I thought it may be interesting for my friends & family in America to hear about all the wonderful things I have experienced due to being pregnant in a foreign country. So, we begin here with my adventures.

Let me begin by saying that if I was back in good ol’ DFW, there is an awesome birth center in Hurst and I would be going there and seeing a nice midwife who supports my “leave me alone unless I am dying or have a sinus infection” view of the medical profession in general. Most of France is not really compatible with my view* of pregnancy/childbirth, which is basically that 98% of what happens is probably normal and not worth freaking out about and the fewer needles you poke in me, the better for everybody involved. Oh, and don’t do “routine” things that are for your convenience rather than my health or the health of my child.

After I found out I was pregnant, I began scouring the internet to find an English-speaking doctor. Or midwife. Or even just a website I could understand. Unfortunately I couldn’t find ANYTHING because people in this freaking city don’t like speaking English, which is AWESOME since I only got 96 hours of language school and had a crappy teacher for most of that…that is a different story, however, although it will pop up in a later episode (stay tuned). So, I went to Tiffany to ask for help. Being a super-helpful person, she was more than willing to oblige. The first thing we did was visit 2 hospitals in the city to acquire lists of the doctors who deliver there. At the second hospital they asked how far along I was. When I told them – I was only 6 or 7 weeks at this point – the receptionist lady sucked in her breath and shook her head. I was very far along, she said. Maybe too far. It may be to late to register.

Let me pause here to 1. point out that you have to register at a hospital to deliver, basically within 3 hours of peeing on the stick, or it is too late 2. ask what happens if you don’t register in time – do they leave your laboring self out in the parking lot? let you deliver in the waiting room? 3. point out that there are plenty of people who, at that point, aren’t even aware that they ARE pregnant. I’m not sure what happens to them either.

So, Tiffany asked her doctor if I could come in to get the “prescription” that would allow me to register at the hospital. When this doctor found out “how far along” I was already she insisted I come in immediately because it may be too late to get a place at the hospital. We did that, then returned to the hospital so I could get one of the coveted, going-fast, hard-to-come-by places based on a guessed-at due date. And then Tiffany, super-nice person that she is, started calling doctors on the list to find one that could manage in English because while I struggle with French in person, there is absolutely no point in even attempting a phone call. Thankfully we found one much earlier than either of us expected, made an appointment…and I will leave you there with bated breath until the next installment.

*My pre-childbirth views, that is.

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