Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Having a baby in Germany: part 1

Today I saw my German OB for the first time! Since we've arrived here, I've been a bit anxious about this visit, and I am glad it is over. I've been trying to learn everything that I could about having a baby here and how it differs from the US, so I'm going to blog about my experiences so that others can have more info too. If you don't want to know- then just skip this post! :)

Rob had the morning off so that we could do paperwork for our house leasing here and I am SOOO glad that I didn't have to handle Charlotte as well as this visit- it was more than 90 minutes long!

The doctor and office staff were very nice, and all spoke at least some English. (This practice was recommended to me by other Americans partially for that reason.) I met with the doctor who reviewed my charts and issued me my Mutterpass. This is a little blue book that I am to take everywhere with me throughout the rest of my pregnancy. It has all of my pertinent medical info in it. Then she (the doctor) did an exam and an ultrasound. Contrary to what I'd been told to expect, there was a little curtained off area for me to get undressed- but it seemed kinda silly since then I had to walk across the room to the exam table. Whatever.

After the ultrasound I got re-dressed and was seen by the nurse/receptionist who took my weight, blood pressure, and urine sample. All very standard stuff. After that, I was taken to another room for a non-stress test. They didn't call it that, but I had a few toward the end of my pregnancy with Charlotte and it was the same thing. They put monitors on my belly for the baby's heart rate and any uterine contractions and I had to lie there for awhile. After that I met with the doctor AGAIN so that she could review the whole appointment with me.

All went well. :) The baby currently weighs about 3.4 kg or 7 1/2 lbs. He is head down, but hasn't "dropped" yet. I think this was the most thorough examination I have ever had! I see the doctor again in 2 weeks. In the meantime, we should be moving in to our home here and hopefully this weekend we'll be able to tour the hospital. I've heard they offer options such as birthing chairs and water births as well as epidurals and pitocin. I guess I have a lot of options to consider. ;)

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