In Poland, pregnant women are kind of like super humans. They’re definitely more important than non-pregnant people and you’re treated very differently, which is really sweet honestly. Here are some funny things about being preggo in Poland.
You can skip the line. Of course this is only if someone gives you the permission, so it’s really only theory. I would never in my life ask to skip the line (unless I knew a doctor and the line to see them was 15-people deep. I don’t recommend doing this if you’re not an all-holy pregnant woman because you’ll be hanged when you come out 5 minutes later). So far I’ve only once had someone tell me I could go first once and that was at a place which draws blood and lines move really fast anyway. And I felt kinda guilty going in front of ladies who looked about 80 years old. They should probably go before me even. Granted, I have two months left and it’s been winter the whole time I’ve been pregnant, so maybe no one has really seen my belly yet.
Everyone tells you how awful it’s going to be. This is funny when you compare it to what Americans say, which is how great it’s going to be. People in the States will tell you that raising child is difficult but it’s well worth it and the best part of life. Here everyone tells me how much it hurts to give birth, how I’m not going to sleep for months (years even) and how they haven’t gone out with their partner in two years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s very difficult to have kids, but I’d like to know why these people decided to have more than one child if it’s the worst thing on Earth. Overall, hearing all the negative feedback about life with a baby makes me feel more stressed at a time when that’s the last thing I need.
No one wants you to do anything that requires effort. “You’re standing up? Why don’t you sit down.” “You took the stairs? What are you crazy?” “You can’t carry those two pieces of paper and a banana, you’re pregnant!”**I’m fine** please stop telling me to sit down, not carry things and not walk around. This starts when someone finds out you’re pregnant and your belly isn’t even visible yet.
You go to the doctor a lot. I think in the States and the UK you only go 3-4 times to the doctor and you only have ultrasounds like once or twice. Here I go every month. I don’t know if it’s just the standard or just a good way for the private doctor to earn money but anyway it seems like the care for pregnant women is on a high level.
Everyone expects you to go on sick leave (L4) asap. I guess this is what most women do who have full-time contracts, and if you can then, hell, why not? I still work normally and I’m 7 months pregnant, so people ask me about this a lot. People are always wondering when I’m leaving work and why I’m not already on L4. Look y’all, life is not that simple when you own your own company. I could go on sick leave, sure, but I won’t receive anything close to my normal earnings and what’s the point at sitting at home when I feel fine? I’d probably go mad after about a week because I’m not really the kind of person to sit around doing nothing.
People are surprised that I’m not going back to the States to give birth. But this really only refers to Americans. Only they are surprised that I’m not going back to the States to give birth (but they also can’t understand why someone would move away from the States as well as they all think it’s the just the *best* country in the world) I’ll tell you what, if you can figure out the logistics of that and how it would make financial sense, then let me know, but I’d say in my case it’s pretty impossible. Let me fly back to America now, wait 2 months to give birth, leave my job, leave my husband who has to work here in Poland, and then maybe fly back after 3 months when it’s safe for the baby. Right that makes a lot of sense. Not only that, in Poland if you have public health insurance, then you can give birth in the hospital for free. FOR FREE (you can pay for your own midwife and private room but it’s not expensive). I don’t have American health insurance so I’m guessing it would cost upwards of $15,000-20,000, depending on how and where. Maybe the hospital standards are a little lower here, but overall the care seems great, which is what’s really important.
If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment. I can already predict a “the differences in how Americans and Poles raise children” kind of post in the future, so look out for that. I’m sorry for the general lack of posts in recent months but this 10 extra kg I’ve gained is making me more tired than usual!