My Government Hospital Nightmare

Coming from a third-world country, I must say life is very different, especially with the underdevelopment and economic situation.

While pregnancy and childbearing are seen as a blessing and encouraged, the state of medical facilities and trained medical staff is otherwise wanting and is a nightmare in some areas. This means that it is sometimes a nightmare for pregnant women, with some preferring home delivery and care as opposed to going to government hospitals, while the few lucky ones who can afford better treatment go to private hospitals.

I dreaded going to antenatal visits, and even during birth, it was a terrible experience considering the fact that, even though I was in an urban area, the standards of government hospitals were still too low.

During birth, I remember being taken to a government clinic nearby but the doctor referred me to another hospital with the excuse of, since it was my first time, they didn’t have enough facilities to handle my case. After getting to the other hospital it was a matter of having to wait like other women in the queue for my turn to be examined, with the security guards and cleaners shouting at us while we were in labour to keep the noise down and stay still and orderly. Upon getting to the doctor to be examined, it was either you cooperate and stay still no matter how strong the labour pain was or get insulted and thrown back in line to wait again.

Being only a few centimetres dilated, I was put in the labour ward and told to come back after 5 hours. The ward was so congested, that mothers who had given birth normally were sharing a bed on a ratio of 1:3, while those through cesarean were at a ratio of 1:2. When the 5 hours were through and the labour pains more severe, I went back again to wait in the queue to be re-examined for my water to suddenly break as I entered the examining room, for a cleaner who was mopping the floor to scream at me insults, due to the fear I froze where I was standing, for one the nurses to come grab me by the hand and shove to a bed nearby, complaining all the while examining me. I still wasn’t fully dilated which made her find some IV fluid and she carelessly forced the needle into a vein in my arm without even trying to be kind or considerate of the pain.

As I lay there in pain both from labour and the needle in me, it felt like days of torture, with the nurses at a nearby desk just chatting away and laughing looking at us like it is nothing. When I felt like I finally couldn’t bear the pain, I begged for help and the nurse came back to see if I was ready. The bed was full of blood, which I used my own dress to clean so I could down on again and deliver my daughter who came out healthy. Then, without fanfare, I was directed to the bathrooms to clean up with a cold shower.

Through this terrible experience, I decided that the next time I give birth would be when I have the resources to visit a private hospital for a much more comfortable and friendly experience in my weakest state.

When and where will the 8 Billionth person be born?