Before giving birth to my first boy, I decided to celebrate ‘solitude’ before parting me for who knows how long. A child is coming to be lovingly attached to me. He is part of me and I am part of him. I had no clue how this would be but I realized I will miss my solitude.
Everyone’s been impatiently expecting him but I was anxious. When he arrives, he will be under my full responsibility. I will be making decisions on his behalf. What if I make a wrong decision…! Oh God I can’t! And I can’t always be right! How did new moms handle their first babies? Millions of moms have been there before and millions coming after me. Yet experience is incomparable to any documented or told stories. All I can do is wait!
“I’m concerned about your arrival. I loved you before you are born but don’t you worry, I won’t follow people’s paths of caging children masked in protection. For even though everything about you is tiny: your size, experience and ability of expression, you are still a human and humans despise to be controlled. I will not abuse your smallness in an inhumane treatment. If I could, I would let you share in all decisions related to you.”
“You’re almost here and it seems like you’re full of enthusiasm and desire to come to the light. I try to imagine how you look but in vain! I saw you in my dreams more than once but each time you looked different!”
The bursting water one day woke me up. I got up anxiously. Now he is ready to share my life differently than he did in the last nine months. Thinking about this brings up mixed emotions of anxiety, excitement and worry . I was in a shock! I wasn’t sure what to do. Nothing will be the same when we’re back from the hospital.
The doctor came to check me and the baby. All was good but I was not yet due. He asked me to go for a walk. By the end of the day, I started to feel something that I can hardly call pain! But it increased by midnight. That sort of pain continued taking place and it increased again by noon the following day. It continued to increase to the extent that when it was present, I could hardly move my body. The nurse came in to help me with some clearing procedures before moving to help my baby be born. I felt excited! I can handle this pain! It seems that the experience is not that tough!!!
I was moved to the required room on a wheel chair then I got onto a bed. I was surprised to find no doctors. I had no clue that nothing yet has started!! When I got into the room it was 3:40pm. A doctor came in to give me a needle to speed up the process. The pain increased dramatically and the intervals between each time was shortened. My mom was beside me telling me that the pain will continue to increase! I was surprised and had no clue how far would it go. My God, the pain increased even more and my mom’s still insisting it would grow even more! She was right. It increased till it wearied my body. I told her that I doubt I will be able to push the baby as required… I asked her to call the doctor! I couldn’t take in more pain.
A doctor came in and gave me a needle, but the pain decreased only once after that needle. I asked for another one. The pain was now unbearable. I had no clue what happened afterwards. I wasn’t fully conscious. Then I felt a mask on my face and my head aggressively moving from right to left out of the tremendous pain I was feeling. Then I was unconscious again.
I opened my eyes with the pain still there but this time I saw more doctors and nurses around. They asked me to PUSH. I tried. I heard myself SCREAM, and I had a feeling that it was not the first nor the last scream! I screamed to them to do something about the pain at the same time that I realized that my request and my pain meant nothing to them. I got nobody’s attention! This repeated many times that I thought it would never end!
I was unconscious again but this time it was for a longer period of time. This time I lost connection to the world. I forgot I was giving birth. The pain vanished. No more doctors or nurses around. No hospital, no buildings, no streets and no humans. I was waaaaaay further. I experienced nothingness. No one and nothing but God and the feeling of the experience. Only a question crossed my mind “what am I to do now? Or what will happen now?”. This feeling stayed for a short while. Just me, God and nothingness.
I opened my eyes. My head felt so heavy but I could see my sisters beside the bed I was lying on. I saw others as well including my husband. I realized I am still alive. I’ve been told my son arrived around 7pm. I felt that I have not attended that moment nor had I participated in it!! I touched my belly; no one was in there any longer! My husband came closer and asked me how I was feeling. I burst into tears crying out “it was a very tough experience.” I cried so much and so did my husband. Later on they told me that other people in the room cried as well.
When my head felt lighter, they brought me my son. I laid him on my left arm. I had no clue what to do, say or how I was feeling. He was so tiny and his arrival to the world was such a tough experience.
He was brought a tiny bed to sleep in beside mine. I watched him every now and then. Here is my son. We called him Ibrahim. A tiny beautiful sleeping creature whom I will breastfeed, dress, clean and take care of. A new life full of surprises has begun.
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I’m Neveen El-Gamal, an Egyptian 39 years old single mom. I’m a writer, a Reiki and an Emotrance practitioner. I have a published poetry book in Arabic in August 2010 titled “Freeing You from Me”.
I am very grateful to have met the lovely women in the sisterhood group and participate in The Daily Sisterhood.