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There is a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong. – Laura Stavoe Harm

When the water broke

Friday, September 13th…the day I got to hold our little princess in my arms for the first time

Did I dream or was it for real? I could have sworn that I heard a “click”.
I could barely tell if it was a dream until it felt like I was laying down in a waterbed that had sprung leak.

-Emil, Emil I think my water just broke! I said and almost started to cry.

He turned to me and calmly said…

-Oh thats good…yeah, that’s really good.

I had imagined this scenario in a completely different way. In my imagination I had seen Emil jump out of bed, trip on one of Melker’s tractors, stumble out of the bedroom, put on his clothes in a hurry so that the socks ended up on his hands and the pants on his head but no…this was not how it happened. Well…I guess you don’t get as easily stressed out when you are expecting your third child.

A short while after my water broke I called the birth center. But before I did I just had to make sure it really was amniotic fluid and not urine. After all, I had been close to pee myself several times this pregnancy. I looked and I smelled but neither did it look or smell like pee? Could I bee sure that it was my water then? Yes I could…normally there is no blood on the paper after peeing.

I called the birth center and they gave me an appointment at half past one to start the delivery if the contractions did not get started by themselves. I thought “What…no chance that this appointment will be necessary? The contractions started without any help with the big sister…why would it be different this time?”. Well…maybe I was wrong…the hours went by but no contractions. I started to lose my patience and I was tired of changing my panties and the towel in it every fifteen minutes. I was like a leaking water balloon and had to walk around with a towel between my legs throughout the morning! If you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant I will give you a tip so that you don’t have to use this doubtful towel method if your water brakes. Take a pair of your partner’s underwear, a diaper of your child then combine these two and you get the best protection ever. I used this “underweardiaper” and I wish that I had come up with the idea earlier.

Heading to the hospital

After all the hours of waiting, I was actually unsure if the delivery would start without help. I changed panty after panty (well, until I put on my “underweardiaper” so to say), I watched twilight, I listened to my husband’s feet running from room to room with the vacuum cleaner at maximun power…but no contractions. I waited and waited until I felt…yes I actually felt something and it did even hurt. Ops, my misstake..I just needed to do number two…what a disappointment.

When the clock struck eleven I was losing my hope. Maybe that appointment would be relevant after all? I sat down on the couch and prayed a desperate prayer and you know what…shortly after I got my first contraction. When it was half past twelve, I felt it might be time to call the birth center. Actually, It didn’t hurt that bad and the contractions might not come as close as the midwives want them to before coming in but somewhere I felt that now…now it’s close. I exaggerated my condition slightly and pulled out a little lie which paid off because the women at the birth center welcomed us. When we got in the car I felt that it was a big risk that they would send us home again but at the same time something inside me said that this was the last trip without our little baby girl. We stepped into the birth center at 12.55 and I immediately regretted the exaggeration because the contractions still came too rarely and they were just too…comfortable. It’s so embarrassing having to be sent home…this is the third time…I should know better.

Giving birth

At the birth center we got a private room with a toilet, bathtub and a shower…HALLELUJA! My stomach had been in a really bad condition the whole morning and the toilet had been my best friend. I mentioned to Emil that I was scared to gas everyone to death and apparently our midwife heard what I said because she started to laugh. She also said that I could get enema so that I could go on the toilet properly. Wait a minute…did she say that I could get enema? But…I hadn’t even been enrolled. Well…apparently I already was. They did it immediately when we arrived since the water broke so many hours ago…from now on they wanted to keep me and little M under supervision. Well, thank you…I could finally relax. Or wait a minute…we hadn’t brought any things with us..everything was in the car. What about the camera, the music player and the candy we brought with us? Hmm…it could wait…after all, giving birth doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. First I can take enema and then they can connect me to CTG. When I was connected everything looked perfect…but…I must say that there didn’t seem to be much power in those contractions. I felt like a kid asking how many days it’s left to Saturday on a Sunday. I am not the one who is so easily drawn down into the swamp of bitterness but then I felt anything but positive.

In Sweden we have an expression that reads “suddenly it happens” and you know what…”suddenly it happens”. From a clear blue sky the lightning struck and pulled me on a painful journey…it did hurt so badly but I also welcomed it with open arms. Five minutes later I got another contraction and this one was the worst I ever had endured. It never faded…it only came peaks after peaks after peaks for several minutes. Is this how it feels to die?

-I can’t do this…I want epidural NOW! I said in pure pain.

The clock now showed 2 p.m and I was measured 5 cm open. What? I was completely devastated…how could I only be open 5 cm? On the bright side I still got time to get that epidural…what a relief. Meanwhile, I got nitrous oxide and that just in time for my next contraction who made the stars exploded over my head…I felt so dizzy!

– Emil, Emil do I look a little pale? I asked my husband. I feel so dizzy!

– No…you look like a freshly picked rose! The midwife answered before Emil got the chance to!

– It has to be the nitrous oxide that makes me dizzy. You know I’ve never been drunk, now I think I know how it feels, I said in a blur!

The midwife started to laugh, she looked at my husband and shook her head with a smile on her lips. The contractions just got worse and worse and I felt that now…now it’s close!

-Now it’s time for me to go home so I’m not gonna be here when your princess is born but before I leave I will meet the midwife and the nurse who will deliver your baby, our wonderful, beautiful, and loving midwife said.

I remember I took hold of her hand and asked her to stay.

-I feel so safe when you are here, I told her.

Kind as she was, she stayed and did the handover in our room. So…all of a sudden I had four wonderful women around me…two midwives a nurse and a student. The new women introduced themselves and then they started to go through the 70 minutes that have passed. All of a sudden my body started to take over and I had no control.

– The baby is coming! I quivered through the nitrous oxide mask. Emil you must get our things now. You must get the camera NOW!

everyone turned to me and looked a little shocked. They pulled down my pants and panties and I hear one of them burst out…

-Yes, the baby is coming!

-Emil…the camera…NOW!

All of a sudden I felt so stressed…10 minutes before I was only open 5 cm and the camera…where is the camera!

-Am I really completely opened? What if my vagina tear? I asked frightened.

And right then I felt a “plop”.

-The head is out…don’t push just follow your body! I heard one of them say!

I got a second labour contraction…

-Did I poop myself?” I asked worriedly.

-No you didn’t…continue like you do honey, I can see her! I heard Emil say cheering on me.

All in all I got three labour contractions and after four minutes of them I could hear the long-awaited scream. She was here…she was finally here.

-Congratulations to you little baby girl…I got to see her enter this world after all! The midwife who welcomed us said in joy.

This birth was both a dream and a nightmare. None of my previous deliveries has ever hurt that bad but thanks to the powerful contractions our beauty was born fast. Before we came to the birth center, my head thought that they would tell us to go home again, but my heart said it would go fast and that we would have our daughter with us in no time…the heart was right. We only spent one hour and fifteen minutes at the hospital before we had our beautiful girl in our arms.

Now I just want to send my thanks to the staff at Näls birth center for supporting us through everything that it means to give birth. But above all…thank you Emil for being there holding my hand and cheering on me when I needed it the most. You are a wonderful husband and father and I look forward seeing our children grow up side by side with you…you are amazing ❤

Thank you lord for this precious blessing! There seems to be no greater physical gift than this sweet bundle of joy, sent straight from you. Her perfect little fingers and toes, the way she smell like heaven, the love that bubbles up – unmatched in its depth. It’s a wonderful kind of overwhelmed.

Please bless this baby, Lord. Place a shield of protection around her little body and guard her as she grow. Keep her safe and healthy, Lord. Help this little one to know she is deeply and wholly and forever loved – first by You, and then by so many of us. Bless this baby, Lord, and bless us surrounding her. Help us adjust to our new normal as we welcome this new person into our lives, hearts and home. Give us even one whole night of sleep, and give us strength and energy when the nights are short. Blanket our home in peace, grace, and love.

Thank you Lord, for this new life. We praise and thank You for Your good and perfect creation. Amen.