Prêt à Pregnant talks with… Sofashionated by Steffy
Steffy is the women behind the blog Sofashionated covering fashion & lifestyle topics. The blog is dedicated to women in their 20ies to 30ies and anyone who loves fashion and to mix and match the latest trends, the old with the new and dares to be different. Stefanie is originally from Germany but lives in Zurich and welcomed her daughter Emilia last summer. Her pregnancy has been a bumpy ride since she got constructions at 28 weeks. We talked with her about this journey and motherhood so far.
Congratulations with the birth of baby Emilia, how is it going so far?
It is going pretty well. I am really into my new role as a mum and so curious getting to know my baby Emilia every day a little bit more as she s growing so fast.
Your pregnancy was a bumpy ride. You got contractions in week 28. How did you find out?
I discovered that something wasn’t right when I had reached the third trimester of my pregnancy. I had heard before that this was the final countdown and the most exhausting part of the pregnancy which seemed normal since the baby would reach the final growth. So I was prepared for swollen feet and a short breath and keeping it a little bit more easy on my activities, but I was not prepared for what was laying ahead of me!
It all started with a normal checkup at my gynecologist in week 28 and ended in hospital. During the checkup my gynecologist discovered a shortening of the cervix. The shortening is normal until 2,5cm but I was already at 2,3cm. Because of that my gynecologist also wanted to check my belly for contractions with a cardiograph where they check on the baby’s heart sound and contractions. Unfortunately, the cardiograph measured contractions which already came and went away on a regular base so my gynecologist said that I had to go to hospital immediately.
How did you experience this scary time?
I was shocked and devastated and not ready to lay in hospital and not being able to move at all. However, I tried to make the best out of it because in the end all that mattered my baby and preventing an early birth. So I had to stay in hospital in bed for seven weeks! I was given strong medication to keep my body steady, was only allowed to leave the bed to go to the toilet or shower and had to carry a drip with me wherever I went.
You had to lay in bed all day for several weeks. How did you survive these weeks?
The first week in hospital I was mainly sleeping or watching Game of Thrones (finished all episodes in two weeks). However, after more than three weeks in bed besides the physical challenge it became a mental one as well. It was even harder because of the summer season and the sun shining every day so one would prefer to be outside at the lake. The other problem was that I am not the person who is satisfied with watching tv shows all day long and doing nothing, so I really had to remind me every day that I was doing all of this for the baby! And of course the most important was that Emilia stayed inside my belly as long as possible, because every day longer counted! I was therefore even more happy that besides my lovely husband my mom came to Zurich to support me. She visited me every day for a few hours and gave me so much strength and gave me a positive mind.
How did you keep yourself ‘busy’ and focused?
I continued to do Instagram stories, because I wanted to share this experience with my followers. When this happened to me I was so surprised that all of a sudden a lot of people told me that they had faced similar experiences. To me it seemed like a topic nobody would talk about so I wanted to change that. During that time I also received a lovely collaboration request from Item 6 for their maternity pants which I happily joined and even took pictures when I was allowed to go outside in a wheelchair once a week. I also moved my baby shower that was already planned to the hospital which was lots of fun and organizing everything with my mom kept me a little busy as well.
Being pregnant comes with a lot of stress especially with complications like yours. How did you control this stress while being in the hospital for such a long time?
I really tried to stay rested and downloaded a meditation app that helped me to calm down. I also tried to get a quick nap once a day for at least 20 minutes (little did I know that from Emilia’s birth on my sleeping behavior would change drastically).
How did you feel when you finally reached 34 weeks of pregnancy?
Week 34 was the big goal to reach! I was beyond happy when that big day came. That day the doctors would lower down the medication every day a little until I could be without and it was going so good that I was prepared to go home again before giving birth.
Little Emilia was born 5 weeks early. How did the delivery go?
I had already packed all my stuff and was feeling quite good that day with some easy contractions that were normal and that I had felt from week 32 every day. Around the afternoon the pain of the contractions got a little heavier. When Niko arrived at 4.30pm I had the feeling that something was different than normally and felt a little bit of anxiety. When Niko arrived he could tell by my looks that something wasn’t ok and different as usually. An hour later the contractions had turned into cramps that started to get heavier any minute. I took everything possible from the midwifes starting with tea, warm wraps around the belly and up to pain killers but nothing helped. At 6.30pm they decided to bring me down into the labor room. I couldn’t believe that this was happening as I was already packed and prepared to finally leave the hospital the next day. Also
When we reached the delivery room I dilated very quick from 6 to 8cm so they broke my water and I started the push phase. When I was in the final push phase, the labor process all of a sudden slowed down a little. The doctor gave me oxygen to make sure that the baby was supplied with enough of it. This was the moment I didn’t care about myself anymore and was willing to do anything just to speed up the birth and to deliver a healthy baby. I guess this was my first move as a mother :). I didn’t feel any pain during this as I was so focused on delivering my baby girl. I just wanted the best for her and I knew that we would have to be fast as she was already in stress.
Shortly after I saw her for the first time! Tears were running down my face and I felt like I could embrace the whole world! This really was the most emotional and intensive feeling I have ever felt in my life! (you can read my detailed birth report here.
For how long did she have to stay in the hospital?
Emilia was born on August 18th 2018! Such a lovely date! After her birthday we had to stay for another whole week in hospital which is not normal for a “normal birth”. However, with Emilia being a premature baby we had to face some challenges in her development and had to fight the jaundice which is normal for babies but can be dangerous for premature babies.
How was it to finally take here home?
When I was told that I was able to leave the hospital after a week of ups and downs I couldn’t help it, but I was crying lots and lots. It felt so surreal to me and after 8 weeks of hospital I couldn’t believe that I was finally able to leave with my baby girl.
Pregnancy mostly goes well, but unfortunately often comes with complications. Do you have any tips for other moms that go through a hard time as well?
Unfortunately, with my situation nobody could tell me the reason for this or what I could have done different. My advice for every mommy to be is to go to the regular checkups (I was supposed to fly to Paris for Haute Couture fashion week two days after when I was at the regular checkup where my gynecologist discovered the complications) and to listen to your body. I felt some contractions before but everyone told me that this was normal so it was good that I went to the gynecologist and rested more from that day on. In the end you should listen to your body and try to leave stress out of your life during pregnancy.
You’re a mom now! How do you experience it so far?
Being a mom is the best feeling I ever experienced in my life! Of course there are ups and downs as well and days where Emilia is crying a lot, doesn’t want to sleep and where I am super tired (with a baby you experience a different level of tiredness that I didn’t even know when I was organizing events as a project lead). However, when Emilia smiles at me all this is forgotten. You also experience a new meaning of love. I believe that it is the deepest and purest love a human can feel that gives you so much and just fulfilled my husband and I.
What are your favorite brands for little Emilia?
That’s really difficult to say as there are lots of beautiful brands for baby girls. I really like the French brands Jacadi, Tartine et Chocolate and petit bateau but the German brand Steif is cute as well. Zara and H&M are also good for basics and a little more affordable as little babies grow so fast! Additionally to the common brands I like to discover small labels on Instagram such as the Swiss brand Nouveauletta.
Could you describe your ultimate mommy me-time moment?
This was going to the hair dresser after 8 weeks of hospital! Will never forget the smell of my hair after a fresh cut and blow dry.
And last but not least… what is your tip for other moms?
Take it easy and don’t stress to much! When I arrived into motherhood I felt that I needed a book telling everything about babies so something like a user manual. In the end every baby is different so you can’t apply all the rules to your baby. So my tip is: you are the mom and you know your baby best. So of course it’s good to take advice or read books but in the end the best is to listen to your gut instincts as a mom.
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