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Adventures at the hospital

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

Adventures at the hospital

We praise The Lord for a healthy baby girl, Ellen Nicole Williams, born May 5th at 10:14 in the morning. We’ve been very pleased with the hospital that we chose for the delivery, and their professional care. I guess I had assumed that we would be conversing more in English than Thai, since the doctors speak English well. However, along our journey, I found myself pulling out all the Thai I could remember and making up a few words as well. Below are a few comical things I jotted down from this adventure in cross-cultural medical care.

We arrived at the hospital in plenty of time for our 7am appt.
We ascended to the labor and delivery ward and were ushered into one of the labor rooms. Mustering up courage to speak in English, the nurse asked, “Do you…want to have…baby.” Um, sure… I kinda thought that was why we came. What she meant to say was, would you like to go to the bathroom before suiting up in the hospital gown. Ah yes, and the adventure begins.

I am sure glad that we have 4 months of Thai studies under our belt, or this could be a bit difficult. I can now at least understand 40% of what I am agreeing to. :-)

When they asked for Anne’s pregnancy journal (where the doctor records all the info from visits) I heard “pumpkin notebook,” instead of “pregnancy deposit notebook.” Just a slight difference in tone. It all makes sense in context. I just have to pause and compute. And wait…

After an hour and a half of waiting, I was introduced to baby Nutmeg, through the glass of the nursery. She was a cute, sleepy bundle, with a determined, yet peaceful look on her face. Dr. Goong (Shrimp) informed me that the surgery went well, the baby was big (by Thai standards) and that she looked like a boy. I almost laughed at that one, but did acknowledge that she looked like me with the dark hair and square brow. She definitely stands apart from the Thai babies. As for a big baby, 7lbs, 3oz is not large, but I guess when you compare her to the 5 pound Thai babies, she is the heavyweight champion. Still, it’s comical that every Thai person that hears the weight says, the equivalent of, “oh, she is fat.” I’m sure she will love being reminded of that memory when she gets older.

After being up with baby Ellie half the night, we decided to send her to the nursery for a few hours. Trying to communicate that was fun. It came out something like, “we need to send the baby away – return to the nursery.” However, I couldn’t think of the correct or polite way to say this, so I can only imagine what the nurse heard. She probably wanted to respond with, “there is no return policy.” :-)

Pointy-speaky communication can be rather awkward (and comical) when dealing with medical issues. We are grateful that we just finished a class on health and doctor visits before Nutmeg arrived. As you can see, we take putting our language lessons into use very seriously. :-)

Thanks for your prayers. Anne and baby Ellie are doing very well and we are scheduled to return home tomorrow afternoon. Now to catch up on sleep.

Nat Williams


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