Today we finally escaped from the hospital. In typical French fashion, the whole ordeal was a little overblown and took way too much time. Thursday night the pediatrician, midwife, OBGYN, and everyone else associated with our child's birth cleared us to go home. Mama and baby were both healthy, so on you go! Except that by the time we were cleared, the administrative staff had already left for the day. So we'd have to stay the night. And besides, she'd never been measured (height and head circumference), so that would have to be done in the morning after her bath.
Morning came. We were first in line for a bath. I hit up the admin offices when they opened. "Oh you don't have any paperwork to do, and no bill," I was told, "we'll be mailing it to you when it's ready, then you can come in to pay." 9:30 am, we're ready to go. But the pediatric doctor has yet to give us the Carnet de Santé, without which nothing medical can happen for the rest of Elsie's life. Thus we sat and waited. Till about noon. Argh.
But we're home now! Hooray! The first hour home - reunited as a family - truly was priceless. Here's a few images of siblings at play:
I also want to share some of the things that made me smile from the past week. You all sent some great emails and notes of encouragement, and some like these below (inputs outside of the blog comments):
Nick- My favorite part of the story is that it happened in France. You have no doubt caused many people in France to believe that in America husbands delivering babies for their wives is about as common as buying a loaf of bread. "Universal health care? No, thanks. I can handle this."
Sean- You’re like Chuck Norris meets Dr Green... Nice work on the delivery, can you write up a Wikipedia page on emergency home delivery?
Ryan- I know that [your insurance company] is trying to save money anywhere it can, but I applaud you for taking it to an entirely new level. You probably saved them 5000-10000 dollars by doing it yourself. Great job!
Kevin- I'm a little disappointed that you were not also out of gas in your car....would've been a nice dramatic touch.
David- ...we were only imaging your face, thoughts, and desire/need to wipe your hands during this ordeal.
@pc1oad1letter “The front seat looks like someone had been murdered in it.” @goodbyeharan is my hero. #childbirthinacar
Then came my friend Paul, who was already having a fabulous day. It began when he took his truck to the dealer because of the sudden appearance of a rust spot on the frame. His truck he'd had for 10 years was suddenly being bought back by the dealer for $500 less than he'd paid (10 years ago). His sister beautifully and appropriately described his not-so-abnormal start to the day like this:
Pretty much most situations: "Paul, it looks like we have an obscene amount of compensation to give you today."
Paul: "Really? Are you sure? All I did was wake up this morning."
Them: "Looks like we owe you some chocolate dipped rainbows, unicorns, a new car and this pile of cash that we've been tripping over all day."
That evening he took a phone call from my sister with a quick run-down of our story, and he was left near-speechless. When speech returned, he declared May 6, 2011 to be the greatest day of his life.