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Like so many women I did the same thing when I was pregnant the first time: I spent hours on the Internet searching for information about pregnancy, preparing for childbirth and the birth itself. The more you look at it, the greater the flood of advice, and uncertainty rapidly increases. My best friend laughed and told me she too did exactly the same thing. What matters most is having the right hospital as well as a trusting relationship with your gynaecologist and the team of midwives. These are the best people to offer advice.
We made initial contact with "our" midwife at an information evening all about childbirth, after which we also had the chance to visit the maternity unit. We were impressed by the philosophy of the midwives, the manner in which questions were answered and the overall environment. Our baby was going to be born in a Hirslanden maternity clinic. Right from the start I was determined that I wanted to join an antenatal course. Felix and I both agreed to take part in the Hello Baby Weekend. He gave me a puzzled look when I chuckled as I handed him a little gift shortly before the course began: "Mein Papi, der Profi" (English: My Daddy the Pro) – a CD (available in German and French) with nine chapters on becoming a father, available from the Hirslanden website in the area for fathers-to-be. Fabulous!
After my gynaecologist had signed me up at the hospital, we were invited to meet with the midwives to answer any questions we had about giving birth. I had not yet looked into things in detail, although one thing was certain — it was to be a natural delivery, unless determined otherwise for medical reasons. The midwife took lots of time to explain the different birthing positions and variations to us. Felix and I really liked the idea of a water birth. Like so many other women, I was a little apprehensive of the unforeseeable pain, therefore I was happy to be informed in such a sensitive way of the different options available for pain relief. The midwife also explained to us the possible changes and the procedure if an urgent medical situation should arise. This reassured us even further.
I had a wonderful pregnancy that thankfully passed by without any problems. The baby's room was ready and we bought everything we would need for the first few days. As the day of the birth grew closer and my packed suitcase stood in the corner of the room, I was undoubtedly nervous but I was also really well prepared. And on the exact estimated due date the contractions started — I could hardly believe it.
When we arrived at the hospital, we were welcomed by our midwife and accompanied into the birthing room. She monitored the labour process, gave me valuable advice and just before the birth she summoned for my gynaecologist. We had waited for our baby for so long — and then I held our little ray of sunshine in my arms. It was one of the happiest moments of my life!
This report has an illustrative function. It is based on medical facts and serves to educate patients. The persons described are purely fictional.