Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pregnancy in South Asia

Be forewarned, this is not a heartwarming, happy post. This is a post of frustration.

In South Asia (at least in our country), pregnancy is not something you show off. It is not something you show that you are excited about to strangers, and usually, strangers are not excited for you. I was told by friends who used to live in our city that because our city is so traditional, she really didn't go out as much after she started showing in her pregnancy because people scolded her and told her it wasn't appropriate for her to be out. (By the way, women usually start showing around 5 months, so that means for 5 months she didn't go out very much.) For this reason, I'm glad we aren't in our city right now. The city we went to for language was much more modern, but I still had women (Christian women!) tell me that I should cover up and drape a dupatta (like a long scarf) over my belly "if I need to go out" to "hide the fact that I'm pregnant." That really irritated me. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and there is nothing wrong with the fact that I'm pregnant. I thought, "surely in the capital it will be different." Nope. Every time I go out, men stare at me/ look me up and down over and over, and I have, on multiple occasions, see women whispering with their other female friends about me.

By the end of this week, it's supposed to hit 100 degrees here. That makes going out difficult in itself. We walk to get all of our food and necessities. We also have to walk to get an auto or take the metro to go to other parts of the city for pretty much anything we do. 100 degrees + 9 months pregnant + walking = difficult. Add to that the fact that every time I go out is an emotional ride because of the judgment of everyone around me, and that's a recipe for disaster. Okay, not disaster, but depression, anxiety, and frustration.

My first pregnancy, everyone I knew and met was so excited for me. I heard, "you're such a cute pregnant lady" A LOT, I was thrown something like 6 showers, which I totally loved and appreciated, and I felt so beautiful in maternity clothes- like more beautiful than I felt when I wasn't pregnant. Here, I have no compliments (except when I rarely run into an American friend here!), I have no showers, and the clothes I wear are basically like moo-moos. I'm pretty sure no one has ever felt pretty in a moo-moo!

I do not write any of this for pity. Pity doesn't really help anything anyway. I just wanted my friends and family to know this because I need your prayers, and I need your encouragement. I also need you all to know that we have struggles here. I don't want to post about all of them all the time or you would probably just pool your money together to buy us one-way tickets back home. But struggles are real and deep here, so I needed to share this one with you. Thanks for reading, and thanks even more for praying. Love you all!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kathmandu and Language School

Sorry it's been a few weeks! I'll try to give a short update on our life the last 3 weeks!

All foreigners in our country have to leave the country every 6 months to renew our visas. The easiest place to go is Kathmandu, so for our first trip out, that's where we went. (We haven't been here 6 months yet, but 6 months would be right around when the baby is due and the airlines don't allow you to fly after 36 weeks.) We had a great 3 days there! Our highlights were the zoo, which all 3 of us loved, and eating good food, including legit MEXICAN FOOD. I was absolutely happy!

Then, we came back to our country, but to a different city, to do 4 weeks of intensive Hindi grammar school. The city is the polar opposite of our city- clean, quiet, green, safe, and has tons of good food and good things to buy at the stores. It definitely feels like vacation! We go on walks at least once a day, sometimes 2 or 3 times, which we all love. I can let Corinth play outside without fear of monkeys or cars or strangers trying to take her. It's wonderful! The Hindi classes are very in depth, so it is a ton of information to take in in such a short amount of time. So far, our heads haven't exploded!

We have been here for 2 weeks, and will be here for 2 more before we go to the capital for more language learning as we await the arrival of the baby. I went to the doctor last weekend, and everything looks great with the baby. I'm having ongoing pain in my upper right rib area, which the doctors attribute to excess gastric acid. They gave me some medicine to take when I want to, and told me things I can and can't do for eating. Kyle's making sure I don't eat anything I actually want to eat. (Not really, but he is doing a good job monitoring everything!) This city has great ice-cream, which helps with acid, so I've definitely has a few helpings of that! :-)

I was going to upload some pictures from our trip, but the internet won't allow me to right now, so check my Facebook for photos! Talk to you soon!