For me the antenatal care so far has been good and I was initially terrified at the thought of having a baby here. Not being able to speak the language to any good level and generally not really understanding the procedures at the hospital was daunting to say the least. My usual lifeline in times of crises (the internet) let me down and I could find nothing of any use online to help me out.
Now I'm getting the hang of it I'm actually preferring it to the antenatal care in the UK (so far!)
In the UK I had my first midwife appointment at 9 weeks with the midwife where she took my bloods and sample and I filled in a ton of paperwork. I can't remember how often I had appointments throughout and I'm not sure when they first listened for the heartbeat but I do know I had 2 scans, one at 12 weeks and one at 22 weeks.
I went to a private clinic (cost 30 euro) for my first scan here as I was unsure of my dates and they scanned me and told me I was 5 weeks pregnant. I then made an appointment at the general hospital. At the first appointment (7 weeks) they did the usual checks and medical history questions, I then had an internal scan to determine the due date.
Next check up at 9 weeks - blood tests, usual checks (sample & blood pressure) and another scan. Doctor said baby was too small to see anything so rescheduled for 2 weeks later for another scan.
At my 16 week check up and scan they told me I was having a boy, apparently most doctors will tell you if it is quite clear. (although I've heard of several who have guessed and got it wrong). Another check up at 20 weeks, with scan but I guess just to check the heartbeat as it was very quick. Unlike my appointments in the UK where the midwife used a doppler to listen for it.
Today I am 22 weeks and it was the much more detailed anomaly scan. At my request they also showed me the delivery suite and maternity ward, (which looks very nice - clean and comfortable with 2 beds to a room, tv, free wi-fi and a gorgeous sea view!) I asked about pain relief and they confirmed what I had already been told - no gas and air used in Cyprus, no epidural, just pethidine, which is in some way reassuring as many people have told me they were offered nothing except paracetamol.
In my quest to find information on birth in Cyprus I've heard many things...
No pain relief, you don't get to have your baby in the room with you after birth, they are very quick to do caesarean births, you have to have an enema before labour, they are quick to give formula feeds without checking, and you HAVE to stay in for 5 days after birth, among other things.
As every birth is different I'm sure that all of the above has often happened but I hope to find out more, yesterday I asked for Mums' here to share their experiences of birth in Cyprus with me and already I'm getting some great (and varied) birth stories. As an expat I find it's very easy to listen to the bad bits and when you maybe have only heard one or two friends experiences it's not a true picture so I hope by getting some more women to share I can show a more balanced view.