Pregnant Women at the Doctor’s Office

Jorge Milanés Despaigne

HAVANA TIMES — With all my discomfort resulting from dengue fever, I decided to go to the doctor’s office. In the waiting room were several pregnant women who, while waiting to be seen, were engaged in an interesting conversation about the pros and cons of having just one child.

“For the time being I’m just thinking about having this one child, and later on I’ll see if I can handle another one. I’m not going to risk my economic stability, because you all know how difficult everything is,” said a pretty brunette wearing a flowered dress.

Another woman responded saying, “If you plan carefully, you can have another one. This is my second and it hasn’t caused me any extra effort.”

“Besides, you know what kind of brats you get when there’s just one kid,” said another woman who because of her small size no one would have thought she was already a mother.

The woman who was sitting in the corner and had the biggest belly was of those who were talking. It looked like she was about to give birth at any moment, but she stopped silent, stroking her stomach and perhaps analyzing what she was listening to through the prism of her own experiences.

“Is this your first baby?” asked the nurse, who was also involved in the discussion.

“Yeah, and I’ve been listening since I got here. I share some of their ideas, but in my case it would be too hard to have two kids. I’ve been planning carefully for a long time, but you see I work in a cafeteria that charges in hard currency, and because of this the managers are always snooping around. There could be an overhaul of the staffing and you could lose your job if you were out giving birth.

As for me — someone who is of course neither pregnant nor a woman — I confirmed my position of not wanting to bring children into this complicated world to face hardship.


Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.

One thought on “Pregnant Women at the Doctor’s Office

  • Statistically, Cuban women on average are having less than 1 child per family. Combined with emigration numbers, overall the Cuban population is actually getting smaller every year. Couple a shrinking population with the fact that younger, working age Cubans are typically more likely to emigrate, the average age of the Cuban population is increasing, especially in the agricultural areas of the country. This bodes poorly for increasing agricultural productivity as there are fewer young laborers available to work in this sector. Conclusion, Cuba is a poor country unable to feed itself and increasingly unable to buy foodstuffs abroad as food prices increase and hard currency in Cuba used to buy food and medicine is harder to come by. Raul´s economic reforms are slow to show positive results if at all. The good news? There is none.

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