Friday, August 20, 2010

Childbirth in China

I spent a couple hours in labor and delivery a few weeks ago. I had just turned 36 weeks, so they sent me there to stop my contractions and hopefully get this baby to hang out for another week at least. This was the first time we saw the hospital where the baby would be born and we had to laugh at how different this place was than the last place I gave birth. I wish we had taken more pictures of the hospital in China, but at the time we were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and thought we would never want to see that place again...even in pictures. Why were we suffering from PTSD? Well, I was getting over having a "natural" c section, and my husband was getting over being offered my placenta for dinner. Long story short, I ended up having to have an emergency c section and they would not allow my husband or my translator in the room with me. The epidural they gave me did not work and they did not understand that I was feeling everything! After screaming bloody murder after the initial cut they eventually put me to sleep. It was a nightmare, and recovery was even worse because they would not give me any pain medicine...not even tylenol, and treated my stomach like this... (I just learned how to add video to this blog, can you tell??) In between the "kneading" of my post surgery abdomen they placed a 3 lb bag of sand on said stomach (again, with no pain medicine...not even tylenol in case you forgot that part). My wonderfully protective husband couldn't handle the screams and yelled at the nurses not to touch me anymore and threw the bag of sand on the floor. I am pretty sure at this point they are as ready for us to leave as we are ready to, but it would be 8 more days before we were released from what we thought at the time was a place very similar to hell. Yeah, 8 days is a standard stay after a c section in China. Kill me now. Anyway, JM took this little video to give you an idea of what the hospital was like. What you don't get to see here is the blood stained bedding we had, and the fact that we had to bring EVERYTHING with us to the hospital. When I say everything, I mean even our own toilet paper and a baby bath tub, so they would give our little Mae her first bath (actually JM ended up giving Mae her first bath because the nurses weren't going to do it for 48 hours).
Again, I really wish we would have documented every second in pictures, but we were just trying to make it through the craziness that it was. Now, looking back, we laugh at it and feel totally blessed by the situation. It is really amazing to see how God can bring us from a point of suffering and misery to complete healing and joy. We now know God in a totally new and intimate way because of it, and honestly wouldn't change what happened at all. Well, JM still probably wishes the placenta incident did not occur, and it is not changing the fact that we are grateful for the hospital where our third and final daughter will be born. Here is a list of just a few things I am grateful for:

1. I will not be attached to an IV for 8 days for no real reason whatsoever. (this picture was taken on day 7, and please ignore my horrible

2. The other dads won't be smoking in the hall.

3. I won't have to walk down that smokey hall to use the microwave for the food that we had to provide ourselves.

4. The pediatricians will know that "white babies can get jaundice"

(note how the color of her skin is remarkably similar to that of an oompa loompa)

5. There will be pain medicine. Lots of pain medicine!!!

6. Having another precious daughter to hold and rock and put tiny socks on! (honestly people there is nothing cuter than newborn baby socks. Just try to look at them without smiling... or crying...either response is appropriate!)


  1. socks!!!

  2. Oh my gosh, a bag of sand?! And I thought it was nutty when I was induced the first time around because my doctor 'Doesn't do weekends'. Wow. I bet this time around looks like a cakewalk.

  3. I know! This time around is going to be like a spa weekend compared to the last! :)

  4. Oh my gosh, I don't even know what to think right now. That is absolutely horrific!!!! At least you will never have to go through that experience again. I feel sick to my stomach right now...

  5. You're so brave! I lived in China for a year and it was bad enough to get the physical I had to get to go to school! Then, I begged for pain meds when I had both of my girls! I'm glad I found your blog and am looking forward to keeping up with you!