We have someone very special to introduce to you today! 🙂 If you follow me on Instagram or on my blog’s Facebook page, then you’ve already met him, but I’m especially excited about today’s blog post because it covers even more than that!
First things first: meet our baby boy, Soren Dietrich Olson!
Soren was born on Tuesday, November 19, at 8:04 am, weighing 6 lbs. 9 oz. and measuring 20 1/4 inches long. He was born after a fast labor (and less than 30 minutes after we got to the hospital) so it was a crazy morning! (More on that later in this post.) Soren is a handsome, cuddly little guy. We are all doing well and Sophie sure loves her ‘baby brudder!’ Praising God for this gift.
Soren’s Birth Story
I had a feeling that Soren would come both early and quickly…and that’s exactly what happened! My due date was November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. He was born on Tuesday, November 19, so not super early, but still!! We are glad he joined us when he did. 🙂
On Monday that week, the day before he was born, my body was just begging me to take a nap. I wasn’t taking daily naps by the end of pregnancy (I was usually busy nesting or doing freezer meal prep!), but for some reason, I was extra tired and decided to sleep! I took a good, long nap while Sophie was asleep. When nap time was over, we cuddled together in bed for a while – it was such a sweet time and I’ll always remember that we got those special Mama/Sophie moments the day before Soren came. She got to lay her hand on my stomach and feel baby brother kicking. We giggled about it and snuggled in the late afternoon sunshine, cracking the window open to listen to the neighborhood church bells. 🙂
Tuesday morning (Nov. 19) came. I woke up at 5:40 am, finding myself breathing through some more painful contractions. Bjorn woke up then, too. I vaguely knew I had had several(?) contractions throughout the night but I hadn’t really woken up. (I like my sleep, ha!) As we got up for the day and started to get ready, Bjorn told me that they were about 7 minutes apart. That didn’t seem like too big of a deal, and I didn’t know if it was just false labor or really strong Braxton Hicks, so it’s not like we were wanting to rush to the hospital. If anything, I thought maybe the baby would come that night? I decided to just get going on my day and even though contractions were painful, I ran downstairs and in between contractions, I was rushing around trying to gather up trash because it was garbage day! It was goofy how determined I was to get our trash out to the curb. Bjorn stopped me. 🙂
Side note: the reason I was so casual about these contractions is that I didn’t go into labor naturally with Sophie, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect this time. I had experienced some really intense contractions with Sophie, but that was a different situation so I didn’t know if these would feel the same – with Sophie it was a pitocin-induced labor and the most painful part of it for me was right before pushing… So, this time around, I was just trying to gauge if these really were “unbearable” contractions or not!
Bjorn had a Knowledge Bowl meet (he’s the coach) that was supposed to be an hour away that day. I didn’t want to hold him back from that, since I didn’t know if this was true labor, but he decided he shouldn’t go. (In retrospect, boy, are we glad he didn’t go!) He had a substitute teacher scheduled at school already because of the meet that day. But as we got closer to 6:30 am, we thought he should go get things in order at school in case he had to be gone longer than just that day… We called Bjorn’s sister Signe and she agreed to come over to just be with me and Sophie, just in case. We weren’t super worried about how fast things were going; we just thought it’d be a reassurance to have her hang out with me that day.
After Bjorn left for school, Sophie was still asleep and I did my makeup, breathing through contractions. I wasn’t really timing them. I then curled my hair for the day and kept having to sit down on the edge of the bed to get through the contractions in between curls!
Bjorn’s sister arrived around 7 am and already I was realizing that we may be a lot further along into labor than I had thought! I made it downstairs but the second she walked in the door, I said, “We have to go to the hospital!” Signe was incredible. She sprung into action and grabbed our hospital bags and the diaper bag, and got Sophie out of bed, all while I sat through a few more contractions on the couch. They felt quite close together to me by that point! Signe got us into our pickup truck and scraped the ice off the windshield, while I called the hospital and told them I thought I was in labor and to please tell my doctor we’re coming now!
Signe got us safely and quickly to the hospital, which is about 15 minutes away from where we live. Contractions were literally between 1 and 3 minutes apart while we were going down the highway!! I could barely talk; as Signe said, I was in the zone! We arrived at about 7:30 am and someone helped wheel me into the emergency room/hospital entrance from the truck. When Signe and Sophie got into the hospital room themselves, I gave Sophie a big kiss and told her mama loves her so much! Then they left, I got checked, I was at a 10(!!!!), and it was go time. Incredible! I had somehow labored entirely at home (and a few minutes in the truck, haha).
Bjorn arrived soon – thankfully, he was in the same town, letting the principal know that I was in labor! He was quickly sent over to the hospital. 🙂 My doctor got there on time, too. I wanted an epidural this time around (because with Sophie, I got one only at 9.5 cm and I was determined to ask for one earlier on this time). Nice try, Hannah – because when I told them I wanted one this time, their only response was that “You’re so strong, Hannah! You can do this!” (Haha! That’s how I knew I wasn’t going to get an epidural!) There was no time for any pain meds. I pushed for 15-20 minutes and Soren was born at 8:04 am!
He didn’t cry right away when he was born, so he was whisked aside for some extra check-ups and to get fluid sucked from his lungs, as well as some extra oxygen. We got a bit worried, but soon enough, his vitals were great. He also had a huge bruise on his head from when they had to use the vacuum during birth (because his oxygen dipped a little right then so they wanted to guide things along). Soren was posterior, which means he was face-up as opposed to face-down like a more typical/normal presentation. It was definitely difficult and very intense, but I did it!
I am honestly so thankful for how everything went. My major prayer for birth this time around was that it would be empowering – and it really was! There’s nothing like pregnancy and childbirth (and breastfeeding!) to make you really respect your body and what it can do! I’m even grateful that my labor went so quickly – only about 2.5 hours! I’d prefer that over an extra long labor. A friend of mine who’s a doctor told me it’s probably a good thing Soren was posterior; otherwise he could’ve been born even faster! Makes me wonder if we’d have made it to the hospital on time. Yikes!
God answered a lot of prayers surrounding the whole situation. With Soren born 10 days early, that allowed us to have a much less stressful Thanksgiving break – we were able to just spend time with our newborn and family, instead of trying to be on “baby watch” while hanging out with relatives, etc. Additionally, Bjorn had army drill the weekend after Soren was born. My mom stayed with Sophie and Soren and me, so it worked out perfectly. Had Soren not been born yet, and had I gone into labor that weekend, there’s no way Bjorn would’ve made it back home for the birth in time. And Bjorn is an awesome help/coach for me during labor and birth – so glad he was there!
Finally, another answered prayer was the fact that my doctor was able to be there! He was going to be out of town the whole week of Thanksgiving, and while I definitely liked the other doctor who’d be on call over Soren’s due date, it was a blessing to have the doctor deliver Soren who’d been my doctor throughout this whole pregnancy.
I’m also really thankful for how I’ve been feeling postpartum. Even right after birth, I felt calm, happy, and strong. Of course, recovery is never super fun (stitches, etc.) but overall I have been doing so well. After having Sophie, I felt more fragile/in pain/exhausted, but this time around, God has answered my prayers that I would be able to rise to the occasion and really feel strong and “with-it.” It’s such a blessing because I am chasing a toddler around during the day, too. (I say all of this not to brag or anything, but because it’s answered prayer and also because I want to offer hope to other moms; even if your first birth experience left you feeling less than capable/strong or it was just plain traumatizing, that doesn’t mean that every time will be like that. Every birth is totally different!)
Soren has been doing well. He was 6 lbs. 9 oz. when he was born (the exact weight Bjorn was at birth, too!). He was less than that when we left the hospital, since babies do tend to lose weight initially, but we wanted to get that back up. I brought him in last week (at 2 weeks old) to do an optional weigh-in, just to see, and he was 7 lbs. 6 oz.! Yay! Breastfeeding has been going well this time around. I did nurse Sophie for 14 months and my hope is to nurse Soren for about a year at least. And it’s been less painful this time than it was initially with Sophie! There are a lot of benefits to being a “second time parent” as opposed to being a brand-new parent; although Soren is definitely a different person from Sophie, I have less of that first-time parent anxiety. I have a lot more tricks up my sleeve, I have favorite products to try, and I know not to panic and Google everything. 🙂 Most of all, I have some added confidence this time around. God has answered a lot of prayers and I am daily thankful for that. It’s really, really special to be a first-time parent – we loved so much of those “firsts” with Sophie – but I am grateful to be a second time parent this time. 🙂
Like I mentioned at the start of this post, his full name is Soren Dietrich. I wanted to explain a little bit as to why and how we chose this name! (I looove baby names and hearing why people chose the names they did, so hopefully you enjoy reading about our choice, too!)
We picked the name Soren Dietrich a long time ago! (Like back in 2016 or 2017!) It is actually the exact name Sophie would’ve been given had she been a boy. It’s just been our favorite boy name and we never strayed from wanting to use it!
If you’ve been following along with this blog or with our family for a long time, then you may remember that we like to choose Scandinavian names for our children’s first names. Soren isn’t a family name, but it is a nod to Bjorn’s heritage! We’re not really planning on using a nickname for Soren; just Soren is great! I first heard Soren as someone’s kid’s name on a blog I followed like 8 years ago, and it’s stuck in my head ever since. And Bjorn loved the name right away when he first heard it, too. Soren is a strong name, unique, and not too hard to pronounce. And while many baby name books share that its definition is “stern,” there are a couple other meanings that we also love: Soren also means “sun ray” or “brightest star.” This is special because our daughter’s given name, Solveig, means “way of the sun” or “in the path of the sun.” It’s kind of cool that both our kids’ names have to do with light/the sun! They sure light up our life! (Cheesy, I know, but it’s true!) 🙂
We love the alliteration as well! Bjorn and I have enjoyed dreaming about our future life with our kids “Sophie & Soren” ever since we found out we were having a boy!
RELATED READING: if you want to hear how we chose Sophie’s full name, here’s The Story Behind Solveig’s Name
As far as his middle name goes, we wanted to choose a middle name that pointed to my heritage. I’m primarily German, so we went with a German middle name for our son. While there are several other German names we like, the name Dietrich stuck out to us as such a nice sounding name that went really well with Soren. (The name Dietrich has been on my personal “baby name list” for many years!) It’s not a family name either, but a great way to honor/represent my side of the family. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is also a well-known German pastor and theologian with influential Christian writings, so that’s another neat aspect of choosing the name Dietrich.
There you have it! I’m glad I was finally able to sit down and share a bit about Soren and his name with you! We love our little guy so much. He’s got such a sweet personality and we feel so blessed to have the gift of loving him and raising him!