Boat out of the Basement

It might be the lack of sleep, but I am officially freaking the “F” out.  Sparky is in Hamburg today and unable to do more than freak out himself.  And we’re going to be parents??

I’m not quite sure how this works out here in Krautland, but so far I think I need a gynecologist to monitor me up until birth.  Then I need an Obstetrician at the birth along with a midwife who is different than the midwife who will do home visits?  And when I actually give birth the chances that I’ll know the people at the business end are slim?  Does this sound right?

I’m a little late to this game, but I have no farging clue as to what I’m doing.  I’m searching for a midwife, but the one recommended doesn’t travel to my area. She gave me a website to check which is very helpful and there are a ton of midwives in the area, but only 2 that don’t deal in homeopathic medicine.

Let me tell you, if I were homeopathically pregnant, I might consider homeopathic medicine in the birthing of said imaginary baby.

I also don’t want a midwife who is my sister’s age(21, really?).  Or who has never has a kid.  Or who doesn’t speak English because my German might be fantastic when I’m drunk or medicated, but child birth is not one of those times I want to risk misunderstanding something or depend on Sparky to translate.

I don’t want to give birth in my haus or by a maus.  I don’t want to hear that women have been doing this since the birth of man so just relax and let nature handle it, because you know what?  I haven’t had a kid before. I have no clue as to what I’m doing.

I think maybe I’ve made a mistake.

And then there is the whole “Your Obstetrician is the one who decides if you need pain medication” issue.  Wait a second, I thought that was me.  I thought I got to make those decisions.  “Oh, no Frau R.  It’s your doctor’s decision.”

Like hell it is.   I’ve already been forced from my planned C-section to the Big V and let me tell you, Heidi is not happy about that at all.  I am not going there without an epidural even though those look very painful (too many Birth Stories when I was in America).

So my question is, here in Germany, do I have ANY say in how this whole birth thing is going to go?  Barring Loki’s agenda, shouldn’t I be the second in command?  Any other answer than yes is going to get me on the next flight back to America.  Homie doesn’t play that game.

How does one choose a hospital?  There are three in my area, one with which I’ve had great experiences in bad circumstances.  Can I check them out like I can in the States?  See the maternity area etc?

Argh.  This is getting a bit overwhelming.  It could be because I haven’t slept like a human in weeks, since I left California.  It could be because I’m in high anxiety mode today which is directly related to the lack of sleep.

I’ve been so good with Loki.  I haven’t dyed my hair or gotten my nails done.  I’ve avoided all chemicals, I eat better than ever, cake notwithstanding.  I haven’t touched Deli meat even though I really want a salami, turkey and ham with cheddar on a soft roll so bad I can taste it.  I’ve held back petting stray cats and kittens and had my cats tested for toxo to make sure I could still live with them while pregnant. I’m not playing in the snow because I fall in the snow (this is a guarantee).  I’m not driving in the snow because I’m afraid of crashing on the ice. I’m not taking hot baths because I don’t want to cook him. I’m doing everything the fourteen books I’ve read have instructed to keep this kid safe and yet the only thing in the world I want right now, other than a clear understanding of how the whole “getting the boat out of the basement” is a fucking Ambien and a full night of sleep rather than the 2 am wake up.

This post should be titled “Welcome to my Pity Party”.

I’m sick of my own whining.  Give me 10 minutes and I’ll get back to you.

10 minutes later…

Okay – A phone call to Sparky and to my Dr. and I’m off the ledge.  I’ll see her this week to go over everything including a “baby safe” sleep aid.  Meanwhile, I’m going to go have a nap.  I’m flipping my middle finger at the whole sleep fight.  Come on, cats. Flannel calls.

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11 thoughts on “Boat out of the Basement

  1. I’m not so sure how things are where you’re at, but in Cologne, the birthing stuff isn’t as you’ve mentioned. You can get a midwife to look after you before the birth (vorsorge), during the birth (geburtsbegleitung), and/or after the birth (nachsorge). We found one that we love who’ll do before and after but not during (our choice, plus we waited a bit long to find one, and the during ones are all booked up from conception on it seems). The midwives do homeopathy because they can’t do medicine here. So you get the midwife in addition to the ob/gyn, and really, the only reason you “need” a midwife is because she comes to your house after the birth for the first 10 days to make sure the kid is healthy and you aren’t going crazy and then if there’s a problem, she’ll send you to a doc who can do all the medical stuff.

    The more important thing, if you have the choice, is the hospital. Because your private ob/gyn can’t go to the hospital with you. So you find the hospital that either has a lot of doctors you like (who are more likely to give an episiotomy) or that deals mainly with births by staffed midwives while the doctors stand by (waiting to give the episiotomy or epidural). In Cologne, it’s very well known which hospitals have snip-happy docs, so I’d start asking around.

  2. thumbsup to everything C said and also, you need to chill the eff out. i know that’s easy to say for me as i’m not with baby but seriously, you will give loki a heart attack before he even sees this pretty earth. chill, everything will be good and you will be just as fine as loki.

    now you can come up here and kick me for this comment. i can take it and you might feel better 😉

  3. Babe, I must say that you`re the sanest pregnant person I´ve known so far. Here in Stonia it`s the same shit – the doctor seemingly decides everything and ! it`s not even possible to get a C-section unless you have serious medical or psychiatrical reasons. And event then I´ve heard stories when the doctor tries to talk you into “doing it naturally”. Find a good private hospital, I say. How is it even possible to perform a C-section without epidural?!

  4. “I’m not quite sure how this works out here in Krautland, but so far I think I need a gynecologist to monitor me up until birth.”

    Right. You go there every month or so at the beginning, every couple of weeks towards the end and more than that if you go over term. You need to get a Mutterpass where they write all the important information down. You’re supposed to carry it with you all the time so any doctor or emergency service person knows what’s what.

    ” Then I need an Obstetrician at the birth along with a midwife who is different than the midwife who will do home visits? ”

    Well, you don’t have to find one yourself. You usually get whichever obsetrician is on duty at the hospital you’re registered at. You’re already registered, right? Actually, the midwives on duty do the labour and delivery with you and the doc only comes in in an emergency or to stitch you up afterwards, if necessary.

    The midwife who comes to your home before and after the birth you need to find yourself. I had one that I absolutely hated and one that I loved. You just never know. They’re all into the homeopathic stuff – they’re not doctors so they can’t really give you medicine, BUT I had “Wochenbettfieber” both times and I did get hard meds for that somewhow.

    “And when I actually give birth the chances that I’ll know the people at the business end are slim? ”

    Yep. The midwives changed shifts when I was giving birth to number two. You just have to go with the flow and trust them. They know what they’re doing. I had to have an episiotomy with one kid, with the other one they just let ‘er rip. Not a problem either way.

    How much pain relief you can get is up to the hospital as well as up to you. The place I went to didn’t do pain relief except for some homeopathic stuff but it was right across the street from my in-laws so we had to weight the pros and cons. Some do epidurals, others don’t . ASK when you register and make sure they know what you want. If you want meds, you’ll get them, you just have to be in the right place.

    Most hospitals have an information evening for pregnant women every month or so and you can go and check things out. Call them and ask. If you do your prenatal classes at the hospital you’ll give birth at, they also show you around.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to say, “Don’t worry!!!” Really. And mail me if you have any more questions.

  5. Isn’t it a cruel joke that Mother Nature plays on pregnant women by not letting them sleep before the REAL waker-upper arrives? I was counting on those last few months of sleep and it just didn’t work out.

    Hope all is well otherwise…

  6. I didn’t read what anyone else wrote, but I had the birth I wanted and pain medicine when I wanted … well, when my midwife suggested. I had the same OBGYN and midwife throughout, but I did go to Sachsenhausen (private) hospital to deliver and chose the hospital because my doctor and midwife said they could deliver there with me. I paid my midwife an extra 300 Euro to be with me the entire time. It was worth it!!!

    Here was my story. 🙂
    http://basketwives.com/ThingstoKnow/HavingChildren/Maria.php
    and a less detailed version.
    http://mariaandkevin.blogspot.com/2006/12/getting-caught-up.html

    Good luck…and breathe!

  7. Daaaahling. Only you could make pre-birth crazies so funny, and I love ya for it!
    Please, remember that this has been going on since the beginning of humankind. Animals and many humans do it without serious help all over the world. Remember that your body is telling you what it needs, and the doctors are supposed to help you listen. Trust in these people because they have seen many people just like you. Sorry about the lack of sleep but it goes with the territory. I’m afraid that you will just have to get used to it for a while. Find some way to deal with it, maybe something which calms you even when you can’t possibly sleep… I can imagine you chanting. 🙂
    Smile, trust, calm, relax… it is better for both you and Loki.
    And hey, if your body says that you need cake… then I think you are entitled!

  8. In the UK i had a midwife for before and after. Obs and Gyn Dr only seen twice unless you have problems. In the hospital you don´t know the midwives but the Dr or one of his juniors is around. The midwife is in charge, unless there are problems.
    I can ask around, about hospitals etc where you are, as it isn´t far away from me. Let me know.

  9. I’m a little late to the party, and I realize my Y-chromosone doesn’t really qualify me to give advice. And our experience with birthing Christopher is now over 9 years ago. And my wife is the native German speaker in the family, so for her language was not an issue for her.

    However, we were very satisfied with our hospital and our midwives. We looked at a couple of hospitals, we chose one in Hamburg with a good reputation rather than the provincal hospital closest to us. We took pre-childbirth classes there, and she had a chance to get to know the doctors and the midwives. While the midwives were inclined to recommend “natural” methods (accupuncture, no homeopathy), when it turned out that Frauke needed the pain shot, she got it.

    Luckily we are privately insured, and our experience is that, despite all the rhetoric, there are two classes of medicine in Germany. If you are privately insured, you will be treated like a queen. But after having met you in Bremen, I’m sure that with your personality, even with public insurance you will be treated like a queen as well.

  10. (Better late than never)

    You’re a force to be reckoned with on any other topic, this one can be yours too. Lucky for you, you know the hurdles you need to get around. Germans tend towards less pain meds than more, but they’re not all like that. Interview and be frank about what you want, move on if they don’t agree. I have a anesthesiologist friend here in Munich who is completely on board in the pain department. He himself acknowledges that the camps are split and that insistence and persistence are key.

    My personal opinion: medicine is there to intervene on our behalf against what course nature would otherwise take and birth is included in this. Not all of us are as blessed as my MIL who spit both out in less than 5 minutes. I would want intervention and serious meds.

  11. Just one more thing… be prepared on your hospital tour. I was soooo nervous going into the delivery area (Kreissaal) and just when I calmed down again, I heard a woman in labor. It was by far THE most awful scream I have ever heard and I nearly had to run out to calm my nerves. Just so you know… you get the full experience on these hospital visits.

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