Thursday 4 March 2010

Rain and babies

Hmmm...that summer that I was talking about in the last post has gone! Rain has struck us again, but that's ok since it isn't even officially spring time yet!

Today the bel fidanzato and I went to the hospital in Cosenza to visit our brand new friend who, when I held him, was only 2 hours old! You always hear horror stories about the hospitals in Italy - well I have anyway. In Sorrento I not only heard the horror stories, but saw them. Once when I was visiting a customer who had fallen, I had to ask the doctor to change the pillow on the bed, since his head wound had opened up and bled out everywhere...Apparently we should have been lucky that there were pillows in the hospital, as apparently in the Lamezia hospital you have to bring your own pillows, and everything else to do with your well being whilst there.

My friend who gave birth today told me that even in the 'good' hospitals in Italy you have to bring nappies and everything baby related. I - never having given birth before - know nothing of what one does and does not have to bring to a hospital - in any country - so I am not sure if this is normal.

All this aside, the maternity ward was lovely. Well...I did past some young children smoking in the corridor by an open window but then their pregnant friend was with them, and probably having a drag or two before going off to give birth. So other than the people smoking, the maternity section was bright and colourful with orange, purple, yellow etc...walls. The bedroom was very, very hot (but we don't want the babies getting cold since they are by the mothers side from the moment they are born) but it looked modern. My friend was in a dark pink, 2 bedroom with a private bathroom (lilac door) and a private baby changing room (mint green door) and she seemed comfortable and although we had difficulty finding the room, when we did - it was very nice and nothing like the horrible Italian hospitals that I have seen in the past.

Here in Italy a woman also has to/can stay with the mother all the time. The father of the baby can only really visit in visiting hours while overnight a FEMALAE friend/relative of the mother stays with them, acting a bit like a nurse - helping to change and feed the baby. It is a big no no for men to stay in the wards for too long - female privacy and all that I guess....but anyway, the baby is here, he is beautiful and that is the important thing! I am also re-learning to knit (I used to knit with my grandmother when I was younger, but have forgotten a bit) so bel fidanzato's mother is helping me knit a pair of booties for the baby. (Ok so she is knitting them, but I am practicing with my ugly wool and she knits with the good stuff!)


Rosaria Williams said...

I'm enjoying living in Italy vicariously here.

Monika said...

Hi Leanne,
Interesting post. So different to here where Jason (hubby) stayed overnight with me in the hospital for ten nights for free including all his meals (well free in teh sense we pay private insurance). He was also encouraged to attend all the baby learning classes and even our mothers group is now called parents group as they want dads to come. Interesting to read this. And very glad I gave birth here too ;)

Unknown said...

Leanne, one thing is to refer about the situation in the south of Italy and one think is the situation in the rest of Italy. I had a good experience in Rome (even though for me Rome is still south for quality of life, in the North is still better...) for my baby girl birth, I spent all the time with my wife, everything was fine and well arranged, without paying one Euro. In Calabria and in the rest of South we pay the bad behaviuor of our politicians and in a wider view of the people take always decide to give them their votes.

Carolina said...

Hi Leanne,
Sounds like you were in one of the better ones! Although this isn't the forum for sharing all the details, suffice to say that giving birth as a foreigner in Malito was an eye-opener! Someday when we meet again in the village, we can swap stories...let me just say here that offering a homemade prosciutto to your doctor goes a long way!!! not so sure it would have had the same impact here in California! :)
And I loved your post about the people of the village and your experiences there as a foreigner! many memories ;)
Take care,

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi lakeviewer,
I am glad you like the blog!

Hi Monika
Your experience sounds like when my twin gave birth. It was a little like a hotel!

Hi giuseppe,
My bel fidanzato tells me what you said all the time. Hopefully Calabria will catch up with the rest of Italy one of these days.

Hi Carolina,
You have to tell me your hospital story when we next meet!