It would appear as though just about everything is ready for the new arrival. We have received the large cardboard box from Kela. We have been to classes to prepare us for the actual event. We and now we have also been to the hospital to see what goes on there. What else is missing, I wonder?

We now have clothing for the baby. We have a mattress and bedding too. We do not have a perambulator or stroller yet. We must get a car seat too. And let’s not forget about the nappies – oh my – dem nappies! I understand though that the pram and car seat are available on loan from friends and family. But will anyone loan us nappies? Ha – just remembered – we don’t have a carry cot either. Still some work to do there then.

Last week we attended a yoga class in which the entire process was explained to us. What a really great evening that was. The presenter was very good too. She explained how over the decades the process has changed and how we only now are starting to properly understand more complex issues such as the trauma the poor child must be experiencing. I must admit, that is something I never considered. To me it was all just part of this natural process. But now that I have been taught this, I understand and realise that this occurrence must be highly traumatic for the new-born.  Another new revelation was the water breaking. I always thought that the moment the water broke the real action starts. At least that is what happened when my two sons were born. Now I learnt that the mother could actually still carry the child for several hours after that and not expose the baby to any danger. So thank you very much for your most insightful and enlightening presentation.

After the educational part was done we were presented with an array of tools and methods to help ease the pain of the mother while going into labour and while giving birth. I suppose these lessons are after all quite important for expecting parents to attend. The tools that are applied are also quite novel. I did not realise that a simple exercise ball would be so helpful (now that I have been shown it appears almost logical, but that’s just it with me – if you don’t show me I don’t learn). And that wooden curved chair. It looks like a potty with the sides missing. Wish I had thought up some of these.

Yesterday we attended a gathering at the local hospital. Now we know where to go, when to go, but not quite how to go. Taxi? Car? Reckon bus is a possibility too, but not quite what we’ll use. Here in Finland you have so many more choices. Would you like a single room? Would you like a family room? Would you like a bath with that? What medicines would you prefer? Back home it is a case of arrive at the hospital. Get admitted. Be wheeled into the semi-sterile theatre. Pray the mid-wife has at least a vague idea of what to do. Have the baby. Get wheeled off to the ward where several other expecting mothers and mothers who have just very recently given birth are congregated in an overfilled ward with way too many beds. People milling everywhere. Screaming kids running around. No peace anywhere. Of course there are the private hospitals where you have a little more peace and quiet, but even they cannot guarantee you a single room, even though you paid through your ears for their facilities and will be indebted the rest of your poor life.

Thankfully we are currently going through relatively stress-free experience. Yet during these preparatory stages, people burst my bubble. It is pretty normal when strangers gather for people in similar situations to open up to each other and start up impromptu conversations. Yes, that can happen in Finland too! That is most likely to happen if I am around. I can’t help myself, I am too talkative. And of course the subject of the sex of the baby will most certainly be one of the topics. What about the sex of the baby? Standing amongst these other pregnant couples, people were quite convinced that our baby will be a boy. They can tell this by looking at the shape of the mother’s belly. Really??? I just see a big lump that occasionally moves and makes me feel all giddy. Wait a minute – Does that mean I have to re-paint the room? Do we now have to toss out all the cute little clothes we’ve bought and collected? The toys? Oh brother!