Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dreams of birth

For days I had been snatching glances at my colleague who I began to think was pregnant or was it that she was just putting on weight I wondered? Not likely. This is Timor after all and not many people are overweight or gain weight all that easily (but they do exist). My colleague already has three children (which isn’t many for here) and I know that she uses contraception (a rarity). I asked my only other “malae” colleague and she said it was likely but she hadn’t heard anything definite. I thus asked my other pregnant colleague whose second child is due by the end of the month. She confirmed that yes, our colleague was pregnant with her fourth child and that like the Director, was five months pregnant! I therefore said to my newly pregnant colleague, “Mana, isin rua ka lae?” (Literally: older sister, (you have) two bodies or not?) She replied “sin” (yes) and I responded with “parabens!” (congratulations!). She told me this was to be her last child (she’s nearly 40) and that she was happy. Her first three children are a boy aged 7, a girl aged 4 and a boy aged 2.5. My colleague also happens to be the Coordinator of the Team I work with so I’m not sure what I will do come March/April next year when both she and the Director will be on maternity leave simultaneously.

The odd thing was that this morning I dreamt that I gave birth to my (future) daughter two weeks earlier than expected in the back of a station wagon with Daniel between my legs guiding the baby out. We weren’t in Timor but someplace developed. I’ve never dreamt about giving birth before and I have to say the feeling upon wakening was one of calm and serenity. I haven’t felt that peaceful in a long time.

I’m about a third of the way through reading a book called Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. It’s a really engaging and suspenseful novel about a homebirth midwife who experiences the death of a birthing woman and the witch hunt that ensues by the medical establishment. It’s hard to put down and is certainly one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time (and yes, I wondered about the connection with reading the book and my dream of giving birth.)

The night before I dreamt that I was someplace else (unknown) but awoke to be rudely confronted with the fact that I was still in Timor.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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