The Birth of Bash

So all the meetings and visits were done.  The next step was to have this boy.  We tried everything to get him out faster.  Eating spicy food, going for long walks, cleaning the windows and even dancing (Doing "The Wobble" to be exact)…




But nothing.  Nothing would get this stubborn baby down.

February 21st (false alarm):

Swedie wakes up to a bunch of fluid in the bed.  We think maybe her water broke or maybe she has some bladder problems that she hasn't disclosed up until now.  The due date isn't until the 28th though, so this can't be it.  Could it?  We decide to wait and see.  I have to go to work and I think nothing of it.  Then at work I get a call from Swedie.  She said the midwife said it was probably the water and made an appointment for her.  What?!  I squared some things away at work and headed home.  It was time!  I took pictures of the falling snow just in case we make a scrapbook.  I even made a video for him.

Well that was a waste of time!  Turns out Swedie just leaked water for no reason.  It wasn't pee, so we're still married.  Whew!  It was kind of embarrassing though, because in my excitement of it all I had told most of my friends and family that Swedie's water broke.  Everyone was joyous and merry.  Way to go Jon.  Everyone - like me - had seen movies before.  In the movies when the water breaks then it's game on.  So now I had to do the awkward explaining of…

      - Well it was water but it was like kinda broke.  Her water didn't all the way break.  Basically we are still waiting.

Leave it to me to make it awkward.  Anyhow, we figured things were on their way now.  Water had come down.  We were tired of waiting.  We wanted to meet this little guy.  We were going on walks and eating spicy foods.  All the old wives tales; and nothing.  He just wasn't ready.  I was back to work, but all I could think about was having this baby.  Why doesn't he want to meet me?  I'm cool.  I promise.  Especially for the first few years.  Come on, son!

-----

February 28th (Due date):

The due date is now here.  I'm at the point now where I want to reach up there and pull him out.  They say he's developed enough to live outside of her body now, so the idea is kind of tempting.  It's been a week since the water debacle and still nothing.  Not even more water.  Swedie has been having contractions, but nothing painful yet.  I told Swedie about this woman I know from work that had gone past her due date.  Her midwife had given her a recipe that supposedly brings the baby down.  Swedie said to get that recipe if I see the lady.  Still nothing.

-----

March 3rd/4th (Is it real?):

Ok, kid.  Enough of the jokes.  Now you're gonna be on punishment for treating your mom like this.  She's so tired of being pregnant and I'm tired of waiting.  I wish they never would have given us a due date.  Just a time range.  Then it wouldn't feel so bad.  Now I feel like he's just being a jerk because he should have been here four days ago.  The lady with the recipe must have known my pain.  She went over two weeks herself.  She came by my job just to give me the recipe.  What a nice lady!  I texted the details to Swedie right away.  Hopefully this works.

Swedie had friends coming by.  One has a three month old and the other is due in April.  Imagine how fun this dinner was for me!  After dinner Swedie mixed the mysterious witch brew up and drank it.  I watched with great anticipation.  When she was done I expected the water to burst and Swedie to start the "her-hee-hoo" breathing.  But that didn't happen.  Our friends left and I was off to meet up with a couple of my friends.  It was supposed to be my last "guy night" before the baby came.  But who knows now?  At this rate the kid will come in the summer.  Swedie said she felt alright and this concoction probably didn't work.  I went to my friend's place and we watched some basketball.

My friends knew my frustration with this whole thing, so we didn't talk about it.  We just kicked it like normal and had a good time.  I had driven, so once the time came I offered to drive my boy to the train station.  He accepted.  We had been listening to that new Rick Ross album earlier, so my boy put on his favorite song from it via Spotify on my phone.  I turned the volume up loud as we neared the station.  Then my phone rang.  It was Swedie.  Probably checking to see if I left yet.  I answered, which put her on in the car speakers.

      - Jon.  My water broke for real.  Like a lot.
      - What?
      - I was on the toilet and so much water came out.
      - What do you want me to do?
      - Come home!

I was in shock.  My boy told me to just drop him off at the curb.  I swear my brain was racing and moving really slowly at the same time.  I was excited and terrified.  I sped home.  My son's water broke to "Mafia Music III".  I like this kid already.

I got home and Swedie was ready to go.  Bags packed, adrenaline up and everything.  She had called the hospital and they said to come in.  I checked the bag for my toothbrush (didn't want to destroy his sense of smell at birth with some morning breath), headphones and some reading material.  What the hell am I gonna do with headphones and a book?!  But whatever, I had it.  I was ready.  Time to have this baby.

We got there and met a midwife.  She was so calm.  I was trying to look calm on the outside but on the inside there was a burning high rise apartment building with people screaming and preparing to jump out of windows.  To me it seemed that the attitude of the hospital staff was:


IF A BABY IS NOT BEING PUSHED OUT AT THIS VERY MOMENT, WE WILL SEND YOUR SCARED ASS HOME.

I could feel the energy in the room.  They were going to run tests despite their pessimism.  "Sure your water broke."  Then it hit me.  We made a playlist.  Swedie wanted to give birth to Bob Marley music (I love that woman).  But the cord to my phone was in the car.  Panic!!! Don't have the baby right now, Swedie.  I'll be back!  I ran down to through this maze of a hospital and found the car.  I got the cord and I was going to be Swedie's night in shining armor.  This baby was gonna hear some "One Love", dammit!  I get back and Swedie is fully dressed.  They checked her and she was only 2cm dilated.  10cm is when she is fully opened.  Her water hadn't broken.  The mucous plug had come down.  He was on his way though.  Sorry guys.  Next time.  They pat us on our asses and sent us on our way.

By now it was 4:30am.  We were exhausted.  Swedie's contractions were hurting more and more.  I figured we would be back at the hospital in the morning.  I went to bed.  If this was it I needed some rest.  Swedie didn't sleep though.  She couldn't. She went for a long walk to try and speed up the contractions.

I woke up at 10:30am.  I was surprised that nothing had happened.  Swedie was watching TV.  This was so frustrating.  What happened to the Hollywood birth?  Contractions were still coming, but not as painful as before.  Did he change his mind?  Did the witch brew mess her body up?  This is really exhausting.  Come out already!!!

-----

March 5th (Seriously though):

It's 3am.  Swedie tells me that her a lot more water has come down.  I swear she must not have any organs or bones if a baby and all that water is in her.  Now it's like the boy who cried wolf.  Is she really pregnant?  We had an appointment at the hospital at 9:15am.  We met with a midwife who checked the heartbeat and a doctor who did an ultrasound.  She said the water did break and if the labor phase doesn't start by 11am the next morning, they would start it.  Cool.  So where's our room?  We were ready to go get comfy.  What's that?  We have to go home?… Again?!  Now I was getting scared.  It seemed really close to game time and we were going home.  I am not equipped to deliver this baby on my own!  My dog would go insane.  He'd probably pass out or something!  Shit, I would pass out!  Now I was getting angry at this free health care system.  Then I thought about the fact that this is a free health care system.  All anger subsided.

We went home and waited for this little jerk of a human being.  Contractions were back to painful by noon.  Now I was on massage duty.  Whenever she needed something I tried to be there.  We kept setting times that we would go to the hospital.  Then Swedie would try and tough it out a bit more.  Man, she was a beast!  We live on the top floor (like a BAWSE) so I suggested we walk down to the first floor.  Swedie didn't want to make those noises in the hall whenever contractions started.  "What noises?", You ask?  Well some of them sounded like sadness and pain while others sounded like noises she may have made while we made the baby.  Funny how things come full circle.

We ended up walking up to the attic, down to our floor, down to the next floor and back.  We did this until a contraction came and then we went into the apartment for the moaning and rubbing.  Then after the moans we'd go back to the stairwell and walk more.  I timed the intervals between contractions as well.  They were now between two and five minutes apart.  Seems like it's time!  At 8pm we called the hospital and said we're on our way so we can have this baby.

We had decided that we would not be turned away this time.  Burning all this damn gas!  A midwife met us at the door.  We couldn't enter just yet because Swedie was in the middle of a contraction.  There you go, baby!  I rubbed her back as she breathed through it.  I looked at the midwife like, "See, this should be happening in there!"  I hope she understood English facial expressions because I told her.

I joke with my #MovingBack movement, but I have nothing negative to say about having a baby in Sweden.  I can't imagine there being a better place in the world to give birth.  The room was dimly lit and nice.  It was a warm atmosphere.  Perfect place to have a baby.  The focus of everyone on staff seemed to be to make the mother as comfortable as possible.  There was a bathtub and shower available for patient use.  I had never heard of this.  Swedie had taken showers to ease the pains at home.  She took advantage of the opportunity at the hospital.  We went to the shower room together.  I remained on massage standby as she ran water on herself.  This was better than sitting in the bed waiting for these pains (I would imagine).  There was coffee, tea and snacks available if one needed it as well.  I wasn't in the mood for that.  All I wanted was for that baby to come out.

We went through these contractions for hours.  They also did something to make the rest of the water run out.  They gave Swedie a pad to catch the water.  When it came down there was hair in it!!!  The midwife said she hadn't ever seen that much hair before.  Little, dark brown, straight hairs.  This was the first thing I saw of my son.  Midnight came and went.  Looks like his birthday would be March 6th.  He was on the way…

-----

March 6th (The birth):

Okay.  Shit got real.  No more suggestive moans.  These were exorcism moans.  Swedie sounded possessed at some points.  I felt so helpless.  I mean, I rubbed her back or shoulders or wherever she requested.  I pushed her knees to relieve the pain whenever she was on her back in the bed.  I even  "shook the apples" (she wasn't really feelin' that one) and squeezed her hips.  But she would still go through pain every few minutes.  What more could I do?  All I could do was… "be there".  I still felt inadequate.  At one point when she was on her knees and moaning in pain I wanted to cry for her.  Then I thought, "What would that solve, stupid?"  I got myself together and resumed being "her rock"… I guess.

At one point Swedie went into a moan that sounded like a yodel.  A deep yodel at that!  I was rubbing her back and trying to be there, but I'm Expat Jon and that shit was funny!  I couldn't hold it in.  I started laughing to myself.  I was shaking with laughter.  I wouldn't even look at the midwife.  I know she thought I was a true asshole.  Poor Swedie realized I was laughing.  She whined through her yodel.

      - Skratta inte åt miiiiiiig (Don't laugh at meeeeee)!

Oops.  There I go being an idiot!  I apologized to her.  She forgave me.  Whew!  I composed myself and got back to rubbing.

Swedie couldn't take it anymore.  She asked for an Epidural pain reliever.  The midwife put in a request for us.  Then at 6am this crazy-eyed technician came in to help us.  For the record, I have nothing against cross-eyed or cockeyed people.  They're humans too.  But this was a little different.  This lady was supposed to put something in my wife's spine.  Excuse me if I don't feel comfortable when she comes in looking at the wall and asking me to move to a different part of the room.  I pointed at myself awkwardly.

     - Jag (Me)?

She continued looking at the wall and nodded.  I had already exhausted my inappropriate laughter for the moment with the yodel.  I just held it in and followed instructions.  Then the tech went over to Swedie and somehow hooked up an epidural in her lower back while apparently looking at the back of her head.  Now that's talent!

And she did a great job!  The Epidural kicked in about half an hour.  Swedie was calmer now.  The contractions continued, but without much pain (says the man who felt nothing at all).  We actually were able to take a nap.  I could feel that we were in the home stretch now.  This baby was coming!!!

I woke up at about 9am.  Swedie said they measured and she was 8cm now.  I got up and went to the bathroom to freshen up for my boy.  Bob Marley was in the background.  The sun was peeking in through the blinds.  Perfect for having a baby.  They kept speeding up the contractions in order to get the baby in the birth canal.  Swedie was such a trooper through all of this.

At one point they put her on me to help bring the baby down. I sat on a recliner with a beanbag behind me and a pillow on my stomach.  Swedie sat on a horseshoe-shaped wooden stool and leaned on me.  I thought the baby would come out in this position and I wouldn't even have to be grossed out.  They even told Swedie she could begin pushing.  The table was next to me, so I was on beverage duty.  There was blueberry soup, saft (like kool-aid without the obesity) and water for me to feed Swedie.  This was a comfortable position.  A little too comfortable because I fell asleep.  I was SO tired.  I woke myself up and scolded myself.  What the hell was I doing?  I took a sip of the blueberry soup to get a bit of energy.  I don't think anyone noticed my little nap.  Whew.  The midwife didn't want Swedie on this stool for too long.  We moved after 30 minutes.  Good.  I needed to stand up.

The baby was now in the birth canal.  It was showtime.  FINALLY!!!  I stood next to her and gave her my hand so she could squeeze.  I wanted her to squeeze hard.  I wanted her to hurt me.  To curse me out like in the movies.  Take out as much pain as possible.  But she didn't.  She was so sweet to me.  The jerk that put this baby in her and then laughed at her while she yodeled through contractions.  What a woman.  I marveled at her strength and power as she pushed.  I decided to stay up top by Swedie's head.  I didn't really want to see a baby squirt out of a vagina.  Then I looked at the faces of the three women at the bottom of the bed.  They looked like they were watching the end of a great movie!  They said they could see the head!  Get outta here!  I had to look.  I looked up my wife's vagina and saw the hair-covered head of my son.  Sick!   I ran back to Swedie with a report.

      - The head is right there, Swedie.  Almost done.

She kept pushing.  The two midwives took turns trying to guide the head out.  The young midwife had a gentle forefinger technique while the old veteran used fore-, middle- and ring fingers.  She wanted that baby out bad!  I thought she would just say, "Fuck it" and put both palms in there.  There were two pushes where I thought this baby just logistically couldn't come out.  The head just looked too big and Swedie was putting her all into it.  Just when we thought about saying never mind and going home, Swedie gave the power push from I don't know where.  The head popped out.  Oh shit!  I expected him to be facing up.  I was looking for a nose and some eyes and I was looking at an ear.  He was looking at Swedie's right leg.  He frowned up and moved his little head around.  Whew!  Our son was almost out.

     - Holy shit, the head, Swedie.

Swedie thought it was over.  Then the midwife said some Swedish word I had never heard before.  "Flämta" which meant to pant.  Swedie panted and then shit got even realer.  The rest of my son squirted out along with what seemed like 5 gallons of guts and blood.  This little precious life was finally here.  I don't think the midwife got the memo about the precious part.  She treated him like he was some type of rag doll.  She snatched him up, gave him a quick once-over and basically body-slammed him on Swedie's stomach.  She clamped the cord and I thought she was going to just tear it off.  I wanted to tell them to chill out with beating up my son, but I was in awe.  I thought I would be breaking down crying at this moment.  But I didn't.  I couple of tears of relief came down and now I was excited.  It was time to teach him how to throw a football.  Well… not yet.  Maybe next week.  For now I just looked at his little chest and watched him take little short breaths.  He was now more pink/peach.  I cut my son's cord.  He gave a little whine.  He still hadn't cried yet.  I'm gonna like this guy.  He immediately tried to suckle from Swedie when they put him on her bare chest.  It was like a nature show or something.  How did he know?  Later I would experience it first hand when I had him on my bare chest and he got me.  Not fun, Bash.  I hate my nipples.







Swedie pushed for 50 minutes total.  Insane!  Sebastian Julius Martin Rollins was born on March 6th, 2014 at 12:07pm.  He was 3.35kg (7lb, 6oz) and 48.5cm (18.8inches).  The scene was beautiful.  My beautiful wife was holding my beautiful son.  We wanted nothing but to protect and love this child.  Swedie was thirsty though.  Of course I need to get my wife some water.  After all she went through.  I took another look at this beautiful scene in front of me and then I walked around the bottom of the hospital bed so I could get the water from the table.  When I got back to the bottom of the bed I tried to look toward that beautiful wife and child of mine at the top of the bed.  All I saw was what looked like Saving Private Ryan smeared along Swedie's underside.  As if the blood and poop weren't enough, there was a freaking umbilical cord hanging from her vagina.  I almost threw up.  How could she be looking so at peace with the world when there was a war going on below her waist?

……….

Another awesome part of the process here was the hotel stay.  There is a hotel attached to the hospital.  New parents stay there up to three days.  Midwives are on duty and help you through the process of taking care of your new baby.  There was complimentary breakfast (bacon and eggs!!!) as well.  They served lunch and dinner as well (partners have to pay of course).  All checks and blood work and whatnot were done at the hotel.  There was even a looping video on one of the channels that explained the benefits/importance of skin to skin contact with the baby and breastfeeding as well as tips.  Like I said, no complaints.

My son is a week old now, and I only see great days ahead for me.  The journey has been great and it seems it's only just begun.  Until next time…


The cafeteria was just down the hall.  Just bring baby.


I love this picture.  Taken by Bash's wonderful Godmother Cassandra.
Outfit provided by Mormor and aunt Mikaela.


Tired from doing nothing but eating...



Selfie lessons begin early.
Our family.



Comments

  1. Awesome story! I'm really glad everything went well! I'm so happy for you guys! God bless you all!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your "play-by-play." I know you are proud of your Swedie! You have a handsome son. May the Lord Bless all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I smiled the whole time reading this until I got to the hotel part. Instant jealous frown.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha. I still can't believe that awesomeness. Maybe the US will get onboard with this. Glad you liked the beginning though.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

This Immigrant's Job Search in Sweden

Hole Day Ruined!

Favorite Uncle Came to Stockholm!!!