July, 2002

At some point between the 11th and the 16th Mommy started wearing clothes for some and then most of the day. Mommy also turned the phone back on; it was off completely for the first week everyone was home and then on but Mommy took no calls. Mommy also started checking email a little more often. Sam still wanted to eat quite a bit, but at least Mommy's boobs didn't hurt anymore and positioning was getting easier all the time. By this time Sam had met his Aunt Lena, Uncle Björn, Aunt Maud, Uncle Greger, and Cousins Martin and Ulrika. Mommy was still having some trouble with positioning for breastfeeding. But at Sam's checkup on the 16th his weight had gone up to 3.4kg so Mommy and Sam were doing something right! Daddy wanted to stop at Vetekatten for fika on the way home. Mommy wanted to also but was worried about how Sam would react. As Sam was sleeping, M&D went in to the cafe. Mommy ordered a sandwich and a cup of tea, Daddy had a danish and coffee. Sam woke up shortly after M&D sat down so Mommy was too anxious to eat her sandwich or drink much of her tea. Daddy ended up eating the sandwich. As soon as Sam made a sound Mommy decided they had to leave. They had been at the cafe for maybe 5 minutes. :)

Mommy spent the days between the 8th and the 11th in her bathrobe. She fed Sam whenever he seemed at all interested which was quite often. On the 10th M&D had taken Sam out in the stroller for a practice run. It had gone well. On the 11th everyone walked together to BVC (Barnavårdscentralen, the pediatric clinic). Mommy still had to walk sort of slowly as her tummy hurt and she felt a bit weak. Mommy felt nervous about being out with Sam and so far from home. But everything went well and Sam had gone up to 3.145kg. Sam got another appt. for the 16th, and if that one showed a weight gain, Sam would be able to stop going for checks.

The pediatric nurse, Anki, came to visit Sam at home. He was sleeping when she came but woke up while M&D were talking to her. Anki weighed Sam and found he had gone up to 3.1kg. She told M&D to come in on July 11th for another weight check.

By 2:30 a.m. M&D had logged 12 1/2 hours of tanning for Sam. They had to wait a couple hours before he could have his blood test. Unfortunately the midwife didn't take blood for the PKU test. Lisa told M&D that Sam was well within normal limits now and didn't need any more light treatment. She said M&D could take Sam home or could stay another night. M&D wanted to go home. They were ready by about 1. Another midwife came to take Sam's blood for the PKU and had trouble finding the right spot. She had to stick Sam 3 times, and then when the blood did come, there was quite a bit of it. Mommy, who was holding Sam, is no fan of blood tests and felt somewhat faint by the time that was over. Sam's weight had gone up to 2.960. Everyone took a taxi home. The first thing Mommy did when they got home was eat 4 tomatoes. Then her milk came in. Everyone was happy to be back at home.

By morning M&D had only logged maybe 4 hours of the 12 Sam needed. Lisa came in and suggested maybe Sam needed to try the other kind of lights as he was getting a good tan on his back but not on his front. The other kind of lights was harder to use because Sam had to wear a black felt eye mask and white gauze over his head to keep the mask in place. M&D called it his Zorro mask. Mommy and Daddy took turns sitting with Sam while he was under these lights. Mommy continued to need help with breastfeeding positions and her milk had still not come in.

Daddy noticed a rash on Sam's thighs during a diaper change this morning. M&D decided to ask about it. They asked Lisa who thought a doctor should look at it. Lisa also was concerned about Sam's color. She felt he should be checked for jaundice. M&D took Sam to see Ulrik, the pediatrician, down the hall. Ulrik agreed that Sam was too yellow and he was concerned about Sam's rash. He said in a worst-case scenario it could be staph and Sam would need IV antibiotics. Mommy managed to keep herself together until Ulrik asked if Mommy's pregnancy had been ok. At that point Mommy started to cry, so Daddy took over the talking bit. Ulrik and Lisa were very understanding. Daddy assured Mommy that they have most likely dealt with crying moms before. Sam had his blood taken for the second time (Mommy can't quite remember when the first time was, but she's pretty sure this was the second time). Lisa came to tell M&D that Sam had jaundice and would need to be under the lights. Luckily the first infection results showed that Sam didn't have an internal infection, so Sam would not need IV antibiotics. M&D should just continue to treat the rash with topical antibiotics. Lisa showed M&D how to put Sam in the blanket sleeper where the lights would be shining on his back. Sam would need 12 hours in the lights and would also need to have formula supplements during that time because it turned out Sam had lost more than 10% of his birth weight and was now down to 2.850kg. M&D started right away. The first night was very hard. Sam didn't much care for being in the bassinet with the lights. On the bright side it was a good way to get M&D working together. M&D needed to keep records of how much time Sam spent in the lights, how much time he spent breastfeeding, and how much formula he ate.

Mommy doesn't remember much of what happened on the 4th. She was working on figuring out how to hold Sam while breastfeeding. Daddy went home for a couple hours in the afternoon to get some things. He came back with red roses for Mommy. In the evening Cousins Martin and Jenny came to visit. They brought pretty flowers and a present for Sam. Mommy was pretty tired and everybody went to bed earlier.

Sam's birthday! Mommy woke up at 4:30am when her water broke. Daddy called the hospital and they said to come in at 8am. Daddy made pancakes for Mommy while Mommy got her hospital bag ready. The taxi driver had had three fast, easy deliveries and wished M&D luck. At the hospital Mommy was connected to a CTG. Mommy didn't like that as she was starting to have more serious contractions and didn't want to sit still. The staff had been thinking about sending M&D home but then they saw from the machine that that wasn't a good idea. They decided to send M&D up to the labor ward where they arrived in Room 9 about 10am. M&D met Johanna, the midwife, and Birgitta, the RN. Johanna said that they would be checking back every 20 minutes to see how labor was progressing. It ended up that they stayed in the room from about 12 until Sam was born. Mommy started having painful contractions pretty soon after getting to the room. Daddy was worried because he had forgotten to pack lunch. He still thought the process was likely to take at least 12 hours. He called Cousin Martin who was willing to bring sandwiches. When Daddy came back from meeting Cousin Martin outside the ward Mommy had moved to the floor and Daddy was rather alarmed. ;) Mommy tried lots of different positions. She kept trying to use a big beanbag. She couldn't figure out what position worked best so she kept moving around. Johanna and Birgitta did their best to help. Johanna wanted to put an IV line in but Mommy resisted. Turns out Mommy should have let them because Johanna had to do it later when Mommy was in more pain so Mommy ended up with a big bruise. Every once in awhile Mommy would notice what song was playing, M&D had put over 12 hours of music onto an MP3, the ‘Delivery Mix.’ Johanna said that Mommy had done 5 hours of work in 45 minutes. Mommy tried maybe around 12 to use the laughing gas but didn't like the gas mask. Somewhere around noon Mommy started speaking English which Johanna and Birgitta took in stride. Around 1:30 Mommy tried again and this time it worked well. Somewhere around this time Mommy started getting labor-inducing medication through the IV as the labor had been progressing very quickly but had then started to slow down. At 1:45 Johanna told Mommy that she and Birgitta would be leaving the room at 2 as their shift was ending. Mommy was not happy to hear that and told them that they had to stay because she would do her best to give birth before 2. As it turned out they did stay in the room and the new midwife stayed only from 2 to 2:15. By this time Mommy was on the bed and was using the baseboard to push against with her feet. Sam's head had been on its way out since maybe 2. All of Sam was out at 2:13. :) They put Sam right onto Mommy's chest and covered him with a towel. Mommy was amazed to meet this little person who had been living inside her for so long. He had very big dark blue eyes and a lot of dark curly hair. After a few minutes Sam had found his way to his first meal. Mommy delivered the placenta and Johanna gave Mommy some stiches. Then the staff left Mommy and Daddy to spend some time with Sam. After awhile Johanna came back to wash and weigh Sam, who was 47cm long and weighed 3.205kg. Then a tray of celebratory sandwiches and sparkling cider was sent in to Mommy and Daddy. Meanwhile M&D had been busy calling people to tell them the wonderful news. Mommy and Daddy ended up heading down to Room 14 in the recovery ward at maybe 6pm. Mommy can't remember exactly what they did; she thinks M&D made some more phone calls and then just gazed in awe at little Sam. Everybody eventually went to sleep around 11pm. Sam slept with Mommy and Daddy slept on the other side of the room. Sam had entered the world!