What constantly surprises me...

...is the highly efficient pipeline that you get thrust into the moment the blue bars appear in the pregnancy test. Of course luck plays some part in the whole thing (you might get a nurse with whom your chemistries just don't match), but simply put - the level of the healthcare in this country is quite amazing. The reason why I am amazed about this is that I've never ever have had to check into a hospital as a patient - only a few visits to the company nurse or dentist are the only ones I've ever really needed. So I haven't really had the slightest clue as to where all my taxes are going.

Since May, we've been working our way in this tube, and the end is nigh (starting wk 35 today, and the probabilities are that this one is early rather than late). Even though there have been complications on the way in, they have been dealt with extreme professionalism and care. We've received all sorts of training, and while it certainly is one of these "you get out of it what you put in" -situations, we've felt that it has been worth the time. Everybody has also been really great towards us (except the people who constantly remind me that I'm not going to get any sleep soon. Oh please - and I say this in all friendship - it was fun the first three times. Now please shut up and tell me something that is actually useful. ;-)

And the motherhood package - essentially a box full of goodies - has a tendency to turn people not living in Finland green with envy. Purchasing power of the government FTW!

But I guess it makes sense to optimize the society for efficient reproduction of people. When only few children are born, it makes sense all around to make sure that they grow up well, and that the strain of parenthood is not too big. It's like designing a software process - make sure the components are developed in a healthy environment with proper tools by knowledgeable people, and it's all gonna be all right in the end ;-)

At any rate, I feel about as ready as I can be about being a parent. Yes, it is a great unknown, and I am trying very hard not to really expect anything. People tell me that everything will change - but I suspect we have a different definition of "everything". Of course many things will change, but that's what they do all the time anyway. This is just another change among others, and I will adapt.

Besides, I'm looking forward to the kid.




Comments

I beg to disagree

If you are healthy, the system works at its best

if you run into some troubles, you'll see the long queues (for kids / adults) patients and understand how FUBAR the system really is

(not to mention: having only nurses for delivery is no match for a doctor with a sharp knife = sometimes can do a lot of magic)

best of luck to you and a healthy new one! (before or after the New Year? :-)

--Joe Black, 29-Dec-2008


Tutut ihmiset suosittelevat perhepedin kokeilemista, jos vain mitenkään mahdollista. Kuulemma vähentää huomattavasti valvomista, kun vauva voi yöllä käydä tissillä ilman, että lapsi, äiti, tai isä oikeastaan herää kunnolla. Ei toimi kaikilla, mutta jos toimii, niin voi olla aika rock. Omaa kokemusta ei tosin asiasta ole, kun hankkiuduin perheelliseksi kiertokautta.

--Mikko, 29-Dec-2008


We've hit trouble, and the system worked very well. If some queues are your definition of "Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition", you've got a really bad case of relational ineptitude. Are you, Mr. Black, perhaps one of the people who call a dent in the car bumper "The End Of The World As We Know It", and a sneeze "Oh My God I Am Going To Die Right Now Of This Horrible Plague" -disease?

Please.

Besides, I trust the nurses as much as the doctors - they've got the experience.

Mikko: Emme missään nimessä aio perhepetiä. Liian vaarallista meikäläisen nukkumistyylillä. Jos valvomisen kanssa tulee ongelmaa, nukumme eri huoneissa.

--JanneJalkanen, 29-Dec-2008


@JJ, ok, maybe it's FUBAB :-))

the difference between a nurse and a doctor is not in trust (I guess you would have known that already)

yes, they might have more experience in the actual (lets take, ideal) delivery of a baby, but might have just a little when it gets to issues (or ways to do it better, easier, healthier). it's like the difference between a mechanic and an engineer: they both do the job (and you can argue the mechanic has more experience), but at the end of the day, maybe not everyone is pleased with the mess done by the mechanic, they would have preferred an engineer's hand/tools. then again, not all have seen an engineer at work, therefore hard to question it in their eyes

as per fubar, please go to jorvi and snap some MMS (sound is a must :-) in the welcoming (no better word found) rooms and blog a bit about it :-) (the actual delivery rooms are fine, but one should see the first rooms also :o)

the system needs a blog for itself, is it fubar when:

a) one waits months (at best) when needs to be operated on a broken ankle? b) one goes with the kid to the doc asking for another treatment (ear infection treated with warm water (that sounds odd (to me) already) and gets it the same? c) one remembers the queuing in public hospitals (kids & adults) in terms of hours? d) one is scheduled for invasive treatment when (insert your preferred in development country here) has (public) ultrasound treatment?

there are good & bads, maybe not a complete FUBAR, but still, a bit far away from the ideal place/state/system you're referring to :p

--JB, 29-Dec-2008


I don't know - I haven't had any negative experiences with Jorvi at all. And we definitely have had our share of problems during this pregnancy: first I got an acute cholecystitis and two weeks later was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. With the acute cholecystitis they got me to upper stomach ultrasound during the very same morning (Friday) and then got me to MRI before noon the following Monday. During my six hospital days I was treated very well and felt I was really being taken care of.

When it comes to the intrahepatic cholestatis of pregnancy, they make sure at Jorvi that I get a check-up once a week. The doctors and midwives take care of my blood tests, cardiotocography and regular ultrasound scans to make sure the baby is doing fine. They call me to tell me my blood test results and remember to inform me about what happens next. They're very professional and they treat me friendly and with respect.

I certainly couldn't ask for more, but perhaps I've just been exceptionally lucky?

--Outi, 29-Dec-2008


Janne, yksi vaihtoehto on hankkia sängyn viereen yhdestä reunasta avoin pinnasänky, joka on hitusen matalampi kuin vanhempien sänky. Säilyttää suuren osan perhepedin hyödyistä. Itsekään en luultavasti kykenisi perhepetiin, jossa lapsi nukkuu vanhempien välissä. Ainakin tuon nykyisen nappulan kanssa moisessa tilanteessa en kykene nukkumaan lainkaan. Sen sijaan sivuvaunu kuulostaa mielenkiintoiselta vaihtoehdolta. Kukin taaplaa tyylillään.

Onnea vain ja toivottavasti löydätte hyvän nukkumisjärjestelyn. Pitkäaikainen liian vähäinen uni ei ole hyväksi kenellekään, saati sitten pienen lapsen vanhemmalle.

--Mikko, 29-Dec-2008


So, JB, you're essentially saying that you want to have highly trained doctors at your beckoning and delegate the nurses to changing diapers, because they are not so well trained? Please (again).

I am sorry, but even though I am highly trained in engineering, I am entirely happy to leave routine engineering/mechanic operations to people with more experience than what I have because they will do a better job at it. And routine most childbirths are - every year, in Finland alone, 60 000 every year. Out of those, 75% were quite regular births, according to Stakes.

France, which is considered to have one of the finest public health care systems (they use up to 9% of their gross national budget for it, whereas Finland uses what, 6.5% - roughly on the level of Portugal and Mexico) has an average queue time for operations from 2-3 months. If you can get treatment for an ankle problem in a month, you're way ahead of everyone.

Now, Finland *does* have a creeping problem in the way the treatment queues are creeping longer and longer (and also our psychiatric hospitals are suffering pretty badly, I understand). But this is totally different from the acute care you talk about earlier - are you saying that you waited for a month for your operation in the Jorvi emergency ward? Rii-ight.

Also, as I am sure you understand, medical science is hardly exact. The only way to figure out if a treatment is better than some other treatment is to try out both, then 20 years later check which got the better results. So if in a "development country" (like Kenya or whatever) people are using ultrasound, it could be that they're too afraid of infections. Or that they're just trying out a different method, which is cheaper. Might not have such great results, but it's more likely to keep the patient alive in their local conditions. Who the fuck knows, and using that as a strawman just shows that you don't have the training to know what you are talking about.

And please don't put words in my mouth. The sentences I used in my entry are: "highly efficient pipeline", "extreme professionalism and care", and "Everybody has also been really great towards us".

Exactly in which one I say that the system is ideal?

--JanneJalkanen, 29-Dec-2008


Mikko: hyvä kuulla, koska tuo juuri oli ajatuksena; meillä on wanha perintöpinnasänky, joka on juuri sopivan kokoinen pikkuiselle jonkin aikaa.

--JanneJalkanen, 30-Dec-2008


@JJ

monthS is a plural (ie. MANY) where many >> 1 (ie. greatly exceeds 1)

as an example, the "ankle" queue was 10+ months long

"extreme professionalism and care" is an ideal term given the/my above 4 examples/cases

invasive treatment is an art of the past, doesn't count how you look at it. it should be used as the last resort (it's like opening your computer if you hare a virus: ask a mechanic, he will remove the HDD from your PC and ask you to buy a new one; ask a computer scientist, he will boot a safe CD and run an anti-virus without opening your PC; it's again, about tools and qualifications :p)

it might cost you more to use the CS, but that's where the "extreme" part comes into play; you can't get better than that

and about my qualifications to talk about these issues: I've seen what nurses (alone) can do, I've seen what nurses + doc can do and the differences are extremely clear to me. maybe not (so clear) to everyone else and especially not clear to ones missing the +doc part of the equation, but that's another story...

remember the old saying? ignorance is a bliss :-)

PS. not to say that all deliveries (will) need a doctor, but it's a (extremely :-) good practice to have one. as you have noticed by now, medicine is not quite an exact science and the whole "bringing a (new) human to life" is full of holes, uncertainties, possibilities of something going wrong.

--JB, 30-Dec-2008


So you're saying that we have not been treated with extreme professionalism and care? Who the fuck are you to come and tell me what I have experienced and what I haven't? That we aren't allowed to have good experiences because you haven't?

Where exactly did you take your medical degree to be qualified to say things like "invasive treatment is an art of the past"? You go around saying that you like doctors rather than nurses because they are better trained, yet YOU assert to be the expert in medical technology and practices to state "differences are extremely clear to me." You perhaps haven't realized that there is always a doctor on call in hospitals for childbirths?

And your idea that a CS major automatically knows how to boot from a safe CD but a mechanic wouldn't is laughably elitist, demeaning and idiotic.

Oh please, go curl up somewhere and wank yourself to sleep with your dreams of the elitist world where education automatically means superiority.

The fact is that most childbirths happen without problems. Calling it "full of holes" is being completely ignorant and clueless. An "uncertainty" does not mean something automatically goes wrong. Yes, it's about probabilities, but the fact is, the probability of things going wrong is fairly small, which can easily be seen simply by looking at statistics. You say the words, but obviously you don't grasp the meaning behind them.

(My dad, my brother, Outi's both parents and a few friends are doctors; I am not ignorant, and I resent the assertion that not agreeing with you makes me ignorant. Spouting vacous statements like "childbirths are full of holes" (well, maybe there is one big hole in the process ;-) - THAT is ignorant.)

--JanneJalkanen, 30-Dec-2008


Based on my experience, I strongly advice you and the mother to remember that it's just waste of time for both of you to be awake during the night. With the first kid, I tried to help my wife during the night a bit (especially helped in trying to get the first child to go to sleep), but quickly we noticed that it wasn't actually useful. So I sleep with earplugs, she takes care of the nights and late evenings if needed, and I wake up in the morning to take care of the children and she sleeps for a couple of more hours. Works for us, as I like to wake up early anyway. I get to sleep (nearly) enough, and so does my wife.

Our babies have slept in the motherhood package box for as long as they fit. We've kept the box beside our bed. Then, when the baby doesn't fit anymore in the box, we've put the baby to his/her own room in an own bed. This way the baby sleeps better, and we sleep better, as babies tend to make noise even when sleeping comfortably. Some babies wake up a lot in the night, and for those it might be easier for the mother to have the baby nearby.

I guess the most important thing is to use common sense, and do whatever is most sensible in your situation. Babies are different, and parents are different. Babies don't break easily, and it's alright for a baby to cry for a while.

Ja kuolema kuittaa univelat.

--Terje Bergström, 31-Dec-2008


Thanks Terje, good advice, which we intend to take. I've heard others give similar comments - no logic in having BOTH parents completely tired.

Though I have also heard of women who think that if they have to stay up nursing the baby, so must the man too - and they forcefully wake up the husband whenever the baby cries.

--JanneJalkanen, 31-Dec-2008


Congratulations on the soon-to-be addition to your family pod.

--Angela, 05-Jan-2009


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