Our bags were ready a month ago. My YouTube history page has dozens of videos about childbirth. Dozens more of childbirths.

On week 38 the doctor said everything was OK to go and Ana Teresa was even in the right position for a smooth delivery. But she’s in no hurry to come out. Maybe she heard the calls to resistencia activa and has taken them to heart, who knows?

In any case, one week ago my doctor decided to give Ana Teresa an eviction notice. She has to come out this week. She’s still all cozy in there. In such a crazy country, having certainty about our due date seemed like an unbelievable privilege.

We heard rumors of a pitocin shortage and an anesthesiologist neighbor even told us he’d heard of epidural shortages in Caracas. That made us antsy, but our doctor said he has everything he needs. What can we do but trust him?

All we had to do was wait… or so we thought.

But she’s in no hurry to come out. Maybe she heard the calls to resistencia activa and has taken them to heart.

It’s just that this final week of pregnancy started out on the wrong foot. Just as we were leaving for our last prenatal appointment, we were caught in a trancazo. I really wanted to get home. We were so close. Hell, we could see our building from the car. But we live up a steep hill and Carlos didn’t want me to chance it. We got some pizza for lunch at a nearby panadería and then waited for a little over an hour in the car.

During the wait, I found myself scanning for the closest bathroom – a regular practice for pregnant women. Then it hit me: what’s the plan if I go into labor during a trancazo?

I’ve seen the whole “get some towels and warm water” sequence, but only in movies. Soon I found myself scanning for YouTube videos of women giving birth in cars. I don’t think those count as DIY courses, I really wanted the doctor and nurses to be on the receiving end of the birth canal.

I found myself ruminating over some scary questions. The clinic is only 2.4 kilometers away from my house a mere 7 minute drive on a normal day. But it’s also close to some very popular trancazo sites. Would the guarimberos make an exception for a woman in labor?

The answer wasn’t evident. Some might say our neighbors are committed to La Resistencia, but that’s a euphemism for intransigent. Even if they let me through, what if the doctor and the nurses can’t get in?

Soon I found myself scanning for YouTube videos of women giving birth in cars.

You’d think the neighbors would be understanding, but it’s not always the case. Back in 2014, doctors who lived in the area had a hard time getting around the guarimbas. I have reasons to be nervous.

We’ve been asking around to see if we can figure out what MUD will decide to do on our due date, but it’s pretty difficult to be sure until the very last minute. The amount of fake news we get is simply ridiculous. I’m just hoping Ana T makes her move on a marcha day, not a trancazo day.

My mom already charged the camera. And Carlos has been asking “did your water break?” every hour on the hour for the last two weeks. I just keep answering no. Ana T likes to take her time.

That eviction notice my doctor issued was dated Friday, June 30th. Today. By the time you read this, I’ll probably be in labour. With luck, I will have made it to the clinic, and also everyone else we need there. Wish us luck.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Bless you and your family today. Here’s hoping your daughter gets to grow up in a recovered, safe and progressive Venezuela.

  2. Wow! It seems like it was just yesterday, you announced that you were expecting! Best wishes to you and your growing family.

    • Agree with this wholeheartedly, I even went back to look at the illustrations from your previous articles. Ana Teresa’s growth was obvious but it seemed so quick. Congrats.

      Does anyone, other than the parents, have an idea of what the birth rate has been the last five years compared to the previous ten?

      • Forgot to mention, I loved the nonchalant attitude of your piece. Good to have a sense of humor in what is surely a stressful situation in normal circumstances and many times more so in the predicament that you guys find yourselves in.

  3. My best wishes, Anabella.

    Can anyone give me an English translation of trancazo as it’s used in VZ? I have an idea of what it means…but there seem to be nuances that I don’t get. (Anabella, I’m sure you are too busy to provide translations today.)

    • A trancazo is like a sit-in, whereby people block streets on foot or with their cars in protest for a set amount of hours.

  4. Ojalá esta chamita tenga una hermanita pronto, una nueva Venezuela en la que crecer segura y con futuro.

    • jrodriguez – contrary to your idiotic post, many people not only appreciate Anabella as a person but also can relate to her predicament as an expecting mother in trying times. Calling her “sweetheart” is ignorant and condescending. Nobody wants to read posts from idiots like you. Take a hike!

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