Friday, October 26, 2007

First Nights Home

Coming home from hospital
I finally got out of the hospital at 2pm today. I had wanted to leave the same day Willem was born but Gerard thought it best that I stay overnight. The delivery at the hospital was pretty good, but the maternity services left something to be desired.

Labor and Delivery Positives:

Midwives were very attentive and willing to give you what you wanted when you wanted it. They offered suggestions but also tried their best to cater to your own wishes. They were set up for both anesthesia and other medical interventions if desired or necessary, but were very pro-natural child birth. They had tubs and birthing balls, mats, squat bars, music, aroma therapy, etc. When it came time to deliver, they were they were attentive and gentle, and extremely encouraging throughout the entire process. The doctors basically checked on you minimally and then stood on the side watching during delivery just to be sure everything went smoothly. After the delivery, the baby was immediately placed on my chest and left there for as long as I wanted before they did any tests (all in front of me). The birth process here seemed calmer and much less traumatic for both baby and me than it seems it was with Gerrit (and Gerrit's delivery wasn't bad).

Maternity Ward Issues:

There was no toilet paper, a tiny hand towel to use in the shower, and I constantly had to ask for things I needed without being asked if I needed anything. I realize this may be the usual way of handling things in Germany, but I guess I was hoping for a bit more attention. Most of the meals I was given consisted of crusty bread and cheese, which under normal circumstances wouldn't have been that bad, but considering I just gave birth, blocking my bowels up with cheese did not sound appealing. When I asked for some juice, I was told that I could not have any because it was not "breakfast time." There were a few other bizarre things (particular to giving birth so they probably don't need to be elaborated on) that put me off a bit about the maternity care, so I was definitely ready to come home after a day there. I was told I could stay for several days or a week if I wanted, but honestly I'm wondering how many people would actually want to stay under those conditions.

Thursday night was our first night at home, and it went fairly smooth. Gerrit and the dogs were mildly interested in Willem. They are all adjusting to their new household, but none seem to be paying much attention to Willem right now. Willem slept for several hours but was up throughout the night nursing every two hours.
My Three Boys
Took Gerrit to the Tagesmutter this morning and mom stayed with Willem while I went to German Class. I know, I know... I just wanted to get out for a few hours. The gals in class were checking me out trying to decide whether or not I looked a bit slimmer, but didn't want to bring up the topic. I think they probably assumed that if I was in class, I couldn't possibly have had the baby. When they found out I gave birth on Wednesday, they were shocked I was at home already. I actually feel pretty good, all considering... much more energy than I had after Gerrit's birth. Hopefully that feeling will continue to last a bit longer. Spent the afternoon unloading a few more boxes with mom, and then mom, Gerrit, and I went to music class while Gerard stayed with Willem. This evening we all went out for dinner at a Tex Mex restaurant that we've been meaning to try near our home. Mom ordered a jalapeno enchilada, which turned out to be more like a crepe stuffed with ricotta and smothered in bolognese sauce. (Guess that's Tex Mex German Style.) Gerrit was super cute. At first he was upset when we put Willem in his stroller, but later Gerrit decided it was too much fun to help push the baby in the stroller.
After a late night, we all slept in this morning and had a leisurely breakfast. Mom and I unpacked boxes in the boys' room, while Gerard broke down boxes for recycling. My midwife came by this afternoon to check on us, and she says everything looks good. She even mentioned that the baby looked a bit "overdone" because he was more wrinkly than he would otherwise be. She said he looked healthy, though, and sounded good. I had forgotten how often diapers need to be changed at this stage. Thank goodness mom is here. All in all, I think everything is going pretty well. In fact, we all went to dinner with the midwife (Regina) and her family at a nearby Italian restaurant. The food was good and so was the company.
Tomorrow we plan to head into Munich to do a little sightseeing.
Gerrit and William watching Backyardigans while waiting for dinner.
Grandma and Her Boys


At October 29, 2007 at 1:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell are "birthing balls"? Sounds bad to me...


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