Foreword: Now, five weeks after baby’s birth, I’ve finally finished the post about our blessed experience. I want to let you know that we as Muslims take privacy and private life as something sacred that needs to be protected. Modesty, shame and decency are virtues for us. But if it comes to talk about human facts, we do not have to feel ashamed.
So following our dear Prophet’s example, peace be upon him, who taught us honesty in answering even very intimate questions, I publish this very personal post hoping it might benefit some readers to believe in God’s will, in the power of our bodies and in feminine spirituality, and that it might encourage to give natural birth, inchaallah.
The days before baby’s birth were intense, ups and downs and it all felt like the calm before the storm. I felt that something approaches; I felt that it would happen soon and deeply inside I even had the wish that the birth would happen before my midwife from Germany arrives: I was so ready to conceive, I felt confident and well in company of my friend Mel and I knew hubby would come home that weekend, so I wouldn’t be alone.
The last years I have learned a lot about myself and how to listen to my body.
Intuition guided me also through this pregnancy, as I’ve been visiting the doctor only twice throughout the whole 9 months. And alhamdulillah, everything was ok, I knew what I needed and I was able to feel how the baby moved and how it was positioned inside me.
I reflected about the last two births I gave at home, I read about unassisted childbirths and I prepared myself in case of delivery without assistance.
Slowly I became aware of the bad influence of media and I got rid of the false believes that birth has to be something absolutely painful; something scary, loud, messy and bloody; something unnatural that needs a lot of professional control and medical care. I felt more and more confident and knew that, with Allah’s help, I could manage myself what millions of women naturally did before.
Several weeks ago is asked my midwife-friend Chris to write me a long instruction paper about all the facts and knowledge needed for a birth and about things I needed to keep ready. So I prepared a clean clip and scissors to cut off the umbilical cord, some clothes and blankets, Bach-rescue-pills and some other things that I’ve put into a box which became my birth kit.
We had a nice week, the kids, Mel and I. We have been talking a lot about my former births and what Mel would need to know. She had no experience with birth at all, but she was very brave and curious and she made some notes and figured out where to find all the things we would need in case that it would happen.
I’ve already had some contractions since weeks, but the days before birth they got stronger. I knew my body was training for the big event and on Friday morning, 22nd May, I reached a regularly 10-minutes-contraction-rhythm.
I didn’t take it that seriously and was still cleaning around the house, making couscous and knitting a bit. But there was already something in the air, a high sensitivity and a magic kind of energy.
In the evening we ate dinner and when I accompanied the kids to bed, the contractions came already more often and much stronger. I tried to sing them our ritual quranic verses but when a contraction came I hardly was able to do so because I needed to breathe with the rush.
When the kids finally slept at around 09.30 p.m., Mel was already also gone to bed, but I got up again and made myself a Yogi-spice-tea and ate some dates, always controlling the watch to see after how many minutes one contraction followed the last. They were in between 7 to 5 minutes and I still wasn’t sure if that meant that labour already began…
In the afternoon my husband have called to say that he would come that night or the next morning and I waited for him but also tried to relax. Sleeping or even laying down was already impossible, so I walked around, knitted a bit, had to go to toilet a lot, read the birth instructions once more and breathed away the rushes.
At around 01.30 a.m., in the middle of the night, hubby came home when I reached already 5 minutes-rhythm. I told him what was going on and that baby could probably arrive very soon. He was really surprised about that fact but also tired and not knowing how to deal with the situation when he saw me breathing so deeply along with the rushes. He wanted to help but didn’t know how. So I just told him to go to bed to have a rest and I would wake him up if I would need help.
In that moment I felt that I want to deal with the contractions myself… and I felt good with it, I was so happy that he was home now; I felt in peace with the world and ready to go on. The rushes were hard and hurt a bit, but I tried to see them as a blessing, as a need to go further and as a sign that soon birth would happen.
I drank some Zamzam water (a friend gave it to me as a gift from the pilgrimage to Makkah) to get some sacred energy and I recited some verses of the Qur’an.
When the contractions reached the 4 minutes-rhythm I slowly went upstairs to wake up Mel. I needed some feminine company now and knew that we soon would have to prepare everything for the birth.
She was already awaken and has felt that something would happen. We talked a bit between the rushes, but they quickly became strong and stronger and now it was hard work for me to breathe them away.
While we were thinking where to prepare a nice place, we both decided that Mel’s room was perfect. So she went downstairs to get my box and blankets.
Between the rushes, which came now really hard and quickly, I was washing my face and preparing the place where I wanted to conceive. We put some plastic on the floor in front of the bed and covered it with towels and soft blankets, and onto the bed I placed the box with a cushion on top. The light was soft and all looked very cozy.
I still walked around, prayed and talked to the baby. I empowered myself by repeating things like “I know when I will have to push… we will manage it dear baby… all will go on well, inchallah….”.
Mel took the camera and just watched the scenery. I didn’t even recognize her anymore, I was so much into that moment, busy with baby and myself, flowing and meditating with the rushes. I didn’t felt the real time and cannot remember real facts. I was in my world, amazed by the power of nature.
Soon I laid my head onto the cushion while kneeing in front of the bed. The contractions were immense now and I pulled off my trousers. Still on my knees the water broke and I sat down now on one leg, one knee up. I touched, and there I could feel the head!
Subhanallah! 02.30 a.m., 23rd May 2009.
Two more heavy pushes to do and the baby slipped into my hands!
Alhamdulillah, there she was: a tiny little bundle with black hair and dark eyes – welcome little girl, welcome!!! Allahu akbar!
Immediately I took her up into my arms. I was thrilled; I felt so high and full of gratitude.
Mel helped me to cover baby with blankets and then she ran down to wake up hubby.
A few seconds later he was with us, absolutely surprised about all.
I was still kneeing on the floor with my sweet little girl, staring at her, my heart full of love.
Hubby sat down at my side, amazed by the situation but his look became a bit scared because baby’s breath sounded snore. So I took the phone and called Chris, the midwife, in Germany. She congratulated and said that breastfeeding would help to clean the breathing. And yes, I put baby on my breast and she began to drink as if she was already born hungry! All was well, alhamdulillah!
After a few minutes we touched the umbilical cord to be sure that it wasn’t pulsing any more. Mel cut and clipped it off. Tbarak’allah, all the time she was so brave and exactly doing what needed to be done!
Hubby took the baby now and I waited for the placenta to come out.
It took me another one and half an hour (!) until that was done. It was my lack of knowledge and experience that made me feel scared and not really knowing what to do while waiting, so I prayed and hoped that after that lucky birth no problem would appear. I felt fear and weakness, but an incredible thankfulness as well.
Mel and hubby were with me all the time, cuddling baby, comforting me and soon our eldest son woke up and stayed with us as well. It was a blessed, quiet atmosphere and at about 04.00 a.m., after a few more contractions, the placenta finally came out completely; we put it into a Tupper box to keep for Chris to check when she would arrive three days later.
Mel dressed and cleaned me a bit and then hubby finally brought me into bed.
There we laid now, my little girl and me, subhanallah – we’ve managed it together, me and her – what a blessed night, what a power- and peaceful start into a new life!
Thanks God for this wonderful and special experience and thanks Mel for her incredible help.
God is the greatest, alhamdulillah!