I think it is more natural here. Maybe it was my doctor that I choose?!? Or the fact that they have Midwives assigned to every woman rather than OB Nurses?
Little Miss's birth story...
I had Gestational Diabetes (for Little Man's Pregnancy as well). I was controlled (i.e. no medical issues nor a big weight gain - I gained 8 pounds total for the pregnancy) but my doctor was worried Little Miss would be a large baby like Little Man (9 lbs 8oz) and we also had an abnormal result on one of the ultrasounds. So we had an induction scheduled for a date in mid October.
My Midwife gave me some tricks that I could do induce labor naturally as I really wanted to experience a spontaneous birth (I was also induced with Little Man)...but nothing seemed to work :-(
So we went in for our scheduled induction date. At noon I was 2 cm so they broke my water to induce labor rather than start Pitocin. I was getting some contractions but I did not dilate any more from them.
At 1pm the Midwife started me on the Pitocin. After 20 mins on it I started to have real contractions (mild). She asked how I was doing and check me again...I was at 4cm. She said if I was ok she would get lunch (30 mins max) and if I wanted to get my epidural we could start it when she returned (we discussed that I would want a light one since the doctor informed me Little Miss would be just as big as Little Man was). I agreed but after 20 mins I was in severe pain.
The epidural was ordered and when the Midwife returned the Anesthesiologist was there to start the epidural (I was still only 4 cm). I was only pain free for 10 mins because Little Miss was on her way and it was time to push. My Midwife was amazed that I had progressed so fast! I was just at 4cm - 10 mins ago, we only just started everything 2 hours and 20 mins ago and the bag of Pitocin was only 1/3 done!
She called the doctor over from the clinic across the street. She said I could push if I needed to in the meantime. And if he wasn't here she could do it. I waited for the first few pushes...but once he was in the room I started to push. He just had the time to remove his watch and wash his hands and Little Miss was on her way into this world ;-) My husband recalls I only pushed once but I remember it very differently haha! I do agree that it was definitely less than 10 minutes of pushing for sure.
I wish I had known how fast it would have been because I probably would have skipped the epidural all together. From the moment my water was broken till Little Miss's delivery it was only 2 hours and 40 minutes and she was ONLY 8 lbs 4oz which is NOTHING compared to 9 lbs 8oz ;-)!
Another example of it being more natural here is that my doctor assisted more manually with getting Little Miss's head out. I felt that in the US my doctor just reached for the knife way too quickly. I don't even think the French doctor even cut me at all! He allowed for natural stretching and tearing. I did have a lot of stitches but that is normal with the majority of deliveries (no more than in the US).
|Here is a pic of our view from the hospital room ;-) YES the Eiffel Tower!|
The differences were:
- They did not allow me to bathe the baby or myself for 24 hours! GROSS...they just wanted us to relax and rest. I see the reason but I did not want Little Man to see us with blood all over ourselves.
- They did not have a Breastfeeding Consultant on staff. It was just the nurses who could give you tips but not someone dedicated to it.
- We had to pay extra for a single room (which is the same in the US) BUT there were a few differences in types of rooms (we do have a secondary insurance who paid for a portion approximately 40%). Some of the singles did not have pull out couches for the fathers (if we opted for the smaller rooms the our secondary might have paid the entire cost). We opted for the more expensive one with the bed. It was 300 euros per day (day not night)! Needless to say we did not stay long (2 nights/3 days)...you CAN stay up to 6 but we did not need it nor wanted to waste the money. When we could do just fine at home in our own bed.
- The cost of delivering a baby. In the US I did not pay a dime because I had great insurance. But the insurance's total cost in the US for the hospital and all doctors involved was $28,000 (more than my college eduction by the way!). Here the total paid to everyone was 3500 euros! I am not sure if the hospital received more money via their bills directly to the gov't but I believe this is everything they get. So the hospital received 900 euros (3 days x 300 euros), OB/Midwife 1900+ euros, Pediatrician 53 euros x 2 visits and Anesthesiologist 500+ euros! I will go into greater detail on how the French Health Care system works in another post.
I loved my experience and would do it again (IF we were planning on having another...which we are NOT! ;-)
What was your birth experience like? Did you have a child in France (if so share your story about France being more natural or not...I'm curious if it was just the doc I choose)? If you had a second child, did you find the labor/delivery to go by faster/smoother? What was the approximate costs for having a baby in your area? Any questions feel free to ask...