Disclaimer

I am a 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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Loving the Natural Birth Experience!

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

I love this mother's passion for natural, non-medicated birth, masha'Allah!  I pray that all sisters can experience the joys and fulfillment of birth that she has.

You may first want to read her journey to natural birth titled No More Epidurals!.

I hope you enjoy the story and will consider contributing your own!  Thanks, again, to this sister for sharing!  Now on to the story...Loving the Natural Birth Experience!...





There I was, pregnant with baby number four, thinking this baby will enter the world sooner than his brother and sisters did.  After all, my muscles have done this before. I didn't realize just how right I was! This is how the birth of my fourth and latest baby actually turned out to be. 

I was 37 weeks into the pregnancy and getting excited for baby to come, not just because it is a new baby, but because of the pains of being pregnant. I knew he was a big baby, even though my doctor told me I measured average size.  She estimated he would be about 7 lbs at his due date, alhamdulillaah.  Regardless of my doctor's prediction, I knew he was bigger than that.  (My second baby was a big baby and I recognized the tightness of my belly when space is limited in there.)


The pressure I was feeling at that time was so painful that I started hoping he would come soon. The days continued passing by and I started feeling very painful Braxton Hicks (false labor). This was something I had never experienced before, so I thought they were true labor pains...until they ebbed away each time.


I informed my doctor of these and she told me my body is becoming prepared for baby to come and hopefully it is a sign that the birth would be quick. I was surprised by these contraction and had no idea what they are capable of! I would definitely find this out when it was time for the real thing.

Forty weeks came and went, as did many more episodes of false labor. There I was, calling the hospital when I thought it was truly labor, only to be disappointed hours later. Alhamdulillaah, the nurses advised us to wait a few hours before coming in, which gives the body enough time to process everything.


The funny thing is, these Braxton Hicks felt like when I was dilating the last time I gave birth (that same feeling of a vice opening my cervix). I was sure I was dilating. What convinced me even more was a sister I knew who was pregnant at the same time, similar due date, and she would tell me she was dilated whenever she went to visit her doctor. I didnt know that was even possible, since I never had that experience and I never heard of it! Subhaan'Allaah!  You may think it strange, I have three children yet I don't know about true and false labor? Well, they were so painful that I couldn't walk at times, they would wake me up from my sleep and i was not looking for any water being broken because they didn't happen except for my first childbirth. I just had to bite down and endure the pain. I didn't want to have to be induced as this was policy for those going past 42 weeks. I was amazed at how well baby was being held in my tummy being the 4th baby and having his sibling all come in my 39th week! Allaahu Akbar, isn't Allaah just amazing how He created the capability of a woman's body?!

Two days after baby's due date i started having the braxton hicks again.  So shrugging them off, i went to nap at around 5pm with the contractions. They were irregular like all those before and far apart. I didn't get very good sleep and awoke at 6:30pm to take care of the kids. The pains didn't go away, in fact they only got stronger and by 7pm my labour was in full swing. I was calculating in my head, "Ok. First baby- 15 hours labour, 2nd baby- 12 hours, 3rd baby- 9 hours....soooo 4th baby- 6 hours?"   These contractions were intense! MashaaAllaah. I couldn't walk properly and i remembered my last labour how i only felt like this when i was dilated 7cm. So i looked at my husband and said, "Hurry. We have to go to the hospital now. I am far along and baby can come anytime now." Alhamdulillaah i sent my kids to my upstairs neighbour until my friend who i had asked to keep them when i go into labour could come to collect them. I didn;' want to risk waiting for her because i felt the birth was too close and she wasn't coming very soon. Off we went to the hospital  my husband and I. 

The contractions were coming stronger each time...and faster! Each time he hit a bump or went into a hole it was agony (sounds familiar:  Speed Bumps...a Sign of Labor!). I was holding onto the handle bar above my head and reciting the duaa for ease as well as I could. But my concentration was failing me and the pain was taking over; I was slurring and forgetting to finish the duaa, so I kept restarting. For each contraction my feet were digging into the floor, even though I was trying to relax and breathe. The labor was progressing extremely quickly, a little too quickly, and I remembered my friend who had her baby in 1 hour. The time in between the contractions were shorter than my last labor. 

Finally we got to the hospital after what seemed like ages. It was 8 pm the nurse at the desk asked me the routine questions and saw my face.  She could tell I was far along and I convinced her that I knew I was.  Consequently, I got that room really fast!

I undressed quickly and lay down with my husband again sitting on my right side and holding my hand. I was then checked, but I wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear (although it didn't surprise me).  

"She's already 8 cm dilated!" exclaimed the nurse as she looked at me strangely. "When did your labor start?" she asked. 

"About an hour ago,"  I replied between contractions.

She seemed to relieve her confusion by remembering that this was my fourth child. Anyway, I was sleep deprived and in alot of pain as this labor progressed so quickly. I was in no way prepared for what was happening. The finish line was almost there and I soothed myself with the thought of my last labor, although this was nothing like it!

The nurse was even better than my last one, alhamdulelah. She was wonderful, sweet and spoke to me, helping me through each and every contraction, masha'Allah. She stayed close to me, holding my other hand and coaching me. She saw my distress. I never felt pain like this before and I needed to hear some encouragement as that's what got me through my last labor. Alhamdulelah, my nurse did it well!

She put her hand on my tummy when I felt the next contraction and said to me so soothingly, "Relax and breathe. It's going to peak soon and it will last for 10 seconds." Then she would let me know when I was peaking; count the seconds with me and let me know when it was over. Alhamdulillaah! So I kept this in mind for the rest of contractions to come, at least for those I could even think through.

The time soon came where I was all out of being able to recite anything so I begged my husband to recite for me. He started saying a different dua. This was no time for me to school him (even though he knew the dua I was saying because he helped me learn it). I just couldn't think straight. Oh the pain! 

The contractions were coming hard and fast. There was hardly any time in between them, until the pain just never went away. It was like contractions within a contraction if that's even possible. No one ever told me about this! I was beginning to totally lose it. I asked the nurse to come hold my hand again (even though my husband was still holding my hand).  I found comfort in her Alhamdulillaah. 

But she couldn't stay beside me because she was really busy preparing the room for when the birth.  BUT she did keep reassuring me that she was right there and she coached me through each contraction, mashaaAllaah. I was groaning louder and she didn't mind at all.  In fact she told me I'm giving birth and I'm allowed to scream! I didn't scream, but I did make it known that I was in labor!  It's kind of like when you're exercising, it helps to shout or let out grunts as you work harder and push yourself.

Maybe it's self motivation? Yes, that's it, self motivation! Soon the time came and I got the feeling to push. I quickly told her and rolled onto my back to start pushing. She told me I was only 9 cm and tried to get me to stop pushing.  But the baby was coming!

She hurriedly called the doctor and the doctor barged in saying, "If she wants to push, let her!  She knows when she's ready." I believe she said this because she read that this is my fourth baby.  I guess she assumed I was experienced. I wanted to laugh at that thought, but I was too busy screaming.

The baby was crowning and the pain was unbearable! The burning sensation was crazy and I quickly thought, "So that's the ring of fire!" Huh, another first! MashaaAllaah. 

Right after that thought I found myself literally kicking and screaming, only to be yelled at by the doctor. She said, "This is your fourth baby! You know you're not supposed to scream!" 

Yes, I did know, but the PAIN!!! And BURNING! My screams were actually gibberish for, "GET IT OUT!" 

So the doctor told me to pull my knees back and start pushing and I complied. I couldn't hold my knees though; my arms were weak. So I begged someone to help me.  Alhamdulelah, my husband did along with the nurse on the other side. I had actually forgotten he was there! I forgot everything!

Then after another big push the head came!  I continued pushing and they told me to stop. What? Stop? Now? You had to be joking! The burning hadn't stopped, I just wanted it out!

It turns out that his arm was stuck and she needed to ease it out. I felt everything and even though it was painful, it was an amazing experience, mashaaAllaah. Baby's arm was free and now was the time to push him into the world. I was so happy it was over!  I lay back and closed my eyes, finally pain-free! 

"Look at him!" my husband cried, just like he did not too long ago when Yahya was born. "He's beautiful!" 

I looked; he was white and big and all wrinkly in the face, like a teddy bear, exactly like my second daughter. "How's that beautiful?" I thought to myself. 

I looked at the time and saw it was 9 pm. I had a 2 hour labor!  That's something I had silently wished for every time I heard a friend's stories of short and fast labors.  But I never thought I'd experience it. "There goes my prediction about the length of this labor!" I thought. 

I closed my eyes again, with thoughts of my loving, sweet husband who truly believes all babies are beautiful, masha'allah.  I smiled at the many blessings in my life at that moment, alhamdulelah. 

I love how my husband says, "Sure!" with both hesitation and excitement, each and every time he's been asked if he wanted to cut the cord.  He is part Arab part Baluchi and I know how men of his culture normally leave women to their "women business," as he would say. But for each birth he was there to witness it and cut the cord; he knew how important this is to me and he did this for me. I know too that he also wanted to be there for his children. He loves ALL children so these experiences mean something to him.  He never said it, but his eyes and his actions shout it!

Anyway, remember my 15 minute rest/composure time allowance after birth for myself? Yeah, that didn't change. I refused to hold the baby at first. So they weighed and wrapped him and gave him to my husband who recited the adhaan in his ear, alhamdulelah.

He weighed 9lbs 2oz!  That confirmed how well I knew my baby and my body. If only Dr. Hew, my Obstetrician, could hear that now! He wasn't my biggest baby though; my second daughter was 2oz heavier than him. 

By the time my husband was done admiring him, I was ready to start nursing him. 

Want to hear another great piece of news i was waiting for?... I didn't have any tears! Allaahu akbar! No stitches from this big baby, Alhamdulillaah! How great were the bounties of my Lord?! Countless! My Lord never ceases to amaze me! There I was with so many things to be thankful for, but I couldn't begin or end listing them. 

Alhamdulillaah, this time we ordered a private room because I wanted my "hospital day" (equivalent to most women's spa day).  A day to relax and enjoy my baby with no other babies crying except mine and no uninteresting conversations between other women and their husbands to listen to. I wanted peace and quiet.

However, there were no private rooms available.  But I got to stay in the delivery room, which was much bigger than a private room anyway.  Yay! Blessing number...I lost count! Allaahu akbar!

My husband had to leave, per hospital policy. Baby was bathed a while later and dressed right next to me. Since baby was on the big side, the nurses had to keep checking his blood sugar every 3 hours as well as  my bleeding. Alhamdulillaah, everything was great. 

The next day, my friend came to the hospital to see me and my husband brought the children to see their new baby brother. My first son was shy; he didn't want to come near us.  But he behaved wonderfully, Alhamdulillaah (and to this day he is loving and wonderful, mashaaAllaah). 

We were able to leave the hospital after the 24 hours. My friend offered to keep the kids for the rest of the weekend so that my husband and I could rest.  I was so grateful, especially she had to work on Monday!  Another huge blessing,  May Allaah bless her with Jannatul Firdous...Ameen! 

My in-laws went back to their country as they had completed their purpose here and my husband and I had no relatives to help out. My friend cooked food for me to keep for one week. Allaah knows I needed those days!  So did my husband, because the days to follow were the hardest we ever endured!

All in all, the birth was exhilarating.  Even though I was disappointed in myself for not handling it calmly and collectively at the end, I am most happy that Allaah granted me my unsopken desires. 

All though my children are all below the age of 5 right now, and i am tired of running behind them, I want to have those eleven children I've imagined for myself.  I want to be pregnant over and over again just so that I can experience natural childbirth! It sounds crazy but I'm sure it trumps skydiving! I am a woman, hear me roar!


--
And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together all things before their very eyes, they would not have believed, unless Allah willed, but most of them behave ignorantly. Surah Al-An'aam:111.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Julie, and this mom who shared two of her stories here!

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

    ReplyDelete