Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yep. We had a baby in Switzerland.

Last week, my wife gave birth to a baby girl – our fourth child, but our first in Switzerland.

Based on our experience, giving birth in Switzerland was very similar to having a child in the US, but with a French soundtrack. (My wife was pretty amazing with her language skills. If I were in labor, I’d have a hard time being fluent in English, let alone a foreign language.)
Where things really differed from our US experience was in the recovery room. In the US, we’ve always had private rooms. Here, my wife shared a room with two other new mothers. Visiting hours seemed more like a cocktail party. My wife kept referring to it as Baby Camp.

The other two women at Baby Camp were European, which mean they liked their room crazy warm. They were wrapping their kids in blankets in Sahara-like conditions, and my wife was letting our hang out in a onesie. The nurses couldn’t believe that my wife would give a pacifier to our newborn. Culturally, everyone thought everyone else was a nut.

In the States, new moms are usually given two days max to recover. Here, the doctors wanted my perfectly healthy wife and child to stay for five. She started campaigning to be released and was let go on Day 3.

In Switzerland, they weren’t too concerned with whether or not we had a car seat for the baby. In the States, they wanted to see the kid strapped and buckled in before you rode off.

Being born in Switzerland doesn’t make my daughter a dual citizen. I think she has to reside in the country for nine years continuously to be eligible. So it’ll just be a novelty to have “Geneva, Switzerland” on her birth certificate.

Also, our doctor looked just like Jacob from Lost. When he left to “consult with colleagues,” it was pretty easy to image that conversation taking place inside a giant stone foot.


Bukes said...

Way to go Team Chrsitensen. And congratulations on a successful escape from Jacob's Baby Camp.

Chantal said...

Congrats! Surprised to hear about the multiple people in one room. Maybe it's a French Swiss thing?