Tag Archive | "birth"

Birth – gratitude – love

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Birth – gratitude – love

Posted on 03 July 2015 by hulda

I will never let you go

I will never let you go

Today is the day, that 18 years ago, I gave birth to my first baby.

I remember every little detail of that day.

It was more important to me that any other day in my life, although others were to follow when my other little babies were born.

But it was such a special day -  filled with kindness, hardship, patience, pain, unpredictability, sunshine, music, pressure, excitement, anticipation, warmth, love and relief.

It was a long day that started two days earlier actually, by me being induced after being more than 2 weeks past the 40 weeks of pregnancy.  I had no real expectations and did not know that induction meant anything different than a normal start of labour.  Except for the lack of candlelight on the bathtub and an exciting 100km drive to the hospital.

But apart from that, I was not concerned – I was in a very nice hospital with very nice people around.  My family were coming and going while the induction was starting, I was walking around in the park outside the hospital, food and drinks were served and finally, waters broke and the real work started.

I never forget that feeling, the waters breaking.  A flood of warm liquid everywhere, over me, on the bed, floor, everywhere.  A slight feeling of, not shame, but some strange sensation that I was looking ridiculous to the people around me, the midwives.

But they seemed happy and things were progressing.

Stumbling to the toilet where I sat on a birth ball, vomited into the sink and someone had the shower-head with warm water on my back.

Mess, pain and desperation for an hour or so.

Does it really have to be this way?  Would a C-section not just be better?

A warm smile from the midwives.

Sun shining through the glass of the windows.  Enya singing.

Pethidine.  Calm, sleep, smiles.

Sit up on the bed, husband behind, pressure, hands on the baby’s head, enormous pressure, hair between my fingers, midwife sat on a stool on the floor as I was standing with my butt resting on the side of the bed. Finally head out – what a relief after two days of labour.

The music gently in the background, shoulders out and the most beautiful feeling in the whole world when the 4 kilo boy scrambled into my hands and onto my chest.

Smiles, kindness, relief and an enormous feeling of something I had never felt before.

Waking up the next day, remembering that something absolutely amazing, amazing, amazing had happened, but not sure what? Like the day after Christmas when you had your very favourite gift, except 100 times stronger.

Looking to the side and seeing the little bundle in the cradle next to me, remembering what it was that had happened.

Such love I never felt in my life before.

Since then, never wanting to let go of him.  Kept him in my arms, fed him, had him next to me in the bed for as long as I possibly could do.  And he was always happy.

Now, 18 years later, trying to let my baby fly on his own wings into this world, but the love is no less.

I remember every detail of that day.  The smell, the touches, the sounds, the feeling.  Still brings tears to my eyes.

Thank you everyone that made it that way.

Family, midwives, friends, and Starri, my baby, thank you all.

 

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Normal, not natural

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Normal, not natural

Posted on 13 March 2015 by Kristrun

Annerley Low 10Annerley is a private organization. We are not innocent, any more than others in such a position, of using catchy titles, promotional texts and other ways of grabbing people’s attention. We do however, try to limit it to no-nonsense and something useful.

It bothers me endlessly how so many concepts seem to have been labelled and commercialized.  Why does everything have to be called something catchy?

Natural birth for example.  I use this term often myself but it really annoys me and I mean to stop it.  It is as used and stretched as “natural” labelling on food products: it does not really represent anything anymore.  And it puts pressure on people to perform in a “natural” way or else… What does natural stand for in labour, for example?

Can we please just call vaginal births NORMAL BIRTHS?  And natural parenting, what is that?  Normal parenting please.  The extremes of this world are starting to annoy me so much. It makes life too hard for us all. There is so much hypocrisy in it anyway.  How can you be all natural in one aspect of your life and the rest is all screwed up?  What is the point of it anyway?

And then there are the definitions.  “I failed to do Hypnobirthing” someone said to me the other day.  “What a load of nonsense,” I said.  There is no such thing as failing in, for example, Hypnobirthing.  It is just a method that you can use the way you choose, even if someone has labelled it and trademarked it.  Same for “Baby-Led Weaning”.  It does not have to be all or nothing, or else you have failed in the method.  There is nothing natural about this all anymore, just pressure to follow someone’s instructions as if they were a god and desperate to get all the credit, and income, from it.

In my opinion, average is good.  Normal is great. Natural…I am not so sure.

From the grumpy corner,

Hulda

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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Leaving the hospital on the day of the birth – the first night at home with our newborn

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Leaving the hospital on the day of the birth – the first night at home with our newborn

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Kristrun

newbornontummyI remember clearly the first night at home with our firstborn. The labour had been very long, although the birth itself was eventually short and sweet. We were at Queen Mary public hospital in Hong Kong and if you want to know the details of my birth story, you can actually read it here, even if it’s not the subject of the day.

She was born shortly after lunchtime on a Sunday and we were fortunate enough to have no severe complications and went home that same evening. Well having said that, the pediatrician had recommended her to be observed in a special care unit for 48 hours but we had turned down her kind offer. This was a perfectly healthy baby and after consulting our midwife, we went home as planned.

We had to wait a bit after signing the discharge papers so we were working out how to give her the breast and it went OK. Her sucking ability was great and she was more or less on the breast until it was time to leave.  It took a while to get her dressed, as I had not been very practical about the clothes I chose for her. Get something that opens up widely and is easy to put on. I had bought a long dress which I had to put over her head and then try to find a way to put her arms through after it going over her head. She only wore that one once.

We took her home in a Maxi Cosi capsule, a great thing to carry infants around in, even if you don’t have a car. It protects them so well. In the taxi I was terrified, I thought everything was dirty and that she would be so scared to be exposed to all this light. I sat next to her, held her hand and was leaning over her so that our faces touched. She was fine and did not cry.

It was such a relief to be at home, it was less than 6 hours from her birth that we were in our own clean home. I was exhausted, but hubby was in a bit better shape and ready to help out. We made our selves comfortable on our big bed with her in the middle. She cried a lot and did not seem to settle well so we ended up taking turns walking around with her between the feeds. At some point very late, I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later. When I was waking up I knew something good had happened but it’s that moment where all of a sudden reality kicks in. I have a baby, and where is she? I soon found out. My husband was asleep next to me and Johanna was sleeping on his chest – one of the most peaceful  moments in my life.

We lasted that first night without great panic. But by trying to use all the resources we could think of. None of them likely to be recommended by a professional midwife, but we managed to rest and work it out. The midwife came later on that day – sorted out the breastfeeding positions and answered our many questions.  And gradually we got the hang of it.

My point is – you will educate yourself and try to get ready. And at the back of your head the resources will be there as needed. But sometimes you have just got to improvise and go with what works for you.

Kristrun Lind Birgisdottir ECE, mother of two.

 

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website

 

 

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Vaka’s birth – part two

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Vaka’s birth – part two

Posted on 17 October 2014 by hulda

Sorry for the long wait.

Baby on the way

Moving the boat to the pier

My father is running around to find some kind of heating solution.  My husband moves the boat closer to a pier closer to the hospital so that the drive to there will be easier.  Soon, all the people in the Yacht Club are aware that a baby is about to be born in the Icelandic boat.  Helpers almost looking through the windows – quite funny.  My father runs off to Sai Kung to buy a gas cooker so that we can heat up water, but the rest of us all are in the boat relaxed and calm really.  The electrics are not getting sorted but the pool is up and a little bit of hot water. It is lunchtime on the 18th of April.  I call a midwife who I know and she is willing to come and cancel all her plans and help out a little bit, although of course a homebirth is not an option.

Slowly the labour moves into a little more stronger gear and my father and mother and law continue to boil water and pour into the pool, that I now am using.  It is such a great feeling, I just cannot imagine doing any birth without water myself.  Every time, it has been amazing.

Baby is kicking plenty, midwife is checking the heartbeat and I check my own dilation.  All normal, no change.  Soon, my 2 year old insists on jumping into the pool and we do some gymnastics in there for a while.  Such great pain relief to have the joy of a toddler, that finds all of this quite amazing.
Every now and again I get out of the pool and my oldest girl is massaging my back and putting a hot pack on there during the 5 min. apart contractions.  It is really nice to have them there.  Fruits and tea and pool and lying on the floor and comfort, great music and time passes and I feel that the dilation is not at all getting any more, although contractions are stronger.  At 7 pm I am still 3 cm dilated with bulging membranes and I can feel that they just need to break and then the baby will be born quickly.

 

Leaning forward during contractions

Leaning forward during contractions

Back Camera

One more dip in the pool, breathing and Saga (my 2 year old) climbing on my back in the water, AC/DC and Leonard Cohen mix of music and finally we decide to go to hospital.

Just in time, says my husband who has finished fixing the electronics on the boat, the water is now running and everyone has had their dinner at the back.

We do receive lots of greetings and bright smiles at 10 30 pm when we walk on the pier and every time I have a contraction I must lay down on my side for a minute.  I am wearing my bikinis and a wrap, and the group consists of me, my husband, two children, father, father in law, mother in law and the midwife.

After around 15 minutes of slowly making it to the car (my father in law quite embarrassed as he finds me, very pregnant in a bathing suit amongst other people, lying on the side on the concrete, not appropriate) we leave Sai Kung and drive to Queen Mary Hospital.

 

Kids helping out with the contractions in QMH

Kids helping out with the contractions in QMH

Labour slows down, like usual when you go to the hospital but we make it in 30 minutes and check in.  Very warm greetings and nice staff allows my kids and husband to stay with me for a while while all is checked and I tell them that I really want to break my waters myself as I did not want to do this at home but I know the baby will be born soon if that happens.  Freyja, my daughter massages my back and Starri tells me funny stories.  Holding my hands across the bed was like an anchor to me that I really did not want to let go of.

Finally I am moved across the hall to the delivery ward and was again greeted with the most amazing team.  As soon as I come in, they dim the lights, put on the music from Titanic (I have to smile a little) and offer me a massage, which I accept.  They are very good but then try to get my husband to do it and I know he would be better doing plenty of other things, so they just continue.

After about an hour of slowly moving into more active labour, I ask them to break my waters and in comes a very unfriendly doctor who tells me she will do nothing to help me if I am going to lie down, stop eating and have IV drip.  A little discussion and we agree on breaking the waters.

Soon after that I feel the urge to push.  And what a good feeling.

I know my kids are waiting in the waiting room and really wish they could be there but me and my husband have a lovely quiet time and he is in control of the TENS machine every contraction.  Each time he misses it, I  jerk and remind him and it is quite a funny thing when he in return jumps up from his half-asleep condition and presses the button.

Finally, the urge is so strong that I can not resist it and lying on my side, feeling the head with my hands, she is very very slowly, born.  The two midwives hardly said a word and just sat there in the corner, completely respecting my birth wishes.
She is born around 1 am on the 19th of April, perfect and beautiful, although her face takes hours to become normal color (her head was born in 3 contractions, so she was all very purple), she is of course the most beautiful thing.  We lift her to my chest and she straight away breastfeeds.

Still in this quiet room and no lights, middle of night, we are given an hour or so, until we go to the postnatal ward, and then home in the morning.

Just born in QMH

I manage to SMS my friend who lives nearby to instruct for her famous brownies to be made, and she manages to make them and my sister brings food and when I made it home to the boat, everything was just perfect.  Like at my previous births, the sight of the other kids when they saw their little sister was absolutely amazing.

 

4 kg

Coming home to the boat, the family and the joy was also something I never forget.

This time will never come back but I remember it like it was yesterday.  And the days after, and the weeks after, in a haze, feeding, cuddling and smelling this absolutely tiny thing that I wanted never never to stop being small.   So I just kept her in my arms all the time although I soon had to go to work, I took her with me and atnight she slept between me and my husband.

2 days old

2 days old

 

Every now and again we look at each other and think, well, should we put her in her own bed.  And we even did it a few times.  After an hour or two, he always goes to fetch her.

I am a busy mum, I work full time and I travel and do sports.  I give my kids far less time than most mums.  I try to make it a nice time.  I also hold onto them as hard as I can when they are little and cherish the moments.  I am so grateful for that time, and all the moments I have with them.   Every now and again, I think of the births and I miss them.  It was hard, long and tiring, this birth.

But it was absolutely worth it and every time I think of it I smile.

I will never let you go

I will never let you go

 

So does my father in law, and the whole of Hebe Haven Yacht club, I think.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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A good birth

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A good birth

Posted on 15 October 2014 by Kristrun

Epidural during labour can give good pain relief but requires monitoring throughoutEver since I came to Hong Kong, now 14 years ago, I have been helping women to go through the journey of pregnancy and birth in such a way that they, their partner and their baby may have the potential of the best possible outcome, physically and emotionally.  What has become obvious to me is that somehow the whole birth event – when preparing – is often something that people look at in a black-and-white way, so when it comes to actually going through the process, most are surprised and are not well prepared at all.

So what is a good birth?
My opinion is that a good birth is a birth where you and your partner feel you have had your baby safely, where your wishes were treated genuinely well and you feel that you were supported to enjoy the experience in a respectful way.   This is usually achieved when you are in charge of your own birth i.e. allowed to do what you want while you go through labour, whilst professional staff also ensure that you and your baby are safe.  When I was at the very first birth in my midwifery training, my mentor at the time told me that my role in that room was to make sure that the woman and her baby were safe and they needed to be monitored and helped to continue to be so, but I was not allowed to order that woman to do anything.  If she wanted to crawl on the floor, sit in the corner, leave the room, take a bath etc., she was allowed all that, but I just had to chase her with my equipment, should I need to do any medical tests or checks on her.  I was not allowed to tell her to change whatever she was doing to make herself comfortable.

The reason for this is that when women go through labour, they gradually find ways to cope with it in a manageable way, as long as they are left to it and perhaps helped a little bit every now and again.  Similar to animals, if disturbed, they will often feel scared and anxious and lose the focus to cope and help themselves to have an easier birth.  Adrenaline takes over and the birth feels more painful and also is often described as “out of control” by the women.

Factors that may contribute to  making the birth easier for women are  things like:  moving about, eating and drinking, changing the environment in any way that feels best (lights, the setup of furniture is very important and you can learn more on Reclinercize about how to make it idea with cushions, birth balls etc), using toilet and shower, having the people around you that you want, having privacy (believe it or not but in many hospitals, staff just wander in and out of the labour room as they wish, without even knocking -  and often there is a half naked labouring woman in there).  Many women also complain that they are treated as if they are expected to just “do as they are told”  and “behave”  -  for example not to make any noise, or to lie down when it does not feel comfortable but the staff feels they should and so on, and this puts stress on them.

A good birth = natural birth?  
Perhaps, but it depends on how you define natural.  There is a common belief amongst women that a good birth is a natural birth only.  Anything not natural means that the birth has gone wrong.  Other women define a good birth as a pain-free one, and many define it as a birth where they feel in control.  I would say that if your expectations for a good birth are as rigid as this, it may be hard to meet them.

A birth where you are mostly in control is usually the birth that is remembered afterwards as a good one.  Control can mean so many different things,  but in labour if it means that at all times, explanations are given to you, you are supported to make decisions on your own, within safe limits, and regardless of the TIME the labour and birth takes and the INTENSITIY of the labour,  there is support available to you.  Much effort has been put into researching this and it is generally the view of labouring mothers that non-support in labour equals non-control AND a less positive birth experience. Similarly, good support through labour and birth, equals control and a good birth experience.  Take note that this is more or less regardless of pain, length of labour, or medical interventions.

Different types of labour
Many mothers are unaware of some factors in our modern world greatly affect the outcome of the birth.  In Hong Kong, one of the biggest factors is how labour starts.  A labour that starts at home, on its own, with contractions gradually building up, membranes intact and a normal, full length pregnancy and the woman can stay at home for most of her early labour, has a very good chance of a normal vaginal birth, with almost no medical intervention or unexpected surprises.  It is likely to be similar to most of the births that preparation books and classes have portrayed.  Where the onset of labour is more complicated, the rest of the labour is likely to be more complicated.  So you are to conclude that this will mean that you will not be able to have a good birth, you are in trouble!  Thinking out of the box is very necessary here and it is very important to focus on making the birth a good one – given the circumstances you are in.  So you have to ask yourself, what is REALLY important to you, apart from a healthy baby?

Birth is a journey that can be long, rough and totally different to what you expected it to be.  Still, it can be a very good one, as long as you have solutions and help available when you meet your challenges.  And fewer challenges do not always mean a better trip.

Given this, I would suggest, before the birth to ask yourself the following:

1.    What kind of birth do you want and WHY?
2.    What are the circumstances that have been proven to maximize the chances of that kind of a birth?
3.    What is your view of pregnancy and birth in general?
4.    Why did you pick your doctor/midwife/hospital?  Have they been supportive during the pregnancy?
5.    Have you realized the difference between the labouring stage and birthing stage?
6.    What about the subject of pain?   Should it be there or not?  How to avoid it?  What are your opinions based on?
7.    Control.  How would you define this?
8.    Your partner & support people.  Will they be supportive?  How do you know?  Have you discussed your ideas?
9.    If you want a totally natural, non-intervention birth, have you prepared this way? How?

Safety and Comfort
Birth is an event that happens very differently to different people.  If you are going to have a good one, it is important to remember that doctors and midwives care very much about safety.  If you have picked your doctor and hospital, trust that they will genuinely do the best for you in this regard.  You are the one to take care of your comfort – and to make the birth a good one.  This you do by self exploring, preparing realistically and looking at all the different options you have regarding the birth, not only before, but also during the labour.  This means that despite the length or strength of labour and the hard work, at all times you keep matters in your own hands, get help when needed and make sure that the team around you is one to be genuinely devoted to what you want.

Hulda

(Slightly edited from first publication in the Parents Journal, Hong Kong)

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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Routine checks and tests for babies – the first six months

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Routine checks and tests for babies – the first six months

Posted on 08 August 2014 by Kristrun


IMG_0676At birth, your baby will be assessed by the midwife caring for you and will be given an Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes following birth. This involves assessment of your baby’s behavior, heart rate and breathing, the score is out of 10 and most babies will be given a score of 8 or 9 by 5 minutes following birth. Your baby will also be weighed, and have head circumference and body length measured. She may also be bathed. A Vitamin K injection will be recommended.

In hospital you will have a paediatrician assigned to you/chosen by you. He/she will check the baby & discharge you from the hospital usually between days 3 to 5 after birth. Vaccinations will be commenced including Hepatitis B & BCG(TB). You do have a say in whether your baby receives these vaccinations, however if you are choosing to decline the advice, make sure this is based on independent research and be informed about what it is that you declining. You will also need to discuss this with the paediatrician prior to discharge.

Your baby needs a checkup around day 7-10. Your midwife/health visitor can perform this check up during a home visit, unless the baby has jaundice or other problems when they left the hospital. Baby will need a weekly check (roughly) for around one month, then every two weeks, and then monthly from 2-6 months. If you have a private midwife to help you at home after the birth, she will weigh the baby, check reflexes, and do a PKU test. Her visits usually finish around week 3-4 and then you can see a doctor for vaccinations and Well Baby Clinics for weight checks between vaccination appointments. Baby needs a hearing test before one month old (usually done in hospitals at birth) and a thorough developmental check around 6 to 8 weeks.

In private clinics, it is usually doctors who do the vaccinations – can be a paediatrician or a family doctor (GP). Your doctor will start the 6-in-1 vaccination at 2 months, with two more injections at 4 and 6 months. The 6-in-1 (DPT-polio-Hib-Hep) protects babies against 6 diseases: diptheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, HiB (haemophilus influenzae type b), and hepatitis B.

If you are using government services, all check-ups and vaccinations are available there for free (4-in-1: DPT, polio) but will not include the HiB vaccination – this you will need to get at a private clinic. So if you want to have the HiB vaccination, it may be worth considering going privately for the whole 6-in-1 series as although you can have most for free, you will still need to pay for the HiB privately, plus the consultation fee, which will work out only slightly less expensive than having the whole series privately, and will result in more trips out, plus an extra injection for baby.

The government clinic will give the Hepatitis B vaccination at 4 weeks; private doctors give it at 6 months (included in the 6-in-1 vaccination).

Well Baby Clinics are available every week at Annerley for weight checks, consultation and development assessment and you can choose this option for regular weight checks in between your vaccination appointments. This is a lot less expensive than a trip to a private doctor and you will have access to our Health Visitor and midwives who can help and advise you on any of your baby related concerns or questions.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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Untitled

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Stand, sit or squat – Hulda talks about positions

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Kristrun

Common delivery scene: Woman, lying on her back, screaming, swearing and sweating profusely as she pushes her baby into the Untitledworld less common, but more pleasant scene: Woman, sitting up, silent, serene and sweating profusely as she breathes her baby into the world. Less pleasant than the second – the more common one, the one always pictured in movies and TV shows? After all, there is more than one way to give birth, ways that are far more comfortable and relaxing for mother and baby. Lying on your back in labour may seem like the most obvious position; however, taking this position can cause contractions to slow down and become more painful, and, as your body is working against gravity, to make your labour a lot longer than necessary. Assuming your personal choice
and circumstances allow for a natural you might consider.

 

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WD-HuldaThorey small

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One way to stay focused through labour and birth

Posted on 18 October 2013 by hulda

At some point during your labour you will be wondering about why all this hard work has to be a part of it.   It is in fact often quite challenging and  it is very important to stay focused in your head and constantly have happy thoughts to go to, reminders that keep you on track.

When you have had more than one baby, you realise that in most ways,  you benefit from all the experience of the first one / ones.  They also shape your thougts a little, i.e. if it has been hard, you may be worried.  Essentially, also, if it was hard, you may find this birth and baby easier, as it is at least not the same challenge as last time.

If all was very easy first time round, you may also benefit from that in the sense that at least you have positive experiences to refer to and can be hopeful of the same.

In any case, it is always quite important to see the positive side of things and constantly remind yourself that you get much further with those kind of thoughts than if you are always very sceptical.

 

I was teaching an antenatal class the other day and was looking for something to show all the parents to be that might be positive for them.  A good story is worth telling, but then I saw this picture of my now 15 year old girl, from when she was 2 and got a hold of my makeup bag (which does not hold much but a lipstick and mascare btw) while sitting in the backseat of the car, and as I waThey grow up so nices driving and unable to attent to her, she managed to smear lipstick all over her face and chest and surrounding areas of the car.

It was one of those moments that would have been easy to loose it a little, but then again, how adorable is that?

And looking at the picture,  it really reminded me of the very important point that we always must remember, starting from pregnancy and then throughout the birth;  after this comes a baby.  A baby with all the colors of the rainbow and such amazing things and experiences that all of what you are going through becomes so completely and utterly worth it.  A baby that grows up and uses your lipstick, plays soccer with you and cuddles you many times every day.

I took the picture and showed to the antenatal class, and told them that this was one of the things I used while having my babies – a picture of the older ones.

 

So find your own picture, stick it in your wallet or print it out and keep with you when you go into labour.  Picture of anything nice, that makes you smile and happy and keeps you focused on what you need to be focused on.

My picture of Freyja is now plastered on the wall in the antenatal class room and no one really understands why, – but it makes everyone happy.

 

Have a good weekend,

Hulda

 

They grow up so nice

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The marathon of birth – and other marathons

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The marathon of birth – and other marathons

Posted on 25 August 2013 by hulda

Many say that birth has nothing in common with a marathon.  While I appreciate that births are a very different experience from one person to the next, I feel that there are many things that marathons and births do have in common.  Without debating this – as I can actually go and dig into the research and find lots and lots to support my thoughts, but I will not – I am just going to share a few of my recent marathon feelings.

I prepared for Racing the Planet 250 km walk/run in Iceland in Hong Kong for 4–5 months before the race.  I was not in the best physical condition to take on such a race and had never run/walked anything beyond 25 km in my life. Most people around me were not convinced that this was a good idea, and few had done anything like it.  Those that had, however, found it not all that difficult and somehow seemed to be moving onto their next projects easily – usually an even longer run.  Some found it absolutely amazing and following these people was the thing that inspired me. Plus, I was curious to know whether I actually could do it?  Why not?  And then when supported and encouraged by two amazing ladies who also were inspired to do it, I had no more reasons to say no.  It was a fantastic way to “find inner strength” (is this not what we all try at some point), get fit and have lots of fun, plus do something new and hopefully inspire others in the way that others had done for me.

I knew it would be very stupid to do this without preparation — both physical and emotional.  I also knew, according to experts, that I was on the borderline of meeting the criteria. I was overweight, very busy, had one knee that was really in bad condition after four surgeries, although strong I was not generally fit, had little endurance and had never ran fast nor far.  And it was expensive as hell!

How was I to fit this into a schedule where four children (I admit that helpers run my home way more than I do, and husband is very patient and often works from home, so with help, yes),  very busy with work — busier than usual as we had a sudden decrease in our employees due to retirements etc. — and just generally trying to stay afloat in a life where there was already plenty to do in.  And why?  I did not have to do it after all.  Most people just run normal trail runs here in Hong Kong, or do a short version of the Hong Kong Marathon.

In any case, I signed up.

So many doubts go through your head when you are training and when it does not go well, you have to stay focused, or do as I did and NIKE says we all should, “just do it”.  Don’t think too much, just go ahead, one step at a time, and remind yourself that the easy way is to quit and in fact, you have that option. But you can also have a drink of water and an energy bar, and remind yourself to enjoy the view and the company.

When the time finally comes, you are sure that you have not trained enough. No matter how much fun and enthusiasm, pure joy over this newfound health and happiness is all around you, all of a sudden, you realize that this actually WILL HAPPEN.  Like — possibly — tomorrow!

You buy all the best gadgets, employ the best experts for information, training and gear, speak to all your friends who have done something similar, and you over-educate yourself on blogs and books regarding nutrition, training, philosophies, best strategies for each section, what to do if…

And many, many people come to you and tell you horror stories of their or their friends’ experiences.

Some tell you success stories, because this is how they are — either SUCCESS or NOT  (finish or not).  They don´t all realize that success is not only there when you cross the finish line in a race;  there are many other ways to enjoy success and in any case, this is a very wrong word to use.

Finally, you wake up on the day.  You do all the right things that you remember, but realize that you have also forgotten a lot of the advice you were given and you learned in the books. And there is no time to pull your notes and books out again,  or call your friends. It is the middle of the night anyway.   Your very own worry all along was right to be there. After all your planning, you realize that you have woken up after only four hours of sleep, you feel tired and half nauseous, you’re not really in the mood to eat, you remember that you were washing the trousers that you are going to wear and they are still wet, your other half is absolutely NOT in the mood to cheer you on at 5am, and you start to worry about all the things that will happen next.

But, you go ahead, drive to the start line, look around and realize that it is actually a beautiful day. Although all the other runners seem fitter and better equipped than you, you realize that you have prepared well in many ways, at least you are color coordinated (which was the case in my preparation, the team I was in made all the effort to keep a happy spirit and full color coordination and war paint!).

And you choose to go ahead.  Why not try?  Happy faces all around and anticipation is there, the drugs ha552967_10150814581217743_1193151073_nve not yet been pulled out and everyone is ready. You start to feel a little happy too. Your team partners, that you so very carefully selected, knowing their reputation for keeping up a good mood, for endurance, support, knowledge, experience…. are joining you in happiness.

If you are pregnant and about to give birth, please read the above and apply it to yourself.  Or if you have already had a baby, I am sure you understand.

More to come.

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Prenatal Charges & OB-GYN Fees in Hong Kong 2013

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Prenatal Charges & OB-GYN Fees in Hong Kong 2013

Posted on 21 August 2013 by hulda

Pre-natal Charges & OB-GYN Fees in Hong Kong 2013Published in Geobaby – 3 May 2013

Having a baby in Hong Kong? Our list of OB-GYNs and their charges will be a good start for you as you embark on your journey to mommyhood.

For your convenience and quick reference, we’ve compiled a list of doctors who deliver in Hong Kong, and their basic fees. In the table below, you will find the hospitals the doctors deliver in, and the fees for the consultation, ultrasounds, and the price of natural vs. c-section deliveries.

There were some data that we were unsuccessful in obtaining, so if you’ve just had a baby please share your doctor’s fees with us. All of these doctors can be found in our directory, but if your doctor isn’t listed here, drop us a line at editor@geobaby.com.

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