Sunday, July 8, 2012

Midwife found! Code Test Results! Me, 7 months pregnant.

Well, Alright!  Hot damn!  The last few weeks have been a hazy stressful blur of dealing with the Frenchness of it all, but seems some hurdles have been overcome!  Sooo, since I last blogged, progress on the important stuff:

   We found a midwife!  At long last we have met a woman whom is cool and speaks English.  Sadly, she is not yet comfortable doing homebirths - which I am incredibly bummed about but I think it will still be fine.  Her name is Anne and she is new to the Groupe Naissance, the same people - who requested that I have the "debriefing" before being allowed to reuse their services.  Whatev.  I jumped through the hoop and after calling every single person mentioned to me from ANPA and other referrals through more phone calls and lots of dead ends, another midwife told me about Anne, who just happened to be at GN.  So, it turns out I was right to go to that meeting.

   I like her.  And that is all.

The French love medicine.
Oh, well of course not.  She seemed to like me too, which you might be astonished to learn that that feeling of being liked (appreciated, interested in) does not usually come across very well from folks in the health field.  You generally are made to feel like you are wasting their precious time and how dare you attempt to dig deeper and gain sacred information regarding your own health.  Just take the pill and shut the hell up - cuz they know things that you don't.  And they really, really don't like being questioned.

This contrasts the American experience, where you are advised to bring a list of questions to your medical checkups.  Of course, the caring and relationship based American experience can (and often does) put a person into financial crisis and can also result in many tests than are really needed.

So, the trick here is to keep up the search for someone you like and ALWAYS go back to them even if it takes a while to get an appointment.  We have a really cool family doctor guy who offers walk-ins several times a week (along with appointments and yes, house calls!) 

You can't let desperation guide health care provider decisions in France.  And so, I called as many midwives as I heard about, no matter what.  And finally, found Anne and *bonus* she is an ostheopath so that is really a great combo for me personally.  Another piece of great news is that the place where Sabine was born has closed (went bankrupt) and now the Groupe will be delivering babies in a different clinic (named Joan of Arc) which offers the same resources (bath tub, balls, etc). 

AND... we have started taking Hypnobirthing classes, with just about one of the loveliest humans I have even had the good fortune of meeting.  We already had one session with her and it was incredibly productive and interesting.  It also brought this pregnancy a bit more on our mental and emotional forefront.  As most of the pregnancy related attention has gone to logistics, this is a great step in the right direction.  Hey better late than never, right?  Anyway, we have our second session with Elizabeth on Tuesday.  I will provide more about that afterwards.

And for the horrific driving code (French driving theory and rules), which practically consumed my soul as I studied harder for it than any test in my life, I PASSED!!!!  Sadly, the school I went through are trying to sweep me away for a couple more months as they have overbooked themselves regarding on-road driving lessons (8 hours mandatory) which leads to the driving test itself.  They are expecting me to WAIT until Sept.  Now, I get it, I really do - they have no concept of what my life will be like in Sept.  Either: a) about to give birth or b) just having given birth and ergo being a on-demand feeding machine for several months.  I don't care.  So, we don't care about each other and I am going in on Monday to demand action.  I will keep you abreast with my progress (ha ha, punster!).
NOT Hicham on the left.

In the meantime, I am driving with Hicham to get more comfortable driving on the French roads.  This isn't going very well because he is constantly nagging  and stresses me out more than he should.  "Blinker!" "Watch out!" "You scraped the tire!" "Shift!" "You're sticking out too far!" Blah blah blah!  The reality is that French roads - or at least - Parisian roads have traffic coming from all directions all the time and so it is stressful enough without his yelling at me.  That, and with motorcycles zooming around you, the oddly placed stoplights, etc etc etc - driving here takes some getting used to.  Well, that is all it is, getting used to it.  Just more practice and handling of the merging lanes, rude drivers, small roads, etc. all will be well. 

And finally, per your request, here are some photos of me.  We took these yesterday, so they are current.  We also took them under the influence of Madonna.  Sabine and I were dancing and having some fun and I took the photos with my computer.  So, without further adieu, me seven months pregnant:

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