Being born three weeks early, Joaquin has a lot of growing to do, so he spends a lot of time sleeping and eating. Only problem is, he'd rather do his sleeping during the day and his eating at night. Could this possibly be the result of our Spanish nurses deciding to bathe him every night at midnight from the day he was born, thereby fully arousing his senses and confusing his little internal clock? I don't know, but I do know they do a few things differently at the hospitals here in Spain. And since Spain is a country so steeped in tradition everyone already expects you to understand the processes and procedures, and many Spaniards are not used to having to provide answers or having their assumptions challenged.
For example, while Eryka was in labor, one of the pediatric nurses came to us to ask for clothing and diapers for the baby when he was born. We were utterly confused, since in all our other birthing experiences, the hospital had provided basic clothing and diapers for our children when they were born. Luckily, Eryka had brought a few outfits for when we brought Joaquin home, but diapers? We never would have imagined we needed to bring our own diapers. When I mentioned my confusion to the doctor, he was actually a little confused as well. When he looked into it, he said they have diapers at the hospital, they just charge such high rates for them and since a lot of people are paying their own bill (because it's a private, as opposed to public hospital), they opt to bring their own diapers and their own clothes. We learned from our friends later that all this stuff is provided at public hospitals in Spain (100% covered by the govt.) and is also available at private hospitals, but most people who come to private hospitals are rich and want to dress baby in their own clothes. I guess we just didn't understand the system and no one made it very clear to us before the big day - we were just expected to know how it works. So we may not have a clue about delivering babies in Spanish private hospitals, but at least we had a well-manicured garden just off of our room.
The garden outside the recovery rooms in the maternity ward of the hospital.
We're also supposed to already know how to register our boy with the civil registry. In Maryland and New York, a nurse would help us fill out the necessary paperwork and send it into the state. Here, we're given a sheet with the doctor's signature and Eryka's and Joaquin's fingerprints on which we need to fill in our information, but we had no clue where we were supposed to take it, and no one from the hospital seemed to know. I had to have my secretary track down the information for me. And incidentally, we don't get to choose Joaquin's last name, since the naming convention in Spain is to assign two last names based on Mom's and Dad's first and last names, respectively. So Joaquin's full name in Spain will be Joaquin Alexander Glover Glover. Don't worry, we'll drop the second last name for his paperwork in the States.