It’s intimidating moving to a new country and not speaking the language. It’s intimidating to have a baby–especially your first! So of course, we had to do both at once. Due date is approaching fast so we decided it was time to check out the two hospital options, Lund and Malmö, where we might end up going for the delivery. (You don’t need to pre-plan it here in Sweden, because of course everything is connected through your personal number.)
So yesterday we did a dry run of the Lund labor ward. Even in the US hospitals are complicated places, and since we have no idea what we’re doing and everything will be in Swedish, we really wanted to check things out. Good thing, too! After a bit of driving around, we arrived at the labor ward (förlossning) in Lund yesterday to find a silent waiting room with no officials and three locked doors leading to either gynecology, the neonate ward, or the labor ward. There was a machine where you could take a number. We took a number to see what would happen. We waited. A woman in labor showed up and stood around for a while, not seeming to know what to do either. We translated all the signs with John’s phone and were helpfully informed that we should wear shoe covers in wet weather.
Eventually we called the number for Lund’s labor ward and got a somewhat impolite woman who informed us that we “push the button.” (Upon telling the woman that we couldn’t read what was written by the buttons because they were in Swedish, she helpfully let us know “You are in Sweden.”) There being a couple button options (none of which said “push if you are in labor” when we translated them), we just pushed one and a woman immediately appeared and answered our questions, much to our relief!
Hard part done, right?
So my newest story is out in the anthology Sensorama. Still waiting for my copy but pleased to see some good reviews. Can’t wait to get a copy myself and read some of these stories!
“Watching the Ashbless Bloom” Sensorama (anthology edited by Allen Ashley)
Reviewed at Risingshadow
You can purchase from the publisher or at Amazon.
After polling my Facebook friends for the essential shopping list (week 35!), this is what I’ve come up with for getting ready for baby Färthämmer. (Färthämmer is his working title until we give up on figuring out a name and let Sweden do it for us. We apparently get up to three months after the birth.)
So, the list:
- Carrier (Baby Bjorn, Moby Wrap, Maya Wrap, Ergo)
- Car seat–obviously may get eventually if we plan to drive, but we don’t drive or have a car here and my midwife has said the taxi service brings a car seat for baby if you tell them you have one. Yay Sweden! But will check out Britax.)
- Wheeled baby transport/Buggy/Stroller/skate board with dog harness?
- Nursing pillow (Boppy or Breast Friend)
- Burping cloths
- Boobs (check! in abundance–these babies better make enough milk to solve world hunger)
- Some kind of nipple loob (o_0)
- Breast Pump (I’m going back to work at 3 months–got the Medela Swing)
- Pump accessories, bottles
- Those pads you stick in your bra (what are they called? Also, like I really need more of anything stuffed in my bra…)
- Nursing bra (found ONE in my size, sorta, at least it fits well enough…)
- Nursing chair (check! The Ants (Myrorna) delivered it with our couch. Awesome local charity shop. This chair is pure 1970s, comfy, with foot rest, and cost about $15!)
- Nightlight (we already picked out a trippy mushroom nightlight)
- Eating chair/elevated location from which baby may launch food (Tripp Trapp Baby Chair sounds awesome, though obviously won’t need right away given presence of boobs)
SLEEPING/WISHING FOR SLEEPING
- Crib (cot for UK folks)–We are actually going to pay the extra for the one that turns into a bed as we’re not sure how long we’ll be in Sweden. It may be that we’ll only be wanting a toddler bed for a short time then have to move, so won’t want to invest in a bed, but obviously we are in a funny place compared to most parents.
- Pack and play or equivalent
- 4moms Mamaroo or swing, rocker/bouncer
- Noise machine/white noise (plan to use our spare fan)
- Yoga ball (check! already have one! Great idea. Also, apparently you sit on one of these a lot during labor here.)
- Bassinet or baby hammock or swinging sleeper (e.g. a portable sleeper of some kind)
- Happiest baby on the block video on youtube
- Baby grows (ie. onsies) aplenty
- Little hat (The midwife says that after the birth, basically you put the baby in a diaper, a little hat, and a blanket and lie them on your chest. This sounds adorable.)
POOPING AND PEEING
- Diapers! Will discuss cloth (fuzzibunz?) vs disposable with John–he’s taking over at three months so he needs to feel comfortable with the decision. We want to be good for baby and environment, but I don’t want to overwhelm daddy, either.
- Baby wipes aplenty
- Do people still use these things or has butt sanitation been updated since my babysitting days?
- Baby powder
- Vitamin D ointment
- Nosefrida/snot sucker
- Ear thermometer
- Bath pad
- Baby towel (hooded)
- Baby soaps, steel wool, bleach
- Patience (do I need Amazon Prime for that or can I get it pretty much anywhere?)
- Aunties and Uncles (French, check, English, check, Scottish, check, Swedish, check, American, check, Polish, check, Italian, check–really, we’re going to conquer the world with Aunties and Uncles if all goes as planned)
- Dungeon (check! Our basement is awesome and has so many tiny rooms for locking away small children and house elves or for hiding from said small children.)
- Motherly instincts (Oh dear, again, Amazon doesn’t seem to carry that! Maybe Giles will have some advice?)
- Caffeine, rum, tall glass
- Straight jacket and gag (are these for John, Giles, or Baby Färthämmer?)
- Do they seriously make special banana cutters???
- We’re actually getting a shelving system from IKEA that has a baby changing table built in that converts to additional shelving when you’re done with using it as a table. Again, we’re in a peculiar place as we don’t have much furniture yet, so may as well get a shelving system that doubles as a changing table since we needs shelves/dressers anyway!