Where do I even begin with this magical story. Could be the Morphine talking, however, I’m going to go with it and carry out these positive feelings and emotions. The last couple months have been so nervewracking that I can’t begin to put into words the feelings, emotions, and thoughts that took over my thoughts and body that became crippling. I tend to jump at any opportunity for change, growth, adventure, and living the unknown. That doesn’t always mean I think through these exciting changes. When my husband came home from work one day and said “would you ever live in Europe for a couple years and rent the house out and come back to California afterwards.” My reply, without putting to much thought into it “why not, what a fun adventure for us as a couple and we as a family.” And that was that. That was the last time we spoke of this European Adventure, until Rasmus came home one day and said he had an interview in London. It was the first time, that a light bulb went off in my head that he was serious about this idea. I thought we were just romanticizing the idea of waking up to fresh pastries and cappuccinos. I started to really ponder this idea as a family. “It could be fun. It is the perfect time, if any, because the age of our son, but I won’t invest to much thought as a lot has to fall into place for us to just up and move our entire life to Europe.
Fast forward to yesterday and I had my son, Theodore Wilder Mencke, via Csection with an all women crew and I wouldn’t change a thing. Leading up to yesterday, I was a little skeptical and felt very negligent as a mother to “choose” to show up in a foreign country, 10 weeks before baby is due, no friends, no support, and the inability to communicate needs to most healthcare workers. It has been a long road mentally in my head. If you can imagine the thoughts, fears, and self doubt that was created and transpired in my head, leading up to this day.
Over the last month, I have seen multiple midwifes, doctors, and nurses; none of the same, different each time. You can imagine the stress that comes along with wondering if they will understand your requests, your questions, or even basic English. Each visit, I would establish repor and a new relationship, that was overcome by self doubt and my inner voice. It didn’t help that health care workers wear shoes without socks, birkenstocks, and perscribe chammomile tea for any illness, abrasion, and medical need that isn’t an obvious answer:). The other day I showed up for my MD appointment and sat in waiting for for 45 minutes, before I began to wonder. Is this the right room? Correct day? Finally I flagged someone down who directed me to a note on the door in Danish, which instructed patients of the new location for all Midwifes. I simply mentioned to the nice lady, “ I don’t speak or read Danish.” She continued to read the note in Danish. I repeated myself again to encourage her to explain in English or send me in the direction of who can. She began reading the letter in Danish again. I was so frustrated and fed up with being in a foreign country that I immediately snapped at her. “If I could read or understand Danish, I wouldnt’ be asking you to translate for me. Please do not continue to Danish. She immediately changed her tune, read in English. I showed up and the midwife sent me away as I was late to my appointment and they wouldn’t have time to see me. Being the emotional pregnant lady that I am, I started crying, said I have arranged childcare, I don’t want to be in the country in the first place, and i will just wait to be seen for my csection. She had me sit down and a collegue came over, hugged me, sympathized with my feelings and listened to the heatrbeat of our beautiful little boy. Crisis overted!..
Fast forward to yesterday. I won’t bore you with details leading up to the Csection unless it is requested by someone. I do have some hilarious moments of me balling in my car, in driveway, listening to Macklemore, trying to pretend I’m a hardcore rapper, while my son is in the back seat asking why mommy is so sad. Wish I had a video of an over weight pregnant lady, her 2 yr old son, and Macklemore just gettin it out of our system before this baby arrives:))
So we show up Thursday morning at 7 am, sit in waiting room, until someone came out to explain procedure in Danish. She hands me an outfit that looks like I can’t decide if I’m going to the spa or the gym and states “this is your uniform for the day.” Uniform?!! Then she proceeded to tell me that I would be in theater one. Theater one?!?!?!?!? Am I being punked???? Is this an episode of call the midwives?!?!? Will there be stadium seating to watch “the performance take place.”
By this point, I’m shitting my pants, regretting every life decision I have ever made that got me to this very point. Can’t they just drug me?! So we wait in a room with my running outfit on, waiting for my name to be called. At 10am, the time had come and we were off for our performance in Theater one.
I was breathing hard, sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat, and realizing I forgot to put deodorant on that morning. They roll me into “Theater one”and I am immediately, pleasantly surprised by all women crew, professionalism, lack of birkenstocks, proper sterilized drapery, pleasant, and soothing personalities.
They thoroughly explained everything in detail, used state of the art equipment, which I hadn’t seen in any other place in hospital, and also explained to me knowing my medical background so I could talk shop with them. I was still deathly afraid of what was about to transpire, but immediately found solace in this moment.
They started with IVs, which mine became infiltrated, but just thought it was painful to have IV’s in and didn’t Want to continue to sound like th American. During our initial meeting with Doctors, prior to surgery, I requested as much narcotics as you can give me, no trainees cutting on me, and a private room. So I already felt like I had a bright red flag on my chart saying “typical AMericans.” By the time I looked over, my hand looked like a softball. Oops! Get it together Cortney!!
SO they replaced IV, Placed Spinal, Foley catheter, and created a sterile environment that separated me from the the rest of the OR. I was still deep breathing, holding hands with Rasmus and asking every person in OR to tell me their entire life story so I don’t think about the massive incision they are about to make!!!
Midway through procedure they began talking in Danish. “Rasmus, what are they say?” “He replies... “Something about your bladder and your uterus being connected.” My reply “WHAT?!?!? What does that mean?? Who’s going to explain this to me?!! Will you please talk in English. We continued on with the procedure, the surgeons reassuring me that we will discuss this at the end and nothing to worry about.
It took a bit longer then usual as they found significant amounts of scar tissue on my bladder that was attached to my uterus. I was surprised to hear this, but tried not to worry. They explained that their will go very slow to ensure no puncture site to the bladder or complication that would potentially need a follow up surgery. After they were done they put blue dye in my bladder to ensure it didn’t end up in my cavity space from a leakage. Everything checked out appropriately and no complications have raised at this point. They had a little difficult time pulling little Teddy Wilder out and had to push a little longer then expected. When they Pulled the little guy out, he immediately began to cry and they placed him on my chest. It is very different then the states because the baby spends the duration of his time on your chest, while covered in vernix caseosa. They don’t weigh baby, measure height, or check vitals until they are completed with closing mom and ready to transfer to Recvoery. Teddy/Wilder weighs 7.6lbs and 20in tall. Everything looked healthy on baby and baby was sent to recvoery with myself. I can’t speak highly enough about the staff at the hospital. It may be a hospital from the 1930’s, but the Doctors, Nurses, and Tech we beyond professional and calming just when we needed it the most.
Teddy/Wilder has been a champ at breastfeeding! They tried to convince me not toswaddle because it is not recommended. We had two loose blankets on Teddy per the nurses request and he cried for 5 hours, until I caved and swaddled him with two blankets. He then proceeded to sleep for the duration of the night with myself waking him to eat. We are trying to embrace the Danish way of doing things, but some things aren’t worth giving up all in the name of fitting in culturally:). I have lost the battle of sleeping outside, so our son will be outside during daytime sleep, but we will cross that bridge when we get there!!
The staff has been amazing, I showered this morning, I have taken Morphine around the clock, and this has already been an easier experience then the last Csection. Sorry for the novel. Just catching up as I have been so tired to post! 💋