Marriage

A little pub date

Having family visit comes with little extra blessings like stolen mini-dates. Last night we were so happy to be able to sneak away after bedtime for a couple of hours. We went to a nearby pub – my first pub experience!! – and shared nachos. It really wasn’t about the food or the place, only that we got some time to attempt – cause you never really do – to not worry about a child and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s nice to be reminded of what it was like to be a newlywed couple once in a while.

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My husband and I only had 3 things in common – and that was all it took

I remember friends staring at me in awe when I told them I was getting married. At 21. To a guy none of them had even had the time to meet yet. Most of them didn’t even know I had a boyfriend. And then the sigh, or scoff. They didn’t think they’d ever find someone they’d want to tie that tight of a knot with. How could I have found my special someone so fast? A best friend whom I loved more than anyone else and with whom I was positive I wanted to spend the rest of my existence.

Well, I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for. A best friend? That’s always a good pointer. What does that mean though?

Can I admit something? I’m not sure a lot of people know this. I mean really know this.

Marcus and I don’t have tons of things in common.
Seriously. We don’t. We don’t really listen to the same kind of music. We don’t always think the same movies are funny. He likes trying new flavors, I stick to chocolate (always). He’s more trendy, I’m more classic. He likes big crowds, I prefer small groups. He likes to sleep in, I like an early start. We’re actually very different people. Well, especially when we first met.

It took a while for me to really warm up to Marcus. Our first week dating I remember being worried that I was wasting my time with a guy that I clearly didn’t have enough in common with. He was a wonderful guy and I loved talking and being with him, but I just couldn’t see how we’d become the couple sitting in the couch laughing our heads off at an inside joke on a Tuesday night just because we had each other.
I remember one night in particular. We had gone for a walk together and had ended up sitting in the sand by a lake on an evening in July. I especially remember the insane amount of mosquitos. Anyway, I was feeling guilty and ended up admitting to Marcus my worries. I held my breath. Instead of freaking out or getting sad he told me that he’d had the same thoughts. Immediately I felt relieved but hung my head because I was worried that this was it. And so I braced myself for a break-up talk.
It didn’t come. Instead, Marcus picked up a twig and started drawing lines in the sand. He explained to me that he’d made up a sort of score board, and that only three things mattered to him:

Friendship – Did I seem like the type of girl he could be best friends with. And not just now in our 20s but for life. Could we still be best friends in 50, 60, 100 years? Did he enjoy my company that much? Could he talk to me about anything at all? Did he want to talk to me about anything at all? Did he feel like I really listened to him? Did he enjoy really listening to me? Did he like me enough to learn to love me in the future?

Aspiration – Did we see ourselves in a similar situation in 10 years? Did we want the same kind of family? Did we want the same kind of life for our family? Did we share the same faith? Was that faith as big a part of each of our lives? Did we want to build our family on the same sort of principles and values? Did we have similar ambitious goals for our future family? Did he like the idea of the life and family we could potentially have together?

Attraction – Did he find me attractive? Inward and outward. Did he want to be with me? Did he actually want to make our relationship work? Was he willing to make sacrifices for it?

He looked up. He said that I got full marks on that score board. Of that he wasn’t in doubt at all. And that everything else could fall into place later. After all, we had only just started dating.

About 9 months later we were married. It’s kind of a blur since everything happened so fast. But that night is one of the significant moments that I remember very well during our dating process. Because I knew he was right.
Sure, I could’ve probably said nope and gone out and found some other guy who liked chocolate cake and Harry Potter as much as I do. Or at least more than Marcus. But man, if I’m dead honest – no grey areas or second thoughts – I think I’d have to look for many many years to find another guy who spot on wanted the same life and family as I want. And even made me more excited about my own hopes and dreams than I was in the first place!

I’ll admit it. I kept dating Marcus because I was blindly in love with the life we would have together and the father he would some day be. But now that we are actually living that life, we laugh at tons of inside jokes every day, and I can watch my daughter crawl eagerly to the front door when he gets home from work, I am so happy I didn’t go find a new relationship to base on a meaningless crush.

So no, I don’t think you need to have tons of things in common. Actually, in some ways I think differences can be a blessing. Because they give you so many opportunities to make sacrifices for each other and thereby to demonstrate your love for one another. Once Marcus brought home a 1000-piece puzzle and suggested we put on a movie and put it together after dinner. I’ve rarely felt that cherished and appreciated. Not just because I love doing puzzles, but because I know how much Marcus hates ding puzzles. And even though he could only stand it for 15 minutes and then left me to do the rest on my own, it absolutely meant the world to me.
I’m thankful today that I based my relationship to my husband on the right things, because everything else, sense of humor, hobbies, interests, inside jokes, telepathy, – it all came later. But it came. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a ton of things in common, you just need to have the most important things in common.

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I’m a real stay at home mom

I’m a real stay at home mom now. I am a mom. And I stay at home. From work at least. Our life has changed a bit since Marcus started working. We are no longer stay at home parents. Now I’m a stay at home mom.

Marcus’ alarm goes off at 6.30. Mine goes off at 6.35, just in case. We’ve calculated 10-15 minutes to lay in bed and talk. We haven’t quite shaken that habit yet. It’s nice. Marcus whispers ’good morning’ in Baby’s ear. She smiles in her sleep but doesn’t open her eyes. It’s too early. She rolls over. Face down. We laugh.

We talk over today’s plans. Marcus should be home by 7. In the meantime I’ll watch the baby. Our life is pretty simple. Marcus tickles Baby’s nose. ’Wake up!’ She starts whimpering. I give Marcus a pleading look. He leaves to take a shower.

I lie back on my pillow. I’m still pretty sleepy.

Marcus opens the door. I must’ve dozed off for 10 minutes. Baby is awake too. She’s already pulling herself up on her wobbly legs and grabbing the headboard tight. Her diaper looks pretty heavy. I grab her around her waist and kiss her chubby neck. She giggles.
On the changing table she really starts to wake up. I let her hold a pack of baby wipes to keep her occupied while I slap on a clean diaper. I put her back in her PJs, the day hasn’t quite started yet.

Marcus emerges from the bedroom. He can’t decide on a tie. I say the blue one. I prefer solid colors. By the way, he has time to have breakfast together if I want. I agree, one thing less to have to do alone with the baby.

It’s bright in the kitchen. I put Baby in her high chair and she happily slaps her fat hands on the table. Marcus gets out some dark bread. I’ll have that too. I can’t really reach the cereal anyway. Milk? Yes please.

Marcus is almost finished with his food when I sit down. He’s actually in a hurry, the train leaves in 20 minutes. I take a couple of quick bites out of my sandwich and get up to kiss him goodbye. I hug him tight. Five more seconds. Baby gets a kiss too but whips around in her chair when he leaves the room. She starts to cry. I pull her out of her chair. Marcus jumps back into the room. ’It’s okay, Baby!’ He’s surprised that she got sad. We walk into the hall and I ask Marcus when he thinks he’ll be home. Still 7. Another quick kiss before the door closes behind him.

I hoist Baby up higher on my hip and walk to the window. We watch him walk down the street for a few quiet seconds before he turns the corner and is gone.

I turn to Baby. ’It’s gonna be a fun day! Are you excited?’ She grabs my nose. ’But first, we sleep another hour’.

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Random selfies that we send to Marcus during the day when we miss him.

Why is marriage so important?

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Last week was finals week which means this week is chill-out week for our family… and this post should have been up over a week ago.

Almost two weeks ago it was Conference weekend at our house. That means that my family gets together, eats a lot of unhealthy food and listens to uplifting talks from the president and leaders of our church.

A lot of the messages are usually about how to strengthen your family (especially this year! Or am I just noticing everything because I’m a new mom?), and one of the things that really stuck with me this time was a quote that Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared by  writer and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer,

“Marriage is more than your love for each other. … In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal—it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown and not merely the will to rule that makes the king, so it is marriage and not merely your love for each other that joins you together in the sight of God and man. So love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God” 

For a while I’ve been wondering about that. Why is marriage so important? I myself have faith in God and an afterlife and therefore believe that marriage has more eternal consequences. But we don’t all believe in God or belong to a church. So, if we just consider this life, for the average Joe out there, what is so different between being in love and living together, and being tied to each other in matrimony? Is it just a piece of paper?

I think the main reason that this question is even relevant in today’s world is that the way that marriage is perceived has changed.

If we think that marriage is only special because it is pretty, magical and romantic… that it can be undone or abandoned just as easily as breaking up with a girlfriend orboyfriend… then that’s what marriage is. No different than a simple relationship.

To use Bonhoeffer’s metaphor, if the king’s will to rule is only temporary and if he wants the flexibility of taking an out – then maybe the crown isn’t fit for him.

Marriage is only what you make it. If you enter a marriage with the attitude that “we can always get divorced if it gets too hard”, then it is indeed not more than a piece of paper.

But if you however enter a marriage thinking that you’re willing to stand by each other through thick and thin, knowing that your love for each other may suffer along the way – then marriage can be stronger and more beautiful and romantic than you could ever dream. To me, my marriage is so much more than just a romantic relationship. It’s a permanent committed partnership in creating a happy life and overcoming the trials of life.

On second thought, maybe that is really the definition of a true romantic relationship.

I’m grateful to be in a loving marriage, and I’m gonna take it all the way.

I know, I might be preaching to the choir. But I really needed to understand that.

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I didn’t get this happy by being a realist

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Throughout my life I’ve had friends and other people come up to me and tell me how they admired or envied certain aspects of my life, things that might not be as common these days. They would ask me how these were possible and upon hearing my answer they would sigh or laugh and give me an excuse as to why that could never work for them.

“It’s really cool that you have that good of a relationship with your parents even though you’re a teenager. I could never have that – my parents don’t understand me or let me do what I want”

“It’s so great that you don’t drink alcohol. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t. But I could never stop drinking – I would lose all my friends, because I can’t have fun without being drunk.”

“I wish I had faith in God like you do – that must be such a comfort in your life. But I could never be a believer – (that’s just weird).”

“It’s so wonderful that you are married, it’s just like a fairytale! I could never have that though – I don’t think I could ever find someone that I would want to be with my entire life!”

I’m really not trying to boast, I’m simply trying to convey the message that life is only as good as where you set the bar. It makes me sad to see people limiting their happiness because they are so busy being realists and being like everyone else.

A week ago we celebrated our second anniversary. My marriage (and the fruits thereof) are without a doubt my highest accomplishments in life. And if I’d had a PhD in something frighteningly academic or sold a billion dollar business, those would still be my highest accomplishments in life. In my experience, being part of a family is something that can bring you joy that you cannot find anywhere else.

And I’m not saying that you’re a failure if you haven’t found that certain someone yet. Because I know so many wonderful people that are trying their best in their search. Nor are you a failure if you don’t have strong family ties or if you’re unable to have children.

I am saying that the failure lies in deciding that that sort of happiness is out of your reach. Because it’s too hard, too different or even too good for you. How silly of a thought is that? That something is too good for you. The only person who decides how high you set the bar for your happiness and accomplishments is you. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest. Heck, stop living life like it’s too short! Expect it to go on and on and that you have the power to be happy for every little second of it.

Dream a little!

I’m lying here in bed between my sleeping husband and baby and my heart is singing of gratitude that I didn’t decide to only harvest my happiness from things that I could control or predict or that were socially acceptable. Because I know that I definitely would not have been where I am today.

Those were my early Monday morning thoughts.

A simple golden ring

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On the occasion of our being married 23 months today I thought I’d share a little bit about my wedding ring. And my engagement ring. Because they’re the same ring.

I don’t know where you’re from, but here where I’m from using the same ring for engagement and for marriage is not traditional. But that’s the thing. If planning a wedding taught me anything, it is that I don’t care much for tradition. At least not some traditions.

We knew quite quickly that we wanted to marry each other. I loved him and he loved me. To us it was as simple as that. And we were too excited to start our lives together to wait around till we were engaged to start planning. When he asked me what kind of ring I wanted I told him I wanted a simple ring without big stones that I could accidentally knock out doing the dishes or working in the yard.

He said, surely I would want a fancy engagement ring. He would love to get me a simple wedding ring if I’d like and he wouldn’t think it was weird at all if I didn’t want to wear my engagement ring every day once we were married.

I told him, no thank you, and that I’d prefer just having one meaningful ring rather than having a very expensive ring stuffed away in a drawer the rest of my life. We both knew that we didn’t have a lot of money and what little we had I preferred we save and spend on something more useful.

In the end he agreed and I waited in excitement for the day he would pop the question. In the meantime we planned our wedding.

Then one day when I was in Stockholm visiting him, he took me upstairs to a secluded spot. He apologized for spoiling some of the surprise but that he needed to ask my opinion on something and that he didn’t think I’d mind. I gave my permission and he pulled out a small black velvet bag. He told me that he had recently been to visit his grandparents. They had asked about the proceedings of our relationship and especially about his upcoming proposal. Kindly, they had offered their own engagement rings for Marcus to take. Marcus opened the small bag and emptied the contents into the palm of his hand. The rings were perfect. Simple, smooth and glitteringly golden. I waved off Marcus’ remarks that I could still have a diamond ring if I wanted, and told him that this was the exact ring I wanted. I asked if I could try it on, but he wouldn’t let me. He told me I’d have to wait till he proposed. He only dragged that out for another couple of weeks.

The day after he put the ring on my finger we went to a local jeweler to have them resized and engraved. We already had a date. 23 March 2013.

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Being a mom the way I want

I often wonder if our marriage will keep having as many planning sessions as it does now in these early years. I hope it will. At least I hope that life won’t teach me that I’m naive if I think I can plan it. That I’ll have to do it the way everyone else does it and that the current is too strong to fight.

So here’s our plan: We want for Marcus to be able to someday work from home. We want for me to be at home with our kids. Why? Because we want to be with our family. We want to put our family first. That’s why we decided to have one. So essentially our plan is to have the happiest family possible. And that’s the way we think we can best achieve that.

Is that naive? Is that dream a tiny bit too big?

Because it scares me that most people around me are doing it differently. I’ve already had people give me a weird look for saying that I don’t intend to put my daughter in daycare if I can avoid it. Does that mean my plan won’t work? Or does it just mean that we all have different paths to make our families happy? Because I guess we do. I’m just not sure I’m willing to let that fact crush my plan. And what about the government? It seems that most often it makes life a little easier for people who aren’t trying to follow a plan like mine. I’ll just have to live with that though. I don’t really think benefits are more valuable than our plan.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. My mom fought the current and did it and I knew that someday I would do the same. Because I loved having her there growing up. It’s taught and prepared me for being a mother and quite frankly I think it’s prepared her to be a better grandmother and to help and support her children establishing their own homes. So I always knew this was what I wanted to do. But it hurts me a little to think that a lot of people might think I’m lazy for it. Like I could do more in my life. Or like I could be a better citizen, be more beneficial to society. But I think the best thing I can do for my community is to raise a happy family. A happy, ambitious, hard-working, kind family.

And I know my plan might be a lot to plan for. I may be naive. And for many people this sort of plan just might not be an option. But I like to think that it is an option for me. To live life the way I want. Because I planned it that way. And we may be poor in the beginning. Heck! We may be poor for a very very long time. But, again, I don’t think the dog, the car, the yearly summer vacation, the new clothes every month, etc. are more valuable. I became a mom because I want to be a mom. And I think I should be able to do it the way that I think is best for my family.image

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A Swedish Christmas Eve

Twas a Swedish Christmas this year. It was a bit exciting for the entire family. Marcus hadn’t celebrated Christmas in Sweden for 3 years, I had never celebrated Christmas in Sweden and Baby hadn’t celebrated Christmas before all together.

So it was with great anticipation that we rolled out of bed at 8am on the 24th. Marcus and I showered and Baby got a diaper change. Once we were all dressed we went downstairs to have breakfast with the family at 9am. On the table was rice pudding (I guess that’s the best translation) with toppings: sugar, cinnamon, milk or berry juice (saft soppa?), as well as bread and sliced Christmas ham for sandwiches with toppings: mustard and beet salad. To drink was milk and of course julmust (a Swedish soft drink served for Christmas and Easter).

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After breakfast we all went to the basement, settled in the couches – Baby curling up in my lap – and we took turns reading aloud from the scriptures about the birth of Christ.  I really liked this tradition, as it really helped set the mood for the day and reminded us what we were celebrating – and why.

Then we had some fun family time. We got out the Wii, the candy, the cookies, the blankets, and spent the next few hours enjoying one another’s company. During this Marcus, Baby and I went back upstairs to change into our nicer clothes. Baby especially looked pretty in her new red dress, white stockings and tiny black shoes. Hello Shirley Temple!

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Nice watch, Santa!

At 3 o’clock sharp – and I mean sharp! – it was time to gather around the TV for From All of Us to All of You – or in Sweden better known as “Kalle Anka” (Donald Duck) (wonder which character the Swedes like the best…). This show was so important that Marcus messaged me on Facebook to stop whatever I was doing – I was nursing Baby – and come down immediately.

When Kalle Anka was over it was time for Christmas dinner! I was especially excited for this part. We entered the kitchen and was the dinner table completely covered in dishes with potatoes, meat balls, salmon, brussels sprouts, potato gratin, a dish called “Janssons Frestelse” (potato gratin with fish), herring, sausages, gravy… think I remembered everything. I know I’m gonna get this question a lot when I get back to Denmark, so I’ll just answer it right away: Swedish Christmas dinner was a lot better than I thought it was gonna be. I really liked the different meats and the potato gratin. I still prefer Danish Christmas dinner, but I’m definitely not gonna be sad to have Swedish Christmas dinner every other year.

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Once we had finished eating it was time for presents! We all gathered around the tree and enjoyed an hour of the joy of giving and receiving. It was really a great experience for me, being still the newest member of the family. Since money is a little tight at the moment we hadn’t provided very many of the gifts under the tree. But to me it was a true bonding moment sitting there watching presents being passed around and feeling the love in the room. These people are truly family to me.

Dessert was then served, delicious gingerbread cheesecake, and at last we all watched Svensson Svensson, which I am told is also a Swedish Christmas tradition.

I am surprised how little I missed Danish Christmas. It just testifies that Christmas is more about the people you spend it with than the food eaten or traditions kept.

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The birth story – part 2

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THE STORY CONTINUES…

Mom dropped off Marcus and I in front of the hospital and went to go find parking. She caught up with us even before we reached the elevator because I had to stop for every 10 steps to endure another minute of fiery agony. We got upstairs and soon I was back on the table, and the midwife told me with a smile that I was fully dilated and ready to push whenever my water broke.

Now… thinking back I dread the thought of what would’ve happened if we had stayed home like they told us to – my mom’s face would surely have been the first thing my baby saw and some midwife would’ve had her front teeth knocked out later that day – but at the time I just remember incredible relief. It was almost over!

After the good experience from the tub I managed to ask to give birth in water and we were escorted to a delivery room with a huge deep tub. The room was so hot. I spent the time waiting for the tub to fill at the window under which the radiator was on full steam. Ponytail please! Not soon enough I was climbing into the tub, which was filled with surprisingly warm water. Again, amazing relief washed over my body when I sunk under the surface. I remember heaving a huge “aaaaaah” and the midwife laughing. I found a comfortable position hanging over the edge of the tub and managed to ask if I was allowed to push. I was told I could give a small push at the top of each contraction if I wanted. We just needed the water to break before really getting to work. … which happened on my very first push just after with a surprisingly loud ‘pop’. I looked up at the midwife eagerly, but my immediate happiness was quickly swept away when the midwife asked me to get out of the tub. She thought the amniotic fluid looked a bit green, in which case she needed me on the table. I stared at her in disbelief. We were ready, I was comfortable and we were good to go! Was she kidding?

When I didn’t move, she urged me again and instructed Marcus and Mom to help me out. I waited out another contraction, gathered my strength and slowly got out of the tub. My goodness, that bed was tall and I have no idea where I summoned the abs to heave my legs up.

Five minutes later I was just about comfortable and okay dealing with the contractions on dry land. Then she told me I could get back in the tub. Gosh.

It was absolutely worth it though. The water was as amazing as ever.

By now I was pushing as hard as I could. And more than just once per contraction. In the craziness of all the pain I figured maybe I could impress everyone by pushing her out faster than anyone expected. I’d been told that the pushing part can be as fast as 20 minutes and I was deeply disappointed that I didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere.

Then if you’ll believe it, the midwife asked me to get back out of the tub. Only this time she didn’t ask. She ordered. And she made it clear that I had no time at all to hesitate. Apparently the baby’s heart rate had dropped to half. She was in distress.

How on Earth I got out of the tub and made it over onto the bed, I have no idea. The moment I was out of the water I could feel her, her head between my legs. I trust I don’t need to emphasize how freaky that feels.

But then the midwife told me the most amazing thing. “Just one more good push and you have your baby”. I was a little too under to notice her own stress but Marcus told be afterwards how the mood changed. The baby needed to come out immediately. The midwife called a nurse and asked Marcus and Mom to hold up my legs and me to push harder than I thought I could. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t really tell any longer when I was having a contraction, so I just chose a random moment and told the midwife it was time. And I pushed. And pushed. And then the contraction was over. And still no baby. I guessed what the midwife must have been thinking and decided to just keep pushing. The most amazing push. And as if my body had been severely gassy for 9 months, it deflated in an instant and the baby fell into the midwife’s hands.

Immediate relief washed over me. The tight belly relaxed and all traces of the contractions I’d been enduring for 11 hours immediately disappeared.

Mom and Marcus however experienced a few stressful seconds. Baby was all limp as if dead. The midwife shook her and blew in her face. After just a few seconds she coughed and gave an uneasy cry.

It wasn’t for another few hours that I realized I’d done it all natural. I’m not gonna lie. I felt pretty darn cool.

Then she was on my chest in a blanket and hat. And everyone was smiling and taking pictures.

It was over. There she was. Little Baby Girl. 3:40pm and 52cm and 3680g. Beautiful and healthy. Now we were parents for real, I thought. Yes, I thought! I felt conscious again. So conscious and tired that I couldn’t think of crying. So I just watched Mom and Marcus doing it.

It was really that simple. We were a family. Just like that.

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The birth story – part 1

It happened. The story I’ve been waiting to tell for so long can finally be told! And it’s a good one, so put up your feet.

A week ago exactly I had the hardest and most amazing day of my life so far. It all started at about 4.30 in the morning. I woke up and noticed I was having contractions. This wasn’t a biggie since I’d been having contractions just about every day for months, but the new thing was that I realized my contractions were what had woken me up. That hadn’t happened before. I pulled up our iPad and opened our contraction monitor app and started timing them. After an hour it was clear that there was about 6 minutes between them. I sent my mom a quick text “it’s time.” and woke up Marcus. Next, I called the hospital and was told to wait it out another few hours and even try to go back to sleep. I asked when I should call them up again and she just told me “When you need to”. Wondering when that would be, I jumped in the shower, knowing there was no way in heck I’d be able to fall back asleep. Marcus showered too and we had breakfast and watched a LOT (it felt like) of Modern Family on Netflix.

Being mainly focused on my contractions the next couple of hours went by really fast. The contractions were getting a lot tougher but still seemed to be 6 minutes apart. Really? As it was getting a little too painful to lie down I got up and started pacing. Immediately I noticed a difference in my contractions. The gaps between became clearer and the app now showed just 2-3 minutes apart. I finally called mom and asked her to come … now. Then I called the hospital and said we were coming… now.

Mom showed up around 10am with the biggest smile on her face. Neither she nor Marcus made any obvious attempt to be sympathetically serious but instead danced around me joking and taking pictures. I found it pretty darn annoying at the time but I’ll admit it’s a little fun to have the pictures now.

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Half an hour and a hard car ride later we were let into a room to have me checked up by a midwife. I’ll leave out the details and instead disclose how sickeningly inappropriate I found it that there were large posters of crowning babies on all the walls.

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Anywho, soon we were leaving the room again having been informed that I was about 2-3 cm dilated and that they would like for me to go back home and come back later. Say what?? I made it clear to my mom that I was by no means walking up the stairs to our 5th floor apartment again. I had no interest whatsoever in getting back in the car either, so for half an hour I insisted we just wait it out in the lobby of the hospital. Being slightly under the influence of strong pain in my pelvis I suddenly changed my mind and we decided to go to my parents’ house instead.

Yikes, that car ride was not fun. Over the next two hours I endured the contractions standing, sitting, lying down, lying on my mom’s yoga ball… At around noon mom called the hospital back and was again informed to wait a little longer. Frustrated, we decided to try something else and mom went to fill the jacuzzi tub.

I hear that all women react differently to stuff like this, but seriously, I’d recommend waiting out your contractions in a tub to anyone! It was absolutely amazing! As soon as I was in the water I felt like there were actual gaps between my contractions again and I could even sit up and talk to mom and Marcus – completely out of the question before. Another upside of the tub was that it seemed to speed up the process remarkably. I hadn’t been in there for long before the contractions just became unbearable. I couldn’t sit still or be somewhat politely quiet. But due to our last many hospital calls I expected it was going to get much much worse, since they obviously didn’t think I was very far along. So I sat tight – literally – and tried not to complain much … until all of a sudden I felt like I needed to push.

Since I’d never been pregnant or in labor before I wasn’t 100 % sure that this was what it felt like when you needed to push, so I left the door open to it probably just being me overthinking it. Nevertheless, I told mom who jumped up and called the hospital again. A few minutes later she returned with a look of frustration worthy only of the contractions I was experiencing. She said that once again the hospital had asked us to stay home. I had another powerful contraction, by now I was clenching by butt to make sure I wasn’t pushing. When it was over I looked my mom in the eye and told her that we needed to go right now.

As soon as I got out of the tub and the anesthesia of the water was gone I really felt it. My body was trying to push out the baby right here on the bathroom floor. The thought actually occurred to me that maybe I could ask my mom to just deliver the baby here.

Quick as a flash, we were back in the car with me in the front seat on my knees hugging the back of the seat. I remember that car ride as if in slow motion. Every contraction totally removed me from this world and the urge to bear down was stronger than any temptation I’ve ever felt in my life.

Mom dropped off Marcus and I in front of the hospital and went to go find parking. She caught up with us even before we reached the elevator because I had to stop for every 10 steps to endure another minute of fiery agony. We got upstairs and soon I was back on the table…

TO BE CONTINUED

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