So I'm out to dinner last night, talking with the lovely JO and updating her about the University professorship situation. I'd gone in to the class on Wednesday to observe, to start preparing to teach October 25th. This is when the current professor is officially scheduled to start her maternity leave.
Anyway, after the class the professor and I are talking. We arrange to drive into town to have lunch, and she has to pull a giant kiddie pool out of the front seat of her pick-up truck so that I can sit. Not being entirely sure why an 8 & 9/10th's months pregnant lady is messing around with a kiddie pool, I ask her about it. Apparently it's for the delivery . . . she has a mid-wife and is doing the whole thing at home in the water birth style.
Now I know home birth is becoming more popular, even in the states, but this throws me for a loop. I was telling JO about it, because why not? It's interesting and different.
She comes back with an even more interesting and different take. Apparently, having babies at home is common in Ecuador because THEN NO ONE STEALS THE BABY AT THE HOSPITAL.
Yeah, exactly. Hospital baby snatchings are common? She shrugs, which can mean anything from "oh yes, totally" to "honestly, it is so easy to pull your leg." I ask her why, and she says that some people who can't have babies buy babies, and thus there is a market for babies, and people just want to serve that market.
For a minute I have a flashback to China, where I knew of a woman who went to the south of the country, headed out to the sticks, and picked up a lovely baby girl for $250. She was frustrated, as a single woman, with the hurdles in the adoption process. The twist? PEOPLE TOLD HER SHE OVERPAID.
I didn't have it in me to ask what a baby would run here. The last thing I need is to discover how affordable it is to buy a baby down here and then turn up back home with a matched set of big-eyed insta-grandkids. I can hear myself now:
"Mom, Dad, I was only going to get one but then I found out they were on SALE."