Birthing Class and Our Final Hurrah

As if the prospect of giving birth isn't scary enough, doing the whole process in another country can be quite daunting! You can imagine how relieved I was to hear about "American" birthing classes available in the city of Chiang Mai, just a few hours away.

So, a couple weeks ago, we packed up and headed off for three days of classes in Chiang Mai. The classes were taught by two missionaries who had both been labor and delivery nurses in the States. They were amazing and not only gave us some great information to chew on, but they also gave us that "tender, loving care" that can be missing when facing such a momentous occasion so far away from friends and family. There were two other couples in our class; both were American couples working in other South East Asian countries who had come to Chiang Mai to give birth because of the superior medical facilities and services available here in Thailand. It was great to spend time with them, comparing pregnancy stories and our lives in the different countries we live in. The only downfall was that both couples were due to have their babies this month, which, of course, made it feel like our August 13th due date was an eternity away!

Normally, when we go to Chiang Mai, we stay in a great little guest house called the Ban Kaew. Unfortunately, this guest house, like every guest house in Thailand, has rather hard beds! Having lived in Thailand for over two years, we've actually adjusted quite well to the custom of rock-hard beds. However, as I am 7 months pregnant and finding it much harder to get comfortable in a soft bed (let alone a hard one), we decided to splurge on this trip and stay at The Amari Rincome Hotel. The beds at the Amari are much friendlier to American backs and since it is off-season we were able to stay for only about $30 a night in this normally $100-a-night-hotel.

While the soft beds were really the deciding factor in staying at the Amari, there were certainly other benefits as well! Paul and I thought of these few days in Chiang Mai as our "Final Hurrah" before the baby comes! We lounged by the pool, watched Yankees games on cable TV and ordered burgers and shakes from the burger stand down the road!

All in all, it was nice to have a few "American" days in Chiang Mai before jumping back into our travels to and from the village.

Lori lounging by the poolPregnant belly in a swimsuit!Paul on the way to the pool

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