Having a Baby Overseas
If on my wedding day you would have told me I would have a child in a different country, I would not have believed you. However, my 2nd little boy was born in Bavaria, in a German hospital with a German midwife and OB.
Thankfully my mom came to stay with us since my husband was deployed. He ended up missing the birth by three days. They sent him home on R&R, but the little guy just couldn’t wait.
I enjoyed giving birth in Germany, but the time after I gave birth was tough and lonely.
My mom couldn’t stay with me because there just wasn’t room and she had to be with my two-year-old. I missed my husband and was wishing he could be there with me. I couldn’t get comfortable, and I didn’t like the food.
Giving birth overseas was nothing like my first birth, and that was hard to come to terms with. One night I asked the nurse for a diaper, and she couldn’t understand what I was saying until I used the word,”Pampers” instead. I was frustrated by the language barrier and mad at myself for not doing something about that before I got to the hospital.
If I had to do things over again, I would have taken a German class when I first moved there, or even when I was still in the states.
Although I was able to pick up a tiny amount of German, learning the language would have helped during my pregnancy and birth. Although a lot of Germans do speak English, some do not and knowing how to speak German would have been very helpful during my time in the German hospital.
Germany is a lot more pro-natural childbirth than the US is. They didn’t pressure me to get the epidural when I didn’t want one, and they did not push an induction. They did want me to have an enema which was an interesting experience.
After I gave birth the doctor told me that my birth went so well I should have had a home birth. I don’t think you would hear that very often from an OB in the US. At the time, I wanted a natural birth so giving birth in Germany made that much easier.
I will always look at my middle son as my Germany baby and remember how he came into this world. How his Dad missed the birth, but how my mom stepped in when he couldn’t. How her being there bonded us in a way I am thankful for.
I love that I had experience giving birth overseas as doing so was very different from my experiences giving birth with my other two boys in the US. When I look back at my time as a military spouse, giving birth overseas will be a big part of my story.
If you are getting ready to give birth in a different country, think about what an amazing experience doing so can be.
- Make sure to ask questions
- Find out what is different from what you are used to
- Take a tour of the hospital
- Take a class about giving birth in your host country
- Talk to others who have given birth in the same hospital
- Get prepared for the hospital stay
- Learn the language if you are able to
The more you know about what the birth will be like the better prepared you will be and the better experience you will have.