Most people should know by now, but in case you haven’t heard…we are pregnant!
The newest addition to our little family is due to arrive the beginning of October. We couldn’t be more excited!
We are so thankful for the blessing of being able to have children and so excited to start this next chapter in life.
Having a baby abroad, and in Africa, is full of challenges. Just the prep work I need to do in order to make sure we have everything in place before the birth takes months!
When I say ‘prep work’, I don’t mean painting and shopping for a baby room, or going to Target to make sure we have all the right baby clothes and are stocked up on diapers, blankets, pacifiers, and whatever else social media claims is a ‘Must-have’, or having monthly, or weekly meetings and checkups with a favorite doctor/midwife, or going to prenatal classes to make sure we are prepared for a baby.
Non of this standard ‘prep’ work is even possible for us if we wanted to.
The type of prep work I am talking about is not quite as ‘fun’, although in some ways more important!
What I am talking about is cleaning out the house/getting rid of unnecessary junk before we add more ‘stuff’. Writing friends and acquaintances across the entire country who might have a contact for a reliable doctor and/or midwife. Writing the same friends/acquaintances across the entire country to see if anyone is selling baby stuff we can buy second hand (because you cant buy most things here). Contacting a doctor and midwife over 900 miles away and in another country, and scheduling appointments with them. Traveling (via car) over 900 miles one way to another country to meet the doctor and midwife who will deliver our baby, get a checkup and necessary tests done, hope everything is healthy and good before driving all the way back.
Doing necessary research on getting a birth certificate, certified US citizenship for our baby, and passport. Making sure I have multiple copies of all applications and supporting documents to prove our baby is eligible for US citizenship and can then get a passport so we can leave the country and return home. Contacting more ‘friends-of-a-friend’ in the country we are going to give birth in to make sure we have a safe and comfortable place to stay for 2 months while we wait for the baby to arrive. Helping organize travel dates for my amazing parents who are coming all the way out here for the birth. Reorganizing our bedroom to make sure we have space for the baby and its crib/accessories – which we wont get until after the baby is born and will have to set up when we return. And lastly, making sure all the above is done and organized 3 months before the birth, PLUS having EVERYTHING packed that I will need for the hospital, last month of pregnancy, post-partum, new born baby, ALL documents that I will need before and after birth.
Oh right, I have just left our home in the bush and am staying in a small apartment next to Colton’s parents. It is the beginning of August and the baby is due beginning of October. I wont return to our home until November. Thats crazy.
The reason I am here is because we live so remote that if any complication were to arise we would be totally alone. No doctors. No midwives. No (clean and reliable) hospitals. No emergency flights. Nothing.
I will be living here until we travel to Kenya for the birth at the beginning of September. Where I am staying now is next door to a friend of ours we met the beginning of the year and happens to be a Danish midwife who just had her fourth kid. She is amazing and can do regular check-ups for me until we go to Kenya.
*Side note: I am also taking a 4 week Swahili language course while I am here to help keep my brain active, as well as to help me speak the language. This is somewhat challenging when pregnancy brain kicks in! I haven’t experienced it too much thankfully but it did happen the other day where my brain literally just turned off and all I could do was stare at the Swahili word (that I already knew) that my teacher was asking me to translate. haha.
So, not your typical ‘prep’ work for a baby. But we are making it work. We know and have faith that everything will work out and all we can do is our best to be as prepared as possible for when the time comes.
Can you imagine having to basically be 100% organized and ready to bring home a new born baby, and then leaving your home where you wont return for 3 months, and when you do you will have a new baby? Its even hard for me to imagine! But thats what we have to do. Im sure next time around (if we are still here) we wont have to do so much ‘prepping’, but since its our first and we live in the middle of nowhere, we are taking extra precautions.
It still blows my mind that the closest reliable US/European standard doctors and facilities are over 900 miles away from us….in another country. Talk about crazy!
In addition to all this traveling, prepping, language learning, organizing, etc. Colton and I will be apart for around a total of 4-6 weeks. In a dream life my husband would be able to take off the full 3 months from work…but who in this life has that luxury?! haha. I am just thankful that he is as supporting, loving, caring and excited about our baby as anyone could be. He makes this new journey easy and I couldn’t do it without him! He will be the best dad ever and I am so excited to see him with our little baby.
All the above might sound like complaining, but its not. Im just trying to paint a picture of the process and experience that might be hard to imagine. The truth is I really cant complain too much.
I am 31 weeks pregnant and it honestly has been pretty easy so far. The morning sickness was barely noticeable and for only about 2 weeks. I am staying fit and healthy (as much as possible), the baby is strong and healthy, measuring in on schedule and SO active. We have family and friends who are so supportive, generous and welcoming as we go through this phase of not really knowing what we are doing. We have family who are willing to spend the time and money to travel all the way to Kenya just to be with us, see the new baby, help and support, and just spend time together.
We truly have been so blessed throughout this entire journey. Although its not over yet we know there is a great future ahead of us!