Marriage

The birth story – part 2

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THE STORY CONTINUES…

Mom dropped off Marcus and I in front of the hospital and went to go find parking. She caught up with us even before we reached the elevator because I had to stop for every 10 steps to endure another minute of fiery agony. We got upstairs and soon I was back on the table, and the midwife told me with a smile that I was fully dilated and ready to push whenever my water broke.

Now… thinking back I dread the thought of what would’ve happened if we had stayed home like they told us to – my mom’s face would surely have been the first thing my baby saw and some midwife would’ve had her front teeth knocked out later that day – but at the time I just remember incredible relief. It was almost over!

After the good experience from the tub I managed to ask to give birth in water and we were escorted to a delivery room with a huge deep tub. The room was so hot. I spent the time waiting for the tub to fill at the window under which the radiator was on full steam. Ponytail please! Not soon enough I was climbing into the tub, which was filled with surprisingly warm water. Again, amazing relief washed over my body when I sunk under the surface. I remember heaving a huge “aaaaaah” and the midwife laughing. I found a comfortable position hanging over the edge of the tub and managed to ask if I was allowed to push. I was told I could give a small push at the top of each contraction if I wanted. We just needed the water to break before really getting to work. … which happened on my very first push just after with a surprisingly loud ‘pop’. I looked up at the midwife eagerly, but my immediate happiness was quickly swept away when the midwife asked me to get out of the tub. She thought the amniotic fluid looked a bit green, in which case she needed me on the table. I stared at her in disbelief. We were ready, I was comfortable and we were good to go! Was she kidding?

When I didn’t move, she urged me again and instructed Marcus and Mom to help me out. I waited out another contraction, gathered my strength and slowly got out of the tub. My goodness, that bed was tall and I have no idea where I summoned the abs to heave my legs up.

Five minutes later I was just about comfortable and okay dealing with the contractions on dry land. Then she told me I could get back in the tub. Gosh.

It was absolutely worth it though. The water was as amazing as ever.

By now I was pushing as hard as I could. And more than just once per contraction. In the craziness of all the pain I figured maybe I could impress everyone by pushing her out faster than anyone expected. I’d been told that the pushing part can be as fast as 20 minutes and I was deeply disappointed that I didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere.

Then if you’ll believe it, the midwife asked me to get back out of the tub. Only this time she didn’t ask. She ordered. And she made it clear that I had no time at all to hesitate. Apparently the baby’s heart rate had dropped to half. She was in distress.

How on Earth I got out of the tub and made it over onto the bed, I have no idea. The moment I was out of the water I could feel her, her head between my legs. I trust I don’t need to emphasize how freaky that feels.

But then the midwife told me the most amazing thing. “Just one more good push and you have your baby”. I was a little too under to notice her own stress but Marcus told be afterwards how the mood changed. The baby needed to come out immediately. The midwife called a nurse and asked Marcus and Mom to hold up my legs and me to push harder than I thought I could. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t really tell any longer when I was having a contraction, so I just chose a random moment and told the midwife it was time. And I pushed. And pushed. And then the contraction was over. And still no baby. I guessed what the midwife must have been thinking and decided to just keep pushing. The most amazing push. And as if my body had been severely gassy for 9 months, it deflated in an instant and the baby fell into the midwife’s hands.

Immediate relief washed over me. The tight belly relaxed and all traces of the contractions I’d been enduring for 11 hours immediately disappeared.

Mom and Marcus however experienced a few stressful seconds. Baby was all limp as if dead. The midwife shook her and blew in her face. After just a few seconds she coughed and gave an uneasy cry.

It wasn’t for another few hours that I realized I’d done it all natural. I’m not gonna lie. I felt pretty darn cool.

Then she was on my chest in a blanket and hat. And everyone was smiling and taking pictures.

It was over. There she was. Little Baby Girl. 3:40pm and 52cm and 3680g. Beautiful and healthy. Now we were parents for real, I thought. Yes, I thought! I felt conscious again. So conscious and tired that I couldn’t think of crying. So I just watched Mom and Marcus doing it.

It was really that simple. We were a family. Just like that.

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The birth story – part 1

It happened. The story I’ve been waiting to tell for so long can finally be told! And it’s a good one, so put up your feet.

A week ago exactly I had the hardest and most amazing day of my life so far. It all started at about 4.30 in the morning. I woke up and noticed I was having contractions. This wasn’t a biggie since I’d been having contractions just about every day for months, but the new thing was that I realized my contractions were what had woken me up. That hadn’t happened before. I pulled up our iPad and opened our contraction monitor app and started timing them. After an hour it was clear that there was about 6 minutes between them. I sent my mom a quick text “it’s time.” and woke up Marcus. Next, I called the hospital and was told to wait it out another few hours and even try to go back to sleep. I asked when I should call them up again and she just told me “When you need to”. Wondering when that would be, I jumped in the shower, knowing there was no way in heck I’d be able to fall back asleep. Marcus showered too and we had breakfast and watched a LOT (it felt like) of Modern Family on Netflix.

Being mainly focused on my contractions the next couple of hours went by really fast. The contractions were getting a lot tougher but still seemed to be 6 minutes apart. Really? As it was getting a little too painful to lie down I got up and started pacing. Immediately I noticed a difference in my contractions. The gaps between became clearer and the app now showed just 2-3 minutes apart. I finally called mom and asked her to come … now. Then I called the hospital and said we were coming… now.

Mom showed up around 10am with the biggest smile on her face. Neither she nor Marcus made any obvious attempt to be sympathetically serious but instead danced around me joking and taking pictures. I found it pretty darn annoying at the time but I’ll admit it’s a little fun to have the pictures now.

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Half an hour and a hard car ride later we were let into a room to have me checked up by a midwife. I’ll leave out the details and instead disclose how sickeningly inappropriate I found it that there were large posters of crowning babies on all the walls.

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Anywho, soon we were leaving the room again having been informed that I was about 2-3 cm dilated and that they would like for me to go back home and come back later. Say what?? I made it clear to my mom that I was by no means walking up the stairs to our 5th floor apartment again. I had no interest whatsoever in getting back in the car either, so for half an hour I insisted we just wait it out in the lobby of the hospital. Being slightly under the influence of strong pain in my pelvis I suddenly changed my mind and we decided to go to my parents’ house instead.

Yikes, that car ride was not fun. Over the next two hours I endured the contractions standing, sitting, lying down, lying on my mom’s yoga ball… At around noon mom called the hospital back and was again informed to wait a little longer. Frustrated, we decided to try something else and mom went to fill the jacuzzi tub.

I hear that all women react differently to stuff like this, but seriously, I’d recommend waiting out your contractions in a tub to anyone! It was absolutely amazing! As soon as I was in the water I felt like there were actual gaps between my contractions again and I could even sit up and talk to mom and Marcus – completely out of the question before. Another upside of the tub was that it seemed to speed up the process remarkably. I hadn’t been in there for long before the contractions just became unbearable. I couldn’t sit still or be somewhat politely quiet. But due to our last many hospital calls I expected it was going to get much much worse, since they obviously didn’t think I was very far along. So I sat tight – literally – and tried not to complain much … until all of a sudden I felt like I needed to push.

Since I’d never been pregnant or in labor before I wasn’t 100 % sure that this was what it felt like when you needed to push, so I left the door open to it probably just being me overthinking it. Nevertheless, I told mom who jumped up and called the hospital again. A few minutes later she returned with a look of frustration worthy only of the contractions I was experiencing. She said that once again the hospital had asked us to stay home. I had another powerful contraction, by now I was clenching by butt to make sure I wasn’t pushing. When it was over I looked my mom in the eye and told her that we needed to go right now.

As soon as I got out of the tub and the anesthesia of the water was gone I really felt it. My body was trying to push out the baby right here on the bathroom floor. The thought actually occurred to me that maybe I could ask my mom to just deliver the baby here.

Quick as a flash, we were back in the car with me in the front seat on my knees hugging the back of the seat. I remember that car ride as if in slow motion. Every contraction totally removed me from this world and the urge to bear down was stronger than any temptation I’ve ever felt in my life.

Mom dropped off Marcus and I in front of the hospital and went to go find parking. She caught up with us even before we reached the elevator because I had to stop for every 10 steps to endure another minute of fiery agony. We got upstairs and soon I was back on the table…

TO BE CONTINUED

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My husband is not my knight in shining armor – something I need to teach my daughter

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When you grow up and start looking for a husband you will be overwhelmed at how many guys there are in this world, and you may have to look for a long time before you find one. But none of this matters, because one day you will meet this young man who will sweep you off your feet as romantic music seems to play in the background. You will have the craziest butterflies in your stomach and the thought of him alone will make you feel like you’re soaring on a pink cloud of happiness. Likewise, he will be so taken with your beauty and will express this with tokens of everlasting love. He will be handsome beyond belief and he will be as if perfectly made for you. There will be no mistaking that you are meant to be.

Not!

I’m sorry girls, but that is just not how it is in the real world. It may seem that way when a happy couple tells ”their story” and it may even seem like that to you looking back after years of marriage, but it is usually not the case and is certainly not something to wait around for expectantly. The process of courtship involves hard work, sacrifice and definitely stepping out of ones comfort zone and takes a lot more than romantic coincidence. In the prospect of soon having to raise a daughter of my own I have picked out a few points that I want to make sure to teach her before she fluffs her pink pillows, takes out her notebook and leans back to watch the parade of eligible young men pass her by.

1. The Universe will not tell you who to marry
I remember the many afternoons I spent as a young girl daydreaming of my one true love that someday I would go and spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t till after I got engaged to Marcus that I really understood that had I spent more time sniffing around I probably would have met many guys that, if diligently pursued, I could have ended up with. I realized just how much power there was in my decision to give my all to my relationship with Marcus and how much it was my choices that made us end up together. 
We may want to wait for that perfect scene where that song is playing and he says that line and you feel that way, but chances are you’re gonna wait for a very long time. 

2. Love is earned, it’s not for free
There is a big difference in having a crush, falling in love and finally loving someone. The sort of feelings I described in the scenario at the beginning of this post is what I would call a crush. It has no root and is based on first impressions, lines and outward appearance. And yes, a charming face can get you far, but probably not to the commitment of marriage. Looking back, I realize that I really had to allow myself to have deeper feelings for Marcus. I needed to not be afraid of commitment and I needed to be ready for the many changes in my life that might come with said commitment. Also, I needed to not allow myself to be distracted by or overly picky with his bad habits, weird ways or other small things that might not match the perfect Prince Charming picture in my mind. 
I am not personally a strong believer in love at first sight, but I do know people who are and who have great loving and strong relationships. However, love at first sight is nothing to expect and not something to turn down a guy in the absence of. IMG_2943

3. There’s a reason it’s called ”finding” a husband and not ”noticing” a husband
When Marcus and I first started dating neither of us were completely confident that it would work out between us – if anything I think I was more skeptical than he was. But I had beforehand noticed some of his qualities and goals in life… and the way he spoke about his future family caught my attention and I knew that it might be a while before I found another guy like this. So I decided to pursue this relationship 100%, give it all I had until I would be able to distinguish whether or not to potentially turn it into a marriage.
What I’m saying is that choosing a husband is not just choosing a boyfriend. You need more to go by than a crush and a blush. It’s really about stepping out of your comfort zone and working your way towards the goal. 

4. It takes hard work and time to become perfect for each other
Like I said, I was not exactly swept off my feet when I started dating my husband. One of my top priority criteria for my future husband was that he could make me laugh my head off. To my great worry and disappointment, during our first months of dating, I felt like Marcus and I had such different senses of humor – because we didn’t know each other that well yet! I wish I could go back in time and grab my past self’s shoulders and tell myself to get a grip and that marriage would bring some of my best laugh attacks and most hilarious inside jokes. 
No two people mysteriously walk up to each other and instantaneously understand each other’s deepest concerns, thoughts, wishes and humor. Two best friends only become best friends after spending much time and tribulation together. Soulmates are no different. 

Having said that, all morning I have received cute pink’ish messages from my husband saying things like “I just can’t wait to come home to you” and “You really are my best friend”. Marriage is awesome, but don’t expect that you can have feelings from day one that belong in a marriage or long relationship and that couples have spent months and years achieving.

My husband is not my knight in shining armor, but he has become my soulmate.

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What anyone who wants to get married should know

IMG_8246.jpg.jpgYHI had the pleasure of starting my day today by reading an inspiring blog post by a man who at the time had just gone through with his divorce and was now sharing a list of 20 things he wished he would have done in his marriage to keep it alive.

He ends his post by expressing his utmost regret that his list of advice were all things that he learned too late. That he should have known this at the beginning of their marriage instead of at the end.

Marcus and I celebrated our first anniversary this last Sunday. (more…)

Catching up on the pregnancy

fetus13So I dropped the bomb two days ago that I’m pregnant. I’m currently 13 weeks or 3 months, at the very end of the first trimester. Baby is about 2.9 inches or 7,5 cm and weighs about .81 oz or 23 g – supposedly the size of a peach. Though she’s (don’t freak, don’t know the gender yet, but I’ll be calling the baby ‘he’ or ‘she’ simply cause I feel weird saying ‘it’) still fairly small my belly has gone from simply being bloated and uhm.. poofy? to being solidly curvy below the belly button. Don’t know how else to explain it. So it’s probably not completely visible yet, but definitely not casually flat either. Truth be told, my pants feel really tight and I prefer to flatteringly unbotton them whenever – possibly – possible.

Pregnancy so far has been exciting but rough. The night back in early January (more…)

Moving party!

photo (25).jpgYHIt has been a wild weekend full of packing, cleaning, driving, unpacking, car breaking down, laundering, shopping (a LOT), sorting, clogged toilet, little sleep and actually catching a cold.

If you ask me (and I suspect I got this from my mother) if you put ‘party’ behind any task, it becomes FUN! That means a ‘moving party’ will involve loud music, snacks, dancing and laughing! Despite my many attempts to brainwash Marcus with my theory, moving this weekend was not exactly a party. (more…)

Wasn’t ready to simply be a wife

IMG_1458.jpgYHBoy! Is being a wife a different role than being a daughter! Cleaning, cooking, mending, paying bills. You’re co-responsible for a household.  Apart from that, you’re also responsible for upholding, supporting and taking care of your husband. This means you’re no longer just taking care of yourself but you need to watch your words, thoughts and mood for someone else. You are a team.

Just a year and a half ago I sat down and had a thinker. Meaning I had a serious talk with myself. And I realized how far I was from being ready to take the leap. To leave the nest. To build my own nest. I had so much more to learn before I could start fending for someone other than myself. (more…)

My parents know

picture (6).jpgYHI’ve never known my parents as well as I do now. I don’t think I’ve thought “what would my parents do?” as often EVER as I do now. But maybe every new chapter of my life is gonna feels this way. You face unfamiliar challenges and you realize these are tricks your parents learned decades ago. Then you feel stupid. Stupid that you had your entire childhood to learn from them and watch them and ask every single necessary question along the way. But now you’re out. Out of their house, country and continent and your next visit is so far into the future that you haven’t even bothered to schedule it yet. Now I’m left to myself. (more…)

Lives changing dreams changing lives

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It’s an interesting time of your life, being a newlywed. You go from being single, the room of your future seems huge and hollow with white walls, floor and ceiling. Colorless. You have no idea what kind of images will be put on those white walls. Will they be white? Will the room always feel this hollow or will it be filled with voices of loved ones you haven’t even met yet?

Then you get married. And all of a sudden the room starts to take shape and gets faded shades of color here and there. (more…)