Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pregnancy in Abu Dhabi

We have gotten moved to Ruwais and, in addition to unpacking and a figuring out where things are around here, I'm needing to learn about birthing options in Abu Dhabi. Birth with a medical professional or trained midwife at home is against the law here, so the only other legal option is to try to find a natural-birth friendly doctor (which sounds like a paradox, but I'm hoping it isn't) and hope for the best in a hospital. If one goes in with a doctor-signed birth plan stating some basic necessities of birth like: no IV, no epidural, freedom to move around, no episiotomy and no shots for the baby, I've heard that it is able to carry a lot of weight, but you definitely need someone to support you there so you don't have to fight for a natural birth at the same time you are in labor. 

Whatever your position on birth, the fact that an intervention-free, natural birth is greatly inhibited in a hospital surrounded by the medical mentality is something I find undeniable. The fact that it's not even a choice at home is a complicated issue: sex outside of marriage is illegal here, thus, birth without a proper marriage license can send both the mother and the baby to jail. Because hospitals are institutions where this sort of paperwork is checked out, and turned in to the police if necessary, a home birth would make the government assume that there were legal reasons for avoiding the hospital. If a baby is born before one could get to the hospital, the parents have to go through the court, or to the nearest hospital after the birth and prove that 1) the mother and father were married and 2) that the baby actually came out of the mother's body, sometimes meaning placenta testing.
A friend gave me this shirt which reads: "Pregnant is the new skinny" Ha.

There's a lot to think and pray about. If there was one thing I did not want to do in Abu Dhabi, it was to give birth surrounded by this mindset. I am hoping that my midwife can come anyways and, if not, that between Ben and a doula the hospital will leave me alone and just let me birth my baby they way a body was created to. Obviously, there's only a limited amount of this within my control, and the part that isn't I'm trying daily to leave in God's hands and to be excited about this new addition to our family in late April. I'd appreciate your prayers as well. :)

First trimester is closing this week! It's nice to have some energy back!


  1. Congratualtions! boy that sounds really complicated. Hope it all works out, keep us posted!

  2. Congratulations! I hope you are able to have the birth you want!