Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Friday, March 20, 2015

Where There Is No Doctor (Baby #3)

Mokhotlong is a beautiful place to live.  The people are friendly and welcoming, the mountains are majestic and awe-inspiring, the days are slow and quiet.  It is known for cold winters and mild summers.  We really feel at home here in our corner of Lesotho.  Really one of the only drawbacks to living in such a delightfully secluded place is the lack of medical care.

With Baby #3 on the way, I already find myself worrying about it.  What if I get stuck on Sani Pass giving birth in the back-a-Rocky?  It’s a genuine concern.  While the back-a-Rocky does tend to provide us with a variety services, a delivery table isn’t one I’m looking to add to the list.  Immediately when we found out were expecting, we began discussing our various options for prenatal check ups and where to deliver.

Having been pregnant in three different countries, I’ve seen my share of doctors.  My first doctor experience in Mexico was unnerving to say the least.  Thankfully my second doctor experience in Mexico redeemed things significantly.  I delivered Kyle in the US with my favorite Doctor but I couldn’t talk her into coming with me to Africa to deliver Ellee.

Arriving to South Africa/Lesotho late in my pregnancy with Ellee, I really just had to take the luck of the draw with a doctor.  I ended up recommended by a general practitioner to an OB-GYN that I absolutely loved.  He was laid back, conservative, calming and easy to talk to.  He was perfectly willing to work with our situation of living in Lesotho but traveling to South Africa for check ups and delivery.  We were living about two hours away from Bloemfontein, where Ellee was born, and traveling back and forth a number of times before we went to stay for her birth.  

Now in Mokhotlong, we are a solid four hours drive to the nearest private hospital in South Africa, five hours drive from where I plan to see a doctor and deliver Baby #3.  Unfortunately, seeing my Doctor in Bloemfontein is out of the question, as the drive now from Mokhotlong is 7-8 hours.  So, I’m taking the recommendation of a friend and hoping and praying I am pleased with my new doctor the way I was with my Ellee doctor.  We leave this weekend for my first appointment on Monday.

Throughout my pregnancy, we will travel back and forth to Durban for check ups.  I anticipate seeing the doctor every 4-6 weeks early on, until maybe August or September, when we’ll have to go more regularly to check things like blood pressure, etc.  Hopefully after my first appointment, we’ll have a good idea on what the doctor is thinking and we can proceed from there.

Another serious concern for our accessibility to medical care is the border gate.  The nearest border to South Africa is closed from 6pm-6am daily.  The only border which is open 24 hours is the border at the capital city, which is 5-6 hours drive from here.  Using that boarder would send us to Bloemfontein.  

Thus our only real option is to head out significantly before the baby is due and await the birth.  We anticipate spending the month of October waiting for Baby in Durban.  Because Ellee came two weeks early and Kyle came five days late, it is totally impossible to know what this baby may or may not do.  It is, of course, our hope that Baby will come a bit early so we aren’t waiting for what feels like forever away from home.  But only God knows if that will happen.  

Right now all I can really think about is how miserably sick I am.  I’m not sick quite like I was with Ellee, less vomiting this time.  But goodness am I sick and my family is sick of me.  I’m not coping very well.  I am so eager to get past these awful weeks and enjoy being pregnant and feel like I have a better handle on life.

It won't be such a bad place to have a baby.