Pyo Pyo, who I’ve been baking bread with for months now, was at her due date last Friday. She still baked bread all day Thursday, rolling out over 100 tortillas in over 100 degree heat. She then made deliveries per usual on Friday.
Unfortunately, Stephen & I headed to Bangkok for a few days this past weekend, and we didn’t know if she’d go into labor. We gave her the number of our pastor’s wife and sweet friend, who also helps in migrant communities around town. She is Burmese so that Pyo Pyo could communicate, and they have a car to get them to the clinic.
Tuesday morning at 1:30am we got a call in Bangkok from Go Tight, Pyo Pyo’s husband. They had called the pastor’s wife, but didn’t reach her and didn’t know what to do. We told them to wait a few minutes–don’t take a motorcycle taxi–and we’d sort it. I then woke up and called and called and called until we reached her. Pyo Pyo made it to the hospital and she had the baby by 4am.
We got another call at 4am, which apparently I answered but don’t remember. Then, another call about 8:30am, because they apparently could tell I wasn’t awake! They wanted to tell us it was a little boy and he was healthy. They wanted us to celebrate with them! I assured Pyo Pyo we’d be in to Mae Sot by noon as we were about to head to the airport, and I told her I’d go straight to the clinic to see her.
So we did! We saw her healthy, huge new baby–he was 4 1/2 kilos, they said, or about 9.9 pounds! Not only is this large for any baby, but for a Burmese baby born into a migrant home, this is just amazing! She was so proud.
Excuse how ridiculously hot we both look. It’s because we were ridiculously hot. While she has the excuse of having just birthed a child a few hours earlier, I just have the excuse that we are in the hottest recorded summer in Thailand ever–we’ve had weeks straight now with daily heat indexes of 110 or 111 degrees Fahrenheit. I am dying now as much as I look like I was then.
The next day she was able to go home, so Stephen went to get them and waited while they sorted the birth certificate and footprints. Note Pyo Pyo’s cozy coat, as it is cultural to keep the mother bundled up after giving birth. Also take note that this was another day feeling like 110 degrees.
She is now enjoying “maternity leave” from baking bread–she has three weeks off and is still paid, and then she’ll be back to join us in a managerial position. We’re going to teach her some of the books and finances of it and allow her to manage hand washing, delegating jobs, and managing the other employees.
I have to say, we welcome a lot of babies in this community. San San delivered just the week before–a beautiful little girl named Meh Oo. We still have one more woman due in about a month and two more in about five months, and another one just after that. It’s a revolving door and there are always new babes.
But there was something different about this one, and it was so fun. This was the first time we knew the family this well, seeing Pyo Pyo nearly every day and spending so much time with them over baking and deliveries and meals. We have helped them start a savings budget which they keep at our house, and we have watched them really improve their standard of living since adding a second job with Flour & Flowers into the family. They’ve added a new roof to their house that was a much needed improvement, and Go Tight added a second level loft in their little hut. And now they’ve birthed an incredibly healthy son!
And more than that, I realized that Pyo Pyo is probably my best friend here. We have an odd friendship to say the least, but we know each other well and look out for each other. I am really, truly excited for this little boy to be here, and she was so excited to tell us!
In all, we already love little baby Aung San. But it was fun to see how much this friendship has grown and how his mom has come to mean to me.