Accepting that T’s birth would be via c-section enabled me to relax a little and prepare myself for the procedure which would inshallah bring me my son – we never know what God has in store for our lives. Although his birth wasn’t going to resemble the natural drug-free birth I’d envisaged for either of my children, I wanted to feel as involved in the birth as was possible and in touch, literally, with my son almost as soon as he was out of my womb: I also wanted G to be involved in the birth. In the few days between making our decision and seeing our doctor, I watched a million and one videos, read countless stories from caesarean-birth mothers and fathers recounting the experience from both parents perspectives; by the day the appointment rolled round, I was at ease, felt empowered so when the hospital refused to grant permission for G to be present at T’s birth, citing hospital policy as their illogical inflexible reasoning, the deflation I felt was overwhelming. Resigned to the exact birth I’d battled against since pregnant with M and completely out of the decision process, I simply wanted the “process” (as I now felt it to be) over and my baby to be safe in my arms in our home. Two days later when labour started naturally as we made our way to the hospital, naming our son along the way, I felt the sense of deflation fade away a calmness take over my being, suddenly felt sure that however T entered this world was the way Allah had planned for his beginning with valid reason, and that G wasn’t meant to be in the room; yet still, once I’d kissed M & G goodbye and was waiting to be wheeled into surgery, the nerves re-appeared with abundance, only disappearing once – after a short battle to convince the anesthesiologist my last Clexane injection had been sufficiently long ago to allow a spinal – the medication had been administered.
It’s a strange sensation spinal anaesthesia, feeling cuts without pain, sensing a pressure without feeling the pull – knowing what was to come, so real was the procedure as it happened that although a screen covered my belly in front of me, I was able to visualise my son being born and rather feeling disconnect when they held him up to me, I knew the instant he was lifted out of my womb, seconds before he was held to me, waving his arms and screaming. Although I was immobile on a table, I played an active role in his birthing; I experienced the labour of T’s birth and I’m so thankful for that.
God doesn’t always show his presence clearly in our lives and often time we’re left struggling to find His signs in the challenge we face (perhaps neglecting His signs when no challenges abound) but sometimes He sends a sign to guide our path, soothe our souls, helps us cope with the test ahead and when after T was born, he was only in the room for a few minutes before being taken to NICU to suction fluid from his immature lungs, but during those minutes, as I peeked round the screen to watch as nurses checked my newest born babe, the strength and energy T displayed wriggling on the examination table left me calm, sensing – knowing – that our baby would be ok.
T’s birth day and those which followed were far from what we’d have chosen, but it was the path we were undoubtedly meant to tread. The Qur’an reminds us that we may like something which is bad for us and dislike that which is good for us, only Allah knows. Tiny T’s start in this world brought to our family a deeper hope, love, strength and togetherness and now, as I hug my babies and husband near, I call on all of those feelings, those blessings granted to us, and know – without shadow of a doubt – his birth day was exactly as it was intended to be.