Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Hiccups!

Lately the little one has started to have hiccups! Its not just a single one every now and then, its a regular hic-hic-hic at least three times a day. Fetal hiccups, at least according to one site I was just reading, starts happening towards the end of the pregnancy when the central nervous system is adequately developed for them to happen:

“First of all, only more mature fetuses hiccup in the womb because their central nervous system is adequately developed in order to allow this to happen. It is believed that the fetus breathes in amniotic fluid or drinks it. When this happens and the amniotic fluid enters and exists the fetus lungs then the diaphragm contracts and hiccups results.” (Read more at The Labor of Love)

I did not know that. I had heard that the hiccups will be a funny thing to feel during pregnancy, but I did not know that they are also such a wonderful sign of a little person developing along so quickly and wonderfully.

I am just glad that I dont have to have the hiccups as often as little E does. But apparently they are soothing for little babies still in the bump, so maybe I shouldn’t feel too sorry for her.

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Nesting..

This weekend went completely to the important task of nesting.. It wasn’t really the plan as we started off celebrating our weekend, but somehow it just snuck up on us while we were out to do our weekly shop and I ended up getting pulled in, deeper and deeper into the world of nesting. Personally, I blame the hormones.

Anyhow, let me tell you what happened. So, we have not gone completely over the top with buying baby stuff up till now, but have still felt that the situation has been under control. There was basically still time and honestly, she cant need THAT much for the first month, surely not? But hey, who am I to say, its not like I am the expert here.

The Crib

But this Saturday, as we were wandering around the shopping centre not too far away from home, we happened to stumble upon a lovely crib. I guess most of the stuff we have bought up till now is smaller stuff, and we were just going to have her sleep in a basket the first month or so, but suddenly we realised that I guess we will be needing bigger stuff as well. Most importantly we would be needing a crib, a car seat, a play pen and possibly a stroller.

So at least we had found a crib I thought as we went into the shop to hear a bit more about it and check prices. We were very fortunate indeed as that weekend they were offering it at 20% discount, so we decided we might as well pick it up then and there. As a consequence to all this, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful crib!

J impressed me with his DIY skills and put it together that morning and now it is just sitting there, ready to be used, in our bedroom with the gorgeous quilt that my colleagues mum made for us. It actually turned out pretty nicely, since now we have a great place thats a bit out of the way to store all the baby stuff as well. Ill just have to rethink that once the little one is here.

In addition to the crib, we also picked up a gorgeous glider chair! I had never tried one of these before, and I agree that it doesn’t look too cool, but my gosh how nice it is! I tried it in the shop and could happily have stayed there, gliding away. Unfortunately we had other things to do as well so I had to leave the gliding till later. I didn’t have to wait for too long for the next session as the chair was also on 20% discount and we decided to pick that up as well.

To finish off my wonderful nesting weekend I decided to put on my domestic goddess hat and whip up some cinnamon rolls for my team and for us at home. I havent dared try make them with dried yeast since the traumatising experience I had with dried yeast in Scotland in 2000, but I must say, this time it actually worked out! They came out pretty nice, the first ones were a bit burned underneath thanks to the kind of oven we have, but the rest were delicious so I will definitely be doing this again.

Kanelbullar - Cinnamon Buns

Making Cinnamon Buns

For those of you who want to try, I used the recipe from this lovely food related blog

Living with a Bump

Pregnant BellyI cant believe I am already six months down the line, with D-Day moving closer all the time at quite a rapid pace. Or well, interestingly enough it feels like I have been pregnant for EVER, while at the same time I cant believe how time flies and that it is already July, while October is just around the corner really.

I have tried to read up on what exactly is happening during this time, and I must say I keep finding incredible facts about how amazingly well nature has arranged for it all. I keep sharing my “fun facts” with my poor colleague who has to listen to me 😉 But I think one day she will be grateful that I taught her things like:

  • During pregnancy the amount of blood you have in your body increases by about 50% compared to pre pregnancy
  • Your stomach muscles separate and slide to the sides during pregnancy to accommodate for the bump
  • Your body changes the amniotic fluid three times a day!

I am pretty impressed constantly about all the things my body manages. I do feel like I am very much just an observer at times (mind wise), watching how my baby and my body seem to know exactly what to do and I am just in it for the ride.

But I do try to keep up and learn some stuff myself so its not just my baby and body working. 😉 For example, I just received my Hypnobirthing book that I wanted to read as a complementary piece to the course we did earlier this summer. Thanks to the course and to the book I think I have learned quite a lot about what to do and what to expect with this whole adventure, and especially how I can just relax and let my baby and body get on with it. I think that must be the most difficult part for most women. Relying on your body to know what to do and to just relax.

So even if I am pretty relaxed about most things, I am realising I should definitely be taking many more pics of the bump! I have a few but I do want more.. You never know if this is a once in a lifetime experience, or just the first one and you will get another chance. I also think it might help me get to terms with the miracle that is happening just under my nose.. 😉

But for now, I will just head back to bed I think. I had to get up to have sth to eat earlier on, but I think I am ready for another little snooze now next to the gorgeous J.

Doctors, Midwives and Doulas

I have just started my 9 month journey… Or actually let me rephrase, I am about half way through my 9 month journey and I never realised how many things you need to arrange for yourself and investigate when you are new to a country and its medical system. Since Ive never been pregnant before I havent really thought about most of these things before, not to mention the fact that I have always just thought that the way I hear prenatal maternity care is done in Finland is the norm. Shockingly that is not the case and I have had to broaden my views massively lately.

We started off going to a very good, but slightly stiff doctor at the CIMA hospital here in Escazu. I had my first appointment with him at about 7 weeks, the second at 10 when we did the first ultra sound and the third at like 14 weeks when we did a second ultrasound (and found out its a girl!). I cannot complain of the treatment we received at CIMA during our visits, they were all lovely and the doctor seemed very knowledgeable although quite laissez -faire. Unfortunately, his relaxed attitude did not include any deviations from the usual path of how he saw the process of giving birth.

Having been quite terrified of the prospect of giving birth ever since I was 16 and was put through a movie about giving birth during health class in school, I have always thought I wanted all the drugs they would allow me and preferably also a c-section to make things as quick as possible.. But now, being faced with the inevitable in just a few more months, I have started thinking that surely something so beautiful as birth cannot be as horrible as it is made out to seem like in all the hollywood movies, sit coms or TV shows where action and drama are applauded for bringing the views in.

I agree that calling giving birth “to be in labour” is most likely a very appropriate term as I would not think hours and hours of contractions is going to be a walk in the park for anyone. At the same time, I am finding it more and more difficult to accept interventions into this natural process that is birth, especially when they are unnecessary, which so many interventions nowadays seem to be.

Anyhow, with this attitude I went to see a doula (as over here they don’t really have a system that would be accepting of midwives like we have in Finland), to find out a bit more and to at least try to add a humane point of view to a “procedure” that for me had now been made to feel so surgical instead of natural and beautiful.

Ansu was absolutely lovely and we had an hour and a half of intensive debate about everything and anything and in the end she recommended me to Dr. P. She presented him to me as a very likely solution to all the soulless medical attitudes I had been subjected to over the past two months, and I was very keen on seeing if she was right. I called him up a week later to arrange an appointment and that marvellous day was yesterday.

I must say, meeting Dr. P. was like love at first appointment. He had a pretty much exactly matching attitude to birth as what we have fostered during our last few months of research and pondering and as the appointment extended from our initial 30mins to almost an hour of chatting, checking and measuring we felt more and more like we had finally found a perfect doctor for the last leg of this journey. I cannot even describe how relieved and happy I was when I walked out of that office next to the wonderful J, with a confirmation that E was doing very well in the tummy, that everything else in there was doing what it should be doing and that we could in the end have as natural a birth as we wanted. And in a birthing pool even! 🙂

Now, I cannot wait to experience this last stretch of the journey!

Cravings…

I always thought the whole thing about cravings while pregnant was a topic that had just been blown out of proportion and that surely you cannot have such massive urges to eat random things simply because of your growing bump. Well lo and behold, here I am now at 4 months with a fairly interesting palate and a need for the most random foods.

Over the last few years I have had some big changes in my diet, the biggest one according to me being the move away from being an avid coffee drinker to loving tea (green tea and oolong now being my favourites). But nothing prepared me for these changes.

OrangesI kicked off my pregnancy with purely wanting soda crackers, toast and potatoes as everything else made my stomach turn and shivers of disgust go through my body. Looking at the nutritional values of the things I was eating would make a starving child look well nourished, and needless to say I lost over a kilo between the 6th and 10th week. During this time I did though soon moved over to loving oranges to lessen my nausea. Oranges in the morning, during the day and in the afternoon, orange juice whenever possible and lemon in every water glass. Later on I heard that apparently the acidity from citrus fruits helps you feel less nauseous, but also that vitamin C plays a big role in this. without just listening to my body I would never have realised this so big respect to the body and it knowing what it wants.

Around this time I also completely stopped drinking tea. It was like I hit a wall and I just didnt have ANY interest in this lovely hot beverage anymore.. Quite surprising as I had up till then been having a happy 5 cups a day most likely. Reading about it I soon found out though that you should not have too much caffeine in your diet while pregnant and I guess this was again my body’s way to align itself with its new situation.

Pistachio NutsMy next big craving was pistachio nuts and beet root.. Not together, but still.. Hmm.. Considering my previous cravings of such low nutritional value it was with relief that I found out that both items are great sources of nutrients! Pistachios are high in oleic acids, carotenes and vitamin E while at the same time being packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.They also contain important minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.. Once again, pretty impressive craving by my body..

BeetrootsBeetroots then again are apparently loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C with the greens showing a higher content of iron compared to spinach.  They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars. And actually, its iron content, is of the highest and finest quality that makes excellent food that is blood building! (and apparently you increase the amount of blood in your body by approximately 40% during pregnancy!)

Interestingly enough my latest craving is salami.. Yesterday I had wonderful salami empanadas as my second breakfast and that same evening I was spoiled with a few slices of pepperoni pizza… Mmm.. It definitely hit the spot but I am still to find a good nutritional excuse for this craving..

Coming October 2011

Coming October 2011

Little by little all our items on the massive to do list are starting to be ticked off. Or at least they feel a bit more under control by now. We have had so many things happen to us over the last two months that I feel quite overwhealmed and exhausted almost about it all. However, it’s definitely been both good stuff and sad stuff..

First of all our car broke down 😦 The first sad thing to happen to us. My lovely Ford started coughing like an old smoker and had to be sent to the garage where it has now spent almost a month in pieces while we awaited the verdict first of all, then the new parts that were to be shipped in from the states and now finally the assembly and ultimate “all clear” status that should arrive next Tuesday.. Fingers crossed..

Then we had J’s mum and husband over for two weeks (the good stuff), which was absolutely lovely (and you can read more about in my entry about Arenal) but still tiring since we ended up doing lots of fun stuff with them.

Unfortunately by the time they left, our second car also broke down (very sad stuff) due to an exhausted ignition motor or whatever it was called again.. Thankfully we found an amazing mechanic who came to our house and took care of it for us so now he is purring like a kitten again!

Then on Thursday this week (Cinco de Mayo!) I finally got my cedula sorted! I am not oficially a temporary resident of Costa Rica 🙂 Pretty cool! What is even more amazing is that during the same week J got his papers that he is “in process” as well, meaning neither one of us will have to leave the country now unless we choose to do so ourselves! No more visa runs!

And well last but not least.. We also found out that we are expecting a little baby girl. She is due in October 2011 and I cannot wait to meet her. Well, I knew about the baby for a while, but on the 29th April we decided we wanted to know a bit more about who we are soon about to meet and that is when we found out its a lovely little baby girl.

Due to this not just good stuff, but amazing stuff, we are planning to move into the smaller house next door this coming weekend. Even if I do very much like where we live at the moment, this move is mainly so that I dont have to waddle around up and down spiral staircases as well as providing us with a smaller, cosier set up for when the baby gets here. Not to mention saving some rent…

But hopefully we now have a few quieter months when we can focus on what is to come, as well as for me to deal with all my inner thoughts, feelings and hormones that I currently have going on.. So maybe calling the next months “quieter” is not really the right word. At least I am not getting bored over here 😉