Friday, July 11, 2008

why being pregnant is a part time job in France

Now, now, don't get your panties all up in a twist. This post is not about how hard it is to be pregnant or how it's better to be pregnant in one country than another. Systems are different, expectations change your experiences, yadda yadda yadda.

That being said, they do make you run once you get pregnant here! Lemme tell you why.

Part of the problem is that there are no birthing centers or even OB/GYNs here in Tiny Town. Not only will we need to make the drive to Troyes on B-Day (that'll be Birth Day), but we need to go for every doctor's appointment. So what, right? That's once a month.

However, going to a monthly doctor's appointment is not the one-stop shopping experience you have in the States, where you pee in a cup, get your blood drawn, and in many cases, even have your ultrasounds done all in the same building. Here in France it's another story. Time for your monthly blood draw? (which, admittedly, I don't have to do anymore because I've already had toxoplasmosis, but still...) That's a trip to the lab. Gotta pee in a cup? That'll be a trip to the lab. Oh - and don't forget to go to the lab well enough in advance of your doctor's appointment so the doctor will have the results by the time you see him!

Time for your ultrasound? That'll be a trip to a radiologist. Now, for the most part I've been lucky in that my doctor actually has an ultrasound machine in his office and he operates it himself (believe me, this is rare), but for my "big" second trimester ultrasound, in which they measure every little thing, I did have to make an appointment with another facility.

All of this means that we will have made trips once a week for three weeks expressly related to pregnancy this month. This morning we were up first thing so I could go pee in a cup in a lab. At least I remembered to ask for a cup so I don't have to do the pee pee dance all the way to Troyes next month!

While we're on the subject, the good news is that I've made an appointment with the one and only sage femme (midwife, but literally "wise woman," which I love) in Tiny Town for next week, which I'm really looking forward to. It will be nice to have someone here in town to talk to if I have any questions or problems come up, plus she gives birthing prep classes here in town as well.

I can't even believe we're starting to talk about birthing classes. I think at our next appointment next week we'll have to sign up for the maternity ward as well. Is it just me, or does it seem like we're gonna have a baby here in the not to far future?

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