Diabetes study – results

At the end of last year, I mentioned how we are participating in a study for type 1 diabetes (T1D)with regards to Tadbit. When she was born, the midwife took some blood from her umbilical cord to be tested for this study. Another midwife and I collected a sample of Tadbit’s first meconium poo and also my first post birth poo. The study also wanted a sample of breast milk, which I wasn’t able to do while in the hospital, so I have it here at home and it needs to be taken into the study office (next week).

A lady from the study came to visit Tadbit and I in the hospital. I sort of forgot about it until she arrived. The lady asked how labor and delivery went and how things were going at that point. She also took a blood sample from … me? or Tadbit? … I honestly can’t remember who was “attacked”. It must have been me, because I don’t remember Tadbit crying over it and I know she would have. I was given some paper work to look over and fill out. One packet of papers was 25 pages long of what Tadbit can and cannot have to eat/drink for the first 9 months of her life, while participating in this study. A second packet was to record how much of the formula, if any, we made up but didn’t use (in other words, threw away). And the last packet was only one page and that was to state what Tadbit was given, in terms of food/drink during her first two weeks (and then returned by mail). For example, during her first two days she got milk/colostrum from me and also 1 bottle (10-15 ml) of donated breast milk. And on the day she went home, the doctor gave her a bit of sugar water to keep her quiet and happy while Tadbit was checked over before getting the all clear to go home. Everything since has been provided by yours truly.

Then next thing for us to do was to wait for the results of the umbilical tests to see if Tadbit inherited the T1D gene. And the wait is over! I received a call earlier this week and the letter in the mail the following day: Tadbit does NOT  have the T1D gene / genetic marker!! And we are done with the study.

While I was happy enough to participate, it is even nicer (for us personally) that Tadbit doesn’t have the gene. This doesn’t mean that she can’t or won’t get Type 1 Diabetes in the future, it just means her risk of getting it is lower/less.

#MicroblogMonday – at the farm

There is a nearby farm that is sort of in the middle of town. We went there yesterday to see the cows, goats, sheep and chickens. None of them were out in their yards/fields. The only animals we saw were a dove (way up in a tree), a crow, and a hawk eating a small bird.

Paxlet asked about the animals again today, so we made the trip once more. Again, no animals! However, the farm’s little shop was open and I was able to ask when the animals would be out. Apparently, it is still too cold for them to be outside more than an hour a day. So, we need to wait another month to see the animals.

However, we did go at the right time and the “milk bar”, where you can buy fresh and unpasteurized milk, was open. And from there you can look through a bit window into the barn to see the cows. Paxlet loved seeing the cows. He told us about the cows laying down, the ones standing, some were sleeping, some were eating and others were not. He asked about different things that he saw. He also told us what the cows said. And that sheep and goats say the same thing. It was pretty cute!

I can’t wait for the animals to be outside so we can go see them all.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

Tadbit’s two week update and thoughts on the doula

My goodness, my little girl is two weeks old already. I’m still figuring things out, but she’s a pretty easy baby. If I have to say, she might be even easier than Paxlet was at this point. She feeds like crazy for an hour or two and then sleeps 2-4 hours, day and night.

As I said, she eats well and does everything a baby should do well. Her weight is going up and I can tell she’s getting bigger already. Some of the newborn clothes that we big on her when we got home are now fitting. (How does that happen so fast?!) We’ve also moved up to size 2 diapers.

Life is getting a bit more settled and into a routine. At least as much as it can be with a newborn in the house. Paxlet has been going to daycare each weekday, sometimes willingly others not so much. While Paxlet is at daycare, it gives Mr Siili and I some time to sleep, rest and just be. During the weekends, Mr Siili and I sort of tag team it. One of us usually gets to sleep in a bit and the other can take a nap later if needed/wanted.

We still have not figured out a name for her. I’m sort of stressing over it. We had a name for Paxlet by two weeks…we still have no clue for this little girl. Thankfully we still have time: up to two months. The way things work for registering a name in Finland are still the same as they were when we named Paxlet. And my list of rules is pretty much the same as it was then, even if I have updated it a bit. We’ve been using the name search function on the Population Register Centre website to see how popular a name is and if/when a name has ever been popular in Finland.
For example, if we use my name in the search, you can see that there has been less than 102 people registered in Finland with this name. Less than 10 males in total and less than 92 females in total. On the other hand, if you were to search Emma or Olivia, you’d get much higher numbers as those names are very popular in recent years.

heather
My dad says they are calling her Bunny, because she was born on Easter, just like him all those years ago.

*****

Looking back, it was nice to have a doula. We only met twice before Tadbit was born, the morning/day of delivery and we should meet at least once more in the next week or so. I really enjoyed talking things out with her about Paxlet’s delivery and what I hoped for Tadbit’s delivery. During delivery, she got me water, gave me a hairband (from her own hair!), tried to remind me to breathe and lower my tone of noise and after she took pictures. However. as both births were quite similar, in duration and events, I sort of feel like there really wasn’t much for her to do. Yes, it was nice to know that if Mr Siili couldn’t have made it, for one reason or another, she would have been there. And if something had gone different or taken longer, she would have been there for me. I am still glad I reached out and got a response.

The same sort of went for Mr Siili too. There wasn’t all that much for him to do at the hospital. He did drive me there! However, I did tell him which route to take and where to make turns.) He also held my hand when I held it out to him, talked to me when I said or asked something and got me some water too. He also went to rescue Paxlet after the birth.

*****

I say rescue Paxlet in a loose and not so urgent way. My friend who took care of Paxlet for us did a great job and he was safe the entire time. She took him to a reptile show (lots of dead-stuffed animals), bought him a stuffed toy crocodile, fed him lots of chocolate Easter eggs and ice cream. She didn’t feed him lunch and Mr Siili wasn’t able to get him lunch until around 2pm (way past normal time). The whole day’s events also resulted in a failed attempt at a nap. Paxlet was beyond hyper and out of control. He truly couldn’t control himself physically or mentally. But Paxlet did fall asleep promptly at bed time. With a few sniffles from missing me.

Potato bread

Paxlet and I made potato bread / perunarieska today. He poured everything into the bowl. He mixed things up. And he ate lots of the end result.
potbread

*****

This bread recipe is one of my favorites! It takes a bit of time, but the end results are so yummy. Especially when you put a bit of butter and cheese on them when they come out of the oven. Yum!

You can find the recipe for potato bread here. It’s the 3rd post I wrote on this blog.

Tadbit’s birth story

I wrote in one of my last weekly updates that I had hoped to have a calm, peaceful and quite birth…Who was I kidding? I am so not that type of person. *big big grin*

*****

I went to bed on Saturday night (April 4th) just like on any other night. However, at 00:50 am Sunday morning I woke to a very wet and leaky feeling between my legs. I quickly jumped out of bed and got in the bathroom where my waters continued to come out. Once I got myself and the bed a bit cleaned up, I went downstairs to tell Mr Siili that it had begun. He promptly turned off his computer and came to bed in hopes of getting a bit of shut eye before things really started. Mr Siili and I were too full of excitement, nervous energy and anticipation to easily fall asleep. Mr Siili then asked/reminded me about calling the hospital to give them a head’s up. The Ob/Gyn phone services number said to come in at 11:00 am the next morning it nothing changed. I also messaged my friend who would come watch Paxlet and the doula.

Mr Siili and I managed to get some sleep. Even Paxlet slept the entire night through without a single wake up! I did have a few contractions during the night that were painful enough to wake me, but I was able to breathe through them easily enough. When Paxlet did wake at 6:40, he came to snuggle with us for a bit. I had a couple of contractions during that time and at least one of them left me breathless and unable to move during it.

Around 7 – 7:30, Paxlet and I went downstairs and I got him breakfast. All the while having a few more painful contractions. I took to rocking my hips back and forth while leaning on the kitchen counter. I tried not to growl or moan too much and just breathe through a slack-jawed mouth. I made enough noise though for Paxlet to be able to copy me. LOL

I debated on when to “bother” my friend to come watch Paxlet. I eventually called her at 7:53, asking her to come over. (Mr Siili said I should have called her much earlier!) I then updated the doula and she said she would head to our house too. While Mr Siili took a quick shower, I tried getting last minute things ready (pick up something here, put something away there) and Mr Siili got a bit frustrated with me and told me to get ready to leave for the hospital, not play around! Upon Mr Siili and the doula’s suggestion, I thought to take a shower to see if it would help ease some of the pain. It didn’t help one bit. I got in and out of the shower quickly, as it just wasn’t relaxing.

Even though the contractions were coming more often and getting quite painful, I thought I had a bit more time. By 8:20 the contractions were intense and I was ready to head to the hospital. I told both my friend and the doula that there was a change in plans and to meet us at the hospital instead. Mr Siili got Paxlet dressed and out the door, I wasn’t far behind them. We left home at 8:47 according to the car clock. (That was roughly the same time as with Paxlet’s birth.)
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During the approximate 10 minute car ride my contractions slowed down to every 5-6 minutes, but still painful when they came. When we arrived at the hospital, my friend was there waiting for us. Mr Siili and Paxlet went to park our car and my friend waited with me in front of the hospital entryway through a contraction before helping me into the hospital when I could move. I got signed in and had another contraction that wouldn’t let me move from there to the assessment area. Once I got to the assessment area, I told my friend to go find Paxlet and gave her a few last minute instructions (soup in the freezer, nap around noon-ish if you can manage and I gave her a key to our house). It was 9:03 when the midwife at the assessment area checked me in.

I was shown to a curtained off “room” and given a hospital gown to change into. In between contractions, growling, moaning and rocking, I finally managed to get into the gown. However, I think the midwife had to help me get my pants and undies off. I heard Mr Siili’s voice outside the assessment area telling a midwife he was there with/for me (men are not allowed into this area because there are potentially several women being monitored and in various stages of undress in the curtained areas). The midwife wanted me to lay on the bed so that she could see how dilated I was. For the life (or death) of me, I didn’t want to lay on my back, anywhere. I eventually made it up on the bed and the midwife announced I was 6 cm dilated. As soon as the midwife was done checking me and I wasn’t contracting, I hoped (yes, hoped) off the bed as fast as I could. Soon after that the doula showed up.

Can I have some water please?

When the midwife was stepped out of my cubicle for a second, I had the urge to pee, but there was no way I could move during a contraction, so I put the bed protection sheet/mat-thing on the floor between my legs, just in case. I am sure I peed or maybe leaked waters into the pad they gave me to wear. The midwife came back and wanted me to walk upstairs to the delivery room. I got two steps away from the bed, started to have another contraction and moved back to the bed to hold on to it. I was not leaving the bed! I was brought a wheelchair, where I tucked one leg underneath me and sat on that. It was a slightly “standing” position that felt a bit more comfortable than sitting normally. I didn’t really think about what I did, I just did it.

I was thirsty!

I vaguely remember being wheeled out into the hall, with Mr Siili joining us (midwife, doula and myself). We went in an elevator and up a floor or two. Once we left the elevator, we stopped for a sec outside of it for a second. I have no idea why. During that time though, I gave my headband to Mr Siili and asked for a hair band. The doula was nice enough to give me hers. :) I had a few more contractions on the way up to the delivery room.

This is where things start getting a bit blurry and confused for me.

Once in the delivery room, I had to wait for a contraction to stop before I could get off the wheel chair. During this time, the assessment midwife called for the midwife who would help me deliver Tadbit and the assessment midwife left the room. I was in quite a bit a lot of pain during contractions, so I don’t remember the name of the new midwife and especially not her face. I couldn’t focus on anything outside of the pain inside me. The new midwife heard me speaking English to Mr Siili and the doula. She said, in English, that her English wasn’t so good, but she could try. I replied to her, in Finnish, that I understand Finnish, but that I don’t know which language I will speak in. (Basically, if I was in pain, it was English. If I wasn’t in so much pain and had a second to think clearly, I could form thoughts in Finnish.) The midwife’s English was perfectly fine.

I had another contraction standing by and leaning onto the bed. I still felt like I needed to go pee, which is where I headed as soon as the current contraction stopped. I had another contraction on the toilet! When I came back from the bathroom, the midwife wanted to monitor the baby for a second. In order to do that, she wanted me to get on the bed. No way was I getting on the bed!!! Instead it was asked that I go to the other side of the bed so she could put the monitor around me as I stood there. I eventually got there.

I needed more water!

When the contractions were happening, I tried to rock my hips back and forth, but it hurt so bad! Instead I found myself leaning more on my left leg/hip and sort of rocking in that position. And because of the way I was standing, the midwife wasn’t able to put the monitor on me. She asked if I could get on the bed on my hands and knees and she would try a different monitor (clip on the baby’s head and something on my thigh. I had this last time). I managed to get on the bed in between contractions and after a painful try or two she got it on (I think). I immediately hopped off the bed again, to stand on the monitoring wire for a sec.

The bed was quite low and I was really having to lean over onto it. The midwife said it could be raised up and pillows put under me so I can lean on it more comfortably. The doula asked if that is what I wanted and I couldn’t answer her. I think I shrugged, said “yes, no, I don’t know”. It was raised anyway. The doula reminded me a few times to loosen my jaw and try to growl/moan at a lower sound (more in the cow moo’ing range instead of a scream/yell), as that would help lessen the tension in my body. I tried to do what she said, but sometimes you can’t quite control what is happening.

I was insanely thirsty! I needed and wanted water! And more water!

Oh, my goodness, I need to push!!! (But I didn’t want to!) The midwife said she couldn’t allow me to push until she checked my cervix to make sure I was fully dilated and that there was no “lip” left. But I couldn’t get on the bed! And I was not going to be on my back. In the end, I did crawl up on the bed to lay there long enough for her to check me: fully dilated and ready to push! (Ouch!) I turned over onto all fours as quick as I could. The doula raised the back of the bed up and I leaned over that. More water please! I asked what time was it? 9:40 was the reply.

When contractions came, not too often, but powerful and long, I pushed. Or at least I tried to push. (But it hurt! It was going to hurt a lot more before it wouldn’t hurt anymore.) So while I did push during the contractions, I sort of wimped out and only made a token and weak effort at pushing sometimes. The first push I lowered my bum to the bed and the midwife said I couldn’t do that as there wasn’t room for her to see or do anything. After 4-5 contractions where I pushed (How can I do this again?!) and the baby did move down, I still wasn’t getting Tadbit out. The midwife suggested I change positions. I agreed and ended up on my left side with my right leg held up towards my shoulder.

With the next contraction, I pushed! I pushed with all my might and then I screamed bloody murder. I took a breath, pushed again and screamed again. (O! M! G! the ring of fire #@!$%&¤ hurts!) Another deep breath, push and scream the hospital down. But, the head came out. I was told to turn onto my back. With the next contraction I pushed the rest of my baby out at 10:14 am. It’s a girl!! And then I draped my right hand over my eyes and cried “That hurt! Oh my god, that hurt!”

*****

I got an injection to help deliver the placenta. Mr Siili didn’t want to cut the cord. And our Baby girl was laid on me for some skin to skin time. The doula took some pictures for us. :) We were left alone, with doula for a bit until she went home shortly after, to bond and snuggle with Tadbit. Eventually the midwife came back in weighed (3885 g / 8,5 lbs) and measured (50 cm / 19,7 in) Tadbit, helped Mr Siili get her dressed and I took a shower. Some food was brought for me, Mr Siili didn’t want anything.

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From the time my waters broke until I delivered Tadbit, it took 9 hours and 24 minutes (00:50 – 10:14).
Active labor was 2 hours and 38 minutes:
early/latent labor was 2 hours 5 minutes,
pushing was 24 minutes, and
delivery of the placenta was 9 minutes

I only had a first degree tear needing two stitches. I also only lost 300 g (just over a cup) of blood (up to 500 g is normal).

*****

Eleven days on and all is well. Stitches are healing, swelling is gone and I’m losing weight. I hate bleeding and needing to wear pads (they cause discomfort in my lady bits area from lack of air and the blood on the skin), but there is nothing special to report.

Tadbit is eating like a champ. I think all signs of jaundice are gone. She sleeps well and even in 3-4 hours stretches at night! We had her first neuvola appointment yesterday. She is up to 4050 g / 8,9 lbs.

#MicroblogMonday – She Drives Me Crazy

Been thinking about my mom this evening. How do you explain to a little boy who someone is that he has never met and never will?

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It was 1988 when Fine Young Cannibals came out with She Drives Me Crazy. I remember it being on the radio a lot. But there was one afternoon/evening that I remember the most. My mom was driving us kids home from somewhere (the beach? a friends house? we were at least coming from the direction of the beach) and this song came on the radio. My mom and I sang along with it enthusiastically. But what stuck most in my mind was the fact that as we drove past a Bi-Mart, my mom pulled into the parking lot, stopped and bought this album, just because of this song.

It was only years later that I realized this song, for my mom, must have made her think of a woman-friend she liked. For me, I think of this song and remember my mom and the crazy spontaneous thing she did.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

Feeling guilt

It’s been 5 days since Tadbit was born and 3 days that us girls have been home to complete our family of 4. This whole thing: being a family of four, having a newborn in the house and life in general, is surreal. It is very different than before. I’m not even sure I can say it is different than what I had imagined, because I’m not even sure what it was that I had imagined before Tadbit was born.

What I do know is that I love Paxlet with my whole heart! And I love Tadbit with with my whole heart, yet I don’t feel it as strongly as I do with Paxlet at the moment. I think the difference in how I feel my love for the two has to do with the fact that I have a history (2 years and 7 months) with Paxlet and Tadbit’s history is just getting started.

But that’s not where I feel the guilt. The guilt comes from another place.

As I sat in Paxlet’s room last night, with Paxlet on my left leg and Tadbit curled up in my right arm, I sang “Sunshine” to Paxlet. You know, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear how much I love you, so please don’t take my sunshine away.” At least that is how I sing it to him. As I was singing that, I just started crying. And this is where the guilt comes in. I love my boy so much, that I worry that I (we) have screwed up Paxlet. Not screwed him up in his life or the fact that he won’t or will be a good person. I worry that maybe he should have stayed an only child. We’ve brought a 2nd child into our lives and who knows if we’ve really thought it through in regards to Paxlet. Does Paxlet know how much I/we love him?

I know most of this has to do with my hormones crashing post pregnancy (I remember it well with Paxlet), but man, I love my boy and girl. I just want what is best for them and to be the best parent I can be.