As if getting married and moving to Africa wasn’t enough, Mike and I are expecting our first baby in (if you can’t infer from the picture) June 25th!
Needless to say it has been one roller coaster of a ride. So, if you’re not good with numbers, like me, this means that for all of the stories highlighting our crazy adventures while in Malawi, I’ve been pregnant. Unfortunately for me, this meant I was sick on top of all the craziness every single day of my first trimester, but have settled in during my second trimester and thank God there’s not constant morning sickness…ugh.
Last Sunday Mike and I had our twenty week check-up and everything looked really great with Baby Miller. I think the baby looks just like Mike, but he says that I can’t tell from the ultrasound. Either way, we are very blessed to know that our baby is growing like a weed and kicking like a…well, future soccer player.
Mike is very set on the fact that we will NOT find out the gender of the baby until the baby is born. This is an exciting decision that we’ve made and this means that Mike gets to play a special role at the delivery by calling the sex of the baby. I’m glad that I will be able to give him that special moment with our child.
We have decided to have the baby in Malawi (I mean really, can you imagine traveling for 2.5 days while heavily pregnant AND paying for the delivery in the United States?). We are going to Mwaiwathu a private hospital in town and will be delivery the little peanut in the Mphatso ward. Mphatso is the Chichewa word for “gift” because babies are a gift from God. Did I mention the delivery, without insurance, will cost us $700 USD? That is an obvious selling point for my financially-suave husband.
Our doctor, Frank Taulo, a local Malawian, is a great man and always seems to know just how to calm our nerves, his response to almost everything is, “it will be alright, do not worry.” So, we don’t worry and everything has been going really well. We are also beginning to work with a woman named Demelza who is helping us prepare a birth plan and find a doula that is right for us.
To put this in plain English, a birth plan is needed in Malawi when you are going into something like a delivery (well, if you’re an expat anyway). Our birth plan will outline our desires for the delivery for example, NO caesarean unless absolutely necessary! Or doctor will not call out the sex, this will be left to Mike. These wishes are communicated to the doctor prior to the delivery to ensure everything runs smoothly.
A doula is what Americans would consider a mid-wife. Our doula (who we meet on Saturday over coffee) will be in the delivery room with us the entire time. She will be there to help ensure our wishes are being communicated and are being followed and so that if a hard decision has to be made, Mike isn’t alone in the decision.
It’s obviously difficult to be in a foreign country having your first child while all of your family is at home, but I am SO thankful for the people here who have helped us feel like family.