Before I forget it, I wanted to write down my birth story. Honestly it’s already starting to feel like it happened to someone else. It’s kind of strange for me to think about it. Fair warning, tis post is not for everyone, if you’re not into this just move on and come back for the next one!
It started Friday evening on the 5th of February. I was doing what I did most evening at the end of my pregnancy, knitting baby clothes while curled up on the couch watching TV shows. It was 11pm or so and I slowly started recognising this wave like tension. It wasn’t painful, I could barely feel when it started or ended but I knew I had not felt that before. Overly eager as I was (already 2 days overdue) I tried timing these very mild contractions to see where we were at. I had three every minute and they lasted for 30-45 seconds. We went to bed a little later and I told Patrick that we might have a baby the coming day but I wasn’t brave enough to truly believe it, I didn’t want to be disappointed again.
At 2am I woke up from a contraction. Still not painful but more forceful and I could clearly feel when they started and ended. I clocked them again, 4 in one minute and about a minute long. The app told me “time to go to the hospital” which I didn’t really believe. But I woke Patrick and called the hospital. They didn’t have any free rooms at the moment and she told me to take paracetamol and ibuprofen, try to sleep for a bit and maybe take a warm shower if I felt like that would help. I did as instructed and tried to sleep but it was pointless. Not so much because of the pain but due to the excitement and knowing that soon he would be here.
At 4:30am the contractions turned more painful and I had to breathe through them and could no longer talk at the same time. We called in again and they were still full but said we were welcome in and they would try to sort a room for us. As we knew it was full we did not stress. We both showered and packed the last things in the hospital bags. Patrick went and got the car and we texted the dog sitter to come pick up Milo in the morning.
At 5am, literally the second I sat down in the car, my water broke. And not like for most people, just a little, this was the full on movie version haha. As it was -16 outside and the car was still cold we had to go back up to the apartment again for me to change pants. So 5:15 we were finally back in the car and on our way to the hospital. The contractions were now much more painful and I don’t remember much of the 25 minute car drive.
We’re admitted to BB Stockholm delivery ward at Danderyd Hospital at 5:45. We instantly get a room (so thankful they managed that!) and they do a first check to see my status. 6cm dilated, no wonder the contractions were getting painful! They ask if I want an epidural and I had already, weeks earlier, decided I wanted one as soon as possible. They order one and tell me i usually takes 30-60 minutes before the doctor can do the procedure. She barely finishes the sentence before the doctor enters the room. 06:10 I get my epidural and 06:25 I’m in heaven. Labor is now something super chill. Sure I can feel the contractions coming and going and I can see on the monitor that they are strong. But there’s no pain and the epidural even managed to block some of the uncomfortable “pressure feeling” you get which its not actually said to be able to do. I get screened for covid (slow test, routine, used to statistics and tracking later) and the two initial nurses say goodbye as their shift is over.
7am the amazing Maria (midwife) and her nurse Anne enters the room and take over my care. They set the perfect cozy mood light, turn on soft piano music and are just a source of positive and happy energy. They check the CTG and baby is doing fine. I’m now 8cm dilated and progressing quite fast for a first time mom.
We have breakfast and we laugh and talk. Not at all how I imagined child birth but I’m definitely not complaining. They refill my epidural once every 1.5hours and all feels good.
At 10:30 I’m fully dilated with no edges left. Baby is chilling right next to the Spinae bone, a point which at times can make you feel very nauseous but I’m ok for the most part.
At 11am they notice babys basal heart rate is going up and that I’m slowly getting a fever. I remember my feet feeling super warm but other than that I still felt good. At 11:30 they notice meconium colored amniotic fluids and this together with the heart rate has them putting on a scalp electrode to closer monitor him.
Despite being given IV for the fever (both liquids and medicine) it keeps rising and at 12:30 there’s been no progess since 10:30 and they decide to put my on oxytocin IV to make my contractions even stronger. At 13:30 there’s stil no progress despite me trying to push on and off according to the midwifes instructions. They now have to turn off the oxytocin as they can see that baby is getting more stressed.
At 2pm we sadly have to say goodbye to our favourite midwife/nurse team and welcome a new one (also good, just not as perfect as that other one). They do a timeout with a doctor to discuss my (non existing) progress and decide to give it one last go and turn on the oxytocin IV again. I go back and forth between the birth stool and the bed trying everything they tell me to. It’s hard and no longer chill mode but the pain levels are completely fine due to the epidural. I push actively for over an hour before they come to the decision that a vacuum extractor is needed.
At 15:29 they set the vacuum extractor and two contractions/pulls later, at 15:37 the most perfect little boy is born with his umbilical cord wrapped one lap around is throat. Those 8 minutes are probably the worse minutes of my life. The level of pain and discomfort, nausea and panic I felt is not comparable to anything else. But what are 8 minutes when I get a lifetime with my little boy? They quickly set him free from the umbilical cord and give him to me han he makes the cutest little sounds right from start. Everything from this point is mostly a blur and a combination of memory and what I read in my charts.
The placenta came with the last and same push as his body, something quit unusual. I bled a lot, 1600ml, and they are not entirely sure from where or why but suspect the tear rather than the placenta/uterus. They spend 25 minutes stitching me up but that’s ok, I barely notice in my baby bubble. I mostly remember asking Patrick a million times if he was ok as he was crying happy tears and I kept repeating the two sentences “he’s real” and “he’s so tiny”. And he was tiny compared to what the ultrasounds had shown. I was expecting him to weigh absolutely minimum 4200g but more likely 4500-4800. But out came 4054g of pure perfection.
Due to how stressed he was during labor and my infection values we had to stay for observation (and IV antibiotics for me) at the hospital for 2 nights. We had a “family room” for just the tree of us and Patrick got to be with us at all times. The room was cozy and the staff amazing, and that says a lot coming from someone who absolutely hates hospitals, has a very low trust level for the general healthcare and have had several traumatic encounters with the healthcare system in the past few years.
All in all I give my delivery 10/10. Besides those 8 minutes of panic and pain it was a great experience that brought me and Patrick closer, that restored a bit of my trust in the healthcare system and that brought us the best thing yet, our beautiful son.