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A Child Of Two Worlds | With Mireille Enos

2017-04-12 | 🔗

Mireille Enos of ABC's "The Catch" on one expat's decision to embrace risk, get pregnant, and according to the Somali proverb, open "the mouth to her grave."

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love the podcast cast supported by before the work messages begin to pour in let's gift ourselves a good morning, a good morning as a moment to pause and ease into the day. It's a moment to run and chase the sunrise or its gently, settle into your A good morning is a moment to be present to find clarity and be grounded for the day ahead. Good days start with good mornings and good mornings start with Yogi tea, Yogi tea, T's mate,
More than just taste, good, oh from the New York Times and WB, you are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetron puberty, the imagine a map of the world now zoom in on the Horn of Africa in between Ethiopia and Somalia lies the country of Djibouti. This small country become the centre of Rachel pie. Jones is world one that looks nothing her Minnesota roots. Moray eel knows you may
nice or from shows like big love, the catch and the killing reads us Rachel Pie, Joneses essay, a child of two worlds A somali proverb says that a woman should be either married or in her grave and in the Horn of Africa. The proverb might as well go on to say that if she is married, she had better be pregnant, nursing or postmenopausal. my husband Tom and I moved to Somaliland nine years ago, without two year old twins to work. A non governmental organization that aim to serve the local population, but within a year escalating violence, their forces to evacuate as in grab what we could and run and resettle across the border in Djibouti. A couple of years later, in our twins, Magdalen and Henry, were five- are Djibouti,
in somali neighbors began suggesting that my next pregnancy was long overdue. Surely my marriage couldn't survive with only two children and Asha my landlady added to the pressure asking over chipped mugs of steaming tea? How are the kids? Are you pregnant? The trouble wasn't that I didn't want to have another baby, though part of me did fear the possibility of having twins again. The trouble was that I lived in Djibouti, with neighbors like Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Pirates in the Red Sea Border skirt is in Eritrea, intermittent political tensions in Ethiopia and Al Qaeda
terrorists hanging out in Yemen. The trouble was that the nearest western hospital was a four hour flight away in Dubai. The trouble was that I was terrified to be pregnant and give birth in Djibouti. Temperatures sometimes soared over one hundred and twenty degrees. I heard stories if women being shouted at pinched and slapped by hospital staff and female relatives during labor I knew of the severe lack of midwifery skills outside of the realm of female genital cutting is hard to find an opportune time when my heart, mind and body were ready to conceive and then walking to school. One day, Henry and Magdalen quit holding my hands. It happened some
painlessly as though they had planned it. I watched them skip into kindergarten and felt the emptiness of my fingers. I wiped a tear from my eye and decided it was time to face my fears. Six weeks later, I was pregnant at Dar Al Anon. the maternity hospital women delivered flat on their backs with midwives, pressing down on their uterus, has nurses, pinched and soul the laboring women. If they made too much noise, no one was allowed to be in the delivery room other than the midwife. You got yourself. the this they would shout
didn't you know it would hurt stopping weak. Sometimes women gave birth in the hallways. Depending on how many bets were available, I decided to do my prenatal appointments and delivery at the french military hospital. Too far, the anesthesiologist did little to reassure me sign this he said in French sliding a piece of paper across the desk. It says you have considered the risks of giving birth in Djibouti that we can't medivac you out. And that you understand there are no proper, neonatal pediatricians no neonatal care in the country I gulped and skimmed the paper which also and that should I need a caesarean he would perform it. I recommend you go to France, he said or Dubai. I shook my head,
My husband is an english professor and the university will already be in session. I can't do it alone beside and stamped the release, for I shall kissed my cheeks when I told her. I was pregnant and taught me a new proverb. The mouth of my grave is open. You should say this to people and ask them to pray for you. She said in Somali, you are, the baby could die at any time, but it wouldn't be that bad. If the baby died, he could always have another one. You dont really love it. Yet anyway, it's not born. So it's ok. If the baby dies. I dont want to talk about the baby dying. I said you should say the proverb anyway. She said.
you are at a highly dangerous time of life in Djibouti. Pregnancy was highly dangerous for both mother and baby, the infant mortality rate was among the highest in the world more than fifteen percent, the maternal mortality rate, while much lower was still cause for at the hospital and arab midwife handed me a plastic cup and said in French. You know what to do. The bathroom had no toilet paper. Well, it didn't flush. The sink offered only dripping water, no soap and paper towels. I shook my hands: semi, dried them on my skirt and walk back to the off,
my plastic cup urine sloshing with each step. You ve had a c section, that's the midwife when she saw the scar. Yes for the second of my twins, only the second Magdalen came. Naturally, I said, but Henry flipped he wouldn't come out. She asked me whether I wanted to attempt a virgin or delivery. I can do it. She found you should go to do by it'll, be fine. I said with more conviction, and I felt a French is terrible. She said I know, but I speak Somali from then on card dowser, the somali midwife, handled my appointments. She was confident, cheerful and competent. Five months later, on the fourth anniversary of the attacks of September, eleventh, my water broke the significance of the day.
Hung over me as we headed to the hospital. I hope no one else is in labor. I said to Tom: if the only If room was occupied, I would deliver in the examining room which was smaller. I could only hold the midwife and myself no Tom, no extra nurse, and they would have to first clear out the broken blood pressure machine, the scale and the shelf of dusty bandages.
My labour progressed slowly and for dosa was nervous about the other women arriving. She decided to pump me full of Potosi to induce labor within twenty minutes. I was screaming for an epidural for dosa. Refused, you can start pushing. I didn't believe her until Tom looked and said. Ah, I can see her head. Two pushes later Lucy Dickson Victoria Jones entered the world. I immediately prepared to nurse my new dark, haired daughter, What are you doing for DES asked nursing her said? Don't you want to give water first? No, don't you want arrest? First, no You don't have any milk. I ignored her
also explained that I had torn and began sewing me up without any and aesthetic when I screamed she insulted me for the first time you just gave birth, don't be such a weakling I'd rather give birth again, while she stitched Tom, felt out the paperwork for Lucy's birth certificate and american Passport for Dasso. Looked up from torturing me why deck son she was born here. I said she needs a local
name, it means gift from Allah. She said. I know it also means that's Enough Tom said, and she is enough. I said through clenched teeth, Fred also dump my placenta and bloody towels in a garbage can and Tom walked Lucy and me back to our room. The room had a broken telephone, a narrow bed and a plastic chair. Lucy was sleeping and I held her close.
How much are on the rim? Where is the other baby? He joked. I don't know what to do now with only one baby, no twins. He sat on the edge of the bed and dealt out a game of solitaire, except for when I woke her to nurse Lucy slept through the first night, her face, serene and flawless. I kissed her rosebud lips, smooth her hair, saying lullabies. This was my Djibouti, an american daughter, a perfect combination of my two worlds born to american parents as the country on a day of infamy. She a pit amazed the people and places I had come to love while east and West became increasingly polarized over terrorism and religion and politics
Lucy would always remind me of the personal and human nature behind the new stories for those who came to check on us during that first night she stood in the doorway, so the wedded by the hall light and we smiled at each other. We had done what women throughout the centuries have done and would continue to do. What no division or rhetoric or wars could ever stop. We had brought life and beauty and love into the world. Moray eel knows. Reading Rachel Pie Jones is peace, a child of two world,
It's Rachel says her Djibouti and birth experience didn't end when she left the hospital. More from her after the break, I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee. Their by together. I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed fairy we may have happened I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words and I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that
me and my dad. We like to play fun together and I wish the out I forgot to see it. J, a c k, P, o t Jack, yeah yeah now run nice. I'm same as earth's sky, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com. Slash games were back. Modern love. The pod cast a magnet hacker body, Rachel Pie, Jones go to us from her home in Djibouti, where she's lived for fourteen years, Lucy is eleven. And Rachel's twins. Henry and Magdalen are now sixteen. This year she and her husband open one of the first international english curriculum schools in Djibouti and the fair He has no plans to leave the african nation anytime soon giving birth here really bonded
me to my community, when my friends saw that I was willing to stay and do this big life. experience here and with them and by embracing their cultural traditions, it really deepened. Our chips and deepen my own understanding of the culture. That body with local friends only strengthened after this story was published. They were we're really excited to see a beautiful story of a good story coming out of the region which so often people just associate Somalis, War or terrorism, or even now, there's a drought, but this was really a great story, so we had a lot of good feedback from people Rachel in her m. We have adjusted to living in a muslim majority country a strong contrast from their christian community in American Midwest. Rachel says it's been very important. To stay off then take an honest about their christian faith.
While at the same time broadening their spirituality with lessons from their muslim neighbours. In the first forty days after babies born Somalia, tradition is that the mother and the baby stay in the house for those full forty days. I did that here it was fantastic because you're just you're not expected to work, you just bond with your baby and you heal and your friends come and take care of you and my friends did that, and so in that context of those forty days, I really learned about being supported by my muslim community here and then at the end of the forty days, they throw a party like a baby shower, and so at that party I had asked my own mother, who was here if she would pray for Lucy and she's a crit,
and I had also asked our landlord Asha if she would prefer Lucy and she's a Muslim and em to me. That was really an example of building relationships of people in being often take about my own faith and, at the same time, being able and willing to receive the blessing of prayer from my muslim community as well much of Rachel's family still lives in her native Minnesota, and she says it's hard to be far away, but at the same time the benefit raising her kids abroad are enormous. I know a couple times my daughter Lucy in particular, has heard
about terrorism and and again equating that with Islam, and she said to me one time mom. Does that mean that people think my teachers are terrorists, and so we had this great conversation and- and she said of course, they're not terrorists, and so it's been a chance for our kids to see the normality, I guess of of people of all different kinds of religion and skin color and across economic classes. It's really been a great experience for our kids to be third culture. Rachel Pie Jones, the writer of this week's essay, a child of two worlds, Dan Jones, editor of modern love for the New York Times says: Rachel's essay really struck a chord with many readers and with him I just looked out. As I say, about giving into risk you now in
every way she's, just like you know we're here, we're going to do this. The way people do it here and she just pushes forward with that. Rachel continues to write and is working on a narrative, nonfiction book. You can read more work on her blog Djibouti Jones dot com opinion varied widely when it came to Rachel's decision to give birth in Africa. She Dan Jones respond in a minute. I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling Bee together
Together, I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in ferry may have happened again I have one friend. I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that. Me and my dad. We like to play fun together and I wish the out I forgot to see it J, a c k, p o t jack, yeah. Yeah now run nice. I'm same as earth's sky, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games, welcome back
Modern love, editor Daniel Jones, says whenever the column runs an essay about someone embracing risk, condemnation inevitably comes pouring in it's one thing: to take those risk with yourself, but take those kinds of risk with your children. You can't do that. You can think about others Some people don't live that way. You know, and this is a kind of essay that only expresses love to me. It expresses love and embracing the messiness of life, She seems aware of what she's getting yourself into and Naive about those risks. She's already spent a lot of time there and It's not for everybody, but it's definitely for her and her. Family and I think it's wonderful. How the USA celebrates that Rachel Pie Jones took that criticism in stride.
but also set. Her detractors were being unrealistic because millions of women give birth in Africa every day are all the time, so that was funny interesting feedback. and some people were a little bit struck that we had named, our daughter, a name that meant being a gift from all. I M were curious as to how I felt about and I M an using allow for God, which we, I have a problem with because it's the arabic word that means God. So it was interesting to get that kind of Feedback. Well, we want to know if you've embraced risk and if so, what's your story Neil email or a voice memo to modern love. W B, you are dot org thanks to our reader this week. Moray eel knows she says very moved by Rachel story
I'm a mama myself. I have two babies and every. delivery experience is unique and surprising. And I'm always moved to hear other women's experiences, and I also It was very timely right now when there's a lot of issues about people's ix. And says all over the world, and empathy is some that we are greatly in need of right now. I thought it was timely to look into someone else's experience on the other side of the world thanks again to Mireille Enos You can see her now on season, two of the catch which airs Thursday night on ABC next week on the podcast Harry Harry of NBC black list on one man's realisation that there is a distinct difference between simply living and actually feeling alive. Early in my adult life, I decided I would do whatever I liked.
Whenever I liked sorted out as I went along, I got away with that for twenty years, Modern love is a production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston. Npr station is produced, directed and editor by Jessica, Alpert John Parodi and AM receivers it there. For the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin, Sattler as our executive producers, Daniel Jones The editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p dot m. I'm making Taco Party will see you next week The.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.