I'll keep this post shorter than usual; you're welcome.
So Ava has been born. Ava Lee Royse was born at 8:12 p.m., February 8, 2011, at Klinikum Saint Marien in Amberg, Bavaria, Germany. She weighed 8 pounds, and was 20 inches long. My little German bunny :). The whole, "you don't understand unconditional love until you have a child" cliche is soooooo cliche---for a reason :).
|Ava--one day old|
A lot of people have asked me to tell them my "birth story." Honestly, it's all pretty much water under the bridge to me now. I had a whole lot more to say about it in the first few weeks after she was born. So, I'll try to sum it up in the least whiny way I can.
German hospitals are different. I'm not joking--they are. Not night and day different, and not necessarily better or worse--but different enough to make you feel less than comfortable if you are an American. I was there five days, and a nurse came in to check on me twice--TWICE. There is also no wheel chair "chauffeur" taking you anywhere. And language barriers in a medical situation are especially frustrating. I could go on---but why?
I didn't do my "labor and delivery" homework. Needless to say I wasn't exactly "prepared" for all the physical, emotional, technical, and logistical aspects of labor. I figured I was already an expert. I mean--I watch TV, and I was awake for most of high school biology--so why read up on such an important topic? "People have been giving birth for as long as there have been people--how hard can it be?" (Are you laughing? So am I.)
I knew EXACTLY how I wanted my labor and delivery to go. And it did NOT happen, (are you laughing? So am I). I wont bore you with the details here--because it doesn't matter--but 30 hours of labor later I had a precious little baby!
Was Steven able to come? No. But he has seen her via Skype, and he will meet her when he comes home at the end of May.
Did you have a C-Section? No. I get asked this after I mention the 30 hours of labor. No I did not. Which actually surprised me as the clock ticked away and nothing was "progressing."
How long was your mom there? For those of you who don't already know, my mom flew here for the birth. She was able to stay five weeks, and I'm thoroughly convinced that is the reason why I didn't get those "Baby Blues" or worse, post partum depression.
How is nursing going? Good. And for all of "those people" who thought it was appropriate to share unsolicited breastfeeding horror stories with a soon-to-be first time mom: it's not as bad as you said it was going to be, and thank you for showing me how NOT to behave.
Are you getting rest? Yes! Ava sleeps from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and the wakes up again at 7:00 a.m.---there are zero complaints here.
Is Ava an American citizen? Yes, because both her parents are American citizens. However, there's a lot of paperwork involved when you're an American citizen who is "Born Abroad." I just finished that little project.
Is Ava a German citizen? Basically no. And it has a lot to do with the fact that neither I nor Steven are German citizens.
How are adjusting to taking care of her on your own? Well I wont be alone for long, and since I'm able to stay home with her--and since there is only ONE of her--it's not very difficult. Don't get me wrong--some days are pretty tough. But overall, on a scale from one to ten (ten being the most difficult) I'd say it's moves between 4 and 6.
So to wrap things up:
No. My German birth experience was not super great. On the bright side! I'm pretty sure "first time births in a foreign country" ranks pretty high in "Greatest Adventures Ever." So, I got that goin for me---which is nice. :)