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A freedom-oriented travel blog

Author: Ulrika (page 1 of 23)

Week 40 of pregnancy and how grief can affect an unborn child

A lot of things happened during the last week before our due date and we wanted to make a blog post about how grief can affect an unborn child. This is what went on during week 40 of pregnancy for Ulrika and “Det lilla livet”.


Flera saker hände under den sista veckan före vårt beräknade förlossningsdatum och vi ville göra ett blogginlägg om hur sorg kan påverka ett ofött barn. Detta var det som hände för Ulrika och “Det lilla livet” under vecka 40 av graviditeten.

We have weekly appointments with our midwife to check the status of both Ulrika and “Det lilla livet”. Ulrika’s diastolic pressure has been on the rise the last couple of weeks, so when she entered week 40 the disastolic pressure hit 90, which puts Ulrika in the risk zone of getting preeclampsia. Ulrika had also started to feel pain in her hands in the morning, probably because of increased edema, so now Ulrika wanted to decrease her blood pressure. No protein in her urine was present so that was a good sign. Ulrika’s midwife recommended nettle tea, lots of fluid and rest before a second blood pressure would be taken a few days later at the week 40 appointment at the hospital.


Vi har veckovisa besök med vår barnmorska för att kontrollera statusen för både Ulrika och “Det lilla livet”. Ulrikas diastoliska tryck har stigit de senaste veckorna, så när vi kom in i vecka 40 så var det disastoliska trycket 90, vilket sätter Ulrika i riskzonen för att få preeklampsi (havandeskapsförgiftning). Ulrika hade också börjat känna smärta i händerna på morgonen, förmodligen på grund av ökat ödem, så nu ville Ulrika minska på blodtrycket. Inget protein i hennes urin var närvarande så det var ett gott tecken. Ulrikas barnmorska rekommenderade nässelte, massor av vätska och vila innan ett andra blodtryck skulle tas några dagar senare vid vecka 40 besöket på sjukhuset.

The same day Ulrika’s mother called and told us that the day we have been waiting and dreading for probably had come. We have known for a few months that Charlie was sick and the vet couldn’t say how long time he had left, but she told us that we would know when it was time for him to go. Ulrika has been preparing for this day, but she did not realize how hard the grief would hit her. Here is Charlie with Filip in “Stugan”, his favorite place in the world.


Samma dag ringde Ulrikas mor och berättade för oss att den dag vi har väntat och fruktade för förmodligen hade kommit. Vi har i några månader vetat att Charlie var sjuk och veterinären inte kunde säga hur länge han hade kvar, men hon berättade för oss att vi skulle veta när det var dags för honom att gå. Ulrika har förberett sig för denna dag, men hon insåg inte hur svår sorg som skulle drabba henne. Här är Charlie med Filip i “Stugan”, hans favoritplats i världen.

Our friends Rebecca, Daniel and Tova surprised every one by coming to Prague for a day, so Ulrika didn’t have to think about what was to come the same day. Interestingly, we have met and gotten to know both the King family and Rebecca, Daniel and Tova in Bali, so it was nice that they got to meet each other. We had a lovely day with them before they continued their journey. In the evening, Ulrika got the word that Charlie had fallen in to his last sleep without pain with the help of a vet.  It was now that the grief really hit her.


Våra vänner Rebecca, Daniel och Tova överraskade alla genom att komma till Prag för en dag, så Ulrika behövde inte tänka på vad som skulle komma samma dag. Intressant är att vi träffat och lärt känna både Kingfamiljen och Rebecca, Daniel och Tova på Bali, så det var trevligt att de träffade varandra. Vi hade en härlig dag med dem innan de fortsatte sin resa.
På kvällen fick Ulrika meddelandet att Charlie nu hade fallit in i sin sista sömn utan smärta med hjälp av en veterinär. Det var också nu som sorgen kom.

The next day we had an appointment with a pediatrician to enrol “Det lilla livet”. It was the final thing we had to fix before we were completely prepared to welcome her in to this world. Not all hospitals in Prague require you to have a pediatrician, but ours do. We found a really good pediatrician that was totally supportive and understanding about our way of life, so “det lilla livet” now has a pediatrician for every time we will be visiting Prague in the future. Here in Prague, a lot of doctor’s have their own private practices and they often sit in doctor’s houses (läkarhus).


Nästa dag hade vi en tid med en barnläkare för att skriva in “Det lilla livet” hos den personen. Det var det sista vi behövde fixa innan vi var helt beredda på att välkomna henne till denna värld. Inte alla sjukhus i Prag kräver att du har barnläkare, men vårt sjukhus gör det. Vi hittade en riktigt bra barnläkare som var väldigt stödjande och förstående för vår livsstil, så “det lilla livet” har nu en barnläkare för varje gång vi kommer att besöka Prag i framtiden. Här i Prag har många läkare sina egna privata mottagningar och de sitter ofta i så kallade läkarhus.

We celebrated the finalization of the documents needed for the birth with a carrot cake at our favorite café in Prague 1. Ulrika was happy but also really sad and she finally understood how hard the grief was hitting her in the evening when a long-time companion came back, stress-induced gastritis.


Vi firade slutförandet av de dokument som behövs inför födelsen med en morotskaka på vårt favoritkafé i Prag 1. Ulrika var glad, men också väldigt ledsen och hon förstod till slut hur svårt sorgen drabbade henne på kvällen när en gammal följeslagare kom tillbaka, stressinducerad magkatarr.

The following day was Ulrika’s week 40 appointment at the hospital and now the diastolic pressure was down to 80, which is a really good thing. However, Ulrika was not surprised. She had been monitoring her protein in the urea every day, still no trace of it, and she had felt that the pain in her hands and swelling had gone down. She had searched the scientific literature about nettle tea and blood pressure after her midwife’s recommendation and had found interesting articles, which made her want to at least try it. So for the 2.5 days between the two blood pressure measurements, she had been consuming a lot of nettle tea (5-6 big cups a day). If this helped we don’t know, but we do now that her blood pressure is no longer in the risk zone of developing preeclampsia.


Följande dag var det dags för Ulrikas vecka 40 besök på sjukhuset och nu var det diastoliska trycket nere på 80, vilket är en riktigt bra grej. Ulrika var dock inte förvånad. Hon hade övervakat hennes protein i urin varje dag, fortfarande inget spår av det, och hon hade känt att smärtan och svullnaden i händerna hade gått ner. Hon hade sökt igenom den vetenskapliga litteraturen om nässelte och blodtryck efter hennes barnmorskas rekommendation och hade hittat intressanta artiklar vilket gjorde att hon vill åtminstone prova det. Så de 2.5 dagarna mellan de två blodtrycksmätningarna hade hon konsumerat väldigt mycket nässelte (5-6 stora koppar om dagen).  Om detta hjälpte vet vi inte, men nu är  hennes blodtryck inte längre i riskzonen för att utveckla preeklampsi.

It was when we attached the CTG-equipment we learned about how grief can affect an unborn child. Ulrika had been really sad since Charlie’s passing and driving out to the hospital thinking about  how one life ends while another life begins was terrible. Charlie fell just before the finish line and there will forever be no period of time where both Charlie and “Det lilla livet” both inhaled the same air on this planet. There will only be a Charlie time and “Det lilla livet” time, separated by only a few days in eternity. The grief was in every part of Ulrika’s body, she could feel it and so could apparently “det lilla livet”.
Our daughter’s irregular baseline heart rate was 180 and everything above 160 is classified as tachycardia (heart beats excessively), so unless Ulrika couldn’t calm down, we would be admitted to the hospital. Grief is a stress mode where you release a lot of adrenaline in to your system and Ulrika’s increased production of adrenline made “det lilla livets” heart rate increase. This is why it is so important not to be stressed during a pregnancy.
Ulrika’s doctor was very understanding and we got two hours to drink lots of fluid, eat lunch and calm down before a second CTG would be performed.


Det var när vi satte på CTG-utrustningen som vi lärde oss om hur sorg kan påverka ett ofött barn. Ulrika hade varit väldigt ledsen sedan Charlie somnade in och när vi körde ut till sjukhuset så tänkte hon på hur ett liv slutar medan ett annat liv börjar, vilket var hemskt. Charlie föll strax före målsnöret och det kommer för alltid inte finnas någon tid där både Charlie och “Det lilla livet” andades samma luft på denna planet. Det kommer bara at finnas en Charlie-tid och “Det lilla livet” -tid, åtskilda av bara några dagar i evigheten. Sorgen fanns i hela Ulrikas kropp, hon kunde känna det och så kunde tydligen “det lilla livet”.
Vår dotters oregelbundna hjärtrytms-baslinje var 180 och allt över 160 klassificeras som takykardi (onormalt hög hjärtfrekvens), så om inte Ulrika kunde lugna ned sig, så skulle vi bli inlagda på sjukhuset. Sorg är ett stressläge där man släpper ut mycket adrenalin i systemet och Ulrikas ökade produktion av adrenalin resulterade i att “det lilla livets” hjärtfrekvens ökade. Det är därför det är så viktigt att inte stressa under en graviditet.
Ulrikas doktor var mycket förstående och vi fick två timmar på oss att dricka mycket vätska, äta lunch och lugna ner sig innan ett andra CTG skulle utföras.

The two hour away from the hospital and the realization of what Ulrika’s grief was doing to “Det lilla livet” had a positive effect. The baseline was back to a regular heartbeat of 140 and we could now go home.
Today (September 5th) is the calculated due date for “Det lilla livet” and we will not update the blog before our daughter is here.


De två timmarna utanför sjukhuset och insikten av vad Ulrikas sorg hade för effekt på “Det lilla livet” hade en positiv effekt. Baslinjen för hjärtfrekvensen var tillbaka på en stabil 140 och vi kunde nu åka hem.
Idag (5 September) är det beräknade förlossningsdatumet för “Det lilla livet” och vi kommer inte uppdatera bloggen något mer innan vår dotter är här.

In memory of Charlie pälsklingen Englund, 20061119-20180829.

Letná Park summer festival and living in the outskirts of Prague

Letná Park is the place for a circus/summer festival that has been arranged once a year since 2004. It is a two-week festival for both children and adults. During the days, children can come and watch daring performances, you need a ticket for many performances, and free open air shows. There are also other stuff going on in the festival area, e.g circus works shops and face painting. During the evenings, there are shows for older children, and adults, and all tickets can be bought online or  at a ticket booth inside the festival area.  We were there with the King family and had a nice day. We feel that we really need to plan things in to our calendar so that the days aren’t just about waiting for the birthing to start and the summer festival in Park Letná  was a pleasant pregnant-friendly activity for Ulrika.

We don’t live in the city center, our goal when we were looking for accommodation here in Prague was to find somewhere close to nature and close to the road which will take us to the hospital. We found the perfect place for us in the outskirts of Prague just next to a wonderful park, but still close to the parts of Prague we usually hang out in.


Letnáparken är platsen för en cirkus/sommarfestival som har varit en gång per år sedan 2004. Det är en tvåveckors festival för både barn och vuxna. Under dagarna kan barn komma och titta på barnvänliga föreställningar, biljett behövs oftast köpas, men även gratis “open air”-uppträdanden. Det finns också andra saker som händer i festivalområdet, tex cirkus “work shops” och ansiktsmålning. På kvällarna är det uppträdanden för äldre barn, samt vuxna, och alla biljetter kan köpas online eller i en biljettkiosk inuti festivalområdet. Vi var där med Kingfamiljen och hade en trevlig dag. Vi känner att vi verkligen behöver planera in saker i vår kalender så att dagarna inte bara handlar om att vänta på att förlossningen ska börja och detta var ett trevligt gravidvänligt nöje för Ulrika.

Vi bor inte i Prags centrum, vårt mål när vi letade efter boende här i Prag var att hitta någonstans nära naturen och nära vägen som tar oss till sjukhuset. Vi hittade det perfekta stället för oss i utkanten av Prag precis bredvid en underbar park, men fortfarande nära de områden av Prag som vi brukar hänga i.

Every year, there is a Summer Circus festival in the Letná Park and this year we went with the King kids to explore the more child friendly part of the festival.

There are plenty of things to do here for the younger kids. The merry-go-round for the youngest, which was a human-driven attraction.

and a library on wheels with lots of board games for the older children.

You also had a circus work shop and kids who put up there own performances for the adults.

There were things for the adults as well, but the main shows started in the evening. We had the boys with us so we didn’t stick around for the late shows, which had age limits not suitable for the King boys.

We went back home and Ulrika captured the King boys deep in to their books. Winston has been reading since he was really young, but Henry was not that interested in reading until last year when he decided to learn how to read by himself and now he reads a lot. We are so impressed with Henry!

We live in a really nice area in the outskirts of Prague, so we decided to have a picnic and podcast date on a hill nearby us.

We have bought bluetooth-connected speaker for the coming birth. Here we listened to “Dekonstruktiv kritik” by Aron Flam, a podcast we recently started listening to that we find really interesting.

Here is a link to Aron’s web page.

On one side of the hill, we have the city of Prague and on the other side it is just countryside and farm land.

Sheeps are walking around just around the corner from us.

and horses are having their summer camp next door.

A Czech house on the countryside.

We have several kilometers of running and walking trails in the park, some asphalted and others are forest roads.

We also have an outdoor gym, barbecue area, playground and an observatory in our park, which is great for us who really don’t like being to long in a crowded city.

However, it is not far to the city center or other parts of Prague. It takes about 45 minutes to reach our midwife using only trams. It would go even faster if we would use the metro, but we do like going on trams in Prague, the city has so much of fantastic architecture so it is a shame to go underground if you don’t need it.

Our midwife is located near the dancing house, so this is what we get to see every time we see her. Ulrika was about to enter week 40 of pregnancy and a lot of things happened during this week, which will be covered in our next blog post.

Here you can read about why we have chosen to give birth in Prague.

Worldschoolers of Prague and Edward’s first birthday

We have been meeting up with the Worldschoolers of Prague during our first month here. Our friend Caroline is one of the organizers so that is how we knew that worldschoolers even exist. Below is a quote from their homepage about what the term worldschooler means and we think that it fits our family’s description well and how we think of “homeschooling”,  a word that doesn’t give the meaning of the term justice.

“Worldschooling is basically to learn from the world. The whole world is your classroom! We dont believe that learning occurs by being forced to stay inside of a classroom. We believe in natural learning, from the world around you, together as a family.

Worldschooling is a form of “home-schooling” but doesn´t often occur in the home. Worldschoolers can or cannot follow a curriculum. Worldschoolers can be many kinds from homeschoolers that follow curriculums to radical unschoolers. It is up to the families what they do.

Worldschoolers are often travelling families that travel for a longer or shorter time. They can also be families that don´t travel but are eager to explore the world from their homes.”

We have also celebrated Edward King’s first birthday and it is interesting how much has happened during a year. We came to Prague in August last year to assist the King family during the arrival of Edward. They had planned a home birth and we where there to take care of the older brothers if they decided that they didn’t want to be there during the birth. Everything went well and Ulrika even got to be the birth photographer capturing this special moment for the King family.

Being part of and experiencing the birth of Edward was especially precious to Ulrika, who before the birth of Edward was absolutely terrified of ever giving birth to a child. After this experience, Ulrika now feel totally calm and are not afraid anymore of the thought of giving birth. It has helped a lot for the coming birth of our child, which can happen any day now.


Vi har träffat “Worldschoolers” i Prag under vår första månad här. Vår vän Caroline är en av arrangörerna, så det är på den vägen vi lärt oss att “Worldschoolers” ens existerar. Nedan följer ett översatt citat från deras hemsida om vad begreppet “Worldschooler” betyder och vi tycker att det passar vår familjs beskrivning bra och hur vi tänker på “hemskolning”, ett ord som inte ger begreppet rättvisa.

“Världsskolare (Worldschoolers) är i princip att lära av världen. Hela världen är ditt klassrum! Vi tror inte att lärande sker genom att vara tvungen att stanna inne i ett klassrum. Vi tror på naturligt lärande, från världen runt omkring dig, tillsammans som en familj.

Världsskolning är en form av “hemskolning”, men det förekommer inte ofta i hemmet. Världsskolare kan både följa en viss läroplan eller göra det helt utan någon form av läroplan. Världsskolare kan vara många typer, från hemskolare som följer läroplaner till radikala “unschoolers”. Det är upp till familjerna vad de gör.

Världsskolare är ofta familjer som reser för en längre eller en kortare tid. De kan också vara familjer som inte reser, men är angelägna om att utforska världen från sina hem.”

Vi har också firat Edward Kings första födelsedag och det är intressant hur mycket som har hänt det senaste året. Vi kom till Prag i augusti förra året för att hjälpa Kingfamiljen vid ankomsten av Edward. De hade planerat en hemfödsel och vi var där för att ta hand om de äldre bröderna utifall de bestämde sig för att inte vilja vara där under födseln. Allt gick bra och Ulrika fick till och med agera förlossningsfotograf som fångade detta speciella ögonblick för familjen.

Att vara en del av och uppleva Edwards födelse var särskilt värdefullt för Ulrika, som före Edwards födelse var jätterädd för att någonsin föda ett barn. Efter denna erfarenhet känner Ulrika sig nu helt lugn och känner sig inte längre rädd inför tanken på att föda. Det har verkligen hjälpt oss mycket inför vårt barns kommande födelse, vilket kan hända vilken dag som helst nu.

Meeting up with a bunch of Worldschoolers for the first time. (Photo by: Caroline King)

Ulrika and our child got an examination by a possible future midwife, who had brought her own midwife equipment, during week 37 of pregnancy. (Photo by: Caroline King)

August has been incredible hot here in Prague so the meetings have mostly involved playing in water, here in Park Stromovka. (Photo by: Caroline King)

The worldschooler meet up at lake Džbán, a really kid-friendly facility where the adults pay an entrance fee (90 CZK) and the kids go in for free. (Photo by: Caroline King)

There are a lot of things to do here for both kids and adults.

They even have a small baby pool. (Photo by: Caroline King)

We have also been involved in science projects indoors – here separating oxygen and hydrogen by electrolysis with excited kids watching the tubes filling with gas.

Prague is a great place for worldschoolers. There are so much things you and your kids can do from Science and sports to arts and crafts. There are events and workshops happening all the time here in Prague, so it is just up to what your child is interested in.

Edward’s first birthday was coming up so we where invited to a small birthday picnic to celebrate that Edward has been around for one year. The place was going to be Park Stromovka, which is an awesome park to spend a day in. especially when you are in week 38 of pregnancy.

Caroline had prepared a birthday cake.

And Edward got a lot of help blowing out his candle from his older brothers Winston and Henry.

Edward also got help to open his birthday gifts.

A few friends came to celebrate Edward. Suzanna has experience giving birth at the hospital we finally chose and we met with them the last time we where here to get information about Rakovnik hospital. It helped us hearing about her experiences, which in the end convinced us to choose Rakonvik. It was nice meeting them again on Edward’s birthday picnic to be able to update them on how we have solved our birthing plans. Now it is just about waiting for our child to enter the world.

Week 38 pregnancy update and blowing up the Stalin monument

Week 38 of pregnancy and we have installed ourselves here in Prague, it is here that we have decided to welcome our child. We are almost prepared for the coming birth, so we now have to plan small adventures or things to do so we don’t end up spending our days just waiting for the birthing to start.
We love Prague – the nature, the bitcoin-friendly atmosphere and the nice food cultures here, so we try to keep ourselves occupied, but within Ulrika’s energy level. Her energy level has really sunken this week, but more about being week 38 pregnant below. 


Vecka 38 av graviditeten och vi har installerat oss i Prag, det är här som vi har bestämt oss för att välkomna vårt barn. Nästan alla förberedelser inför den kommande födelsen är klara, så vi måste nu planera in små äventyr eller hitta på saker att göra så vi inte spenderar våra dagar med att bara vänta på att födseln ska börja.
Vi älskar Prag – naturen, den bitcoinvänliga atmosfären och de goda matkulturerna här, så vi försöker fylla dagarna, dock inom Ulrikas energinivå. Hennes energinivå har verkligen sjunkit den här veckan, men mer om att vara vecka 38 gravid nedan.

Week 38 of pregnancy and here we are in the Letna Park getting a nice view over a few of the bridges of Prague. Ulrika is trying not to fall in to the period of waiting, so we try to do small adventures those days Ulrika is feeling less tired.

There is a metronom, usually swinging from side to side, now standing in the middle of Letna Park after they blew up a 15 meter tall Stalin monument in 1962.

The Stalin monument during Czech Communism’s glory days. This is one of the reasons why we like the Czech Republic so much. A lot of people still remember those days and do not want to go back there. (Picture from Wiki Commons)

So Ulrika entered week 38 of pregnancy and we decided to go skin deep to document this pregnancy. Ulrika feels strong and beautiful, but a special form of fatigue has hit her. The scale says that she has gained 16 kg (35 pounds), but she doesn’t feel heavy yet. Her extremities, mostly her feet, have started to swell, but the blood pressure is good.  Baby’s heartbeat sounded healthy at our week 38 appointment with our midwife and the baby’s head is now in a downward position, but not quite fixated yet. We see our midwife once a week now the last couple of weeks before the calculated date of birth (September 3rd).

We don’t want to end up in a bubble of just waiting for our daughter’s arrival, then it is going to feel like forever before she is here, so we are fortunate to have our friends here, the King family. (Picture by: Caroline King).

Prague doesn’t have a lot of natural lakes, so man-made lakes are the place to go if you want to cool off during hot summer days. The temperature has been insane here in Prague as well, most days reaching temperatures over 35C.

Prague has a big Vietnamese community from the time where communist countries used to force their citizens to expatriate to other communist countries. We really like the Vietnamese cuisine, especially Pho Bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup), so I’m glad that the Vietnamese community choose to stay in the Czech Republic after the fall of communism here.

Our midwife is located right in the middle of the tourist parts of Prague, so it can be hard to find nice food places, but our midwife told us about a lovely restaurant (Styl&Interier) in her neighborhood, which was hidden away in a back yard, where we could have lunch after a long appointment with her.

But mostly, we cook our meals at home and there are those little things Ulrika appreciates, like when Pontus has decorated our dinner (mashed turnips with fish in oven) with nicely cut out flowers made from a radish. Or that we have an IKEA nearby where we can buy Kalles Kaviar and hard rye bread.

We have done the last shopping needed before the coming birth here in Prague. This is another thing we really like about Prague, it is really a bitcoin-friendly city. There are around 14 two-way bitcoin ATM’s  just in and around the Prague area, so it is easy to get the local currency if you can’t pay directly with bitcoin.

Here is a map showing the location of all btc ATM’s in and around Prague, both one- and two-ways,

And some days Ulrika hasn’t even wanted to step outside, so she has finally finished her crochet project, creating a warm blanket for “det lilla livet”. Ulrika is not in to arts and crafts, and she hasn’t tried to crochet since the days of high school, but it is remarkable how much information you can get out of Youtube. Ulrika had an idea of what she wanted to create and five Youtube videos (and a number of hours crocheting) later “det lilla livet” now has a blanket.

Why we have chosen to give birth in Prague

We have decided to welcome our child here in the Czech Republic after months of research. Our research started with the whole world and ended with Prague in Czech Republic. The reasons behind this can be summed up in a few sentences

  • It is our first child so we decided to be in Europe, it is a bit closer to our families compared to Asia and Central America.
  • We looked for good quality medical services which was covered by Ulrika’s maternity insurance.
  • We wanted to either be really close to Sweden, but not in Sweden, or have a community surrounding us (Tallinn, Prague and Malta was added to our list)
  • We wanted to be able to have private options, especially when it came to midwifes. (Lissabon was added to our list)
  • Prague became our main choice mainly due to that we have our good friends the King family here. They have already gone through giving birth to a child here and they have connections that we could use.
  • The Czech Republic has one of the world’s lowest maternal mortality rates and they also have a good prenatal care.
  • It’s cheap to give birth here, about six times cheaper than Sweden and you get a lot for the money here. For example, you can have a private midwife and the hospital you choose is actually the hospital you are going to give birth at. This is not you what you can expect giving birth in for instance, Sweden.
  • The final argument to give birth in Prague was when the speaker list of this year’s version of Hacker’s Congress was released and we managed to get tickets to it.

Vi har beslutat att välkomna vårt barn här i Tjeckien efter månader av efterforskning. Vi utgick från hela världen och det  slutade med Prag i Tjeckien. Anledningen till detta kan sammanfattas med några få meningar

  • Det är vårt första barn så vi bestämde oss för att vara i Europa, det är lite närmare till våra familjer jämfört med Asien och Centralamerika.
  • Vi letade efter högkvalitativa medicinska tjänster och som täcktes av Ulrikas graviditetsförsäkring.
  • Vi ville antingen vara riktigt nära Sverige, men inte i Sverige, eller ha en grupp av frihetliga vänner som omger oss (Tallinn, Prag och Malta lades till på vår lista)
  • Vi ville ha privata alternativ, särskilt när det gäller barnmorskor. (Lissabon lades till vår lista)
  • Prag blev vårt främsta val på grund av att vi har våra goda vänner, familjen King här. De har redan gått igenom att föda ett barn här och de har kontakter som vi kan använda.
  • Tjeckien har en av de lägsta mödradödlighetsiffrorna i världen och väldigt bra neonatalvård.
  • Det är billigt att föda här, ungefär sex gånger billigare än Sverige och du får väldigt mycket för pengarna här. Exempelvis kan du ha privat barnmorska och sjukhuset du väljer är faktiskt det sjukhus som du kommer föda på. Det är något du inte kan förvänta dig när du föder i till exempel Sverige.
  • Det sista argumentet för att föda i Prag var när talarlistan av årets version av Hacker’s Congress släpptes och vi lyckades få biljetter till det.

The hospital we have chosen is located outside Prague – there are at least seven different maternity hospitals that we have found in and around Prague and some have better reputation than others. From the expat community here in Prague, three hospitals stood out (Rakovnik, Neratovice and Horovice) as being the most woman-friendly where birthing a child to a large extent is not looked  upon as a medical problem and where the “assembly line”-principle is not applied.

Another important thing for Ulrika was to have her own private midwife, who she can get to know before the delivery and be sure that the person who is going to be responsible for the birth has good knowledge about birthing techniques and has the personality that is complementary to Ulrika.  All this can be found in Prague, there is a big market for private midwifes and doulas here, and we were fortunate to have contacts that could help us find a good midwife.


Sjukhuset som vi har valt ligger utanför Prag – det finns minst sju olika förlossningssjukhus som vi hittat i och runt Prag och vissa sjukhus har ett bättre rykte än andra. Från “Expat”-gruppen här i Prag fick vi veta att tre sjukhus stod ut (Rakovnik, Neratovice och Horovice) som de mest kvinnovänliga sjukhusen där en födsel till stor del inte betraktas som ett medicinskt problem och löpandebandprincipen inte tillämpas

En annan viktig sak för Ulrika var att ha sin egen privata barnmorska, som hon kan lära känna innan förlossningen och vara säker på att personen som ska vara ansvarig för födelsen har goda kunskaper om förlossningstekniker, samt har en personlighet som är komplementär till Ulrika. Detta går att hitta i Prag, det finns en stor marknad för privata barnmorskor och doulas här, och vi hade tur att ha kontakter som kunde hjälpa oss att hitta en bra barnmorska.

Marketa is showing us one of two birthing rooms at the hospital.

Marketa is our midwife and she works part time at one of the top ranked hospitals (by the expat community) around Prague, and she was the one who could get us in to the most popular one Rakovnik. All hospitals here works differently, most require you to do a pre-registration at twelve weeks of pregnancy and some as late as week 36. Our hospital was of the first kind, but our midwife works here so we could do the pre-registration at week 28 when we where in Prague last time (in June). We got a guided tour around the hospital and Marketa went through step by step what happens here during birthing and what options Ulrika has.

Ulrika’s Czech midwife has worked 15 years as a midwife in a natural birthing center in Australia so she speaks excellent English and is also very knowledgeable about alternatives to both pharmacological pain relief and routine C-sections due to breech positioning.  In some hospitals in Prague, you’re not even allowed to choose the birthing position, but here you can even choose to give birth in a pool. This hospital suits our midwife the best and we hope that it will suit us too.


Marketa är vår barnmorska och hon arbetar deltid på en av de högst rankade sjukhusen (enligt expatgruppen) runt Prag, och hon var den som kunde ta oss in på det populäraste av dem Rakovnik. Alla sjukhus fungerar olika, de flesta kräver att du gör en förregistrering vid vecka tolv av graviditeten och några så sent som i vecka 36. Vårt sjukhus är av den första sorten, men vår barnmorska jobbar här så vi kunde göra förregistreringen i vecka 28 när vi var i Prag förra gången (i juni). Vi fick en guidad tur runt sjukhuset och Marketa gick igenom steg för steg vad som händer här under födseln och vilka alternativ som Ulrika har.

Ulrikas tjeckiska barnmorska har arbetat 15 år som barnmorska i ett naturligt födelsecenter i Australien så hon talar utmärkt engelska och är också mycket kunnig om alternativ till både farmakologisk smärtlindring och rutin kejsarsnitt på grund av sätesbjudning. På vissa sjukhus i Prag får du inte ens välja födelseposition själv, men här kan du till och med välja att föda i en pool. Detta sjukhus passar vår barnmorska bäst och vi hoppas att det passar oss också.

Our hospital requires a week 36 examination to be completely registered for birth here, so that was why we needed to be in Prague before Ulrika entered week 36. Our midwife met us at the hospital and went through important hospital policy documents and did the CTG-monitoring (a procedure where you monitor the baby’s heartbeat for a longer time). We also did an ultrasound and the last blood work and other tests Ulrika needed to do before the birth. We got to see one of the doctors working at the maternity ward and filling in all the necessary data in Ulrika’s journal.

Our midwife is the one who takes care of Ulrika and all the necessary check ups the last weeks of the pregnancy and she is the one we will call when the delivery starts. She will be the one handling the delivery at the hospital with doctors standing by, if an acute situation would occur, and she will also be handling the postnatal care and do home visits after the birth.


Vår sjukhus kräver en undersökning vid vecka 36 för att man ska vara helt registrerad för födelse här. Därför behövde vi vara i Prag innan Ulrika gick in i vecka 36. Vår barnmorska träffade oss på sjukhuset och gick igenom viktiga policy dokument från sjukhuset och gjorde CTG- mätning (en metod där man övervakar barnets hjärtslag under längre tid). Vi gjorde också ett ultraljud och de sista blodtesterna och andra test som Ulrika behövde göra före födseln. Vi träffade en av de läkare som arbetar på förlossningsavdelningen och fick fylla i alla nödvändiga uppgifter i Ulrikas journal.

Vår barnmorska är den som tar hand om Ulrika, barnet och alla veckokontroller de sista veckorna av graviditeten och hon är den vi ska ringa till när förlossningen startar. Hon kommer att vara den som är ansvarig för förlossningen på sjukhuset där läkare står “stand by”, om en akut situation skulle inträffa, och hon kommer också att hantera eftervården och göra hembesök efter födseln.

Everything looked great and our girl has not been fixated yet, but she is head down at the moment.
A link to the brochure about creating a positive birth experience and knowing your rights in the Czech Republic can be found here. It is a very important document which can also be found in Czech, Russian, Vietnamese and Romani.


Allt såg bra ut och vår flicka har ännu inte fixerat sig, men hon har huvudet nedåt just nu.
En länk till broschyren om att skapa en positiv födelseupplevelse och att veta dina rättigheter i Tjeckien finner du här. Det är ett mycket viktigt dokument som även finns på tjeckiska, ryska, vietnamesiska och romska.

Hot summer, pregnancy and Säter’s mental healthcare museum

July was incredible hot in Sweden and for Ulrika this meant tiredness and just find ways to try to cool off. We had planned to spend some time with family before we had to leave Sweden, so we did just that. Ulrika’s birthday wish was to go to Säter’s mental healthcare museum so this trip was our only adventure during July. We also had to do a lot of preparations for the coming birth of our child, so July went by incredible fast for us.  Below is a summary of our July in pictures.


Juli var otroligt hett i Sverige och för Ulrika betydde det en otrolig trötthet och försöka hitta sätt att vara sval. Vi hade planerat att spendera denna tid med familjen innan vi var tvungna att lämna Sverige, så vi gjorde just det. Ulrikas födelsedagsönskning var att åka till Säters mentalvårdsmuseum, så denna utflykt var vårt enda äventyr under juli. Vi var också tvungna att göra flera förberedelser för vårt barns kommande födelse, så juli gick otroligt snabbt för oss. Nedan följer en sammanfattning av vårt juli i bilder.

Week 32 photo of Ulrika and little did she know that Sweden would experience the hottest summer since the Swedish Weather institute started their measurements 250 years ago. Here. she was just glad not to be nearer the equator

We were in Dalarna with Pontus family for the most part helping out with different things.

Helping Pontus mother start building a greenhouse.

We also got to hang out with Pontus nephew Noa (Grattis Noa på födelsedagen!)

Noa showing us and his mother Hanna that he was almost ready to start walking by himself. Soon he would let go of his parents hands and begin to explore the world.

We went to an outdoor auction in Dalarna.

It is interesting to see the psychology behind the bidding strategies.

Found a funny sign in one of the stores we visited: “Win a free ride in a police car. The only thing you need to do is to shoplift in this store. Say hello to the camera :)”

The temperature just rose and rose, and soon it was no longer pleasant to be in Sweden in the end of a pregnancy.

The only thing we could do was to cool ourselves in the lakes, here in Långviken.

And Harnäs.

Ulrika during week 35 before cooling off in lake Grycken after an incredible hot day (compared to other Swedish summers).

Ulrika also turned 35 during those hot summer days and Pontus baked a cake for her using his mother’s recipe.

Ulrika finally got to visit Säters mentalvårdsmuseum (Säter’s mental healthcare museum). The state institution for mentally ill persons and others opened 1912 and parts of the area is still operational – the forensic psychiatry clinic.

It is a small museum and you have to book the guided tour in advance, but it is so worth it to take the guided tour. You get to learn about the psychiatric care in the beginning of last century and what standard practices to help and “help” mentally ill persons have looked like during the last century.

Most interesting is the part where the patients crafts and artistry are displayed. This cardigan was created by a psychotic woman, where the front piece were worked on during her “chaotic” episodes and the back piece worked on during her calm episodes.

A wedding dress by a female patient who thought that she and the head doctor were to get married.

The doctor’s name was Theodore (Ted).

There were no lack of innovators in this place. This gun was designed to be able to shoot around corners.

Other made more or less correct predictions of the future. One patient were concerned about the future of electricity and he wrote a book about it “About the ravages of electricity” in 1920.

Others feared about overpopulation of Sweden already in 1939.

And a few patients really could envision what the world would look like in the future describing wireless telephones already in 1912, but the doctors at that time called it hallucinations.

Back in Stjärnsund we ate Ulrika’s birthday cake and had a quiet celebration. Ulrika thinks that Pontus did a very good job with creating this birthday cake!

We enjoyed our time with family in July, but we we’re also preparing for giving birth to our child – one of the tasks were to visit a Notarius Publicus to get an Apostille stamp on important documents. It was interesting to see that Gävle had a Finnish honorary consulate.

Ulrika has used home tests to monitor her iron levels and after taking iron supplements for a months she were finally back to normal levels. This is another thing to be aware of, taking control over your body, when you don’t have a specific doctor or midwife to go to. Fortunately, there are so much things that you can do nowadays to monitor yourself. We ordered several home tests from HH UK like protein in Urea, Vitamin D levels etc (link below).

Home Health UK

We got delayed, because of car trouble, so we couldn’t leave Sweden at our planned date. We got more time with family, but we wanted to leave Sweden before Ulrika entered week 36.

Just before Ulrika entered week 36 everything was fixed and we had packed our bags for the coming months.

We passed Göteborg to say good bye to this little muggler.

And Sweden said good bye to us with one final fire – now at an industrial site. The heat and dryness have really been extreme this summer in Sweden and a lot of forests have gone up in flames.

Ulrika’s brother has been one of the heroes fighting the fires in the extreme heat. They managed to get the fire outside Kårböle in control! (Picture taken by one of Niklas colleagues at R3 Uppsala)

Now it is August and technically “det lilla livet” can come any time from the middle of August to middle of September. It is going to be exciting couple of weeks we are facing!

Nu är det augusti och tekniskt sett så kan det lilla livet komma någon gång från mitten av augusti till mitten av september. Det kommer att bli spännande några veckor vi står inför!

In the Swedish “bubb.la”

We had to enter the Swedish bubbla, but fortunately for us we have our own “bubb.la” with family and friends that we like to be inside when we are in Sweden. The big day for us is coming closer so we want to spend this last time with family and friends before we will go and welcome our child. This time around it was going to be all about bubbles with a name giving ceremony, bubb.la meet up with Boris and a wonderful bubb.la wedding. 


Vi var tvungna att åka in i den svenska bubblan, men lyckligtvis har vi vår egen “bubb.la” med familj och vänner som vi tycker om att vara inne i när vi är i Sverige. Den stora dagen för oss kommer allt närmare så vi vill spendera denna sista tid tillsammans med familj och vänner innan vi ska åka och välkomna vårt barn. Den här gången skulle det handla om bubblor med en namngivningsceremoni, bubb.la-träff med Boris och ett underbart bubb.la bröllop.

Back on Swedish soil and we realized that we were close to the most Southern point in Sweden – Smygehuk. Also, Ulrika is showing off her week 29 belly.
We visited Smygehuk in the early morning before we headed North, it was going to be a long day on the road for us.

We had lunch in Kalmar and decided to tick another thing off the bucket list. Ulrika has never seen Ölandsbron, the 6 kilometer long bridge that connects the island Öland to the mainland.

We came back to Sweden for Ulrika’s nephew Filip’s name giving ceremony, the secular version of baptism, and to spend time with our families before we need to focus on welcoming our girl to this world.

We celebrated Midsummer, the Swedish feast that is the closest to a national day Sweden has. Here we danced to classical Swedish ballads around a leaf- and flower-covered Phallus.

We got the opportunity to meet and speak with Boris, one half of the podcast “radio bubb.la”. Here he is with Ulrika’s nephew Filip. We also bought a signed copy of his book ” Inte mitt krig” about the death of the Swedish leftist movement during the 70’s and how they instead infiltrated the institutions causing the Swedish state to swell into an enormous bureaucratic and socialist apparatus, which is the main reason why today’s Sweden is collapsing.

You can find the book here at Cultura Aetatis,  the publishing house under the bubb.la umbrella.

We also got the opportunity to dress up to celebrate the union of our friends Martin and Sofia, the founders of project bubb.la and radio bubb.la. Ulrika found a dress that she could wear at 30 weeks of pregnancy.

It was a lovely ceremony in Stockholm and Boris was the marriage officiant. Thank you Martin and Sofia for letting us be part of your special day.

the first dance as a married couple!

We headed back to Ulrika’s family to spend more time with them. Filip loves water so we took him to Högbosjön one day.

He didn’t hesitate to get in the water even though the water temperature was far from the indoor baby pool he is used to.

We also spent one day at Furuvik, an amusement park and zoo, near Gävle and we chose a nice day to be here, Sweden played against South Korea at the World Soccer Championship, so we were almost alone in the park.

We had a barbecue party with a few of Ulrika’s cousins.

and “det lilla livet” got her first pair of shoes from Linnéa, one of Ulrika’s cousins. Thank you Linnéa!

” Det lilla livet” has gotten a lot of things from both mormor (maternal grandmother), moster (maternal auntie) and friends, so it was time to organize our girl’s things.

It was time for our girl to get her own back pack and for us to gather all her things. It is only two month left before she will be here, so from now on her back pack will travel with us.

Prague – Křivoklát castle, Libertarians and Bitcoin

We were back in Prague with a busy schedule. It was going to be intensive days with the King family, Křivoklát castle, libertarians, meetings and just enjoying being in a bitcoin-friendly environment
The King family are close friends to us and we enjoy going on adventures with them. This time they showed us the Křivoklát castle located in Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area. There is a small bubb.la premium enclave here in Prague so we wanted to meet up with them as well. Our days here in Prague were so busy so Ulrika actually had to make a schedule for our time here so we didn’t double-book anything. 


Vi var tillbaka i Prag med ett ganska fullt schema. Det skulle bli intensiva dagar med Kingfamiljen, slottet Křivoklát, libertarianer, viktiga möten, samt bara njuta av att vara i en bitcoin-vänlig miljö.
Kingfamiljen är nära vänner till oss och vi gillar att komma ut på äventyr med dem. Den här gången visade de oss slottet Křivoklát som ligger i “Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area”. Det finns också en liten bubb.la premium-enklav här i Prag så vi ville träffa dem också. Våra dagar här i Prag var faktiskt så intensiva att Ulrika var tvungen att göra ett schema för vår tid här så att vi inte dubbelbokade något.

Prague is a place that we keep returning to. This time around, the King family took us to Křivoklát Castle – a 13th century castle one hour outside of Prague.

The whole crew inside the castle.

They have a medieval setting in the court yard where we could try shooting with crossbows.

We could choose between different crossbows, even modern ones were available.

We took a look around before we went for a trekking in the surrounding landscape. Křivoklát Castle is located in Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area, an area with rich biodiversity.

Caroline snapped a pregnancy photo of Ulrika – here just before entering week 29. (Photo by: Caroline King)

Usually we don’t end up in the same picture, so it was nice to have Caroline take one of us! (Photo by: Caroline King)

Near Křivoklát Castle lies Roztoky, a small city surrounded by forrests, rivers and mountains.

Remnants of the Soviet era are still present and it creates a spectacular contrast to the life-fullness of the surrounding nature.

Our goal was to hike to a waterfall that ended up being really small, but we had a fantastic day anyway with the King family.

There are a lot of blood sucking insects in Czech Republic nature, both ticks and deer flies were trying to get a meal from us. Pontus found this tick on him a few days after our hike even though we carefully checked ourselves after the hike.

It is nice that the older King boys feel comfortable enough with both Pontus and Ulrika, so we can look after them. Pontus spent a couple of hours playing with them while we other grown ups had different missions – Thank you Caroline for helping Ulrika with finding appropriate clothes 🙂

Henry has a special taste in clothes and he loves his suit – we think he looks awesome!

It is also interesting to come visit an unschooling family and see what kind of projects they are working on. Arduino is the focus right now and it seems to be a great education tool for children (and adults). Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform and the purpose is to enable users to create interactive electronic objects – robots in other words.

We had a really busy week in Prague, but we could manage to attend a bubb.la meet up while we where here. We invited our newly found Llbertarian Australian friend to join the Swedish enclave here in Prague. (Photo by: Caroline King)

Our main reason for coming back to Prague is the bitcoin-friendly environment and the cryptoanarchy hub found here. This two-way bitcoin ATM was found in one of the local malls here in Prague, so it is so easy to exchange to the local currency here. There are also places in Prague where you can pay with cryptocurrencies directly.

we found this poster at our favorite place in Prague, Parallelni Polis, which shows the organic growth of the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency communities in the world.

Our time in Prague went really fast so it was a bit sad to say good bye to the King family for this time. Thank you Caroline an Paul for all your help and advice we got from you this week! We are grateful for having you and your children as friends.

We needed to head to Sweden for important family things and celebration of love, so we tried a new way of getting to Sweden. We took the ferry from Rostock to Trelleborg and it was a smooth and cheap way to get from Germany to Sweden. We can really recommend this route!

We found the best slogan ever for an invest company on one of the trucks doing the same journey as us – “Putting capital to work in Southeast Europe”

Technical Windecksattel and entering the third trimester

Windecksattel was our main goal before we left Austria for this time. Sandra and Markus had told us to leave this, more technical, hiking trail until the end of our stay, so the snow cover would have a chance to disappear before we hiked up to this part of the Alps.
 We felt that it was time to try it just before Pontus birthday  – the weather was a major factor and the weather forecast said that more unstable weather was to come during the following days. We packed food and water, which Pontus were responsible for carrying up the mountain and Ulrika, who just entered the third trimester, were responsible for carrying “det lilla livet” up the mountain. It was going to be a long day out in nature.


Windecksattel var vårt huvudsakliga mål innan vi lämnade Österrike för den här gången. Sandra och Markus hade berättat att vi skulle lämna den här, mer tekniska, vandringsleden till slutet av vår vistelse, så att snötäcket skulle ha en chans att försvinna innan vi vandrade upp till denna del av Alperna.
Vi kände att det var dags att försöka oss på denna led precis före Pontus födelsedag – vädret var en viktig faktor och väderprognosen hade sagt att mer ostabilt väder skulle rulla in under de kommande dagarna. Vi packade mat och vatten, vilket Pontus var ansvarig för att bära upp på berget och Ulrika, som just gick in i tredje trimestern, var ansvarig för att bära “det lilla livet” upp på berget. Det skulle bli en lång dag ute i naturen.

Last hike for us in Riezlern and it was going to be an epic one – incredible landscape and Ulrika entering the last trimester (28 weeks pregnant). We chose to head up to Windecksattel and crossing the border to Germany .

This time we would have this view over RIezlern. It was going to be a 750 meter ascent with more or less trail to to follow. Our total distance hiked would be 15 km.

First part was through a fir forest, but we would soon leave the conifers and the easy hiking trail behind us.

Parts of the trail were more technical than others, but it was no problem to hike the trail while being pregnant.

We soon found a sign that should be followed, especially during the winter months when snow hides the terrain.

There are an extensive cave system underneath the mountains in the valley and one of the entry points can be found on this trail. It is a 90 meter deep hole and you don’t want to fall down there while skiing down the trail.

First mission was to reach Mahdtal and eat lunch there before taking on the last part up to Windecksattel.

We did a pregnancy photo shoot in Mahdtal, capturing Ulrika during week 28 on her way to reach her goal at the Windecksattel.

Mahdtal during spring.

Just south of Windecksattel is the Torkopf peak (1930 meters). It is a reachable peak, but we felt that it was better to save this adventure for another time when Ulrika is not pregnant.

We reached the part of the trail where snow still was present. We saw a mountain goat coming down the mountain to lay down on the snow, probably to cool down.

More snow was present the higher up we went and we had to walk over snow covers during the last part of the trail. It became quite steep as well.

We finally reached Windecksattel and got a nice view of the landscape on the other side of the mountain.

Our original plan was to follow the trail through Obere Gottesackerwände, but it was to much snow left on the ground. We decided to turn back here, but we were still impressed with ourselves, hiking 7.5 km and ascending 750 meters. In the end, we kept a pace of 18:04 min per kilometer and maximum altitude was 1840 meters.

We celebrated Pontus 36th birthday while we were in Riezlern. We had a few days of unstable weather before we left this place, so it was a quiet and peaceful celebration this year. After the birthday we had to leave Austria for another central European country – the Czech Republic.

Trying altitudes – Schöntal and above

Our next goal was to see how Ulrika’s pregnant body handled altitudes so Schöntal was our option when we wanted to hike an easy trail and reach higher altitudes. Schöntal is a peak that we have seen from Sandra and Markus place every time we’ve visited them, so we felt it was time see how the valley looked from that part of the Alps. Ulrika was in week 27 so we were also curious how she could handle the ascent and the long trail – it was going to be a 18 km hike in the end of the day.


Vårt nästa mål var att se hur Ulrikas gravida kropp hanterade höjder så Schöntal var vårt alternativ när vi ville ha en lättare vandringsväg, samt nå högre höjder. Schöntal är ett ställe som vi har sett från Sandra och Markus plats varje gång vi har besökt dem, så vi kände att det var dags att se hur dalen såg ut från den delen av Alperna. Ulrika var i vecka 27 så vi var också nyfiken på hur hon kunde hantera stigningen och den långa leden – det skulle bli en 18 km vandring i slutet av dagen.

Pontus and the meadow. We started easy and we have to say that coming here during late spring is wonderful. The flowers fills the valley and the weather is great.

The first part of our 18 km hike was through the valley and not so much increasing in altitudes. Our mission was the green peak right in front of us.

We took a few breaks, because we knew that we had a long hike to manage, and waterfalls are always a reason to stop for.

Soon there were altitudes to climb and it went quite well.

We reached Schöntal and Ulrika still felt good to go so we continued and soon we had a nice view over Riezlern.

Finally, we reached a satisfying altitude at 1500 meter above sea level, a 500 meter ascent compared to our starting level at 1000 meters. The total ascent during the hike was 1000 meter.

Ulrika was very proud of herself. The pace during the whole 18 km trail was 14:50 min/km – it was not the best, but it didn’t matter. 27 weeks pregnant and still going strong! “Det lilla livet”  seems to like being carried up on mountain tops.

The view was incredible and we could see the snow still on Hoher Ifen, a peak/plateau we reached last year with Sandra and Markus.

Our adventure on Ifen!

Our way back was on trafficked roads, it was in case Ulrika should start having pains or cramps, so our back up option was to jump on a bus back to our place.

But the landscape was still absolutely stunning.

The roads around Schöntal are steep and narrow.

Ulrika still felt awesome so we abandoned the trafficked roads for more nature walk for the last part of our hike.

Soon back home, we just had a small ascent left.

Our last waterfall on our hike, so we had to capture it on camera. After this successful hike we decided it was time to try a more technical trail.

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