Are you ready for another personal story of a birth with Too Much Information written all over it? If not, you should bail out now. But if you are indeed ready, you’re more than welcome to continue reading.
Let’s turn back the clock to the middle of May last year. We’re closing in on the due date of our second born, Hedda. We’re also fast approaching the 3 year mark of the birth of her big sister, Vilde. Anniken was getting pretty nervous, not because of the upcoming birth, but because our second child might be born on the same date as the first. Sharing birthdays? What a nightmare! But thankfully, that faithful Sunday came and went.
Hedda had the common decency to wait a day, and Anniken didn’t go into labor until early Monday morning. Or at least it was labor-ish. The contractions were semi-regular, and not particularly intense. Still, we decided to head for the hospital to beat the morning rush hour traffic. It’s not uncommon that the second birth happens a lot faster than the first when it starts, and none of us were particularly happy about the thought of getting the baby on the freeway.
But as it turned out, you don’t simply beat rush hour traffic. It started way earlier than we thought. The scheduled one hour ride to the hospital took a little longer, but we were still only two people in the car when we got there. At the hospital, they did some routine checks, and we were given the all clear. Then followed hours upon hours of eating well, staying hydrated, and walking around the hospital. The contractions continued, but they didn’t become regular, neither in frequency nor length.
Delivery with the Pro League
All around us, babies were being born. The soundproofing of the delivery rooms was surprisingly bad, to put it that way. Still, Hedda showed no interest in life outside the womb. It wasn’t until around six in the afternoon, when the water broke, that things really got going. And then everything went very fast. It only took twenty minutes from the water broke until Hedda was born. I have to admit I don’t remember much from those twenty minutes. In retrospect we’re very happy we didn’t sit at home, waiting for regular contractions before we went to the hospital. Because those mythical regular contractions never came. Had we waited, Hedda would have been born at home, or in the car en route to the hospital.
Hedda’s birth was yet another encounter with a professional health service. Even though we were occupying a room at the hospital just waiting for the birth to start, there was never any talk of sending us back home. We were visited regularly by a midwife, who checked that everything was peachy. Great effort was made to make sure we felt comfortable and safe.
The speed of which the birth progressed when the water broke took everyone by surprise, though. Aware of the complications Anniken encountered during Vilde’s birth, the hospital wanted to prepare her for possible surgery. That preparation includes inserting a cannula. Have you ever tried to insert a cannula in the hand of a women giving birth? It’s not a particularly easy exercise, but they managed that, too. Everyone appeared calm and professional – like a well-oiled machinery that had done this a thousand times before.
We were also followed up closely immediately after the birth, and Hedda was measured, weighted, and checked. Anniken and Hedda were moved to the maternity ward, and I went home to get some sleep. The next day, I returned to the hospital, Hedda was given a routine check up by a pediatrician, and we were dismissed.
Less than 24 hours after she was born, Hedda was home. Here’s to another few years of dirty diapers and sleep deprivation!
I didn’t need to know all this!?
“Why the hell is he writing this?” you’re probably asking yourself. And that’s a legitimate question, for sure. The post I wrote about the birth of our first born back in 2014 came about for two reasons. The number one reason was that we have those baby books where you fill out every detail about their first years. In two of the sections of the book, we’re writing about the birth, one section written by the kid’s mother, and one written by the father. Still, there is no reason to publish what I wrote for the whole world to see, now, is it?
Yes, it sure is. Vilde’s birth was a complicated and semi-traumatic experience involving the two most important people in my life at the time. For me, writing and publishing posts about personal stuff is a great way to process everything. So that’s why you got to read that story. Hedda’s birth, on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Vilde’s; except for how fast it happened, it was a pretty ordinary birth.
But of course I have to write a post about Hedda’s birth, too, when I wrote a post about her sister’s. Can you imagine the racket if Hedda had discovered there was a post about her sister’s birth, but none about her own? This second story of a birth is a bit late, though. Vilde got her birth story written a mere two weeks after the fact. Hedda, however, had to wait 8 months for it to happen. But I finally managed to pull both my hands out of my ass, and write it.
So, there you have it, whether you think it’s appropriate or not: The story of Hedda’s birth.