17 July 2014

Titanic 2.0 prepared for launch

so ive got about one month left, or a few weeks, or no time at all, depending on what the kiddo decides. im feeling better at this stage that i was with X, and the weather has been kind so i dont think i can complain.

1. lately ive realized that i cant recall what its like to hold and manage a little baby anymore. i know i did it, and its not that im scared, i just cant remember.

2. i havent found the right words to describe what ive been feeling, but its something like i can tell that this baby is my buddy. like we are in this together. i dont remember this kind of feeling with X, though its not like i didnt feel connected to her, it was just different.

3. i had an unexpected, random, lovely surprise in discovering that a fellow health researcher, in our research group at work, is also pregnant. we basically have the same due date and are pregnant with our second kiddos. she and her husband are both finnish, her husband travels a lot for work, and she seems similar minded in many aspects of life and seems interested and motivated to hangout during maternity leave. im happy to have added a new friend to the repertoire, and its one who fills of hole of being able to relate to work struggles too. nice to be slowly rounding out my friend needs here.

4. for anyone interested in more information about giving birth in finland, this webchat lecture was a nice summary. it was given by a finnish doula who trained in the US for a group here in finland called 'duo' that supports intercultural families. fyi, if you click on the link for the video, the lecture starts around the 5 minute mark.

1. tmi. my week 28 dr appt confirmed what i already knew, i had a pregnant lady 'down there' area trifecta. perhaps two of the issues are more well-known and are slightly more easy to joke about (in trusted company), but this third one was new for me. googling around though, i find, once again, that i am not alone. you can read more here if you are curious, this mama says it with more humor than i can muster.

2. nesting. dave says i am doing this much more noticeably than with X. i say its mostly because im just antsy to get settled in our new apartment. i cant help with lifting or doing much of the other moving grunt work but im excited to get into a new place thats a little bit larger, and this time the things we will fill it with are all ours. we can settle in more and really get comfortable.

3. exercise has made me feel so much better. i cant believe what 20 minutes a night can do. it makes me feel pretty flexible and energetic. until about week 32/33 i had energy for it every night, and as a result i was always waking up feeling pretty good. at around week 35/36 the energy for exercise has come back so ive been trying to do it when i can. my feet and legs are not up for it every night, but when they are i can still manage the whole video and feel nice afterward.

4. out of breath/heavy. around week 32/33, all of the sudden i felt quite heavy and i also started to feel rather out of breath. this combination contributed to increased tiredness (i assume).

5. nauseous/uncomfortable sometimes. this seems to be coming from uncomfortable positions the baby is choosing to settle in rather than from food.

6. allergies. i spoke too soon. some flower or something opened up and ive been sneezing and have an itchy, runny nose and sometimes itchy eyes for weeks now. not so fun to have an additional reason to be uncomfortable. and i really have to drink a ton of water to counteract all the nose blowing, which then makes me a pee machine. its hard work staying hydrated!

week 28/29 dr appt: this was my first visit with the doctor (the previous visits were with the public health nurse). we did all the same measurements as with the nurse, but she also checked my cervix (normal in all ways). i gained less than 2 lbs in the last three weeks. the babys heartbeat was 130 (she thought s/he was sleeping).

(week 29/30 bump this time; week 29 bump with X)

kela package: at around 30/31 weeks i received word that my application for maternity leave was approved and the amount that i would receive (its listed as a per day rate and is based on your salary and other life situation issues, even women who were unemployed previously get a 'maternity leave' payment). it also mentioned that our government-issued box of baby stuff would arrive soon. and it did. you get a notice and you go to pick it up at your local post office. it weighs about 8 kgs, so dave carried it. we unpacked it as a family. its pretty rad. the box has a nice piece of foam at the bottom and it can really be a baby bassinet. there is a full set of bedding, a sleeping bag for warm naps in the stroller, a full set of cold weather gear, pants, bodysuits, rompers, sleepers, it seems like a selection of all sizes to get you to age 1. there were also little accessories (bibs, socks, tights, hooded towel, bath thermometer, brush, nail scissors, baby book, practice toothbrush).

(the box and its contents)

week 31/32 appt: i have gained the exact same amount of weight at the exact same time point as i did with X. everything at the visit was normal. babys heartbeat was about 135. the nurse said the baby was mostly head down (a little angled) and that is good, but the baby can still change positions. at week 34 they want the baby to be staying head down. if baby isnt, we get an appointment at the hospital to try and turn the baby.

(week 31/32 bump this time; week 31 bump with X)
(week 33/34 bump this time; week 33 bump with X)

week 34/35 dr appt: all measurements were normal. didnt gain weight (this is misleading because i was measured on a different scale than previously). baby heartbeat 150, head down (but not 'fixed' yet). the kiddo is riding pretty low but that means less heartburn for me so that is nice. apparently my cervix is at a 2 (out of 3) and softening, but still closed, so its at a normal stage for this point. i am now done with doctor visits for regular pregnancy monitoring (the final visits are all public health nurse). 

tour of hospital (kätilöopisto): this is the hospital in central helsinki that i hope to give birth at. the tricky thing is that in finland, when you are in labor you call your first choice hospital to see if they have room for you to come in, if not they direct you to the next closest and available hospital. so the choice is not really up to me, but thats okay, we'll just see how it goes. anyway, we had a tour of the hospital in english, so that was nice. noteworthy things about the hospital: they have tons of equipment (birth balls, birthing stools, rocking chairs, midwives trained in acupuncture, a room with a tub, etc) available for use. the mom is considered a client not a patient and you are treated like a regular, healthy person. you are met at the ward by your midwife and taken to the room that will be your delivery room right away, you get your initial check in there, labor in there, and deliver in there, no moving around. on the recovery wards you are encouraged to be as independent with baby care as possible while being supported by post-partum midwives along the way if needed. 

(week 35/36 bump this time; week 35 bump with X)
(week 36/37 bump this time; week 36 bump with X)

week 36/37 appt: everything was normal, except my hemoglobin was a bit low. baby heartbeat was 130. apparently only gained half a pound in 2 weeks, but each of these rooms i have gone in lately has a different scale so im certain these numbers are not as they seem. babys head is down and we are all set for basically being full-term now. any day or week now...


Cathy said...

Exciting! Love this update. The baby box is such a smart idea. As for your...erm...discomfort - I don't know that I had EXACTLY the same thing, but oh, I can still summon up the memory of the relentless heavy pressure. Felt like things were going to fall out. I also remember hitting about 36 weeks, give or take, and realizing that all the time, every second, at least one part of me felt at least a little uncomfortable. All this to say...you have my sympathy! And positive thoughts for a smooth, safe delivery. :)

Mama Bear said...

Gotta say... you are in it to win it with classic maternity wear. You're almost matching your photos week by week!

beets+birch said...

you are such a trooper! i love that you have your bump pictures!
they are just lovely!!!!

being someone who has spent time with you during this pregnancy i can say you carried it off such beauty and grace even if you didn't feel that way, you really did!