Becoming a mother

I promised to write a final update on my pregnancy and becoming a mother. My baby boy is two weeks old today and he is just perfect. I am so in love with him. We are both doing fine, which is the most important thing. I am still getting used to my new life and we don’t have an actual rhythm yet, but that’s okay. I enjoy every moment with him. Let me tell you that all the cliches are true. My love for him is so strong and it has been since the second they put him on my belly when he was born. It was magical.

Back to the last two weeks of my pregnancy. There wasn’t much magic there. It was actually more like my personal version of hell. I didn’t feel very well and experienced many Braxton-Hicks contractions. I couldn’t sleep properly, I didn’t feel hungry at all and I definitely had many moodswings. My energy levels went up and down like crazy. I have spent the last weekend of July at the hospital, because of a bleeding. It will always remain a mystery what caused that bleeding, but at least we were both okay so in the end I was cleared to go back home and wait for labor to start.

When it finally did, on my due date (Sunday, August 16), nothing really happened in the beginning. My contractions weren’t very strong, but they were quite painful. So I was in a lot of pain, but nothing happened. The cervical dilation remained just 1 cm for a very long time. I couldn’t stand the pain, so on the 17th of August my obstetrician allowed me to sleep at the hospital, where they gave me strong painkillers and a sedative for the night. Those had worked for me before, but this time I could not sleep and the pain didn’t get any less. In fact, it was getting worse. When I called the nurse to help me to the bathroom (yeah, painkillers and sedatives don’t work well for one’s legs) we found out I was having another bleeding. I completely freaked out, especially because Huib was sleeping at home. They made an ECG and I wasn’t allowed to call him yet (which I did anyways, because, hello, I was bleeding and it was OUR baby we were talking about here…) We had to wait for the obstetrician on call to come over and check what was going on. The following two hours were slowly ticking by… and then she finally came to see me at 3 am. The baby was fine and she told me I was in labor for real now. The dilation was 3 cm and they were moving me to the delivery rooms. I could not believe it. The baby was finally coming. I immediately demanded stronger pain management so the anesthesiologist came to give me epidural anesthesia. The next thing I did was call Huib again that he had to get his ass to the hospital ASAP.

When we got to delivery room four, I got my epidural and then Huib and I were told that it was okay for us to get some sleep, or at least rest a little. My body had some work to do. This time I was lucky enough to fall asleep for a while and when I woke up and had a small breakfast, the obstetrician came back. There was good news as things were speeding up and she told me I was at 9 cm now. Since my mum had promised to be there as well, we decided that this was the right time to call her. For a moment I was afraid that she would miss it. She didn’t. When she arrived I did reach 10 cm, but that was when it all slowed down again. My body thought that we were done there. Minor detail: That baby was still inside of me and had to come out. So the doctor’s prescribed me some oxytocin which was added to the drip feed and we had to wait again. In the mean time, the epidural had to be stopped in order for me to feel the final contractions. Oh boy, I did feel those. There was enough pain, but no real action. But the second the doctor mentioned helping me in any way, we decided to go for it and push that baby out, contractions or not. So that’s what I did. On August 18, at 1:56 pm, my beautiful baby boy Marcel was born. He was just perfect. I could not take my eyes off him. Did it end there? Unfortunately not. My placenta didn’t come out on it’s own despite the amount of oxytocin they shoved into my system and they had to remove it manually at the OR. I did not complain at the time, as it was something that had to be done. I didn’t want to leave my baby behind, but at least Huib and my mother were there to take care of him so I didn’t really worry about it. I just had to go with the flow. Being in labor kind of put me in a survival mode and I could have done anything at that moment.

Once I came back to my hospital room there was finally time to get to know my little boy. Everything else just went by in a blur. I got food, people stopped by to see us and they told me I had lost a lot of blood. But the baby was doing just fine, even though he was very tiny with his 48 cm and 2820 grams. They kept us overnight to check his glucose levels, but the next morning we were both discharged.

The first two weeks at home have flown by. We’ve had a lot of help from two very lovely midwifes and our families. There was so much to learn about milk, feeding the baby, bathing, diapers and what not. I had to rest a lot and get stronger again. It took me a while before I was actually able to be of any help here. Until then I just had to sit, drink, eat and love my baby boy. He is definitely growing and changing already so I am taking a lot of pictures every day. I am so proud of us for making such a beautiful baby together. Words can’t describe how much I love Marcel. I still have a lot to learn, but we are going to be in this adventure together.

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