Sometimes we set off on a great journey and we don’t even realize it’s happening. The beginning can be so subtle or such a tiny hint at what’s to come we can’t know we just embarked on a path that with transform us.
In March 2010 I stood in our bathroom in Hungary shaking with anticipation, waiting for Ryan to tell me if there was one line or two on the pregnancy test.
I knew this marked the beginning of my journey of motherhood, one that would change my life and me in ways that nothing else could.
I didn’t know that I was starting another journey at the same time. That journey would also become part of my identity, a defining part of my story.
Eight months later our daughter was born in Hungary.
In April 2012 I stood our bathroom in Ottawa, Canada shaking with anticipation, waiting for Ryan to tell me if there was a plus or negative on the pregnancy test.
Seven months later our son was born in Canada.
In September 2014 I stood our bathroom in Oregon shaking with anticipation, waiting for Ryan to tell me if there was a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the pregnancy test.
One week later we moved to Macedonia.
Deciding to continue with the move was an easy decision for us, a no-brainer, really. Because I had already been pregnant and given birth in two other countries, and one that I assumed would at least be similar to Macedonia, I felt comfortable with the idea. And everything for our move had come together in ways that left us shaking our heads in awe of our Provider God, knowing he had taken care of every last detail. He had given us everything we needed for the move, he will provide everything we need for the pregnancy and birth.
We also had the unconditional support of both sets of our parents, a huge plus. They sent us off with their blessing, covering us in their prayers.
I’m 12 weeks and in many ways it’s been a lot: pregnant+culture shock+two small children= a grueling trifecta. But by God’s grace I have the most amazing pregnancy genes, which means I don’t feel pregnant (other than insomnia – ugh). I think if I had bad morning sickness or was exhausted all the time I would probably already have been on a plane back to Oregon.
I’ve started seeing an OB here and this is where my concerns kick in. My ideal birth would be at home with no interventions or drugs. But my previous births were a c-section and 5 weeks early VBAC (you can read about Eleanor’s here and Edward’s here). So I don’t have the greatest labor and delivery track record and now I’m in the care of someone whom I’m certain doesn’t share many of my ideals and probably isn’t used to patients wanting to do things her way and not by hospital protocol. But my OB said he’s comfortable with me delivering vaginially (most OBs here aren’t after a c-section) and he allows labor to take it’s time and he has the lowest c-section rate in the hospital, all very good things. I still might have to stick up for myself to make sure the pregnancy, labor and delivery remain in my control but I’m ready.
(If things do get complicated or I feel uncomfortable delivering here I will return to Oregon. As much as I think it’d be super cool to say ‘I had three babies in three foreign countries’, the baby’s and my health come first.)
I never expected to embark on a journey that would lead to all my children being born in different countries or that these experiences would shape and define me in the ways they have. I don’t know where this journey is leading (though I wouldn’t mind if it lead to a book deal!) but I hope I can encourage women giving birth both abroad and in their home countries. I’m going to chronicle my experience here and share how it differed and was similar to Hungary and Canada.
I’m excited for this next phase of my journey and I look forward to sharing it with you!