Our first baby (Peanut) arrived in Helsinki, Finland, little brother (Tex) joined us in Dallas, TX, we spent a few months in Boston and are now in San Diego, where little sister (Bibi) was born. We are working out all the usual things parents have to -- while balancing between a European view and the US view to health care, baby customs, gear, weather, etc!
I'm not surprised that Tex's due date came and went, quietly and contractionlessly, last week. After all, Peanut decided not to make her debut until a good 14 days after her official EDD. I suppose there's something very comfortable about that womb of mine. And, honestly, this time Peanut's Dad thinks its also been a matter of our 'nest' not being quite ready and this information has somehow has been transmitted to Tex. We have many balls up in the air right now....but, more on that later.......
Now, here we are, week 41. I had a regular drs appointment scheduled today and they conducted a non-stress test to make sure Tex was still happy. In Finland, our first overdue testing didn't occur until 10 days past the due date. Here, we're only 4 days past the EDD. My drs wasn't overly concerned about anything yet, but scheduled a heartbeat monitoring for today.
As usual, I waited nearly 30 mins past my appointment time before being called in. Then, I was set up with the external fetal monitoring belt connected to the machine recording the heartbeat. In Finland, when they did this, the midwife sat with me during the 15 - 20 mins marking accelerations on the print out. Here I was given a call-button to press whenever I felt the baby move. This would mark the chart so they could make sure Tex's heartbeat accelerated with his movements.
I hadn't felt him moving while waiting and thought he might be napping so I suggested to the nurse I should eat something. She suddenly pulled out a small device and zapped me with it! It didn't hurt and it was more vibration than zap, but completely unexpected. She gave my belly a few zaps and said it sometimes works to wake the baby up. No reaction from Tex. He responded much better to the CapriSun juice the nurse brought me next.
Tex's heartbeat and movements showed him to be just fine and an internal exam showed no new developments. We have gone ahead and scheduled an induction date since labor & delivery gets booked up quickly. Until then, we continue to wait :-) Send Tex welcoming vibes and perhaps he'll soon decide its time!
A large population of the weeds in our yard have also noticed the warmer temps and sunshine.....
And, at the duck pond in our neighborhood, we've spotted the first female stoically sitting on top of her nest. No amount of bread tempted her to get up so we're pretty sure there are some eggs already there.
I've found many more strangers talking to me in the past few weeks as I ballooned to an obviously 9-mos pregnant lady.
In Finland, I don't recall a single stranger asking me about my pregnancy or commenting on my belly. In fact, I don't even recall anyone ever getting up on a bus or the metro to give me a seat or anyone ever offering to help me with my bags, etc. But, then again, strangers in Finland don't talk to each other about much in any case.
The oddest question here I've gotten so far is about how many times a day I go to the bathroom. Really. Asked by a total stranger on the elevator. I was leaving the doctor's office and stepped onto the elevator with a bottle of water when a woman who I believe is a drug company rep just thought she'd ask out of curiosity. I really haven't a clue. Zillions? Every 15-30 mins? At least 4 times a night?
Most comments are very friendly and a surprising amount have come from grandfather types who often stop me in the stores. "Oh, when are you due? Is it a boy or girl?" Followed by stories and even pictures of their own grandchildren. Very sweet.
Women are more likely to make observations like "You don't look at all pregnant from behind!" or "You're all baby". Even my doctor couldn't resist the last one. Or, women tend to ask if its a boy or girl and are certain from the shape of my bump that its indeed a boy.
Baggers at the grocery store are eager to help me out to my car. And, today at the garden center a man who happened to park next to me offered to help load the flowers and soil into my trunk. "I don't mean to insult you, but can I lend you a hand?"