I say it a million times over, but I really am glad to be birthing my children in Turkey. We may not have the free NHS coverage (government healthcare offsets our costs, though) and it’s hard to check out the day you give birth, you do get to choose your own doctor and for that I’m immeasurably thankful. A recent article in the NYTimes focused on Ina May Gaskin and the practise of homebirth in a society without homebirth support. The article struck many cords, but the deepest was the authors reflection on her feelings following a ‘failure to progress’ c-section herself: It should be possible both to acknowledge that something real was lost in the way my baby was born and to know that this loss is finite; there is not one pure route to authentic motherhood. Yesterday at our 33week check, we spoke in-depth to our OB about our options and the risks and for the first time told her how the c-section had ripped a seam right through me in more than a literal way; how scared I was of a repeat of M’s birth. This doctor, a true needle-in-a-haystack for us, looked at me and said, “Don’t you ever feel regret for that c-section; every birth is a natural birth.” Alhamduillah, we’re so lucky to have found her.
That said, at 33 1/2 weeks through this inshallah 40 week journey, Bump seems quite ready to play ball. He’s head down, measuring just shy of 2kilo and as we already knew, is as active as a baby can be. Everything continues to look healthy with me, and if I ignore the docs (accurate) remarks about how I look fatter this time despite weighing less than at this gestation with M, pregnancy continues to be treating me well. The next six or so weeks are going to fly now. Whereas with M we were so impatient to meet our son that we almost wished our days away, this time, though I am so excited to cuddle this newborn, I’m treasuring the days left just with my firstborn and when he naps – yes, we’re back to napping! way to go there, Babyone! – I take the time to do the nesting inquisitive fingers prevent when he’s awake. And if not nesting, or cooking, or recording here these days in our lives, I’m trying to come up with easy play-packs to entertain M in the immediate days after Bump’s birth when there’ll be many an hour spent nursing. So far, we have coloured rice treasure hunts, collections of colour coordinated random objects for water sensory play, the quiet book is almost done (finally!) and the collection of empty bottles, and yoghurt pots, and squeezy type bottles ready to be used for the next great idea grows on an almost daily basis – such a great excuse to eat a Pringle or two!
While we talked through birth this morning, we none of us could stop looking at M. MashAllah, he’s so healthy and sprightly and engaging and so completely his own being; none of us care to imagine an outcome different to this. Nothing more than becoming parents reminds you of how insignificant the role we play is. From conception, to gestation, to the moment Allah takes our children back to Him, we have to believe that each step of their journey, like ours, is pre-determined for them on a path we cannot see. And as we remind ourselves of this, we remind ourselves also that everything which transpires in this world has the hand of God in its touch and the surgeon who first performed a c-section was guided by this touch, and the skills gifted to the doctors subsequently performing this tasks are the skills gifted to them for their journey, to frame ours, to deliver our babes safely into our arms. “The which (foetus) We placed in a place of rest, firmly fixed, for a period (of gestation), determined. For We do determine, for We are the best to determine (things).(Qur’an 77: 21-23) Whichever way a babe enters this world, their birth is theirs alone.
Yes; every birth is a natural one.