Adventures in Health Care

As promised at the beginning of our baby journey (on this post) I said I would document our adventures with National Health Care.  So far, there are only 2 posts on the topic and that’s only because NOTHING has happened since then.  I’ve already explained the process of going to the doctors office and getting blood work at the hospital so therefore, nothing new to report.

However, as of right now… I am 5 weeks & 4 days away from my due date.  I should have blogged about birthing classes and going to the hospital for my tour and I would have.. had I done those things.  I guess I picked the one hospital in Torino that doesn’t offer birthing classes.  Don’t get me wrong, they are offered to all expectant mothers and they are FREE… BUT, our hospital doesn’t hold classes there.  They are at another hospital.  If we had a car, then maybe we would have done so but, the fact is; we are only 10 minutes away (walking distance) from the hospital.  Why would I take a class somewhere else? Especially since I want to know about the facility where I will push this kid out!  After a few phone calls, we were told we could come by the and take a tour of the L&D floor.  After my sonogram appointment, we went to get the list of things I need to bring to the hospital and get a tour of the rooms.  Of course, in true Italian fashion, we’re told that they’re too busy to do that but we can wait 30 minutes or  call another day and come immediately when they’re available.

After being there for almost 2 hours, I passed on that option and we asked the most important question: Where do we go when it’s time?  So, I’ll scream my way through the ER when it’s time for this little one to come out!

SONOGRAM:  As I mentioned above, we’ve already had our 3rd trimester sonogram.  We got a confirmation that the baby is indeed a GIRL!  One thing that I have been really upset about is that I never got to hear the baby’s heartbeat early on.  I have so many friends who go to their appointments (in the U.S.) and get to hear the heart beat before their 1st sonogram.  Maybe Italians aren’t up on technology or they’re just used to being old fashioned because I was told that it was “impossible” to hear a heart beat before 15 weeks.  (uh… sorry.. that’s wrong!!)  Anyway, I am happy to report that I FINALLY GOT TO HEAR THE HEART BEAT!! It was wonderful!  This is normal for Italians.  They measure the heart during the 2nd & 3rd sonograms but hearing the heart beat isn’t done until the 3rd sonogram.

I’ve been pleased so far with the care we’ve gotten. Our sonograms are free, a lot of the blood work is reasonable, (50 euros or less) & everyone has been really nice and pleasant to us… or should I say ME! During our sonograms, Carlo sometimes translates for me and immediately the Doctor or assistant speaks English and they are talking to me directly and being extra kind!

DOCTOR: I’ve mentioned how much I love Dr. B but sometimes I think he’s so laid back and easy going that maybe he’s not doing everything he’s supposed to.. or maybe we Americans already get pampered too much.  I have a friend who had appointments and blood work every month.  I’ve had blood work 4 times and seen my doctor 4 times (2 of those times were actual OB check ups).  My friend had her Glucose test.  I have not!  Dr. B is my General Practitioner and is paid by the government for GP issues.  He is also my PRIVATE OG/GYN which means I pay out of pocket when I see him.  What does that mean?  That means when it comes to delivery, guess who’s NOT going to be there.. that’s right…. He can be a “special guest” when the time comes but he will not delivery the baby.. some other doctor who’s on-call will do the honors.  Someone I’ve never seen or met before.  He also told me that my hospital stay would be 4 DAYS… if it’s a normal delivery!  After talking to a few people, we learned that it will be more like 2- 1/2 days.  Like I said, I like my Doctor but sometimes, I wonder if he’s just too laid back.

I sometimes feel like I am going into this BLIND.  I have no idea what to expect but yet, I feel okay.  My biggest worry right now is getting everything ready before April…. just incase she decides to come early.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Health Care

  1. Check that the hospital doesn't have a “no pain relief in childbirth” policy. I fell foul of Sesto SG's (Milano) “all natural, like it or lump it” rule book.

    You are nearly there !!! Exciting ( :

    Sarah, British, home educating mum to a mini Italian nationalist in deepest, darkest Lomellina


  2. I never had birthing classes in the US. I didn't have any problems. The nurses will help, I hope! Just try to stay calm and relaxed. It really does help. With both of the girls I only had one shot of a drug called nubain.
    Good luck…
    Do you have a nae picked out??


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