Monday, September 1, 2008


Love Bug just seconds after her arrival!

I saw this on Rocks in my Dryer. Even though I'm too late for the link, I still wanted to participate in this meme, especially after the topic of my last post!

How long was your labor?
Didn't have a labor! My daughter didn't drop and nothing was happening, so my doctor ordered a CT scan (with low dose radiation) to see what was going on. This seems strange to Americans, but it's just how things are done in France. She even consulted the Head of Obstetrics and they agreed that trying to induce would do a lot of damage to my cervix (possibly requiring a cerclage in future pregnancies) and the likelihood of me ending up with a c-section anyway was almost 100%.

How did you know you were in labor?
We just arrived at the hospital and casually got ready. Once the OR was ready, they wheeled me down and Love Bug was out in 15 minutes.

Where did you deliver?
A small hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France- the closest Western suburb of Paris. We lived just down the street and it was so convenient.

I had a spinal block, which is just like an epidural, except the tube isn't left in your back. The anesthesiologist (who was the cutest little French man I've ever seen) just gave me one dose for the c-section. I could feel everything again about 5 hours later. By the way, the spinal block/epidural is actually pretty painful when you have no other pain to compare it to. I can see how it would bring welcome relief if your labor was really bad, but it's not exactly the little pin prick you would prefer when you aren't already in labor!

Yes, but I'm not upset about it. The goal is a healthy baby and without modern medicine, I probably wouldn't have survived childbirth, and Love Bug probably wouldn't have either.

Who delivered?
My doctor was the only American and one of the only women in the Obstetrics Department at our hospital- and she was wonderful. Despite all her patients and the long waiting list to see her, she still called me at home a few times during my pregnancy just to give me test results or check in. She gave me her personal cell phone number early in the pregnancy and told me to call her directly if I had any problems.
During the delivery, she kept translating everything she said in French to the anesthesiologist/nurses/etc. back to me in English. My husband thought this was strange since my doctor knew I spoke decent French. But as I told him, she knew better, since she had a c-section herself. Your mind doesn't function well when your abdomen is cut open, so my native language was about all I could handle.
(By the way, my husband- who does speak native French- said that translation was not direct and she left out a lot of the details or scary things when she was talking to me. Also a great idea, since I probably would've been even more scared than I was already!)

Thanks for all your wonderful responses to my last post. I appreciate the wonderful advice, words of faith, and prayers. I've decided to just wait and see what Dragonly does, pray about it, and just move forward with whatever my husband and I think is best. I'm lucky to have such great readers and friends!


Kathleen said...

What a wonderful story! I've always been curious what it's like to deliver in Europe, and from the little bit you wrote, it doesn't sound too different from the US. And how nice of the doctor to speak to you in English and to keep some of the scary details from you! Your photo is beautiful too. I'll bet it is nice to look at and think of since you're due really soon.

Cheri said...

Are spinal taps a European thing? It's what I had at the American miltary hospital in Germany when The Boy was born. After 30 hours, 2 spinals, 3 staff rotations - we finally all agreed to a C section. he was 10 pounds - even after being induced early!