Friday the 13th…

Note: Sorry for the long break, but being parents feels like running a never-ending marathon at a sprint-speed, and it took me quite a while to put this post together… Also, all the pics are from the 13th, the 14th, the 15th and the 16th of January from those amazing days spent in the hospital.

This was the day that everything changed for us! I woke up that day more scared and anxious than I have ever been in my entire life! This was the day we were going to meet the little princess. There were loads of questions all popping up in my head at once: will we like her? Will she like us? Will it all go smoothly in the operating room? Will she be ok? Mainly the one question that kept popping up was whether she will be ok during the operation. That morning a switch popped inside me and all of a sudden I did not care much if I was going to be ok, if the scar will be big or even if the recuperating period will be long…no, all I cared about was her, the little human being that kept growing inside me for the past nine months. This was one of the most awkward feelings I have ever felt considering the fact that I am one of the most selfish people I know, but on that day, it was all about her!

This little bundle of joy along with D were waiting for me when I got out of the operation. 

Going back to that morning… I woke up a bit confused and constantly feeling that the storks should get their business back on track as I was extremely scared of the c-section I was about to undergo. I mean, really, why can’t babies be delivered by storks (or dhl)? I am mentioning again that we opted for a c-section because the bundle of joy managed o get the cord around her neck and, as we found out a few days before the operation, my hips weren’t wide enough for her to be able to pass through. Once we got to the hospital, some of my fears were eased thanks to the wonderful team of doctors. I was very lucky to have a calm, collected and experienced doctor throughout my pregnancy that on top of his amazing skills had a good sense of humour. Another important and very easing person was my anaesthesiologist which is a good friend so I was blessed with not only one, but two familiar and friendly faces during the op. As it turns out, that was very important going in as it eased my nerves a bit (just a tiny bit, but it helped). After all the medical procedures were done it was time for the biggest challenge of my life, the actual operation. I admit that once the anaesthesia settled in, I did experience a minor anxiety attack, but the skilled anaesthesiologist managed to get me out of it. What I clearly remember from the whole thing is that I waited to hear and see the little princess before I thought to myself ‘well, my job here is done’ and immediately dozed off into a quick snooze. Before I knew it, it was all over and I was moved to the post-op room where the amazing nurses took such good care of me that I actually felt spoiled and not as if I had just went through the biggest test of my life. About 20 minutes later D and the little princess were there to see me and the moment I held her tears of joy invaded both my eyes as well as D‘s. That was the highest form of joy I had experienced in my life and I knew right there that life will only get better from that moment onward. And it did!

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We spent three blissful nights in the hospital where we were cared for impeccably. The second day after the operation I was able to get on my own two feet and move a bit and from that point on, there was nothing stopping me. We spent amazing moments with our girl in the hospital with nurses coming every few hours to teach us how to take care of our baby and making sure that when we left the hospital we felt confident enough to be the best version of new parents we could be. We got the special-food-treatment, well at least D got it while I was still on a post-op diet. That was a bit hard as I was hungry, but for the first two days I mostly ate toast, cottage cheese and soup while he ate prawn soup, grilled beef, fruit salads and other seafood and meat specialities with gourmet desserts, but, all in all everything was ok. The best part about the whole special post-op care that I received was the fact that I was never in any pain at all and by the time I left the hospital, my uterus was back to its initial pre-pregnancy size thanks to some great massages I received from the nurses. To top the experience, right before we left the hospital I received a full body medical massage that left me feeling like I was on cloud number nine.

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Of course D got her tiny Tous diamond earrings…

A bit about the princess… she was born on the 13th of January at 11:03 a.m. and we decided to name her Leia. Yup, as in the Rebel Princess Leia from Star Wars. We chose that name for a numerous number of reasons, for one, we are both huge Star Wars fans – that is the first movie I ever remember seeing as a child, another reason being that even when she was still in my tummy she was a rebel child moving all the time and making sure we both felt her presence while not really making me feel any discomfort or sickness and another reason for choosing this name was the fact that we both decided early on that if we have a girl her name will start with the letter L while if we had a boy, his name will start with the letter T. Apart from that, medically speaking she received a grade 9 out of 10 on the APGAR scale because she was born via a c-section as opposed to a natural birth. She weighted 3120 gr and had quite a full head of hair at birth (I suspect from all the heartburn I got in the last month). While she obviously looked like a potato at birth, in the next few days she actually started looking like the most beautiful baby either of us has ever seen, but I guess that is what all parents say. We bonded immensely with her while in the hospital and I am so glad that D got to stay with us all the time as he spent a lot of quality time with her during those very important first days.

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Going home…

I feel very emotional writing this (in the best way possible) and I confess that it took me three days to write this post as I have to say, parenting in the hospital versus parenting at home is totally different. Just to give you a small hint of posts to come, when we got home with Leia we were under the impression that the trial-version we got in the hospital was of a different kid as for the past three weeks we have both been struggling with sleep deprivation (now we kinda found a solution to that, but this is something that happened in the last few days), colic and at the same time we have never had a more satisfying time ever in our lives. That said, we still can’t wait for these first few weeks to be over, for her to be a bit stronger and to be able to actually go out with her and play and take pics. A few more posts will slowly come based on our experience as first-time parents and how we managed to survive, but right now the rebel princess is waking up and we need to go on diaper and feeding duty.

L.

P.S. : Three weeks post delivery I managed to fit into my pre-pregnancy size 23 jeans. True, they are Hyperflex from Replay (quite elastic, see them here), but hey, that was a major morale boost. More on what waist trainers I used post pregnancy in an upcoming post!

The last month – 24 hours still to go!

This is the last pregnancy post as, by this time tomorrow I will be in the operating room meeting the little princess while D will be pacing in the waiting room. This is also the last day of the cute baby bump meaning that from tomorrow on I will just be fat and trying to get back into shape. This is a bitter-sweet post for me as I am well aware of the fact that our household will never be as quiet as it is today, but I am also aware of the fact that there is no happier stage than the one that will shortly start. I am also extremely afraid of what is about to happen tomorrow as this is my first surgery and I have no idea what exactly to expect. That being said, it is too late to call in the ‘Stork-service’ and I have a feeling that it is too late to ask DHL to deliver our baby as well, so I am going to have to suck it up and just plunge in without much thought in advance.

Today, being the last pregnancy post, I would like to touch-up on a few things: the last month – its ups and downs; why I opted for a C-section and my fears for the following period. Like I mentioned in the last post, we will take a break from actually publishing real-posts on the blog, but we will try and post as many short updates as we can on how things are going, how a C-section feels like, what our bundle of joy is like, how parenthood is for us as well as some short reviews on products that we bought for the baby and wether or not they are any good. We decided to leave the product reviews for after the baby is here as truth be told, no matter how much thinking we put into selecting them, if the baby doesn’t like them, they are not good, so we’ll keep you updated on that too.

Let’s get on to the last month of pregnancy and how I felt. Overall, it was ok meaning that I can’t complain although this was by far the toughest month of the entire pregnancy. As opposed to the eighth month, this one was harder on all aspects. The first thing that really bugged me about it was the fact that I went from having mild shortness of breath from walking up one storey to actually having real shortness of breath just from walking for five minutes through the house. This did not make me give up on the evening walks with our dog, it only meant that the walks were slower and a bit shorter but that was ok especially since it has been really cold and it snowed a lot in Bucharest. Another issue that progressed in this last month was the fact that I went from having reflux and heartburn once a week in the previous month, to having it daily in this last months. I swear to God that last night I was this close to actually spitting fire – yes it was that bad, especially since I did not experience these symptoms during the first seven months of pregnancy. Another thing that annoys me is the backaches. True, I only have something to complain about if I spend a lot of time standing throughout the day so that is rather manageable. That is due to that fact that the bump has grown quite a lot in these last few weeks and it is getting harder and harder to actually be independent. D has to help lift me up from bed constantly, he has to always put on my socks and shoes and so on, but luckily for me he did not complain once. I did experience a mild swelling of my hands and feet, but it is so mild, that I can’t really complain about it – I can still wear my wedding band but it only comes off easily with soap and water. Now for the more touch-y subject of weight gain… Throughout the entire pregnancy I have gained a total of 18 kgs, with the last 5 kgs being gained in these last four-five weeks. That might be due to the baby growing at a rapid pace, water retention as well as the fact that I did not take such good care of my diet lately because I promised myself that I will indulge in the last month of pregnancy. For some reason, I thought that this weight gain will get me in a more depressed state than I am in right now, but to be honest I feel really confident that once we will get a grip on the parenting stuff, I will be able to get back into shape, but there is no pressure on that right now. Another annoying symptom that I have developed during this last month is an everyday growing tiredness, especially in the evening. Like seriously, if it is passed 4 p.m. I am DONE! I literally can’t concentrate on much passed that hour.

A bit about the baby during these passed four weeks… She is more and more active every day, not for such extended periods of time as last month but more feisty when she is up. She still doesn’t hurt me, but I have to stop what I am doing when she has her active minutes because I feel like she can put me to the ground with her stomping. Again, this does not hurt, but it is hard to concentrate on anything else. We can’t complain, as from the beginning we were well aware of the fact that she is one active baby. She is also down enough now to let me breath normally, but her actual position does give me some pelvic discomfort from time to time, again when I spend a lot of time standing throughout the day. Still, at this stage, I have not experienced any contractions – I either do not know how they feel or I am literally senseless. In the recent non-stress test there have been some contractions recorded that I yet again failed to feel and my doctor tells me that everything is ok, so I do not worry about that at all. Because of how big she has gotten, I have lately spent most of the day in bed as that is the most comfortable place to be and I suspect that is the reality for most pregnant mamas-to-be.

A bit on why I opted to have a C-section… First of all, I do not feel any less of a woman because I opted for this method, as from what I have heard it still hurts like hell, especially afterwards. At the last scan, the little bundle of joy managed to have the umbilical cord half-wrapped around her neck. While this did not threaten or stress her in any way, that might have posed some problems with natural birth. Another reason for my choice was the fact that the due-date is in January  and January is very unpredictable weather-wise in Bucharest meaning that you might not be able to use the roads for a day or two. Having a C-section means that usually the baby is born on week 39 instead of actually waiting for natural labor to start which gave us a week of actually getting to the hospital before it became too late. Being at peace with this decision gave us the time to actually select the birth date and the hour. We opted for Friday the 13th because I feel that is a very lucky day and a good family friend informed me that from an astrological point of view this is a very good choice. Also, I opted to have the surgery in the morning because that way, I do not have to starve myself for 8 hours as I will be sleeping. Also having a planned C-section helps me stay calm and feel good as I am the type of person that plans everything, even brushing my teeth.

As for the fears we both have for the following period, I have to tell you that as time passes and we come closer and closer to holding our baby, those seem to fade. I am very lucky as D is very calm, claiming that this can’t be such hard work as most people we know have had a baby and both them and the baby survived, so having him be so calm really helps me ease my fears. On top of all that we do have a good support system, with both sets of parents being eager to help us in any way possible, we have not found a nanny yet, but the search continues and therefore I am hoping that by the end of February to have that sorted out as well and, most importantly, we have lots of friends that have babies or toddlers around us that can help ease our fears, so we are very lucky in that department. Right now, most of my fears revolve around the surgery, the baby being healthy and happy and our dog befriending her quickly after we arrive home. But all that is out of our hands and therefore worrying about it does not help or resolve the issues.

That is about it! This is the last pregnancy post, but more on being parents will come soon, in the meantime I will try and update you from the hospital bed as frequent as possible. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be ok tomorrow and we will be able to introduce to you our princess as well as reveal the name we have chosen for her.

L.

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