I have been looking forward to sitting down and writing my full birth report, because I think it’s deeply therapeutic and also a gift to have later in life for looking back on. But I still break out crying when recounting parts of the story for friends so I’ll give myself a few more days to digest those hours. It wasn’t an easy delivery, which has taken me some time to understand, ‘… because all deliveries are tough/hard/painful.’ Whereas I neglected my own pain in the beginning, I’m now allowing myself some time to let it settle in me. But the story will come.
So, instead I want to begin with the prelude – because, man, was there a prelude! THE WORLD’S LONGEST FOREPLAY, haha!
pictures from our Saturday date – final #ootd with a big belly!
I just managed to write this post, and then the real contractions started:
Last Thursday, it really felt like we were getting there – lots of movement, very intense sporadic uterine contractions, zero appetite. So many signs over the weekend, as well, that I really felt like we had to revise all of the practical things while going for a long walk after the dinner on Saturday night. What if it happens tonight, then what?
It wasn’t far off. The movement I had felt on the Thursday at the office – it was the prelude to the delivery. I didn’t feel like eating lunch, didn’t feel like eating dinner, and the period-like pain increased (quite funny to think about how much you ENJOY not getting your period for nine months – only to deal with afterpains and non-stop bleeding for weeks after, hehe…).
photos from our date night Saturday in the city
I had generally felt devoid of energy throughout the week. Not even yoga had seemed appealing, and my body just felt different. That same night, on Thursday, I said to Adam that something was brewing… Something undefinable, but something. Accordingly, Friday night was spent on the couch with season 5 of good old Gossip Girl. Relaxation time.
Saturday, on the other hand, was a day of big ambitions. Brøchner Hotels had invited us to stay at Herman K in the city, and it was my plan to head in there early to enjoy a Copenhagen day. But rather than that, we spent most of the morning and early afternoon fixing stuff. Painting, practical chores. I decluttered the living room. And at some point in the afternoon, we cycled downtown (and shotthese photos on the way) and checked in at the hotel. We only intention was to relax. We had a light dinner at Roxie (the stay was a gift from Brøchner – but I paid for the dinner myself), not really feeling like eating at all, and afterwards we went for a looong walk. If anything was brewing, a good walk was a good way of encouraging things. Along with increasing my levels of oxytocin: kissing, love, intimacy, nakedness.
The walk was funny, as a Saturday night downtown is full of drunk people, cigarettes, draught beer, shots. And whilst some people were mumbling drunkenly, others were warming themselves at the draught beer jug under the heater in Nyhavn, I was walking along with pretty significant irregular contractions and had to squeeze Adam’s hand several times along the way. What a contrast, haha… It was the most intense feeling I had ever experienced, but I managed! When we got back to the hotel, we went straight to bed and watched The Great Bake Off and stayed close. We made an emergency plan for the bike and hurrying home in case it would become necessary…
But it didn’t. We woke up on Sunday, ate a goood long breakfast – I tried to eat as much as possible – and then we wheeled back home in high spirits. The sun was shining beautifully on Copenhagen, that early autumn feeling, where you feel warm in all of the woollen layers as soon as the sun rays hit you. We slowly wheeled into the yard, with me sitting comfortably in the cargo tray, and hiding in the corner were some of my closest friends for a big surprise. Baby shower!
The first midwife greeting me at the hospital, when it was time, said that it had been one big oxytocin weekend. Baby shower and sniffing my friends’ babies, the surprise, the love from them, the gifts, the hotel stay, the intimacy. The entire weekend was nothing but love.
And that evening was also when it really started, on Sunday around 8pm. We were eating fresh spring rolls and watching Ozark when the first contraction came. The initial contraction, but I knew immediately that I was different to what I had felt earlier – What I didn’t know was whether it was the beginning of 3-4 days of contractions or whether it was just around the corner, but after a few in rapid succession, I started monitoring them. Pretty regular almost from the beginning. And, wow, they tricked me! I thought, ‘… good regular contractions from the very beginning – this will be so good! Me and my high pain tolerance!’ Great, great, great! We went to bed, and I tried sleeping for a bit. As much as you possible can when it’s pinching and your body generally hurts SO much – my pubic bone and pelvis hurt badly for the final four weeks of the pregnancy.
On Monday morning, we called the Labour and Delivery ward – regular contractions, lots of things happening. I felt so on top of things and was able to breathe normally – I was then informed that regularity wasn’t the only ‘success criterion’ for an active birth. They also had to be pretty intense, those contractions. So, Adam left for work, but I told him to find a sitter for Frida. Whether it was for today, tomorrow or Wednesday, it was on! YAY!
Frida was picked up by my mother-in-law, and later in the morning, I called Adam – ‘come home….’ At that point, I had been googling, ‘at which point do you ask your boyfriend to come home from work?,’ haha! On the one hand, we may have had several days ahead of us (God forbid!), but on the other hand, if it were to happen that same day or the following day, it seemed silly that he’d be running himself down by working a full day first – as he was supposed to be on together with me during the delivery. He came home at noon, and as I was lying on the couch, he continued working. All we could do was wait and see.
he last photos Adam took of the belly – 18 hours later, he was out
In the afternoon, we called the Labour and Delivery ward again – by now we wanted to come in. The contractions had been regular for 24 hours. I knew that I’d need two rounds of antibiotics before his delivery. I didn’t wanna stress over a small ‘detail’ like that. The pains were increasing as well. And they let us in. Full of expectations we packed our things, activated the house alarm. I remember turning around, regarding the house, and thinking, ‘the next time, we enter the house, we’ll be carrying him in our arms…’ I was so sensitive, crying in the car over everything that was ahead.
We wheeled into the darkness, out towards the hospital.
They gave us a warm welcome, and I was checked – it didn’t seem stressful or high-pressured at the ward at all, which was something I’d often heard from women in labour. Perhaps it was a good day on which to enter the world?
‘You’re 1-2 cm dilated.’
You’re kidding me! I had prepared myself on maybe being informed that I’d only just reached the active birth, the magical 4 cm, but 1-2 cm, seriously? That high tolerance of pain, as if! They first few centimeters hurt enough for me to think it was an active birth, haha… Goddamnit! Well, you never know what to expect the first time around. But, apparently, real pain.
Well… they sent us home again. So, no baby this time around. Or, yes, but still inside the belly.
We went to bed, and I tried sleeping a little bit, but it didn’t amount to much, and the contractions kept increasing. I tried moving up the headboard a bit so I could stand on all fours across it. At this point, I also applied the chili plasters on my lower back.
We called the hospital once or twice – ‘… come back in here at 3am.’ Right, by now we had an aim. I just had to keep myself going until then. I couldn’t possibly sleep anymore, and at 2:45am we took off. Pretty impatient. It hurt so badly! Hopefully, this was it; ‘… next time, we return with a baby.’ Our baby.
I look forward to sharing part two of the experience with you <3
Adam managed to sneak up and photograph the early contractions, a photo I love a lot