And now for the final installment of my accouchement story: the part where I talk about the food! Yes, only in France would a story about giving birth include an entire chapter on what I ate during my 4 day sojourn at the hospital.
That’s right: 4 whole days. None of this booting you out the door 5 minutes after the baby comes out crap. No sir. Here they let you rest and relax for half a week, tended to by nurses and midwives and a very sweet butler who brings you meals 3 times a day and doesn’t mind if you’re sitting around in a paper gown and see-through hospital grade mesh underwear.
Or maybe he did mind. But he was nice enough not to say anything about it.
Anyway, this butler (and I call him a butler because he was in fact dressed in a fancy white butler uniform) stopped in to bring this wondrous breakfast tray not long after le bebe was born:
Pastries and jam, fresh squeezed orange juice, tea and a side of pain meds. Just what the doctor ordered.
Then he started going through a laundry list of other offerings: pureed carrots or steamed asparagus? Boeuf bourguignon or lamb chops? Fresh bread or pasta? Camembert or chevre? Chocolate mousse or fromage blanc? It took nearly 5 minutes to make all of my selections, which surely could have covered the rest of my stay. And then he said he’d take my dinner order later.
Oh la la. Speaking of dinner: Do you see that menu close-up? It does in fact say “roasted young guinea fowl with rosemary.” Roasted guinea fowl. From the hospital kitchen. And it was totally delicious!
But before all this talk of hospital luxury totally convinces you that socialized healthcare can indeed be absolutely fabulous, let me remind you that I was at a private hospital that most French citizens would have probably had to pay extra for. Let me also point out that my wonderful private bedroom, complete with cable TV and a hydro-massage shower, did not have air conditioning.
No air conditioning + sweltering mid-afternoon sunshine + sore, sleep-deprived new mother = complete emotional meltdown by day 2 and an utter necessity to lay around in nothing other than the aforementioned mesh underwear while I sweated out what was left of my dignity.
But boy did that guinea fowl taste good…