Monday, February 6, 2012

Pregnant in Austria

During the three years that we've lived here (I can't believe it's already been three years), I've had friends from back home ask "Would you have a baby over there?"..."Do you trust their medical system enough to have a baby over there?".

Lederhosen onesies are available.

Peeps, this isn't a third world country.  This is Austria.  Have you seen how they care for their land?  Meticulous rows of perfect crops, perfectly stacked firewood and flowers bustling from the windowsills.  Have you seen their freeways - cars neatly lined up driving happily amongst each other?  Have you seen how they serve coffee?  The only thing that causes concern is "Have you heard how they speak?".  The language barrier can be tricky, but thankfully I've found a doctor whose English satisfies.

Now, the part about not having family or mama or mama-in-law around is a bit scary, but it looks like we might be back in the States for the actual birth anyways, so come on over mamas.

As for the medical care, so far everything's been wonderful.  In fact, possibly better than if I was in the States.  I get an ultrasound every time I go...3-D too if I want that.  In America, I believe you get two the entire pregnancy and if you want 3-D, you pay lots extra.  My doctor said some doctors like to spend their money on a ferrari, he spends his on the latest and greatest ultrasound machine.  He also told us his office was the first in the world to have a 3D ultrasound machine back in 1998.  He is proud and I like that.  He cares about his craft. 

I also get a little yellow preggie passport called a Mutter Kind Pass (Mother Child Passport) that documents my preggie stats.  Lovin' it.

I've also recently taken part in a European study on the CMV (Cytomegalovirus) virus during pregnancy that my doctor is participating in.  Turns out I've never had it and don't have antibodies to it, so I best not contract it while pregnant.  I somehow got in the crap group (the control group) that won't be tested for it during the pregnancy...only at the end.  The chances of getting it are rare, but I won't be loving up on any kids for awhile (as they are the main sources of it).  Anyways, this virus is currently not tested for, but is more common than any other (common being .5% or so?) and this study will see if it's worth testing for and if medication can help if caught early.  I sat in with 15 other pregnant girls (all around 9 - 12 weeks pregnant) and listened to the details of this study in German for about 15 minutes and understood about 10% of what my doctor said.  I went for it anyways.  This is trust, people.

So, that's how it's been so far.  So far, so good.  If we do end up staying in Austria through the birth, I will have to do some research.  Like how do you say epidural in German?


Unknown said...

I'm so glad to hear that things are going well and that you've found a doctor you like a trust. That's super important to us Americans and something I don't think that the Europeans really understand. It's interesting/disturbing about the CMV. I've never heard of it and I'm pretty sure I haven't been tested for it, but I will definitely be talking with my doctor and midwife about it at this month's appointment. People here don't believe in keeping their children home if they're ill, so my son has been sick a number of times with "flu-like symptoms" since starting day school (which was about the same time I got pregnant) and had, of course, passed it on to me. In fact, he's home sick from school today.

Julia said...

<<"Would you have a baby over there?"..."Do you trust their medical system enough to have a baby over there?">>


Ich wünsche Euch noch eine schöne Zeit in Graz! Liebe Grüße, Julia

Amy said...

What kind of stuff is in that fancy yellow passport book? So glad you're feeling better! I hope you are here when that little baby is born just so I can come visit you!

Cathy McConn said...

love the little Mother Child passport. That's a keepsake, for sure. And you MUST get one of those leederhosen onesies! so adorable. And a memory for the days that baby V will not know.
But you are definitely having that Neugeborenen over here!
I can see Marilia nodding yes from here!
lovin you both. meems

Juliette said...

The lederhosen onsie is soooo Austrian! I might find something like that in southern Germany, but definitely in Austria, lol. Please say you're buying one!

Vonna said...

Hi Carolyn!

Austrian doctors will understand "epidural", because it's also a medical term.. ;)

Kim aus Kanada said...

I *MUST* get one of those Lederhosen onsies for my soon-to-be born nephew. Please, please, please tell me where you saw it! I've been looking for baby stuff here to bring back with me and, as with little girls clothing, the selection here isn't that good. But THAT onsie is adorable!

Kimberly said...

I hear ya sister! Ben's birth in OZ was 100000x better than Chloe's in USA. Stayed 6 nights in the hospital...oh yea! Ultrasounds every appt. Got the passport book as well!
And I did it by myself with another a big sister around as well. Yes, it took a lot of work from Marc and some trusty friends and babysitters but it can be done! Go YOU!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn, It's so exciting. That little lederhosen 1 piece is just soooo cute. Epidural is Epidural in German. As for the medical care, lots of my friends here tell me that the Austrians treat pregnant mothers like princesses and that the Mutter Kind Pass is great because it helps you to know exactly what tests are needed and when as well as recording the information in one places for you. Once you are pregnant you are supposed to take the Pass with you wherever you go, never leave it at home. This means if (God forbid) anything happens and you have to go to hospital sooner than expected you always have all the info with you.
The Pass has another function (which doesn't apply to you...) for those mothers who will have the baby in Austria and continue to live there - it allows them to claim child benefit. If you haven't attended your tests during pregnancy you aren't entitled to child benefit. This is apparently to make sure that mothers take appropriate care of themselves and the baby during the pregnancy.
I'm looking forward to reading more about your experiences as the pregnancy progresses.

Anonymous said...

epidural is the same in German 'Epiduralanästhesie' - also commonly used in Austria: PDA or Kreuzstich

Unknown said...

i am reading up on delivering in Villach Austria, and wondering how common (no judgement, ladies) epidurals are... any idea?

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- Carolyn