It was your due date today, July 28th and I have had so much anxiety and grief about this day for so long. We know she could have come earlier or later, but today is the day that we were counting down to. Ever since we decided to end the pregnancy, I have pretty much been crying every day at some point since January when we find out about how things were.
Some might think, or have even mistaken, it was a miscarriage. It wasn’t. We had to make the decision on our own, based on what all the tests showed and what the doctors said. It was horrible. We were also pretty far into the pregnancy which made it even worse to end it. It was a birth at the hospital, we held our Peanut and said goodbye to her, and she’s buried in Uppsala now.
This has been and is so hard to handle. All I see is other people being pregnant and having babies. I’m happy for their sake, but it hurts at the same time that we never got to experience it all. It’s also so hard to handle, hearing people talk about their children (which I understand they are and will continue doing and I have to learn to face it and deal with it – but right now I’m super extra sensitive and it’s tough to hear). Everything wasn’t ok with you, Peanut, and I have to keep reminding myself about that and not get stuck in thinking it wasn’t.
Even though I was physically feeling really bad while being pregnant and spent pretty much all of the time in bed/sofa, I miss it terribly and would do anything to be pregnant again. To think that we were three (or four with Zola the cat), to plan what your crib was gonna look and be like, discuss culture differences/similarities, how we wanted to raise you as an American and a Swede – share it all with you. You were gonna be an American and a Swede, have both passports to open up the world to you even more, if you wanted to explore it later on. We had decided to continue to speak English at home and with each other, since society and surroundings are all speaking Swedish. We had talked so much about everything and then it all just crashed.
Your were a tiny little human being who was gonna be named Sonja Ruth Reynolds Eriksson. We love you and forever will keep you in our hearts, little Sonja. 🤍
It’s been almost two months since my last post about our little Peanut, who we sadly had to say goodbye to on February 3rd. The days are moving on with a bunch of work (I have a new job since the beginning of December 2020 since I lost my other job due to the Covid-19 situation in the world back in August the same year) and also some major preparations. Not too long after February 3rd, Liz and I decided we needed a major change in our lives, a fresh new start, and a focus/project during spring as we’re facing a spring and summer far different than we first thought by not expecting a baby anymore.
I’m still crying pretty much every day over our dream that never happened. I’m still being reminded by various milestones, such as entering half way in pregnancy, earlier scheduled times with midwife, classes we were going to participate in, stuff we were going to purchase, preparations in the home we were going to do, and so forth. Not to mention all the strollers, pregnant women, and babies that are out there to see – in real life and on social media. I’m happy for their sake, but it still hurts in my heart and soul, and it’s still pretty hard to deal with to be honest. But it hasn’t been that long since we ended the pregnancy and I can’t be too hard on myself. I’m so thankful for having Liz in my life, the counselor we’re seeing together, and my therapist I’m seeing by myself. Also my amazing parents who are supporting me and keeping up with my freak outs of grief on a regular basis as well. It is what it is. I have to accept it, and try to move on in life even though I feel I don’t have the right to do that since Peanut never got the chance to do so. We don’t regret our decision and we know it was the best for all of us…still, of course, it hurts. So much.
As I wrote earlier, we’re doing some major changes and preparations in life right now. We’re moving this summer to Norrköping. The plan is to get our apartment up for sale in the beginning of May, and it will hopefully be sold by summer (fingers crossed). We’ve been fortunate with great luck and amazing timing to get hold of our almost dream apartment in downtown Norrköping. It’s bigger than the one we own now, has a huge balcony with a great view of the whole city, right in the middle of downtown so close to everything, and there is also some other great convenient stuff we want to have. It feels so good. We need this change. If you know or remember, we actually used to live in Norrköping back from 2010 to 2013. However, it was a pretty dark period in my life where I was really sick with anorexia, so we haven’t been able to really enjoy the city for real. We’re also going to be closer to more family and friends (although it’s really sad to have to leave some other family here in Uppsala – but we’ll come back and visit, for sure). I’m gonna be able to focus and do a lot of more music in my life, which I’m really looking forward to. Singing in a choir again and to taking private singing lessons, are already on my agenda and I’ve booked a voice coach. So exciting! I’m also gonna be able to still see my therapist since she’s also offering online sessions, and has a clinic in Stockholm as well, which I might go to on a regular basis.
As I mentioned earlier I’d gotten a new job back in December, and I was feeling really bad a day back a few weeks ago when I thought I was gonna have to give my notice..but my boss totally offered me to still keep it but to work from Norrköping instead. How perfect!! I love my new job, but my newest client (I work as a UX-designer consultant), is in Stockholm – therefore, it could be some trips to the big city whenever the pandemic is letting us, which isn’t too far from Norrköping.
So all in all. Things are moving on in the midst of the grieving process.
Our journey to you started about two years ago. There were many visits to the hospital, tests to take, conversations to have, and a bunch of excitement. It was hopefully going to happen now, finally!
There were several bumps and roller coaster rides along the way but, in the beginning of November of 2020, it seemed to have worked!!! November 17th. The test day was here and IT WAS POSITIVE – WE WERE PREGNANT 🤍 Our excitement was beyond words and we were flying on clouds of happiness.
Then the adventure of being pregnant started. I felt so nauseous and sick in a way that I could have never imagined. But it was all worth it, I thought. I ended up spending a little more than 3 months in bed or on the sofa (in some ways the pandemic “helped” us since I could work from home then). But, Liz had to take care of everything – from serving me the little I could eat, to cleaning the apartment, doing all the laundry, and she couldn’t even touch me because the touch/movement would make me puke. It was pretty bad, to say the least. But, the excitement kept us going. Peanut, our “working name” for the baby was worth everything 🤍
January 19th, 2021 Mid January came and we (or I, Lina, since Liz was not allowed at the hospital due to the pandemic restrictions – she was fully healthy though) were going to check on Peanut and during the ultrasound we found out everything didn’t quite look ok. We got the worst possible result on the test with a 50/50 percent chance that Peanut wasn’t going to be healthy. The stats were 1:2. One out of 2 babies would be healthy. A 50/50 chance. Not good odds. We were devastated and we started to live in this weird fog of worries. The hospital booked us to do more tests just a couple of days later, and when the day came Liz was finally allowed to be part of it and was able to see Peanut for the first time. I had already been blessed to see Peanut two times at that point (week 8 and 13). Liz cried at how amazing Peanut was. I was nervous about the tests I/we were facing. But it was all beautiful, even though the reason for the tests were all a big chunk of worries.
The test results were going to be reported to us by phone, no matter the result – positive or negative, 2-3 days later (but it was Friday so we had to wait an additional two days). Those waiting days were some of the toughest days in my life. I could not think of anything else. I did not function (even more so with the nausea).
January 26th, 2021 On Tuesday January 26th at 1:18PM the phone rang. It was bad news. Peanut had some chromosome abnormalities and with that there would most likely tag along several other complications. We were now pregnant in week 14 and had entered the second trimester. It was exactly the time (or actually a week before that) that we had planned to announce our pregnancy. It was exactly the time that we had planned to start buying a few things in order to prep for Peanut’s arrival (July 28th, 2021 🤍). But, instead of celebrating and announcing, we were now faced with the decision to end the pregnancy or to go through with it and hope that the baby would be healthy enough to live. What we did know, though, was that Peanut already had some serious health issues. We were in complete shock for days. All of it surreal and crushing. So, we sat with it and just let all of our feelings and thoughts flow for a few days.
February 1st, 2021 We scheduled another appointment with a doctor for further discussions some days later. I talked with a counselor which we are seeing from now on, and then after meeting with a specialist together, Liz and I decided for Peanut’s sake and for our own, that it was the best to end the pregnancy. It was the hardest decision we have ever made and we were devastated. This wasn’t the way we wanted this journey to end. Our dreams were crushed. We started the ending process, and while I’ve been through some tough days in my life, I can say that these days have, by far, been the worst days in our lives. When you’ve come this far in the pregnancy (about to enter week 16), it’s a birthing process at the hospital. The difference is that you don’t get to go home with your baby…
We were terrified and devastated, but, we did it all. Together. We were able to see and hold you, little Peanut, and you were so beautiful in your own little way. And then we said goodbye.
Even though just a short time has passed and we are now deep in our grief, we wanted to share this story to honor our beloved Peanut, our girl who we had several names planned for, and who we were expecting to meet in July this coming summer. Peanut, you will never be forgotten. We love you and we dug deep into our souls to do what we thought was the best for you and for us. 🤍
With great and forever love, Mamma Lina & Mommy Liz
I gotta have some routines when working from home and when not really doing anything specific from day to day. This is something I’ve been working on figuring out from day 1 of quarantine.
I know that some of my readers aren’t from Sweden and I’m not going to describe exactly how the Swedish society is facing the pandemic, although plenty of you have probably heard both good and bad news about the strategy here. Shortly put: we’re not in lockdown and we don’t have strict laws forcing us to stay home. The strategy is based on strong recommendations with daily updates of information from experts. At 2PM there are different agencies/departments who provide the latest information, recommendations, etc. at a televised press conference. And the majority of the population follows these recommendations. In general, we are all listening to what is being said. There have been situations, however, where people have started to relax a tad bit too much, and then there are new rules to follow the next day due to that.
We’ve built our society on freedom with a great portion of individual responsibility. That’s always been a big part of Swedish society. And, now, Sweden has, from pretty much the beginning, been careful about shutting down the whole country since this pandemic most likely will go on for a longer period of time, and a total shutdown will not be possible to keep going month after month – due to economy and people’s mental health. I’m not saying this is the best way of facing the pandemic, nor that it is a bad way – we will all see once this is “over”, or when we have a greater distance from it all. This is just a really short description of how Sweden is doing it.
The day before yesterday was Walpurgis Eve /April 30/”Last of April”, which is a huge celebration day in Uppsala where we live. Hundreds of thousands of people are usually out and about, having picnics in parks, celebrating spring. You can read more about it here. It usually looks like this. (<– Google image search of Last of April in Uppsala). Yesterday the city looked like this (<– The article is in Swedish, but focus on the drones videos/images taken – the differences!!!). People listened to the agencies/departments who were telling us to skip the big celebrations 2020, and that makes my soul and heart warm – we can do this!
Pictures from other years during Last of April celebrations, totally “stolen” from Liz’s blog.
Ok, I wasn’t gonna write a lot about the pandemic and Sweden..hehe. Back to where I started, about my new routines. The past weeks, I do believe since Easter, I’ve lost some “discipline”. I don’t like to have rules, and will never really have any since my life existed with so many rules when I was sick with anorexia. I’m over that kind of mindset, and but I like to focus on what makes me feel good right here and now. Therefore, the routines are not based on something I’m gonna do every day, or push me towards some kind of weird spiral down to a dark place. No, this is all based on how to make me feel good inside out, in these times of pandemic.
Starting on Monday, I’ll only work 80% (and not 100%), but thanks to the government of Sweden, I’ll get paid for 96%. This means, I’ll work every day but will get off earlier which actually feels kind of nice now when spring is here and summer is upon us. The evenings are brighter and warmer.
My idea and plan 07.15 AM Wake up 08.00 AM Start to work 12.00 PM Lunch break with a walk outside 15:30 PM Get off
After work hours, I will start taking power walks for at least 45 min (could also be some easy work out at home instead or combined), come home and take a shower, and then cook dinner. After dinner, I’ll do various activities which could be to play the piano, sketch, clean/organize the storage units in the basement, watch Netflix, bake, get out in the car somewhere (out in nature), puzzle, talk with my parents on FaceTime, Zoom with the whole family (it’s hilarious), clean our home, do laundry, spend time in our backyard, and hang out with my brother and his family or two of our friends. In this way I’ll get some physical activity, fresh air, a structured work day, regular meals, and social activities as well. It’s what I need and feel good about right now.
Most important is to wake up and get a feel of what I need that exact day. Do I need to just lay down on the couch and watch Netflix, I’ll do that, and not feel bad about it. I don’t need guilty feelings hovering over me, or negative thoughts about myself right now. I wanna feel as good as I can in this time.
It’s been a bit crazy lately, where Liz and I have tried to figure out what to do and how to face the pandemic in our everyday lives. We both work from home and have done it for two months soon. We have zero future travel plans ahead to the States or anywhere, which feels surreal since we always go to the States in summer. But unfortunately not this year, which hurts in our souls. I’ve had this “I’m stuck” kind of feeling (who doesn’t, though, right now?) and a huge need for a more “I’m free!” kind of feeling in the midst of everything going on right now in the world. Liz and I love to take road trips, explore unridden, to us, roads, and have just “play-it-by-ear” kinds of plans. To just pack a snack, get in a car and go, is something we’ve missed greatly the past five years in Sweden. BUT as of this week, that has changed, and it feels so good!
Two days ago, we picked up our car, a Toyota CH-R (for those interested), and our lives have truly changed. Not only in owning a car, but in my mind and soul – I nowadays have this kind of freedom-feeling inside of me. Crazy to have to buy a car right now in order to feel that, but..oh, well. Before Luna, which is the car’s name we decided on for her, we’ve been stuck at home since we don’t want to go by bus or train anywhere (and also, where to go right now anyway? Nowhere!). With a car we can now easily get out in nature – drive to the coast and be by the ocean, explore areas we’ve never explored before due to the inconvenience of not having a car and no other transportation possibilities to get to those areas. We’re talking nature spots now since we don’t want to be around any other people than our small click of family (my brother and his family and two friends we’ve been seeing all along during the pandemic.
Luna is freedom to us right now.
Once the pandemic has calmed down and is more under control in the world, we see ourselves going down to my parents and then to continue to the southern part of Sweden and visit my family there and then all of Europe is just a close drive to be under our wheels! Or to drive up to Northern part of Sweden and experience the Midnight sun, visit friends, and just be close to my roots up there (both my grandmas were from southern part of Sweden, my grandad on mom’s side was from up north, and my dad’d dad was from Stockholm – so I have wide range of roots from North to South) Gaaaah, what a dream, and one day, it will be possible, and a little sooner possible with Luna <3
Why Luna? Firstly, because it’s a badass name but too close to Lina so I don’t want to name a possible future baby that. Hehe. Second, it means the moon, which my love has a great special love for, and at the time we bought her, there was a new moon. Perfect, right?
Count on some updates from upcoming road trips. In the beginning just from closer areas here in Uppland (the area Uppsala is in), but once we can move around more, definitely some more longer adventures!
Jag skulle ha varit där nu. Skulle ha haft semester i en vecka och åkt skidor i fjällen. Skulle ha tillbringat tid med min älskade familj som jag inte träffar alltför ofta. Före skidsemestern skulle jag och min fru haft besök av en nära vän från Tyskland som vi inte träffat på länge och innan det skulle vi ha beställt ett nytt kök. Före det, eller månader sedan, hade vi även börjat den största processen i mitt och min frus liv – att blir gravida! Tänka sig att jag precis nämnde det i detta sammanhang först! Nu har jag sagt det till världen, eller ja, till de som faktiskt är här inne och läser och som förstår svenska. Jag kommer skriva mer om vår process framöver för jag/vi vill gärna dela med oss av vår resa att skaffa barn som vi har börjat på och i de dryga två år som gått sedan jag sist bloggade, har jag den senaste tiden saknat en kanal i mitt liv där jag kan uttrycka mig. Jag kommer med andra ord att börja skriva mer här igen, för jag behöver det och då även berätta mer om vår process i att försöka att bli gravida. Men som sagt, det är en annan process och historia. Nu, tillbaka till det jag började skriva om…
Just nu är allt ovisst men jag vet att vi inte ska iväg på vår skidsemester med familjen med start idag. Vår vän från Tyskland kom inte hit och hälsade på oss. Vi har pausat våra köksrenoveringsplaner just nu och avvaktar läget och Reproduktionscentrum utför inga behandlingar i dagsläget och då på obestämd tid framöver. Vi kommer dessutom inte att kunna åka och hälsa på vår familj i USA till sommaren som det ser ut nu och vet inte när vi kommer kunna se dem igen. Den ovissheten är otroligt jobbig, speciellt då vi har en släkting som ligger för döden.
Det är sjukt tråkigt att allt detta sker och jag är ledsen och gråter ibland. Jag HATAR rent ut sagt Covid-19 mendet handlar om hälsan nu – om liv och död.
Jag blir uppriktigt sagt otroligt arg, besviken och ledsen när andra skiter i detta och lever på som om det inte fanns någon annan än de själva här i världen, i Norden, i Sverige, i den stora staden eller det mindre samhället. DET om något har satt sina spår i mig. HUR är det ens möjligt att tänka så egoistiskt just nu?
SNÄLLA, res inte nu. Folhälsomyndighetens rekommendation är att inte resa just nu, vare sig det är till fjällen, din sommarstuga, eller andra ställen. Stanna hemma för att minska smittspridningen i landet! Hoppar vi de sociala sammankomsterna nu, kommer det förhoppningsvis gå snabbare för oss att få tillbaka den vardag vi så gärna vill ha tillbaka. Ge efter med vad ni själva vill ha eller göra nu och få det snabbare tillbaka snart. Fjällen kommer att vara kvar, nästa år. Det kanske inte din mamma eller farmor är. Det är sant. Det händer. Människor dör. Ta det inte som att det bara är en förkylning för dig och ignorera allvaret, för någon annan som tar över din eventuella “förkylning”, kan dö.
Tänk också på vad det innebär för de mindre städerna, samhällena eller byarna som inte har samma resurser som exempelvis Stockholm, Göteborg och Malmö. Trotsar många människor, eller går emot de rekommendationer som finns och som är tillsatta istället för restriktioner, kommer Sverige vara tvunget att ta till restriktioner och ändra lagar tillfälligt åt det hårdare hållet. Vill vi det? Kan vi inte försöka ta ett individansvar nu, ändra våra planer och vårt liv just nu, så att vi snart kan få tillbaka våra liv igen?
Även om ni inte känner av några symptom eller tycker ni är sjuka så KAN NI FORTFARANDE BÄRA PÅ VIRUSET OCH NI KAN BIDRA TILL ATT NÅGON ANNAN BLIR SJUK OCH KANSKE DÖR!!! Bara för att du ville åka skidor, gå på den där puben och dricka en öl, eller gå på den där tillställningen då det ändå ”bara” skulle vara du och 499 andra personer. Tack och lov att denna siffra ändras, från och med idag, till max 50 personer (även om det är lite väl löst bestämt och en kan ifrågasätta en hel del).
Hur svårt kan det vara att ta hänsyn till fler än dig själv? Snälla, detta är en vädjan till dig som kanske fokuserat lite väl mycket på jaget det senaste tiden. Suck it up och ta ett samhällsansvar nu – för allas hälsa. Det känns skönt att ha skrivit ned detta nu och jag känner att jag behöver runda av detta inlägg för att gå vidare med lite mer positivitet i kroppen. Känner ni att ni själva behöver och vill skriva av er, är kommentarsfältet öppet för tankar, känslor, reaktioner eller vad ni nu känner att ni vill skriva och dela med er utav. Ta hand om er och era medmänniskor <3 Avslutar med ett citat som jag sett cirkulera den senaste tiden;
Jag går till jobbet för din skull, stanna hemma för min skull.
This is how I’ve felt lately… separated into different pieces because life turned me in a completely opposite direction then I expected. But you know what? I think that this process that I’ve been forced to go through will actually turn into something amazing – something way better than I could have ever imagined! So even though I’ve felt like I’ve been in split into pieces, I think I’ve put myself together again, one piece at a time. I know where I wanna go, and hopefully how to get there!
I’m gonna find a dream team to work with, in an amazing work place, with fun, interesting, and exciting projects where I get to be creative and have loads of fun! YEAH!
(I haven’t mentioned anything about it at all, but in the end of September, I was laid off work due to their bad economy. So I, along with three others, were made to leave. Long story short, there’s still a process going on with that, which I’ll not get in to. But, while not working, I’ve studied a class, gotten a certification in User Experience Design (UX-design), and worked on my portfolio. So now I’m ready to hit the job market again! Wish me luck ♥).
A few weeks ago, our friend Claire from London (and who also was our tv producer of House Hunters International), came for a visit! We had such a great time; and as a thank you for staying with us, she had bought a gift. How sweet and totally not necessary! However, I have to admit, I got really excited because… how amazing is this packaging?! I knew immediately where it came from, from the black and white bag. NK – Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm. Americans, think Macy’s in New York City. I loooove how NK wraps their gifts; and, of course, I loved what was inside! Thank you so much, Claire! Ok, let’s check it all out!
photo credit to Jeremy Trimnal – friend and photographer at Asheville Blog
Last time I posted anything here was our latest podcast episode on May 10th! To blog and record podcasts haven’t been my priority when I’ve needed to put all my energy into life in general. But you know what? It wasn’t anything I’d planned. It just happened. However, I’ve been working on trying to figure out how I want to live my life, and in doing that, I have simply lived. To leave the anorexia behind, focus on what was good for Lina, not the eating disorder. I’m not gonna excuse myself, because I’ve grown so much as a human being during these past months, and that’s freaking amazing. Since I haven’t updated anything here for a while, though, I thought we could do a little recap of each month and what I’ve been up to.
photo credit to another wedding guest
Liz and I road tripped, together with a new friends of ours, in Germany. Well, we flew to Berlin, rented a car and drove about three hours south from Berlin. Our friends were getting married and it was such a beautiful wedding ceremony in an old little church in the middle of the village where our friend grew up. I was also fortunate to be able to sing and play. The wedding reception was also so much fun! Another fun fact, it was also my birthday, so I got to celebrate the beginning of my 34th year out in the country, at a beautiful wedding, in Thüringen, Germany.
Back in Sweden, my wife surprised me with dinner out together with my brother, his wife, and a close friend of ours (who’s birthday is just about after mine).
I was working on myself a lot this month.
We celebrated our version of Memorial Weekend by having a picnic in the big park together with family and friends.
The lilacs were blooming, spreading their sweet scent all over town, and summer was on it’s way, along with my excitement.
Celebrated June 6th (Sweden’s National Day), by drinking beer in some beautiful summer weather.
We decided to redo a little interior in our living room by selling our couch, and buying a new one. We are in love with the new look, and how much more spacious it all feels. Score us! (More photos to come!)
Was really sad and upset about a “friend” of mine. I tried. Was denied. Got tired, and broke up with the person. Still dealing with this in my heart and soul, because I feel like I never got the chance to really work it out with the person.
My cousin graduated from high school in Norrköping and we took the train down to be part of the celebrations.
Celebrated Midsummer out in the archipelago together with my wife. I’m still working on a little video, and one day it will be done. Just gotta finish another project first.
Ate endless amounts of strawberries because that’s my absolute favorite thing to eat. At. All. Times.
Counted down the beginning of my vacation by celebrating others’ vacations beginning by exploring a new bar in Uppsala with amazing cocktails. Plus an almost 360 degree view of Uppsala. Good stuff.
Vacation time which meant going to the States time!
Spent our first days in the States, in New York City, hanging out with my American cousin who was doing an internship there during the summer. Explored Upper East Side for the first time (Liz and I try to explore different areas each time we’re there).
Flew down to North Carolina and Asheville/Lake Junaluska/Waynesville area. Hung out with family and friends, and drank endless amounts of beer. Because that’s what you do there.
Flew back to Sweden, WITH MY IN-LAWS! Yes, that was huge since it was their first time in Sweden.
Started off in Uppsala with a lot of rest due to jetlag.
I started working again, but my first week I “worked from home”, from Norrköping, where we hung out with my parents and Liz’s parents, and toured around e v e r y w h e r e. So great to finally be able to hang out with both our parents in Sweden! They’ve seen each other several times, but in the States when my parents’ have traveled there. Now my parents’ got to host my parents-in-law. So great!
Went back to Uppsala and to work in the office. Decided to really work on being there, and not working from home. And as of today, I’ve been there every day three weeks straight. It’s a record. (FYI: I’m on sick leave, only working part time, and haven’t had the energy to work from the office around other people so many days in a row before now). Liz’s parents stayed at my brother’s place, since he and his wife were hiking in Spain, so after work, I hung out with them and toured around Uppsala. My parents came to town, and we all spent a day in Stockholm, toured in Uppsala, and just hung out together. Liz’s parents returned to the States after being in Sweden for three weeks. It’s been empty not having them around..
Our friend C from London, who also was our House Hunters International producer, came and stayed with us for a few days. We had so much time, visiting old film locations, eating good food, and drinking beer at Ångkvarn of course (we filmed there).
Ended August by going to an outdoor concert, sat on the first row, and listened to Helen Sjöholm and Tomas Andersson Wij <3.
It’s the beginning of September now, fall is creeping up on us, which I actually feel pretty pleased about. Last fall was awful so I have the feeling this is gonna be an amazing fall, way better then last year, with plenty of cozy nights together with friends and family! I also feel my creativity is increasing, so I’ll hopefully take care of that, and do some fun projects.