That’s right, we are going to have a baby!!! We couldn’t be more happy! With the announcement of this news, we have had mixed reactions of excitement and concern regarding having a baby in a third world country. So… we will play a little game of “21 Questions” with the frequently asked questions we have been getting!
Question #1 – “Where will the baby be born?” – The baby will be born in a jungle hut, with the neighbor ladies helping with labor, and Josh is banned from the site until the baby is 1 day old. JUST KIDDING!!! The baby WILL be born in Indonesia…no, I won’t take “furlow” or whatever it is called to have the baby in the US, because Josh has to keep teaching and I prefer to be near him!
Question #2 – “Is it safe to be pregnant and give birth there?” – Well, as we all know, naturally there can be complications or unexpected events or even things that doctors can’t explain why during pregnancies even in a first world country. No, I don’t think the risk is any greater here, there just are different risks (such as different viruses and bacterias that I could get sick from, etc). How I see it is even though my location has changed, my God has not changed, and I trust Him with my baby here in Indonesia just as I would in the USA.
Question #3 – “Are there modern hospitals there?” – Yes. We have already been to 2 different hospitals in our area, and we were able to see the baby on the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat at the early age of 10 weeks. We are planning to continue to go to and give birth at the closest hospital in our town, which is only a 10 minute drive. The dr. speaks perfect English, and specializes in natural birth. We are very happy with her, and the hospital is less than a year old so it is modern, clean, and actually under-used (due to its costs and the high poverty rate) so I could potentially be the only woman in the delivery rooms at all and have constant attention from the doctors! Also, I have found a doula that just moved to our town who is bilingual, so we plan to hire her for labor and delivery classes, to be our translator during labor and delivery (no guarantee our English-speaking dr. will be in), and to assist in *hopefully* giving birth naturally. God REALLY has provided for us already!
Question #4 – “Will the baby be an Indonesian citizen?” No. From what we have read, the USA is actually the only country that allows “anchor babies”, where even if the parents are not citizens, the baby born on the soil instantly is a citizen (interesting, huh?). The baby will be issued an Indonesian birth certificate, which we then process at the US Embassy here in Jakarta to obtain a US passport for the baby. Then we take the baby to immigration to process a visa to stay in Indonesia with us. We will have 2 – 3 months to make sure ALL paperwork is processed before summer break begins, otherwise we will not be able to leave the country! This is obviously a prayer request, especially because it is known that here paperwork takes longer than it is expected or quoted to take.
Question #5 – “Does having a baby mean you are moving back to the US?” Not necessarily. Having a baby will not influence our plans drastically right now. Josh is already committed to this year of teaching plus the 2015 – 2016 school year. We are not sure what our plans will be once that year is over, whether we will stay longer, move back to Cali, or move elsewhere for teaching.
Question #6 – “Will you still visit CA next summer again?” Yes, we are planning on it! Our baby will be a few months old at that point, which we are totally comfortable with the idea of traveling to visit family at that age.
Question #7 – “Can I mail you baby items, or are there Indonesian stores with online registries I can buy from?” Well, you “can” mail items, but if its an expensive item, it would be confiscated by the mail service, and if it’s a non-expensive item, it will probably cost much more than the item did to mail it, so we don’t recommend mailing packages. I am still scouting out the baby stores here, but most are small stores which likely wouldn’t have registries or shopping online options. If I find some that do, I will let you know 😉 We DO have family coming out both at the end of December and in March before and after the baby is born, and they are more than happy to bring things with them.
Question #8 – “Are you craving things that either you can or can’t get there?” My cravings seem to go through stages, and seem to be more like obsessions rather than craving because I will eat/drink it for weeks straight before moving to the next item. 1st was pickles, then was chocolate milk, next was white cheddar, then it was chow mien (mie goreng) and white rice (nasi putih). The whole time I have been craving Hot Cheetos (actually was my 1st pregnancy symptom because I normally don’t eat them… yes, I’m still craving them daily and no you can’t buy them here!!!) and also I always want tons of fruits and vegis, such as my breakfast the past few days has been a spinach and strawberry salad…mmmmm. Josh has been lucky… I don’t crave anything at odd hours, or things that aren’t already in the kitchen, or at least I wait patiently a few days until we can go get a burger or salmon or whatever I wanted… so be thankful, Josh!!! 😉
Question #9 – “Can you buy all the normal baby items there?” Technically, most… yes you can (but probably not the brand or quality you prefer). However, I strive on bargain shopping, finding killer sales, etc and there typically aren’t sales here often and the price of the American brands of baby clothes, bedding, furniture, bottles, everything…. is double to 4 times the normal price in the US! OUCH! I’m really struggling with accepting the idea that I may not have “everything” (really, do babies need ALL that?! haha), and/or some items may be more simple than I would have bought in the US because here that’s what we can afford. Baby items are for the rich here, and the poor go without them. Also, there definitely is no Target baby section or Babies’R’Us here where you could find everything in 1 stop… here you get it when you see it in whatever random baby store you happen to walk into and see a decent price haha. We are beginning to slowly buy things as we find them, and when we find them at a “decent” price.
Question #10 – “Will you have a baby shower?” I’m not sure what the Indonesian culture is regarding the birth of babies, so we will see what happens here regarding the traditional shower like in the US. I have heard some talk by our mothers about possibly a baby shower when we come next summer to CA 😉
Okay, I’m fresh out of “frequently asked questions” that I can think of, definitely didn’t make it to “21 Questions”! If you have other questions, post them below and I’ll add them to the list 😉
Our PRAYER REQUEST page has been updated for this year! Please see it and pray over them, but if you don’t make it to that page, please pray at least for the baby’s health and for Josh to successfully complete his full Ironman in Malaysia, with no malfunction of triathlon equipment or bodily parts, which is in only 10 days!
Keep in touch! We love and miss you all tons!
Josh & Christina (I’ll let you guess who wrote this post haha)