Category Archives: Our cute son

The month of change

We are now in the first week of May and with it on the final straight of my wife’s pregnancy. The calculated due date is the 11th of May but it could happen now any time. In fact only 2% of all children are born within of the two days of the calculated due date! However my wife is hoping that our baby girl will stick to the “calculations”. First of all because Nathan was two weeks late and was not the smallest baby around when born with 3970 grams (~8,7 lb) and 52cm (~20,5 in). She really does hope that the girl won’t be taking that long. Though the most important reason for sticking to the plan is not the size/ weight increase of the baby but that my wife still has some stuff to do here.

Will our baby girl look similar to #Nathancuty?

You might already know that my wife and I have our own little business. This also means whenever we are on holidays or are sick we are not earning anything at all. Right now my wife is still working every single day so when the baby is there that she can rest for a few weeks. Here in Europe we got the Mother Protection before and after giving birth, work or anything related to it is prohibited but well as you can see with my wife she does not really care at all as it would mean zero income for us. Anyhow she agreed at least to reduce the work load and there should be nearly zero work starting tomorrow for her. For the next weeks it shall be my time to shine in our little business as I will run nearly everything alone. Okay that is also only possible as my wife will reduce our advertised products by nearly 80%. Even though it will be reduced it will still mean lot of work for me so there might be a few blog posts missing for this month and perhaps even the beginning of next month.

Maybe some fishing in Finland together with #Nathancuty this summer?

 

What are our plans for this summer? Enjoy the time with our baby girl of course! Perhaps we might even travel to Finland again but we have to see how everything works out here. The trip to Finland might be especially tricky as we would go by car this time (driving through Danmark and Sweden and taking from there a ferry to Finland) with over 1000km to drive within less than 15 hours with a newborn in the car. In the end of May my dear Chinese mother-in-law will come to haunt us for three months again so I certainly will have some interesting stuff to tell. Sadly my father-in-law is not coming to Germany as he has to take care of the dogs, somehow I have the feeling he will never be able to travel here as MIL is not allowing it…

What are your plans for this summer?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

Pregnancy in Germany compared to Finland

Oh no, it seems that I missed once again some blog posts in the past weeks. Running your own business and having to prepare for a second child is certainly time-consuming. With the birth of our little baby girl approaching I want to share some info regarding how different the whole pregnancy process was for us thus far here in Germany compared to Finland. I must admit that both my wife and I have forgotten already a great deal about the pregnancy in Finland so I hope I get it still more or less right.

Puffed up Nathan

Back in 2013 my wife went for a pregnancy test to her “normal” doctor. The same doctor she always went when she had the flu, needed stitches when one bunny ripped her ear or for some allergy check-ups. She had taken the home pregnancy test before but she just wanted to be sure about the result. After her doctor confirmed that she was pregnant she gave us an information flyer and told us which steps to take next. For one we had to contact Neuvola, which is something like a guidance centre/ midwife centre. I believe that Neuvola is something which every country should have! There the mother gets all the pregnancy check-ups and information before giving birth. After the child is born all the doctor visits are being done in that center and the child is “being taken care” (checking the development, helping with questions etc.) untill going to Elementary school. That is certainly an all-inclusive package and it is all for free in Finland.

Nathan chillin on the groun in our Finnish Apartment back in 2014

The only other thing we had to do was to inform Kela, which is the Finnish Social Insurance Institution. Why contact the Social Insurance Institution? Well Kela is so much more than just that as it also handles retirement pay, child benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, health insurance and student benefits. We had to inform Kela when the child would be born and a few months before the due date we received the famous baby box. That box has everything needed for the first month and it gives parents a good idea what to buy later on. The box itself can be also used as a crib for the first weeks. The total worth of the box is around nearly 600-800€ by my estimation and it is yet another thing which is entirely free in Finland.

By just informing Kela and Neuvola everything was pretty much set and we did not have to contact any more places for “registering” our baby. After Nathan was born we simply had to give the birthdate, confirmation of life birth etc. to Kela so all correct information would be in his file. I believe that is all we had to do but perhaps some Finnish person might add to this in case they stumble upon this article.

Just one hour after being born in Finland

Now I come to our endeavour here in Germany. Already now, way before our baby girl is born, everything is very much complicated. Let’s start with the simple part as my wife went to her gynecologist in order to confirm the pregnancy. After that all further check-ups were done at that gynecologist. Thus far it all sounds still very similar to the Finnish Neuvola however now I come to the differences. We needed to find also a midwife for us (who we will meet for the first time next week). We went for the easiest option and made an appointment at the local hospital as it has a midwife section. There the midwives are of course working at the maternity ward however they also are self-employed as midwives in order to give information for expecting mothers, come to your home every few days to check on the new born (the frequency changes later on when the child is older) and helps the mother getting back into normal life. Already now we have the gynecologist my wife needs to visit every few weeks and we have to take care on our own to have a midwife.

A surprised Monk

The midwife is also important in order as she takes care of the paperwork needed for the hospital when giving birth. It is not so much but it gives the doctors and midwives at the hospital all necessary information about the mother and the unborn child so nothing goes wrong (for example allergies to certain medications). Now I come to the part with the health insurance. This was in Finland automatically done by contacting Kela. Now as we live in Germany, a country where digitization is something for the unknown far away future, we have to go everywhere on our own as no bureau here gets information automatically. So the health insurance we need to contact before the birth so they can already give the needed documents for us to fill out once the child is born. Besides going to the health insurance we also need to go later on to the registration office with all kind of different documents in order to “register” the child officially. It may not look so different but trust me, it is a huge change for us compared to Finland were everything was so easy and worked nearly automatically.

Baby in a bucket

You can see that we favor the Finnish way much more but Germany got also a few good points. In Finland we had two ultrasound check-ups to make sure that the baby is fine. In case we wanted a 4D Ultrasound for some better pictures and get 99% certainty about the gender we would need to pay around 200 Euros. Here  in Germany my wife has every 2-4 weeks ultrasound check-ups and we had also those 4D ultrasounds twice already and paid only 40 Euros for it, as you can see it is a big difference compared to Finland. I’d say the perfect system would be a mix of both of them but you can’t have everything in life. Both countries offer with their health care systems very good methods which are for free and everyone living in those countries receives those benefits.

Last but not least I have to mention that we got a little present from the Finnish community here in Germany. Finland has this year its 100 year anniversary and it also started a huge knitting fever in Finland and for Finnish people living abroad. After emailing the Finnish community here we received for our baby girl hand knitted socks held in the colours of the Finnish flag (blue and white). Surprisingly the person who send us the socks is even the mother of a guy I know from way back when I had my Confirmation Camp in Finland (2001 or 2002). It is not the same as a Kela Baby Box but it is a nice gesture of the Finnish community and our girl will wear those socks next month!

How is the whole “process” in your country?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

Family Gathering

This weekend we had just our first Family Gathering since 2005. Back in the day it was organized, just like all the previous Family Gatherings, by my Uncle who passed away a few years after that last meeting. For twelve years we did not meet in such a way again until my cousin (daughter of my uncle) decided to change this and started contacting us last autumn.

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The old boys playing some game together (cousin and my brother), in the background my father

First of all it started with a simple family group chat on WhatsApp and from then on the planning progressed quickly (Even my 75 year old father is in that group). The destination for the gathering was found in short time as it was the same place the family had met before. In my case I was around ten years of age when I was there for the first and only time. Back then the group was much smaller as none of the many cousins had children. Even at our last gathering in 2005 there were still many children not yet born. For this meeting we had ten kids making it a total of 21 family members at this gathering. This is the “close” family we have here in Germany. I doubt we would ever manage to plan a Gathering for the entire family as it could easily reach up to 150 people or more.

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All in one group picture

The little village called Tönning was our meeting place right by the North Sea. It is a fairly small village with just 5000 inhabitants. Due to its location it was an important sea port till the end of the 19th century. Then the Kiel Canal was built which made the route via the Eider river obsolete. These days the historical port is a tourist destination with lovely old houses which have been transformed into restaurants and hotels. Just few minutes from our hotel is the Multimar Wattforum which is an information center for the Wadden Sea National Park. This place is just great for kids as they can learn everything about the Wadden Sea from the tides over the important work of the many different worms to the big sharks and wales living in the North Sea. I’d say we all enjoyed the time spent there and it was just so fascinating to see what animals are all living there.

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Later at the dinner (table with tons of kids not shown is to the left)

Later that day we all had a lovely dinner together which lasted until the late evening hours. All in all it was a wonderful time and so great to see all of my cousins again. Especially Nathan had a great time with so many other kids around playing with him. By the end he was so exhausted that he started to fall asleep while sitting at the dinner table. Even my late Uncle was present at the dinner in form of a picture one of his daughters had brought with her portraying him with a big small and raising a pint. The good thing about our close family is that we all live in the same State and that from my hometown (which is right in the middle of the State) it is to each one of my cousins it just take a bit over one hour by car. Now I just hope that we will be able to organize such gathering again in the near future and not to wait another twelve years. We have high hopes to have such meeting again perhaps next year!

Do you have family gatherings?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/