Welcome to the World - Giving Birth in Panama Part 3

2년 전

Giving birth in a foreign country is something I never planned to do. When I got pregnant here in Panama, we realized this would be a reality for us. I have given birth five other times, but every birth is different. Here is Part 3 of my birth experience at a private hospital in Panama.

If you are just now seeing these, be sure to check out my other posts about the baby's birth. Here is Part 1 and Part 2.

The doctor decides to time my uterine activity and says that if I don’t have 3-4 in 10 minutes that she wants to do something to get them going. While timing them, I have 4-5 very good contractions. By the end of that 10 minutes, I am ready to push. I push a few times during contractions and receive some coaching on how to do it more effectively - you would think that I could remember how to push since this is my 6th baby!! The foot stirrup gives out again. I’m told to push whenever I feel a strong contraction, but wait until the worst part of the contraction and push until the pain stops.

The nurse is trying to help me by making little raindrop motions on top of my belly. It is really annoying and the doctor finally realizes that I don’t like it and asks her to stop. Apparently it’s to stimulate my uterus. Every push, the nurse also does a football type tackle on my back, helping me to push myself up, while she also leans her forearm on the top of my belly to help push the baby down. I push this way a few times and I’m seriously done. Give me a c-section, epidural, whatever, but I am done.

The doctor then says that she thinks the baby will come in just one more big push. Okay, I can do that. Ben is supposed to catch the baby and cut the cord. I close my eyes and give one big push and then realize I have a lot of relief and there is a baby sitting on my stomach! Ben said he caught her and put her up to me! Then he got to cut the cord after a few minutes.

First picture of the baby!

The baby was crying and gurgling on my chest and was covered in vernix and blood. She was a delightful pink color. My little Panamanian Chiricana was making her presence known!


The pediatrician takes her for about 2 minutes to measure her and weigh her. We have already requested a list of items – like no bath, staying in the room with me at all times, etc. – and all of these items are followed. The pediatrician speaks English, but didn’t say much. She did ask me if I wanted any chips or anything from the pharmacy (while in labor).


The doctor then takes care of me while Nana holds the baby. A few times, they pour freezing cold sterilized water on me to clean me off, and give me a good scrub with some rough towels.

All looks good, so it’s time to transport me to my recovery room. We hope to only stay a few hours, but we’re told we must stay overnight. Baby was born at 7:15pm.

Yep, I was tired.

A gurney is brought in and I am asked to get on it. Another interesting move. Nana then carries the baby down the hall, Ben carries the bags, and I ride on the gurney to the elevator. We are taken to the recovery room 13B and asked if we want it to be private or semi-private (with a roommate). We choose private and have 2 beds to sleep on! They then want me to move from the gurney to the hospital bed again. They take my blood pressure and temperature and leave the room.

Sweet crying baby.

We finally have some peace and quiet to tell Nana the baby’s name. Kalana LouAnn - We just liked the first name (which means "the heavens") and it's Hawaiian like mine. The middle name is a combination of both grandmother's middle names. Nana loves it.

Stay tuned for Part 4 to see what a night in this Panamanian hospital was really like!

I am a mom to six kids who lives in Panama. We relocated here about 2.5 years ago and love it. If you're interested in knowing more about Panama, check out the link below and plan to come on a Panama Relocation Tour!

Panama Relocation Tours

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That sounds rather uncomfortable. It's always weird going to the hospital for any reason in another country, if you're not used to it. Funny, with the raindrop thing. For that matter, going to the hospital in any country can be. Glad the birth went more ore less ok!


It did go well, thankfully! Almost like a homebirth, but not quiet. Yeah thankfully this is our only experience with a hospital here in Panama. Hopefully our last. ;)

what a cutie - I had to stay for 4 days - that was custom in Belgium at that time :)


Oh wow! I think with my first we stayed 2 nights, maybe one night with the second, then we had three homebirths, and one night with this one. :) I just posted about that night in the hospital today! I'm glad it was only one night...which isn't normal for here.

  ·  2년 전

OH you´re baby is cute... I like the sound of the first name. Congratulations!


Thanks! She's a sweetheart! :)

It is my firm belief that you never feel more like "a piece of meat" than in a hospital -- anywhere, for any reason. Everyone, including you, seems to lose all sense whatsoever of you as an individual human being.

I'm glad you were able to keep your sense of humor through all this.


Yes, it definitely is hard to enter a hospital and feel like you're the one in charge of yourself. They basically own you when you go in. That's why we've done homebirths in the past and wanted to do one this time. It just didn't work out! Hope you're doing well!!! :)

So beautiful, thank you for sharing this experience with us!


:) I'm just glad it was a good story!

Firstly congratulations on the new one so cute ;)

Sounds quite the experience


Thanks! She's such a sweet baby. Yes, it was definitely interesting... ;) Have a great day!


YOu to have a greta day

So beautiful! I missed 1 and 2 somehow....I'll be checking those out :) What a precious blessing, I'm so glad delivery went well. She's beautiful and I love her name!


Thanks! She's such a sweet girl and we just love having her around. :) I just posted the 4th part today as well.

woaaaaahhh what a story!! Birth in Panama must be an entirely different ballgame but you mastered it!

Congrats on madame Kalana LouAnn (love the name!) and good look getting back at full speed <3


:) Thanks! Yeah, it was an interesting time. I'm just glad it's over and we have a happy, healthy baby girl. :)

Congratulations on your beautiful little daughter, but what an ordeal in a strange country!
LOL, did you take up the offer of chips?

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Lol - I was in no mood for chips. It was such a strange offer! At that point, my labor had sort of stalled, so they were looking for something to do to entertain themselves I guess. Going to get chips was the answer. ;)

What a welcome into the world! So glad you are posting for us to see, @apanamamama.


It has been fun to relive it while posting. :)

What a beautiful name <3 congratulations to you and your family! Enjoy every second of this little beauty <3

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Thanks! I love her name as well. :) It's quite fitting.

I was planning to read these on time, but things came up. But so happy to read this now! What an adventure @apanamamama! I liked that the pediatrician asked if you wanted anything. That's the way it's supposed to be! Feed and water a birthing mother is what she needs (when she wants it), unlike what they do in the US or even other places (ice chips...nothing else).

If it would have been me with that nurse I probably would have punched her LOL.

Beautiful name! My eldest son has three Hawaiian names! Keanu Hi'ilani Kanoa (Soft breeze over the ocean, Held in the arms of heaven, and the free one :) He only knows how to spell his own names since he was 9 or so, hehe. But now he tells everyone who wants to hear, plus the meaning!
I wanted a Hawaiian name for my youngest too, but because they 'screwed' me with my internet connection (long story) when I moved house when 8 months pregnant, I ended up having no phone or internet till he was almost 4 weeks old, so I decided to finally just name him the first names that had come up. He was almost 3 weeks old! (the others had a name before they were born).

Good to hear everything went well! Aloha, little Kalana!


Wow! Yeah, naming kids is an interesting deal! :)

Congratulations!!! She is such a precious baby!!! I love her little lip on the second picture! Birth is much better than in my mom's day, but there is no doubt about it, it is still not a calming experience for the most part when you have to get there in a rush.

I am glad things seem to be going well for you! And you got that beautiful little girl to bring home!!!




Yeah, it was just such a relief when all was done and everyone was healthy! :) Thanks!

All went well and your little blessing was born!
A big congratulations!
Blessings to all of you!


Yes, thanks! So glad that everything went well. :)

  ·  2년 전

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Wow good job mama! I seriously would have gotten irritated too. While I’m laboring I don’t like anyone touching me, I like to do it all on my own unless I ask for help. Wow, that last push did the job. We also ask for specific things like first feeding with me before any baths or anything, baby stays in our presence at all times. Wherever they went my husband followed. She is such a healthy baby girl . Looking forward to reading the next part :)