Personal experience: Russian doctor about pregnancy and childbirth in the US - ForumDaily
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Personal experience: a Russian doctor about pregnancy and childbirth in the United States

Children Darya Penionzhkevich. Photos from the personal archive

Children Darya Penionzhkevich. Photos from the personal archive

Daria Penionzhkevich moved from the Moscow region to Texas two years ago. At home, the woman worked as a doctor.

Daria, on her own example, told about how she gave birth to her second child in the USA.

Good news and search for a doctor

A year after my emigration to the USA, wonderful news struck our family: we will have another baby. At first I was very worried.

We began searching for a doctor and a clinic for pregnancy. After reviewing all the reviews, we called the office to one of the best doctors. But there was no limit to our surprise when the administrator politely explained that the doctor would not even look at us before 12 weeks. We continued the search, but all in vain. Without exception, doctors believe that watching a pregnant woman makes sense only after the 12 week, and it is better to 14-15.

If you suddenly can’t save your long-awaited fruit until that time, no one will worry too much, since nobody has taken you on record. Such an unpleasant incident occurred with my new girlfriend, who 2 times with bleeding in the early period came to the emergency service of the hospital, where she was just examined by a nurse (not a doctor) and sent home with apologies that the pregnancy was apparently interrupted. All these cases frightened us so much that we decided to just go to the largest new hospital in the city and sign up for further pregnancy management with subsequent birth within the walls of this medical center.

During the 13 weeks, I myself had no doubt that, nevertheless, my pregnancy was confirmed, it is not ectopic and everything proceeds, thank God, so far safely. First, the nurse took the necessary measurements (height, weight, pressure, pulse), collected anamnesis, started an individual electronic card and politely, smiling, asked to wait for the doctor.

At that moment I remembered my unfortunate gynecologists from the antenatal clinic, who not only did all the paper and cards manually fill in 15-20 minutes, so they still have to measure all anthropometric data themselves and listen for a long time to the patient reproaches that I had to sit. Here doctors love themselves. The maximum time taken to take 10 is minutes. True, my first visit was a little longer, I finally had an ultrasound scan and were solemnly congratulated for being a mother.

Happy and contented, I went home with a piece of paper in my hands, on which was written a schedule of my visits to the clinic, namely, once a month a visit to the doctor, just a couple of tests and another 1 ultrasound scan for a period of 1 weeks. And that's all. There are no three screenings, as in Russia, only 22 screening by blood test (without ultrasound) at 1 weeks and, for women over 18 years old, more advanced, which reveals the likelihood of chromosomal developmental abnormalities and immediately determines the sex of the child. No regular urine and blood tests. No 35D ultrasound at all and in principle.

A pregnant woman in America is a perfectly healthy woman who needs only a 3-minute weigh-in examination by a nurse before talking to a doctor and a 5-minute conversation with a gynecologist to ensure that everything is fine. Even if something bothers you, this is all a variant of the norm.


I felt just wonderful, and in a few weeks I was waiting for an important test, which was supposed to reveal the secret, a boy or a girl would appear in our family. Therefore, other analyzes did not interest me at all. And now the long-awaited moment has come, a screening test in the USA is a bunch of papers that you have to sign, and 1 minute for a blood test from a vein is all. Then you are waiting for the result for 2 weeks, they will just call you and say: everything is fine with you, you are expecting a boy, there are no chromosomal anomalies.

In the ultrasound room I immediately remembered my homeland again. When I asked in a modestly quiet voice, and we could switch to 3D or do a doppler, I was no less modestly told that they do not do it to anyone at all. I did not begin to understand why, but I became sad. After completing the ultrasound, I was asked to wait for 5 minutes and answer the phone. Exactly in 5 minutes, a very polite and pleasant male voice called me, who introduced himself as a doctor and made us glad that the ultrasound was just great. That's all in essence what he said.

To my questions about the heart of the baby, the doctor asked: “Why are you asking, are you worried about something?”. I explained that my first daughter was born with a congenital defect, and it is important for me to understand how things are with the second baby. To which the doctor again politely explained that there is no need to worry. I realized that he himself didn’t know what to answer, so in order not to embarrass the doctor with his “stupid” inquiries and not waste his insanely expensive time, we ended our dialogue, satisfied and happy.

The days passed quickly. Simply, one might say, they flew, and I flew with them with happiness, until my doctor determined the date of the planned caesarean section. Having had the experience of giving birth to my daughter at 38 weeks, I was a little scared of my doctor's courageous decision to give birth to a baby at 40 weeks. And if suddenly the labor begins earlier? Of course, I understood that it was only 10 minutes to go to the hospital, but somehow I didn't really want to get on the operating table to an unknown doctor and already in labor. "You, most importantly, do not give birth on weekends," the doctor warned me in a gentle, soothing voice, "on weekends I am always out of town, try in every possible way to hold out until the date of planned hospitalization."

Well, said, done. We, people born in the USSR, can even control the time of birth if desired and under stress. The last two weeks have been especially painful, my whole house with visiting moms and dads blew me, literally, specks of dust and looked into my eyes. I understood that I simply have no right to give birth ahead of time.


We had to come to the hospital with things on the day of the surgery at 5 in the morning. Here it is normal, even for aorto-coronary shunting you arrive in the morning of the operation and leave after a couple of days.

Very pretty nurses in the 4 man brought me to the intensive care unit, in which I was supposed to be 2 hours before the operation and 2 hours after. I was dressed, my husband was dressed, numerous forms were filled in again, and they were asked permission to put an intravenous catheter. Of course, we gave permission, as it is necessary, only we did not think that this would cause such a difficulty for the 4-s nurses. In my beautiful veins, which they unanimously 5 minutes praised and examined, they tried to get into 5 as many times, first on one hand, then on the other. I tolerated it, though it was not very pleasant and painful, but I endure the pain, but my husband could not stand it, and after 5 the nurse tried to apologize, he demanded to call the head nurse.

Several times I almost didn’t get off the tongue to allow me to put a catheter on my own, but I decided not to cause irritation and confide in the professionalism of the clinic staff. Still, they were taught this at our city medical college, and he is one of the best in Texas.

But then my savior came - the head nurse of the shift, in her eyes I read sympathy and immediately felt happy. In half a second, she inserted a painless catheter and took blood from a vein. True, the same nurses accidentally confused one of the test tubes and then frightenedly called the laboratory to warn, but I no longer worried.

For me, the results of all laboratory tests were no longer important. I was euphoric with the thought that I was about to see my treasure - the son, whom I had been waiting for all my life. But my husband, during these 2 hours of preparation for the operation, suffered such stress, which he still recalls. He tried to somehow cope with himself and the nurses, drinking coffee convulsively, and then I realized how wisely they acted in distant Russia, not allowing husbands to give birth.

Exactly at 7 in the morning, 10 minutes before the operation, an anesthesiologist came to us. Not a doctor - but a dream. Probably the most attentive of all the doctors I have seen in America over the past 2 of the year. He was the first and only person in all the time who said that he was very worried about my safety, and he wanted to know whether I had any peculiarities or health problems. Of course, I did not want to delay the doctor a few minutes before the operation, so I quickly and briefly explained that I always had poor blood clotting and very weak blood vessels. This is what served as an indication for the first cesarean section in Russia. The doctor was very tactful to his colleagues, who missed this delicate moment and, without resorting to criticism, simply appointed a rapid analysis. After 5 minutes, the analysis was ready, because everyone waved a pen with a smile and took me to the operating room.

Maternal happiness

For some reason, this moment seemed to me brighter and more pleasant, in comparison with the same in Russia. 5 years ago, before the operation with my daughter, I was shaking with excitement and cold, the metal couch was shaking with me, the catheter hurt, and the bright light of the lamp hit my face. Here they drove me like a queen along the red carpet. Around see off smiles of nurses and doctors. On the walls of the corridor there are beautiful paintings and photographs of happy mothers with babies. The way to the operating room was like a fairy tale for me, so I immediately forgot all the unpleasant memories of the nurses' failures. And when I saw and identified in the operating masks my husband, anesthesiologist, gynecologist and his assistant, I completely calmed down. Here they are - witnesses of my miracle.

Spinal anesthesia was performed flawlessly, and the whole process of the operation for me lasted just a moment, because after a few minutes my husband had our baby in his arms, and a minute later the baby had already touched the lips of my chest. This maternal happiness is indescribable. I remember only tears of joy and insane excitement, so the rest of the time, while the doctors completed their process, I do not remember at all. My husband and I held hands and admired our baby. From this moment we did not part for a minute.

After childbirth

Chambers in almost all US clinics are similar. They are very comfortable, with good beds, equipped with an electronic call system, with the ability to order food from the menu to the ward, cable TV (huge plasma TV panels) and excellent bathrooms for the patient and relatives.

In my room there was a sofa bed - a sleeping place for my husband. Everything is very convenient. True, the moment of solitude did not last long with us. Exactly 5 minutes later, all kinds of nurses began to come to us. We only dreamed of peace. Every hour the child is examined, weighed and measured. I did not manage to sleep, although I really wanted to, because each nurse measured my temperature, blood pressure and pulse every hour, including at night.


For the whole day, we were so tired of the visits of the medical staff that in the evening I began to bleed heavily. Of course, I was not very worried about this, in principle, this was an ordinary thing, especially since I started to walk early and intensively, but my husband convinced me to call the nurse in the hope that a specialist would examine me and make sure that everything was happening. The nurse walked around me for a very long time, measured the pulse, pressure, temperature and, not deciding what to do next, asked us for permission to consult another nurse. The following nurse repeated the same manipulations, thought 10 for minutes and called another nurse. To the timid question of my husband about whether it is better to call the doctor, the nurse also timidly answered: "If you want to, of course, I can call the doctor on duty." Of course, we wanted to, because the experience of communicating with nurses on the first day was still warm.

The doctor arrived fairly quickly, in just 3 hours. Very pleasant, again, smiling and self-caring man. His appointments in the form of a dropper and blood test were just a joy to me, especially since, as a doctor, it was not very clear why the treatment and rehabilitation tactics of patients after the same operation differ so much in different countries. If in Russia the first thing after cesarean section is prescribed drugs to reduce the uterus, which improve blood clotting and antibiotics, in America I did not do it at all. I was offered strong narcotic analgesics, which I refused, and when the pain became so severe that I had to endure with difficulty, the nurse persuaded me to ibuprofen in a dose of 800 mg 2 once a day. And that's all.

Maybe this is better, because almost everyone agrees on painkillers, they don’t feel pain at all and the next day they go. And the uterus itself will shrink someday. Diet on the second day is total. No "only broth", as in the homeland. Restriction in the diet only on the day of surgery, on the second day you bring almost everything. Well, since I am a nursing mother from Russia, of course, I didn’t change my views on the diet and still adhere to nutrition according to the scheme, as I was taught, without hamburgers and sandwiches.

In the morning, the doctor on duty examined us, noted that I was just a fine fellow and, wishing good luck, discharged it. It was happiness for us. Literally in a few hours, they prepared all the papers for us, issued the child's documents for registering a birth certificate, printed out a bunch of recommendations, gave out a whole suitcase with gifts for the baby, and already at noon, friends and parents were waiting for us at the clinic with flowers.

The process of discharge of the newborn in America is impossible until the nurse is convinced that you have a car carrier for the baby. You have to lift her into the ward, show her, then go down to the car together, the nurse will fasten the child herself, check the seat belts, and only then can you go. Therefore, I was a little confused, because like all mothers in Russia, I prepared a beautiful envelope, a bow and a lot of beautiful things, and I was forced to take it all off, since it is impossible to properly fasten the child in the envelope. You can imagine my excitement and surprise of my elderly parents, when our two-day baby, sitting in a carrier in a crooked state, appeared on the first floor of the clinic to the joy of everyone.

True, this did not prevent us from taking memorable photographs that now resemble that day, which has become one of the happiest for us, because a healthy, strong baby was born in our family.

Material printed with permission of the newspaper. "Our Texas"

See also:

Personal experience: Russian woman on the work of children's doctors in the United States

How to plan for childbirth in America: step by step instructions

Personal experience. How to come to give birth in the United States for a tour. Part of xnumx

Personal experience. As I arrived on tour and gave birth in the United States for free. Part of xnumx

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