|Luckily, My Kid Was Better Looking than Kuato from Total Recall|
The problem as a guy is, nothing in life prepares you for having a kid. Being a dude has given me the ability to change a timing belt, recite the Big Lebowski line for line, and sink an 8-ball on a bankshot, but I never learned what to hell to expect having a baby. Also, things are always just a little bit different in Thailand - labor and delivery being no exception. So without further ado, here's some helpful advice for all the future dads out there:
|Becoming a Dad: This is Crazy, This is Crazy, This is Crazy|
|Dress for Success|
2) Dress for Success - Thailand is a very judgmental society that is highly focused on face. If your dressed in the Chang Beer tank-top you bought on Sukhumvit after a night out in Nana, the entire hospital staff is going to be glaring at you, and your wife. Also, you will be meeting with doctors, who are highly respected professionals in Thailand. You don't want to look like some bum who's going to run off with the baby and not pay the bill. Plus, you want to make a good first impression on baby, don't you? You only get one.
|No Boys Allowed|
3) Don't Expect to be in the Delivery Room - I had heard that most Thai hospitals (except for the expensive ones that cater to foreigners and high-society like BNH and Samitivej) do not let Dad into the delivery room during the actual delivery. I thought this was some sort of hygiene thing, but my experience shows that it was a modesty and cultural issue. When the doctor checked on my wife's contractions, they suitcase tossed me out of there faster than Carrot Top at the Apollo. So when it was time for delivery, they didn't let me in the room until after baby was sitting under the heat lamp getting cleaned up by the nurse. I'm sure they would have let me in if I insisted, but they seem to have an aversion to the guy being present for the ordeal. However, my Singaporean brother-in-law informed me the reason may have been personal. He said, "They probably didn't want you getting in the way."
4) Bring Your Papers -A Boy Named Sue is a great Johnny Cash tune, but nothing screws up your kid's life more than giving him or her a goofy name. That's why it's important you fill out the forms properly that the nurse brings you for the baby's birth certificate (สูติบัตร or Sutibat). The Thai government issues the birth certificate completely in Thai, and everyone's names have to be in Thai. For your name, you should use the exact same Thai spelling on your wedding certificate or your work permit. If you don't have either, the staff at the hospital should be able to help you out (maybe). The official Thai first name gets picked based on what day of the week baby is born. We went to a website, but I've heard people often go see the monks. If you want baby to have a farang name, make sure you agree on the Thai spelling ahead of time with the misses. For example, our daughter's Western name is Monica, named after her great-grandma, so for the Thai spelling we decided on โมนิค่า. Don't forget to bring photocopies of the following. Just pack it in the baby action pack with the diapers, towels, and booties that you plan on taking to the hospital on the big day:
- Copy of Wife's Thai Id Card
- Copy of Wife's Home of Record Document
- Copy of Wife's Birth Certificate
- Copy of Your wedding certificate (if married)
- Copy of Your Passport
|Baby Getting Attention from Relatives|