Hereditary prematurity


My name is Madelene and I’m 27 years old, currently living on the west coast of Sweden, originally from Swedish archipelago Blekinge and I’m pregnant with our first child. We are due January 6-21, why such a date you might ask? Well, I have hereditary prematurity from my fathers’ side. He was premature when he was born in the 50’s and all three of us siblings have had relation to it when we were born. I’m born in 93 and although my mom was full-term with me, I was 3 weeks early body-wise. So therefor we know that our baby can come even before week 37, even if we’re hoping for week 38-39, just to make sure little one gets the best possible start. Also, it would be nice to start year 2021 of with a baby, wishful thinking, haha. So happy that I get to be a part of this and telling you about our story so far!

Since I was born early my BMI has always been low, I was a small baby and I’ve been skinny all my life, up till now that is, well I’m still skinny but not as before my pregnancy. Now I’ve gained 15 kg during this pregnancy which is amazing! From never being able to pass 49 kg, I’ve gone from 46-61 kg and I’ve never been healthier. I’m 168 cm, for those who want the specifics. Based on the BMI I had when I got pregnant I’ve been one of the mothers who gets called to an extra appointment with a doctor in week 32, they do this so to make sure that the baby is growing as it should and that everything is fine. I was so happy when I got to see that our baby is doing perfect and even though little on is on the smaller side, we are both healthy. She also told me that I should prepare for practice contractions and make sure to keep an eye on them with a timer to make sure that they don’t escalate, so I’ve started packing the bags cause we don’t want that stress if the labor starts earlier then we first thought. I got a practice contraction November 29th, it wasn’t as painful as it was shocking. I was not prepared for the feeling, it only lasted 30-40 seconds, which was good, it’s nice to know how it feels so I have some control of what it is when it comes.

Like I wrote before I am healthier than ever. My vitals have never been perfect until now that I’m pregnant, so this pregnancy proved to be exactly what my body needed to get on the right track health wise, it’s really cool to see what our bodies can do! 

I’ve had a very simple pregnancy. I had no morning sickness or any other “symptoms'', which made me feel weird in the beginning, because all I’ve seen and heard is that everyone gets morning sickness or at least headaches, which I didn’t. It made me feel like I wasn’t normal until my midwife told me that some feel great throughout their pregnancy, that was reassuring. The only things I’ve gotten is tired, especially when baby is growing a lot, like I can eat breakfast and then just need to lay down and take a nap, that has never happened before. Joint pains is something I’ve had since week 26, but I can’t really complain as it’s not that bad, only when I’ve been sleeping in one position for too long, cause then I can barely stand without nearly crying. Now I’ve started to get a bit of swelling around my ancles when I sit or stand for to long, mostly my body warns me when it’s about to happen so I can move around or put my feet up. Never did I think that being pregnant would be this comfortable!

I also suffer from anxiety which made the first 20 weeks scary, because I couldn’t really feel baby move yet and I also got a small bleeding in week 9 which set off my anxiety pretty badly. I made a call to a nurse and was told that it was perfectly normal, apparently you can bleed a little in weeks 9-12 and week 20 when your uterus is expanding , which I did not know before they told me, I wish I did though. I was told to always call because together with pain or a bigger bleed it can be signs of something worse. My anxiety calmed down a lot when I started to feel baby move around in week 20, cause then I knew for sure that little one was alive and there. Bad side is anxiety comes back, especially during baby’s growth spurts, then little one has given this mom some grey hairs, which is not appreciated… Because our baby thinks it’s fun to scare mom by not moving around as it usually does… That’s when the paper with “10 movements in 2 hours” comes in handy, or calling the midwife, cause usually when I do that baby decides to move like crazy. Such a rascal, not even out of the womb yet and is playing tricks! Now baby is so big that I’m able to feel every movement clearly so it’s not that scary anymore.

Since October my milk has come in, which was such a surprise at first! I didn’t know what to do at all, I just felt my knitted sweater got wet and took it off only to see two stains, haha. Called the midwife and was told to leave it and just not touch or I could start producing and triggering my body. It’s pretty good to know that it’s working so far though, as my plan is to breastfeed, I’ve bought a pump and bottles as well just in case they get to sore, if I am too tired sometimes so that my fiancé can take over or if I can’t breastfeed. I’m preparing to breastfeed, but I also feel okay (right now) if I can’t. It’s nothing wrong with bottle-feeding at all and it should never be looked down upon. 

Right now we are doing a lot of reading and watching videos about prophylaxis as that’s what we’ll mainly use during my labor. I’m afraid of needles so epidural is not really something I’m considering, also because I know the labor can get longer and my mind is saying a big “nope” to that one. I’m trying to keep an open mind though cause if for some reason the midwife says that it would help, I could reconsider. They are professionals and I will trust them to know how to help me to deliver safely and so that we get a healthy baby. Been told by my midwife to trust my instincts, if anything feels wrong then I should say so and stand my ground and they will listen and to make sure my fiancé speaks up for me as well. I’m really happy I’ve had such an amazing support system during this pregnancy, my fiancé is one in a million. He’s been so supportive during this whole experience, looking at me with so much love, telling me I’m beautiful and always kissing the belly good morning and goodbye before leaving for work (which wakes baby up but that’s okay, haha, they got a routine going). Couldn’t ask for a better start of motherhood, now we are just waiting for our little one to come and join us, I know it will be a rollercoaster, but we will do it together! 

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