When my husband and I first got married over 10 years ago, we talked about one day moving to Costa Rica and having a home there. Well, three year ago we did it! We had to downsize our businesses to get a stable income from our online work so we could basically live anywhere we chose with an internet connection.
Over three years ago when we first found out we were pregnant with our second child we decided to put the plan into action. By having a baby in Costa Rica we would be able to apply for residency and avoid the 4 trips out of the country a year to renew our tourist visas. This would also give our new child more options to choose from as far as where they would like to raise there family in 20-30 years.
Arriving to Costa Rica
We arrived in Costa Rica when I was 7 months pregnant and I immediately made a prenatal appointment with a doctor. The OB/GYN we chose was Dr. Paer Singer out of Escazu. We had met a few women who had highly recommended him and many more once we got here. It’s funny because I think he has quite a handle on the foreigner market here in CR.
His office was easy to find, right down the street from the Multi Plaza mall at the Medi Plaza. All of our visits included a 4d sonogram which we got pictures and a CD of to keep. He was very reasonably priced for the office visits as well as the delivery fee at the hospital. Especially compared to the rates you would pay with insurance in the States. We have since met friends that had a different opinion of Dr. Paer but overall I would still highly recommend him as a doctor to anyone planning on having a baby here in Costa Rica.
Dr. Paer delivers at all the private hospitals in San Jose and we checked out two of them, Hospital Biblica downtown San Jose, and Hospital Cima right off the highway in Escazu. Both hospitals were very nice and comparable to any first rate hospital in the States. We were able to take tours of each and speak with the accounting department to get price estimates which were very similar. Although, Biblica did offer a hair blowout and makeup application for the mother after delivery! We decided to go with Cima due to the fact that its location made it much easier to access for us.
Having a Baby in Costa Rica
I had a normal uneventful pregnancy, and when the due date came and went I wasn’t too surprised because my first went over a week and I ended up inducing with castor oil. Four days after the due date we had a super moon, which is a full moon but the closest one of the year to the earth. Super moons cause extremely low and high tides on account of a gravitational pull and according to labor and delivery nurses induce labor in many women. This was the case for me.
That night when the moon was directly overhead at 12:00AM my water broke, but slowly. I could tell something was going on but didn’t want to wake my husband up, because once I did, I know neither of us would be able to get any sleep. So around 4:00 he could tell something was up and we woke up to start getting everything together for the hospital. My Mom was visiting so she watched our son and we took off for the hospital around 8:00.
I still hadn’t started contractions yet so I wasn’t sure if they were going to admit me or not. We went up to the labor and delivery floor and they hooked me up to the monitors for 30 minutes then checked my dilatation, 1cm. They did confirm that my water had broken so they did want me to check into the hospital. We went downstairs and checked into the hospital with admissions. They had us put $2000 on our credit card as a deposit and then my husband and I had some breakfast at the café before we went up to our room.
Our hospital room was very nice, spacious and private. It had a cable on the flat screen TV, a private bathroom, and a huge comfortable couch bed for my husband to sleep on. We hung out in the room waiting for contractions to start naturally but at 1:00 the doctor started me on a pictocin drip to get things moving and avoid infection since my water had broken. Contractions started slowly for a few hours then the nurse upped the dosage and things started moving quickly. Before things got to painful we skyped with both our families to update them on my progress.
The Birth Experience
By 6:00 I was in a lot of pain and ready for the epidural but the doctor wanted me to be 5cm dilated before that could happen. The nurse suggested a shower and that loosened me up enough to be yelling for the anesthesiologist! I was now 7cm and the anesthesiologist hooked me up to the sweet sweet pain reliving nectar of the gods aka the epidural! It worked like a charm and I was able to eat a little dinner and make some coherent conversation.
Around 8:00 Dr. Paer, the anesthesiologist, and our pediatrician were all hanging out in the room chatting and getting ready to get down to business. I started pushing around 8:45 and was administered a bit more epidural and although I would have liked more, the doctor wanted me to still have feeling down there to recognize when I should push myself. Dr. Paer was awesome and allowed me to control the birth and basically just told me to slow down on the pushing near the end so as not to tear. When her head did come out, the cord was around her neck so he got her out quick and laid her on my chest. She was bright blue but perfect in every way. Isabel Raines Coburn was born at 10:04 on May 6, 2012.
Our pediatrician took her after we had some bonding time to be measured, weighed, and all that good stuff. They were surprised to tell us she weighed 9lbs 10oz! She was a big little girl, and I think most of it was in her cheeks! She nursed immediately and after some celebrating we were left to sleep in peace for the remainder of the night
The next day we were served a congratulatory lunch of our choice served on a fancy table with a bottle of wine and dessert, not something you’d see in the States! After that we finished all the obligatory paperwork were refunded $400 from our deposit! We strapped her in the car seat and were off in just a little over a 24hour stay.
Great Experience Having a Baby in Costa Rica
All in all I would say that I was very pleased with our experience having a baby in Costa Rica at Cima Hospital. The benefits being the cost, the service and accommodations and the only downside being that hardly any English was spoken by the staff. We were sent home with a boatload of giveaways and goodies and warm wishes!
Our baby is now a thriving 2 year old toddler.