Delivery in Amman

Preparing for delivering a baby can be nerve-wracking.  There is so much an expecting mother tries to prepare for, yet there is so much uncertainty.  Now, preparing to deliver a baby in a foreign country can be even more unpredictable – You are not familiar with the norms and the norms you are expecting may be completely foreign to where you are. 

Thankfully, I belong to a wonderful list-serve for expat women who live in Jordan.  In the list-serve we bounce questions and ideas back and forth between the women,  Here we learn from the knowledge and experiences of each other.  When I made the decision to deliver my third baby in Jordan, I asked the ladies about their experiences in delivering their babies in Jordan.  The responses were overwhelming!  As you can imagine, any time you ask a group of women about their birthing experience, they will share their experience…when you ask a group of women about their experience delivering in a foreign country, their sharing is exponential!  Here is my previous blog detailing the different experiences of other women who delivered in Jordan: http://bedtimestoriesfromjordan.blogspot.com/2011/05/having-baby-in-jordan.html

I made notes of all the responses and made special notes about the different norms and expectations.  I thought a lot about these difference and put them in categories: What I Don’t Mind, What I Mind, What I Cannot Live With.  I brought the list of “What I Cannot Live With” to my OB-GYN to discuss them with her.  I knew I had chosen a progressive physician, who would honor my preferences.  Alhumdillah, she did honor each of my requests.  She wrote notes on the front of my chart and on my pre-admission notes of my preference to ensure that I received the care that I requested.  Once I arrived to the hospital, all the staff were aware of my requests (as they were now Orders from my OB-GYN) and mostly they abided by them.  As expected, there were differences that were experienced.  Here are the experience of differences during my delivery in Amman:

  • There are First Class, Second Class, and Third Class Rooms.  First class is a private room, where as the others can have 2-4 other women sharing your pre and post delivery room (delivery always happens in the Operating Room/Theater.
  • I was not required to sign a Consent for Surgery for my C-Section.
  • Upon having a C-Section you have the choice of General Anesthesia and Spinal Anesthesia.
  • The Operating Room/Theater was a room on its own; however, there was an open door between my OR Theater and two other OR Theaters!  I could see movement and hear conversations of the C-Section going on next door.  Not only strange, but an infection issue wouldn’t you think?!
  • My insurance only covered 2 nights after my c-section (which is common stay after c-section).
  • Babies are kept in the Nursery rather than in Mother’s room.  I requested baby to ‘room in’ with me, and this was not only strange for the nursing staff, but one night the nurses refused to return my baby to me because as I was told, “All babies go to the nursery after 1000 pm”.
  • No Education is provided to the patient and/or the family.  I had to be proactive to ask questions, and most clinicians find it strange when you ask questions because it is not common practice.
  • Registered Nurses have very poor clinical skills.
  • You must pay the entire hospital bill prior to being discharged from the hospital.

Overall, my experience, although somewhat different, was good.  The OB-GYN I had chosen was wonderful and the hospital staff were, although less clinically proficient, were extremely friendly.  I am grateful that I did my research prior to deliverying in Amman – because most of that which was different, was as I learned and therefore expected.  And, Alhumdillah, at the end of the day, I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby!!

We Welcome Little Abdallah!

Around 9:45am on September 24, 2011 we welcomed the third child to our family.  At 6 pounds 9 ounces, and 20 inches long, we named him Abdallah Yanal Almanasir.  Abdallah is a name we have had since our first was born, it’s literal translation is Servant of Allah/God.  We love the meaning and pray that his name will define who he is.

In the 10 days that we have known our little guy, I will do my best to describe his little developing personality.  I call him my “Little Cuddle Bug”.  The first time he wrapped his tiny fingers around my finger, he pulled my hand closer into his chest and closed his eyes – as though to cuddle with me.  He loves to be held and refuses to sleep any other way.  I love to feed him and as he drifts off to sleep he smoothers his face into me.  I hold him close as he sleeps and his eyes open slightly to check that I am still there.  When I lay him down in the crib, his eyes open and refuses to be left alone.  Tonight we put the infant swing together and hope that he will get more comfort in its rocking him to sleep.

His dimples melt my heart.  He has two very defined dimples that are too cute to ignore.  Interestingly, as I looked at my husbands face the other night, I noticed for the first time, that he too has dimples on each cheek – interesting how 14 years can go by and this was just discovered.

Mashallah, he is strong, like his brother.  I remember when his brother was a newborn and how impressed we were that he could hold his head up after a few days.  Little Abdallah is doing the same.  More so, I put him on his little tummy for tummy time, at 8 days old, and he could not only hold his head up, but could turn his head from side to side.

He is determined and patient.  As he is learning how to nurse, Mom can see and feel that he is frustrated but determined.  He does not cry, rather continues to try – knowing that he willgrab hold if he continues to try.

Lastly, he is a Momma’s boy.  This was apparent from the moment he was born.  As all little ones cry when they first experience the outside world, so did my little Abdallah.  He cried, and cried loud, as the pediatrician was assessing him.  Once he was cleaned and assessed, the physician put him in my arms.  His cries immediately stopped with the sound of my voice.  I think from that moment, we both fell in love.

When my first son was a newborn, each time I held him, I felt that he gave me strength.  After 2.5 years, this feeling of strength has been true of his strong personality.  Each time I hold my new little guy, I have an overwelming feeling of love.  I not only have an overwelming feeling of love for him, but for my other children and husband as well.  Alhumdillah, Thank Allah/God, for blessing our family and may he bless your families as well.

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