Saturday, March 03, 2007

Perspective: Birth amid the bloodshed, then some tough choices

When Ahmad Khidr's wife, Nadia, was close to her pregnancy's full term, the Shia grocer drove her to a friend's house each evening before the curfew began.

"We were terrified she would go into labour during the night," said Ahmad, 23. "I did not want to risk taking her to a hospital at night. But there was a midwife living in the house opposite my friend's house. I would pick her up in the morning and take her home. And in the end the baby did come during the night."

Ahmad and Nadia were sitting playing with Mahdi, now six months old. "It is a headache for everyone having a child. Some people spend two or three nights at the hospital waiting for the baby to be born. But then it is very expensive. It can cost them $500 [£257] in fees even before the mother goes into labour. I am a poor man. I could not afford that. I even had to borrow money for the midwife's fees, so I needed to be sure she was close to a midwife."

Read the rest at the Guardian