What is a typical appointment at the baby doctor’s like, you ask? Here’s the scoop on seeing the doc in Germany.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I went to a briefing at the nurse’s about selecting a doctor (they no longer have Army baby docs so all of us new mommas head to a doctor off-base–which is fine with me!) After hearing about 5-6 different ones, I chose Dr. L because he performs 3D ultrasounds at every appointment, and because his practice provides gowns where others do not (the Germans have no shame in being naked!)
Today was my 4th appointment with Dr. L, as I go see him every 3 weeks. Luckily, my husband was able to take a few hours off work and come with me. I think it’s wonderful seeing the baby move on the monitor and I want to share that with him. The pictures are great, but they don’t do it justice. Case in point: Today, our sweet baby yawned, then stretched his little neck and back. I love seeing things like that yawn, it’s just amazing to me that we have the technology to do this! He also sucked his thumb, and was moving around quite a bit.
But, I’ve gotten ahead of myself–back to the typical appointment. The doctor’s office is downtown, so we parked in the parking garage and walked through the park to get there. Each time I go, I have to pee in a cup so they can test things like blood sugar. The first few times, I didn’t realize the bathroom had a little window where I was supposed to put my cup o’ pee so the lab can grab it. Oops! 😛 I got it right today though!
Next, the nurse takes my weight, in kilos and in pounds. I’d rather no disclose that number, but it’s pretty obvious that I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. After all, there’s a little person in me, who’s taking up quite a bit of space! I also had my blood pressure and blood taken.
J and I then wait for a few in the doctor’s office. Dr. L is great–speaks English well, nice smile, very polite. He doesn’t ask too many questions, usually just how I’m feeling, and today he asked if I had any pain. Thankfully, I don’t, but in the next few months, methinks the back muscles will start aching much more. Dr. L is pretty quick to get us to the ultrasound–my favorite part. I lay down on the table, he puts the ultrasound goo on my belly (they always say “it’s cold” like I don’t already know that. Plus, I don’t care, because I’m usually always hot these days!) The baby was moving all over today; he’s in the head-down position; and he’s a very strong boy. My due date moved up a week, which is OK with me. The doctor thoroughly checks the baby’s height, weight, width of chest, size of head, and heartbeat. It’s very comforting to see the baby and know he’s doing just fine 🙂
The last step of the appointment was something I hadn’t done before. It was a fetal heartrate monitor, so I sat in a big comfy chair, and the nurse attached the monitor for the baby’s heart, and one for monitoring contractions (even though I have none right now). It was great to hear the heartbeat and know that he’s very much alive and well in my belly.
I also remembered to ask the Dr. about taking fish oil and Vitamin D, two very important supplements for baby’s growth and development. Good to go for both!
That’s about it. The Germans are no-fuss kind of people who keep it simple. I hardly ever have to wait, and they are so efficient but not in a rushed sort of way. I made my next appointment, got my Mutterpass (German booklet with prego stats, for “just in case” situations and quick reference), got my ultrasound pics, and was out the door.
As I walked back through the park to the car, I think of my baby and how amazing it will be when he’s here with us in just a few short months!
Here he is today:
What do you expect from your doctor? How do feel about seeing one in a foreign country?