This is Heather's Lodge.
Welcome to your Lodge!!!
Ha ha...I'm nothing but subtle, eh?
Will post a proper intro soon but for now I have belly shots!
Here is 16 weeks:
Here is 35 weeks:
My hubby, kitty and I are living in Sweden and plan on having as natural a birth as possible in the hospital.
Am feeling quite a few Braxton Hicks tonight...
Welcome to your lodge!
Oooh!!!! I'd be so interested in hearing how obstetrical care differs over there! From what I read and hear, Europe is soooo far ahead of the US!
and welcome to your lodge! :woohoo:
I agree with Laura!! Very interested to hear how your care differs. Welcome to your lodge!!
Welcome to your lodge, Am I'm interested too in what its like over there
Welcome to your lodge! I am excited to hear about another overseas birth experience...
Prenatal care is managed by midwives--nurses trained in prenatal care. Here in Stockholm, I have a lot of choice about where I go, but if you live in a rural area or small town, you may be stuck going to the MVC (roughly translated--mothercare ceneter) nearest to you. I chose to go private MVC primarily because I was already seeing doctors from this clinic about my infertility issues and miscarriage (I had a loss in March 07). Also, the office is literally five minutes away on foot and they have a child health clinic associated with them also (BVC--childcare center).
Prenatal care is entirely free. I haven't paid anything so far.
My typical appointment lasts about half an hour to an hour. My first appointment took longer and she took the time to talk to me about my emotions and answer all the questions I had. I saw the midwife once every four weeks and then starting at about 28 weeks, once every two weeks.
I feel that the care here is very hands off and they are not intrusive or pushy about scans or tests. In fact, I wanted a 12 week nuchal scan as I was very nervous about the baby being there--I just wanted to see that the baby was real, alive and well! I had to ask HER about it and if I could get one done. She arranged it for me without a problem (again, cost free at the local hospital). It was amazing to see that tiny person growing inside of me...my husband was especially awed and I think that's when he finally realized that we were going to have a new person in our lives.
Let's see...when my water breaks, I am to call my local hospital and tell them what happened so they can plan on my arrival in the next few hours or days. Then, when my contractions are three minutes apart, I am to call again and go in if I'm ready and they are ready for me. I feel quite fortunate that I live about a five minute drive from the hospital and I plan on laboring at home for as long as I can. At the hospital, I meet a birth midwife (not the same midwife who I have been seeing--though I did find out that the hospital where I am going has a practice associated with it with a group of midwives who are both involved in prenatal care and birth care--I may go that route next time).
At the hospital, if everything is okay with me and the baby (they monitor the fetal heart rate and the the contraction strength and frequency with an external monitor after I have arrived), then I can labor however I feel comfortable (at the hospital where I am going, they have a tub where you can labor if your water hasn't broken--water births are illegal here because, according to my Lamaze instructor, there was one fetal death and everyone over reacted).
There are a number of different pain relief techniques available. The midwives are trained in massage, acupressure and acupuncture. We also have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) available to use during contractions. And, of course, there is the walking epidural. I plan on using breathing techniques, massage, acupressure and maybe acupuncture depending on how I feel and how fast labor is progressing. I've never had acupuncture done before so I don't know how I'm going to react!
At the hospital I'm going to, solid food isn't given during labor (another reason to stay home as long as possible). You are allowed to have liquids and I hear that the midwives make a mean smoothie!
Let's see--I've talked with my midwife and my Lamaze instructor about birthing positions. I do not want to give birth on my back. Both assured me that the midwives are both trained in many different birth positions and will be active and supportive in helping me find a position that feels right to me. The common practice once the baby is out in the world is to place the baby immediately on the mom's chest. The baby is then 'checked out' by the midwife as noninvasively as possible...the cord stops pulsating and then is clamped and the birth partner is allowed to cut the cord if s/he wants to. Then mom, birth partner and baby are left alone for an hour of bonding if everything is okay.
We'll see if my experience matches this! I am quite nervous about delivering at the hospital despite the fact that Sweden has one of the lowest rates of fetal and maternity death. There is a baby boom here and there has been a lot of press about how busy the hospitals and midwives are. That's very discomforting to me! My hope is that I have an easy labor, laboring mostly at home with my husband and birth ball and then popping the babes out as soon as I get to the hospital. We'll see...
There has been a documentary on here called "The Midwives." It follows a different group of midwives through their shift each week. I've really enjoyed it because the hospitals are local and I feel like I have a better idea of what to expect once I arrive at the hospital in terms of care and facilities. So far, I've only seen one woman give birth out of bed (a little disappointing). One of the funniest things is that they bring you a platter with sandwiches, tall champagne glasses of sparkling water and fruit when the baby is born. The platter is complete with a tall, paper Swedish flag sticking out of the sandwich! I can't wait for that!
Here is a clip from the show. The baby's shoulder's have become fixed in the birth canal and the mom has been using laughing gas as her method of pain relief. The midwife here has called in an obstretician to help her deliver the baby.
Sorry this is such a novel! Please feel free to ask any questions.
Sounds like a fairly nice set up over there. I love how if your water breaks you call so they can plan on your arrival in the next few hours... or days.
If someone chooses to labour at home with a midwife is that cost covered too?
Sounds like a fairly nice set up over there. I love how if your water breaks you call so they can plan on your arrival in the next few hours... or days.
You can labor at home but you'd probably have to pay for a doula to be with you if you wanted one. You have to pay out of pocket.
Sweden's home birth policy is interesting though.
If it's your first birth, you have to jump through a lot of hoops and pay out of pocket for a homebirth including finding a midwife who will do it. In Stockholm, there are a few who will do a homebirth.
If you've had a 'normal' birth previously and had a 'normal' pregnancy (not 'overweight', no high blood pressure or diabetes, baby in the proper position) then you must meet with an obstetrician at the hospital and you and the doctor sign a consent form. The state will cover a home birth in this case but you must meet all of the criteria.
I'm hoping for a smooth run this time around so that I can have a home birth for my future babies.
Well, my midwife was back from her Florida vacation all nice and tan! I showed her my beautiful swollen ankles and she said that’s what happens when your uterus expands (she was more scientific, but you get the drift). My blood pressure was high for me but still in normal range (120/85 if you are interested—she was mostly concerned that the bottom number had jumped up a bit). She checked for protein in my urine and she was quite pleased that there wasn’t any. I will keep seeing her every week until the baby makes an appearance just to make sure that my pressure is okay. She said not to worry about it and that she wasn’t really concerned—it’s normal for blood pressure to rise this late in pregnancy as there is so much more work the heart must do to get all that extra blood around.
In baby news, heartbeat was strong and the baby’s head is FIXED. Even though she said that it doesn’t mean anything—the baby can be fixed for weeks—I see it as a hopeful sign that baby may come sooner rather than later. She let me feel where the baby’s head is and that was really cool. I'm going to try it with hubby tonight when he gets home!
Does anyone know what protein in the urine means? I know it has something to do with preclampsia, but I'm not sure why the protein would appear.
That's neat that Sweden has a show called "Midwives." I'm sure it's way more friendly than the US's "Baby Story" which could easily be called "OBs in Power" most of the time.
Welcome to your lodge! I love the pics--you look fantastic! It's so neat to read how things are done over there. It sounds like exactly what some of us have to fight for over here.
I'm a bit late so welcome to your lodge. It sounds like the US could learn a lot from Sweden, I wish we had people that believed in a woman's body when it comes to birth.
I know protein in the urine is a sign of pre-eclampsia, as to what it technically means I'm not sure. Be happy you don't have a worried OB dealing with you, I had swollen ankles and higher bp (no protein in the urine) and it was constant worry about pre-e. It was like a constant worry about the two I had along with ignoring the lack of protein in the urine, bah!
Welcome to your lodge!! I love hearing about the differences in care over in Sweden! I can't wait to see how your birth unfolds!
Wow! I didn't realize you were in Sweden! How cool! I've heard wonderful things about their maternity/healthcare system.
Your intro was great! I can't wait to read more.
About protein in the urine, I only know as much as others ...it's a sign of pre-eclampsia and in the US they tend to induce for that. I'm not sure what all it means, but they say it is dangerous. That's probably why your midwife checked and was happy when there wasn't any. The signs are high BP, sudden swelling, protein in urine.
Well, my ankles have been a lot better since I've been sleeping on the couch with my feet elevated. I think I overdid it last Wednesday when I went shopping with my friend and it took me about a week to recover!
Been having some funny feelings...menstrual crampiness in the mornings...the baby's movements are very noticeable and sometimes surprising! I made audible exclamations on the street yesterday and hoped no one thought I was going in to labor...
I feel like I have a cantaloupe between my legs and I have a very pronounced waddle. I hope I make it until at least April 24th when I teach my last evening class! I used to teach preschool but stopped that at the beginning of March as I was having scary, painful BH's. I teach English to adults in the evenings three times a week. It keeps my brain active and I enjoy my students' company so much!
You know, I've been wondering about LO at night. If the head is fixed and engaged, does that mean it's stuck there in the birth canal? I know that LO's body drifts over to my left side whenever I sleep (I can see it) and I wonder about its poor little neck! My rational self knows that our bodies make the perfect little nest for our babies but I can't help imagining my poor little one with its neck all contorted and uncomfortable...
I'm excited to be going shopping again with my pregnant friend. We're going to a big second hand baby shop. I'll let you know if I find anything super cute.
I feel like I have a cantaloupe between my legs and I have a very pronounced waddle.
Ha, I know what you mean! I hadn't really noticed my waddle until I got out of the house ther other day (snuck away from my bedrest) to run some errands. Man, do I feel like a penguin!:)
I've been wondering that too. My LO has been engaged for 3 weeks or so now, and I still always wonder how he manages the movements he does and how he could possbly be comfortable. I do believe they have very different flexibility than we do, though... I'm sure if he were uncomfortable they'd move.
Well...menstrual cramping still on and off...
Had a little bit of EWCM which I haven't seen since the first trimester...I don't think I'm losing my plug yet but maybe things are starting to loosen up.
My husband has a cold so I'd rather the little one hold off until the end of the week when (hopefully) he isn't coughing and blowing his nose so much!! I've been doing my best to stay out of his way but he is so pitiful when he is not feeling well--all he wants to do is snuggle with me!
Today is the beginning of my 'free' time--I'm still teaching adult English language courses at night but my days are completely free. My goals for this week are to clean and defrost the fridge and freezer, mop the floors of the apartment and give the bathroom a good scrub.
I also plan on starting our US tax forms though I haven't gotten my information from the Swedish government yet so I can't complete them...
LO is quite active this morning...
I've been playing a lot on the wii--hooked on Mario Galaxies at the moment. I'm torn between cleaning and Mario....
WTG on having days free now! You sure have some ambitious goals. I never really get the nesting urge, probably because I work FT to delivery and I'm a crappy housekeeper on my best days.
I hope your hubby gets better before the baby arrives, but more importantly I hope you don't catch it! You'll need all your strength and especially the ability to breathe.
We don't have Mario Galaxies--is it fun? I was playing Wii Sports the other day but quickly realized that some of the movements (hitting home runs, etc.) were just a little too much and made my belly rock hard.
Yes, galaxies is fun and not as body intensive as wii sports. I remember I played baseball and boxing so much one day that I couldn't lift my arms the next! Galaxies takes a while to get oriented to (there is a lot of walking upside down) but once you get over the sea sickness, it's quite addictive. There are a lot of 'puzzles' that you have to figure out but it's never too difficult to be frustrating.
I have a midwife appointment today to check my blood pressure. I'm hoping the numbers are around the same or down a bit! I've been feeling fine (despite the fact that I DID get my DH's cold--blah), so I'm expecting an uneventful appointment.
I'd so go for sitting on my hind end over cleaning. Sorry you got a cold. Does sound like you're nesting!
Ha ha, I'm always nesting! I really like an organized, clean environment and it drives me batty when things are all over the place. I know I'll have to get over it when I have little ones running underfoot....
The midwife appointment went well yesterday. My resting blood pressure number (lower number) was down five points so that made her (and me) very happy. My legs are still swollen and I feel like I'm walking on hunks of inflexible rubber, but I guess that's par for the course at this point.
The baby is doing well, head down with its back running along my stomach (so poor baby is stuck looking at my bottom!). I now know that the lump I've been feeling at the top of my uterus is the baby's bottom, so I've been spending a good number of hours patting and rubbing it.
The midwife again exclaimed that the baby was 'packed in there tight' but wouldn't give me her estimate of the baby's weight. Do you think she's trying not to scare me? She said that the baby is a good birth size...let's not get too large little critter!
We talked about the birth and she commented that I seemed very relaxed and calm. She wrote a statement about my desires for the birth in Swedish for the midwives at the hospital. All of my medical information, including my birth plan, is on a server that all of the hospitals in Stockholm have access to. When I call my hospital when I'm ready to come in, they access my files and read about my pregnancy. By the time I get there, they will know a bit about me and can match me with a midwife who is comfortable speaking English (my husband will be so glad!).
I didn't sleep too well last night due to this pesky cold. I woke up about every two hours...bluck.
How are you feeling today? I hope your cold is gone!
My feet swell aweful when I am working. When I'm off work, I haven't been doing anything except keeping my feet propped and taking care of my toddler. It helps so much! I can actually see my ankles on my days off .....but not when working. They hurt when working ..like you said, like rubber.
I feel you on the rubber feet! Mine just started feeling that way the past few days since our temps have risen suddenly from 40F to 70F and I'm wearing (tight) sandals now.
It sounds like the hospital is very well-organized, that's great! And good for you for being so calm. I handle impending birth the same way (which is strange since I tend towards anxiety about other things.) I hope your cold goes away soon!
Thought I'd better rescue my lodge from page four!
First of all, congrats to all the new mommas out there! I have been enjoying following your lodges and reading your birth stories. Way to go!!
Things here are okay. Lots of baby movement that gets uncomfortable from time to time. I can feel every little thing going on and sometimes it hurts (I've been practicing my breathing).
I have one more class to teach tonight and then I'm going to start long walks every morning and may even attempt vaginal intercourse with hubby. I'm ready for this little one!
I've been contemplating getting a bottle of red wine so that I can have a glass (or half glass) in early labor. My midwife is very anti alcohol at any stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Her rational, which is fairly sound, is that the effects of alchohol at any stage of a developing baby's brain isn't known for sure, therefore we shouldn't do anything which could potentially be dangerous if it's not necessary.
Surely a glass of wine isn't necessary...but it may be really nice and relaxing! I figure if they can pump me full of drugs at the hospital while I'm in labor, a glass of red wine can't be ALL that bad. In any event, it's just a thought (and I've been craving red wine--I actually bought some concentrated black grape juice so I could try to mimic the flavor and have been eating tons of red grapes).
What are your feelings/thoughts about a glass of wine during early labor?
I don't think a glass or half-glass of wine after the 2nd trimester is all that big of a deal, and even less so at the very end of pregnancy. I've heard of docs/MWs suggesting a sip & dip to ease early labor or false labor: drink a little wine and take a bath. At least one of my MWs last pg suggested a little wine in the final few weeks to help me get some rest.
I'm almost surprised that your MW is so anti-wine. I was under the impression that European MWs/docs tended to be less puritanical than their American counterparts on this subject. And yeah, it doesn't make a ton of sense when you compare it to other drugs which are permissible (narcotic pain relievers, etc.)
I would not think that a glass of wine would be that bad. So I would say go for it
Thanks for the wine advice!
Swedes are very anti-alcohol for some reason. I think that Sweden's social history includes a long history of alcohol abuse among its citizens (perhaps the long, cold, dark winters drive too many to drink too much).
I had a midwife appointment this morning and nothing new to report. She spoke a little bit about what would happen if I went past my due date. I will have an ultrasound at 41 weeks to check amniotic fluid levels. She explained that low fluid levels are indicative of a deteriorating placenta, so if there are low fluid levels they will probably want to induce ASAP. If the fluids are fine, they will hold off on induction until I am 41 + 5 days. She said that we would talk more about it at our next appointment (if there is a next appointment).
I am not thrilled with the idea of being induced but I have plenty of time in which to go into labor naturally. I feel that worrying about it right now is a waste of my energy. I have a pretty good general idea of what being induced means and will have a list of questions for my midwife on Monday, if I make it that far!
I contracted a LOT yesterday (some painful) and through the night, but today it is relatively quiet. My father in-law is stopping by this weekend on his way to Malaysia (business trip), so it would be cool to see him this weekend and then have a baby for him next weekend on his return stopover! He's bringing over a suitcase of baby and mommy things and I'm SO excited--I've got about 30 cloth diapers coming my way plus nursing bras and tanks. I think my mother in-law also threw in some brownie mix!!! My hubby can make those for me, I'm sure!
I'm looking forward to an eventful week....
My hubby picked up a bottle of red wine for me. When I was contracting last night, he was getting concerned and I told him not to worry, he'll know it's true labor when I crack open the bottle of red!
Well, I woke up to something a little different on my pad this morning--a little bit of old blood.
Feel the same and no new blood anywhere...
Hmm...old blood...that could certainly mean that things are opening/loosening up! Have you had any cervical checks yet?
That's so cool that you will see your FIL & that he's bringing goodies! I sure hope you have a baby to show him on his return trip.
My 41wk appt (if I make it that long) will be much the same as yours: U/S to check fluid levels, then a NST to check the baby, then a MW exam. If all is good I get another 3 days before they push induction (though I can and probably would decline if all was ok.)
Hope you see some action soon!
You sound very upbeat and positive!:D
Oooh...my goodie suitcase was all so fun to go through! Lots of cloth diapers...I feel a little bit overwhelmed by all the different kinds I ordered. I guess I'll get to play around with them and figure them out soon.
My mom in law also stashed away some duncan hines brownie mix. YUM.
There was some more brownish discharge today. Not a lot, but some. I hope it's progress! The midwives here don't do cervical checks unless there is a problem (or I ask). I'm not sure why...perhaps because it's a bit invasive and doesn't really mean all that much (baby will still come when it's ready!). If this discharge is still happening and not much else, I think I'll ask my midwife to check things out on Monday.
Happy due date!!
I'm late getting on here but I loved reading your info on how things are down there -very neat! I hope that LO makes it's appearance soon - sounds like things are happening!