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Birth...different vs. same

Family, Pregnancyemily kisa10 Comments

When I travel I embrace the differences I find in a culture. A different way of doing things, making things, different food, and ideas. I can honestly say I have been saddened at times to find some big foreign cities looking a little to much like America but the part America I don't care for either with strip malls and fast food joints.

But the longer I live abroad the more of a treat it is to drink an OCCASIONAL Starbucks or order a Mcdonald's cheeseburger...the familiar...

We went to the doctor yesterday. We had our ultrasound and got to see our little one. The doctor said she is looking really healthy and tall, inşallah! I am feeling good and so is my husband so I know this is what is important but...

About a month ago I asked our doctor about hospitals and informed her I want a natural birth as long as everything is going well. She said the local Didim hospital was fine for natural births and that we had plenty of time to think about all that(still three months at the time). So we just touched on it lightly then.

Well we went yesterday(a month later) and I asked again about the hospital. She started to describe it...

One room you labor in with two beds and maybe you are alone or maybe another women is laboring in there with you...ok...then she proceeds to say that no one is allowed in the room- especially men- meaning even my husband can't come in...ok...fight back the tears emily...She said I would be in the room by myself with a mid-wife who speaks only Turkish occasionally being checked on by her, my doctor(who speaks English and has been really good so far for the record). After I labor the baby out(which can take several hours), basically by myself with no laboring partner which is typical in America-a partner, I am then watched for 6 hours and then moved to my private room where my husband can come in finally with other family....

I couldn't hold them back anymore! Balling hysterically! This news brought visions of myself in an impersonal, inhospitable concrete room since all buildings are made of concrete around here-the paint chipping away-as it often does. The room is hot in temperature most likely since "we"(meaning they) wouldn't want me or the baby to get sick- remember there is this fear of the cold in this culture. Me-alone except for a strange mid-wife who only speaks Turkish to hold my hand and smile at me. All while confined to the bed and not allowed to move(even though I want to be moving and changing positions alot) until I painfully pop my first child out all while some other Turkish lady lay laboring next to me. All with just a Turkish toilet in the hall to use. And I can only see my husband and in-laws 6 hours after the whole ordeal. No husband or support to swear at, to massage me, to get me cold water, to make me laugh when I want to cry. Or to speak English with!

This is all still two months away. I know I am partially just being a hormonal pregnant woman and picturing the worst but partially this sounds awful and like nightmare not a beautiful birthing experience. I also just get sad some days that I am having our child miles away from my family and my mom and sister can't come here anymore even though it is for very important reasons. Although my dear friend and her mother have offered to come...but will they be allowed in?

I know that people have been having babies for millions of years under much less glamorous circumstances but I am just scared. It is my first baby, far from home and my only real family/support here, my husband is not allowed next to me. I just want to feel comfortable and at least slightly in control of the whole situation.

In USA, and England I know for sure, it is common for you and your labor partner(most likely your husband) to go through birthing classes together where you learn what to expect for the most part. How to breath through the contractions, how your partner can help you through them with holding techniques, coaching and massage. Your partner is always allowed in the room with you. Also most people write a birthing plan- a letter stating their wants and needs for the birth. It can be looked at as a beautiful bonding experience instead of just lonely painful one while my husband smokes cigarettes outside unaware of what is happening.

In Turkey they have nothing like this. No preparatory classes. Ok so rarely. I wonder if this is why so many of the women I have talked to chose cesarean sections over natural births-FEAR-fear of the unknown?

As I balled in the doctors office my doctor assured me several times she would help me but how exactly? She also reminded me that I speak Turkish- but not that well I reminded her! My husband and my mother-in-law both assured me they would find a way into the room by contacting the head of the hospital or stealing doctors lab coats to sneak in. I know they will do it too:)

I know it will all get worked out. Our baby will come. I need to build myself up and hold strong to what I want though!

We are going to go see the hospital next week so I can actually picture myself in the "dreaded room". Does my baby stay with me after she is born? This is important to me. Also if I still don't feel comfortable with it all we will have to find a different hospital.

There I wrote it down, I released it, Now I need to move forward and know my baby will be coming soon whether I love my laboring situation or not.

The most important is that she is healthy. She is moving right now as I sit still feverishly typing this all out:)

And to relate it back to the top...different is good. I still love and appreciate the differences between Turkish life and my American life but this is one time I want Starbucks to come to me or what ever -I want the same- The familiar- -how I always imagined it-I want my birthing classes, my husband informed and with me at the birth. Empowerment. Deep breathes!

We are getting her room ready!