Tsh Oxenreider
About the Author

Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Notes From a Blue Bike and the founder of The Art of Simple. She's host of The Simple Show, and her passion is to inspire people that 'living simply' means making room for more of the stuff that really matters, and that the right,...

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things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Yikes! I’m similar to you in that I have c-sections, however, not elected. First was unplannned and second one I couldn’t find a doctor who would do a v-back. The third (delievery date scheduled for July 23rd) is a planned c-section as well.
    I couldn’t imagine delivering abroad, not to mention going through half of what you went through for your son. In the end it is definitely all worth it but jeez louise. At least you got a tummy tuck hah.

  2. I’m due with my 1st in September…this story made me want to cry…but I held it together. Thanks for the reminder that even if the birth experience is not what you would have hoped for the end result is worth it 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh, Tsh, that sounds scary. I mean, I think having babies the regular American way is scary, but that…I don’t even know. I am glad everything worked out in the end though!

  4. Wow what a story. It makes my birth stories pale in comparison. I did have a D&C in Germany about 10 years ago. Thankfully most Germans learn enough English and I knew enough German we could get by.
    Bless your heart. He is one special little boy.

  5. I feel so bad for you. I had the same kind of horrific experience too with my 3rd (and it was in America). I couldn’t talk about it without crying until my son was over 18 months old. Debbie

  6. I would have freaked out. Good luck with this next one I know it will be better for you – at least you will be able to understand everyone around you.

  7. Wow…I’ve heard a lot of horror pregnancy/birth stories but nothing that’s ever made me think about not wanting kids.
    So…ummm…congratulations? You just did it! :S

  8. Wow Tsh, you are one courageous soul!
    Isn’t it a comfort to know that God is with us in all things, and that we can be supported through the prayers of our sisters & brothers in Him!
    It is so worth all that we go through as mom’s, to become mom’s, isn’t it?;)
    To think of all that we go through to birth these precious gifts…how much more our heavenly Father goes through to conform us to His image…

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. I am glad I already gave birth (almost 4 months ago). Otherwise that would’ve scared me silly. All pregnant first time moms should steer clear of this story!
    (But I loved reading it!)

  10. So with #3 on the way, have you thought of having a VBAC? C/s are hard to recover from let alone all the drama that yours inclueded. Here’s to you and a healthy happy delivery this time.

  11. ‘But I’m glad I’m in the States for birth number three.’ Really? I can’t imagine why. 🙂

  12. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words! For the record, we find our story highly amusing and entertaining now, and not horrific or debilitating. Almost like a “medal of valor.” 🙂

  13. That is an AWESOME birth story! I gave birth to our daughter in Guatemala with a local midwife in our home, and it was much less eventful than yours! I love that the only man at both of our children’s births has been my husband 😉

  14. Here via Simple Mom’s link.
    I loved this story. It was fascinating to read about the similarities and differences. I am due in August and will be having my 3rd c-section. The ridiculous blood pressure cuff, the arms-strapped-down, the blue curtain—totally familiar. Being checked for numbness via ice water bath? Not so much.
    I’m totally naming the umbilical cord, though. That’s a custom I can adopt.

  15. All I have to say is “No thanks”. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what happened to you! There’s no way you can make up a tale like that one! Eerie!

  16. OMGoodness! I am an L&D nurse (in the US) and laughed so hard reading this! So sorry that you had to experience such a traumatic ordeal. I can only imagine some of our foreign patients and how “our ways” appear to them. This is a riot… definitely wrong… but a riot anyhow!

  17. Your story made my epidural spot hurt!
    I had an emergency c-section in a clinic in Nicaragua (the other 3 hospitals were full). It was not NEARLY dramatic as yours.
    (I’ve gone on to have three more, all vaginal/natural, and the final one was born at home. Good luck on the third!)

  18. Ohhhh! In the expat Mom’s group I met with in Mozambique, just about all of us had been out of country to give birth. With one exception – a labor that happened 4 weeks early, so the birth was in Mozambique. And I shudder to think of going through such a thing. Not that the medical staff were incompetent, but they didn’t communicate with the mom, and the dad wasn’t allowed in due to space issues. All turned out well, but not something I’d want to go through. Yours sounds so similar.

  19. What a wild story! It’s such a wild thing to be overseas and realize that the way other countries do things is so vastly different from what we are used to in the states. Thanks for posting with humor a fairly traumatic event!

  20. I am having my third child (second abroad) and I am praying against a c-section. Having a child abroad, is definitely more difficult and different than the states. In the states your birth is all about you and what you want, overseas, not so much. I hope this one goes smoother for you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  21. that sounds AWFUL! my #3 was by far the best experience, so sending you wishes that yours will be as well!! yay for no language barrier & Dads allowed for deliveries this time around!!

  22. WOW. I think I’d be scared without anyone talking me through any of it. I wonder why they didn’t walk you through the process before you went in for the surgery? Maybe it’s an American thing but my docs & nurses went over every step of the delivery process weeks before I delivered.
    Thankfully all 3 of mine were born here in the US, all vaginally and, YES, all with an epidural. I have to admit, I didn’t feel the epidural when they stuck me because the pain of the contractions was much more intense. It felt like a shot but my anesthesiologist only stuck me once. I was lucky.
    Hopefully birth #3 will be MUCH smoother! Good luck!!!

  23. Congratulations and well done for getting through it all!
    I’m sorry your birth experience abroad was such an ordeal. I live in the Middle East, originally from Scotland, and at the grand old age of 37, I gave birth to baby number four.
    I had excellent ante-natal care, seeing the same female obstetrician from beginning to end. Baby number one was born when I was in my 20s, I knew what was happening, and had for the third time opted for a natural birth.
    Baby number four made his appearance 15 days late. I was calm and prepared for everything. I’d written out a birth plan, my doc spoke English, and all went well. Much to the surprise of some of the staff, my husband was anxious to attend the delivery. (My husband was born in the MidEast, but brought up in the UK).
    Some countries do have traditions that are somewhat strange compared to our own, and I was fortunate enough not to experience what you have been through.
    God Bless you and your little one, all the best for the new arrival! XX
    Many mums-to-be here opt for a C-section. It is a case of not quite the norm when one opts for a “Normal Delivery”
    We are still living here

  24. This story makes me very sad. I hope you and your bub #3 will get the birth everyone deserves: a natural, empowering, amazing event!! All the best to you!

  25. Oh my! You had quite the ordeal! I had my first two births abroad (in Asia), and they actually went BETTER than my third delivery in the U.S. The doctor here seemed prone to panic, probably due to lawsuit fears. I was irked that my insurance company would not let the wonderful midwife on duty handle the delivery. She was much more relaxed and encouraging.

  26. Wow! There’s a possibility our family could go to the Middle East sometime in the future for my husband’s studies, and this is a good reminder to me that we need to try to plan our children around living internationally. It can be hard enough to communicate with doctors and nurses even when everyone IS speaking the same language!

  27. Wow, Tsh, the blindness and ice water? Awful. However, I have to tell you, this sounds strikingly similar to my (unplanned) c-section here in the states: the screaming, the lack of working anesthesia, etc. In my case, they didn’t completely knock me out until after they got the baby out, so I felt the entire slice and dice! Good times.

  28. This is one story to tell any woman who chooses elective c-section.
    And reading this story…I’m so thankful that I live in Israel. Middle east or not, giving birth here is still way more “natural” (at least you have a chance of delivering v-bac after one c-sect)

  29. Wow, Tsh, this is the first I heard all the details…I’m realizing anew all you went through. You handled it so well at the time…and we got to enjoy this special little guy like our own grandson! Love you and your family so much!

  30. Taking note of your astounding post, I realize it is of the different skills and real options.Trust I will certainly get which I aspire from your ideas.Have a good one!

  31. oh my word. I think just the memory of that experience would bring back some serious thankful thoughts that you SURVIVED it!
    my 4th was born here in Peru and it was WAY different, but NOTHING like yours… wow.
    I opted to return to the States to have our 5th 😉
    amy in peru