29 September 2012

What's in a name?

Tomorrow is the big day. The day Mr Silli and I reveal Paxlet's real name to family (and friends)*. We're having a small "naming party" with Mr Siili's family and my dad & stepmom via Skype.

In Finland, it is common to not tell the name of your baby until you have the naming ceremony (ristiäiset / nimiäiset / kastajaiset), which happens 1-2 months after the baby is born. Yes, in Finland, we can and do leave the hospital without giving the baby a name. The baby's social security number is generated when the baby is born and the parents are informed of it via snail mail soon afterward. It's the physical social security card you don't get until the name is officially chosen, subsequently notified to the officials and approved.

Yes, in Finland, names can be rejected by the magistrate (board of people?) and there are laws about how and what you can or cannot name your child.
  • Every kid will have at least a first and last name (sorry, no Princes or Madonnas here).
  • Up to three (3) "first" names can be given, not including the last name. Hyphenated names (Juha-Mati, Niina-Maria) are counted as one name.
  • Inappropriate names or names that can be used in a harmful way and swear words will not be accepted (Ima Pigg, Heli Kopter)
  • Last names cannot be given as first names, but more so mom or dad's last name can't be given or formed into a first name.
  • Boy's names cannot be given to girls and vice versa.
  • Siblings cannot have the same first name, but similar forms of a name are accepted (Kris, Krista, Kristian, etc)

It is possible to work around some of the above mentioned laws based on, for example: religious reasons or if the mom/dad is of foreign origin. Although the names still have to be accepted. It is also possible to petition denied name choices if you don't agree with the decision. As Mr Siili states, the above items are more guidelines in which names are checked against just to make sure kids are not being given something that can/will haunt them growing up.

*As I said earlier, I don't feel comfortable revealing our boy's name here on my blog. I will continue to refer to him as Paxlet, but if someone would like to learn his name, I'd be willing to share it with you privately.
Shoot me an email at jsththr at gmail dot com.

26 September 2012

Last weekend's baking

This last weekend I tried two new recipes: Crusty Bread and Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Glaze. Both recipes turned out great, but I think I'll only be making the bread again in the future. Don't get me wrong, the Pumpkin bread was good too, I'd just rather use my coveted canned pumpkin for other things, such as Pumpkin pancakes or pie.

The Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread recipe came from Eat Cake for Dinner. I've tried some of her recipes before and they always turn out great.

The recipe called for a glaze on it, but I was too lazy to make it. I still think it turned out great. Mr Siili liked the bread well enough, but he said he preferred the pancakes I made earlier. So, I think I'll be making pancakes with the rest of the canned pumpkin.

The Crusty Bread recipe I saw on a friend's FB wall from Pinterest, which came from a blog called Simply So Good. This bread was insanely easy to make and yielded quite yummy bread. Mr Siili didn't believe it would turn out to be any good, but was very surprised with the results. I didn't take any pictures this first time, but I should the next time I make it. The bread comes out of the oven just looking so beautiful!

I made the very basic recipe this first time around, using only plain flour. Next time I'm going to switch it up a bit and add some graham or other flour too. I want to make dried cranberry and orange flavored bread (as suggested on the blog), but Mr Siili is against it. I think I'll make it at some point anyway, when I have somewhere to take the bread. He doesn't have to eat it.

Let me know if you try either of these recipes and what you think of them.

The rest of Paxlet's hospital stay (after birth)

A few days after I posted Paxlet's birth story, I got to thinking that maybe I should also post about the rest of our hospital stay. There was some interesting stuff that happened there too. So, here is the rest of Paxlet's story in the hospital.
After Paxlet was cleaned up, weighed and measured and I too got cleaned up (took a shower), Mr Siili and I got some tea and bread before we walked (were shown) to the maternity ward. As we started walking, very very slowly, to the maternity ward I started crying. These were hormonal happy tears. Tears of it slowly setting in that I finally had a baby. This little boy that I was pushing down the hall was mine!

Once in the maternity ward, I shared a room with one other lady and her couple of days old baby girl. (This lady was there longer than myself because she had a c-section and I believe some other complication.) I got the window bed. *grin*

Mr Siili helped Paxlet and I get settled into the room. Then we sent out messages that our baby boy had arrived. (Phones aren't allowed in the admittance area or delivery room.) The two of us just couldn't believe that this little bundled boy was ours. After a bit, Mr Siili headed home to get himself some sleep.

Dinner was brought to me at some point in the early evening. The hospital food was pretty decent. Us mothers had breakfast, lunch, dinner brought to us. There were yogurts and juices in the fridge whenever you wanted one. And an evening snack, along with tea or coffee, was left near the fridge/kitchenette area for those who wanted it.

That first day with Paxlet, I tried nursing him off and on all afternoon and into the night. He acted as if he was hungry and I tried to give him what he wanted. Unfortunately, I wasn't producing much milk at that point and he continued to act hungry. Also, my nipples just got sucked to soreness. When I asked a midwife what I could do, she said that if I wanted, we could supplement with some donated milk. At first I was reluctant and said I'd try some more on my own, but after another 30 minutes on each breast and a still hungry baby, I asked for help again. Paxlet gulped the bottle (20 grams, couple of teaspoons) down in no time! He also didn't act hungry anymore. Relief!

Paxlet's tummy might have felt better, but he wouldn't go to sleep and it was after 1 am. I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before and labor was exhausting. Thankfully, the same midwife said to me that it was a slow night and then asked if I would like to leave Paxlet with her for a few hours during the night? Yes, please! I did feel a little bit guilty about handing my less than a day old baby over to someone else, but I also knew that I really needed some sleep. I got about 5,5 hours of sleep and Paxlet got another bottle of milk (with my permission).

We got our first visitor Thursday evening. My friend R brought me some Toffifee candies and some pretty flowers from her yard. Friday was just spent hanging out with Paxlet, learning the ropes and spending some time with Mr Siili too. Mr Siili's parents came to visit in the evening. They were excited to meet our little guy, especially grandma.

Friday also saw a blood draw from Paxlet's foot to check his bilirubin levels, for jaundice, as the machine the hospital had said the levels were a bit elevated.Paxlet did not like having blood taken, but it thankfully didn't take too long and his blood work came back normal.

During this whole hospital stay, I've been wearing socks, gowns and a bathrobe provided by the hospital. In addition, there are towels for taking showers and there is an endless supply of disposable panties and pads. The clothes and blankets for Paxlet were also from the hospital, along with diapers and any other items he might need while there. We did not need anything from our hospital bag until the day we left for home and needed to get dressed in our own clothes. Another bonus is a bag of goodies every baby/mom is able to take, if they want. I, of course wanted! It had 10 or so diapers, some baby wipes, pads for me, a pair of disposable bra pads, a toy for the baby and some pamphlets (promoting products from the company who donated this stuff).

Saturday came and I was mostly ready to go home. The idea that we would soon be taking home this little human that is totally dependent on us was a bit daunting, even if exciting too. Before we left the midwives tried testing Paxlet's hearing. Each time they tried the test, he either wiggled too much or his ears were still too wet and filled with 'gunk' (my word) to get a passing test. This wasn't something to be concerned about, as it didn't mean he couldn't hear, it just meant that they weren't able to get a clear reading. I had no worries, because I could see Paxlet reacting to sounds already (for example, when the other baby cried). An appointment was made for us to come back to the hospital at the end of September to get his ears re-checked then.
(The appointment was on Monday and Paxlet's ears passed the test immediately without any problems this time.)
Midwife checking Paxlet's ears.
The last thing we needed before we could go home was to have Paxlet weighed once more and for the doctor to check him over. The doctor was running late, as is normal for weekends we were told, so I thought I'd check out the breast feeding info-session. During that time, Mr Siili decided to take a quick walk. Unfortunately, the info-sessions are only during the week, so there wasn't anything for us to learn there. But, just at that time the doctor arrived and we were taken to be checked out. Paxlet's skin coloring, eyes, body, etc all looked great. Then the doctor listened to his heart and thought she heard some extra heartbeats. She informed me that this is very common in newborns and that it generally goes away on its own within a couple of days.. There was nothing to worry about. But, just to be on the safe side, they would order an EKG that day and another on Sunday to make sure everything was normal, before we could go home. I asked her if she could also explain all of this to my husband, as I want to make sure I understood it all and that Mr Siili hears it correctly from the source. I was totally fine with this news, they reassured me it was ok. I then poked my head out to see if Mr Siili had come back from his walk yet (with the car seat). He was just heading into our room, so I called him over to the doctor's room. And that is when I broke down and started sobbing. Hormones, I tell you!! I could barely eek out the words, "Paxlet is ok, I'm just hormonal". Poor Mr Siili! Thankfully the doctor was able to immediately tell Mr Siili what was going on and I could calm down. We stayed in the room as they took a blood sample from Paxlet's head and then we went back to our room to wait for the EKG.
Paxlet being hooked up to the EKG machine.
The EKG technician came quite quickly on Saturday. She hooked him up with 10 or so leads and wires. She then needed Paxlet to hold very still (hahaha) so she could get a reading of only his heart beating. Apparently this machine is very very sensitive and records any sort of hand wiggle, crying, cooing, etc. After running the test a few times, she was able to get enough evidence to show to the doctor. The EKG technician told us immediately that she didn't see any evidence of extra heartbeats. But we still had to wait for one more night and one more test on Sunday. Sunday's test went along the same lines as Saturday's test and no extra heart beats were heard! We were free to go home.

In some respects, I was a bit relieved to stay in the hospital another day, as my milk didn't come in until Saturday afternoon. We had supplemented at least 3-4 times with donated breast milk on the first and second day. And then on Saturday morning we used some formula once. It was nice to still be at the hospital and check that my milk had come in and that we were going to make it with my milk alone.

Sunday we were discharged after being weighed a final time and looked at by the doctor. Everything was good and we were ready to go.
Mansi was glad we were home too.

25 September 2012

A funeral toast to our television

Today we took our ~10 year old, somewhat but not really faithful, poor quality and very out dated TV to the waste recycle center. We haven't watched it, or for that matter, we haven't even put it on the TV stand nor plugged it in since we moved 4 months ago. It was well over due for us to get rid of our one and only TV.
In remembrance, Mr Siili bought an apple cider (it was one we hadn't seen before) for us to share (I drank a tablespoon at most). The TV will most likely be forgotten, but we'll treasure the space it freed up on our living room floor.

21 September 2012

3 weeks old

Our little boy is now three weeks old (and one day, because I didn't get this posted yesterday)! I don't think I'm ready to say that it feels like he's been with us forever yet, but he's been here long enough that I definitely can't and don't want to imagine my life without him.

It's amazing how much Paxlet's growing and changing already.There's just so much I am enjoying watching and trying to take it all in.

Sometimes we get a decent amount of sleep during the night and other times he is awake for 2 to 2,5 hour stretches at a time. A couple of nights ago was one of those awake for several hours at a time. It was rough. I wonder if the chocolate I had eaten was giving him an upset stomach? So, I've tried cutting out chocolate (and onions) for a bit to see if that helps. Thankfully, those rough nights aren't every night.

My nipples aren't as sore as they were in the beginning. But the last few days, Paxlet has been clamping on quite hard and my nipples are a bit sore again. I'm so glad he's eating well and enjoying his food, but would it hurt him to be a bit nicer to his momma? LOL

Paxlet also gets very impatient if the nipple comes out of his mouth while feeding. He will grunt and root around for the nipple like crazy until he gets it back in his mouth. And when he does get it back, he makes a huge production of opening his mouth VERY wide and CHOMPING on the nipple so it won't get away again. He does not like to have his meal interrupted. I know how he feels.

I've thought about pumping, but that's as far as I've gotten. I just have no idea how to go about it. When is the best time to pump? How much should I try to pump? Is there any thing else I should know? I guess I could ask my friend, but again, I just haven't gotten that far.

Mr Siili was commenting just the other day about how much stronger his neck (it doesn't flop around as much as it did the first few days), legs and arms are (Paxlet's really kicking and waving his limbs around).

I also notice the boy looking, staring really, very intently at my face. Just last night, Paxlet was intently watching something behind me. We think he was noticing the light reflecting off the glass doors of a cupboard. Whatever it was, it was very interesting. We've also noticed that he is making more voluntary coos, grunts and other cute baby sounds.

Paxlet has already grown out of one newborn outfit. If I had cut the feet off, we could have used it a bit longer. But the feet were cute little froggies and I just couldn't do that to the outfit. Instead, we loaned it to a friend who is due in a week. There are a couple more newborn onsies and outfits that we've got to wear in the very near future (and take more pictures) before he's outgrown them also.

Mr Siili has been teaching Paxlet what his shoulders, elbows, hands, feet, etc are in Finnish. Mr Sili has also been singing some songs to the boy. I think I recognize the tune, although the words are made up. It's pretty cute to hear this.

I've also read the boy two books so far. His first ever book was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I remember asking my grandmother over and over to read this to me every time we visited. The second book I read him was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Even though I only have this book in Chinese, I've read it enough times to know the idea of it to tell it myself. (I did find the book read and animated on Youtube. Very cute!)

My emotions
Hormones are still playing a part in my moods, but I don't find them getting the best of me as often. I still cry easily, especially at sappy or sad things on TV. I do get more frustrated and in tears during middle of the night feedings sometimes. But over all, I think of myself as very happy when it comes to Paxlet. Being able to get out of the house and go for walks or downtown on the bus helps. Also, having two friends and my mother-in-law over earlier this week helped too.

19 September 2012

Nipple piercing when I was younger and how it might not have been the smartest thing to do

When I was 20 years old, I got my left nipple pierced. I had wanted to get it done for some time and finally found myself with a co-conspirator and a piercing place that I knew to be good. It was one of the coolest things I had done, along with getting my tongue pierced a couple of years earlier (that'll have to be another story). Mostly because I didn't know too many people who had their nipple(s) pierced (nor their tongue) and when people found out about my nipple being pierced, most people were shocked and maybe even a bit horrified.

Getting my nipple pierced was painful. Not nearly as painful as giving birth, I now know, but painful still. Having an ample bosom meant that the first couple of days any movement, especially laughter or movement that caused bouncing, was painful. I also slept with a bra on for the first few weeks just to make sure I didn't bump or snag the piercing at night.

The nipple piercing healed quite well and I never had any problems with infections. I ended up taking it out after some time because I started getting these sudden and sharp pains in my nipple, right around the piercing. I have no idea what they were and never had the pains again once I took the piercing out. It was such a pity and I was always a bit sad about it, but not enough to get it redone. Plus, Mr Siili wasn't and isn't too excited about "strange" piercings.

Fast forward 16 years to a couple of weeks ago when Paxlet was born.

I first nursed Paxlet on my right breast and everything was fine. When it came time to feed him with my left nipple, I noticed that the nipple itself was a bit smaller/shorter and that he had a slightly harder time getting latched on. This was especially the case once my milk came in and my breast was engorged and hard. I'm assuming that the reason my nipple is a bit smaller, or rather shorter, is because when it was pierced, a chunk of flesh was removed to make room for the jewelry (that's what hollow needles do and they are what should be used when getting piercings done).

Now that Paxlet and I have had some time to get used to breast feeding, the left nipple doesn't seem to pose any problems and he is able to feed just fine with it. The milk is still able to flow through the nipple and BabyBoy eats like normal.

Knowing now, what I didn't know then, getting my nipple pierced might not have been the smartest thing to do. But we do all sorts of things, smart and not so smart, when we are young and only hindsight is 20/20. I'm just thankful that everything still works as it should and I can feed my baby boy.

18 September 2012

Paxlet and Momma points

I saw this image on a blog the other day and thought is SO very perfect right now. My boobs have always been on the large side, but now, they are even huge-r (yes, my own word) with milk.

Below are some bulleted things that have been going through my mind since Paxlet has been born.

-He is so darned cute! Yes, I'm very biased.

-We're quite sure we have Paxlet's aka BabyBoy's proper name chosen. We'll announce it to family in two weekends from now when he's a month old. I won't  be announcing it on here (not ever? at least not for now), but after our families know, I can tell people who want to know via email (jsthtr at gmail dot com).

-Paxlet loves boob and he's a great eater. It definitely shows in his weight gain.
Birth: 3610g (7,9 lbs)
Leaving hospital 3 days later: 3400g
One week old: 3570g
Two weeks one day: 3980g (8,7 lbs)

-Also, if I take too long getting said boob to him when he is hungry, as soon as he sees the boob coming for him, he gets very excited and starts waving his hands around. On the flip side, when he's had enough to eat he starts playing with my boobs. I believe Mr Siili is jealous of this.

-In the beginning (AS IF we are that far away from the beginning already), Paxlet absolutely hated his diaper being changed, now it isn't always so bad. I don't blame him really. One moment you're happily dressed and warm, the next your clothes are being torn off you and leaving you buck naked and cold!

-This BabyBoy likes looking at his momma. And his momma likes looking at him.

-Paxlet doesn't like laying down by himself. Again, this is something that is improving with time.

-We gave Paxlet his first bath at two weeks old. He seemed ok with it, but mostly just confused and not sure what to think of it. He seemed to enjoy taking a shower with me, a couple of days later, much more.

-The easiest way to get BabyBoy to fall asleep and stay asleep (esp at home) is to put him in his Snugli and walk around a bit. Once he's asleep, I can take it off and put him in his sitter-chair. He also sleeps very well when we go anywhere with the stroller. In fact, today he slept for 2 hours in the stroll while we went to the store and then he slept another 1,5 hours just in the stroller while it sat on the back porch.

-Mr Siili has always referred to me as Momma to the cats and so that is how I've started referring to myself with BabyBoy. I have no idea what I would like him to call me once he starts talking. Mom? Mommy? Mother? By name? (It's how I always called my Dad and Mom.)

-Did I mention how much I love my little boy? He's definitely filled a hole that was in my heart.

-So far, BabyBoy isn't much of a crier.

-I don't like the nights when he is awake for 2 to 2,5 hour feeds and/or just general awake-ness in the middle of the night. Thankfully he doesn't do it every night and I can usually get some of that sleep back in the morning with BabyBoy sleeping on my chest.

-I'm not quite getting the help I need or want from Mr Siili. It is frustrating to say the least and has had me in tears several times already. Sometimes I think it might be easier being a single parent, just because then I would know what needs to be done and when it would get done (if at all) because I would be the one 100% responsible for it. I can only hope that as time goes on, things will get better. In the mean time, I'm trying to hold my tongue and do what I need to do to make me happy.

-I love being able to see over my tummy again and being able to bend over and dry my lower legs and ankles easily. I also love being able to shave/trim my lady bits. Being "big" and awkward for the end of the pregnancy made me wonder how much over weight people manage? Not being able to bend at the waist or see the lower half of your body? I will do everything in my power to not ever let myself get like that.

-While Mr Siili and Paxlet love my big boobs, I don't! Don't get me wrong, I love that I can feed my baby, but I just don't like having big boobs. It just feels like they are swinging around as I walk or always in the way.

-My stitches have finally dissolved! Now I just wish the bleeding would go away. Ugh! I hate bleeding.

-In other post-preganncy news, I'm wearing a pair of my regular pre-pregnancy jeans and corduroy pants. Albeit, they are pants that needed a belt to be used with them, if I didn't want to be constantly pulling them up, and they will be needing a belt again soon. Thirteen of the 22 kilos that I gained during pregnancy have already disappeared!! I'm now only 9 kilos heavier than when I got pregnant. I'm liking this! Although, I do feel a bit fat at times. I blame it on the hormones for making me irrational.

14 September 2012

The beginning of the end of the beginning aka Paxlet's birth story

This is a long post, you've been warned. *grin*

Wednesday, August 29th
I had just hung up with my stepmom after an hour long call. She called me at my dad's urging, saying he just knew I was going to have my baby that day. I told her that everything was still normal and there were no signs of impending labor. Minutes after we ended our call, and a quick pee stop for me, my water broke! This was roughly 6 pm.

I called Mr Siili, then the Ob/Gyn emergency services phone number and explained my situation: 41 weeks & 1 day, water broke, some liquid but not a huge gush and liquid is still trickling out, it was clear/yellowish and some pink/red, no green. I was told to stay at home until 9am Thursday morning unless I got some green amniotic fluid, contractions became regular and 10 minutes or less apart or I couldn't handle the pain anymore.

So, I called Mr Siili back and told him what was up and that since I wasn't having contractions, there was no rush for him to come home and he could finish up what he was doing. During the evening I did some last minute things around the house (such as freezing the chocolate chip cookie dough I had made the day before, because I wasn't going to have time to bake it). As the evening wore on, Mr Siili suggested I try to get some sleep before things kick into high gear. At some point I acquiesced and went to bed, but I have no idea what time that was.

Thursday, August 30th
Around 2 in the morning I woke up to pee and feeling what I think were my first contractions. I spent an hour waiting to feel Paxlet move, but I didn't feel anything. I went downstairs, got some juice and waited another hour. I still didn't feel him move. Que mild panic. A bit after 4 am I told Mr Siili we needed to go to the hospital to see if Paxlet is ok. I drove us to the hospital, with only 1 mild and manageable contraction at the start of the 10 minute trip.

At 5 am, we signed into the Ob/Gyn emergency services area, I went pee at the midwife's urging and had a contraction in the bathroom. Then a midwife got me set up in a curtained off area to monitor Paxlet's heartbeat and my contractions. (Mr Siili was not allowed into this area, nor are any other men, because there are potentially several women being monitored and in various stages of undress in the curtained areas.) Paxlet's heartbeat was there chugging along like it always has been, he was just sleeping! After about 30 minutes of being monitored, my contractions weren't regular or close together or too painful yet, plus I was only 1 cm dilated. We were told to go home and come back at 7 pm, if nothing changes. We got back home some time just after 6 am.

I tried to get some more sleep, but the contractions started getting more painful. At first the contractions were about 12 to 15 minutes apart. By 7 am, I was downstairs with Mr Siili moaning about the pain. The contraction pain was hitting me right in the front and lower pubic bone/vagina area and very intensely! I tried walking through the contractions, rocking back and forth on the couch, being on all fours, sitting on the toilet and nothing was helping. I even heated my bean bag to try and get some relief, but it wasn't helping either. Poor Rusty cat was confused by my pacing, moaning, groaning and swearing at how much this hurt. At one point Mr Siili suggested I try drinking something and I snapped back at him that if I drink something I was going to puke and besides I had just recently taken a sip of water. It didn't help.

Soon the contractions were 12 minutes and then 10 minutes apart and I WAS IN PAIN. I told Mr Siili, it was time to head back to the hospital because I could not and would not handle the pain anymore. At about 8:30 am, Mr Siili drove us back to the hospital, with me sitting sideways in the back seat. It took a bit longer to get to the hospital this time because morning traffic was in full effect. I had a couple of contractions on the way. I was quite vocal about the pain. Hehe

Just before 9 am, as Mr Siili pulled up outside the hospital and I went to get out of the car, another contraction hit me. I waited, not quietly, through the contraction and then slowly walked into the hospital back to the Ob/Gyn emergency services area again, while Mr Siili went to park the car. As I arrived at the Ob/Gyn emergency services area, the midwives were helping a lady who was puking, and another contraction forcefully struck me. I bent over in pain trying to breathe through it and trying not to moan too much. At this point a midwife looked at me and said "oh, you're definitely in labor".

I was ushered back to a curtained area and told to change into the hospital gown. It took me a while to get changed because another contraction hit me as I was changing. I panted, moaned and groaned quite loudly, so Mr Siili told me later on. Everyone in the waiting area could hear me. *big grin* The midwife said through the curtained area next to mine that she'd be right with me after she helped the  lady she was with. In a couple of minutes the midwife was with me urging me to get on the bed so she could examine me, but another painful contraction hit me. The midwife calmly but forcefully told me to open my eyes and look at her. And then she showed me how to breathe: 4 quick breaths out and then one long one. I managed to get through this contraction a bit better than I had been doing so far and then got up on the bed.

The midwife, Kirsi, examined me and immediately stuck her head out of the curtained area and told another midwife to contact the delivery department because I was 8 cm dilated and we were headed upstairs NOW! (No wonder I was in so much pain!!) Kirsi explained that she wasn't going to make me walk upstairs, but that she was going to wheel me up in the bed.

As the bed was being wheeled out into the corridor, I saw Mr Siili standing there waiting for us. I continued trying to breath, like the midwife showed me, through the contractions I was having, but I now felt the need to push. Kirsi emphatically told me not to push! But I really wanted to. After a short ride in the hallway, up the elevator and then down another hallway, which I was vaguely aware of, we arrived in our delivery room where the delivery midwife was waiting for us.

The new midwife, Tiina, introduced herself and asked if I wanted to speak in Finnish or English. I said Finnish (in Finnish), unless I don't understand then it will be English. (Towards the end of the delivery, I think I started speaking mostly in English, but also some Finnish. Basically whatever came to my mind first.) Tiina finished explaining what was going to happen: I was too far along to get an epidural or most other pain killers, so we were just going to deliver the baby. Tiina also told Mr Siili that when the baby was close to coming out, it was going to be his task to push a specific button to call in another midwife to help get our baby out. Then we were ready to start delivering our baby.

Mr Siili took up residence at my head on the left-hand side of the bed. He held my hand as I needed it, but there were times when I couldn't hold onto anything. For that matter, there were times when I couldn't really focus on anything but the pain and what Tiina was telling me. In between contractions, I did ask Mr Siili how he was doing and if he was feeling ok. Was he nauseous? Was he going to faint? Each time he said he was ok. I never had time to be mean or snap at him, except for the one time at home.

As the contractions came, Tiina told me what to do and how to push. At one point, a triangle of pain on my lower back started hurting quite badly. Tiina said she could give me an "aqua injection" of sterilized water that could potentially alleviate some of the pain (it works for some, not all). I agreed with it and she got it ready. Tiina told me the needle would sting going into my back and the shot itself would feel like a bee sting. I 'ouched' as the needle went in and then as she injected the water I yelled "STOP! I don't want it anymore! I can't remember the last time I had a bee sting, but it sure didn't feel like that." I have no idea if she managed to give me the entire injection or not, but it actually helped. I don't think the pain was fully gone, but it was less.

The other "pain medication" I received during labor was a numbing spray on my lady bits. That's all. It must have helped, but I still think giving birth was quite painful. I remember feeling so tired and just wanting to sleep. I also remember that as I pushed, my head would go a bit black, as if I was going to pass out. I told Tiina I didn't want to push anymore, it hurt and other things like that. Mr Siili said I just sounded scared and not sure of what was going to happen. I guess I was scared. At least a bit. This whole labor and deliver thing was like nothing I've ever experienced before!

My contractions slowed down a bit and stopped being as strong as they needed, so I was given a nose spray to help them along. That stuff tasted like a pine tree. (Pine-Sol/Lysol is what came to my mind.) Tiina sprayed the stuff into my nose the first time; 2 sprays into each nostril. I managed to do it a time or two after that and then I was too exhausted to do it again, so Mr Siili sprayed it for me, except he thought one of the sprays didn't produce anything and sprayed a third time as I moved my head and he sprayed the stuff all over my face and eye. Some comic relief in the delivery room. I didn't like the spray stuff to say the least, but it seemed to work!

As Paxlet got closer and closer to being born, it was harder to push with out breathing and more painful. -- Take a deep breath, hold it, tuck your chin in and PUSH! Quickly let the breath out, take another deep breath and repeat. -- I told Tiina and Mr Siili that I was going to cry when the baby was born. Not because I had a baby, but because it would mean the pain was over! But before Paxlet could arrive, I had to push some more. I could feel Tiina stretching my lady bits out in what I assume was meant to lessen any potential tearing. It wasn't painful, but it wasn't a normal sensation either.

Paxlet's head came close to being out and it was Mr Siili's time to push the button. A few seconds later a second midwife came in to help with the rest of the delivery. I never did catch her name. As Paxlet was coming out, I swear Tiina was pressing on my perineum and clitoris. Oh My Effing G, that HURT! I'm not sure if she was actually pressing on my clitoris, but it felt like it and whatever she was pressing, I didn't like it. It hurt so much that I actually started reaching my hands down to push her hands out of the way. The second midwife was prepared to stop my hands. LOL Soon after, Paxlet's head arrived and a few seconds later the rest of him arrived at 10:31 am. I did cry a bit when he was born, from pain relief and having him here. It's amazing how fast the majority of the pain went away once he was born. Sure, I was sore and felt strange, especially in and around my lady bits, but I wasn't in active pain anymore.

Tiina showed me an upside down Paxlet and asked "which is it?" to which I replied "poika" (boy). Paxlet cried almost immediately. Tiina quickly wiped him off, showed me his fingers and toes so I could count them and then put Paxlet on my chest while she and the other midwife helped the placenta come out and cleaned me up.

My entire active labor was 2 hours and 55 minutes! Although, Mr Siili and I aren't sure if we should have said contractions were 10 minutes apart at 7:15 am instead of 7:45 am, which would have made it 3 hours and 25 minutes. We just can't remember exactly when the contractions started being so close together. 45 minutes the active labor was actual pushing and about 15 minutes was expelling the placenta.

I only lost 2,5 dl (1 cup) of blood and I could have lost that much again and still been in the normal range. I had a second degree tear, for which I did get some local anesthesia before she stitched me up.

And that was the end of my pregnancy at 41 weeks 1 day and the start of my being a mom!

12 September 2012

Life sure is different

Gone are the days when I can sit in front of the computer and play away all day. Well, that isn't totally true, I can still sit in front of the computer, it's just much harder to post on my own blog and leave comments on other people's blogs. I do read everyone's posts from my phone in the middle of the night while breast feeding, it's just much more difficult to reply. I hope to someday go back and leave a comment on at least some of the posts.

As I said, life is different and I am loving it. Well, except for maybe the 2,5 hours in the middle of the night when Paxlet is fussy and hungry and won't go back to sleep. Thankfully we can stay in bed after Mr Siili leaves for work for the day and catch up on some of our sleep.

I'm in the process of writing up our birth story, but it is taking quite some time as most of the time it is being written one-handed. Thinking of you all!

07 September 2012

One week, a day late

First off, thank you everyone for your congratulations! We are so in love with our little guy!

It's hard to believe that I have a 7 day old (plus one day) baby boy. Mr Siili seems to feel the same way, as I keep hearing him say "Look at how little he is." and "I can't believe we'll be seeing him grow up from day one and knowing someone their ENTIRE life." While it has only been 8 days since I gave birth, in some respects it seems so much longer. Although, it doesn't yet feel like I've always had this little boy in my life. There are just way to many things that are new and that I'm still learning. I suspect I'll be learning a lot of new stuff for a long time to come.
Baby Paxlet, hours old on Aug. 30th, 2012
There is so much I want to say, but where to start...? The birth story will be coming shortly, I've written down notes on paper in the hospital in hopes of not forgetting anything.

I'm so in love with this little guy! I can't stop slobbering on kissing his head while he is in my arms.

We think we have a name chosen for him, but we have not announced it to anyone yet as we are testing it out for ourselves for some time. Also, I think I'll just continue to call him Paxlet on this blog. (This may change at some point, but I don't think so.)

Paxlet eats and eats and eats and eats and, well you get the idea. He loves to eat. In fact, at his one week check up, he had almost gained all of his weight back. Birth weight was 3610 and one week check up was 3570 (I think. I'll have to check with Mr Siili).

Paxlet also doesn't like to be put down* to sleep very often. I am getting very proficient at one-handedness. I can even pee with the baby in one arm! (Yeah, I know you wanted to know that.)

I am thankful that my mom had bought and saved an original Snugli (from the '70's) for me. I am also thankful that I was able to find someone online who also has the same type of Snugli and had the instructions that came with it and that they were willing to scan and send them to me! It has made a world of difference. In fact, Paxlet is in his Snugli on my chest as I type this.
Paxlet, 8 days old in the Snugli while momma types up this blog post

Diaper changes. OMG! I must be doing something wrong or just not in the correct order. I swear that almost every time I change baby boy's diaper, he immediately pees or poos in the clean one and we have to repeat the process all over again, which Paxlet hates by the way. I really need to figure out how to change diapers in a more efficient manner.

We're still using disposables. I plan on testing out and hopefully switching to cloth, only, once we get a bit more set in a routine and figure out what's going on.

I've had a few hormonal meltdowns this last week. The biggest one being about how I hate my nursing bras. I have always hated bras and these ones are no exception. They just aren't that comfortable and I feel as if I'm falling out of them.

Speaking of bras, or rather what's in them. My boobs are HUGE! Jugs, as Mr Siili put it, with a snicker and giggle.

Mr Siili's new favorite saying whenever something isn't quite perfect or right: Tough titty (said the kitty when the milk went dry).

I'm sure there is so much more I'm forgetting to mention, but whatever it is, it'll have to be said in a future post, I think Paxlet needs his diaper changed soon.

*Every time I say that I need to or would like to "put Paxlet down", Mr Siili chimes in with some comment about how he's too young to be "put down" aka put to sleep, like an animal. While I know this sounds morbid, it is just one example of Mr Siili's constant play on words.