Yesterday I made the trip to the hospital to schedule my appointment. We left the house around 6:30 in the morning, hoping to get there early enough to not have to spend the entire day waiting. This was quite an experience for me, as the hospitals here look and operate quite differently than the hospitals in the states. The hospital that I will be delivering at, Lord-willing, is called Hospital Das Clinicas. It's the University hospital where they train the medical students. It is my understanding that in order to deliver here you have to be high risk.
While in the Labor and Delivery waiting room, a few women were walking around laboring. One woman had been there since Monday. Then, when I went back to the nurses' station, there were seven women laboring in the hallway on chairs and gurneys. As far as I understood, all of the rooms were full and this is why the women were in the hallway. I was also told that one woman had been waiting to have a c-section since the day before, because some information in her paperwork was incorrect and needed to be fixed.
I was able to see the babies, as they used an ultrasound to read their heartbeats. It's always nice to see them moving around inside! Then, before being allowed to make an appointment, I had to sit in on an informational meeting for pregnant women obtaining pre-natal care at this hospital. The doctors and nurses discussed the rights of the patient, the benefits of breastfeeding and addressed any questions we had. Towards the end of the meeting, the nurses put on a puppet show stressing how important it was to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and the importance of continuing to breastfeed up until the child is two years old.
It was quite comical, and apparently I wasn't the only one to find it funny. There were at least 3 other people video taping the performance. The song in the clip is a popular song here in Brazil, but the nurses changed the lyrics to apply to their message.
After the meeting I was able to schedule an appointment to see the doctor. I'll be going in to see the doctor this Wednesday. It's possible, too, that if the babies don't arrive by this Friday that I will just go to the hospital and they will do the c-section. I'm not exactly sure how it will work, because they won't schedule it since I won't be 38 weeks yet, but that's what we were advised to do by the nurse working yesterday who spoke with the doctor.
As for my time in the hospital, I was told to pack everything in my bag. Sheets for the baby, diapers, wipes, soap, EVERYTHING. Also, I have to have someone with me at all times while at the hospital, so I'm recruiting women on base to take turns staying with me while I'm recovering. And, we're not sure yet whether Jesse will be able to watch the delivery. It sounds like it's a possibility, but it's not something they like or encourage. If you would be praying for me, our babies, and our family over the next few weeks as we welcome our little guys to the world, we would really appreciate it.