Greetings from the baby bubble & baby blues

I’m staring out the window and it’s snowing. Big, huge chunks of snowflakes are falling right towards our window. It’s almost like it’s snowing inside. Mesmerizing.

I realize I’m enjoying the moment and seeing the beauty of it. You see, these past two weeks have been quite tough and tiring – while also being lovely and amazing. I have probably felt all the feelings you can feel. Baby blues sounds like something you can just brush off, but the reality of it is that you need to cry cry cry it off. And talk about it.

One of my friends said there are really no words to describe it. I think I agree. It’s both a physical and mental tornado that only goes away with time.

I’m just in the beginning and I’m trying to remind myself of that. I don’t yet have to have it all together. I have just carried our baby for nine months, given birth and being cut open. Just my body alone has gone through a lot. The first days I couldn’t get up from bed without help, let alone walk. (No wonder I didn’t always have the energy to respond to messages, people asking me how I was. I was so happy of the baby, yet physically really broken and mentally exhausted.) At the end of the first week I could, with a bit of trouble, get up from bed by myself. Now after 2,5 weeks I can move normally, but I still can’t sit on chairs or be on my feet for long. Oh how wonderful it would be to go on long walks or just be able to walk around the house doing house chores all day long. But I still ache and need a lot of rest.

Recovery takes time and patience. More than I could have anticipated.

Every day is different with a baby. There are bad nights and good nights. There are frustrating days and easy days.

Today so far feels like a good day. It’s Friday, I have slept at least eight hours and our baby is happily on my lap, enjoying the contents of Charlotta milk bar. Right now the intensity of having a newborn doesn’t feel so scary. Oh what wonderful adventures life has in store for us. We haven’t even yet seen her first real smile – or heard her voice. There’s so much to look forward to.

This new situation, our baby, she, is nothing like I expected. Except the cutest thing ever – that I anticipated. She came with a bang and she has slowly started to grasp her little fingers around my heart tighter and tighter. She makes me feel warm emotions I don’t yet have words for. Complex, yet the most natural feelings in the world, coming from someplace I didn’t always have.

All I know is that feeling her skin against my skin and smelling her scent is the best thing in the world. And I would do anything for her.

She looks like an angel when she sleeps. She calms down in daddy’s lap. She likes warm water and she doesn’t like sleeping in her crib at daytime (luckily nights work). She is a piece of art, perfect. I still can’t believe I got to carry her in my belly and that I got to give birth to her.

I longed for this for so long, mourning infertility.
But luckily I didn’t know just how much I missed.

Day by day things start to fall into their place. Each week I grow into my role a bit more. We start to have some routine. I’m becoming braver.

So all in all, this baby bubble is pretty special. There are difficult moments and feelings (and they’re perfectly normal!) but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Time has stopped. Or has it just begun?

 

Pregnancy diaries: Weeks 30-38

 

Week 30+0

As I’m writing this, the baby pushes my belly on both sides of my navel. Its slightly distracting, as if I weren’t thinking about her already. My thoughts are more and more in the birth and a life that is gonna be so different from what I’m used to. But I’m happy to feel her move. The other day I experienced the first panic of not feeling her move for a while. Luckily after a while she started her usual shenanigans. Last night I also woke up to a first painful contraction. Lots of firsts!

I’ve been more moody than before. It doesn’t take much for me to cry. My hunger has also reached a new level. It’s crazy to think how fast the baby is growing in size now, so no wonder I’m craving for the extra calories. (Luckily it’s Christmas time and there’s always quick calories available in chocolate, ha ha). Other symptoms I could list are leukorrhea (can’t remember the last time I had to buy pantyliners), heartburn and tiredness.

Week 31+0

Dear baby girl, I love to feel you move, because it gives me a peace of mind. However, it does sometimes hurt, just a bit. You’re getting bigger. And yet you’re still so small. I can’t wait to have you in my arms.

This week I’ve been fighting with my mind. My body has required a lot of rest and I have struggled with accepting that. I don’t know if rest or exercising is what my body wants or needs. I don’t know if I’m making things worse by not moving. Then again, exercising hasn’t felt good and throughout this pregnancy I’ve tried to listen to my body. I guess I’m doing my best. And that should be enough.

Yesterday we attended an online birthing class and I’m actually feeling quite calm and trusting about childbirth. Funny how feelings change.

Week 36+.

Weeks 31-34

Weeks are going by so fast. The bump has grown so much. It feels massive, even though there’s still weeks to go. I’ve been quite tired. I get contractions (Braxton-Hicks) daily. Sometimes I wonder how much is normal. Other times they almost prevent me from walking. It doesn’t matter if I walk, sit or lay on the bed though, they happen when they happen.

This week I had to buy some new maternity pants. I have actually outgrown three of my maternity pants, which came as a surprise. Since living in this body has become more uncomfortable and anything that makes me feel better mentally or physically is a bonus, I figured buying new pants is acceptable. I found some really nice pants from H&M that can be worn also after pregnancy. If and when I get a lot of use out of the pants, it justifies the not-so-sustainable brand choice.

The nightly wake-ups have increased. Even a slight pressure (the need for peeing) feels very uncomfortable and it wakes me up.

The other night I slept poorly, stressing about the position of the baby. She isn’t yet head down and that worries me, as I would prefer to give birth naturally, having her be in the best position for that. But as Risto said, one way or the other, we’re gonna get the baby into our arms. And that’s true. It doesn’t matter how she is born, just that she is healthy. Why do I feel the need to control things I can’t control?

We got a new drawer for the baby and our bedroom is almost ready for the little one.

Week 37 and the hospital bags ready to go.

Week 38 – would you come out?

Weeks 36-38

On week 36 I learned that the baby is in position, ready to roll. I realize now that she might have been that way for a while, but since she’s quite active, I just couldn’t tell which way she was in there. Needless to say, this was a big relief, but also it makes me look forward to her birthday all the more.

Today 38 weeks are full and as my sister said, “the last torture” is here. I’m feeling quite desperate at times, depending on the day. I’m so ready to have this baby out, it’s not even funny. Now – how does it feel when the baby’s head is down there and low, you ask me? Like you have constant pressure between your legs and like you need to pee all the time. Also since she’s still growing rapidly, my belly feels huge and heavy. My lower body has started to swell and I don’t recognize my thighs. They also hurt, so you might find me on the bed, legs up, ice on the thighs. There’s also contractions, back and rib pains, heartburn, headache, you name it. It’s something every day.

Overall, I’m feeling like a stranger in my body. In a way it has been like this the whole pregnancy – not being in control of your own body. But the process is even faster now in the last month. I can’t wait to have my body back – or at least be alone in it. Once again I’m so thankful for not going through this alone. I have the loveliest support group of other expectant mothers, my sisters (who happily welcome my complaining) and I have Risto, who every day reminds me how beautiful I am and how well I’m coping with the pregnancy.

Since it’s just two weeks until the due date, it makes me think of this whole journey here. What a crazy amazing road it has been both physically and mentally. I have both lost a lot of weight and then got a lot back. My body has transformed. I think my mind also a bit. I have read baby books and reflected back on my childhood. I have made plans on my mind for three. I have been amazed of my body’s ability to care for a child.

It feels like an eternity since I got the positive result on the test. How my body trembled and tears just poured on my face. How far away February then felt. Yet here we are and the little bean that we first called Blueberry, is suddenly nearly three kilos and it shouldn’t be long (even though it feels like another eternity) until we get her in our arms and we really see her for the first time.

How exciting, nerve-wrecking, frustrating and wonderful this all is. In our soon nine years together with Risto, we have had all kind of adventures. All kinds of difficult and wonderful situations we have lived through. But I think this will be the biggest adventure of our lives. The kind, which doesn’t fly us to a tropical beach or have anything to do with something superficial. I think… Well. I have no idea what we’re getting into, but we make a pretty good team and I can’t wait to find out.

 

Love, Charlotta

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