that my fear is not that unusual – many people have a fear of visiting dentists or
going to the doctor. My fear has however intensified since moving to China. When we
first arrived, we had to go have a medical done. This is just a nonsensical
step that China require for us to get a working visa. We have to have one done
in the country that we are coming from, and then AGAIN when we get to China… Just in
case while you fly over to China you catch some sort of contagious disease, or
perhaps your blood type may miraculously change overnight! During those tests I
put up a fuss because the lady taking my blood wouldn’t wear gloves when she
was drawing my blood. It freaked me out that she was moving from person to
person, with no gloves on, while handling needles and blood. Even at “the best
hospital in Qingdao” where I will be delivering my baby next month, the women
drawing blood DO NOT wear gloves when they do so.
It seems to be “the Chinese way” – Just do, don’t ask why! In fact, asking why
provokes annoyance and frustration from those who you are asking. Doctors don’t
like to be questioned. Officials couldn’t be bothered to listen to anything
that you have to say. And those in positions of leadership at school or work
don’t have time to entertain any responses from those under them. Over here,
you are supposed to fall into line, and most people living here have learnt to
procedures, and “obey without questioning” when it’s not worth fighting. This only really became a major
issue for me when I fell pregnant and realized that doctors – who already lack
any form of bedside manner – DO NOT like explaining their reasoning for doing
anything. Even when you have done your research and know what is necessary, doctors will not give reasons for wanting to run numerous tests.
nervous about having a baby in China. A couple of weeks ago, I was told that if
I didn’t take the ‘VIP package’ at the hospital, I would not be appointed a
“good doctor” or “good nurses”. Wow, okay! Does that mean that if I can’t afford to pay
40,000rmb ($6,500) for a fancy room, then I don’t get a competent doctor? What kind
doctor even says that to a patient?? It felt like this particular doctor was
blackmailing me! When we tried to tell this same doctor that we didn’t want certain tests done, she said, “Oh so you’re the doctor now, not me!?” It seems like all this particular doctor can give is attitude. No compassion, no kindness, and no reasoning. I have never been asked any questions about how I’m feeling or if things are going okay. Once, for an internal examination, the doctor told me to sit on a chair that had blood drops down the sit of it. I was tense, as I always am in these situations, and she told me “RELAX!” in a very rude tone. Oh my word – what will it be like when I’m having contractions, or trying to deliver the baby?
China. I try to ignore my fears and trust that God will take care of my baby
and I. But sometimes the pregnancy hormones kick in and I have completely
horrifying dreams that pollute my mind and scare me half to death. I woke up
early on Monday morning and I started thinking about how soon our little one will be
here. As I dozed back to sleep my thoughts turned to nightmares as my mind
graphically when into overdrive on all the things that could possibly go wrong. And these things were not terrible life-threatening things, but more just awkward situations that I never want to face! I’m worried about how I will be treated when I’m in pain, when I’m trying to deliver my baby, and when I’m in the hospital recovering. There are all kinds of irrational rules here surrounding pregnancy and childbirth – for example, a women shouldn’t shower or bathe for a whole month after having a baby!! What’s the medical reasoning behind that? Well, if you ask they will just say, “It’s not good for you!” I’m sure you can see why I’m worried about being placed in the care of people who believe such crazy things.
There are so many foreigners that have had babies here, most of them in the same hospital that I will be delivering in. And yet that fact brings me very little peace because whenever I go there I notice the dirty bathrooms, the lack of privacy during check ups, the doctors devoid of bedside manner, and of course, the fact that I am in a country where I do not understand anything that is being said around me. All of this results in me feeling overwhelmed. I would consider having my baby at home if I could, just to avoid the hospital, but that is illegal here in China.
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So this is where I stand: The weeks are flying by. Baby will be here soon. I’m starting to get very scared of giving birth in a Chinese hospital. I’m praying for peace. Praying for calmness. And praying for kind nurses who will make me feel at ease. Justin knows what I want and don’t want and I know that he will fight for me to be happy and comfortable, so I’m thankful that he will be there. If the nightmares and bad thoughts would stay away I know that I could move forward. I just need to learn to trust God and know that He is with me though all of this. But I’m not there yet. For now, I’m just plain petrified!