful baby. What the movies don’t tell you is that there is still a placenta to give birth to, and probably stitches to get, and that the baby actually almost looks dead when it first comes out.
For me it was so hard to understand that what they put on my stomach was actually a baby, and that it was my baby, and that I just gave birth to her. I was dizzy and confused and exhausted and I just wanted to lay down properly without my legs in the air. But I needed to stay where I was. So she was laying on me but my arms were weak and my mind was focused on getting the rest of the pain over with. So our doula made sure she stayed there.
All I could think was just that I didn’t want this painful moment to be the first meeting with my baby. I wanted to be done with all of that so I could focus on her and it felt like it took forever. Finally, it was done and I could put my legs down and lay in a some what okay position and even if I was obviously still in pain, there wasn’t more to be done by me or to me. And I could hold my baby girl properly for the first time and really look at her.
It was actually really scary to feel that way. To feel like I didn’t want to hold her at first. It felt wrong somehow. And especially since you have this picture in your mind of it all being happiness and smiles as soon as she’s out. And the picture of feeling that instant connection. It really had me worried that something was wrong with me.
But nothing was wrong with me, I was traumatized from the experience, completely exhausted, confused and dizzy and in a hell of a lot of pain. But as soon as it was all over with, really over with, I did get to feel that connection, however unreal it felt to be holding a baby that is your own child. Seriously does it ever start making sense?
And still, she’s completely unreal to me. Sometimes I just need to sit and stare at her for a while. It completely blows my mind that it was her in there all this time. And now she’s here. And today we’re leaving the hospital to take her home!
It all started Sunday morning, I had somewhat regular contractions and timed them for a few hours but eventually they stopped. They started up again in the evening stronger than before. Odi came home from work around 11 and we went to sleep but I couldn’t. The contractions were too strong and painful. They were around 7-8 minutes apart and we were in contact with our doula telling us there was no point in going to the hospital until they were 5-1-1, 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for 1 hour. If not for that we would probably have gone to the hospital right then, and been sent home, of course haha. So no sleep, and the contractions continued all day Monday. I was already exhausted from lack of sleep and the contractions was getting harder to handle and more painful, on top of that I also started vomiting.
We tried going to bed again after we had dinner but I still couldn’t sleep, I would fall asleep for about 5 minutes and then wake up from a contraction. I tried walking around when they hit, and that was fine for a while, and I tried taking a warm bath, which felt a little better for a little. When they got really strong I would flush warm water on my stomach, scream into the wall and try to breathe until it stopped and in between I would sit barely able to keep my eyes opened.
Around 1-2 at night the contractions were close enough together for us to head to the hospital. We got to go straight through and I was about 3cm dilated. After 24 hours of contractions, vomiting and pain and 36 hours without sleep I made the decision to take the epidural. I just needed to get all my piercings out first. Which was more problematic than one would think. I couldn’t get my piercing under my lip out, my earring was stuck and my finger was too swollen to get my ring off. And this with the help of about 3 people. I was just longing for that pain relief and started getting frustrated as the contractions kept coming.
With some tools we got the piercing out, cut the earring off and cut my ring, thankfully I had put a thin silver ring to stop my engagement ring from falling off as it was too big, so we just needed to cut that one the engagement ring came off with vaseline. So eventually I got the epidural, and I am so so so happy about that decision, oh how I needed that break. The epidural didn’t really function as it only worked fully on the right side and not on the left. They tried with putting more in, but still the same result. I was basically without pain though and got to sleep and rest a little. They effect of the epidural wore off and since it wasn’t working properly they needed to re-do it. That time it worked, but wore off faster so I needed several doses.
Around 7 in the morning I was about 4 cm dilated. It all slowed down a bit with the epidural. But then it went quite fast. At 10 I was fully dilated and a little while after that I started feeling a lot of pressure. The epidural didn’t work as it should that time either. So as the pressure and pain started coming stronger the epidural was wearing off and I ended up having a more or less natural birth anyway haha.
She had he mind made up, she was coming. And when it started it didn’t take more than 30 minutes until she was out. Oh my god, the pain. What’s interesting is how much it’s psychological. Being in pain for such a long time and knowing that there is a lot more coming, and knowing that there’s no going back. Or when pushing, that it’s not just about enduring the pain but actually having to push. I was close to breaking down and completely panic. I did not wanna do it anymore. I would say that giving birth actually takes a lot more mental strength than physical.
Not to mention that it’s not over when it’s over. They put her on me, and I was so confused and exhausted and I couldn’t for a second understand that it was her, that she was mine. And there was still the placenta to come. It was almost the worst part to stay in that awful position, in a lot of pain, waiting to give birth to the placenta. It didn’t take too long, but enough time for me to get super annoyed with the midwifes, like there was anything they could do about it. After the placenta it was the stitches… Kill me. Well for giving birth to a 4400 gram baby, only needing a few internal stitches is apparently pretty impressive, but it still hurt like a motherf’ and by that point I didn’t wanna be screaming from pain. I just wanted to meet my daughter. She was laying on me but I couldn’t focus on anything else but being done.
So after all of this, there we were. With our daughter. And it still didn’t make any sense what so ever. And it still doesn’t. She’s laying here next to me sleeping, in our hospital room. I’m exhausted and she’s perfect. We’re staying here another day and before we’re heading home.
There are a lot more to say about this, and over the next few days I will. But here is how it all went down. Written in exhaustion I hope it makes some sense. I’m so happy and filled with love and confusion. I am eternally grateful to our doula and to Odi who has been so great with his little girl while I have gotten some time to rest.
We’re healthy and happy and grateful for all your messages!
It’s no fun being pregnant. I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy, I’ll admit. And it hasn’t been all that bad for the most part. But now it honestly just sucks. I was so sure I’d be early that I felt like I was late already before my due date and now I’m past due, feeling like I’ve been pregnant for years.
And it’s not like you’re feeling super up for doing the things that is said to induce naturally. Exercise with feet double their normal size that feel like they’re about to explode as soon as you stand up? Take the stairs? Eat spicy food when you’re throat already is on fire most of the time doesn’t feel like an amazing choice either.
But, I am going for a morning walk every day. And went for an even longer walk yesterday, which turned me into a pile of sweat. And also using on a birthing ball, and taking the stairs. I’m trying. And I’m dying.
So the latest due date that was said was the 17th, the one before that was the 19th, and the first due date we got when I first got pregnant was… TODAY! So let’s all hope that today is the day. Cause I do not wanna be pregnant anymore. And I wanna have this whole child birth thing over with.
This is my promise to myself. And I’m writing it down, both in my journal and here, for anyone to read (and remind me of) so that I don’t forget that I made this promise.
First of all I will never take my body for granted because of what it is capable of. Of what it can fucking do, which is completely inhuman. Because my body created a life, a human being.
Second of all, because I realize now how much time I have spent taken my body for granted. Blaming it, mistreating it, hating it. Not any more. I will not allow it. I have always been lucky and some what healthy and “normal” weight no matter what I put my body through (I mean come on, at some point I should definitely have been over weight with how I treated my body) and it has kept strong through laziness.
I realize now, how much I have taken all these things for granted. The easy movement and flexibility, the flat stomach, the non swollen feet and legs. I also realize how awful I have been to it, both physically and mentally.
So from now on I will be grateful and treat my body with the respect it deserves. I will take care of it and I will cherish it. Not only am I grateful that I could get pregnant, and have a completely non problematic pregnancy, it’s is also going to give birth, and heal afterwards (I hope… haha)
I have noticed a significant difference in the diagnoses that I have, psoriasis, arthritis, migraines and IBS since taking better care of myself mentally. Just imagine how amazing I would feel if I also took better care of myself physically. And this pregnancy has given me that motivation, to not take my body for granted, to open my eyes to how truly amazing it actually is and to stop hating it, and being mean to it.
It’s time to let go of all the old grudges and love my body like it deserve to be loved and treat it like it deserves to be treated. I promise, not to take my body for granted again.
We’ve gotten a few different due dates during this pregnancy. First it was the 21st, then the 19th, and the latest one… today!! And of course, this is just as much a guess as anything else, but it still feels totally crazy. I was of course sure she’d be early, so for me it feels like I’m already late. And I am so ready for this pregnancy to be over.
We’re going to the hospital to day, to do a 20-30 min monitoring of the baby and a visit with the midwife. Apparently they have a tendency to advise induction when they think the baby is big, and since they’re saying this baby is huge, that might the case. If there’s no other medical reason to induce I do believe it’s better to wait and see if she’ll want to come on her own.
It feels completely crazy still that I’m gonna be a mother. And it’s hard to understand what everyone says, that it all comes so naturally. I do have a lot of trust and believe in myself and in Odi as well, so I do believe that we’re gonna do great. I guess it’s just like with other things in life, you have this image of what it’s gonna feel like when you’re there and then it turns out you’re completely wrong. Kind of like when you were young and thought that those who graduated high school was all grown up, ha ha ha. I kind of feel like that, like shouldn’t I feel more like an adult by now? I mean I’m having a baby like TODAY, and I still feel like I just graduated high school.
I still have such a hard time connecting to that it’s an actual person in there. An actual person who’s gonna be here soon. A person that’s gonna be a mix of me and Odi, that we’ve created, that we’re responsible for. I guess it all falls into place when we see her, when she’s here. But for me, it’s still super alien.
How did you feel at the end of your pregnancy? Did you feel ready? Did it all really come all the naturally?