Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Large and slow

In response to the question, "How are you feeling?" I'd have to say the most honest and accurate response is large and slow. I mean this in the best of ways. It is strange to be physically limited, and sometimes it is frustrating to not be able to do simple things like carry my groceries home. But it is also crazy and amazing. And my wheely grocery bag is amazing too.

I think I've gotten to the point where I identify so strongly as a person who is pregnant that by the time this baby is born, it will be a big transition to go back to identifying as a non-pregnant person. Now that we are down to the last month, that time feels like it is approaching very quickly.

In general I'd say large and slow also translates to feeling quite calm. I guess I am more curious and interested in how and when this will all happen. It has also been interesting learning about some of the differences between having a baby in Sweden versus the US. Although I should clarify that these are differences between having a baby in Sweden and my perception of having a baby in the US based on what I've heard from others or read on blogs (so, potentially not general truths).

I had already known that epidurals were less common here, although I didn't know by how much. It is about 50% of women in Sweden, compared to a quick google search (again, potentially inaccurate) of 60% in the US, which is actually a lot closer than I originally thought.

Also, if your water breaks, here they want you to go to the hospital to get checked regardless of whether labor has started or not. And if things seem fine, they will send you back home and give you three days to have the baby. My understanding is that in the US once your water breaks, you go to the hospital, you don't get sent back home, and you are to have the baby within 24 hours.

A final, and fun, difference that I'll mention is that the top method of pain management is to use laughing gas. I guess it is a blend of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen so that it works to relieve anxiety and pain, rather than working as an anaesthetic. The recommendation is to start using the gas at the beginning of a contraction (if you decide you need/want it) and to stop at the peak of the pain. Then you exhale your next three breaths back into the mask to avoid filling the room with the gas and influencing the medical staff. The midwife joked that it could be nice but is best to avoid. So it is an important job of the partner to remember and help with this, because women tend to forget that part while they are in the midst of labor pain.

So you see? How can it be anything but interesting to see how things will go:)