Bonjour de la Suisse

Hello from Switzerland! ~~ The adventures of a California girl who got married to a great guy, G, and traded in her old life for the chance to live in a foreign land and live the expat life for a couple years. We live in Geneva, Switzerland with our globe-trotting cat, Scout.

Ma photo
Nom :
Lieu : California, United States

"The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land." ~ G.K. Chesterton

mardi, avril 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Madeleine!

After months of waiting and worrying, of planning and praying, of guarded anticipation... the day had finally arrived. It was truly a miracle. We had made it to full term and now we were on our way to the hospital for the birth of our little one. Because of a previous surgery, we were scheduled for a cesarean which they prefer to schedule a couple weeks ahead of the due date just to be safe. We made it 38 weeks and two days - right on schedule. In the end, all the bed rest was worth it!

We arrived at the hospital at 7am to prepare for the birth. The morning was a flurry of activity and before I knew it I was being wheeled to the operating room. G was prepped in another room, but he was right by my side by the time they started. I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

At 10:03am our little Madeleine Grace was born. "It's a girl!" She was held up quickly over the screen so I could see her. She was so beautiful. I was so overwhelmed with love and joy I cried. She was then taken to get cleaned up and her vitals were checked... she was perfect! Then there was time for a quick picture before she left with the pediatrician and G for some more testing - all was okay. She was a healthy 3.725 kg and 50 cm long.

While Madeleine and G were off doing all the tests, I was being sewn up (which took about 45 minutes). While I was in recovery G and Madeleine came in to see me. I just couldn't believe how beautiful our daughter was and I started to tear up again. It was a couple of hours until I was brought up to my room. The afternoon was filled with phone calls home (very early for our family back in California, but nobody seemed to mind). Gary also got lessons in changing and dressing little Maddie. The day went by amazingly fast! I have to say I am so in love with this new little person! I already cannot imagine my world without her.

Welcome to the world little Madeleine!

On our way to the hospital

Our first family photo, still on the operating table!

Little Maddie on the scale - she weighed in at 3.725kg

Madeleine's first day

Madeleine and I resting in the recovery room

The three of us in the recovery room

lundi, avril 28, 2008

Back home... for now! :)

Well, we got to the hospital this evening, checked in, got a room assignment, met with the anesthesiologist, had a full check-up including blood work, and after an hour of monitoring the baby's heart rate and my contractions we were sent home! We were told to return in the morning at 7am. I have to say I was relieved when they told me I could sleep in my own bed tonight! So we go back tomorrow... but I'm pretty sure we won't be sent home until the little one is here! :) I can't wait!!

We're off to the hospital...

The big day is scheduled for tomorrow morning and we are off to the hospital this evening! I'm overjoyed, nervous, anxious, excited, and still in a bit of disbelief. I can't wait for tomorrow!! :)

lundi, avril 21, 2008

We made it to full term!!

Twelve weeks ago when I was first put on bed rest, the thought of making it to full term seemed like such an impossible goal that I tried not to think about it too much. I was afraid to get my hopes up too high in the beginning. I kept my goals within reach; 28 weeks, 32 weeks, 34 weeks. But really, each week was a huge accomplishment for us.

Now that the days have slowly passed into weeks and the weeks have slowly added up, we have made it to that magic number that had seemed so far… 37 weeks. Full term! I cannot express just how thankful we are that we made it this far. All the bed rest and positive thinking has worked! And even though it hasn’t been easy, every minute has been worth it!

I’m still on bed rest, but now since we are no longer at risk for having a preterm baby we can give birth at the Clinique Generale-Beaulieu, (which is sort of like the 5 star hospital of Geneva) instead of the HUG (Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève) where I was hospitalized before (where the NICU is located). We have also gone back to my original OBGYN who is associated with the Beaulieu Clinique.

We have also met with our pediatrician. Here in Switzerland you have a prenatal appointment with the pediatrician before the baby is born. Then they are present at the birth! I think it is a great system. We already know who is going to be taking care of little Rumi and we really like the doctor.

Now even though I’m still on bed rest, this last week I was told I can get up a little bit more to help get my muscles back in a little bit of shape in time for the delivery. So last Thursday I was very brave and ventured out to Starbucks which is about 2 blocks from our flat to meet up with the girls from the “The Non-Desperate Housewives of Geneva” group. The walk took about 15 minutes and I was careful to take it as easy as possible. It took a lot out of me, but it was such a boost to be able to get out of our flat!!! That has been the only time I’ve left the house this week (besides to see the doctor). I’ve been trying to walk a little more around the apartment, but I'm very careful not to do too much. I want to be ready for when the little one arrives, and it won’t be long now! We can hardly wait!! :)

dimanche, avril 13, 2008

April showers

I never thought I would have a baby shower, simply because for the last eleven weeks we have been living day to day trying to make it to full term. So when some friends of mine talked about throwing one I was thrilled, although a tad bit reluctant since I didn’t know if I would make it to the day of the shower before I gave birth. But it gave me a good goal to stay focused on and something to look forward to! To my happy surprise, two showers were planned! I was so touched and so happy to have such thoughtful friends.

The first shower was thrown by my friend Cathy for the luncheon group we belong to called “The Non-Desperate Housewives of Geneva”. They are a great group of girls I started hanging out with about six moths ago. Cathy organized everything and cooked a fabulous lunch for everyone. The shower was at our flat, since I’m still on bed rest and it was a little too soon for me to venture out. It was so nice to see all the girls. The lunch was delicious and the gifts were so cute! The afternoon was wonderful, I had the best time hanging out with everyone and it really lifted my spirits! (Thanks for the photos Sophia!)

The Non-Desperate Housewives of Geneva shower

The next Sunday Mr. & Mrs. Kofi threw a shower for us at their house in the town of Mies. Yes, I actually left our flat (other than for doctors appointments) for the first time in eleven weeks! I must say I was a bit nervous. But Mr. Kofi came to pick us up (no train for me yet!) and they had a nice spot on their couch all set for me. We had a nice lunch together and then everyone else came for the afternoon “mixed” (guys & girls) shower. Mrs. Kofi did so much work; she made a ton of food and organized the whole thing.

It was a lovely afternoon. Most of the people who came were from G’s office as well as a few other Geneva friends. Most of the folks I hadn’t seen in some time, so it was really great to reconnect with everyone. The weather was beautiful and we ended up sitting out in the garden to chat away the afternoon and open gifts. Just to be able to sit in the sunshine was fantastic for me!

At Mr. & Mrs. Kofi's house

Besides actually making it through eleven weeks of bed rest, these showers have been the highlight of the last few months for me! It’s been hard being on bed rest with our family so far away. That’s why I am so thankful to have such wonderful people here in Geneva that care so much. That’s really what friends are for!

dimanche, avril 06, 2008

Still holding on - Weeks 32 to 34

Wow – we have made it to week 34! This is a huge milestone for us and one of our big goals. I’ve now been on restricted bed rest for 9 weeks, but we are still going strong. Every ultrasound has shown that my cervix is staying closed but this past week it has shortened to 0.6cm, which means I have to stay on bed rest a bit longer than I thought… but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the little one stay inside as long as possible, hopefully until May. Every day is so important!

The last three weeks have definitely had their ups and downs. Spring has officially begun, ushered in by 4 days of snow! G went to pick up the stroller & car seat. Unfortunately I accidentally reserved a “compact” car for him and the stroller box wouldn’t fit in the car, so it was a bit of a hassle for him! But he was a trooper and now it is all assembled and ready to go. He also bought some of the first baby things we may need and packed our hospital bag, just in case.

It was good he took care of all that when he did, because on the next day, Easter Sunday, G pulled his back so bad that he couldn’t even stand up! It was so scary with both of us completely immobilized and I had no idea how to help him. Being Easter Sunday, almost everyone we knew was out of town (Easter is a four day weekend here so most folks are off traveling). I managed to pull one of the pads from the bed onto the floor so at least he had a place to lie down, but he was in excruciating pain and I knew we had to do something.

Fortunately Mr. Kofi was in town and when I called him to ask about what pain relievers I could get without a prescription here, he immediately contacted “SOS Médecins” for us. SOS Médecins is a service that sends a doctor to your house and is much better than having to deal with an ambulance and going to the hospital.

The doctor gave G a shot and prescribed some medicine for him. What a lifesaver! Another one of our friends who was in town came to our rescue and picked up the prescription for us (since I couldn’t do it). I tell you, what would we do without our friends – they really saved the day and I am so thankful they were there for us!

After a couple days G was up and around again and by mid week he was feeling much better. Thank goodness I didn’t go into preterm labor! We really would have been in trouble then! Looking back it was a bit funny, both of us flat on our backs trying to reassure each other and comfort each other. It’s an Easter we will never forget!

Things settled down after that, thankfully! I had three more weeks of visitors who brought lunches and delicious pastries! I also am continuing to talk to the psychologist who I was assigned to in the hospital for the study on at-risk mothers. I talk to her about once a week when we go into the hospital for our ultrasounds. She is great and is also very happy with our progress!

Oh, and I’ve forgotten to mention our nicknames for the belly! G has been calling my belly “little Obus” (after his nickname of Obus) for quite a while. I like the name but haven’t really been calling my belly that, usually I just talk to the “baby”. But in the last few weeks I've been calling my belly Ruemont or Rumi for short. Where did this come from? Well, G’s workmates thought we should name the baby “Rue-Mont Cinq Blucher” after our address at 5 Rue du Mont-Blanc. It hasn’t made our list of possible names, but now I’ve been calling my belly Rumi which I really like!

week 32 ~~week 33 ~~ week 34