On Being an Expectant Father in Morocco

I can honestly say, I’ve never felt so useless as I feel as an expectant father in Morocco. My wife woke up with labor pains at 4 AM. At 5 AM we called her mother who came over, they had a process worked out for how things would work. In Moroccan culture, the man isn’t really involved. At 6 AM we went to her mother’s house (and of course, I was trying to comfort her, but since this is our first child and I’ve been kind of left out of the loop that would include me back in the USA, I tried to help with breathing, massage etc) At her mom’s they laid her on the couch and told me to just go wait in the other room. At 10 AM the midwife came. At 11 AM her water finally broke. At 1PM we finally took her to the hospital where I had to wait outside and they told me to go back to her Mom’s house and wait. Now it’s 7 pm and I just called and found out she’s still not ready (at one finger which I’m not totally sure of the meaning of, but think it has to do with the cervix) and they told me to wait and if she doesn’t deliver tonight they will send her to Fez (a nearby city) for a C-section. It’s all fairly frustrating as culturally, I’m just not allowed to be with her (even to hold her hand and say breathe or push) and since it’s not my culture and I’ve never really been through this, it’s all just a bit frightening. I suppose that’s the norm in any culture though…

I’m just thankful that her Mom is with her, which is why we decided to have the baby here. It was more important that she be comfortable than anything else…I just hope she is.