Written on December 18, 2013

When I was two months pregnant with my second child, I found out I was moving to Singapore.  I was thrilled!  I feel like birth in America is hyper-medicalized.  The movie Ricki Lake made, The Business of Being Born, really helped open my eyes to how things got this way, and how things are in the rest of the world (the follow up documentaries are great too!).  I was hoping Singapore would be less medicalized and more open to things like water birthing, not being attached to an IV immediately, forced to lay on your back, and so on.  So yeah, I was excited.

I had my first few pre-natal appointments at home in the Chicago area, and all was well.  My first pregnancy had been textbook, and this one was proceeding the same way (except for my SI Joint Pain).  I had no worries about leaving the country at about 20 weeks along.  There were lots of forums online for expats that gave recommendations on doctors and hospitals to choose, and in Singapore, all hospital costs are given up front.  I figured I would just choose when I got out there, as the stress of moving and leaving friends and family made me just want to focus on the present.

And now I am here.  I have been here less than a week at this point.  I am anxious to make sure everything is fine with the baby (and find out the gender!) so I have spent a lot of time online researching hospitals, programs, doctors, recommendations, costs, etc.  If interested, feel free to click here to check out the costs for giving birth in Singapore vaginally or via Caesarean.  From all the reading, it appears there is one doctor at Thomson Medical Centre who is supportive of more natural methods for giving birth.  I do not like the idea of depending on one guy.  What if he is busy when I deliver???  Plus he must be busy if he is the only guy doing things more naturally.  Then I found a program called EMMa at NUH (National University Hospital).  They match you with a midwife, and the midwife and obstetrician work together.  You give birth in the hospital, but have the benefit of midwifery as well, which helps tremendously if you want a natural birth.

I looked up the doctors at NUH and found E K Tan, who has a special interest in helping mothers deliver without medical interventions.  I think he will be a good fit for what I am looking for in a delivery (and yes, I know I don’t get to choose how it all plays out).  I will call him today and make an appointment.  Hopefully I can get in soon!  Figure out whether I have a boy or girl joining our family.

I think this will be perfect for me.  I want to have the best of both worlds.  I want to be able to move around, try the shower, whatever, to manage my pain, and see if maybe I can deliver without drugs.  I had a terrible eczema reaction to my first child’s birth, and I think it had something to do with the drugs.  I would also like to avoid an episiotomy or a tear if possible, and I know midwives are trained to help prevent this.

This week they have a program where you can learn more about the program and meet the midwives.  I am looking forward to it!

Read Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Jennifer Jasensky is a Dubai resident, United States transplant, former mathematics teacher and dancer/choreographer. She is an outgoing homebody and perpetual idealist whose love of learning knows no bounds. She is most happy enjoying a good book with a plate of kaya toast, runny eggs, and kopi-c peng siew dai, but now that she has moved from
Singapore to Dubai, drinking an iced latte in the ocean is fast becoming her happy place.

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