A Pregnancy Story: My 1st Trimester

Dearest loyal reader,

There is a reason why I am writing this post now* but first let me rewind around two years ago. Three days after my pregnancy test came back positive (my favourite place for blood tests is MDC- they have the loveliest medical staff I have come across in Kurdistan) I had already visited the clinics of five or six gynecologists. One doctor took me in with three other patients. It was so embarrassing. Another doctor was–I swear — examining another female while speaking to me. The other made me take off my shoes before going into her clinic, while one had a rule that husbands aren’t even allowed in the waiting rooms let alone inside the clinic. One in particular made it a point that my body is so petite that I can never give natural birth. I was only five weeks in.

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A snap of me taken by my sister-in-law in 2015.

I remember coming out of one clinic crying while trying to find the address of another clinic. I blame the female hormones for the crying, but I felt in one of the most important occasions in my life there was not a single doctor that understood me and met my needs. (I entirely understand if you think the crying was very immature of me. But trust me when you’re five weeks pregnant, having really bad morning-afternoon-night sickness and your brain is malfunctioning, you will cry even if you’re neighbour knocks on your door with a plate of Dolma.)

I wanted a doctor who smiles, one who listens to my morning sickness complaints, one that actually looks at me and nods her head. One that speaks to my husband and involves us both in ultrasounds. You know, the stuff we see in movies.

During that same drive, I remember sniffing more as I remembered all the horrible stories I had heard from some of my relatives who had given birth in a public hospital. Some were insulted with hurtful words during labour, when they complained of pain, others were shouted at when they didn’t push correctly.

Sometimes here a miracle life encounter for women is turned into a nightmare. Unfortunately, at times the last concern of the doctor or midwife is the patient. And for this I don’t blame the staff as much as I blame the system in which they work in. No wonder nearly half  of all pregnant women end up having a caesarian, while the other half experience trauma during their natural deliveries.

As for me, the first trimester was spent between feeling sick, having mood swings and going in and out of doctor clinics complaining. I was on a mission to find one doctor. Just one, who understood me. In the end I took on the advice of one friend and resorted to Dr. Bnar Dzayee, a young gynecologist who had come back from Germany. She smiled, she listened, and it felt good. Very good. I would sometimes send her a text message asking if the weirdest things were normal, and she was always kind enough to reply to my pregnancy brain.

To be continued….

*I write this post after a friend of mine has been trying to collect donations for a woman living under severe poverty. Her doctor requested 500, 000 (around $400) to conduct her caesarian, because of specific reasons that she can’t give natural birth. The doctor also requested that it must be done in a private hospital because what she needs can’t be provided in a public hospital. It took one Whatsapp message from my lovely friend Deelan to know public hospitals undertake emergency caesarian for FREE. Hence, doctor trying to make business using a woman who couldn’t afford her medical needs. This is torture!!
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