Friday night we went to tour one of the two hospitals we can give birth at. I was TOTALLY going to take pictures of our hospital tour, but, uh, I didn’t. More of that whole fear of photographing in public- and with a huge tour group of 12+ FAMILIES I didn’t think I’d be able to get the shots I wanted, so you’ll have to wait to see the hospital until I deliver. ;)
When I delivered Jackson here in Germany there was literally NO info, no hospital tour, no ‘this is what you should know printout’, nada. It was all on your own to figure everything out. Thankfully I had a good friend who had recently given birth and clued me into many key factors- where the hospital was/where the delivery ward was, what to expect, the fact that they don’t give out peri bottles (ha) ect.
I still have to finish editing and writing the ending to my birth story for Jackson that I actually wrote most of immediately after his birth. But to sum up my birth experience, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but in all honestly I hadn’t planned appropriately or was firm enough in my decisions going into it. It’s hard to say it didn’t go exactly how I wanted because my two priorities were a vaginal birth and my beautiful boy- both accomplished, so I can’t say it was all bad :).
Things I loved about delivering in Germany? They give you the baby. After delivery there are no shots, eye meds, or CLEANING. They just thrust this slimy little friend right to your chest and he stays there for as long as you decide. Jackson actually never got a real bath until the next morning, yeah a little gross, but whatever, having my baby with me was well worth it, lol. I had the chance to try to breastfeed as soon as I liked, however Jackson had different plans. Generally I enjoyed the care of the midwives- who check and monitor you throughout your labor- the doctor was there for the delivery but most of the work falls on the midwives. I was naïve and assumed having midwives give primary care meant they would be more like a midwife in the US- suggesting birthing positions/generally supportive, NOT pushing pain meds every time I saw them. Not the case, live and learn.
Things I didn’t love about the hospital I had Jackson at? Aside from the things mentioned above the biggest hang up was breastfeeding support. I never saw a lactation consultant, and generally felt like no one at all could/would help me. When Jackson got jaundice I was encouraged NOT to breastfeed, given bad advice about pumping, not woken up to feed my baby (and pump) like I was told they would when he was hungry, the list goes on, most of all that was my biggest complaint. The birth experience I take most responsibility for, but this? I needed help desperately and didn’t get it. Jackson was also tongue tied at birth and this was a huge problem on latching (especially without help) which was just ignored. Bah. I eventually hunted down the closest lactation consultant and had to be persistent until I was able to meet with her. I also called countless LCs in the us looking for support and advice. It all worked out eventually, but it was a rough road.
Back to the NEW hospital we took a tour of Friday night. The BIGGEST positive? Other than the very friendly staff, beautiful birthing rooms, and better parking availability ;) They are a WHO certified baby friendly hospital. They WANT you to breastfeed and WANT you to succeed. I’m really looking to having that support this time around.
I also plan on going in with the mindset of ‘no pain meds’ instead of ‘we’ll see’. Do I know that it will change the outcome? No. Will I still end up with an epidural? Maybe, but I think I will get more support to go without if I come in prepared to do it, and tell my midwives that is what I want.
The hospital tour got me kinda really excited for this little one, even though we have a long way to go. I looked through our long list of baby names that night and smiled thinking about what the future holds. Still trying to work on a list of what we need to get for this baby (shouldn’t be much, but I want to be prepared). I have another friend who is pregnant and I’d love to make a list of the ‘must have’ items for her- so you experienced mamas. What are the things you think are MUST HAVES with a newborn? I’d love your input!
Today was our doctor appt and ultrasound. Baby looks great, and it was probably the quickest appointment ever (in a good way) there was almost no waiting. I got my lab work done and was in the Dr’s office before I had a chance to sit down.
Big 'Ol 17 week belly.
Oh and my precious 'baby' boy? He amazes me everyday. I love watching him learn new things, his little brain firing away making connections with words and actions. He will now also sign ‘please’ ‘car’ and ‘shhh’. . .all after I show or ask him, but man it’s cute! His favorite book right now is 'Go Dog Go' and he 'says' the name when he brings it to you :) Here is a pic, just for your enjoyment.