Pregnancies aren’t really spoken about here in Zambia. My friend and I realized this years ago, when we lived here, we made a big cultural mistake. After the long end of school year holiday, we returned to school to see that one of the teachers was obviously pregnant. We shrieked with excitement when we saw her and were full of congratulations and the like. Then we saw her face of shock and those around us as well and how everyone was quiet and didn’t say anything. We later learned that that sort of thing, just isn’t done, it goes against tradition. You don’t talk to a woman about her pregnancy in Zambia and as a pregnant woman, you don’t really talk about your pregnancy, that is also culturally inappropriate.
When in Zambia, do as the Zambian’s do.
So in our nearly six months of being here, I have very rarely talked about my pregnancy with the Zambians that we know here. It’s been interesting having a very obviously growing bump and no one really talks about it. I’ve been interested to see if any Zambian’s would bring the topic up and one once has a Zambian asked me about it. In the last few weeks I’ve brought up the topic a few times and the few people I’ve spoken to about it have seemed open to talking about it, but I don’t think they’d ever bring up the topic themselves. Interesting.
Being pregnant here has also brought about some interesting situations. I was driving once and was stopped at a police check. The officer told me to take off my seatbelt and told me off for wearing it. She then proceeded to get her superior and I honestly thought I was going to be fined for wearing my seatbelt while pregnant! The officer in charge also told me off for wearing one, saying it was too constricting and uncomfortable. Thankfully I wasn’t issued a fine (you can be fined for pretty much anything here!) and I drove away and quickly put my seatbelt back on!
Today we’re heading to Lusaka. It’s going to be a life-changing trip as we will be returning as a family of four. It’s a little surreal to think about – life has been pretty full these last couple of months and, somehow, this feels like it has snuck up on us. We think that all the logistics are thought through; we have somewhere to stay whilst in Lusaka (there will be room at the inn!), we have someone to look after Jacob when the ‘show starts’ and we have a hospital back packed. So we just need to get mentally prepared for the next chapter of the adventure.
Thankfully the baby is head down and looking ready, but we’d really appreciate your prayers for the labour – we believe a straight forward, pain-free, labour is not beyond God’s capabilities. Prayers for the transition of moving to a family of four would also be great – that the baby is a good sleeper as well as content and happy when awake, that Jacob loves being an older brother, and that we have enough energy and enthusiasm for the journey ahead.
Well, we’ll see you on the other side.