Giving Birth in Thailand

Giving birth in Thailand

A few months ago, I wrote a letter of hope “To My Unborn Child,” not knowing what to expect when  “expecting” in a foreign country.

In the midst of uncertainty, I came to the conclusion that faith does not need a back-up plan.

Today, I would like to share a testimony of how it all worked out – giving glory to God for taking care of every detail.  He is faithful.

I woke up at 3 o’clock on the morning of my 29th birthday on Dec. 24 with a strong contraction, thinking “this would be an interesting day to have a baby.”  Trying not to wake my husband, I paced up and down the corridor breathing through the contractions which became stronger and longer.

I’d decided to endure labour at home as long as possible to avoid any unnecessary interventions by the medical team at the hospital.  I wanted to have a natural birth, believing that it is all part of God’s design for a woman.  Pain (a reminder of our sinful nature) is simply part of the process and the promise.

“To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception:  In pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

At 6 o’clock, my husband was up, and I told him that today was the day.  We had previously decided to go “local” by giving birth at the government hospital about 1 km from our house in the small rural community where we live.  I could have called one of my Thai friends to take me to the hospital (with a car), so I sent my husband off to work on his motorcycle and instructed him to “stand-by” at school just in case.

Around 8 o’clock I knew it was time to go to the hospital.  I phoned my husband and figured we might as well go to the hospital together.  So, I jumped on the back of his bike, hospital bag over my shoulder, and we sped off for the hospital.  It wasn’t so funny at the time, but it turned into quite a precious memory.

When we arrived at the hospital, I bumped into one of the foreign volunteers I met at the orphanage where I also volunteer.  She was with one of her Thai friends who could speak very good English.  They were God-sent at the right time and place to help with the admissions procedures since most hospital staff speak little or no English.

Miraculously, the head nurse and midwife could speak English.

It helped that I had my birth plan translated into Thai in advance, although I suspect that they thought I was a little bit crazy for wanting a natural birth without any pain intervention.

As a side note, Thais will avoid pain at all costs and most of them go for a c-section to also be able to choose the birth date since they are very superstitious when it comes to numbers and dates. Obviously, Thais did not view the 24th of December as an auspicious date to give birth because I was the only one in the ward…. Of course this also worked in my favor because there were more staff available and little pressure for the baby to comply with anyone’s time schedule.

They gave me the freedom to move around as much as I wanted. My husband was also allowed to be present in the delivery room (rare for Thai fathers) as I gave birth a few hours later at 12:10 pm to a beautiful baby boy.

Joshua

At that point, I was beyond relieved and grateful that everything went so well, which was totally unexpected based on my misconceptions about Thai hospitals… Especially when I was taken to a VIP room to rest after my delivery.  (See picture below.)

hospital room

The total cost of labour, delivery, and two nights in the private VIP room turned out to be a mere fraction of what one would expect to pay in the West or at any private hospital in South Africa for that matter.

Even if I had had a back-up plan, it could not have been better than the plan God had for me.  

I believe this is also true for you.

God never promised an easy life, or an easy delivery in childbirth, but the end blessing of letting God take control is well worth it.

After four weeks of breastfeeding, nappy-changing, and semi-sleepless nights, I am still in awe of the way God has designed us to be able to handle it all.

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:11-13

I behold this sweet little face of this babe I hold in my arms and pray that he will also have faith for life’s journey ahead of him, because faith will be all he will need.  

It’s all we all really need.

PS! If you enjoyed reading this, you may like my book A story of Pregnancy and Faith: In Hope of what we cannot see.

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