Tag Archives: birth in phnom penh

Giving Birth in Cambodia

Three and a half weeks ago I was admitted to a small maternity clinic in Phnom Penh for a c-section. I need to get these memories on paper before I forget. Some of them are gooders…

A few memories from the hospital.

  • It reminded me of something from the 50s or 60s. Simple. Clean. Nothing fancy. As far away from Samitivej as one can get.
  • The food. Oh the food, I will never forget it! Dead black mini chickens in soup; pork with skin and hair; rice all day every day
  • No frills – like really. No towels. No soap. No diapers. No extras whatsoever. Just the surgery, post-operation surveillance, and medications required during our time.
  • Getting stabbed with 2 needles (vitamins and antibiotics) twice a day for 5 days.  My hips both bear big purple bruises from all the jabs.
  • The nurses and the obstetrician in bare feet doing their rounds.
Proof of the black mini dead chicken soup. Yum!

So. Was it worth it? I don’t have complaints over the care. The doctor was good. Really good. Professional and appropriate. It felt more like a guesthouse than a hospital and there’s something safe and warm about that. Because we were in our home city, we had so much loving care and support from our community. They sustained us. That wouldn’t have been possible in Thailand. Also, the doctor and I shared kinda three languages in common (English, French and some Khmer) which made communicating a bit easier.

But the package is just as much as Bangkok ($2000), and if something had gone wrong, we would have been hooped. Luckily, nothing went wrong.

I think, if I’d known I’d have a c-section, and if Steve could have swung time away from work to be in Thailand for the birth, I might have done that. But we didn’t foresee these things. And in the end, it was a healthy and safe experience as our families and friends prayed. And for that we are exceedingly grateful.