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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Hospital tour #1 The American Version

I’ve had my hands full with Veronica this past month. I’m trying not to use babysitters and not to leave her at the little child care center at our gym because I want to spend as much time with her as possible before the new baby arrives. She is such an easy baby that at times I think it take her for granted. I mean I can still blog, take a shower and have phone conversations with her playing happily beside me.

The last two weeks have been filled with doctors’ appointments, hospital tours and calls to the insurance company to make sure that all my visits are fully covered by our insurance plan. We have decided to have the baby at the two top hospitals on the east side, Overlake Hospital and Evergreen.

Evergreen is a wonderful hospital that is baby friendly and family friendly. They therefore do not have a nursery for babies that are healthy. Babies room in with their moms 24 hours a day. (In Italy Veronica was taken to the nursery immediately after she was born for observation. They insisted on keeping Veronica In the nursery at night so that I could get some rest. At first, I was a bit upset by this policy but practically it worked wonderfully for us.) There’s a small kitchen on each floor for family members to prepare their own meals, there’s free coffee, a comfortable waiting area with wireless Internet and the television, each room is equipped with a hydro-therapy jetted tub, there’s a guest bed in each room so Demetrio will be able to stay the night. The hospital does not limit visiting hours for family members and guests and has free parenting classes for all new moms and dads/and their families. I was impressed with the facility and the fact that there was a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) on the premises. They also encourage all sorts of birthing positions and are very forward in their thinking.

Our health insurance will completely cover the cost of the birth (In Italy we paid 4-5000 Euros out of pocket for the private hospital, same amenities but not so good insurance) but the one thing that left me very uneasy was that as we were doing our tour, the tour operator stated with most uncomplicated vaginal births discharge would occur 24 hours later. This worried me a bit, as I stayed in the hospital for 2 1/2 days when I had Veronica. She was a bit underweight and early so I think they wanted to keep her an extra day for observation. I on the other hand, was ready to leave about 36 hours after having had her. I wonder if I will be ready to leave after 24 hours. The patient and the doctor make this decision, the hospital will not kick you out after a day but the short time frame had me worried. I wonder how much time I will really need after pushing some the size of a cantaloupe out an opening the size of a small lemon. Hospital tour #2 happens next week.

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At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Sue said...

Wow 4-5000 Euros! Here goes free health care in Europe.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Kataroma said...

Sue - health care is free here in Italy if you use the public system. Gia paid 4000-5000 euros because she chose to have the baby in a private hospital.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger jennifer said...

Hi Gia,
I had both of my children in Italy, and went home on the same day because I chose to leave. I wouldn't worry too much about going home soon,as long as you have some extra help for the first few days. Of course, I'm no fan of hospitals, private or not, and think that home is the best place for a healthy baby.
As for free health care in Italy, I had my children at a public hospital with a private room, whirlpool tub, and my husband staying in the same room with me, and didn't pay a cent.
Good luck to you

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Kataroma said...

Jennifer - things are a little different further south though...no private rooms in public hospitals in Rome.


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