Hello to all of you out there!

Our baby boy wonder JOAKIM arrived on December 26th at 0932 in the morning. Now he is sound asleep (having ODed on milk no doubt) in bed with dad, aka teddy aka Magnus and hopefully I will have time to tell you all the details!

He was due on the 24th, Xmas here in Norway, but nothing happened. On the 25th I thought nothing was going to happen either so went out and bought some eggs as I had decided to bake cookies. Wanted to catch a movie first so laid down on the sofa when I got this weird twinge in my belly, followed by what must have been a very audible "POP"-sound. Eeeek! The water had broken! I thought it only started that way in movies (I had thought it would happen at a later stage). I got up from the sofa and water spilled all over the floor. I "eeeked" again as we have very nice, untreated pinewood floors and I didnt want to ruin them...:) I yelled at Magnus that the water had broken and, whee, that got him started. Havent seen him get out of a horizontal position so fast since we thought the motorbike had been stolen in Newcastle this summer - but I digress -

Anyways. Water broke at a quarter to four in the afternoon and we went to the hospital. Contractions were very slow and far apart so they told us we could stay if we wanted or go home and "try to lead a normal life". Which we did - I wanted dinner so I cooked some noodles, being most bummed out the takeaway pizza place was closed (I really wanted a pepperoni pizza) In the evening I started getting antsy plus the contractions were getting kinda painfuller so we left for the hospital again.

I got to put on those nifty hospital clothes and was monitored for a while. They told me I had contractions every 8 mins or so - well I could have told them that *grin* Surprisingly we were the only ones there so we got to choose rooms, even. They had one room with a tub and a waterbed which sounded neat but it was reserved for the moms who wanted to go all the way naturally (unmedicated). Not me! No way! So we got an "ordinary" room and settled in. We both had fun poking arpund and looking at all the gadgets and thingies in there, peeking in the cupboards etc etc. I had written in my "birth wish list" that we wanted to be alone as much as possible and the staff were very good in letting us do it our own way (bless them). Contractions stayed at the same interval more or less but got more and more painful. I tried the entenox (lystgass) which was semi-fun (instant high, no hangover). Magnus tried it too. I think he liked it more than I did because I threw up some times while he just got giggly, and I decided to stay off the mask.

At one at night things got *baaad*. I was moaning and feeling very self-pitiful and Magnus kept rubbing my back, giving me hot / cold cloths, hotwater bottle etc etc. The midwife kept telling me I was doing great with the breathing (yes! Bobby! Even without classes! *LOL*) but I felt shitty regardless. I asked for some pethidin (morphinlike, like Demerol, I think) but they were reluctant to give it as things hadnt progressed very far - still at only 2 cms. But, oh joy of joys, they did call for the dope guy (anesthesiologist) and he arrived shortly thereafterafter. His name is Einar Gunnarson, please keep him in your eveing prayers - I surely do!! It didnt hurt at all. Magnus yelped some because he saw it go in though, *giggle*

After the epidural things got instantly better and I was able to sleep a while (I was comfy in bed while Magnus slept on a beanbag on the floor, poor guy). One weird side effect of the epidural was getting "restless legs" while the leg in question was completely numb!! Very odd. To relieve the restlessness I tried pushing it around with the other leg and nearly pushed myself off the bed. Things stayed pretty much the same, contractions coming a bit faster but not much. The midwife had told me that weakened contractions might be a side effect of the epi so I wasnt too worried. Around six or seven in the morning the ocntractions slowed down again and the midwife asked if I wanted a pitocin drip (hormones) to speed things up a bit. This was given as an option though, with no strings attached. I was getting tired at this point, and wanted to speed things up also so I agreed.

More tubes was put in me. At this point I was so wired I felt like a character in a William Gibson novel! The drip was giving effects, they turned down the epi so I could feel things a bit more without being in too much pain (btw, all the way with the epi I still had some use / feeling in my legs which was good). At 8 in the morning (new shift, new midwife) the aliens heartbeat was starting to go down a bit after about 16 hrs of labour (since the water broke). I think the professionals were more worried than me (I was soo tired plus in a trance-like state, I didnt really care anymore) and I was given the mask again with pure oxygen and told to INHALE!!!! with every contraction. Which I did.

Contractions were coming harder and harder. I could feel the alien moving down at times as well!! But the heartbeat kept falling and another midwife came in the room. They both checked me and it seemd the alien was a) in a bad position (back labour) plus b) he was stuck and coulndt move. At 9 they called for a doctor. I didnt realize who or why - I just thought he was another member of the cheerleading squad - so this part Magnus has told me about as I cant remember it too well. The professionals were getting worried and the midwives suggested they use forceps to get the alien to turn around. The doctor said no, to give me another five minutes to get him out by myself. And I PUSHED! And PUSHED!! And swore and yelled and pushed some more and at 0932 the alien was born. He screamed instantly (oh, relief) in spite of having the cord wrapped around his neck. The first thing I remember is Magnus saying "Its a Joakim!" (meaning; a boy), then some more furious alien screams and then, all went well...:):):):):)

I had torn just a little bit, but no cuts /epiosotomy (as I had asked, no cutting unless realle necessary) and so was stitched up. Magnus sat in a chair next to me holding Joakim in his lap (we had asked that he be the first to hold him, after all I had a nine month head start!) and I nearly fell out of bed again trying to look. Twenty minutes or so later I got Joakim into bed with me and started looking and sniffing him.

And, oh, what a beauty he is!!! He was 49 cms, 3340 grammes with APGAR scores of 9 and 9. Dark blonde hair, blue eyes, ten fingers, toes etc etc. We stayed in the delivery room for a couple of hours, then Magnus went home to sleep and Joakim and I were off to the maternity ward. I actually walked there myself and upon arrival wolfed down two dinners. The lady in the bed next to me kept saying I had to be the babys aunt - she refused to believe a new mom could be so up and about ;-)

And then the fun begins!! *smile* But that is another story -suffice to say we are now at home, feeding well (at least Joakim is, he is at it all the time, I hardly get to eat), and he is still asleep now, oh joy.... I am amazed at how well everything has beein going - the birth, the hospital stay, everything. I cry a bit if he screams too much (the feeling of utter powerlessness to stop him from screaming) but so far, no "baby blues" and hoefully it will stay that way. Now I shall go make coffee and await the arrival of Magnus dad, who just called on the phone sounding very emotional. No wonder! So are we - emotional, happy, elated, awed....and very very grateful that all went well and that Joakim is here, happy, healthy and seemingly liking us also!

Love to all from Karine (Nena), teddy Magnus and newcomer Joakim :):)

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