I’m skipping over my final doctor appointment (here, you just keep going once a month – no every other week and then weekly stuff) because nothing important happened, except that we were still floored by how nice that doctor was. And I’m skipping the birth, because that’s personal and this is the internet and you can send me an email if you want to read that.

I will point out here, for anyone interested, that the hospital provides only its facilities here. In the States, when you go to the hospital to have a baby, you pretty much just have to bring “you” stuff. Shampoo, going home outfit for baby, clothes unless you prefer to wear a hospital gown all the time, that sort of thing. You don’t have to worry about diapers or baby things because you get all that at the hospital, and since your insurance pays for it you get to take home a carload of diapers and all the nasal aspirators you can swipe. Here, you have to bring ALLLLLLLLLL that stuff because they give you nothing but a bed. Plus they make you stay the 4 or 5 days until the baby starts gaining weight, so since Jake was staying with me, we had to pack for all 3 of us for a week. Ugh.

So. Asher was born in the morning, at 11:10 per the clock although they put 11:09 on all the papers. That evening I decided to take a shower so I collected my travel-size bottles and headed to the bathroom. The shower was albergue-style, by which I mean “a tiny square in the corner with curtains around it, showerhead at the top and drain at the bottom.” I closed the curtains, showered, and turned the water off. When I opened the curtains, to my surprise I found water all over the floor of the bathroom. “The curtain must not have been touching the wall all the way,” I thought anxiously. I wondered how on earth I was we were supposed to clean it up – as the hospital provided no towels, Jake & I had each brought only our Camino packtowels. And, aside from not being able to soak up large amounts of water with packtowels, you don’t want to use your only towel for the week to clean a hospital floor.

I told Jake what had happened and said I was going to ask for some towels to clean it up. Then I realized I don’t know the French word for “towel.” Jake said he thought it was the same word for “napkin,” so I left to request a large napkin. I opened the door to the room…and stepped into about a half inch of standing water. I looked down and was utterly horrified to discover that a small stream of water from my bathroom floor had leaked under the door and had now flooded the entire reception area of the maternity ward. I slunk back into the room and informed Jake, miserably, about the upgrade in situation severity. Head hung in shame, I turned to leave again…when Jake offered to go for me. What a relief!

Jake returned empty-handed and said the midwives (basically fancy L&D nurses) said they would take care of it. He watched through the open door (I was hiding around the corner) as one midwife appeared with a small sheet. She eyed the “puddle,” which was quite a bit larger than she was apparently anticipating, dropped the little sheet in the middle of the small lake and deflated as she realized that would hardly make a dent in the problem. She left and returned with a mop bucket and a few more sheets, laying them on the water and picking them up in succession, wringing them out in the bucket and replacing them with a plop!

A hospital guy walked by and asked the midwife what on earth happened. She looked up at him and said with a shrug, “Madame Brown took a shower.” “Oh, ” he said, as if that explained everything, and continued on his way.

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