I’m a proud new mama inspired by my own birth experience, when NOTHING went according to plan!
Pregnancy and birth isn’t always the magical journey many people make it out to be. How do we manage all the challenges of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum? It’s exhausting enough just walking up the subway stairs, or making space for a new baby in our tiny apartments!
I became pregnant unexpectedly, and found out literally one week before our wedding. We were in NYC for a brief visit from Palestine, and weren’t planning to stay permanently. While I was pregnant, I had severe anxiety/depression, relentless nausea, and so many other pains I never knew to anticipate! Most days, I felt too sick to function, and definitely couldn’t travel. My partner and I had to quickly find new jobs, a place to live, and start the daunting immigration process. We were broke and pregnant.
When my water broke in the early morning, I didn’t feel any contractions yet. However, I gave birth only five hours later due to coercive and abusive hospital interventions and wasn’t even allowed to move from a lying position while in labor. Due to this rush, my amazing doula was barely able to make it to my side in time for the birth. The second day after baby Nur was born, she was separated from me overnight due to jaundice. I found out later she was fed formula behind my back, even though I had pumped milk.
I vowed to direct my energies so that no one else would have to experience such a negative birthing journey. Thank God, I received crucial resources like Medicaid, WIC, Ancient Song Doula Services, and Nurse Family Partnership. Nearly two years later, I am just now processing and healing from my traumatic birth. I was inspired to become a doula so my communities would have the support they need to make their own healthy choices!
Many others also struggle emotionally, health-wise, and financially while they are pregnant, during and after birth. All too often, we are pressured to stay silent, make snap decisions, or decisions are made for us. We aren’t given space to breathe, ask hard questions, or make our own choices. This should NOT be the norm!
The more we know during pregnancy and postpartum, the more empowered we will be. The more empowered we are, the better decisions we can make for our wellbeing.