I found out I was pregnant three months before we moved to Bogota, a lot of people kept asking me if I was planning to stay in Boston until the baby was born, everyone was so concerned when I told them that the plan of moving here was still on and that the baby was going to be a Colombian/ US citizen.
To tell you the truth, I was nervous too. I was not sure of what to expect, my sister delivered my beautiful niece at Mass General Hospital in Boston and she had an amazing experience, I remembered visiting her at the hospital, her room was beautiful and she had such an easy delivery. We even got hot chocolate and cookies service in her room, this is what I have always imagined my delivery will be too so I had some high expectations for my own baby.
As I mentioned on my last blog entry I had to get an additional insurance policy for my pregnancy which cost less than what my copayment would have been if I were to have the baby in a US hospital, so that was a big plus.
Choosing the doctor and the clinic not easy task! My husband took me to Clinica Reina Sofia and I admit I was being obnoxious about the whole thing, from the outside it just did not look like the best clinic or one of the best clinics of Bogota, as he has described it, and the installations were not where similar to MGH but here I was and my husband was getting annoyed so I decided to give it a try. Well after 8 months of being pregnant I can tell you that so far it has been the best experience yet and I tell you why in three reasons:
- My doctor! He is absolutely the best, I can call him at anytime I have his personal cell phone, if I wanted to talk to the doctor directly in Boston I had to make an appointment, and otherwise I had to be at the nurse’s mercy to call me back while I panic waiting! I had about 6 ultrasounds since I moved here all included under my plan. I feel that I can just call my doctor and ask him a lot of questions he kisses me hello and goodbye and he remembers all of the details of previous appointments. Best of all is a guarantee (provided no nature disasters occurs) that he will be delivering my baby.
- The nurse program for new moms, about two weeks after my first Colombian OBGYN appointment I got a call from a nurse inviting me to attend the prenatal course which included Lamaze classes as well as taking care of your newborn, lactation seminars and post partum care. In addition I was able to meet with the nurse every trimester to see how everything was going and to get a woman’s perception on the labor of love!
- Emergency service, this is my first baby and I am by definition a nervous wreck I worry about everything and in more than one occasion I have waken my cranky and sleepy husband to take me to the emergency room and check on the baby. I have always got in really quick and have returned home assured nothing was wrong within the hour. Once in Boston ,when I was about 8 weeks along I was having some pressure on my abdomen and I waited on the emergency room from 8am to 5pm L sadly I was not a priority.
Now not everything is peaches and cream, Bogota is a very expensive city and when it comes to babies even more! Forget about buying clothes, gear or any baby needs. First there is not much variety so the couple of stores that do sell cute things, have some national brand and mostly Carter’s merchandise which is marked up about 300%. If you are able to go back home at any point during your pregnancy go shopping for everything baby. In fact most affluent Colombian couples do that, they schedule a trip to Miami and buy everything they need. My husband and I were able to find a lot of clothes for the baby at the outlets at a fraction of what it would cost us here.
I am 35 weeks along so I am not sure how my delivery will be (that is material for another blog posting) but I am happy with the decision of having the baby here and all the support we got from our doctor and his team as well as family and friends. The baby will be an American Citizen since we will be able to register her at the US embassy once she is born, and she will learn to live between two wonderful worlds. Having the baby here makes us appreciate this city even more!