Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hosptial Stay

The minimum stay for babies is three days (with the day of delivery not being counted as a day) so I was stuck in the hosptal for 4 days. The rooms are shared, normally, with three mothers per room. My absolute biggest fear during pregnancy was that I would be stuck in this room with two other mothers who had become fast friends and would talk to each other really fast (in Czech), that they would both the kind that are harder to understand (using more academic words or slurred speech or something) and they would ignore me. I realize this is lame, but this was definately my biggest fear. I ended up in a room with one other mother who had delivered her baby 6 weeks premature and, therefore, was pretty much free to do whatever she wanted and wasn't in the room hardly at all. I would say her English was about as good as my Czech so she helped me understand a few times. On my second day, she was moved to another room so then I had my own room which was nice because I didn't get woken up by other mothers or babies, but kind of lonely and boring.

I have to brag a little in that I did really well with the nurses not speaking English. I understood everything, eventually. There were several times I had to say I didn't understand and they would try again. For instance, I knew the Czech word for poop: "bobek", but not the word for stool, so I would get the idea and say "bobek?" and they would say, "yeah." The nurses were all good at using simple words and pantamiming everything. One of the nurses spoke to me in English pretty well; her son lives in California. Her English was really good but she kept saying "hospitality" instead of "hospitalization", it struck me as really funny. "We will make a report about your hospitality."

A few things that were interesting about the stay and vastly different from the U.S. First I believe they were trying to get rid of all of your baby fat while you stayed in the hospital. For breakfast we had 2 rohliky (rolls) and a little thing of jam. Then for lunch we had soup that tasted like alphabet soup watered down with hardly any noodles or meat or anything. I was so starved the first day that I gulped it down, but I couldn't eat it the next day. Then they brought a more substantial lunch/dinner item. I had: noodles that were cooked too long with bland gravy, a tiny slice of fatty ham and dry dumplings, a small slice of pork and rice with gravy. Finally for "dinner" we got more rohliky, a small thing of yoghurt, and a cup of milk. (All other meals were served with coffee, so I had water :) Thankfully I had friends bring me food or I might have starved to death.

Second, the nurses watch the baby for the first night and then you are in charge. You take the baby's temperature twice a day, weigh it before and after feedings, and everything else you would expect a nurse to do in the U.S. The nurses would come in once a day to check your records and tell the doctors if there were problems. To pass the time I read all 550 pages of The Three Musketeers and finished that the night before I left so the next morning I twiddled my thumbs waiting for the time to come when I could leave.

So, that was my experience having a baby in the Czech Republic. I'm sure this is more than you ever wanted to know, but hopefully it was interesting if nothing else.


Spencer and Kimberly said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I found it very interesting. I'm glad things went well for you.

Stephanie and Co. said...

That was totally interesting. I would have hated being in the hospital so long. You are a good sport.

Morgan said...

When I was in the hospital in CZ, most things were the same, so I'll definitely second your synopsis (I got more food, though, and had my pick of 2 entrees for every meal -- yay for Krc hospital and the sweet nurse who translated the menu for me). And Krc doesn't do the grocery carts anymore, so I'm slightly jealous of the cute pics! These things amused me: they got frustrated when I didn't use my slippers, or went to the bathroom/shower without assistance, or let the baby sleep in the bed with me. I thought the nurses were in general super-nice, way nicer than the ones I had in the US.