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Dear Naia…an Unexpected Birth Story

Dear Naia,

The week before you were born, my friend Julien was visiting from Canada, and your Auntie Bora had just moved out of our house, and into her own apartment. Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving had just passed, and we’d spent a glorious early autumn 4 day weekend wandering around Seoul’s blissfully empty streets.

Almost 34 weeks pregnant and wandering around Seoul on a gorgeous autumn day

Almost 34 weeks pregnant and wandering around Seoul on a gorgeous autumn day

We had no inkling that you were planning an early arrival. We foolishly thought we had 6 weeks left to prepare our house, but as it turned out, we didn’t have any time at all.

The week before you were born, I started bleeding. It wasn’t much, but bleeding in the third trimester of pregnancy is never a great sign, so we headed over to Samsung Hospital’s Emergency Department to get checked out. Fortunately, Korea’s efficiency even works in places where you don’t expect it to, and I was admitted, checked out and discharged all within the space of 2 hours.

Our doctor wanted to admit me into the hospital for 24 – 48 hours of observation, but I told her that we lived only 10 minutes away, and would come back if the bleeding increased. Well, little Naia, the bleeding didn’t increase, but it also didn’t go away, so at our next scheduled appointment, 2 days later, the doctor insisted that I be admitted into the hospital.

I spent a lot of time staring at this curtain while under observation

I spent a lot of time staring at this curtain while under observation

I guess I was a little bit in denial because I still had not even considered the possibility that you might make an early debut into the world. In fact, I spent my 3 days of observation in the hospital, just waiting to get out!

I was diagnosed with partial placenta previa, where the placenta sits too low in the uterus and covers part of the cervix. It does have risks, but over the course of 3 days, the bleeding slowed down and stopped. I secretly rejoiced, thinking that I would be discharged the following day.

That was Saturday, October 3rd.

But boy, did you have a surprise for me, because in the middle of the night, my water broke. Unfortunately, I was still in denial. You see, it was 6 weeks too early, and your daddy and I hadn’t prepared a thing for your arrival. You had no name, nowhere to sleep and nothing to wear.

I must admit that I simply went back to sleep. The next morning, I mentioned it to a nurse, and all hell broke loose. I was rushed into 2 ultrasounds, and a battery of tests I didn’t understand.

The verdict: my amniotic sac had ruptured.

I was put under 24 hour observation and scheduled for an emergency C-section, the following day.

And on Monday, October 5th at 8:48 in the morning, you were unexpectedly born at 34 weeks and 2 days. You were a little skinny and light, but healthy and strong. You cried right away, and though I didn’t really get to see you for more than 5 minutes before the doctors whisked you off for more observation, you didn’t spend one second in an incubator or need feeding through an IV.

After 24 hours, the nurses wheeled you into my room, and we began to get to know each other. I confess that it was a bit strange to have you there. I wasn’t scared or nervous, but it was definitely weird to suddenly be responsible for another life.

One moment you weren’t there, and in the next, you suddenly were.

And though you arrived much, much earlier than we expected, your daddy and I have fallen completely and totally in love with you. You are perfect.

PS: I’m sorry you had to sleep in a big tupperware box, but it’s the best we could do on such short notice…

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51 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lemonpath #

    Congratulations, I love the Tupperware Box

    October 22, 2015
  2. Aaaaah, lovely. Welcome Naia! What a beautiful name. Shelley, this story gave me tingles and happy tears. Best wishes to you all.

    October 22, 2015
    • Thanks for your wishes Johanne! Her early arrival was definitely a shocker, but she’s such a sweet baby. We feel very very blessed that she came out strong and healthy.

      October 24, 2015
  3. She’s adorable! Congrats on your new bundle of joy!

    October 22, 2015
  4. Urska #

    Ohh <3. Congratulations!

    October 22, 2015
  5. Congratulations!!!!!!

    October 22, 2015
  6. judith95 #

    I imagine when she is able to read this love letter alone. I’m also fond of you, Naia.

    October 22, 2015
  7. Congratulations! As long as everything is fine with the baby there is nothing wrong with an early birth. Just thinking that our Nathan was two weeks overdue…
    The box looks great, no worries there as in Finland the government gives a baby package and the box with which everything is sent is a baby bed for the first few weeks 🙂

    October 22, 2015
    • Yes! I’ve read about the box in Finland…it seems very practical to me. We’re so happy that Naia came out healthy and strong, because it could easily have been the opposite. She still has a bit of weight to gain, but so far, so good. Woah! 2 weeks late though. Your poor wife must’ve been suffering…

      October 24, 2015
      • Well, it was not so much suffering for her…she was more annoyed that he didnt want to leave :p
        The box is really useful in Finland, especially because you get everything you need for the first 4-6 weeks and get an idea what to buy

        October 25, 2015
        • I think the box in Finland is total genius! I wish every country would have something like that…it’s already so overwhelming healing from delivery or surgery AND on top of that learning how to be a parent…that box must be so helpful!!

          October 26, 2015
          • It is really grea to have something like that. Sadly we wont get another box anymore as we live in Germany 😦

            October 26, 2015
  8. Babies always find ways to surprise us. 🙂 Congratulations!

    October 22, 2015
  9. Pretty name and daughter! I’m sure you guys had lots of quick catch-up to do with baby stuff, but maybe it’s good? Less time to “stress” over crib and stroller and all those baby-thing decisions! Enjoy her!

    October 22, 2015
    • You’re totally right! We literally had no time to dawdle over decisions, which we totally would’ve otherwise. Instead we’ve gone on a mad buying spree and now, we’ve got pretty much everything we need. It’s been a major crash course in what you need for a newborn. 🙂 And the best part I think, is that we’ve only bought what we need and nothing extra, which I’m sure we would’ve otherwise…

      October 24, 2015
  10. Your tupperware box is awesome. It’s like the box the give new moms in Finland! Perfect.

    October 22, 2015
    • Haha thanks! It’s doing the trick for now, but we definitely want to get her out of the plastic soon. She doesn’t seem to mind it though. 🙂

      October 24, 2015
  11. Nina #

    Congratulations Shelly and Agri, and welcome to the world Naia. Thank you for sharing the birth story, very happy everything turned out for the best. Can’t wait to meet the little one! Lots of love xx

    October 22, 2015
    • Thank youuu Nina!!!! 😀 We were really lucky with how everything turned out, because it could’ve easily gone the other way. Hoping we’ll meet again soon!! ❤

      October 24, 2015
  12. Congratulations! She is gorgeous!

    October 22, 2015
    • Thanks Cherrie! She’s so easy and sweet-tempered, we’re counting our lucky stars. Let’s hope it lasts… 😉

      October 24, 2015
  13. Congratulations!! It’s great that you are both healthy and happy. They say that you are never really prepared for baby anyway, even when they come late, so at least you got to meet Naia early. 😀 It’s a beautiful name (in fact I’ve been considering it for my own little one for a while now!) and it looks as if it matches her so well. Enjoy this time together, before she gets too big for the box!

    October 23, 2015
    • Thanks Rosanna! But, but, you’re pregnant??!! If so, congrats! When are you due? Lol, I hope yours stays in for the full-term instead of making an early appearance. :p It took us so long to decide on a name, and when she was first born, we weren’t too sure, it fit her, but she’s so chilled out and relaxed that in the end Naia totally seemed to fit. I love the meaning of the name – to flow, or dolphin lol, depending on who you ask!

      October 24, 2015
      • Yes, end of March! I was a whole month early myself, so I’m sort of expecting the same might happen to me though I’m hoping not (especially if winter is as bad here in Boston as it was last year!). Since we’re not finding out the sex, we’ll need at least a couple of names picked out until we get to meet the baby and decide then.

        October 26, 2015
  14. Congratulations to you both, Shelley! Little Naia is so adorable and looks very content in her makeshift crib. You must be overjoyed. 🙂

    October 23, 2015
    • Thank you! She must be very happy in that crib, cuz she truly “sleeps like a baby,” which you’re right, makes us new parents, extremely overjoyed. 😉

      October 24, 2015
  15. Oh my goodness! I am so glad that you had such wonderful care! Naia is absolutely beautiful and the picture of the three of you is so amazing! Congrats over and over. 🙂

    October 23, 2015
    • Aww thanks! 😀 Haha, I was lucky they took such great care of me at the hospital, since I basically resisted everything they wanted me to do. If it’d been up to me, I’d have ben at home the whole time. Thank god I was in the hospital when everything went down!!! 😀

      October 24, 2015
  16. Aw this is so sweet. Congratulations to both of you. 🙂 the little one is so cute 😉

    October 25, 2015
  17. Sha #

    Hugs and kisses to Naia, such a pretty name! Did you give her a korean name as well? Hope she has been good to you all these while! 🙂

    November 9, 2015
    • Thanks Sha! She’s such a cutie so far, lol, except for when she has gas. Haha. Yes, my parents gave her a Korean name – 다영 – can you read it? 🙂

      November 9, 2015
      • Sha #

        Yes! That is a sweet name too! Awww, babies always seem so sweet and cute when they are small…haha, have you managed to get out of the house and get some fresh air? My friends are always desperate for adult conversations whenever they have a newborn baby at home..haha…:)

        November 9, 2015
  18. Congratulations to both of you! Your bundle of joy is adorable! 🙂 Naia has a mind of her own and she has shown that quite early in her life.

    November 10, 2015
    • Aww thanks so much! Lol…if she’s anything like her father and I, she’ll definitely knows what she wants, and when. Lord help us… :p

      November 11, 2015
  19. OK so Oct 21 was the last time I did a post and apparently I missed a lot! Congrats on the early arrival of the new baby. I just commented on another post thinking the baby would be coming soon. OOps I guess I need to be more on top of things!

    November 25, 2015
    • Haha thanks! She surprised a lot of us, it seems. 😉

      November 26, 2015
      • I read your post and YOU even sounded very surprised. Glad all went well. How is the little one doing now?

        November 29, 2015
        • More like completely in denial. I didn’t even tell the nurses when my water broke, cuz I was like…there’s no way I could be having the baby now. Lol…lucky nothing bad happened from my denial. Hahaha 😀

          She’s great! She caught up in weight and height and is pretty darn strong I think. Hopefully that will continue. 🙂

          December 2, 2015
          • I am so happy she is growing and strong. Good things always happen when we least expect it 😉

            December 4, 2015
  20. Oh my goodness, I’ve been so bust that I missed this! Congratulations on your little one and enjoy your adventures as a threesome xx

    December 26, 2015
    • Thanks Aleney!! It’s been quite a journey so far, but hopefully we’ll be travel-ready soon!! 😀

      December 26, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: October 2015 | Travel-Stained
  2. A 2015 Travel Retrospective | Travel-Stained
  3. Dear Naia: On Your 1st Birthday | Travel-Stained

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