A Pregnant American in Germany, part 4: An Unexpected Hospital Stay.

Entrance to the Delivery Ward at the Henriettenstiftung in Hannover

There’s something about pregnancy that seems to suddenly make all of the joys and woes of expat life clearer than they’ve ever been before. Positive attributes of the host country and culture are highlighted in ways never before experienced, and the less positive cultural differences and language barrier issues are brought to center stage, no longer able to be overlooked or avoided. And the normal homesickness and feelings of loneliness that expats sometimes have? Well, let me tell you, all that is intensified to a whole new and previously uncharted level when combined with the hormones of a pregnant lady or the emotions of an expectant Dad.

I’ll admit that being pregnant and preparing to have a baby while living overseas has been harder that I had ever expected, something that was only made more certain with the events of this past week.

After a weekend of steady “Braxton Hicks” contractions that got increasingly more regular and stronger over time, Drew and I decided it was indeed time to go see our doctor first thing Monday morning. By Monday afternoon I was determined to be in pre-term labor, admitted to the hospital, hooked up to a monitor, and given something to help the contractions stop as well the first dose of cortisone shots to speed up the baby’s lung development just in case the labor couldn’t be stopped and the baby came (12 weeks) early.

Woosh- that was a trip!

The good news that I can report with a smile is that they were able to stop the labor and everything is now absolutely fine with both the baby and myself. I’ve been back from my 48-hour adventure in a German hospital for several days now and aside from a bit of reduced activity, everything is back as normal.

Praise God for His goodness!

I’m choosing to look at this unexpected adventure as a blessing, because in many ways, it was just that. The main reason for this is because it gave me a very thorough look at what hospital life is like in Germany. The information and knowledge I learned during my first hand experience definitely surpassed that which I would have been given at the one-hour maternity ward tour we were originally planning to take. It’s a blessing because I now feel much more prepared for my future stay in the same hospital (although I do hope that stay won’t be for many more weeks and will conclude with us leaving with an healthy infant in arms).

Later this week I’ll be back with another post that will reveal some of the differences I noticed between German and American hospitals during my unexpected stay. Stay tuned.

3 Responses to “A Pregnant American in Germany, part 4: An Unexpected Hospital Stay.”

  1. Charles writes:

    I am glad to hear mama and baby are all right.

  2. Rich writes:

    So glad you’re ok! I figured something was up when the blog went quiet for longer than usual. Thanks for letting us know what went on, and yes, having gone through the process of the hospital *will* be a valuable experience.

  3. Polly writes:

    Glad you are doing OK. I’ve really enjoyed following your experiences in Germany. Jeni lived there twice, for a year each time. Although a different culture, she always enjoyed the people, as you and Drew have. We’ll be thinking of you as you get closer to due date!

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