Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why Mexico City?


Why did I choose Mexico to have a baby?

A popular reaction seems to be, “Why not France?” It seems France sounds like the ideal place to have a baby to many people—and it probably is, although I think all things considered I would choose a German speaking country first, but anyway here was my reasoning.

We have international health insurance that covers every country in the world but the US. Adding the US would triple the annual cost. And no, it’s not because US health care is triple the value. US infant mortality rate is the highest of any of the developed nations. So there was no question we would have a baby there without health insurance; a birth abroad was the way to go.

Well, the decision had to be made fairly quickly. I thought it would be a nice gift to give our child dual citizenship. To see which countries offer that, visit here:

It’s mostly countries in the western hemisphere, plus Pakistan, Cambodia, and Fiji. I thought Pakistan and Cambodian citizenship sounded more like a liability than an asset, and Fiji isn’t renowned for its excellent healthcare.

So it was narrowed down to Uruguay, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. None of the Caribbean had high enough quality healthcare to satisfy me. Uruguay was an awfully long flight away (something like 13 hours) to try without having ever visited it before. Canada’s hospitals told me, reserving in October, I might be able to get a midwife in time for June—I was on a waiting list. No thanks.

That left Costa Rica and Mexico. I found a good-sounding doctor, Dr Adam Paer Singer in Costa Rica, who offered water births to American expats. I was leaning toward that option over Mexico because of safety concerns but I left the choice up to Jacob. He thought Mexico sounded more interesting with more choices. Escazu, Costa Rica with population 15,000 did not sound so enticing to either of us.

That left deciding which city in Mexico. Mexico had a lot of options; but which was the best?

I knew one thing—I needed a good social network. In Guadeloupe no one spoke a word of English and I found that adjusting to being pregnant mentally was a big leap for me. I needed English speaking friends, and fast.

Mexico City, I discovered, had an English-speaking—and liberal, from what I read on one forum—LDS ward. It also had a group called Newcomer’s Club. It had the best hospitals in the country, and an American girl I met online recommended me her doctor. Mexico City’s homicide rate is a quarter that of Atlanta’s or Kansas City’s. Its pollution levels, though still high, were down from the infamous levels they were at 10 years ago.

So, we took the leap. I had made Jacob promise not to tell anyone we were pregnant until we were all settled in. I found that I myself couldn’t keep the secret and I spilled the beans. Since then, we’ve had an outpouring of support. Honestly, the people are so kind here and there are many women that I can look up to.

Furthermore, my family has been amazingly supportive. It was probably unexpected, to find out I was having my baby in Mexico, but if anyone has had reservations they’ve kept them to themselves which I very much appreciate.

I feel good about our situation here, the hospital, the doctor, our friends. We even have a Crockpot and an office. We live almost directly across the street from the opera house; and our dentist, eye doctor, favorite restaurants, phone company, the world famous Zocalo are all within walking distance. It’s maybe as close to settling down as we’ll ever get? We’re very grateful that this leap into Mexico has turned out to be a good choice—so far.


Hugh Spackman said...

Escazu is pretty nice, actually. I loved close to there for a few months, as did Anthony Gardner. Being a missionary I never looked into giving birth there, but it was the most modern/wealthy place in Costa Rica that I saw.

Anonymous said...


Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

I'm sure it would have been nice, but Jacob and I tend to like big city life so Mexico City was more our style. We've since met several people who lived in Escazu and enjoyed it.

Powered by Blogger