Friday, June 26, 2015

Pregnant in Norway - The first two trimesters

Yeps here I am, 26 weeks pregnant with my first selfie of the pregnancy. I'm terrible at taking bump shots, how do you hold the phone and look in a mirror?

I've been pregnant and  gave birth in Singapore with my first kiddo in 2012. So now I have the experience of being pregnant here in Trondheim and it has been interesting. There are some big differences to the care provided and there are both negatives and positives with both my experiences. I think I am extremely lucky to be in Norway for this pregnancy because pregnant women have access to very good health care services here. Prenatal visits are free and women have a right to see either a General Practitioner (fastlege) or a midwife (jordmor) here. General advice is for you to have your first visit with a GP or midwife at 12 weeks of pregnancy. You are expected to get your own prenatal vitamins and educate yourself on prenatal care. You will then have a blood test screening for certain infectious diseases, a blood count and a blood type check. All women have one ultrasound scan in week 18-20 ( which corresponds to the fetal anomaly scan). You are then seen at weeks 24, 28, 32, 36, 38 and 40. My GP advised me to have one extra follow up at 16weeks, and I also had the glucose tolerance test done. ( It is not routine here, but I requested it).

The main thing you would notice is that for a healthy pregnancy- you may not see an obstetrician at all during the prenatal period. The midwife will be the main carer in most cases, or your GP if you prefer it. You can chose who you would prefer to see for the appointments and can see a mix of both.

The one thing I found hard to accept was the lack of prenatal screening and early ultrasound scans. Many Norwegians chose to see a private gynaecologist early on before 12 weeks. ( I did as well)

Prenatal screening is offered if you are above 37 years old, or if you have a family history that might require it. This can be hard for anyone who has experience of pregnancy elsewhere to accept, as they may be used to the different prenatal screening options available to them in other countries.

The attitude here is that pregnancy is a normal process that needs little intervention, but there is still sufficient monitoring to pick out the higher risk cases and help them. In early pregnancy, miscarriage can occur, but it is viewed as something that happens. This may reduce some of the unnecessary anxiety many women go through when they have a too early ultrasound and are unsure of their dates, and are unable to see fetal pole or heart beat. I'm learning to embrace this attitude of normality in pregnancy, and learning to relax, and let go of my anxieties.

What are prenatal appointments like? You bring along your early morning urine for a urine dipstick test at every visit. They check your pressure, a doppler scan is done for the baby's heartbeat, the symphisial-fundal height is measured, your weight and blood pressure are taken. The have a chat about how you are feeling and try to address your concerns.

 In Singapore, I saw an obstetrician at every visit, they were more frequent and we had an ultrasound scan at almost every visit. Is this good? There has been some indication that over monitoring and excessive scans in the last trimester could lead to more unnecessary interventions. I might try to remember to talk about this more after I have experienced the third trimester here.

The first visit with the midwife here we had an hour long chat, just so she can get to know us. I'm looking forward to more follow up with the midwives for the rest of this pregnancy. I saw my GP for the first half and that was great too, because I like my doctor.

I've had pelvic girdle pain issues with the first pregnancy and now the second. I'll write more about my experiences with that in another post. 

On a personal note, morning sickness sucked bad, and not having the same access to cheap, good, cooked food as I did in Singapore has been a bit hard. Having to still cook when everything made me gag was a challenge. I miss many things from back home, and cravings can be hard to satisfy. I miss green leafy vegetables, desserts like chendol, good tropical fruits, and some other comfort foods.

Is there anything you would like to know about prenatal care here or in Singapore? Drop me a message. : )
For the pregger mums out there, wear wool, walk every day and take your fish oil as the Norwegians say and good luck with your pregnancy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Back after a long break

It's been a crazy year, and with that much happening I had to take a time out from blogging and writing and everything. Remember I was saying moving, made me feel a little lost? I went to go find myself. I'm not sure I've been found, but I'm feeling more comfortable in my skin again. A little bit more me. It's a good feeling.

 I had to let go of a lot of ideas I had about who I was, and stop identifying myself by things I had done or achieved or finished. That does not make up a person.

I'm just the someone my kiddo snuggle's up to. The one who enjoys popping into town for a coffee. The someone you can come to for a chat, because I love a good chat. The someone who is enjoying reading kiddy literature again, and enjoying very slowly, with no expectations the development of language in a 2 year old. The someone with a messy house, but who does her best, and if she doesn't it's because she has enough else to take her time. The someone who dreams about the things she could do, but is learning her own limits and becoming comfortable with that. The someone who is truly beginning to understand the concept of less is more. ( Except when it comes to chocolate)

Hopefully you ( is there anyone out there?) will be hearing a bit more from this someone.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Learning to Live in the Moment: Adjusting to My New Life in Norway.

I'm sharing another installment to my posts on pink pangea about how it feels 2 months after the move, learning to adjust to the new pace around me.

Learning to Live in the Moment: Adjusting to My New Life in Norway.

Anyone reading this, have felt the same or gone through a similar experience? I would love to hear from you.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Settling into my new life in Norway.

It has now been six weeks since we moved and we have slowly put in new roots and made new friends. Our belongings have finally arrived and I have baked my first cake in this house. It starts to feel like home now.

I wrote a bit more for Pink Pangea at Settling into my new life in Norway.
I write about how wonderful the Singaporean community here has been and how they have been a second family to me and how I have been slowly getting into a routine here. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to prepare for a move with your toddler.

It's been 1 month living in Trondheim. It has been a challenging month, attempting to get settled into a house that has not been baby proofed. The hubby has been working very hard to clean and clear the place while I am tied down to the kiddo. Fortunately, the kiddo has been getting more and more independent as he adjusts to his new home as well.

I have written another post for Pink Pangea about planning for the move and some things I did to help ease my son into the transition.

How to prepare for a move with your toddler

Hope that is of some help to anyone else in the same boat. Shall be writing a bit more about my first month here soon.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The emotional roller coaster of being a trailing spouse.

Read about the pre move madness at the-emotional-roller-coaster-of-being-a-trailing-spouse.
I will be writing more about my move for Pink Pangea as it happens. Pink Pangea is a community for women travelers to share experiences and ideas.

Like them on FB too if you are a woman interested in travel, for inspiration and advise.
Pink Pangea on facebook

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Moving Month of March

My mind is constantly buzzing as it is now Moving March! It feels right now, like a new year about to begin for me. I realised that it is not too late for making new goals.

So here are my goals for 2014:
1. Make new friendships, build on the old ones. Throw myself into making friends like I haven't done before.
2. Learn Norwegian - immerse myself fully and give it my all.
3. write, write, write.

I think this list is enough to work on. And back to moving madness and mayhem!