My Reflections on Childbirth Part 1

I’m sure every mother has her own unforgettable memories of childbirth, for some those memories may be too poignant to revisit (alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal) and we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to replace their loss with what is better for them. Ameen.

Yet for others those memories can even be quite humorous, well, upon reflection, that is (smiles). When I was expecting my 1st child, I took comfort in having “experienced” mothers giving me advice and sharing their own childbirth stories.

I found one particular story quite endearing because it reveals the true nature of us women. While my friend was experiencing the onset of labor and was about to leave with her husband for the hospital, she started getting emotional and asked her husband for forgiveness for all the wrong that she has done; just in case…

However, when she was in the delivery suite and the pains started to get unbearable, it was a different story altogether. Her husband was assisting her in keeping the face mask in place, so she could breathe in ‘laughing gas’ so as to relieve some of the pain bi ithnillah. She got frustrated ‘cos he wasn’t holding it properly and snapped at him. And to think that she had just wiped her slate clean. Oh well…(smiles)

Alhamdulillah, I myself have 3 fond memories of childbirth, each one special and unique in its own way. Did I really use the word “fond”? I guess you can tell I haven’t given birth in long while. (smiles)

Ok, onto the 1st experience…aaahhh…how can I ever forget my first experience?

First I have to tell you little bit about myself. I consider myself a weakling and am terrified of anything that involves pain.

So when we were in the delivery suite, even before I felt any major pains, I was already pleading for an epidural. Yup, that’s me. (blush) But as Allah had planned the only one qualified to give me an epidural would be a male specialist, so I had to rethink my situation. There was a sweet Muslimah trainee doctor who reassured me that I would be fully covered and that only a little part of my back would be exposed to allow the epidural to be administered. Let’s just say that both my husband and I agreed that I needed some time to think about it.

Meanwhile, I remember my friend advising me to use the face mask and requested for it. I had the face mask but wasn’t using it the right way and had started crying, when the serious, no-nonsense midwife kind of chided me (in a good way, to boost my self-confidence). She taught me how to use the face mask correctly and told me to relax and breathe in the laughing gas whenever I feel a contraction coming. ‘Yes, breathe in…relax, imagine you are entering a garden…’ That helped calm me down a bit, alhamdulillah.

When the midwife stepped away, my husband whispered, “Imagine jannah.” Subhan Allah, what an excellent, timely reminder! And I really did imagine I was entering a garden, but the best garden of all; jannah. And for once in my life I felt I was ready if Allah decided to take my life away right there and then. Afterall isn’t there a hadeeth which states that if a woman died in childbirth, she dies a shaheed (a matyr) ?

But Alhamdulillah Allah has decreed that it was not to be my time yet. In the meanwhile I managed to heed the reminders to make dhikr and before I knew it, it was time for little Asmaa to enter this world. (smiles)

My labor lasted about 3 hours and all in all I can safely say it was a bearable experience, Alhamdulillah. When I hear of the excruciating pain some mothers go through I realise that Allah, out of His infinite mercy has spared me from that pain. However, the impact of this realization did not fully hit me until I was pregnant with my 2nd child, 2 years down the road…

(to be continued insha-Allah)

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