Category Archives: Natural Birthing

Faith and Birth

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A few months after I gave birth, and continuing up until now – the social media (my circle) has been bombarded by all manners of controversies surrounding home-birth issues. It was really tough seeing people accusing you of all sorts of negative things without even knowing you, or the reason why you do things. (I wrote at length about my own home-birth experience in this blog).

For myself, I was not dead-set for home-birth although I was leaning towards it. It helped that I had a supportive obgyn so I was ok with either hospital or home-birth. I had to really work on my control issues and alhamdulillah towards the end of the pregnancy I managed to let go of most of my issues and surrender. I made lots and lots of dua that Allah will gave the best for me and my baby, regardless of where I might gave birth. I went to the hospital on my estimated due date, thinking I might gave birth there – but it was written that I was to give birth at home.

A few months later, new studies keep coming up showing the importance of ‘seeding baby’s microbiome’ and ‘human microbiome’ became the hot-topic of discussion. These are a few links for reference:

1. Microbirth

2. The Human Microbiome: considerations for pregnancy, birth, and early mothering 

While I was preparing for my birth, I had no idea what all these means. And to be honest, I am still struggling to understand the whole subject properly – it being a new thing, coupled with me not having sufficient science background. But I am grateful to Allah that this knowledge is revealed in my lifetime so I get to learn and record it here. I am also grateful because now Zayd will know that while his birth might be surrounded in controversy, but there is always ‘khayr’ (goodness) in everything that Allah decrees.

I used to be quite active in the gentle-birth/natural-birth movement in the early months after Zayd was born, but I have been slowly but surely distancing myself from all the controversies because I realised it was not good for  my mothering. I used to get really caught up with the issue and became really sad and angry. So, I decided the best thing for me to do for now is to lay low and just be with my baby. Alhamdulillah, it was a good decision as my mind became clearer, and my heart became lighter too.

I learnt that you cannot change people’s mind if they themselves are unwilling to open their mind. Like the saying, ‘you can bring the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink it’. I also learnt that there are things in life that will be revealed in due time. Human beings are so limited in our understanding of everything. Every piece of knowledge that we have came from Allah and only Allah will reveal them to whom He wants. I also learnt that while most people have knowledge, only a handful of people were gifted with wisdom – and it is ok. It is just the way it is.

As for me, I am going to continue doing the only thing that I do know that works, and works well everytime – that is to continue making dua to Allah to always guide me to what is best for me and my family, here and Hereafter. I also pray that Allah will strengthen my faith in Him and His decision eventhough it was the difficult and unpopular decision at the time.

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13 weeks young

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My dear boy,

It is 13 weeks today since you came into my life. And every blessed Friday I got to reminisce how beautiful your birth was, alhamdulillah.

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From before you were conceived, mommy hoped and prayed for a gentle and natural birth to welcome you into the world. A few months before you were in my womb, I had a vision while I was writing – that this is also what you want for yourself. Mommy took it as intuition and guidance from Allah.

You were such a great partner in this journey. From day 1, you have always been with me. You told me what food that is good to eat, and what food to avoid. You loved it when we walked in the park and that helped mommy became fit for natural birth. When you were in breech position and mommy tell you to turn while in polar bear position, you listened and obliged. When you were in posterior position and mommy keep squatting and doing hip spiral to make you turn facing back – once again you dutifully followed. You were such a great partner and made it easy for mommy. Thank you very much my darling son 🙂

My dear son,

You were so brave and so full of faith in your innate ability to journey out into this world. You knew when is the right time and the right place to be born and you helped mommy get ready for you.

Did you remember when mommy breathed you down? I hope my breathing and me being relaxed helped making your journey down the birth passage easier.

Did you remember when you first crowned and your head appeared? Your dad was the first person to see and touch you. It was mere seconds after your head was out that our body slides into daddy’s loving arm. Mommy remembers a rush of happiness flooded through my whole body. It was the highest peak of oxytocin and it made me giddy for the whole day!

Daddy passed you into my arm with your cord still attached. I cradled you into my arm – my baby, my fresh new baby – and repeatedly said ‘my baby, my baby’. It felt so natural, holding you in my arms – as if I have been doing it forever. And from the moment that I first hold you, I felt like I already knew you. You were so warm and sturdy and chubby. You were very calm and only cried a little as if saying yeay, I’m finally here.

We bonded, you me and daddy in this beautiful moment and it was all captured in photo by our doula too!

While we did our best to achieve gentle and natural birth for ourselves, do know that nothing can be achieved if it’s not in the will of Allah. So my dear Zayd, let us always praise and thank Allah for giving us this wonderful experience. Let us always be grateful to Him for all His protection, His guidance, His love and mercy on us.

Subhanallah walhamdulillah wa lailahaillah wallahuakbar.

Why natural birthing? – my personal story.

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You homebirthed your child?

I received myriad of responses when people knew that I actually gave birth to my firstborn at home some 2 months ago. I was surprised that I received mostly positive, if not, neutral responses. Either I have very open-minded, well-informed family and friends about natural and gentle birthing – or I am blessed with very polite people around me 😉

But as more and more people are aware of natural birthing/gentle birthing/water birthing/home birthing (thanks to Kate Middleton’s 11-hour no-pain-relief birth) – it has now regarded as a ‘trend’ or an ‘in’ thing to do.

This is so NOT why I chose to ‘homebirth’. (in actuality, I did not choose to homebirth – the baby decided to be born at home, but more on this on the birth story, when I managed to finish writing it that is :P)

There are many reasons why mothers chose to go for natural birth, either in the hospital or at home. The misconception is that these mothers ‘purposely’ birth at home because they are uninformed of the ‘danger’ that is ‘birthing’. That ‘homebirthing mothers’ are reckless, following trend, (insert all other negative judgements).

I can’t speak for other mothers, but for me – the location – at home, hospital, under the stairs, on the bus – are irrelevant. All I really wanted is a natural birth. But to achieve a true natural birth in a hospital setting is quite challenging – not impossible as many mothers had done it.

Why do you need to have natural birth? Why can’t you just do it like everybody else – the normal conventional hospital way?

The answer is – because I can’t.

I am among a few mothers who for decades has been ignored, abused, bullied by the medical establishment that regarded all women are the same homogenous product.

We are not.

The medicalised birthing system work wonders for mothers who are sick, who need emergency help, who are by their consent and understanding wanted to be assisted to deliver their baby, and who are not as sensitive to external intervention.

I am not one of those women. First and foremost, I have a very sensitive disposition. For some reason, my body reacted very strongly to most ‘modern medicine’ (ie. drugs). I am also extremely affected by the sterile and hostile nature of the hospital with its sharp scissors, and sharp needles, and beeping wheezing machines, and glaring white lights. In conclusion, my body will be all tense and close up whenever I am in the hospital. But I do not have a choice. If I go and deliver in the hospital, I will be subjected to all these. And how is that fair for me and my baby?

The problem with modern medicalised birthing system is that they do not recognise the importance of mothers’ emotional well-being during birthing and its impact on the birthing process. For sensitive mothers like me – it is of the utmost importance.

‘No need to be so sensitive-lah, as long as baby is safe and sound’ – they said. But look at it this way, the baby is coming from the mother. If the mother is not safe (or feeling unsafe) – it is harder for her to birth the baby safely. And one cannot simply ‘be insensitive’. We are born with sensitive temperament. It’s not something we can switch on and off.

Sadly, there are no room for women like us in the current system. I knew when I got pregnant, that I had to do it a bit differently than most people. But I am finally ok with that. I am finally ok with being different, and against the norm – because I only want the best for my baby.

I am grateful to Almighty Allah, for guiding me towards the right group – The Gentle Birthing Group, the right obgyn who supported and understood my need for natural birth, the right hospital where I did my monthly check-up, the right time and place to birth my baby – safe and soundly, all under the will of Him.

– to be continued 🙂