Saturday, August 25, 2007


My brother-in-law, Ramesh, has been in the southern Indian state, Andhra Pradesh, since Monday with his wife who is there to deliver her first baby. He called me last evening saying that Aruna had gone to the hospital with pain and asked us to pray.

Later, around 10PM, he called and talked to Martha, my sister-in-law. She told me that Ramesh said Aruna was in a lot of pain and the Doctor was suggesting Cesarean. In India, especially in the city where I live, doctors do C-sections almost routinely on pregnant women. I do not know one woman who has ever delivered in this city who Did NOT have a C-section*. Yeah. So, I jumped out of bed and went downstairs to call Ramesh and tell him to give the Doctor a piece of my mind for me, but when he picked up the phone he was crying.

I changed tactics. The poor guy was alone in a state where he doesn't speak or understand the language, we're all far away in North India, his wife is in pain, it's the first baby... I said, "OK, don't worry, just do what you have to do. We're here, we're praying, call any time day or night. " After 2 more phone calls like that - one to Aruna, who could still speak sensibly at that point (I knew she wasn't quite ready yet), I finally went to sleep around 11:15.

At 3:40AM the phone rang and it was Ramesh saying they had a little girl - normally, No Cesarean!

We talked several times today and I got more details, mom and baby are fine, I heard her cry, she was 2 1/2 kg. Her name is Juliana, I gave it to her.

*Doctors in India like to do Cesareans because they're quicker and because they get paid 4-5 times more money for a Cesarean than for a normal delivery. Sad but true.

Just a P.S. we'll be in Rajasthan til Thursday night so atld will be on a short hiatus...

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