I am a midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby number one...How it all began...

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
(Not a water birth; I just love this photo!)
Khalid's Birth Story
Sacramento, California
November 4, 1995

For those who don't know me, I'm one of those women who love to be pregnant, don't mind birth (after-the-fact), and love having a lot of kids.  I feel fortunate to have found childbirth classes when I was expecting my first baby.  I am so grateful to Dr. Bradley and the founders of the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth® for their life's work in educating women on the importance of natural, NON-MEDICATED childbirth.  If the simple techniques they teach for coping with labor and birth didn't work, I'd not have eight children today!  I believe so strongly in their childbirth classes that I am now a teacher myself!  When I was expecting my first baby fifteen years ago, I never would have dreamed that I'd end up half way across the world, mother of eight, and teaching women to birth naturally as I have.  Allah has a way of guiding and directing us to the places we need to be.  Always trust in HIS plan!

I hope you enjoy reading these birth stories.  Please let me know if you'd like to share yours. Now on to the story...Baby number one..how it all began...

I was 12 weeks pregnant before I realized that I was expecting. Khalid was born at 35
weeks gestation. It was a short pregnancy and I didn't know for sure if I was having a boy
or a girl; I hadn't purchased anything for the baby.

When I delivered, I was in the middle of my twelve-week childbirth classes with Janet
Carrol. She was teaching her first class as a provisional instructor. I had contacted a
midwife and planned on a home birth. I feared hospital births because I had heard that
they shave you, give you an enema, and make you remove your wedding rings and
contact lenses. I was determined to have an unmedicated, natural birth. I wanted the
least amount of medical "interference" possible. I had met my midwife, but had not had an
appointment with her yet.

On Thursday morning I noticed what I thought may be my mucus plug. I happened to
have a doctor's appointment that afternoon. When I mentioned it to him, he blew it off and
said he'd see me at my next appointment.

I went to work as usual the next day. That night, Friday, I couldn't sleep all night. The
baby felt "hard as a rock." At 6:00 a.m. I finally got out of bed. My husband asked if we
were having a baby today. I answered, "No," as I wasn't due for five more weeks.
By 2:00 p.m. my husband commented that I was "crabby" about every two minutes. I
called the midwife. She told me that the baby was too early for a home birth. She advised
me to go for a walk, take a shower, and go to the hospital if the contractions were two
minutes or less apart and I couldn't talk through them.

We went for a walk. My husband activated the stop-watch feature of his watch. It was set
to beep every two minutes. Each time it beeped I felt a pain. It wasn't horrible, just
uncomfortable. I was still able to talk through them. I began doubting myself, thinking that
I was just "feeling" the pain in response to the watch's beep.

At 2:30 p.m. we decided to go to a department store to get diapers and a car seat. We
had not prepared for our baby at all. It seemed like the clerk took forever getting the car
seat we had selected out of the back room. I had to sit and rest while waiting for her.
When we left the store I remember feeling like my husband was racing over speed bumps.
He wasn't, but each little bump hurt!

After the store, we stopped at a local diner for lunch. We figured it may be a long night at
the hospital and we weren't sure when we would be able to eat. I ordered dry toast and
water but I couldn't eat it. I made several trips to the restroom. I kept feeling like I had to
urinate, but when I tried, I really didn't need to go. The waitresses at the diner knew us
and were yelling at my husband to hurry up. They told him, "Can't you see she's in

I was still not convinced that I was in labor. We decided to go home and pack a suit case,
"just in case." Our next plan was to find the hospital and pre-register, "just in case." At
this point, we didn't even know where the hospital was located!

At home I lay on the bed and told my husband what to pack. I was in no hurry to go to the
hospital. Once the bag was packed, I made one last trip to the restroom. This time there
was blood! I didn't want to panic my husband so I didn't tell him. My demeanor changed
and I began rushing to the car. I was afraid something was terribly wrong!

It was Saturday about 4:30 p.m. when we arrived at the hospital. The regular admittance
section of the hospital was closed. My husband dropped me at the emergency door and
went to park. I went in and stood in line, waiting my turn to be seen. There were about six
people ahead of me. By the time I got to the reception window, my husband had joined
me. The women asked why we were there. I told her I was in my seventh or eight month
of my pregnancy, that I was having pains, and that I had bloody show. She freaked out
and yelled at me for waiting in the line. She rushed an orderly to escort me by wheel chair
to the delivery floor. I refused the chair and insisted on walking.

Once upstairs, we had to visit a small room to complete the registration process.
Afterwards, a nurse came and escorted me to my labor and delivery room. She would not
allow my husband to accompany me. I was furious that he couldn't come with me.

Once in the room she checked me and confirmed that I was dilated to "five." She asked
me if I wanted any "pain management." I refused, but I didn't realize it was "now or
never." She asked me if my husband abuses me, if he was the father of the baby, and if I
truly wanted him in the birthing room. After I assured her that he was the father and I did
want him in the birthing room, she allowed him to join me.

I allowed them to wrap my stomach with the fetal monitors for the first twenty minutes.
After they assured me that my baby appeared to be handling the labor, I insisted they
remove the devices. As I labored, I didn't want anyone, besides my husband in my room.
I kept asking the nurse to leave. I was furious when a male orderly entered unannounced.
I didn't want to be at the hospital and I wasn't convinced that "this was it!"

I hadn't had a chance to shower at home so I asked to take a shower. The nurse told me
to go down the hall, but make it quick. "I don't want to deliver your baby in the shower!"
she jeered.

It was very difficult to stand through the pains. My husband was trying to help me but it
wasn't doing any good. I finally went back to my room. The nurse checked me again and
announced that I was fully dilated. She advised me to breathe through the next two or
three contractions and then start pushing. I found it difficult not to push through those next
few contractions. However, when it came time to push, I just didn't want to. I was barely
pushing. The nurse was telling me I had to push hard. I was ignoring her and asked her
to leave.

Then, during one contraction, I pushed and my water broke. I freaked out. I began
buzzing the nurses station and calling for her to come back. Suddenly I didn’t want her to
leave my side! My husband told me to calm down. "It's just your water."

"I know what it is!" I yelled as I continued pushing the nurse's button.

From that point on the pain was coming hard and fast. My husband and the nurse were
each holding one of my legs as I'd push. Between contractions I'd lie back, "tummy
breathe" and relax my entire body (as we were taught in our Bradley® classes), and rest.
They were both talking to me and asking me questions. I appreciated their conversation,
but was too exhausted to reply.

The nurse finally called the doctor in. When he arrived I had about a fifteen minute lull in
my contractions. The nurse told him, "She was having nonstop contractions, I swear!"
Just about then the contractions kicked back in. I sat up to push and could see my baby
crowning. The doctor was pushing against the baby's head to try and help him break
through. I cried and asked him to please stop. I told him, "You're hurting me."

He replied, "I'm not even touching you."

"Yes, you are! I didn't take the epidural; I can feel it! Besides that, I can see too!" I

As I lay back to rest for the next contraction, I thought to myself, I've got to get this over
with! It was ten minutes to eight and I was determined to deliver by 8:00 p.m. Sure
enough, with the next contraction I pushed until I felt the baby's head pop through. I
instinctually stopped pushing. With the next contraction, the doctor turned the baby and
he slid out fairly easily. I was so relieved it was over!

I was even more relieved when the doctor announced that I hadn't torn and I wouldn't
need any stitches! The nurse commented on my good control to stop pushing at the right

The baby was somewhat gray and laboring to breath. He had to be taken to the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit. I was released to go home the next afternoon. The baby was treated
for eight days with oxygen and lights for jaundice.

After the birth I had some bruising pain, but nothing too bad. I was able to get up and
move around right away. I really didn't need any "recovery" time.

I had to pump my milk for his first few feedings as they insisted on knowing exactly how
much he was eating. I was thrilled when they finally allowed me to nurse. I continued to
nurse him until he weaned himself at twelve months of age. Within a month of his
weaning I was pregnant with his little sister, Sarah...and on to the next birth story...


  1. Masha'Allah what a nice story. I'm like you. When I am in labor, I am always hesitant to say it is actual labor just in case I am wrong. lol.

  2. Salam Alaikum, Umm Tasneem,

    Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. :)

    I hear ya...even with the eighth baby I wasn't "sure." So not sure that I couldn't have made it to the hospital, even if I had tried!

    Alhamdulelah, I never have gone to the hospital and found out it wasn't really "time." :)

    I'd love to post your birth stories. (Just lighitng that fire under you to write them.)

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

  3. for some reason whenever I'm reading your posts I feel in pain... Indeed you love being pregnant Masha'Allah. kids after kids and more kids. I have a question does it really put a strain to your body? I have always heard that from women who have had alot of kids (right after the other). Usually they are women from older generations like grandma's and aunts.

  4. I have another question? what prompted you to want to become pregnant was it both your husband's and your decision? or how did that work?

  5. Salam alaikum, Ukhty,

    Obviously, there is underlying strain as the heart pumps for two and the blood volume increases by 50%, there is added burden of weight on the back and and pelvic floor, and of course the stretching of various muscles and tissues to accommodate the baby and its birth.

    However, I still feel healthy, flexible, and in descent shape (although I could stand to lose a little weight since the birth of number eight).

    I venture to bet that the tole your older generation refers to comes from lack of education about the pelvic floor muscle (Kegel) and resulting incontinence and sexual issues.

    In my case, I am diligent in performing Kegel exercises (which I think many women miss). I think this makes a huge difference in female health and sexuality. You can read more about this at http://saudilife.net/motherhood/10457-lifelong-pregnancy-exercise-for-women-and-men.

    As for wanting pregnancies and babies, it's always been my desire to have a large family. Alhamdulelah, I've been blessed with the physical ability to do so. My husband also values large families and is very supportive and welcoming of each new face into the family. :)

    May Allah bless you with the knowledge you need to have good birth experiences and full recovery after each one (no matter how many that is). :)

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

  6. Beautiful story. Allahumma baarik! For me I was sure, though I don't know how.
    I labored from the early hours of morning and by isha prayer we left for the hospital. When we got there I told them I was having my baby. I felt so sure and alhamdulillah 4 hours + later I had my beautiful baby.
    I was sad though that I had an episiotomy but I'm determined to learn more on natural birth and in shaa Allah avoid it with my next baby.

    You truly are inspirational. Jazaakumullah khair for sharing your story!