My Birth Report
It’s been a while since my last update but there was a special reason for it!
Little did I know when I was writing my last pregnancy update of week 34. If someone had told me that this would have been my last update of my whole pregnancy, I would have never believed it.
But from the beginning:
1st & 2nd trimester
My pregnancy started quite sophisticated with the three months sickness in the first trimester. Looking back it wasn’t that bad in the end, as I only felt sick but never had to vomit. However, once I had passed the three months and entered the second trimester I enjoyed the most uncomplicated pregnancy ever. I felt super good and had just moved to Zurich with my husband Niko. So I was eager to enjoy the new city, attended lots of events and even went to Paris Fashion Week in March. I was doing prenatal yoga enjoyed my pregnancy to the fullest and felt like the very best version of myself.
My whole situation suddenly changed from the third trimester on. I had heard before that this was the final countdown and the most exhausting part of the pregnancy which seemed normal since the baby would reach the final growth. So I was prepared for swollen feet and a short breath and keeping it a little bit more easy on my activities but I was not prepared for what was laying ahead of me!
It all started with a normal check up at my gynecologist and ended in hospital (read all the details here). I was shocked and devastated and not ready to lay in hospital and not being able to move at all. However, I tried to make the best out of it because in the end all that mattered and the most important was my baby and to prevent an early birth. I was in week 28 when the contractions started and the cervix was shortened. This symptoms could have led to an early birth so I had to stay in hospital in bed for seven weeks! I was given strong medication to keep my body steady and had to carry a drip with me wherever I went (even to the shower).
My birth report
I had already stayed in hospital taking strong medication to prevent an early birth however there was still the risk that my body would strike some day and let the birth happen, so the big goal was to reach week 34. From there on the plan was to lower the medication slowly from day to day and bring the body back to normal (the medication treatment has to stop at week 34 because it is not tested until the end of week 40). Since my body was calm there was hope that I would be able to go back home once I finished the medication. The reduction was going good and when I reached week 34 and 6 days they put me off completely.
I had already packed all my stuff and was feeling quite good that day with some easy contractions that were normal and that I had felt from week 32 every day. Around the afternoon the pain of the contractions got a little heavier. When Niko arrived at 4.30pm I had the feeling that something was different than normally and felt a little bit of anxiety. When Niko arrived he could tell by my looks that something wasn’t ok and different than usually. An hour later the contractions had turned into cramps that started to get heavier any minute. I took everything possible from the midwifes starting with tea, warm wraps around the belly and up to pain killers but nothing helped. At 6.30pm they decided to bring me down into the labor room. I couldn't believe that this was happening as I was already packed and prepared to finally leave the hospital the next day. Also Niko came directly from the lake where he had spent the afternoon and was still dressed in a t-shirt and his swimming shorts.
I was transferred with my bed downstairs and didn’t realize that I was about to give labor until I saw delivery room. In my head it still said that I wasn’t ready but my body knew so much better!
The pain coming from the cramps got worse every minute and when the midwife checked on me the first time I was already dilated by 6 cm! ‘Holly Molly this is fast!’, is what I thought after having read so many stories that it takes hours for the first centimeters to open up. I continued thinking that at least it would be fast! An hour later the pain got worse and worse. I couldn’t sit in bed anymore and was standing beside it bending over and moaning the whole time. This period was very exhausting for me since I had layed in bed for so long and had hardly any muscles left in my legs and everywhere else as well. When the time between the contractions was only seconds without any time to rest in-between, I decided to have an epidural. The pain of the injection wasn’t as bad as the pain from the contractions at all and I could regulate the numbness by myself. Like this I was still able to feel the pain from the contractions but less strong. The contractions also seemed to calm down giving me time in-between to rest a little.
When I was dilated by 8 cm they decided to break my water so that the baby could come faster. Everything was going good and the baby also had already moved forward. After midnight I was informed that it wouldn’t take too long anymore and that the baby would be delivered within the next hour. This was so surreal for me, after such a long time of pregnancy and hospital I would finally be able to see my baby girl!
The final phase of giving labor
When I was in the final push phase, the labor process all of a sudden slowed down a little. The doctor gave me oxygen to make sure that the baby was supplied with enough of it. This was the moment I didn’t care about myself anymore and was willing to do anything just to speed up the birth and to deliver a healthy baby. I guess this was my first move as a mother. :)
The doctors informed me that they would have to do an episiotomy and when this also didn’t help and because of the lack of time they had to get her with a forceps. I didn’t feel any pain during this as I was so focused on delivering my baby girl. I just wanted the best for her and I knew that we would have to be fast as she was already in stress.
Shortly after I saw her for the first time! Tears were running down my face and I felt like I could embrace the whole world! This really was the most emotional and intensive feeling I have ever felt in my life!
At that moment, I didn’t know if I was able to hold her. She was still a premature baby which was why the doctors from the neonatology had to examine her first and would then decide, if she could be with me or had to go to the neonatology. Luckily, Emilia was able to breathe on her own. She only weighted 2310 grams and was 43centimeters tall but already was such a strong little girl!
I was in heaven when they put her on my chest! Being able to hold your baby for the first time is the most amazing feeling ever! There is so much love for this little being that cannot be described in words. My heart exploded with love.
From this moment Emilia was born and Niko and me became parents. We were so lucky that our baby girl was able to stay with us from the beginning and appreciated it so much. It would have been horrible, if we would have to give her away right after.
The time in hospital
Emilia was born on August 18th 2018! Such a lovely date! After her birthday we had to stay for another whole week in hospital which is not normal for a “normal birth”. However, with Emilia being a premature baby we had to face some challenges in her development and had to fight the jaundice which is normal for babies but can be dangerous for premature babies.
When I was told that I was able to leave the hospital after this week of ups and downs I couldn’t help it but was crying lots and lots. It felt so surreal to me and after 8 weeks of hospital I couldn't believe that I was finally able to leave with my baby girl.
The first steps out of the hospital were easy but when I had to walk the stairs up to our house were the hardest. I didn't have any muscles and felt like a granny when climbing them up. This was the moment I realized how weak I actually was.
Things got worse when we had to go back to the hospital the next day for a routine check-up for Emilia. Her results got worse again and they told us that she would have to stay in hospital. This moment really was the worst moment I had experienced so far in my whole life. I didn't want to leave my baby girl all alone with foreigners! But we had no choice. Emilia was brought to the neonatology and stayed there for another three days. During this time we were with her as long as we could and would only leave her during the nights. I would call them at 3am in the morning to ask her latest results which they did at this time. I really would like to thank the Univeritsy hospital and especially the neonatlogy not only for taking care of Emilia and me but also for being so flexible and thoughtful with parents who’s newborns have to stay with them.
Writing this today almost made me cry again! I experienced so many feelings and was worrying so much about my daughter’s health that I totally forget to take care of myself and didn't even think about the post depression “baby blues” which I luckily never had.
Thank god two months later Emilia is totally fine and developing very well. She is at a good weight now and I am able to breastfeed her!
Premature babies are a little bit slower when it comes to their development but that’s totally fine. We want to give her as much time as she needs and will always be there for her and cover our angel in so much love!