Wah everyone's sharing confinement/birth stories I shall jump in too!
As a very interesting side note, our training base here in France has produced more babies than pilot graduates in all the years Sgporeans has been stationed here! It's a talking point everytime a VIP visits…guess if Sg wants to reverse their falling birth rate they should send more people overseas to work!
Ok kicking off the long story!
Healthcare in France is quite good, and mostly paid for by insurance. So Gynae visits, blood tests and hospitalization is covered.
What I found different here was that you can't see a Gynae immediately when you are pregnant. You need to go to a GP, tell him you suspect you're pregnant and he will send you for a blood test to confirm it. Only if your blood test is positive then you can make a Gynae appt.
It's like they don't trust that you know your body and the pregnancy kits here…everything must have blood tests to prove it.
So anyway, because ma Francais est tres mal (that's like the only sentence i sprout off on a frequent basis -it means my French is very bad haha) we had to get the interpreter to make our appt with the Gynae at the hospital. I think (but can't confirm) you can only start Gynae visits at 6-8 weeks.
My Gynae was called dr Amblard and he wasn't the kindest or most gentle around but HE COULD SPEAK ENGLISH…so that's that. He did the usual weight/height measurements, did the scan and confirmed we had a baby, then sent me off for monthly blood and urine tests.
And can I say how much I hate those tests?!? In Sg when you see the Gynae you do a finger prick test which is painful but over quickly. The urine test is also ok cos you don't have to fast. And everything is at the same place.
Here, I had to go to a different lab a week before my Gynae visit, fast the night before for my urine sample and then endure them taking a few VIALS of blood. They seem to be most concerned about some toxology thingy that is spread by cat poop/pee. Very 麻烦 and each visit you have to pay 30ish!
Thankfully each time my report was fine, so he would see me, make a few notes and then ask for his payment (60? Euros which we had to pay half) then I would escape and feel better.
Meantime, I was gaining weight steadily, esp at the last trimester when I suddenly BOOMED! and gained all in about 16?kg and this was always met with a tsk tsk here… The French believe in only a little weight gain and they obviously don't have any special diets or foods to eat while you're pregnant. So for poor super pooper, he had no nourishing birds nests, special soups or whatever to absorb.
I managed to get a few coconuts to drink though, at cut throat prices of 2 euros each 杀人放火
Oh, and a month before my pregnancy I had to go for an anesthetist appointment where he explained about epidurals and stuff and made me sign a document to show that I understood it. Which I kinda did because of my prior experience but also didn't because it's all in French. However they are used to having us blur Sgporeans so there was this google translated article for us to read phew!
I don't recall having an anesthetist appt in Sg…Maybe it's because my Sg Gynae was pro natural birth- she just said "see how it goes" and when I wimped out and asked for the epidural during labour then and only then did the anesthetist appear and give me a pink form to sign. And when you have painful contractions and only dilated at 3cm you would sign whatever is put before you regardless of the consequence…
Anyway at any point of time you can make an appt with the private midwives who will teach you about nutrition, exercises and what to expect etc. I didn't because 1)it's my 3rd kid already 2)English speaking midwife had a long waiting list and 3)it's not covered by insurance. But another friend did and I got lots of useful info from her, like what to bring to hospital (lots of baby clothes!) and what to expect heh.
Anyway I wrote about the birth bit last year so you can search for it in May 14 somewhere. Gonna look for hospital food pix it's def not as delicious as delight's or Sg one…
Ah newborn pictures…at least I remembered the hat for him!
Menu from the hospital! Sounds delicious but sadly the presentation and taste just isn't there…
Typical meal! Their soup was not bad rich and creamy! The chicken was v dry and tasteless though sad
Oh yes! I had to pump out my milk because he wasn't latching properly. And to prevent nipple confusion I had to use a syringe to feed him. More on that some other time…this was day 3? 4? And I was only pumping about 10-15 per side even with their hospital grade pump. I was engorged though.
Eating roti prata now! Trying to clear our supplies
Cooking in progress! I love frozen food I lugged 4 packets back. Had to throw it in the luggage last min wrapped in lots of newspaper for insulation. #hungrysingaporean
The calorie count…nevermind *see no evil* 🙈🙈🙈