So today we decided to go to the hospital in an effort to find a better option for birthing than the private clinic. I like my doctor at the private clinic, although he does have the personality of a wet sock. He always answers my questions.
There are a few caveats that come with going to the private clinics though and two of them are ones that I am trying to avoid like the plague. First I do not want an unnecessary cesarean, which is very prevalent in private clinics/hospitals and I also do not want to be sold baby formula and discouraged to breastfeed.
For those of you who know me, you may know that my mother had me and two of my siblings at home, the old fashioned way also may people I grew up with and lived around had home births as well. Being exposed to this style of birthing has made me appreciate and admire natural birth. I think that when pregnancy is treated like a disease, as so often happens in modern medicine, both baby and mother suffer.
So, as Cyprus does not allow home birthing, I am on a quest to find the best option for birthing that requires the least intervention.
Enter Makarios Hospital. I guess I could spend days lamenting on the dinginess and what appeared to be a disorganized disaster (having a peek in the records room should have been the first decision to turn tail and run as so often in government facilities here, a lit match would evaporate every record from 1970 on). At first I was put off because I am used to the sterile and impersonal clinics and hospitals in the States but after standing at the check-in line for what seemed like an eternity, we were in. I was interviewed by a nurse who looked like she had seen her fair share of pregnant ladies, but she was kind and spoke to me in Greek, (Only 1/4 of which I understood) and my husband translated. After my interview with the nurse, we wre ushered into a lobby in a hallway lined with green painted, wooden benches (No cushy chairs here) and told to have a seat along with the twenty,(No exaggeration) other prego ladies.
After about a five minute wait, we went in to see the doctor, a young woman who quickly put my mind at ease about the birthing situation. She told me that I didn't have to have a cesarean unless absolutley necessary and that the baby could be with me 24/7 instead of rushed into some nursery to squall for its'mother. On top of all of this, we were handed pamphlets, one of them entitled "Pregnancy Is Not a Disease" and information on breastfeeding (which was further augmented by the hundreds of posters on the wall advocating breastfeeding). We were then lead to a room that looked like a small closet in the hall and an ultrasound was performed to hear the fetal heartbeat. The ultrasound machine must have been salvaged from an appliance graveyard because at first there was no sound of a heartbeat, I was a bit panicked to say the least. Then the sound popped on after some electrical crackling and jostling by the physician. I could see our baby on the fuzzy, outdated screen and all was right with the world.
We will probably have our baby at Makarios, even if there are no cushy office chairs and flat screens:)