Friday, May 20, 2011

Having a Baby in Jordan

Well, I am half-way through my 3rd pregnancy!! Today is 20 weeks and counting! We found out last week, Inshallah, in October, we will be having a baby boy!! What has my thoughts pre-occupied these days is deliverying a baby so far from the US healthcare system I am so familiar with.

As a Registered Nurse in the US, I had always heard of and sometimes witnessed the fear of immigrants recieving healthcare in the US. In nursing school, we learned a great deal about how American minorities were sceptical of equal care and immigrants were scared of different ideations on cultural norms presented in the delivery of care. As a lady married to an immigrant, whose non-English speaking Mother-on-law would come stay with us for months at a time, and someone who simply believes in all people...I always did my best to provide the best care to the non-English speaking patients, the immigrants, and the minorities.

Now, the table has turned. I am the immigrant. I am the minority. I am the non-Arabic speaking patient. I am seeking care for the delivery of my 3rd baby, here, in Jordan, a forgein country, a place I currently call home.

Fear you ask? I always feel fear of the unknowns of delivery. Fear of the cultural norms that are un-normal for me...fear, may not be the right word...yet I am nervous.

Intreged you ask? Definately. I am interested on a learning level of what the cultural norms actually are.

Surprised you ask? On many levels, yes. Yet, honestly, I feel farily certain they are similar norms to the US when lets say, my Mother labored her 3 children....30 years ago.

What have you learned so far, you ask? Here is a short list of the differences of labor and delivery in Jordan (generally speaking)...

1-Husbands are not allowed in the room during active labor.

2-You begin in a pre-delivery room where many women are in the same room, you then shift to privately deliver your baby, then to return to a post-delivery area for recovery in a room shared by many women.

3-Delivery by C-Section is done under General Anesthesia, not Spinal Anesthesia.

4-Just as baby is born, Mom is given an injection to 'put her to sleep' until after the placenta is delivered.

5-You do not meet your baby for a few hours...Mom is recovering, baby is bathing and being examined.

6-Baby does not 'room in' with Mom...Baby stays in a nursery and Mom relaxes.

7-You must pay the entire hospital bill before you are discharged...the day of discharge, the hospital keeps baby until you show proof of payment, then you recieve your baby.

8-Cost of deliverying a baby is anywhere from $150-$4500...depending on hospital, normal birth vs c-section, epidural, private room, days spent in the hospital.


What makes me nervous, you ask....
+Being in a room full of other women
+Not having my husband with me
+Other cultural norms that come up that I am not aware of prior.

What will I request to be different from the norms, you ask...
+Not holding/meeting baby immediately after delivery.

+Being put to sleep after delivery (WHAT is that all about?!)
+General anesthesia for Section (WHAT?!...Spinal is safer!)

What am I okay with as long as I know about ahead of time, you ask....
+Paying prior to leaving (this is required of all clinic, lab, hospital visit in Jordan)
+Baby does not 'room-in' with Mom (as long as I have to option to keep baby with me most of the time)

What are the positives, you ask?
+All Physicians and most Registered Nurses speak English well.
+Jordan has the best healthcare in the Middle East
+I really, really like my OB/GYN!!

I will start touring hospitals next week! I will let you know what I find out!