Archive | December, 2013

My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

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My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

Posted on 21 December 2013 by Kristrun

I gave birth to two children in a public hospital in Hong Kong. I had great support from the midwives at Annerley who educated me along the way. My vision was not that clear, I hoped for normal births with as little interventions as possible.
My first birth was at the QMH hospital. I had learned a few tips regarding what to expect in the hospital and all worked out for us. My first birth was very long, started very early on Friday morning and my daughter Johanna was born around 2pm on a Sunday. I happy familystayed at home until Saturday morning with my midwife and in active labour I went into QMH and straight into the delivery room. Something happened and the contractions dropped and I was transferred into the common ward. Equipped with instructions from my midwife – I was ordered to rest and sleep and the plan was to induced me in the morning. Hubby went home and rested as well. The next morning as planned I was induced, hubby was there and things moved as planned, induced with a walking epidural. When baby was about to pop out the staff panicked probably because I was on my knees and they started trying to pull her out – my husband firmly but politely requested that nature would have her way and they allowed it. 4 hours after being induced she was born. After quick examination where (high score healthy baby) they gave me my daughter and I managed to get her on the breast – the happiest moment in my life. The most wonderful sound in the world was to hear her breath.

The moment was interrupted when the pediatrician walked in and wanted to have Johanna transferred into the special unit because of “a risk of infection” (due to prolonged labour) – I could not believe my ears. My husband called our midwife and she explained how the hospital guidelines in HK differ from other countries – where this would never be suggested. And that the baby would be perfectly safe with us. So we said NO to having her separated from us and from there we requested to leave the hospital. It took them a while to sort out the papers but a few hours later we were home – continuing enjoying the moment. Our midwife came to see us the next day, followed by more home visits where she made sure everything was going well. We never went back to the hospital for follow up, the midwife took care of all off that. We enjoyed staying at home getting into the routine and getting used to being a new family.

My second birth was at the United Christian hospital. I negotiated beforehand that the baby would not be separated from us unless there was a matter of life or death. They agreed. It meant that I would need to take care of the vaccinations myself privately – as they would normally take the baby out of the room for washing and vaccinations.

Contractions started at 1am on a Tuesday morning, my midwife came around 9am, she sent us to the hospital 30 minutes later. Baby Tomas was born 10.30 am and we were out of the hospital before 12pm. They examined him on the table in the room, gave him to me – we had some time to put him on the breast and sort us out – then straight home.

It´s from my personal experience that I can highly recommend our best of both package with midwife care during labour, it´s the perfect setup for giving birth in Hong Kong. You have the public system there – the safest place to give birth in in HK. You have a fixed package and you know exactly how much you will need to pay – no matter how things go. You have private personal care combined with general public hospital care.

Happy holidays

Xx

Kristrun

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Travelling with tots

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Travelling with tots

Posted on 18 December 2013 by Kristrun

Ask any parent who is traveling long haul with a little one for the first time what they are most worried about, and the disruption of baby’s sleep routine is likely to be high on the list.
We stagger, zombie-like, through the newborn stage and then slowly but surely, with luck, things settle down and we are soon sleeping for several hours in a row during the night. A few months down the line and how proud and happy we are that a bedtime routine is established and sleep can almost be guaranteed at certain times.
And then we fly across the globe and it all goes out of the window.
Being thousands of miles away from “home” is a reality for many of us, and therefore long haul flights and the resulting disruption is inevitable. With babies and small children, we see jet-lag in its rawest form and there is very little we can do to stop it. Trying to adapt as quickly as possible to the new time zone and plenty of outdoor activity and exposure to daylight can help, but there will be a few days of crazy sleeping and waking up times.
Our best advice? Try not to worry about it. Holidays are a time for fun and to relax with family and friends. Accept help. If you have been up since 4am watching cartoons and reading “Where’s Spot”, then let Grandma watch your precious one while you take a nap during the day.
Don’t fret too much that things will never be the same again. On your return to HK, of course there will be a period of craziness again – in general it takes a day per hour of time difference to lose the jet lag – but your little one will settle back into their regular routine again. It can take up to 2 weeks to establish normality again, so be kind to yourself and try to arrange it so that you have nothing too taxing to attend to on your immediate return. Try to go with the flow.
As for the journey itself, little else strikes such a chord of fear into the heart of any parent than the thought of many hours in a cramped, closed environment with a baby or toddler whilst surrounded by other paying passengers! Again, try to relax – it almost always turns out to be easier than you expected. Ask friends for tips and advice. Lots of healthy snacks, spare clothes (for you and bub), suitable activities (a pack of post-it notes provides hours of sticky but harmless fun), an ipad….. ask around and you will get plenty of age-appropriate advice to make the hours pass as painlessly as possible.
Be reassured that once past a certain age (of child, not parent!), it does become much easier. Flights, dare it be said, can even be fun.
Most parents of young children (who live overseas) have had one or two disastrous flying adventures. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that it will end and it will make a great story eventually. Also, most of the other poor passengers on the plane will be parents themselves and will (mostly) be sympathetic to your plight.
If all else fails, read Hulda’s blog about her recent trip to Iceland with her two little girls and thank your lucky stars you were not in seats 31F or 31J on flight AY070 on the 9th December!

Happy travels everyone!

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Rough cut – reduce your chance of an episiotomy

Rough cut – reduce your chance of an episiotomy

Posted on 17 December 2013 by hulda

Rough Cut - Playtimes.December2013

An episiotomy is one of the most common medical interventions during childbirth, and it’s also one that concerns most mothers-to-be.

There are steps you can take to reduce your chance of an episiotomy – assuming your doctor or midwife is willing to take the restrictive approach:

1. Discuss your pain relief method with your doctor or midwife.
2. Work with your midwife or doctor to control the birth, pushing and waiting at the right times.
3. Find positions where you have more control when pushing and can clearly feel the urges.
4. Touching the perineum with your own hand when the head is crowning helps you get a better feeling of the actual progress of the head coming down.
5. Perineal massage from one of these professional massagers can help, especially if there is previous scarring.
6. Most importantly, try to be calm and patient during your delivery and let nature help you through.

Read the full article in the December issue of Playtimes 2013 here.

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An open letter to fellow

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An open letter to fellow

Posted on 09 December 2013 by hulda

…passengers on flight AY070 on the 9th of December 2013.


I deeply apologize for the series of events from the moment of my family arriving in HK airport.
Especially:


  • All of you who were waiting outside McDonalds in the departure hall (about 100 people as all other restaurants slapped their doors right onto all of us who wanted food at 10pm last night) who got the splashes of vomit from my little Vaka in a royal fashion all over the floor.  I hope you have good luck with cleaning your shoes, my fake UGG boots are still a little spotty after the event.
  • The others, who managed to avoid the actual vomit, who got splashed by me as no cleaners could be found and I had to clean the vomit up myself with a dirty cleaning equipment that was parked nearby.  I must say it made the start of the trip so wonderful to be there on all fours on the floor, trying not to see the details of what Vaka had eaten in the earlier hours of the day. 
  • Hoping not to meet any of my friends of clients – I of course spotted a few – sorry for the sight, try to pretend that it was not me that you saw!
  • Dear you in seat 31 F.  I know you were really really pissed by the end of the trip.  After all, it was 11 hours of constant kicking from my little Vaka into your back, -and when not kicking, jumping on the eating table at the back of your seat.  And even if you managed to stay un-angry, when she pulled your hair with her sticky fingers while holding onto your headrest – for the 10th time and this time could not let go as they stuck to it so bad, – I know you really had a hard time there. 
  • Had I had any hope of you not being murderously mad by the time Vaka threw her bag of apple juice (I had emptied it from a cup that the air hostess gave us as I was worried that it would spill on the floor, so it was in a zip log bag) into your lap – my hopes quickly deteriorated. 
  • The bag looked like it was full of urine and when it then leaked as you were inspecting it, although I found it rather funny, there was no amusement to be found between your lips when the shriek of horror escaped from there. 
  • I tried my best and moved my girls both to the two other seats that we had on the window side and dear passenger in seat 31 J. I am also VERY sorry to you.  Travelling on your own makes you really appreciate how badly raised many children are.  That is at least what I sometimes feel like.  Or rather, how deeply non-resourceful their parents seem to be.  Either endless shouts and angry telling – offs, or totally given up on the upbringing and the kids get everything they want, of course leaving them vicious with sugar highs, jumping and screaming.  And the endless pulling on the seat in the front.  
  • When my girls decided to make a house on multi levels behind seat number 31J, I was rather pleased and it was nice to fall asleep while they played so happily.
  •  
  • When I woke up and saw you, dear passenger, I realized they had really played on multi levels and you were a part of the game.  Sorry, sorry, sorry for the tent they made under your dining table and between your legs.  And that your blanket was taken from you during the game.  And Especially sorry for the BIG milk bottle that Vaka decided to drink and spill into your shoes that you had parked inside their house (under your seat). 

    Building a house inside the plane

    Building a house inside the plane

  • Dear passengers, I do realize why people all looked away when we entered the transit cue in Helsinki.  I even heard someone say “they are here also” – and move away (their shoes were still spotty).

 

Nearing Christmas, I am sure that many of you are travelling with children.  I send you all my love.

 

 

 

From Helsinki, en route to Iceland, rather gray looking and not-yet teethbrushed,sipping on my cappuchino that is cold already.

 

Hulda (mother of  the 2 and 5 year old not-well-raised girls that were also travelling).

 

ps. and I was travelling with a helper, can you imagine how I would have fared on my own?

 

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