Wed. Aug. 22nd our little boy arrived, his name is River (named after the Mekong River..)
Although most of my expat friends thought I was crazy, I had a natural non-medicated birth in a Lao hospital. But Lao hospitals, perhaps because the lack the resources of the hospitals in the West are actually very accommodating to birthing mothers. I love my doctor :) My labor was 11 hours, most of it walking and standing, squatting letting gravity do it's thing. Meditations and visualizations helped more than I can say with working through the pain. Only during the actual delivery did I lay down. I also was able to have both my husband and my doula in the room with me and La was able to help "catch" River.
Since I was one of the first foreigners to have a baby at this hospital, soon afterward River was celebrity with the nurses and their cameras. :D I must admit, language was the biggest challenge. I'm not 100% sure I'd give birth in a hospital again where I can't freely communicate. (Being fluent in a language is one thing, but hospital speak is it's own language.)
After River was born we stayed in the hospital 1 night then came home to grandma and her postpartum care. (Hot herbal baths and Herbal teas.) Originally I was going to also observe the 2 week tradition of laying near the fire (literally) but for me personally, I wanted to be the one taking care of my baby at all times. Also, to be honest, I wasn't fond of the idea of sleeping in my outdoor Lao kitchen, the same place we found a cobra 2 months ago. :/ If I could have been indoors, then maybe.
This photo is making the traditional herbal bathwater. Mom's bath for at least 15 days with this. (no soap, no rinsing.) We also drink medicinal teas to help promote milk flow during that time. No cold drinks allowed. There are also food restrictions, but these vary according to province. Khamla bought be special free range chicken from the neighbors that I ate with ginger and sticky rice. I did however consume some "falang" (western food) during this time.. after all this girl needs a pizza now and then. ; )