Walter’s Birth Certificate: Developments!

Yesterday Rafael and I went to Cusco to the Ministerio de Salud to work on the documents. They determined they could not give us the certificate because it needed to be in our district. Neither Izcuchaca not Compone wanted to claim Marquesbamba, but after many phone calls, the lady found A Puesto de Salud in Conchacalla that had jurisdiction.

They called and talked several times, but remained unwilling. Finally Rafael hit on the problem: Steph and I have the same last name; many of the local officials believed we were siblings that had had a baby together.

Rafael explained this to the jefa at the Ministerio who then called Conchacalla and explained it to them. Everyone felt better knowing we weren’t siblings who had left the States to have a baby in secret in Peru.

Women here keep their father’s and mother’s last names after marriage. Children born into a marriage take the two grandfather’s last names. Walter must have two last names since he is Peruano. His official name will be Walter Anthony Schmidt Schmidt.

The obstetra from Conchacalla was to come out to our house to confirm our residency and the birth. When Rafael and I got to the Puesta, we discovered she had no car (and Rafael said she had no manners). She was rather brusque with us and told us if we didn’t have a car, she wasn’t going to worry about it. Thankfully, Lamar was able to come pick us all up.

We learned she was upset about two things: 1) That we had gone to the German hospital first, instead of a Peruano hospital (She said the German hospital is inferior and cannot be trusted) 2) That we had a baby at home without a doctor, which was an offense to her personally.

She did her best to convince us that our babies will die if a doctor is not present. Rafael told me not to try to explain or argue because it would make her mad so she wouldn’t help us. I answered her questions respectfully, but gave none of my opinions.

We showed her pictures of the labor and delivery. I was thankful I had those. She grudgingly admitted that everything looked good, and even commented that it made sense why we would want a home birth if we wanted a water birth. She said they don’t offer options in the hospital.

The obstetra said she needed no further evidence. She said she would have the birth certificate for us tomorrow, and we should come for vaccinations and a checkup at 8:00 or 8:30, más o menos.

We arrived shortly before 8:30 to see the nurse unlocking the doors. She said the obstetra will be in later. We don’t know when later is. So we sit and wait.

But I think this is progress.