This morning on Channel Two radio show Seder Hayom, host Keren Neubach interviewed Meital, 19-year-old mother of a four-month-old baby called Amitai. Amitai was born while the mother was doing basic training in the Israeli army. Meital had no idea she was pregnant, and none of the army’s doctors considered the possibility despite Meital’s many medical complaints. She was already pregnant when she began her service.
Meital didn’t realize she was pregnant for the following reasons:
- She is overweight, and didn’t feel the baby’s movements or notice the weight gain.
- She has irregular periods.
- She was on birth control pills.
At one point she got off the bus and crawled to the infirmary, where the doctor laughed at her and sent her away. Other times doctors prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. The army even required her to do another thirty days of basic training because she did not pass the first session. Meital was pregnant when she began her service.
When she began having contractions, Meital called her parents to bring her to the emergency room. The nurse diagnosed a urinary tract infection, and when the membranes ruptured, the nurse claimed it was urinary incontinence. Meital’s mother suggested that perhaps her daughter was in labor. A gynecologist checked her, and the healthy baby was born within minutes.
She received NIS 800 from the army, a release notice, and no further contact.
My husband and I kept waiting for Neubach to ask Meital about the baby’s father but she didn’t. But one of the lawyer’s complaints in his lawsuit against the army is that the father missed out on the pregnancy.