Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Visit to A Ukrainian Hospital

I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of the hospital that I visited today.  I borrowed my husband's camera/phone so not to be obvious, but it was still too noisy.  Because of that I only took two pictures...not very good pictures at that, but a picture.  I didn't actually get a picture at the delivery hospital because there were too many people.  The hospital that I go to is the nicest one I have seen in Ukraine since coming in the Kharkov region.  I don't know if it's just because I am use to it (or a LOT worse), but I thought "Wow!  This isn't too bad.  Everyone will wonder why I'm anxious at all with this hospital."  The first picture was taken on the bus ride over.

The hospital/clinic where I had my blood tests done.  First one is a little crooked - but clear.  The second is blurry but straight, so thought I'd show you both.
I went planning on looking my best so that I wouldn't get any comments like "You need to stop having kids.  Look at what it's doing to you!", but it was so hot that water was pouring off of me and my face was as red as a tomato.  Oh well.  I'm still trying to figure out how the Ukrainian women can continue to look so perfect in this heat, but they haven't shared that secret with me yet.
Surrendering to have my baby here this time has been a huge battle and struggle that VERY few know about...two people and my husband.  To say I didn't want to have my baby here would not even come close to exposing the battle that has gone on in my heart.  I know, you are all thinking "Why?  You've already had 3 there!".  But it's different this time, maybe because of how rough the last pregnancy was.  I think the hardest part is not the lower standards of medical care here, but rather the lack of choice and freedom.  In this socialized medicine country, I do not have the freedom to choose my doctor or even where I want to give birth.  Well, I guess I have a little choice in doctors, but they have to be in the hospital in our region...and since all of the rest are male doctors, well, that kinda limits my choice.  Ever since my last pregnancy I prayed "Lord, please don't let me get pregnant again until I can go back to the states and have my baby.  I don't care if I have all of the rest here, but just this next one I'd like to be able to relax, enjoy my pregnancy and do what I want."  When I found out I was pregnant I had a small hope that we might be able to go back to the states...I even contacted a midwife.  I begged, cried and pleaded with the Lord.  There was nothing in me willing to stay here.  To say that I fought is not the whole truth.  I stomped my feet while everything in me screamed, "NO!"  I was so exhausted from my fighting that I could barely do anything.  I wept like I have not wept in a long time.  I felt so alone and did not feel like I could talk to my husband lest I let my emotions persuade him into doing something against the will of God.  I did not understand why God was expecting this of me.  I mean, OTHER missionary wives had the choice of where they wanted to have their babies and I had already surrendered so many times.  Why couldn't He let me have a break once?  You can read how God worked on my heart in the post I Feel Like Talking, but the battle was still pretty secret.  Thankfully, I have not struggled since then.  To say that it is easy would not be true, but I am not fighting which makes it a lot easier.  Reminds me of labor - painful, yes, but so much easier to go through if you relax through the contractions.  I have hesitated to post this because I know I will get some criticism, but I do not claim to be a super missionary.  I am no one special.  I am just surrendered.


  1. What an honest and beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your heart about this.
    Your hospital looks a lot like ours in Croatia; dark, plain and smelling of bleach would describe ours and i imagine yours too.
    The fact that you have already had children on the mission field makes you a super missionary in my book. I can just imagine that God is so gonna take care of you and it'll all go so much better than you expect.
    Hang in there, you already know all the encouraging stuff I could tell you so I'll just pray for ya.

  2. People think that missionaries, evangelists, pastors, etc. are supposed to be perfect, and don't realize that you are a just a sinner saved by grace just like the rest of us, trying to serve the Lord!
    Just want to let you know I think about you often and am praying for you! I really hope next time you are in the states we might be able to get together! Love you, Jessica!

  3. That post was such a blessing. Thank you for being honest. We are all there sometimes. I had to go through that several years ago with wanting another baby and not getting one. I cried, tried to reason with God, asked all kinds of why's, and finally had to surrender to His timing. It sure is not easy, but oh, such peace in the end! I pray that things will go smoothly for you with this delivery.

  4. What is is about fourth babies? I really, really struggled with the decisions for this last pregnancy and birth, even though I'd already had three in Russia. God will take care of everything!

  5. There is nothing so pure as honesty. You are real and that is where you meet others. Yielding and surrending is difficult and we all have to go through it at times. But praise God, He is our strenth and we can do all things through Him. There is much joy and blessings in obedience to God. Thank you, for your openness in sharing your life with others. It is such an encouragement. I praise God for you and for what He is doing in and through you. Love you. Mom

  6. Whenever there is a struggle followed by complete surrender, you can rest assured that He has a special blessing prepared for you. :) Reminds me of this verse: "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." (II Timothy 2:13) God is always faithful. Isn't that a precious promise?
    This baby will always remind you of that. Our Sarah Grace was our "little faith/much obedience/answer to prayer" story, hence her middle name. She is our only girl whose middle name isn't that of a relative. Instead, it is a testimony to the Lord. God is good.

  7. Oh Jessica, I totally understand how you feel. It was just a few months ago that I was having the same fears and crying out to the Lord. I still cannot talk about Matti's birth and the events leading up to it and surrounding it without getting emotional. God is Real and He loves you and will be with you every step of the way. Please know that I am praying for you!!!

    On a lighter note... the picture of your hospital is so like the hospital in Nuuk it is uncanny! In Nuuk the cafeteria would be on the left and the exit/entrance on the right.

    Praying for you adn let me tell you something that I told myself a hundred thousand times... in a few months it will all be over and I'll (Lord Willing!) be holding a sweet baby in my arms! :-)



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