first glucose test (between 12-16 weeks): i made an 8:30a appointment at our health centers lab. i had a blood draw first and then had to drink a nasty super sugary raspberry liquid (in my opinion, much worse than what i had to drink in canada). while trying to gulp this stuff down, i was warned that it would likely spike my blood sugar so high i would get dizzy and barf, even while just sitting in the waiting room. sweet. enter panic attack. luckily i was able to lie down for 1.5 hours of the test. they took another blood draw 1 hour after drinking the stuff, and 2 hours after drinking it. thankfully, i passed the test, but i do have to do another one in 8 weeks.
-panic attacks (these started before florida actually when X was sick, i thought they were just related to that, but they havent disappeared). in the last several weeks i havent had hardly any challenging ones though, so maybe they are going away.
-im not as strongly nauseous anymore, but there is still a mild, persistent and irritating nausea coupled with the feeling of never being satisfied. its rather wearing down my patience, i dont remember it being like this for X for so long.
-ive noticed im not as much of a late night snacker as with X, though im hungry ALL the time during the day.
-i felt the first movements around 16 weeks this time. that was nice to break up the discomfort from the nausea, constant bloating (its here every day and has been since about 5 weeks, i think this ones sticking around), and the sore pelvis that have taken up residence on my permanent frustration list.
-arriving around the same time as the kicks, the braxton/hicks contractions. i get a few each day.
doula: i met with the coordinators of a volunteer doula program in the city. one coordinator was a good friend of one of my finnish friends. we spent a long time talking about my needs, my previous pregnancy, and what i know of canadian and US maternity care and doulas. i found out that all normal pregnancies in finland get a midwife at the hospital. no nurse(s), just your midwife and she is only assigned to ~2 women at a time. there are always doctors waiting in the wings in case a labor becomes more risky.
also, because normally your prenatal care is done at your health center by a public health nurse and sometimes a general practitioner, you arent getting the experience that many north american women have to get to know the person who will (likely) deliver your baby. so, the maternity hospitals have these things called 'fear clinics' where moms who are very anxious about the pain of labor or fear of complications, etc can come to these clinics and have one-on-one appts with the midwives at the hospital to help calm their fears and get to meet a potential person who would deliver their baby. otherwise, you normally only get the chance to tour the hospital before birth. further, once you are in labor, you call your hospital of choice and they tell you if they have room for you to come to that hospital (if yes they hold your spot until you arrive) or, if they are full, they suggest another hospital for you to try (im told that march and april are the most popular months to give birth here, so hopefully i'll be avoiding a 'sorry, we are full' issue).
also, one of the citys maternity hospitals is currently under renovations so hospital rooms are pared down at this time, but im told that the goal is to get all post-delivery rooms to be 'family' rooms where each family gets their own room to adjust to each other. this literally means 'family'. they said the rooms had/will have king sized beds, and you are welcome to have not only your spouse with you, but also your other children stay the night. what!? sweet. however, during the renovations its likely that you would share a room with another mom and spouses might not have the chance to stay. im told that each evening you stay in the hospital is 40 € (out-of-pocket, those who have mentioned it seemed somewhat offended that there was this cost), and usually you stay about 2 nights, though it depends on which pregnancy this is and how babe is doing of course.
side note: my assigned doula (a retired midwife) also volunteers for a group that supports single mothers, as well as for a group that provides counseling and help to women who have had abortions. she told me that 1 in 11 pregnancies in finland ends in abortion, and in estonia its 1 in 3!
pregnancy stages as parenting: during this pregnancys discomfort a thought occurred to me...the stages of pregnancy kind of mirror the stages of parenting (at least in my opinion/experience/understanding). in the beginning, both are mostly hard and physically/emotionally/mentally warping, and youre tired, and the rewards are minimal. in the second trimester (or toddler and young kid stage), you are mostly feeling good, feeling lucky, feeling happy. you feel the gift of life, you feel a part of something bigger. when you feel the kicks, you savor that special connection that only you and the kiddo share. in the third trimester, you are getting uncomfortable, your body (home) is too crowded to hold both parties happily. you and the baby (ahem, teenager) are prepping to physically separate and go your separate ways in the world. this process likely involves pain and yelling, but ultimately relief and the knowledge that this is what is meant to happen. and, if you like, the fourth trimester (or the empty nest)...this involves readjusting your life, from the one you knew before to what life looks like now...balancing the positives and negatives, redefining relationships with both your spouse and your kiddo(s).
celebrity babies arriving around the same time as me?: its hard to say, but it looks like maybe there will be babies arriving around my due date from these people: actress scarlett johansson, singer christina aguilera, host carson daly, model doutzen kroes, and susan sarandons daughter eva amurri. interesting to note, the three celebs who had kids around the same time as me last time (amy adams, tiffany thiessen, and paula patton) have not (yet) gone on to have another child.
dreams: i havent had another one that was baby related, but i did dream that dave got a job offer at USF (university of southern florida). apparently, i had allowed him to apply for the job when i was pissed i wasnt finding work here. then he accepted the job and i remember (in the dream) being somewhat okay with it at first because we would be closer to friends and family and travel for visiting would be easier and i could hope to find a job more easily. then, as the dream went on i got more and more panicky about the cons of the move. i suppose it actually turned into a nightmare. it was nice to wake up and remember that it was just a dream but that i had had the chance to dream-change our lives for a short while, and i didnt want to. kind of a re-affirmation of my desire to be here.
ultrasound: so, this was our second and final one. it was done at the hospital i hope to give birth at. its much closer to home and not under construction. it was clean and quiet, just the right kind of place. it wasnt high-tech or fancy or updated to the gills with modern furnishings, but everything we saw was functional and well taken care of. we waited a short time and then were taken into the room. the lady who did the ultrasound said she was a midwife. cool. i didnt know they did all these jobs. and she was very efficient (we were only there 20 minutes) but thorough. i felt like she gave us a very personal and detailed session, taking time to go slow and explain what she was looking at and for: the chambers of the heart, the veins in the umbilical cord, etc. it was a nice experience. not so business-like as it was in canada, and we even got two pics to take home.
she also said the baby was still about one week larger than the original due date of august 13 (they 'adjusted' my due date after the first ultrasound to august 7), and that perhaps the head was even a bit larger than that. so basically im at week 19 or 20...depending on what you believe. that is basically the same ultrasound 'finding' we had for X, according to the monster blog entry. so i would love to think that maybe this kid will come 2 weeks early too.
(19/20 week fetus face-off; current pregnancy on left, X pregnancy on right)
(dont get too excited, the top left structure is a leg, kiddo was sitting cross-legged)