About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.



The day had come; I was going to experience my 2nd childbirth in Armenia, this time in another hospital. I had Vayk my 3rd at Erebuni Hospital. And today I was heading to the republican one.

It was 8 am and the doctor was waiting for me at the entrance. After paying the fees for the room and registering, we took the elevator to the 4th floor to put everything in our room. Then the doctor came with a half-asleep nurse who explained what I needed to do before the operation. This was my 4th child and I was here for a scheduled c-section.  The nurse installed the IV and asked me to sit and relax until they finish injecting 2 bags of fluids to prevent dehydration during the operation.

I was relatively calm. Raffi had insisted to accompany me to the operation room (which is a challenge in Armenia, usually fathers are excluded of all the process and wait outside in the parking area) and was already putting on the uniforms given by the doctor.
We then headed towards the intensive care unit, where a dozen of women were already resting after different kinds of gynecological operations and c-sections. They asked me to lie on one of the empty beds near the others. Then the nurse in charge started filling out a form and asking me questions in a loud voice. So I was supposed to tell her in the presence of 12 other women and 3 nurses how many abortions I had, how many miscarriages and if I had any other problems, etc. I tried to tell the nurse that these were confidential questions, but her voice tone and attitude made me think that it is much better to choose my battles carefully, since I knew that I would have plenty of issues to fight for after the surgery and during my stay at the hospital.

Then they came and asked me to walk to the operation room where I was greeted by the anesthesiologist. While sitting there naked in the middle of that cold operation room, waiting the doctor to insert the epidural in my back, I started to think of all the bad things that could happen to me right then. I have heard so many horror stories from the health sector in this country; people dying during operations because of lack of hygiene, or medical errors… Then when I lied on the operation table and the doctors started their work, I was thinking, what would happen if an earthquake hits Armenia right now? Will the doctors run away? And leave me there open? Raffi was a couple of feet away, looking equally worried.

Then one of the doctor’s phone started to ring (doctors in Armenia take their phone inside the operating room, just in case!),the nurse started shouting that too much water was spilled on the floor from my belly, but my doctor was completely concentrated, almost not talking and sweating while trying to open by force what it seems my uterus. The anesthesiologist was monitoring me constantly. I was lying there looking at my belly through the reflection of the spotlights hanging from the ceiling, trying to figure out what the doctor was doing, how he was going to take the baby out. At one point I felt a huge heaviness on my chest and had difficulty breathing. The anesthesiologist interfered quickly and ordered some more fluids through the IV and that relieved me for some time.

Then I felt the pressure and he was out; my baby was born! I wasn’t able to move much but was trying to turn my head and follow the nurse handling him and taking him on another corner for initial monitoring.  Then a nurse brought him near my face, he was all bundled up like a soviet baby. I kissed him and welcomed him to this world. What a relief! He looked healthy and sounded very active.  I knew that Raffi would handle the rest and follow the baby carefully so I closed my eyes and rested finally.  After all the worries of the past 9 months, I needed a good sleep.

Yeprad, 3,430 Kg, 51cm

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