Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our first week with Oswin.

It's amazing to me that our little girl is now a week and 3 days old, especially since her due date was supposed to be today. I'm glad nobody told her that, because I can't imagine her not being here with us right now.

On Sunday night, October 6th, we were settling in to watch some football, when I realized that things were progressing forward. Doc was on the phone downstairs with one of his sisters while I watched the Eagles/Giants game, and I began to suspect that my water had broken...or at least started to break. I had no contractions leading up to this moment (at least none to lead me to believe that I was going into labor), and I wasn't even sure that my water had broken. Hollywood has led me to believe that when your water breaks it's a big ole waterfall, when in reality for me, it was just a trickle. It literally took me about 15 minutes of google searches to let myself believe that things were moving forward whether I was ready or not.

We headed over to the hospital and checked in, and I was told that I was only about 1 cm dilated. The contractions started shortly thereafter. After 6 hours of what were constant contractions with peaks every 2-3 minutes, I was still only 1 cm dilated. By the 11 hour mark I had been induced and was finally about halfway, at 5 cm. The delivery room had big gorgeous windows overlooking CERN, the Globe, and the Jura Mountains that I love so much, and as the sun began to rise I began to feel as if this baby was never going to get here.

And then, about 40 minutes later, much to our surprise and that of the midwife's, I was at 10 cm dilated. Twenty minutes later I was holding my little girl, but not for long. During the pediatrician's examination immediately following her birth, it was determined that she had wet lung (from ingesting some fluid during the delivery), and had a metabolic acidosis. She was rushed away to be put on a CPAP machine due to the respiratory distress that followed, as well as to treat the acidosis.  

{The first time Doc was able to hold Oswin, about 9 hours after she was born.}

After a few hours on oxygen, we were able to go see her and hold her. In fact, this was the first time that Doc was even given the chance to hold her.

{I can't get enough of these little feet in little footie pyjamas!}

The doctors weren't able to determine any reason for why she was acidotic, but were able to clear up the problem somewhat quickly. She was also off oxygen within a few hours. The staff said that she recovered faster than they'd ever seen a baby recover from this ailment at this particular hospital. We were very lucky, especially since they informed us that babies born with this condition often spend a week hooked up to a machine to help them breathe.

Hopital de la Tour has a rooming in policy, but to be safe and keep an eye on her condition, Oswin spent the first night in the hospital's special care unit. Due to her progress however, we were able to have her in our room come the next morning, and we couldn't have been happier.

{Breakfast Hopital de la Tour style}

We had a few other bumps in the road following Oswin's arrival, such as my getting horribly ill on our third day (I'm talking "Exorcist" movie vomit people) and also having a reaction to something they gave me for a low grade fever, but having five days in the hospital meant that we were able to take care of any concerns we had for my health and for Oswin's. I really can't imagine what we would have done had we been made to go home after just a day or so. I felt that with five days (the average hospital stay in Switzerland for a natural birth sans complications is 4-5 days, and 8-9 days for those who have a C-section) I was able to recover physically, ask the questions that needed to be asked in order to make sure all of Oswin's needs were met, and regain a lot of my strength. The difference for me from Day 4 to Day 5 was unbelievable, and it saddens me how quickly my friends back home in the United States are forced out of the hospital. I think this amazing experience has me completely ruined for any future children we may have that are not born in SwitzerFrance. 

In addition to the thorough care we received, we were made to feel unbelievably welcome and comfortable. There's a reason why people here call this hospital "Hotel La Tour." But that in itself deserves it's own post...

{The view from my hospital room}

We brought Oswin home on Saturday afternoon. It was surreal to dress her in the clothes I had bought for her, as I've looked at them so many times, but never on a little baby body.

One thing I'll say, for those of you who read my "what's in my hospital bag" post, you may notice that this is a different outfit than I featured. Well, as it turns out, we listened far too well when people told us not to worry about buying newborn clothes as they'll grow out of them before they get to wear them, because it turns out that the majority of things we had planned on Oswin wearing from birth are WAY too big for her littleness. She wasn't a small baby (7 lbs. and 10.5 ounces, 19.5 inches long), but she was just swimming in what I had brought for her. Luckily as we were getting ready to leave for the hospital I had a minor freakout and started throwing extra things for me and Homekid in my bag, and luckily I had thrown in a few of the smaller things I had bought for her. Sidenote: I plan on doing a follow-up post to let you guys know what I did use, what I wish I had packed, and what was of no use in that hospital bag.

We got Oswin home just before the cold rains began, and I've got to say, things couldn't feel more perfect. It was cold, grey and was really truly fall, and we were able to spend the rest of the weekend snuggling with our baby girl as it poured down rain.

And what can beat when these little eyes are staring up at you?

A la prochaine friends...



  1. Yes, I can attest to the differences between giving birth in the US and in France - night and day. It is wonderful to hear positive birth experiences, thanks for sharing!

  2. What, no waterfall?! Isn't it crazy that everything we know about being pregnant and giving birth is from movies and of course they get it all wrong. How are you supposed to know your water broke unless it splashing out and ruins your shoes??!!

    1. And how are you supposed to know your water broke if you're not in a big department store, or stuck somewhere downtown, or in a cab...I mean really, we're lucky Oswin wasn't born in our house. Shame on you Hollywood!