So here we are at the 32-week mark and things are getting exciting! I was just telling Urbndervish that it’s a good thing pregnancy doesn’t happen overnight because it might be frightening to experience so many changes so rapidly. Every once in a while I look in the mirror and think “Whoa! I’m really pregnant! How did all of this happen?” Truthfully, the whole experience has been a series of amazing discoveries. Our little somebody went from being so small and undetectable to being a robust somebody that I can feel growing, pulsing, and moving every day. It’s an irreproducible experience to nurture a life inside of you, while it’s also quite a responsibility. I try to be conscious of all of the inputs in my environment, as well as her environment: diet, activity, worship, feelings, thoughts, speech, rest, companionship, etc. A child in your womb absorbs all of these influences, so a woman needs to be even more diligently aware of her material and spiritual well-being at this special time.
The challenge for us now is reconciling the birthing experience we anticipated, with the birthing options available. We were hoping for a midwife-assisted, home birth. Some may find this a bit crazy but when you read the statistical outcomes of home births for low-risk pregnancies, you might reconsider. Unfortunately, home births are not allowed in Oman and we haven’t found any loopholes to get around that. Therefore, in the absence of birthing clinics, the hospital is our only option, so we’re preparing and educating ourselves about how to make the most of our circumstances. It seems that most women who birth here simply submit to whatever the medical institutions prescribe for the birth but that’s not so easy for us. We’re a bit more cautious about following the status quo, not for the sake of being rebellious, but simply realizing that some routine procedures and protocols have not proven to be best for a child or mother. Urbndervish often recalls how the experience of birth changed once male dominance and institutionalized health care intervened to make it a medical event. Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits to conventional medical science but there also many benefits to traditional healing wisdom and supporting the natural course of nature.
One trend that we appreciate about birthing in Oman is that most, if not all, of the hospital facilities are sensitive towards mother-child bonding immediately following birth and support exclusive breastfeeding. There are some other birthing protocols and procedures that we’re not comfortable with, so we’ll try our best to do what’s in the best interest of our child while taking our context into consideration.
On a brighter note, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with our vegan findings thus far in Oman: organic soy milk, tofu, peanut butter, whole wheat spaghetti, quinoa, brown basmati rice, organic beans, soba noodles, seaweed, miso, maple syrup, spelt flour, etc. We haven’t bought all of these products because they are mostly imported and can be quite expensive. While we prefer to support the local economy, eating a completely local diet would involve making serious dietary changes. So, we do our best by buying local produce. At the Nizwa Souq (market) on Friday mornings you can find lots of fresh greens, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, eggplant, dates, bananas, pomegranates, etc.
So, that’s where we’re at these days folks. Still getting settled in our new environment and enjoying what we find along the way. Until next time…