Giving Birth in Sweden: A Personal Story*

Monday, 3rd of December 2018, I woke up with severe pain in my abdomen and my lower back. ”This is it. Labor had begun,” I thought. But I wasn’t entirely correct. The contractions started but it took two weeks for my baby to arrive. What a journey it was. These are the highlights of my giving birth journey in Sweden:

Hospital visits over and over again

As my first contraction was way before the due date (14 days before, to be precise), I was a bit uncertain about when to go to the hospital. In Lund, the procedure is to call the Kvinnokliniken first, talk to the midwife and they will asses if you need to go to the hospital right away or later.

My first call was on Monday (3/12) afternoon. The midwife said I’m not in active labor yet so it’s unnecessary to go to the hospital at that stage. Besides, the labor ward was full so even if I insisted to come, I would need to go to the hospital in Malmö or Helsingborg. So I agreed to wait at home.

However, in the middle of the night, the pain got stronger so I ringed them again and they allowed me to come. I rushed to the hospital and met the midwife and the nurse. They checked the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions interval and…

I wasn’t in active labour!

Continue reading “Giving Birth in Sweden: A Personal Story*”

14 Hari untuk Selamanya (Cerita Melahirkan di Swedia)

Senin (3/12) dini hari, saya terbangun karena sakit di perut dan pinggang bagian bawah. ”Wah, mulai kontraksi,” batin saya. Berusaha (sok) tenang, saya mempraktekkan teknik pernafasan dari sesi yoga yang sempat saya ikuti. Nyeri berkurang, tapi kontraksi masih berlanjut. Saya cek jam, masih berjarak 20-30 menit. Masih lama.

Tak lama kemudian suami saya bangun dan menemukan saya meringkuk di kasur. ”Kayaknya udah mau lahir nih,” ujar saya sok tahu.

Suami pun memutuskan bekerja dari rumah dan seharian itu kami dalam mode stand by. Jaga-jaga kalau si bayi memutuskan lahir sebelum hari perkiraan. Senin sore kontraksi makin kuat, saya pun memutuskan menelpon rumah sakit.

Di Swedia sendiri, untuk kelahiran, prosedurnya adalah menelpon lebih dahulu baru kemudian bidan akan memutuskan apakah sudah waktunya ke rumah sakit atau belum. Hal ini dilakukan untuk meminimalisir kunjungan yang tidak perlu (terlalu awal misalnya) dan memastikan ketersediaan ruangan. Kecuali ada kondisi darurat seperti ketuban pecah, pendarahan berlebihan, jatuh atau trauma di perut, maka calon Ibu yang mau melahirkan harus menelpon terlebih dahulu. Rumah sakit hanya bersedia menerima pasien melahirkan yang sudah di fase aktif (minimal bukaan 4).

Continue reading “14 Hari untuk Selamanya (Cerita Melahirkan di Swedia)”

Having your baby in Sweden – The final checklist*

As the clock is ticking and you find yourself trying to embrace the anxiety of facing labour, you might need to know some practical things before The Big Day comes. Here are some tips to be as prepared as possible to welcome your baby.

1. Create a contacts listimg_2713

It’s always essential to know whom to call when you’re going into labour. Make sure the hospital number is included in your list. Kindly remember that in Sweden you cannot go right away to the hospital even if you’re having so much pain already.

If you live in Lund, call the Kvinnokliniken number and they will assess your condition and decide when you should come to them. They will also tell where you need to go.

In Lund case, it could be to Malmö, Helsingborg or Kristianstad.

Continue reading “Having your baby in Sweden – The final checklist*”

“Lund dingin ya, Hay?”

Dua minggu terakhir ini, rumah mungil kami kedatangan tamu-tamu dari jauh. Rombongan tamu pertama, teman SMA saya yang sekarang bekerja di Texas, Amerika Serikat. Rombongan berikutnya, teman-teman kuliah S1 suami saya (yang kemudian jadi teman saya juga) dengan komposisi cukup unik: yang satu saat ini sedang bermukim di Jerman sedangkan yang satunya tinggal di Jakarta tapi tengah menghadiri acara di Jerman. Jadilah mereka kemudian datang bersama-sama 🙂 .

Dari dua rombongan yang tak saling kenal itu, ternyata ada satu hal yang serupa, yaitu kesan mereka terhadap cuaca dan musim di Swedia 😄 . Beberapa saat setelah menginjakkan kaki di tanah Lund, mereka kompak berujar:

“Lund dingin ya, Hay?”

Dan saya hanya bisa tersenyum sambil bilang:

“Well, welcome to Sweden!”

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Budget Shopping for Newborn Essentials

Shopping for your new baby is an exciting and a fun part of being pregnant. Imagine yourself go to a baby shop and see all those cute Scandinavian designs, how can you resist the temptation?

Wait until you realise that there are only three price categories in Sweden:
1) Expensive
2) Even more expensive, and

3) ”You got to be kidding me” expensive 😀

It goes without saying that as with any other things, baby stuff is not cheap in this country.

Fear not, thanks to its lagom way of life and its relation to the 3Rs: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, there are ways to cut your shopping budget here.

Continue reading “Budget Shopping for Newborn Essentials”

Menu-menu Gampang di Perantauan

Salah satu hal yang sering dikeluhkan ketika tinggal di luar negeri adalah soal makanan. Lidah Indonesia yang terbiasa dengan nasi dan makanan yang dibalut berlayer-layer bumbu membuat makanan luar jadi seolah tak berasa. Tidak mengenyangkan. Atau minimal membosankan. Makanan adalah juga salah satu hal yang kerap membuat orang Indonesia homesick, alias kangen rumah alias tidak betah di negeri orang. Alhasil, telor ceplok, kecap manis, saus sambal, dan mie instan menjadi andalan.

Terima kasih pada globalisasi, bahan-bahan Asia semakin mudah dijumpai di luar Asia. Bahkan di Lund, ada satu toko Thailand yang menjual banyak produk-produk Indonesia. Dari mulai yang serius macam bumbu gado-gado hingga yang banal seperti bon cabe 😀 . Tapi, tentu saja, harganya sering tidak bersahabat. Bikin sakit hati kalau dikonversi ke rupiah. Hihi. Jadi tidaklah budget friendly kalau setiap hari harus bikin soto dan rawon. 😄

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Knowing Your Rights as a Mommy to be in Sweden*

img_1977Sweden is one of the most family-friendly countries in the world. Here are some of the reasons why:

Free or Subsidised Prenatal Care

As a resident of Sweden, you’re entitled to prenatal care through midwife-led antenatal care centre (barnmorskemottagningar or BMM) before a baby is born. In Skåne, you can choose which BMM you want to go to. You have the right to visit the midwife six to ten times during your pregnancy if there are no complications. You can also get in touch with your midwife in between the planned visits if you have any questions or concerns. In addition to these, you receive at least two ultrasounds in your first and second trimester.

Expectant mothers (and their partners) also get support through parents classes and maternity classes. These include breathing techniques, coaching sessions, breastfeeding, group support, etc.

You even have the right to an interpreter if you need one and of course all your data is confidential.

Continue reading “Knowing Your Rights as a Mommy to be in Sweden*”