Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Midwives & German Classes

While I write this, Gerrit is currently pushing around the birthing ball that the midwife let me borrow. He’s running with the ball screaming like a banshee as he tears through the house until the ball hits a wall and he falls. No tearful screaming yet, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Still no internet connection. The phone line is supposed to be connected on Thursday, which means our DSL line can theoretically be set up Friday. That means we can use skype again and I can post regularly and check email. We’ll see how this all pans out. Remember that last Friday all this was supposed to happen as well. Again, we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Sunday Evening
We met with the midwife, Regina, at 3pm. She is a young gal (about 28) with a husband (Jason) and nearly 3 year old son (William). She’s also expecting their second child around Christmas. The two children played while Jason, Regina, Gerard, and I got acquainted. Regina had enough foresight to anticipate some of my questions and was somewhat prepared for the likes of me when I arrived. She had created a list of over-the-counter medicines suitable for Gerrit and a newborn, in case I needed to stock up but didn’t know what to get. I was extremely appreciative of this. I had brought a decent supply of the meds we use regularly so that it would allow me time to decipher comparable meds here, but Regina’s list will save me a lot of time. She also gave me important local information, including hospitals and other emergency service numbers.

We discussed hospital protocol a bit, too. She informed me that should I get an epidural here, it would be a walking epidural. I remember inquiring about walking epidurals in the U.S. but was told that was not possible, at least in the hospital where I delivered Gerrit. Regina encouraged me to get an enema. Hmm… I’m not so sure on this one. This is not standard in the U.S., but it is relatively common in German (though I’ve been told they won’t "push" this on me). Regina claims that if I have similar issues as with Gerrit in that I do not dilate quickly enough, having an enema will help in this department. I’m still considering it, but an enema doesn’t sound all that pleasant to me. I suppose child birth in general isn’t all that pleasant, but why add one more feeling of discomfort to the mix?

Regina and Jason were extremely generous with their time and furnishings. First, they invited us to eat dinner with them. Later, Regina asked how I was doing in the new house with no furniture. I told her we were doing well considering we had few amenities in the house, but that I felt a bit like a turtle flipped on its back struggling to turn over every time I tried to get up from the blow up air mattress. She immediately offered us a sofa bed and an adult-sized table until our furniture arrived. Gerard and Jason loaded the items into their mini-van and they drove them to our house while Regina and I continued our conversation. All in all, it was quite a pleasant evening and I was completely astounded at how kind and supportive they both were. Gerard and I are supposed to look through a book she gave us and decide on some labor positions we want to practice for our next session.

We started the morning walking to the VHS (similar to a community adult school, offering various courses in music, fitness, language, vocational training, etc.). A German Language course for beginners started tonight and I wanted to be sure I was enrolled. We were informed that the night class would not take place as there was only one other person who had signed up for it. A minimum of five people are needed to keep a class open. I was encouraged to take the morning class from 10:00-11:30. Incidentally, the time was 9:30 a.m. when all this was being discussed. We agreed that I would attend the first class and Gerard would discuss a potential alternative work schedule for Mondays and Fridays while this course is in session (through December). If all goes well and his work schedule allows for this, I will officially register for the course on Wednesday.

Although there are ten people listed on the roster, only six of us were there today- all women, mostly stay-at-home haus fraus who followed their husbands job here. Of course I was lost for the most part. I think I am by far the newest person to the area and likely the one student who truly has NO GERMAN whatsoever. It seems that most people can understand or even speak a little bit, while I literally know nothing. Although it’s intimidating, at least I can only improve from here. I’ve done my homework for the week and although I think I got everything correct, I have no clue what I was really trying to learn. Book work is always easier than conversation and trying to remember how to ask or respond to questions.

I had coffee with two other students after class. One gal is named Debbie and is from Great Britain, and the other gal is named Destene, from South Carolina. Destene and I continued to talk a bit after coffee, and she told me a bit about herself. Her husband works for BMW, and they have three kids who attend the Bavarian International School. Her two girls are 10 and 8, and her youngest is a 6 year old boy. They intend to be here for three years and return to the States. She seems very nice so perhaps we’ll get together from time to time, despite the age gap between our kids.


At September 27, 2007 at 1:03 PM , Blogger vicki suraci said...

Glad to see you making friends, but then again we knew you would. Read the email I sent to you, can't wait till the internet is hooked up at your end and we can skype again. Big kiss to


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