Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Nothing natural?????

So, as one astute reader noted... The long break is due to the fact that the new addition has arrived. A girl, Salmeh, born on Sunday the 4th, one day before her due date. Alhamdulilah.

Sleepy, yet supportive and wonderful DH was there the entire time... And I was attended by a rockin midwife who just got hospital privileges in December. As anyone who has read previous entry's about my plans knows... I have agonized over this birth and where and how it would take place. As much as I wanted to be at home, and even go unassisted... In the end I decided I was risking my marriage if I left DH out of the decision, and it was is baby too. So, I gave birth in a hospital... And I did have to hear about 1000 times how "risky" what I was doing was. I even had the doc on call give me a little lecture about how there was "nothing natural about a birth after two c-sections." But, when I got the phone call on Monday urdging me to schedule a c-section I was able to do my best Mandar(Dexter's Lab) Ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha!

The funny thing was that the nurses must have thought women in active labor lose their sense of hearing because I heard them at the nurses station every time they left my room after checking on me. "She says she doesn't want the monitor to be left on!" "She says she wants to walk around!" "She says she only wants a hep lock in case of emergency, not a regular IV!" "She's drinking!" Finally when the whole crew attending came in at once I said, "Look, you can think of me as your difficult patient for the day... But what I am doing is not crazy, and I wouldn't do anything that I thought would risk the health of my baby. If we get to a point where something is going wrong and I need all this, I will let you know. Until then, leave me alone." Or something close to that... I was in labor you know;)

But, in the time that it took the doctor to call the anesthesiologist (they wanted to have me set an epidural in place even if I got nothing through it) I went from a five to a nine, and the anesthesiologist refused to place anything. The progress was courtesy of me doing some serious labor dancing and squatting (at least I think). The hardest part of the whole labor came after my water was broken and they put in an internal monitor (one of those vile little things they put on the baby's scalp) and I was stuck in the bed. Now to be honest, even if I had the will to walk at that point I might not have been able to. It was all I could do to get to squatting position in the bed with the help of DH and the midwife.

I had the traditional I can't do this I want to go home moments during transition. I don't remember this much pain during transition with Layla. But, I think it just lasted longer this time. Finally, the midwife pushed the last bit of cervix out of the way and after a couple of contractions I got to experience the whole physiological pushing thing. It was amazing really. I felt my entire belly tightening up and since I was in a semi-squatting position I just felt this downward force... It was nothing like the coached pushing I did with Layla. If I can give a graphic comparison, it is like a normal bowel movement vs constipation. I don't know where the whole coaching the laboring woman to push thing started... But I will never do it again. I came out of the delivery with an intact pernium, masha'Allah and feeling great. I was able to spend an hour with the baby before they bugged me with the weighing and all that, which was great. I even felt well enough to go to the nursery with her while they cleaned her up and did all the newborn checks.

Natural childbirth rocks. It is worth the fight every time. Even DH who was skeptical about the whole thing (he tends to believe the OBs) has been converted. He just feels that the will to do it overcomes any obstacles along the way. Truly, I can't say I even believe that there is a big difference between women with c-sections and women without. As long as the scar is a bikini line cut, I see no reason that a vbac shouldn't be the default. And screw it is the doctors want to convince you otherwise. Read up and convince yourself. Even their own consent forms state the risk of uterine rupture at less than 1%, and all the bad things they talk about only happen if the uterus ruptures. Remind them of that if you have to.


Surviving said...


I'm really starting to reconsider the whole c-section thing. Both clinics I have gone to prefer c-sections since both my boys were c-sections. At first I just planned on it as I was told that I probably wouldn't even make it full term and would end up in another emergency situation. Well here I am officially fullterm at 37+ weeks. DH and I have talked about it and think we will try things naturally and I'll be at the hospital if anything goes wrong. I didn't want an epidural anyway after my last one and the horrible spinal headache afterwards.

Now I have a lot to learn in a short time about labor since this will be the first experience for me.

mamaspeak said...


I am so happy to hear about your wonderful peaceful birth alhamdulillah! Aren't these bodies amazing sometimes?

Inshallah, your dh will be more amenable to a homebirth if you have more children, now that he has seen the beauty of natural childbirth.

Enjoy snuggling your new little one!

maryam said...

mubarak and well done!
I used to think maybe a csection would be the easy option, hence the celebrity mums supposedly being to be 'too posh to push', but I read Ina May Gaskins 'guide to childbirth 'while pregnant with my 4th and that gives you the real story about c sections and the benefit of listening to your own body. Although my daughter's birth was hard (only the pushing bit), I think I've finally got the idea of what to do ! However here in Sweden they rarely give the chance of home birth and I really wish they did not have hospital beds in delivery rooms, I'm planning to take a big foam mattress with me next time so I can be on the floor ´like my 2nd who was born at home while I was in the UK. I just feel so much more secure like that !
However I feel much luckier than mums in the US with all the obstretician intervention. I just had a midwife and a nurse and they were urging me to give birth standing up, not on the bed.
Here's to mothers everywhere !AllahuAkbar !

la-la po said...

al salam alaikum-

Mabrook on your new li'l one. Insha'Allah she'll grow up a strong Muslimah.
Get plenty of rest, and I'm interested in finding out what life with four is like...
Btw, are you going to be a sahm now?

Romerican said...


Dusty said...

Congratulations. The baby is so lucky to get such a nice Mum, Dad and family.

Um Mahtab said...

Mubarak!!!! :)))))

camilla said...


Mona UmIbrahim said...

Assalamu Alaikum UmmLayla. Alhamdulillah 3la Salamah and Alf Mabrouk on your new baby girl Salmeh!! It's a beautiful name mashaAllah. May Allah make her from the pious and reward you for your efforts.

I'm so happy for you that you got to go natural this time. I'm so proud of you. It's really sad how many hospitals and staff are so unsupportive of this route. I'm interested in knowing what 'labor dancing' is..hmmm...

Um Nour said...

Assalm alykom:

Mabrook on your new baby. I would agree with you there is nothing like a natural birth. My first baby was a c-sect. I always felt robbed of a good thing. My next three babies where Alhamdolilah by midwives. Two where at home in the USA and the other was in Arabia with a British midwife. Midwives are great!!! May Allah guide more Muslim women to become midwives. Ammeen

mamaspeak said...

MU: the labor dance---

Moving around like this makes labor faster and less painful :)

UmmLayla said...

Thanks mamaspeak for the labor dancing link. I actually rocked my hips for relief. It took me only an hour to go from five to nine when being active like that, and the last centimeter took almost one and a half hours sitting in bed. I tried to use the squat bar, but was too out of it at that point to think about shifting positions!LOL

Some would say that childbirth is the origin of belly-dancing (read the book The Red Tent). If you have control over your hips like that, yes moving them during labor will help ease the pain and move things forward. So, it might be a great excuse for giving belly dancing a try. I wish we had more women's only classes for it...

Umm Mai said...

As-salaam alaikum,
I am so happy to hear that you got what you wanted. I love even more that you stood up to the whole world (well, the hospital at any rate)and showed them that it could be done. Masha'allah. And welcome little Selmah!

Casey Umm Mai

amygdala said...

hooray!!! congratulations and ululations, as a Muslim cliff richard might sing. and hooray for such a nice delivery, alhamdulillah.

UmmLayla said...

Contact me via e-mail and I can give you my number if you want to talk about vbacing in your situation. I think it deserves some looking into. And Alhamdulilah for this pregnancy being easier for you. Masha'Allah, they are all different!

Call me or e-mail me girl!I am a little worried about you and I just want to know you are
ok. Insha'Allah you will see this and put my mind at ease!

Anonymous said...

Asalamalaykom and Mabrook!

We have a lot in common, including hijab, Egyptian husbands, vbac and breastfeeding. I'll look forward to reading more enshahallah.