Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Our Time in the Hospital

This might sound funny but I miss our days in the hospital.  I was in a lot of pain and the first 24 hours were r.o.u.g.h. but I can't help but smile thinking about our first few days as a family of three.  We were figuring each other out and how things would work.  Jake took excellent care of both of us and I wouldn't have been able to make it without him.  I also really liked that if we needed help a midwife was one button push away and someone did the cooking and cleaning :).

If you missed Linnea's birth story you can click on the link to read about her entrance into this world!

July 5th
We spent our first night on the postpartum floor in room 2.  We had a private room but a shared bathroom.  The shared bathroom was a pain because I felt like I was going all the time trying to flush out all the medicine and fluids they gave me throughout labor.  We got to our room around 9:20 pm on July 5th.  We tried getting settled and then Linnea saw the pediatrician to get her head checked out before we went to sleep.  They were worried about a sack of fluid where the vacuum was because they didn't know if it was just liquid or if it was blood.  They checked her around 11 pm and then came in again during the night at 2:30 am to check her again.  I didn't realize how worried they were.  I thought it was standard to check babies after they were born but I figured out the next day they were kind of concerned about her.  I was thankful I didn't know that until after I got some sleep.
 Jake tucking her in.  We put her between our beds so we could both reach her.
Our first night we slept from about 1:20 am until 2:30 when they checked her head.  I took her to do skin to skin time.  Skin to skin is encouraged a lot here.  Before we went to sleep they told us that we should do it several times a day so we thought we were supposed to do it during the night as well meaning one of us would sleep with her on us.  So we did that the first and second night.  I slept with her after she was checked until about 5 am.  We learned on the third day that they didn't mean to do it while we were sleeping.  Oops. #rookieparentingmistake

I tried feeding her a few times.  They don't push breastfeeding too much during the first 24 hours.  If the baby seems interested then that is great but if the baby isn't they don't worry about it until it has been a full 24 hours after birth.  Once the baby hits the 24 hour mark then we have to wake her up to feed her every 3 hours.  They also checked her blood sugar and counted how many breathes she took in one minute.
 All swaddled up and ready to sleep!
July 6th
The next morning I walked by a room that was empty and noticed it had a private bathroom so I asked the midwife if we could move to that one and she said YES!  I was so excited.

We moved rooms, had breakfast, got all settled in and took a quick nap before Baker's appointment with the pediatrician at 10.
On our way to the pediatrician's office.

The pediatrician looked like Vin Diesel.  We both really liked him.  He read over the birth journal and talked to us about her head.  They were worried about the sack of fluid because they couldn't tell if it was water or blood.  They were going to wait for the standard 48 hour blood test and add an extra test on to see what it told us.  If it was blood they would give her something to help her body absorb it but either way they weren't concerned especially since she didn't seem to be in pain.
We brought a few swaddles to the hospital but she was so small that none of them really fit.  They don't swaddle in Sweden so we got a few strange looks when we had her all wrapped up.  They do use a baby nest which is a soft u-shaped pillow that the baby lays in the middle of.  We saw several babies being pushed around with a completely full bassinet.  You could barely see the baby.
My two favorite people!
Little Monkey
I took Tylenol and Ibuprofen while I was in the hospital.  They wanted me to take both every 8 hours but I wanted to stagger them so I could take something every 4 hours.  Jake was in charge of coming up with a system so I knew when and what to take every time because my brain couldn't remember a darn thing.
I normally have a great memory and Jake's memory is awful.  He still sometimes forgets how to get to my parents' house.  They've lived in the same house, in Wichita, about 5 minutes from Jake's parents' house, the entire 13.5 years we've been together.  It kind of scared me that I had to rely on his memory so much :).  That is how I knew I was in bad shape.

 For the first few days she was spitting up amniotic fluid and it freaked us out.  I hated watching her struggle to get it up and out.  I was thankful we could see through her bed so we could help her once we noticed she was trying to cough some up.
 I thought she was cold and I couldn't find her hat to I improvised.
Instead of having normal visitors we had lots of phone calls and video chats.  I talked to Jan on the phone, did a video chats with my parents, Emily and Jami and also Jake's parents.  Jake also talked to Liz on the phone.

I really thought I would be sad we didn't have visitors but it was kind of a relief not to.  The first 24 hours or so I was struggling and it would have been a bit much to have visitors I think.  Jake had to bring Baker to me so I could feed her because I couldn't get up and down with her.  He also changed all of her diapers and her clothes.  It was so strange finally having my very own baby and not being able to take care of her the way I always thought I would.  It did however, give Jake lots of bonding time with her which was so sweet to see.
 Jake bought her a little mouse which is super cute!  Now it hangs on her stroller.
 The first few mornings Jake brought our breakfast to the room but the last morning we had breakfast in the dining room.  Jake was able to eat breakfast each morning but lunch and dinner he had to buy from the restaurants or cafes in the hospital.
I had to put in my order for lunch and dinner between 10-10:30.  The food was okay.  Some meals were better than others.  They gave me both meals when I ordered them and I put them in the fridge until I was ready to eat.  Lunch was served from 11-1 but you could go warm up your food whenever you wanted they just had extra food out during that time.  
The food containers were neat.  You warmed them up in the microwave sitting on a plate but once they were done instead of taking the plastic off the top and dumping them you pulled the white tab from the bottom.  Then the plastic was peeled off the bottom while the container sat on your plate so when it was done your meal was on your plate and out of the container.  It was pretty clever.
You store your lunches and dinners in the fridge on the right but you can also store your own personal food in the fridge on the left as long as you mark it with your room number, name and date.
A fancy coffee machine is a must of course.  The gray fridge above the sink had breast milk in it for people who were struggling to have enough milk for their babies.

The dining room.
They also had fika for us :).
July 7th
Baker slept on me again from 1:30-3:30 am.  I fed her a little and she calmed down after Jake walked with her for a bit.  She fell back asleep on me at 5:30 am until someone came in at 7:45 to take my blood for testing.

Baker had blood taken to test for PKU and a few other things as well as to check her head.

We had almost decided on Linnea's name at this point we just needed to figure out her middle name.  During dinner we were talking about Linnea's name and I remembered that my friend Amy sometimes has other people pick something for her when she is trying to decide between two things.  Then if she is disappointed with what they pick she knows which one she really wants and then picks that one.  So we decided to call Amy and tell her the names (which was a big deal because it was top secret) and get her feedback and see how it made me feel :).  We texted her 4 options all with Linnea as the first name and talked through them all.  It really helped.

July 8th
During the night, Jake helped with the first feeding like he had been doing since she was born but I did the second feeding all by myself.  That was a big moment for me.  I was able to get up and down with her, feed her, change her and put her back to bed.  At that point I finally felt like her mom.  The one that I thought I would be but couldn't physically be the first two days.

Normally you stay two nights after having a baby and if everything goes well you get to stay in the patient hotel.  However, because of her vacuum extraction and me losing too much blood they had us stay at the hospital on the postpartum floor for 3 nights which was fine by me.  I definitely wasn't ready to go home until that last day and even then I could have stay longer ;).
 She had her hearing test done while we were still at the hospital.  They usually do this during your 5 day check up but we were there long enough to do it before we left.  She passed with flying colors of course :).

Before we left her pediatrician, Vin Diesel, came in again to talk to us about her head and her blood.  Her blood test for her head came back fine but the test showed that some of my blood mixed with hers so she had some antibodies in her blood since I am B Negative and she is O Positive.  They were going to monitor it and if it started causing a problem they would give her some iron supplements.  There was a higher risk of jaundice so she would be checked again for that at her 5 day appointment.  She said that because of the sack of fluid on her head her body was making more blood which could help with the antibodies so that is good.

I was also examined before I left.  My blood test showed I should take some iron supplements but other than that I was good to go.
 Our room
 The hospital provided diapers and wipes that you could wet with water.  They didn't give us any blankets or clothes to put her in and they never swaddled her.

 One of our awesome midwives.
 Kisses from Daddy.
 

 Going home outfit
Checking out was weird.  We didn't really have anyone tell us what to do.  They just said we could leave sometime after lunch.  We hit the button to have a midwife come to our room just to ask if we needed to do anything before we left and that is when we realized we hadn't paid for Jake.  It was 250 kr (about $30) per night for Jake to stay and then it was 100 kr for me but I had to pay for all four nights so our total bill was about $135 to have Linnea.

Jake went home to drop off a load of stuff and to pick up the car seat and then he came back to get us.  We took a taxi home but because of rush hour it took us almost an hour to get home instead of 15 minutes.

She didn't seem to mind.  She slept the whole way home.


 My favorite spot in the house with my favorite girl!

Check back in a few days to see lots of pictures of our first few weeks at home!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Best BIRTH DAY Present Ever - Linnea's Birth Story

Here is Linnea's birth story.  It might be too detailed for some (maybe the men in my life . . .) but I will try to not be too graphic.  However, "they" say that you will become less modest after having a kid . . . "they" weren't lying.  You might want to take that into consideration before reading.  I am a pretty modest person but something changes during labor and delivery where you just don't care.  So, if you don't want to read this post then skip it :) and come back for another one with cute baby pictures because that will be happening a lot now I'm sure.

I'll give you the cliff notes version if you want it: My water broke at home. I did early labor at the hospital because I needed to get antibiotics during labor. I progressed VERY slowly.  I would make progress and then stall out for 3 hours and then make progress and stall.  I never had regular contractions which made things complicated along with Baker's heart rate dropping whenever I switched positions.  After finally dilating to a 10 Baker wouldn't drop. After giving her about 6 hours to drop they told me I had about an hour to get her out before they were going to do a c-section. (After 36 hours of labor I wasn't about to let the last hour go by without giving it my all to prevent getting a c-section - as much as I could do to prevent it.) They wanted me to try to push her down since she wouldn't drop before pushing her out.  After about an hour of pushing, with the help of a vacuum she arrived squeaky cry and all!

The more detailed story:
The day before I went into labor, July 3rd, I had some mild cramps in the morning but then they went away during the day.  Later that night we went on a walk by the water.  We had been walking in the evenings pretty regularly.  I usually had more pains/contractions in the evenings especially if we went for a walk but they would always calm down and stop once I started relaxing or went to sleep.  On this night I had some pretty painful contractions but they weren't very regular.  I had to stop a few times on our walk because it was too painful to walk through them.

I woke up the next morning, July 4th, to use the bathroom around 4:30 am which was my standard "wake up to pee" time the last several weeks.  After going to the bathroom I noticed I was still "going" but I didn't feel like it was pee.  After sitting there a while I figured it had to be my water breaking because there was no way it was still pee.  I calmly called for Jake and told him I thought my water was breaking.
 The last belly bump pic! 40 weeks and 3 days!

I called the hospital, Danderyds Sjukhus, because you are supposed to call if your water breaks.  I answered several questions and she said it sounded like my water was breaking and that I needed to come in to get checked and to start receiving antibiotics.  I tested positive for Group B Strep around week 26.  They don't routinely test for that here like they do in the US but before I flew home in April I was feeling lots of pressure so they took a urine sample and found it in my urine then which meant I would get antibiotics during labor.  I was thankful that they found it then.  A friend of mine in Stockholm had it but didn't know because she wasn't tested and then her son got really sick after delivery so she really encouraged me to get tested for it if I could.  (It was also really good that I had antibiotics since the labor was so long I had a higher risk of infection but thankfully I had the antibiotics so we were both better protected.)
Excited to meet Baker!  (Kinda glad I didn't know it would be so long after this picture before she arrived.)
We finished packing, ate breakfast, showered, etc. from about 4:45 to 6 am when the taxi arrived.  I wasn't having any contractions so I knew we had time.  I felt a small contraction or two in the taxi before we arrived at the hospital at 6:15 am.  The taxi ride felt really long but I think it was just the anticipation of everything that was about to happen.  They hooked me up to monitors to listen to the baby and check my contractions when we arrived.  They didn't actually check me to see if I was dilated when I showed up like I thought they would.  They didn't want to risk any infections.  So I had no idea how far along I was because they didn't check at my prenatal appointments either like they do in the US.  While I was hooked up to the monitors I called my parents and Jake's parents to let them know we were at the hospital.  

After they confirmed that my water did break but I wasn't having regular contractions they sent me to the postpartum floor to wait for active labor to start so they could then transfer me to the labor and delivery floor.  I couldn't go home because I needed to start getting antibiotics.  If my labor didn't start on its own in 48 hours they would give me something for it to start.  At first they said Jake would have to go home because the room I was going to was a shared room and he couldn't be there because we would be sleeping and there was another woman there.  However, once we got to the room the midwife let him stay which eased my nerves.

Here was my room for early labor.

Stockholm was under a heat advisory while I was in labor.  The high was 81 degrees which is nothing compared to the highs in Kansas but when you don't have air conditioning and you are over 40 weeks pregnant and in labor it is hot.  We asked for a fan.  The first one they brought didn't work.  The second one had a mind of its own and almost flew off the table.  We were laughing so hard.  Finally they brought us a third fan and it worked great.


They hooked me up to a monitor every once in a while to check on my contractions and on Baker.  It was always nice to see my contractions because then Jake could tell me when they were starting to go down.

We had breakfast, lunch and dinner on this floor.   I could easily talk through breakfast, lunch I had to pause a few times because of the pain and I didn't really eat dinner because the contractions were so strong.  At 5 pm, they checked me for the first time and I was dilated to a 3-4 and in active enough labor that they could transfer me to the labor and delivery floor.
Jake was pretty relaxed during the early labor stage.
We arrived at the labor and delivery floor around 6:20 pm.  I keep reminding myself that had I gone into labor with contractions before my water broke this is when I would have gone to the hospital so the last 12 hours of labor would have been at home instead of the hospital.  I was kind of thankful they were at the hospital so I could be monitored but it made for a very long labor and delivery.  We had a midwife and a nurse's assistant in charge of my labor and delivery. (By the time Baker arrived we went through 4 shift changes but thankfully we had one set of midwives twice so we only had 3 teams to get to know.)  I really liked our first set.  They were very nice and energetic.

Around 7 pm, they checked me again and I was only at a 3 according to that midwife so no progress in the last 2 hours.  The midwife came in every 15 minutes to listen to the Baker's heartbeat and to see if I need anything or wanted to change positions.  I used heating pads for pain relief on my stomach and back.  I had lots of back labor which I had heard isn't much fun and again "they" were correct about that one too.  #seemstobethetheme  We got to listen to Baker on the monitor which was fun.  Jake tried to get dinner but he came back empty handed because it was closed.  The midwives offered to make us some sandwiches and bring us something similar to applesauce but apricot and strawberry flavored.

This next part is probably Jake's favorite part of the laboring process: At 8:20 pm I decided to get in the shower to help relieve some of the pain with water.  I sat on a pilates ball in the shower while spraying my stomach and back with water.  Jake was concerned about me falling and just didn't think this was very safe but the midwife said it was fine and acted like it was a normal thing.  While I was in the shower they brought our sandwiches and apricot and strawberry sauce to us on a rolling cart.  So Jake sat on the toilet enjoying a nice dinner while I was trying to breathe through contractions in the shower.  The midwife also came in a few times while I was in the shower to listen to the baby.

 Part of our labor and delivery room.  You can see the pilates ball and the birthing stool.
 Here is a bed that pulled down from the wall.  Jake took a few naps on it during the night.  The big white thing on the bed is a big bean bag that they had me use for different positions.
 Some gĂ„bord, walking tables.  I didn't end up using one to walk the halls but I used one at the end of labor to try to get her to drop.  I'll spare you that picture of me :).
We were in room 8.
Around 9 pm, I got out of the shower and checked again.  At this point the contractions were very strong and my whole body was shaking through them.  I tried using the laughing gas a few times but I hated it.  It felt so claustrophobic having it over my mouth.  I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't figure out how I was ever going to make it to 10 cm without something so I started thinking about asking for an epidural. I should say before moving to Sweden I always assumed I would get an epidural.  I didn't have anything to prove during labor and I wasn't set on going all natural but once I learned more about how Sweden does deliveries I thought maybe I would give it a try without one.  That was dumb.  It was painful and I had already been in labor for about 16 hours by this point and it wasn't looking like the end was anywhere close.

Our first set of midwives left us at this point and we got our second set.  They were nice but not as spunky as our first set.  They were also more cautious which on one hand was nice but it also seemed to drag things out a little.
 Artwork on the wall on the labor and delivery floor.

At 10:15 pm I asked for the epidural and at 10:45 I got it. PRAISE THE LORD!  It was heavenly.  Why did I wait so freakin' long to do that?  I have NO idea!  In Sweden, they do walking epidurals where I am just numbed in my stomach and back but I can still feel my legs so I can walk around, use the bathroom, change positions, etc.  They put a catheter in my back so I can get a refill of the medicine every 2 hours or whenever I start feeling pain again.  Getting the epidural was a walk in the park.  I remember the doctor talking to me telling me all about it and I remember thinking "yeah, yeah, get on with it."   I was a little worried that something could go wrong because there is always that chance but I was in so much pain I didn't dwell on that for long. It ended up being a piece of cake and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  It took about 10-15 minutes to kick in and life was great again.  I also didn't have to sign anything saying I understood the risks which I feel like you have to do in the US, but maybe I'm making that up.

At 11:00 pm, I was examined again and only at 5 cm.  I kept thinking, "all that pain and all I got was a lousy centimeter."  The midwives tickled Baker's head and her heart rate when up from 130 to 150 and then they put a wireless monitor on her head so we could always see her heart rate.  They also told us she had hair at this point which was fun to think about.

Over the next two hours I walked the halls, sat on the pilates ball and ate a little bit of food.  At 1:30 am they checked me again and I was still at 5 cm.  At this point they didn't let me eat any more food.  Since it was taking a while to progress and looking like I could end up needed a c-section and they didn't want me to risk eating anymore.  At 2 am, they started me on oxytocin (I'm guessing it is similar to Pitocin) to try to get my contractions more regular.  I would have 4 contractions about 2 minutes apart and then my body would take a 5 minute break before having 4 more.  They wanted me to be having one every two minutes or about 5 in ten minutes and that wasn't happening.  At this point I was very thankful I had the epidural so I couldn't feel the stronger contractions.  Jake could see the number on the machine get really high and I was just sitting there carrying on a conversation instead of writhing in pain like I had been before.

There were lots of cards lining the walls that we saw as we were walking the halls.  It was neat to see all the babies but crazy to think I was actually going to have one soon.  Soon being relative . . .

Once the oxytocin started Baker's heart rate started dropping.  They stopped the oxytocin to see if she would recover and she did.  Now they weren't sure what to do.  I was at 6 cm now but my contractions weren't as regular as they would like and it seemed that Baker didn't like the oxytocin.  About an hour later they tried the oxytocin again at a lower dose.  We slept for about 30 minutes and I was rechecked and now at a 7!  They were concerned about Baker's heart rate so they wanted to take a blood sample from her head to make sure she wasn't too stressed out.  They ended up having to take blood twice because the first sample wasn't enough for the machine to read.  It came back very low, like 0.7 and the limit was 4.9 so even though her heart rate would drop she seemed fine.  I continued to change positions (on the ball, on all fours, walking the halls, on my back, on my side, etc) to try and help things progress.  We noticed when I would change positions that her heart rate would drop but it would usually recover within a minute or so.  Our second set of midwives didn't like seeing it drop at all.  At one point they both rushed into the room and told me to change positions because she wasn't handling it well.  There were a few positions she liked but whenever I would change even to a position she liked, she would drop again.

At 5:30 am they increased my oxytocin some more to see if it would help me have more regular contractions hoping Baker would handle it okay.  At 6:30 I was still at a 7 but her head was lower.  The contractions were still irregular, 4 strong ones in 10 minutes and then a 5 minute break.  I got another epidural refill.  I had been getting them every 2-3 hours.  Thankfully the refills kicked in really fast.

At 7:00 am there was a shift change and we were back to our original midwives.  I was thankful for this although when they left the night before they said they hoped they wouldn't see us the next morning.  I was rechecked at 7:30 and at 8 cm!  I slept for about 20 minutes before trying the birthing stool for a little while hoping gravity would help things along.

They took blood from Baker again at 9 am to see how she was handling the long labor.  It was still very low.  They joked that she was mocking us by making her heart rate drop and then having her tests come back fine.  I said she must be stubborn like her . . . dad :).  We increased the oxytocin some more.

At 10:10 am I was dilated to a 10! (That is a lot of 10s.)  Now we were just waiting for her to drop.  I fell asleep for about 10 minutes but then Baker's heart rate dropped so they rushed in to have me move again.  At this point we tried lots of positions and her heart rate kept dropping not matter what we tried.  It was very frustrating.

At 2:45 pm our favorite midwives handed us off to our 3rd set.  I almost lost it at this point.  We had now been through 4 shift changes and I still couldn't see the end in sight.  I REALLY wanted to have the baby with our favorite midwives.  I felt like they really fought hard for us and they didn't just give up and push for a c-section.  I was worried our next set wouldn't fight as hard for us and we would end up having a c-section after all this hard work.  Thankfully our last set was great and didn't give up on us.

Around 4 pm they checked me again and decided that I should try pushing her down since she wasn't dropping.  They had me try pushing once and it didn't really go well but they said someone would teach me.  It was hard because they like for you to feel the pressure from a contraction but because I had an epidural I couldn't really feel the contractions.  But once the midwife told me how to push we were in business!

I started pushing around 4:30 pm and they told me I had about an hour to get her out before they would have to do a c-section since I had been in labor and fully dilate for so long they were worried about infections.  I pushed for a while on the birthing stool and then moved to the bed.  They emptied my bladder before the final pushes.  Pushing was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  It didn't hurt thanks to the epidural and it wasn't really a big deal.  They wanted me to push when I felt a contraction so I would push on my stomach until I felt it get tight and then I would push.  (We overheard another woman pushing and it sounded like she was dying.  That was not fun to hear a few hours before I was hoping to be pushing.)  Pushing seemed pretty surreal.  I knew it meant she was close and I kept asking if it was working because I just couldn't believe we were so close to meeting Baker.

After several rounds of pushing they brought a doctor in because they wanted to use the vacuum to help get her out.  The vacuum extraction was actually invented in Sweden so it is kind of their go to helping tool.  At this point I now had 3 midwives, a doctor and a pediatrician in the room because they always have a pediatrician when they use a vacuum.  I pushed with the vacuum a few times but she still wouldn't come out.  So they called for Sophia (we later learned she was the chief doctor) to help.  She came in to help and tried once and then decided I needed an episiotomy.  I wasn't too jazzed about that but it seemed like a better plan than a c-section.

At 5:31 pm Baker finally arrived with the help of Sofia and a vacuum.  Jake said her head was super blue and she popped one of her arms up before the rest of her body was out and it was white.  I think this freaked him about a bit. Soon the rest of her was out and they plopped her on my stomach.  I brought her up to my chest as they were rubbing her to dry her off and help stimulate her to cry.  She cried the cutest little squeaky, gurgly cry.  I remember asking if it was a boy or a girl and they told me to look.  So I lifted up the towel and once I moved her umbilical cord I could see it was a girl!  It was so neat to be the one to find out and tell Jake.  I couldn't believe Baker was here and she was a SHE!  We both called Baker "he" more than "she" during the pregnancy.  I really wanted a girl but I tried to not get my hopes up and then she was here! I might have shed a tear or two.  If you want to read about why we named her Linnea Marie Janzen click on the link.


You can see the vacuum marks on her head.
Our first family of 3 pic! 
 (I thought about not including this one because I look rough but it is such a special picture.)

I held her as they stitched me up.  After the doctor stitched me up and left we realized we didn't get a picture with her.  We asked if we could and that is when they told us she was a very important person and we might have seen her on TV a while ago after the Princess had her baby.  So, the person who delivered the Princesses baby also delivered my baby!  We knew the Princess of Stockholm had her baby at Danderyd and we joked about being in the same room but we were actually delivered by the same doctor.  So crazy!

Jake cut her umbilical cord which was neat.  Shortly after Baker was born I noticed she pooped on me.  They cleaned her up and handed her back.  Jake put on her first diaper which was the first diaper he has ever put on a baby.
Her first bath to wash off her first poop.
 The first of many diapers!
 Dinner after birth.

I called my parents and Jake called his to tell them the exciting news.  They brought us some food which was nice since I hadn't had anything to eat since 1:30 am.  Unfortunately, after eating a few bites I started feeling kind of queasy and then I threw up.  I don't throw up.  The last time I did I was at home watching a Newlyweds marathon on TV, which was about 10 years ago.  Jake took Baker and we called for the midwives.  I think throwing up after birth isn't that uncommon but it definitely isn't fun.  I already looked like crap after being awake and going through 37 hours of labor and adding throwing up on top of that wasn't much fun.  Plus, I found out later I lost more blood than normal because of the long labor which is why I look like crap in most of the post birth pictures.

They left us alone for the first two hours or so after birth so we could do skin to skin and spend time as a family.  Then they came in and weighed her and took her length and did a few other tests.


Her health card that we take to all of her appointments.  She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20.25 inches long.

We moved up to the postpartum floor around 9:20 pm.  We started getting in and then they had the pediatrician check out Baker and her head from the vacuum.  We didn't realize until the next day that they were kind of concerned about it.  I was thankful they didn't tell us that they were worried about the spot on her head or that I lost more blood than normal until the next day.  That would have been too much to process on the first night.  The pediatrician checked her out and then we went to sleep for about an hour before they came in again around 2:30 to check her head another time.


 I like the way they display the babies that were born on each day.  
Linnea was the only girl born on July 5th.

Jake's first attempt at a swaddle.  He got much better after she quickly busted out of this one :).

The cutest little burrito!

I'm hoping to write another post about our hospital stay and our first few weeks at home so I think I'll wrap this up here after saying a few things I want to remember:

This birth did not go according to any birth plan I would have written but it is how Baker finally got here and for that I love it!  I am so very thankful we had the baby in Sweden.  In the US they typically don't let you go more than 24 hours after your water breaks before they take the baby.  So I would have most likely had a c-section in the US which definitely wasn't in my unwritten birth plan.  While we were at the hospital I mentioned to Jake that my mom was in labor with my brother for 40 hours and then ended up with a c-section but was only in labor for 12 hours with me.  Maybe I should have let that sink in a little bit before thinking about how my first childbirth would go :).

Overall, labor felt like it was going pretty fast until around 1:30 am on July 5th when they wouldn't let me eat anymore because I might end up having a c-section.

Before going into labor I wasn't sure if we would text friends and family to let them know I was in labor but then we decided to and I am SO glad.  I would not have been able to make it through those 37 hours without texting friends and family.  I needed the constant communication and encouragement.  Several texts made me laugh and helped keep my mind off of things plus the prayers that I knew were following texts I sent helped so much.  Looking back I could have totally freaked out during labor with all the stalling and possible c-section but I think the prayers really helped me stay calm.

I was wondering how I would handle not having friends and family around afterwards to visit.  I had a few friends here who could visit but it was different than if we were back home.  It turns out that the girl who loves to visit babies when they are "brand new" and in the hospital wasn't up for visitors at all after the birth.  I'm sure if we were home we would have had them but I was kind of thankful we didn't have to worry about it here.  I was in bad shape after the delivery and it took me about 3 days to even think somewhat clearly again.

I remember having a hard time that my best friends couldn't be there for the birth but during the labor I realized they all contributed something special.  During labor I kept remembering that Jami said after her epidural she was able to relax and progress which helped me not feel guilty about getting an epidural.  I wore all of Emily's maternity clothes so I felt like she was with me throughout the entire pregnancy but even after delivery as I put on her clothes to wear.  Jan let me borrow hair bows just in case Baker was a girl :).  Kelli had a log book she used for Eli to keep track of when he ate and she gave the files to me and I had one made.  It was neat to realize that all four of them were very much part of my labor and delivery even thousands of miles away.

Hope you enjoyed reading all about Linnea's birth day!  I'm thankful Jake took good notes so I could remember how it all happened.  I'm also really thankful he took pictures right after she was born!  Those pictures mean so much to me!
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