An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
I gave birth in Ospedale Civile, it had been recommended to me by my gynecologist for having a low c-section outcome, other local hospitals are apparently quick to opt for them when a labour is progressing slowly.
It is an old hospital and I shared a room with 3 other women. The babies are kept in a nursery and brought to the Mums for feeding only. There were a number of shared bathrooms however they were all very shabby and small. I had to take my own toilet roll, cups, water but I knew this in advance.
I wanted a natural birth but presumed pain relief would have been available (after speaking to my mother in law), in fact they refused to give me anything despite being in labour for over 24hrs, I had been admitted as my baby was 10 days over due. Eventually a c section was required but I know for me there was no other option and the staff tried everything they could to deliver naturally.
Altogether I spent 6 days in hospital,because of being admitted, but normally only 4 days is required after a c section or 3 after a normal birth.
For me it wasn't a very positive experience, it was my first baby and I don't speak fluent Italian, when my labour started I wasn't moved to a private room, when the evening came my husband was told to go home and come back in the morning and that I should try to sleep which is not easy when you're having contractions every 5 minutes, they wouldn't break my waters until the morning which meant my labour progressed very slowly, the c section was fine, however my husband was not allowed to enter and when they took the baby out I wasn't allowed to see him so I had to wait a further 2 hours.
However, the gynecologists and midwives were all very nice and friendly but the nurses were brilliant.
How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?
I used the local consultorio familiare, I really like the gynecologist and midwife who worked there, they were both excellent and very thorough. I don't believe in paying for a private gynecologist when there is a state health service.
If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?
I would have another baby here but I would want to avoid another c section so would have to try and find a hospital which is prepared to try for VBAC, otherwise I know exactly what to expect.
If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?
Ask the hospital what pain relief is available, try and speak Italian.
On the Italy Expat Forum
Moving to Italia
I've been reading the posts and just joined the site as a member. We expect to move to Italy as soon as our house sells (July?), and have a lot of Qs. Any advice anyone can give is greatly appreciated.
First, some background in order to forego other preliminary questions. Wife is Italian, dual US; I am US only. Married 25+ yrs; registered with comune since 1993. Both 62+ yrs old. Moving for retirement to her hometown of Padova, where family lives. We intend to stay with them until we buy a house (apt, condo, ?), ASAP, no mortgage. Retirement income is limited to SS. Savings are not unlimited. Coming from California.
Now for the questions:
1) We might need a 20-ft container, max. Who is the best shipper at the cheapest price? Destination ports say Livorno (closest), but why not Mestre (which is geographically closer)? Since we don't yet have an address (staying with family until we buy), will the shipping company store the items until we send for them? At what cost?
More importantly, will I have to make wooden crates for our items in order for them to be stored in a company warehouse? Is it easier to buy my own shipping container and pack it for storage and later shipping? Are there any problems with that line of action? (ie- insurance, actually getting someone else to ship MY container? etc?). Seems like it would be easier all around, but what does one do with a used container in Italy?
2) I will need a PdiS. I can get that after arrival, if I understand correctly. Is my understanding correct? It seems like there are time limits (8 days) that may or may not apply to me as the spouse of a citizen. ???
3) My wife is on US Medi-Care, but I am not. Am I entitled to Italian healthcare as the spouse of an Italian citizen? Do I need my own health insurance instead? Current rules say that I must continue to pay for US Obamacare coverage for 9 months after departure from the US, which is stupid since I will not be able to use it at all. Any ideas on that? Also, can my wife, who will probably never return to live in the US, quit her Medi-Care without financial or other penalty? Also, since I may not be covered, can I at least get my US-over-the-counter meds through an Italian pharmacy without any problems? Seems like it should be easy to do, but . . .???
4) Does the restriction on importation of "art" include original items? Both of us are artists, with plenty of proof. Can we bring our own artwork with us without incurring import fees? Seems like we could so do, as ordinary (to us) household items, but Italian rules sometimes define their own path. Some of the art is large; one wants to avoid complications.
5) I have owned the same 70-yr old motorcycle for 37+ years but never had an original bill of sale (from my brother). There is plenty of proof (title, registration, etc). I ride it regularly to this day (proof of current registration and insurance). Can I bring this over without that "original bill of sale"? Is it now an "antique" subject to added fees? Or does the word "antique" only apply to art? Are there any other financial considerations that require attention? Are there any other considerations that are not financial? I don't wish to pay more in fees and other requirements than it is worth, so I am talking about admin fees, import duties, annual registrations, mechanical check-ups and other requirements like that. I can guarantee that it is not up to modern standards because it was made before modern times. We will not be bringing any other motor vehicles. If it is burdensome then it will stay here. But just in case, can I put it into the same shipping container (inside its own crate, of course) with the household goods?
6) We will bring 4x cats. Once we get the required documentation here, are there any barriers on that side? Does each cat require it's own shipping container? (seems like it would be a good idea even if not required, but I don't know that answer). Are there any things I should know about particular airline treatments for animals? (ie- who to avoid?). Any other info on how to bring those furry family members with us? Note: one cat is 19 yrs old; leaving her behind is the equivalent of an immediate death sentence, bringing her with us is only slightly better than that. I would bring her. Suggestions?
7) What to bring? No appliances, TVs, or lamps are coming with us, but what about a copier/scanner that is wired for both US and EU? Modem? Wi-Fi router? I understand there is an import duty on those electronic items. True? What about tools? I have a few electrical tools that are all US (saws, drills, etc). Ignoring the different electrical cycles (60 v. 50), should I buy a voltage transformer and just burn them out on the cycles? Seems cheaper than selling them for pennies here and buying brand new EU tools that may outlast me. Thoughts? What about pneumatic tools? Are the couplings different such as would require adaptors (remember: US threads on US couplings, the solution to which is to bring adaptor hoses with US couplings at one end and EU (metric thread) couplings at the other end). Also, I tend to work at home out of a garage. Is this a problem in Italy? Do Italians do this sort of thing? One wants to be a good neighbor. While this is almost expected here, it may not be so there. Is it even allowable to work out of one's garage, making noise and dust and such? I am not talking about a home-business such as would invite a visit from the Guardia di Finanza, but just making things. Advice?
I think that is all for now, but there is sure to be more. Any info is greatly appreciated, even if only to one part of my many questions. Thanks in advance. Henry.
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Long stay Visa- ? on Specifics of Financial Information needed
My husband Carl and I are planning on moving to the Lake Garda area for a year. We are in the process of collecting everything we need for our appointment at the embassy in Chicago the first of March. We are actually going to lake Garda in Feb to find a long term rental so we have a rental agreement to show them at that appointment.
We are looking for any suggestions anyone can give us about that embassy appointment. Specifically, does anyone have a recommendation that worked for them on what exactly they like to see regarding proof of financial resources? We both have started drawing social security and each of us has a monthly pension distribution. I have tried numerous times to gain an answer on specifics from the embassy but to no avail.
Any help appreciated! We live in Colorado and need to travel to Chicago for the appointment so are definitely trying to get it right the first time :)
Also is anyone else in the forum living in the Lake Garda area? Would love to hear any specific info anyone may have.
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