Date posted: May 3, 2011
لو أنت شخصية محافظة أو تقليدية،
لو معتقداتك الشخصية أو الدينية ضد رؤية أجزاء غير مغطاه من جسد المرأة،
لو رؤية بعض الجلد أو جسد امرأة حامل مقزز أو منفر بالنسبة لك
برجاء عدم الاستمرار فى القراءة و عدم مشاهدة الصور و الابتعاد عن هذه الصفحة!
لو لغتك الانجليزية غير قوية أو ليس لديك الوقت لقراءة الكلام أو تنوى مشاهدة الصور فقط – قد تجد هذا الموضوع مسيئ! لفهم الموضوع يرجى قرائته جيدا!
اللى هيسيب تعليقات سمجة و سخيفة زيه هاعتبرها دعوة مفتوحة لإهانته و سبه و تطليع عينه
IF YOU ARE CONSERVATIVE OR TRADITIONAL, PLEASE NAVIGATE AWAY FROM THIS PAGE AND DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER
IF YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PERSONAL BELIEFS VIEW WOMEN AS SINFUL AND THAT THIR BODIES ARE SINFUL AND SHAMEFUL, PLEASE NAVIGATE AWAY FROM THIS PAGE AND DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER
IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE SIGHT OF A WOMAN'S BARE SKIN OR PREGANCY, PLEASE NAVIGATE AWAY FROM THIS PAGE AND DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO READ THE WHOLE STORY AND PLAN TO JUST WATCH THE PICTURES AND THE VIDEOS, YOU WILL NOT GET THE POINT OF THIS POST AND MIGHT BE OFFENDED – PLEASE READ THE WORDS SO THE PICTURES MAKE SENSE
IF YOU CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BLOOMING PREGNANT WOMAN AND A WHORE, PLEASE NAVIGATE AWAY FROM THIS PAGE AND DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER
IF YOU LEAVE NASTY COMMENTS I WILL NOT HESITATE TO HUMILIATE YOU IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
Before I tell you the story of Adam's birth, I want to clarify why I am writing it in the first place. I have decided to write this story and share with you the most intimate details because I owe it to many women out there who feel alienated from the mainstream and need comforting and reassurance. There are so many great mamas who shared stories and videos of their birth experiences and they were my rock! When everything seemed to fall apart around me, I turned to those strong empowered women for inspiration. Now it is my turn to put myself out there for all the other women who need my story.
This post is a celebration of the female power, motherhood, and the primal ancient goddess inside each one of us!
The Forgotten, a movie starring Julian Moore, is about a grieving mother who lost her 8 year old son in a plane crash and as if this was not hard enough to deal with, everyone around her including her husband, family, friends, and psychiatrist were telling her that she never had a son and that she made up 8 years of memories! At the end of the movie, we learn that she was part of an experiment; some alien team from outer space were trying to analyze that mother-child bond and how it is somehow imprinted inside of this woman in particular. All the other women forgot they ever had children and lived their lives happily. But this woman no matter what they did to her, they could not erase the memory of her child. Towards the very end of the movie, she confronts the outer space guy who actually managed to erase the memories of her baby boy, and while she was lying there on the floor – exhausted and defeated – she began feeling a pulse inside of her, then she looked at the guy and told him that there was once life inside of her … that she had a boy … that his name was Sam … and her memories were rekindled from within her again. The alien was impressed and told her that she would be the only one to remember but the rest of the children would be forgotten.
I am not referring to that movie because of the mother-child bond.
I have another juxtaposition to highlight. The "forgotten" child in the movie is symbolic of the primal female within each woman of us – the ancient goddess as I like to call her.
The "manipulative" outer space aliens are the societies we live in, the media, and the interventions of our modern days.
The people who lied to the grieving mother and told her that she never had a son are equivalent to those men or women – in our modern days – who were/are threatened by the female power and decided to brainwash women into giving up their power and strength, and into believing that they were totally helpless objects of pleasure or servitude!
Julian Moore – the grieving mother – is me, and women like me, who could not forget that ancient feminine wisdom of our empowered ancestors. No matter how hard people around us tried to erase that print, deep down there is a goddess that always emerges back to the surface.
In the movie, they wanted mothers to forget that they ever had kids to test the strength of their bond. In today's world, they want us to forget how strong and powerful we are to control us and tame us into submission. Unfortunately they have succeeded in their mission with a lot of women who, today, have no faith in themselves, their bodies, and their inner strength.
I fought so many battles against "the aliens" of my society; those who wanted me to be invisible – unseen and unheard! Those who have led me to resent my looks or my figure because I failed to meet their expectations of how a woman should look like! Those who drove me to the verge of insanity trying to curb my inquisitive mind and rebellious spirit! Those who set a code of conduct and expected me to abide by it! Those who wanted to take over my life and dictate how I should spend my days on earth! I won all those battles and I cherish each and every scar. I broke free from the system and what it expects me to be. That basic instinctive woman within me has survived all the attempts to erase her engraved imprint.
Other women, here and out there, believe that they are sinful and that they deserve to suffer for the downfall of Adam, and humanity, from paradise! On a deep subconscious level, they believe that they will atone for the original sin of Eve by suffering! Menstruation is painful! Puberty is painful! Sex is painful! Childbirth is painful! Hormonal changes are painful! Menopause is painful! All that pain is their destiny – the sacrifice they have to offer on the altar of a fallen Eve! They live in shame! Their bodies, curves, and skin are shameful! Their monthly periods are shameful! Their sexuality is shameful! Their birth experiences are shameful! Breastfeeding a baby is shameful – and has to be done in private! In my country more than 85% of girls are plagued with FGM (female genital mutilation) – they are traumatized and denied their birthright of sexual pleasure! They are subjected to an irreversible damage in the name of honor and/or religion!
Shame and guilt – on a conscious or subconscious level – kill pleasure, and this is why most women no longer enjoy being women! They no longer indulge in making love to themselves – commercially known as the shameful and disgusting act of masturbation. They no longer have pride in their bodies and the uniqueness of their curves – they want to look like someone else all the time. They no longer find their monthly periods miraculous – on the contrary, they find it a curse and a punishment that they have to endure. They no longer enjoy sex the way they were meant to enjoy it because they are self-conscious and inhibited all the time. They no longer enjoy pregnancy and birth – they just want to be knocked out by some drug and get it over with!
I thought that something was wrong with me until I found women who are like me! I found women who fully and totally embrace the miracle of their bodies, souls, and minds! I am positive that there are many more women out there who are fully empowered and still remember the goddess within them – to those women, I dedicate this post!
I have experienced the power of the human mind; the power of dreams that are colored and painted in a surreal vividness; the power of making things happen by a strong desire to see them happen; the power of summoning people, killing people, and loving people by using your mind and imagination!
Then I got pregnant! It was time for a new battle!
At the age of 36, being a first time mother could be quite a surprise. It took me three months (the whole first trimester) for this pregnancy to begin to sink in! During those three months, I literally begged my baby to choose me to be his mother.
"Please hold on to me! Don't let go! Please be my baby and please make me your mother!" I used to tell him.
One night, I dreamed of Adam! I knew it was a boy! I could see his face and eyes! They were so hard to describe for I saw him with my heart not my eyes – all I knew was that he looked like his father! I woke up knowing that motherhood is a journey of constant learning; that Adam has a lot to teach me and that I have a lot to learn from him!
It was time to set the rules for my relationship with Adam; mutual trust is the keyword here. We only have one another to lean on – until his father is ready. We have equal power and I have to listen to him carefully. He knows much more than I do about his needs and his safety. The fact that I am older does not mean that I know it all. I don’t! He will guide me into becoming the mother he needs me to be and I will passionately surrender to him.
Adam communicated with me through dreams and cravings! I gave in to him! I did not resist him at all! I allowed him to take over my body just as much as I was willing to hand over my life to him!
Adam made me drink orange juice! I mean lots of orange juice! Almost a liter every day!
Adam made me eat pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese!
Adam made me crave spinach (I would have never be seen dead eating spinach), broccoli, watercress, lettuce, and mushrooms.
Adam made me stop eating chicken and red meat.
Adam made me drink lots and lots of water!
Adam made me drink lemon juice with honey almost daily
Adam made the scent of tuna, shisha (hubbly-bubbly), and smoke nauseating.
Adam made me drink one cup of tea in the morning for the whole day – no coffee at all.
Adam decided when I should go to bed and when I should wake up.
Adam decided when I should take a nap and when I should take a walk.
Adam likes fresh oranges, mandarins, bananas, strawberries, and guava (when it was still summer time)
I had no constipation, no gases, no heartburn, no pain, no sleeping disorders, no sudden weight gain, no sudden fainting (like in the beginning), and the nausea subsided by the middle of the second month. By the end of the third month I regained my energy and focus! I was truly happy!
Adam – not me or my knowledge – kept us both safe until the end of the first trimester!
Through out my blessed pregnancy with Adam, my skin was glowing and hydrated, my hair was healthy and grew longer and fuller, and I had no stretch marks at all.
On a subconscious level, I have grown attached to Adam's placenta; that amazing organ began producing the hormones that made me sick and nauseous in the first trimester to safeguard my baby from any toxins that I might consume. This explains my diet mentioned above. It also regulated my blood pressure and consumption of sugar – according to Adam's needs. This explains why I consumed pickles in huge quantities until the middle of the second trimester and why I relied on raw honey to satisfy any sweet-tooth urges.
As Dr. Sarah Buckley puts it in this amazing birth story,
the placenta acts as the baby's tireless advocate for his health and well-being.
I enjoyed every moment of this pregnancy and felt blessed to have the intuitiveness and humbleness – as opposed to arrogance and stubbornness – to listen to my baby.
When I found out that I was pregnant with a baby from the one man that I truly loved and respected, the thought of delivering my baby in a hospital was very stressful. I just could not imagine how other women did it! How could they let strangers boss them around? How could they be so exposed and so vulnerable? I could not imagine myself in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors and IVs. I could not see myself lying there so helplessly at the mercy of others. The thought of having family members or friends present was anything but comforting! It was quite stressful to think of those people whom I have to entertain, talk to, and meet their expectations! This birth is really about me and my baby not about being the "sweet polite subdued" girl that everyone expects me to be!
Just thinking of my sister-in-law and her two births brought tears to my eyes! She deserved to "know" and she deserved to "choose"! Instead, she was "told" what she was supposed to do and it sounded like the only option she had!
There is a difference between love-making, sex, rough sex, and rape! I have experienced all four and a hospital birth is just rape! Tied down, overpowered, vulnerable, violated, invaded, intimidated, and ordered to accept whatever is forced upon you for your own good! Being told that this is what you want when it was the exact opposite! Being told that you have to endure because you asked for it! The guilt that comes after the rape, the shame that goes along with the guilt, the anger that turns into depression, the gaping wounds, and the trauma that never heals. With rape, you feel that you let yourself down, that you let your family (in the case of birth, your baby) down, and that you could have done something to stop it or change how things went. You lose faith in your body and in your strength. You lose faith in your ability to protect yourself and to stand up for your rights! This IS hospital birth … this IS rape!
I was trapped!
This was how all women I knew gave birth and here I am – pregnant and refusing a hospital birth! Everything about this "birth" seemed unnatural and unacceptable to me. I will not do it!
Then Adam began communicating with me again!
UNASSISTED WATER LOTUS BIRTH
I don't know when and why I decided to name my baby Adam!
I knew that if it was a girl I would have called her Maya because it is one of my favorite aliases. I never knew anyone named Adam and when I was a teenager I wanted Omar and Youssef to be the names of my baby boys and Mariam to be the name of my baby girl.
Adam now sounds perfect! A new beginning he will be! A universal teacher! Born free!
In the beginning of week 17, I began feeling little tiny fish-like pecks. I was not sure if it was Adam or gases – but I enjoyed the feeling a lot!
I also downloaded all the pictures of Adam's father on my computer! I missed him tremendously! I wished I could go back in time to the day on which Adam was conceived and hug him just a little longer, kiss him a little more passionately, or take him inside me a little deeper. I wish I had told him how much I loved him! I wish I could preserve every memory I had with him from the ebbs and tides of time! I wish things were different between us!
One night I went to sleep thinking of Adam and his father, and I had a dream! I saw myself walking into my bathroom, sitting in my bathtub, and giving birth to Adam. I could clearly hear the soundtrack of the movie "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love".
I could see my candles burning and could smell the scent of ylang ylang and lavender.
I saw myself smiling as Adam floated onto the surface from between my legs to my chest!
I felt him! I touched him!
I woke up with a smile!
I thought it was an interesting dream but I did not give it much thought! It was a crazy idea indeed!
A few days later I had the exact same dream! Then again I had the same dream but this time I was awake!
I had to stop! Where was that dream coming from?
I knew deep down that the thought of giving birth in a hospital was unnerving and the idea of being tied down to a bed next to a monitor was even worse. The thought of people watching me in such an intimate vulnerable moment bothered me to the extent that I felt that I did not want to give birth! Doctors and nurses coming in and out of my room, bright lights, unfamiliar scents and sounds, my legs wide open, and my vagina violated and abused were all scenes that I did not want to think of.
Could my dream be an escape mechanism?
I googled giving birth alone in the water just out of curiosity and I was startled!
There IS something called water birth and there IS something called unassisted birth and there are women like me who did not want to hand over their birthing power to someone else!
I was mesmerized by all the information that came my way! I read their birthing stories and I knew in my heart that that was what I wanted … I also realized that Adam communicated to me in the dream how he wanted to be delivered into this world!
I began reading about preparations and precautions until I came face to face with another question: What do I do with the cord?
I see on TV the doctor or the father cutting the cord (media and modern medicine conditioning) but I was going to be alone … so how do I manage the cord?
This was when I stumbled upon something called Lotus birth!
I devoured the pages about Lotus birth … and again I realized that this was the right way for Adam and I!
I realized that it totally fits my belief system! I am against any form of human rights violation and child abuse! Leaving the cord and the placenta intact certainly made sense! I was also relieved to know that my Adam will not be at risk of infection. There is no wound, no violation, and no forced separation from his second mother (the placenta). Adam will benefit from all the nutrients in the rich blood supply of his cord and placenta and will make the shift into breathing on his own when his lungs are ready. The only draw back would be that "guests" will not be able to carry him around lest his cord detaches prematurely! GUESTS!!!!
I was so excited about my new discoveries that I shared them immediately with some friends and family members! I wish I did not! I felt misunderstood and betrayed! They were all blasphemers in my eyes! They were all brainwashed and socially conditioned! Again I felt alienated and out of place!
I am a believer in the power of the female body and in the power of nature! I do not want skeptics around me consuming my energy and invading my peace with their negativity!
I decided to bring Adam into the world on my own! I just needed to trust him and to trust my body – the same body that managed to keep him safe and healthy for nine months can certainly bring him to my arms!
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I became aggressive and territorial! I shut everyone out of my life and spent most of my time alone with Adam. I wanted to go back to a time when women went off in the woods and came back holding their baby! I really resented all interference and I was quite aggressive about intruders no matter how close they thought they were. It was a moment of truth or an epiphany; I knew who I loved and truly welcomed in our birthspace and I knew who I resented and wanted out of our lives.
Every pregnant woman should write down a birth plan for two reasons;
First, to put her thoughts on paper and to see them in print will help her truly know what she wants and what she does not want.
Second, to share her birth plan with whoever will be there during labor and birth to make sure that her demands are met.
I will share with you my birth plan first, and then I will address the second reason in details.
1- I want to be in the comfort of the familiar place I call home! I do not want to be in a hospital or any “strange” place.
2- I want to be alone! The only person who could have been welcomed was Adam's father – if he wanted to be there and if he was positive, supportive, and reassuring! The last thing I want is a man who would hinder my sacred birth!
3- I want to birth Adam into the water – and I have just the tub for that!
4- My body is sacred, my relationship with my body is sacred, my menstruation is sacred, my pregnancy is sacred, and giving birth is the most sacred of all – I want scented aroma candles, tantric music, and positive loving vibes during my labor.
5- I do not want anyone to talk to me! I do not want to hear comforting words, questions, side talks or orders to push or pause!
6- I do not want to be touched – unless it is a loving touch by Adam's father! No cervical checks! No back rubs! No holding hands! I just do not want to be touched!
7- I want Adam to choose his birth date and time! I really do not care about the expected due date or when the ultra sound thinks Adam is due. Adam will come when he is ready to come and I will welcome him no matter how early or how late!
a) I do not want to be artificially induced! No prostaglandin, no artificial ruptures of membranes, no pitocin!
c) I do not want an epidural or any medication – pain medication or any other medication!
d) I do not want to be monitored in any way or form!
e) I do not want an episiotomy!
f) I do not want a C-section!
g) I do not want anyone to pull Adam from inside of me!
8- I want to catch Adam myself when he decides to come earth-side.
9- I want to hold him skin-to-skin until my placenta is delivered.
10- I do not want any force or pressure used to deliver the placenta – it will come out when it is time to come out! No active labor management!
11- Adam is not to be violated in any form!
a) His vernix stays (this is nature's antibiotic not a yucky icky substance that has to be washed away)
b) He is not to be suctioned!
c) His cord is not to be clamped or cut – at all!
d) He is not to be separated from his placenta – at all!
f) He is not to be taken away from me at any given moment!
12- I want Adam to rest on my tummy and crawl to my breast for our first breast feed.
13- I want Adam to let go of his placenta when he is ready – at his own pace!
I guess now you can see clearly why a hospital birth would never work for me! Why even having a midwife will not work either.
I am not sure how things work in your country, but in my country and in the city where I live, we do not have midwives or doulas. Women give birth in hospitals and they do not get to choose anything at all. A birth plan is unheard of! A woman making decisions about her body is ridiculously funny! Women are patronized and violated, and the worst thing is that they have to suck it in and deal with the trauma in their own heads. OBs are the gods of the birth scene and women have to shut up and obey!
Routine things in a hospital birth that will conflict with my birth plan:
1) Induction – women are automatically given drugs to intensify the contractions
2) Monitoring – on your back, IV, cervical checks, and fetal monitoring
3) Drugs – be it for pain or antibiotics or whatever
4) Episiotomy – no one wonders if it is needed or not; standard operating procedure: Baby crowning, cut the woman!
5) C-section – if the baby is breech or in any other position that the doctor does not like!
6) Adam will be totally violated! Everything I said I did not want to happen to Adam will happen – without them even asking me!
HOSPITAL BIRTH BUSINESS
In plain English
Horrible scenario 1: Women in my country were brought up to believe that birth is painful, that it is an emergency, that it is the price she has to pay to have a baby. She hates birth. She is not looking forward to it. On one level or the other, she blames her husband for "doing this to her". She has heard/ seen horror stories of family and friends. Her previous births were traumatizing! She is scared and stressed out! The outcome of such fear is stress signals to the baby who instead of feeling safe and secure to come out, holds on to the uterus, changes positions, or does anything to resist being born. This translates into complications and interventions are needed!
Horrible scenario 2: The woman starts labor, or is artificially induced, and goes to the hospital surrounded by family members. She is still scared and add to that fear, the unfamiliar environment, the poking, probing, and vaginal exams, and the people talking to her. She feels that she has to try to be nice, sweet, and responsive to those people who left their business just to be there for her. She feels that she is weak and vulnerable, and that she cannot do it! Every contraction scares her instead of comforts her – yes! It should comfort her to know that her body is functioning perfectly fine and that very soon she will hold her baby. The more scared and uncomfortable she is the more stressed her baby becomes. We have heard of babies disengaging after being engaged, babies turning breech or posterior after being anterior and perfectly ready, and mothers being told that a C-section is the only option!
Horrible Scenario 3: The poor subdued woman is laboring on her back (worst position ever to give birth in!), she is not walking or moving (no wonder things are not going well!), and she is artificially induced to speed up labor (this is a standard in hospitals). She is induced because no one has the time or the effort to let her body labor at its own pace – it could take 6 hours or 36 hours or more or less! That drug they use causes her contractions to be stronger and more painful which stresses her out even more. She cannot cope with the pain! Her baby is subsequently stressed out! She asks for pain medication! Her baby is drugged as well! Remember how throughout the nine months we were not allowed to take any drugs because it will harm the baby! Whatever is injected into the mom goes to the baby via the placenta!
The woman feels defeated by her own body and begins to give up! She just feels that she is too weak to give birth! Those who take an epidural make things worse! How can you push when you do not feel your lower body? Pushing is an urge not an action! Pushing is instinctive and should not be coached! Those who tell women to push are like a blind man giving you directions to cross the street in traffic, with the epidural, this instinct to push is killed! So now, her labor is messed up, her baby is stressed out, and her instincts are overridden by interventions. What would you expect other than a c-section or a traumatizing experience? Don't forget the routine episiotomy! Don't also forget the routine forced delivery of the placenta – who has the time to wait 15 or 30 minutes for that thing to come out?
Baby is pulled out from an open womb, or by a forceps, vacuum, or strong arms of an impatient OB, cord is cut, he is immediately taken away from his mother to be "washed" and "cleaned up", suctioned, and exposed to more drugs (routine eye ointment, vitamin K, Heb B, etc.)
Now let me ask you this: what baby would want to breastfeed naturally after that horrible birth? Is that how a child is welcomed into his new life? What message are we sending him? Do you still wonder why women get post partum depression?
If you want to learn more details about what I just said read
Here (Repositioning any malpositioned fetus)
Here (Avoiding a posterior baby)
Here (Avoiding a posterior baby – 2)
Here (Belly Mapping)
Here (Ecstatic Birth)
Here (Flip Flop technique to avoid a c-section)
Here (Great reference on Natural Child Birth)
Here (Perineal Stretching Massage)
Here (Gentle Birth)
Here (Healing Earth Birth)
Here (Hormones in Labor – very informative piece)
Here (Lotus Birth – full details)
Here (The meaning and function of labor pain)
(Those are all PDF files that you can save on your desktop)
I mentioned earlier that more than 85% of Egyptian women are circumcised – and it is horrible!
Let me tell you that 99.9999% of Egyptian men are also circumcised! Routine amputation of the foreskin, I shall call it!
Is that how I should thank God for my perfect healthy baby? I really wonder if circumcision is a way to tell God:
"Hey you! You made a mistake while creating my baby boy! And I – a good parent – shall fix it right away!"
Why do people circumcise baby boys? The archaic arguments are: to prevent STDs, to prevent AIDS, to decrease sexual pleasure, to decrease masturbation, and because God said so!
So instead of teaching my baby how to wash properly, I cut off a part of his penis? Instead of teaching him not to sleep around and not to have unprotected sex, I cut off a part of his penis? And why would I want to decrease his sexual pleasure? What a sick-in-the-head person would I be? Masturbation! Don't circumcised guys masturbate? Come on! And even if he wants to explore his body – who am I to interfere?!!
I have been trusted with this little tiny perfect creature and I will not betray his trust by amputating his foreskin! If later on in life he wants to have it cut, I will not object! It is his body, his decision, and his choice!
As for the religious arguments; look here if you are Jewish, here if you are Christian, and here and here if you are Muslim. Read this if you are just looking for common sense. If you want to know more about raising a whole intact baby boy read this.
And watch this to see the crime committed against such helpless creatures!
Dear Adam! I love you! I am here to protect you and I will never betray your trust in me!
Cheroona Sievey! This woman is an angel in human form!
I have been googling information about water birth, free birth, unassisted birth, and lotus birth since Adam told me that this was how he wanted to be born. The information I found out was fascinating and most important of all, it fits my belief system and lifestyle!
On January 3, I wanted to buy a lotus birth kit online! This is basically the bag to store the placenta and the herbs and oils used to embalm it. I found a group on facebook and I found an active member named Lotus Birth Campaign.
I emailed the group admin and this Lotus Birth Campaign person. I received no response from the group admin until a week later because she was on vacation, but this Lotus Birth Campaign person responded immediately and, by time, she became my best friend!
Cher, she introduced herself to me! Positivity, support, enthusiasm, and belief just flowed between the lines of her message. Among her first lines to me, she wrote:
"How gorgeous that you are holding your birthing power within you where it belongs with your baby and that you are going to embrace the wondrous lotus birth!
I want you to know I am fully supporting you.
You may know that I have had two unassisted lotus births and I wouldn't do it any other way!"
This is exactly what I needed to hear instead of the voices of my skeptical blasphemous friends and family members! Finally! Someone like me!
Shortly after our first introductory message, Cher asked me if I had support! I told her that I was on my own! I gave her hints and bits and pieces from my story with Adam's father and how people gave birth in Egypt.
Originally, I just wanted her to prepare a Lotus Birth Kit for me and I was going to buy it from her, but once we began talking, she sensed how stranded I was in a place of non believers in the power of the female body!
"I know I can not touch you and look into your amazing eyes in person but I am here with you and you are NOT alone!! You have simply tapped into your birthing and feminine power and are perfectly capable to birth your baby the way nature intended. Millions of women are giving birth in this way and we are paving the way for the future of humanity. Changing the way birth is viewed and improving and reinstating the rights of women and our babies.
It must be very challenging living in a country which does not hold women in high esteem and where your rights are unheard of. You are a strong, powerful and very capable woman and I believe in you! You believe in your baby and your baby believes in you too!"
Cher's supportive emails were just beginning; she immediately began making sure that I was in the right state of mind to have our unassisted water lotus birth! She knows, just as much as I do, that women have been brainwashed into believing that they cannot give birth on their own, that birth is an emergency not an act of nature, and that birth is pain not pleasure! The media and doctors have socially conditioned us into believing that we are "incapable incapacitated" creatures just as much as religion and religious preachers have convinced us that we are sinful, that our bodies are sinful, that sex is sinful, and that birth is a punishment!
Since I started my self exploration journey to heal from the rape experience, I have come a long way into cleaning up and clearing away social conditioning in many aspects of my life! I have questioned everything! Literally everything! And eventually I have managed to reconnect with the basic primal pure instinctive me!
Then she asked me:
"Have you thought about having a Blessingway ceremony and inviting other free-birthers/lotus birthers to send you beads to make a necklace that you wear during birth?"
I had no clue what she was talking about and then she stunned me with her generous offer:
"I can organize this (blessingway ceremony) for you if you would like me to. I would be honored to make you a Lotus Birthing Kit and will write back soon with an idea of what I will offer you. Please allow me to offer this to you as a gift from the divine. The World Lotus Family are here to care for you!"
There she was – a total random stranger from the net who believed me, believed in me, and shared my love for Adam!
Cher has become my online Doula – guiding me through the birth process and giving me tips on how to be safe and happy! What I love most about her is that she is not intrusive and she truly understands the sacred bond between a mother and a baby!
Cher called me "a true instinctual mother lioness"
Cher and I emailed on daily basis, sometimes even more than once. There were times when one of us got busy but we managed to stay in touch.
On March 16, I received a big box from Cher! Have a look at what this amazing mama sent me and Adam! She also sent me a full blown picture of her when she was beautifully pregnant with a dedication saying:
"The only midwife I need is already within me"
Watch the slideshow of Cheroona's gifts to Adam and I or click here to see the album
Maha Al Musa – Author of Dance of the Womb. I only communicated with Maha once but she threw in two great pieces of advice: She told me to 1) Open up, surrender, do not resist your baby coming out and 2) Embrace your sensuality.
Dr. Sarah Buckley – Author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. I read almost all of her online articles and I will be posting links for you to download.
Laura Shanely – Her website, articles, and interviews were among the very first I stumbled upon when I was still investigating unassisted homebirth. I am indebted to this woman beyond words.
Mary Bennefield – she is a medical professional who does not judge women like me! This is more than enough description.
Watch the slideshow of Zuki Abbott and her birth group's Cards to Adam and I or click here to see the album
MORE AND MORE SUPPORT
Like a stalker, I joined these groups and lurked in the dark! I could not post comments or participate in discussions. I did not want "my friends" on facebook to know what I am up to! I was scared! I cannot even begin to describe how their stories, discussions, pictures, posts, and videos helped me reconnect with the goddess within me – the goddess that our modern day society has almost obliterated.
I ALSO READ THOSE BLOGS AND SITES – EVERY SINGLE POST!
I will not link to the videos but if you want to see the amazing birth videos look for "Home birth", "free birth", "water birth", and "lotus birth" on youtube and Google, and you will find plenty of videos.
ORGASMIC BIRTH/ ECSTATIC BIRTH
Here are all the great references that would help you get in touch with your sensual self and reclaim your sexuality.
Ecstatic Birth (Book by Dr. Sarah Buckley)
Also check out those women and their sites
I had no doubts about breastfeeding; it sounded natural and gentle enough for my mothering approach. I just did not know if I would be able to do it or not – thanks to the media that fed our minds images of bottles, pacifiers, and formula milk, and thanks to other mothers who shared horror stories of how difficult it was and how painful it is.
Here are the most important links that gave me all the assurance that I needed
How do I position my baby to breastfeed? (By La Leche League International)
Breastfeeding Between the Lines (A whole blog about breastfeeding with videos and useful links)
AS FOR THE BOOKS THAT I GOT
By now you should know that I do not do what people do because this is how things are done and how everyone does things:)
Motherhood.com (Maternity clothes. They have great jeans, jumpers, and leggings – They ship directly to Egypt)
Victoria's Secret (I have been a regular customer since 2001. When I got pregnant I just had to order tops and sweaters one size bigger that my normal size. I got the bottoms from Motherhood.com – They ship directly to Egypt)
Swaddle Designs (Great products for new born babies including receiving blankets, swaddles, towels, hooded towels, etc. – They ship directly to Egypt)
KISSALUVS (Cloths diapers! I love them! They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
Happy Heiny's (Cloths diapers and diapering accessories! Very cute collection! They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
Traditional Medicinals (Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea and Organic Mother's Milk Tea - They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
Mountain Rose Herbs (Organic herbs for embalming the Placenta (Cheroona gave me the recipe) - They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
100 Pure Essential Oils (Essential oils for embalming the Placenta (Cheroona gave me the recipe) - They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
Wall Sticker Outlet (Great wall decoration and Peel & Stick items for Adam's room - They ship directly to Egypt)
Candles4less (Tealight Candles and Candle holders – They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
GetAFrame (I needed placecard holders for all the lovely affirmations I received from supportive mamas - They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
ProudBody (This is a great site for pregnancy body fun:) This is where I got the pregnancy belly cast, tummy painting, tummy henna, and baby ink - They don't ship to Egypt but I used my US address)
MY PERCEPTION OF PAIN:
My perception of pain is not very traditional; pain for me is associated with humiliation, loss of control, being coerced into doing something, or being helpless and vulnerable at the mercy of someone who is abusive. In my head anything that is consensual is not painful – even if it hurt on the physical level, it would be translated into pleasure on deeper levels.
The same act or thing could be "ok" if it did not involve any of the things I just mentioned. Actually, the same act or thing can be pleasurable, as opposed to painful, if those negative associations were out of the picture. Those are the things that differentiate between rape and sex. Those are the things that differentiate between torture and some role-playing in the bedroom. Those are the things that differentiate between being molested and being explored.
This is why I was not afraid of the pain of labor or the pain of birth! Pain did not even cross my mind when I decided to have an unassisted birth. Why would labor hurt when it is orchestrated by my body? Why would birth hurt when it is coordinated between me and my baby? I knew, and did not mind, the expected discomfort of dilation and transition. I knew about, but did not dread, the circle of fire. The images of women screaming and crying while birthing are so over-rated! If a child walked into his parent's room while they were having sex, he would naturally assume that daddy was hurting mommy and that was why her face was tensed and she was screaming – but is that really the case? I was a taekwondo player at one point in my life and we were urged – almost forced – to emit loud shrieks and cries during combat to motivate ourselves to go on, to gain energy from within, and to intimidate the enemy! Screaming is NOT always a bad thing and it does not always mean unbearable pain!
I instinctively knew that my body and my baby will not give me something I cannot handle. Just like my tiny uterus grew and expanded gradually to embrace my growing baby, my body will cope with pain, my cervix will dilate, and my baby will come out. Labor and birth are beautiful, holy, and sacred. I consciously decided to transform the slightest pain into pleasure! I am going to have an orgasmic birth! My baby will come out, the same way he got it, in an act of love and sensuality. The fear of pain is worse than pain itself!
"It is all in your head"; this is the magical statement that transforms any pain or discomfort into something beautiful and cherished.
1- Spotting in the beginning of the first trimester – implantation blood. Yes, it hurt and yes, I freaked out every time I saw the brownish spots but I kept telling myself that this was my baby holding on to me; this was my baby clinging to my uterus for shelter and protection.
2- Nausea, dizziness, fainting, sleepiness, and depression in the first trimester. This was my baby telling me that he was growing and that he was healthy. If those symptoms stopped, it meant that the growth hormones were no longer streaming in my blood.
3- Pain on the right and left sides of my pelvis. This was actually great news; my wonderful uterus was stretching to accommodate my growing baby.
4- Craving Adam's father in a way that I have never experienced before – and aching because of this – only meant that Adam is a child of love and passion. He would grow to love his father just because of how much love I hold for him. It was worth the pain and the aching!
5- Becoming totally anti-social and aggressive was only me tuning into my primal self. My intuitiveness was sharper than ever and I enjoyed a great peaceful nesting phase in preparation for Adam's birth.
6- Braxton Hicks and other contractions towards the end of my pregnancy were only my uterus telling me that it can safely bring Adam to me; that strongly yet gently it will push Adam into my arms.
I did not struggle at all with my birthing choices. I did not have a shred of doubt or uncertainty. This is what Adam wants. This is what I want. I could not even visualize any other scenario. A hospital birth scene was not an option. I felt so aligned with lotus birth, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, postponing all vaccinations, cloth diapering, attachment parenting, gentle birthing, and rejecting genital mutilation. I had a different set of challenges!
First: Adam's father
My energy was so focused on keeping Adam happy, healthy, and safe within me. I had no energy to fight off the negativity coming from Adam's father. All I could do was avoid him! I blocked all the channels that could expose Adam and I to his vibes. The dilemma in that situation was that I still loved him and that I still felt proud to have his son.
Just thinking of him and the person he is – away from the baby situation – made my body flow with love hormones and happy endorphins. I went as far as printing several pictures of him, framing them, and putting them in different places in my bedroom. Everywhere I turned, his face was there. I needed him! I decided to focus on the man I loved and got married to instead of the man who, unintentionally, hurt me that deep.
I have dated so many many … many men! I lusted after some! Liked a few! Loved one or two! But I respected none! I looked up to none! I never wanted to have a baby with any of them! Until Adam's dad came into my life. By time I grew to love him and respect him!
Cheroona gave us a positive push:) Here is a PDF with a couple of pictures of a ceremony she did to send us some positive energy.
And here is a video of the Blessingway Ceremony
People were a great challenge for me. People who questioned my choices. People who shared horrible birth stories with me. People who were weak and helpless, and tried to dump their own fears on me. People who were robbed of their own positive birth experiences and wanted to sabotage mine. People who accused me of not loving Adam enough. People who thought I was endangering Adam. People who did not understand that women own their bodies and that our bodies are beautiful and strong. People who knew that I wanted a home birth but insisted on asking me if I prepared my hospital bag. People who were enslaved by the system and wanted to drag me into slavery with them. People who were not me yet insisted that I become them!
I cannot deny that friends and family members were very supportive in many aspects of this pregnancy but when it came my birthing choices and mothering decisions, I was stranded! I was trapped in a negative swirl with those people; from one direction, I picked up their negative vibes and from another direction, I created my own negative vibes when I lied to them! I lied every time I said that I was giving birth in a hospital or that I would call them when labor starts! I hate lying and the only solution to this dilemma was to withdraw. I just withdrew into a cocoon of my own creation and avoided people altogether. I wanted to be alone with Adam and anyone who supported me actively and positively.
I wanted to stop time! Everything was happening too fast! Once the first trimester was over – and I was glad it was over – I wanted to slow down everything. I enjoyed growing Adam within me that I wanted to capture every moment of it. I was witnessing a miracle unfold and I wanted it to last a little longer. Once I started week 24, I dropped most of my work responsibilities. I did not want anything or anyone to distract me from my evolution into motherhood. And when I started week 36, I literally begged Adam to give me more time with him inside of me. I looked forward to the moment I held him in my arms; yet, I dreaded not feeling his kicks and movement inside of me – I dreaded a feeling of emptiness after a sense of utter fullness and wholeness for the past 9 months. The only thing I could do to slow down time was to write, take pictures, and make videos of the many great moments that Adam has blessed me with.
This section is very difficult to write because my OB has been my friend since 2002! He has been very supportive from the moment the pregnancy test came out positive. I will never forget that moment; it was August 30, 2010 when I called him at 9:30 at night telling him about my late period and bloated feeling. He asked me to do a pregnancy test and I did! Those two pink lines changed my life forever! As much as I waited for this and wished for it as much as it was so surreal when it finally happened. I called him crying and shivering and he told me to come to his clinic. He stayed after hours for me! By the time I got there it was a little bit before midnight. He did an ultrasound to make sure the test was accurate. A little bit after midnight, and at the very early hours of August 31, 2010, I saw my baby! I saw that heartbeat that gave me the strength and power to fight for the two of us!
My OB is not some young kid who has been practicing for a few years; he is one of the best – if not the best – in Egypt! He has all the experience, knowledge, training, and talent needed for a trustworthy OB. It is not his fault that I cannot hand over power! It is not his fault that I was born to question authority no matter what form it took! It is not his fault that I am a non-conformist! It is not his fault that I research and find my own answers to the questions that taunt me! It is not his fault that I resent parental control regardless who it came from! He did not do anything wrong! He actually did everything right; he supported me emotionally, took care of me physically, ordered the right tests, prescribed the right supplements, and followed up with me through out the whole pregnancy. It's me not him!
When I started my fourth month and Adam told me how he wanted me to give birth to him, I gradually changed! Bit by bit I took my birthing power back! It was my baby, my body, my birth, and no one was going to tell me how to do it! In Egypt, birth plans are unheard of; OBs do not discuss with you how you want to give birth. They believe that this is their territory. Your job is to get pregnant and follow their orders to stay pregnant, other than that, it is their business and you should stay out of it. Your OB will decide when your baby should be delivered, how long your labor should take, what medications to be injected into your bloodstream, in what position you should labor (mainly on your back), what routine procedures will take place (like an episiotomy), and when it is time for a caesarian. You should not question the all-knowing gods of medicine! It is ok to be bossed around, bullied, intimidated, and coerced into something you are not comfortable with because there is no such thing as "an informed" or "an educated" decision in Egypt.
When I think of the births of my sister-in-law – a healthy woman in her early twenties – my heart aches! They were traumatizing. The thought of having a third baby makes her totally miserable because she is dreading the birth experience itself! This is not right! I wonder if her births would have been any different had she known about the consequences of routine medical interventions before she gave birth to her first lovely daughter? I wish with her first baby, she stayed home and labored there and only went to the hospital when she transitioned. I wished she had the option of walking around and moving freely to get labor started naturally. I wish she was not artificially induced. I wish she did not have an epidural. I wish she waited till her baby engaged. I wish she was given other options other than a cesarean. I wish birth was not so disgustingly commercial!
I free lance as a corporate trainer specialized in marketing – been doing that since 2006 – and I have trained so many people who work in pharmaceutical companies. My job was to train and brainstorm with those medical representatives ways and tools to market and promote their "products" – medicine IS a product like any other product on the market. Their job is to sell! To convince physicians that their "product" is the best, safest, and most effective! To seal the deal with governmental medical organizations to use – and force patients to use – their products. So a pharmaceutical company hits a jackpot when the ministry of health, the World Health Organization, the biggest hospitals, or any other huge powerful entity adopts their "products". A company signed a deal with all governmental hospital in Egypt to give – for free – a self-test blood sugar apparatus for all its diabetic patients. It looks like a philanthropist approach so far – but if it is too good to be true, then it is either not good or not true! The patients took the apparatus and in a week they ran out of the film that is used to analyze the blood sample. The apparatus is a piece of junk without that film! The patients HAD TO buy the film at whatever price the pharmaceutical company set for it – and it was darn expensive.
Another example with a vaccine this time! A company came up with a vaccine for children's tummy flu and part of their promotional efforts was to convince physicians to "intimidate" parents into vaccinating their kids with it! The pharmaceutical company made profits, the doctors were invited to conferences and seminars allover the world as an appreciation for their support, the parents thought they were doing the best thing for their kids, and the kids were injected with "shit" into their bloodstream – for no good reason! Same applies to flue shots, H1N1 shots, and most of the vaccines that newborns are forced to take. It is all business! Business between pharmaceutical companies and governments; between governments and public hospitals and public health care facilities; between medical representatives and physicians; between physicians and pharmacies – and now our fragile newborns have to pay for it!
Some big guy wants to make big money by creating waves of panic among people – making them believe that their lives depended on his product – and people in panic do not think! No one actually thought of reading the pamphlets of vaccines, epidural drugs, artificial induction drugs, and cervix ripening drugs. Who has weighed the pros and cons of such drugs? Who knows the contraindications clearly written in those pamphlets? Pharmaceutical companies are smart; they make it sound like a medical breakthrough when it is just a "gig" for them! They know that we live in a world where most people do not question authority – the authority of an all-knowing father, an all-knowing man of religion, an all-knowing doctor, an all-knowing government, or an all-knowing teacher. They know that people will do what they are told if they are guilted into it; you are a bad son or daughter if you do not do this or that for your parents; you are a bad student if you do not do this or that as your teacher said; you are a bad human being if you do not worship God in this or that way as the man of religion communicates to you; you are a bad parent if you do not do this or that for your kid as per the doctor's orders.
I am not against modern medicine! I am not a hippie – though I am very close to becoming one! I am not saying that doctors are useless and that medicine is bad for you; I am saying that health – our health – has become a lucrative business and that medicine is no longer a lifesaving profession. The medical system treats us as numbers and statistics not as individuals with unique needs and requirements. For a hospital, we are a vacant or occupied bed; we are a "paying customer" or "a worthless customer"; we are surgery-potential and incremental revenue! For a doctor, we are either a long term investment (by being chronically ill) or a turnover rate (the faster we go the more money he makes by making more room for new customers in the waiting room). For a pharmacy, we are a customer and we are only worth what we pay! This is what the modern medical institution has done to the holy medical profession!
A woman in labor for 24 hours or 48 hours (occupying a bed that could have been filled with at least 3 more customers in the same duration), does not "consume" drugs, pain medication, or monitors, and delivers her baby vaginally is a complete waste for a hospital! It gets worse if she refuses to vaccinate her newborn against HepB, refuses the eye ointment, refuses the vitamin K shot, refuses the "elective" genital mutilation of her baby boy, refuses the "elective" ear-piercing procedure for her baby girl, refuses being separated from her baby (in a nursery), and refuses all the "up-selling" strategies by the hospital's "sales team" – such a woman is really an investment not worth making!
And here I am, holding on to my birthright of freedom of choice and freedom of expression! Here I am questioning the authority of my OB and refusing all sorts of medical interventions in my birth! Here I am challenging my family and friends who refuse to question what they have been taught! When I was 35 weeks pregnant I stopped going to my OB! I just vanished. I knew deep down that if I went for one more visit, something bad will happen! No one has the right to hijack my birthing experience and deprive me of my choices and options! Giving birth to my baby is not an accident waiting to happen!
If you get raped once, you are a victim; if you get raped again, you are a volunteer!"
It was the first time I learn of such a concept when I started reading articles and books about how to deal with a baby. Following my instincts, I wanted Adam to sleep next to me, I wanted to breastfeed him, I wanted to feed him whenever he wants not according to a schedule, I bought slings and moby wraps once I saw them online, I embraced cloth diapers immediately, I rejected circumcision even before I got pregnant, and I resented all forms of harshness when dealing with a baby. I resented cutting the umbilical cord, leaving a baby to cry and sooth himself, force feeding, any form of separation, replacing my breasts with bottles or pacifiers, and early weaning. I even resented breastfeeding a baby in the bathroom – this is so humiliating! If someone cannot tell the difference between a woman flashing her boobies and a mother feeding her baby, then HE has a problem!
The material that I found on attachment parenting was reassuring and an eye-opener! I found out why I am the way I am! I also found out why my parents are now suffering with the outcome of their parenting style! I realized why my relationships are plagued with detachment and distance! I also understood why I only get attached to "my things" and "my pets"! I will not get into the details of how my parents dealt with me as a kid, I will just conclude this part with two quotes;
Garbage In – Garbage Out!
and the second
You have them as you make them! In reference to your children
Adam will be a newborn once … he will be an infant once … he will be a toddler once … he will be a kid once … he will be a teenager once … and I will get only one chance to enjoy mothering him in each of those phases. I will carry him in a sling for as long as I could, I will breastfeed him for as long as he lets me, I will let him sleep in my bed for as long as he needs to, and I will cuddle him in public for as long as he allows me to. There will come a time when he would want to try things on his own, fly away from the nest, and calling me "mom" in public would embarrass him … until this time comes, I will enjoy being his mommy and when that time comes, he will know he could count on my kiss to make any boo boo better.
I read that if you do not face your fears your fears will sneak up on you when you least expect them to. I had fears and I did not want them to catch me off guard when I was in labor. This is why I decided to write them down and resolve them from within.
1- Fear of giving up; what if things got too intense and I just gave up in the middle of it? I decided to face that by having the 5 framed pictures of Adam's father in front of me. He might not be physically there but I will depend on his strength to bring Adam safely earth-side. After all, he is the man whose sperm survived my defenses and created life inside of me.
2- Fear that Adam would get stuck on his way out. I used Cher's affirmations and empowerisms to get over that one. She wrote to me saying:
I am a strong and capable mother.
Only I know what is right for me and my baby.
3- Fear that Adam would not breathe on his own after birth. I just begged him every day since I found out that I was blessed with conceiving him to choose me to be his mother. I begged him to hold on to me just as strongly as I am holding on to him.
4- The phone. I know this one sounds weird but I dreaded the phone! I did not want my mobile phone or my home phone to ring. I did not want to be distracted or disturbed. If I switched them both off and my mom – who lives a few buildings away from me – called, she will panic and will come over! This will just kill me and Adam! I clearly stated in my birth plan that I wanted to be alone! So my phones have to be on but somehow busy as if I am having a long phone call with a friend!
(I thought of calling my mom, my aunt, and anyone who might call me and panic if I did not answer or call back when I started labor to let them know that I will be busy giving birth, but I did not want to carry the burden of their thoughts! I knew that they would worry and that would put pressure on me that was not needed. I knew that if Adam and I took our time birthing one another, they would start having negative thoughts – and I pick up negative vibes easily and quickly. I knew that I wanted to focus on my little family not on people who were worried or rushing me to get the birth over with.)
5- The doorbell! That also freaked me out! I did not want the bell to ring!
Those two last fears were left unresolved! I kept wishing that I was that Amazonian girl who would just lose herself into the woods and come back with her baby! I will unwire the bell and lock the door from inside to make sure that no one breaks into my very own amniotic sac!
6- Fear of giving birth to a special needs child! Yes! Here it is! I pushed that particular fear down – very deep into a bottomless pit inside my core. I did not want to even think about it! Eman – my best friend and supporter – started working in a center for children with special needs a few months into my pregnancy and, like any normal person, she shared with me stories from her workplace. I just did not want to hear those stories. I did not want to visualize the children who were not "perfect"! I did not want to hear about their parents. What was really surprising is Eman herself; she loved them! She loved all those kids no matter what issues they had. She loved the kids with Down's Syndrome, Autism, speech challenges, vision issues, or behavioral disorders.
When I started my eighth month something within me changed! The urge to surrender extended from just surrendering to my baby and his birth to encompass my whole life. I surrendered to fate! I realized that I would do what I had to do but there were no guarantees in life. It is no use wasting those precious moments of pregnancy dreading the unknown when there was nothing in my power to control it or alter it. I felt waves and waves of love running through me and into me; I loved Adam's father unconditionally and surrendered to him completely. I also loved Adam no matter what! Instead of fighting back images of "imperfection", I found myself fighting stereotypical expectations! I had no right to have any expectations of my baby then punish him later own for not meeting "my" expectations! He is who he is and I love him and will love him no matter what. I will not worry about what could go wrong or what seems perfectly right; I will not worry about how he lives or when he dies; I will not waste any more time fighting the windmills of my own demons when I am blessed with this beautiful soul growing within me!
Being positive, happy, accepting, and open to life and motherhood are the determinants of how this birth will go, and how this birth will go will determine my future relationship with Adam and how Adam himself will lead his life. The way you are brought into the world will impact your whole life. This is why I insisted that Adam enjoys a happy and peaceful gestational period and that he would be welcomed properly into this world. On a cellular level, I wanted him to have happy memories of his life as a fetus and of his birth. I maintained my peace and bliss by:
1- I kept touching my tummy; it was amazing how touching Adam's cocoon instantaneously put a smile on my face
2- Touching my cats; their warmth and softness just spread within me. I have reveled in their unconditional love for many years and with Adam inside me, they have braced us with warmth, peace, and grace. Their elegance and poise has been inspirational
3- Looking at pictures of Adam's father; Adam fed on my food and on my love for his father
4- Cheroona Sievey; I literally latched on to her! I also avoided miserable unhappy people! Of course this impacted my work with people who struggled with their relationships, some family bonds were severed, and many friends were shut out of my life. I know this sounds horribly selfish but I just grew allergic to misery, whining, and negativity. I know that some people are incapable of being happy and I consciously decided to leave them behind.
5- Reading positive birth stories and watching the videos of the amazing women who embraced their femininity and babies.
6- Loving my mama body; I have never felt sexier or prettier in my whole life. I loved every single change that Adam has added to my appearance. I did not resent or resist my transformation, on the contrary, I felt proud of every single change.
7- Letting go of my pre-motherhood attachments; I no longer held on to fame, power, or the lifestyle that I led before I got pregnant with Adam. I embraced the change and the new phase that I was about to start. A long time before Adam was conceived, I have been fully fulfilled. I am done exploring, questioning, and proving myself. Now I am the happy and proud mother of Adam and he has my full attention and dedication.
8- Fun! Taking pictures of my growing belly, writing journals, buying things for Adam, preparing his nursery, reading about parenting, poking him and feeling him kick me back, preparing our nest, preparing the birthplace, creating a belly cast and decorating it, henna tattooing my tummy, waiting anxiously to ink his hands and feet and stamping them on the walls of his bedroom, belly-dancing, walking and feeling him toss and turn, receiving all the generous blessingway gifts from Cheroona and Zuki, and the priceless moments when I just hugged my tummy and whispered love words to the life within me.
9- Visualizing the birth, Adam's first breath, our first real hug, his first latch on my breast, his lotus birth, and our first night together.
10- Seeing Adam as a newborn, as a toddler, as a preschooler, and as a young man who looks like his father in everything I do. Adam took over my waking moments, my sleep, my dreams, and I passionately surrendered to him.
Watch the slideshow of the Belly Casting Fun (at 38 weeks:) ) or click here to see the album – and yes it got very messy no matter how careful I was:)
LOTUS BABY INSIDE!
(The lovely drawing is Cheroona's. This is the logo for her Lotus Birth Campaign.)
SENSUALITY AND SEXUALITY
Growing up in a society that treats women's bodies as shame-provoking objects is very painful! I rarely meet women who are at ease with their sexuality, who are comfortable with their bodies, and who are sensual the way nature intended them to be. I was one of those women until I started my self-healing journey after the rape. It took me a long time to embrace my body. I broke so many taboos on my way but I finally got there! Throwing away my inhibitions and releasing the powerful sensual diva from her social shackels are two of my biggest achievements in that area.
Getting pregnant added a new dimension to my sexuality! I simply loved and cherished all the changes that my body underwent! Letting go of my girlish teenage figure and evolving into womanhood was an amazing experience. Unlike most women, I did not want to hide my bump – I wish I could walk around with a naked tummy just to show off my perfect round big belly. I also did not resent the weight gain; curves, and more curves, just made me more feminine. I was happy to realize that I was not attached to the "perfect cat walk barbie-like" figure that the media has engraved into every little girl's head! The changes in the color of my skin were compensated by a glow and softness that were simply gifts from my baby. I loved taking nude pictures of my whole body, drawing on my tummy, and casting my pregnant figure for mementos. I belly danced, caressed the dark line from my pelvis to my bellybutton, hugged my bump, touched every new curve in awe, rubbed my womb in gratitude, and opened up like a blossoming rose every time I made love to myself. Pregnancy is sexy! Birth is sensual, orgasmic, and ecstatic! Thank you God for creating me a woman!
Watch the slideshow of Adam's Cocoon or click here to see the album
I have always known that my instincts are sharp and that the basic primal woman who dwells in my body is stronger than any social conditioning or "taming the shrew" attempts. But I have never experienced such primal instincts the way I did when I was pregnant with Adam. That woman took over my life for the past nine months – I even believe she took over earlier; as early as choosing and mating with Adam's father! Cheroona was right; I have an instinctive mother lioness within me.
During the first trimester, all I could remember of this lioness were her attempts to secure Adam; I slept a lot! I mean I was rarely awake! Hormonal changes depressed me, softened me, and isolated me from everyone and everything around me. I lost focus and concentration; I almost lost my ability to comprehend written words!
Once I started the second trimester, I instinctively knew that Adam was ok and that it was time to clear my birthing place. I had surges and surges of energy to literally clean and scrub every inch of our home. I gave away all the clutter – old clothes, old makeup, old electronic devices, old anything and everything that I have not used in a while and was just cluttering my space. In the middle of the second trimester, I had uncontrollable urges to read; I read almost all of Kafka's works, all of Dr. Nawal El Saadawi's books, and anything that I found on unassisted birth, water birth, lotus birth, and gentle mothering. Towards the end of the second trimester, I began working on Adam's room and buying all his essentials. Those three months were amazing; I was no longer tired and exhausted and I enjoyed getting ready for Adam. My heart was over flowing with love towards Adam's father and every cell within me craved him.
Gradually, I began losing interest in my previous life! I dropped people and added new people according to who I thought was fit or unfit to be a part of our lives. I finished teaching my last semester at the American University and turned down future teaching commitments. I apologized to all the magazines that I wrote for and totally lost interest in television and radio appearances. My ability to read people's problems and respond to them in my advice sections was on and off – mainly off until I lost it completely in the third trimester! I just did not want to read their problems any more. I had no energy for anything or anyone other than Adam.
My third trimester was the best! Everyday brought me closer to holding Adam in my arms and I just switched off all background noise. I tuned into my womb and let Adam do all the guidance and talking. I spent days and weeks doing nothing but rubbing my round belly and smiling. I was spending less time online and even lesser time working on my consultancy assignments. My clients were amazingly understanding! I was in the final phase of preparing our nest:) Little touches to the bathroom where Adam will be welcomed earth-side. Little tweaks in the kitchen, my bedroom, our playroom, and the terrace. I was overpowered by those urges to harmonize and beautify everything around us. My online orders kept coming and with every package I opened came a wave of excitement and happiness that cannot be put in words. Positive energy flowed smoothly and easily from our doors and windows. The only thing that I was missing was a true reconciliation with Adam's father!
It is also amazing how instinctively aggressive I have become; people who pried on my privacy, people who gave me unsolicited advice, people who interfered with my decisions, people who were negative or skeptical, people who stressed me out, people who tried to force me into being someone that I was not, people who spoke negatively about children and parenthood, and people who were against the 25th of January revolution and the demonstrators who put their lives out there to create a better future for my baby, were immediately and mercilessly attacked. Many were just expelled from my life and many more had to face the mama bear within me!
During the last month of my pregnancy, something else happened; I became totally ani-social! I did not want to go out, did not want to see people, did not want to check my email, did not want to post anything on twitter or facebook, did not want to interact with anyone, did not want to answer the phone, and hated the doorbell! I did not want to open the door! Questions like "is he here yet?" or "are you ok?" drove me crazy! Statements like "I want to know you are ok" and "I wish you a painless delivery" brought out the worst in me! I felt like I was in the bathroom – my own bathroom – trying to do my thing and every few minutes someone would knock on the door, ask me if I was done or if I was ok or when I was coming out or any other nuisance of a question! I wanted to switch off my phone, deactivate my profile, and lock my door from within. The only thing that stopped me were business calls. I could not afford to shut out my business contacts and I sincerely appreciated the fact that it was only business that they talked about! I tried to make any sense of my instincts but I only knew that I had to trust them! Once again I surrendered to my primal self and let the cavewoman in me take care of Adam!
Nesting is a beautiful instinct for those who surrender to it; the peace and sense of fulfillment that accompany those primal instincts are overwhelming. Clearing my birthing place from the inside out is the best preparation to bring my baby into the world. The hormones that were released into my system were soothing and comforting – it was like being high all the time:) My cats felt my warmth and inner peace; they also emitted vibes that supported and comforted me. My priorities in life have never been clearer and I did not struggle with any of my responsibilities as a mother. I willingly and lovingly shifted all my energy towards Adam and will continue to do so for as long as he allows me to.
A SUDDEN – PLEASANT – TWIST OF EVENTS!
You have read above how I met Cheroona and how close we have become through out my pregnancy.
Now let me ask you this:
What are the chances of meeting a stranger online and finding all that support? What are the chances of that stranger dedicating all that time and effort to you and your baby? What are the chances of that stranger coming up with ideas (like the blessingway and the lotus birth support information) to guide you when you felt so alienated? What are the chances of that stranger involving her whole family (husband and three kids) into your birthing experience only to offer more support? What are the chances of that stranger sending you a generous gift just to tell you that you are not alone? What are the chances that that stranger would dedicate a special ceremony (whole family involved) to help you ward off negative vibes from people around you and to help you restore love and peace into your relationship? What are the chances of that stranger taking their inheritance and flying over to Egypt, renting an apartment for a month, leaving their business behind, and dedicating themselves to support your birthing experience?
Well this is exactly what happened!
Cheroona and her husband William decided to take their three lovely kids and come to Egypt for a month because they felt that this was their calling and that they just wanted to be there for Adam and I!
Well! If this is not fiction, then I do not now what is!
Dear Marwa ~
We are coming to Egypt and will stay for 1 month!
Just searching for the best flight options, we will be arriving on the 12th of April and will get a cheap mobile phone when we arrive in Cairo and put lots of credit on it and will text you our new number so you can give us a call when you are up and about.
I will be there for you if you need for anything, especially emotionally, spiritually, etc.
I would really love to be there for you, in whatever capacity, even if it is just coming for your celebration on day 7.I have the love, energy and enthusiasm to serve you so please do take advantage of me if I am there! Cooking, cleaning, washing, breastfeeding help, massage, shopping, photography, that kind of thing, so you can just focus on baby. I will be a friendly but professional help and I truly know what a new mother needs, and it is a lot of help, love and tenderness.I feel that this is my calling, to be with you at this time in your life. You and Adam!
We are serving our soul purpose by being there for you and supporting your choice. This is the most important place for our family's mission in life, being there for a friend in need.
WE LOVE YOU BOTH,
HERE IS A PICTURE OF US ON THE FIRST DAY WE MET!
Cher brought me several books (Birth Space, Safe Place, Lotus Birth, Breastfeeding for Dummies, and the last issue of Mothering Magazine), Homeopathy Remedies (Bach Flower, Walnut, Arnica 30C tablets, Arnica Ointment, and several bottles of Chamomilla 3X Granules for Adam teething or colicky pain), a breastfeeding home dress, a shawl to go with the dress, a pair of socks to keep me warm, and a lot of positive energy, love, and happy vibes!
My official expected due date was on April 24 but I was hoping to have Adam on April 17. On the 17th of April in 1997 I was raped. I will not get into the details and I will not revisit my journey towards healing since then. I will just say that for the past 14 years I never saw April 17 on the calendar. I know it came and went but I never saw it and I can honestly say that I never lived it. I deleted that date!
I wanted Adam to replace the memory of the rape with the memory of his birth.
April 15 came and passed followed by April 16 and no signs of labor were to be seen. I was frustrated, restless, and quite unhappy. I was looking into "natural induction" tips online to bring labor on but something inside of me rejected the idea. I went to bed early hoping that, in my sleep, the contractions would start. When I woke up on April 17 nothing had happened!
I hugged Adam inside of me and apologized!
I wanted Adam to come on the 17th to erase the memory of the rape that took place that same day in 1997. That is just plain selfish and insensitive of me! This is Adam’s birth not mine! He has the right to choose his birthday and if he does not want to have his birthday associated with my rape for the rest of his life, then it simply makes sense!
Dear Marwa ~You are in good hands as long as you listen in to your growing boy and this goes without saying for the rest of your lives together (best parenting tip), listen to your child and allow them to make choices and decisions for themselves, you might think that you know better, in some cases you will, but in other more unlikely cases, you may find that he knows just what to do or say.Our children outgrow us very quickly, after all they are the next generation and they have adapted to the ever changing world around them. It was our children that put us on this path, this one we are on now, here in Cairo (our new home for 1 month) and after this who knows where we will end up! This campaign is our life's purpose, supporting those ones out there who need us.
When I went to bed on the 17th I was certain that Adam is not coming any time soon; I had no signs of labor – no contractions, no show, and he was not even engaged yet! I woke up on the 18th at 5:30 in the morning because one of my cats wanted to drink.
Richie drinking (2008 picture)
I went back to bed and slept on my left side and as I began dozing off, I felt something very similar to mild menstrual cramps. I was not sure if I was dreaming it or if it was real. I opened my eyes. I was awake. The contractions were still there! I caressed Adam gently, told him that it was all right, and smiled at the thought of having him within a few hours!
I tried to stay in bed but I decided to watch the sunrise with Adam; I pulled back the curtains, opened the terrace window, and took a deep breath of fresh air. I was happy and content, felt very peaceful from within, and my heart just overflowed with love when my eyes fell on one of the pictures of Adam's father in my bedroom. I looked into his eyes and thanked him silently! Anything he did, or does, is, and will be, forgiven because he gave me Adam! I am eternally indebted to him!
Out on the terrace, the sun was finding its cozy spot in the horizon, my plants were beginning to blossom – officially announcing the end of winter – and a bird was chirping on the rooftop. Nature is so beautiful! I just realized that Easter (Egyptian Easter) is just a week ahead! A celebration of life, fertility, birth, rebirth, and the renewal of life! What a great timing to bring a baby into the world!
I marched back and forth on the terrace for about 30 minutes just to make sure that the contractions are still there and they are not just some more practice contractions (Braxton hicks). They were there alright! They were not painful, they were reassuring! I kept caressing my belly trying to savor those last hours of having Adam inside of me and I kept saying two words to Adam as I walked; I love you … and … thank you! As I felt him move, I told him that I was waiting for him earth-side and promised to take good care of him. I repeated over and over that I was ready to be his mother and that he is my first priority.
I had the urge to go to the bathroom, and there it was; my mucus plug! This is for real! Today is the day! I plugged the tub (where Adam and I will meet for the first time), brought the tripod into the bathroom, put the camera battery in the charger, and got me a hot cup of tea. I prepared the receiving hooded towel for Adam, hemp pads for diapering him, and a nasal aspirator just in case he had trouble breathing on his own. The contractions were still there and I sincerely wished they would never stop until Adam is in my arms! I thought of calling Cheroona but I realized that it was too early and that I would just mess up her plans for the day! They were going to the pyramids and I did not want to ruin that! I decided to call her later on when things got really really serious! (PICTURES)
By 7:30, I was actually enjoying the surges (I will no longer call them contractions)! They were waves of passion that just put a smile on my face. Like Adam and his father, they came in gentle waves and I was not having difficulty coping at all. I was then drinking a cup of raspberry leaf tea as I listened to the sound of water slowly filling in the tub. I have no idea how often the surges came or how long they lasted. I had no idea how my cervix was opening up. I did not care! There is a beauty in faith in your body, in optimum trust in your baby, and in the knowledge that everything would be "just fine"!
8:30am The tub was full but I decided not to jump in lest the water stalls labor; I was still enjoying the surges! I also made sure that I am upright all the time to give gravity a chance to work with me not against me. Freshly squeezed orange juice? Check! Raw honey with beewax? Check! Bananas? Check! Strawberries? Check! Ylang Ylang essential oil in the burner? Check! Adam's father's picture next to the tub? Check! Birthing ball? Check! Tripod and camera in position? Check! Placenta bowel and sieve? Check!
Mom called as I was going through my checklist and I was still having surges. We talked for a whole half an hour and I did not mention the surges. I sounded normal enough for her to not suspect anything. I really did not want the weight or burden of having to think of anyone other than Adam and myself. I knew that she would be worried and that she would – unintentionally – send me negative thoughts and worst case scenarios. I did not know how long "this" would take or how painful it might become, and I did not want to think of anyone worrying about me or, even worse, sending me negative fearful uncertain vibes. I told her that I was going to sleep for a bit hoping that Adam would be here before she calls again.
10:30am I had a few business emails to respond to and they kept me distracted from the growing intensity of the surges. They were still further apart, lasted a few seconds, and were not unbearable. I was worried that Adam was still not engaged. The most difficult part was to remind myself that Adam and my body will take care of everything and I just need to relax.
11:30am I was beginning to vocalize a deep "ahhhhh" every time I had a surge! They were getting closer and more intense! After each surge passed, I caressed my belly and told Adam that I was ok. The soundtrack of Kama Sutra – A Tale of Love was playing in the background. I was beginning to lose focus and was still trying to postpone getting into the tub for a little bit longer.
1:30pm I got in the tub and was vocalizing loudly! Yes! It was painful and the surges were getting closer. I kept myself hydrated and nourished with orange juice, water, and strawberries.
2:00pm I hated the water! It felt cold and I was shivering with pain. I got out of the tub and began laboring standing up, holding on to door-knob, and an involuntary urge to push took over! With every surge I pushed, I vocalized, and I could hear a click cluck sound inside me as my bones seemed to break apart. Pushing felt like straining on the toilet and I felt heaviness on my perineum, vagina, and rectum – I no longer knew which was what! I decided to call Cheroona! I needed her! It took her an hour to come and I waited for her exactly where I was – in the hallway holding on o the door-knob and pushing!
3:00pm Cheroona came! I was so happy to see her! I got back in the tub and kept working with her on breathing, pushing, and on my affirmations!
"I am a flower that will open up in its own time" I repeated after her.
She tried to get me to say "ayyyyyyyyyyy" instead of "ahhhhhhhhhhh" but it was impossible! I was being torn apart from inside, my bones were still clicking and clucking, as my cervix opened up, I bled, and I began pooping with every push! Cheroona was with me all the way with her positivity and support! She handed me water with remedies and did her best to assure me that it was all normal!
The security guy called … he thought I was being attacked!
The neighbors heard me and called but I could not answer!
I waited for the "natural analgesia" to kick in but it never did!
I waited for Adam to engage but he was still high up!
Cheroona held my hands firmly through each surge and reassured me saying that I was a goddess!
Between 2:00pm – when I first started pushing – and 9:30pm I labored in the tub, in the standing shower, on the toilet, in the hallway holding the doorknob, in the hallway holding Cheroona as if we were dancing, in Adam's playroom on the floor, on the exercise bars, in my bedroom on the floor, and on the bed. I labored on all fours, standing upright, squatting, on my side, and semi-reclining.
I began telling Adam to stop hurting me! I began telling Cheroona that I can not go on!
By 9:30pm I was exhausted. I told Cheroona that I wanted to call my mom to get me to a hospital. As I reached out for the phone to call my mom, the phone rang! It was my mom alright! I told her that I was in labor and that I wanted her to get a doctor and come over!
I made another call to Adam's father! I thought I was dying and I needed to hear his voice! I needed to apologize again to him! He heard me vocalize again as a surge took over when I was on the phone with him. I do not remember what I said to him and I do not remember what he told me! I thought I heard him crying but I am not sure! By that time, I totally lost focus and from this point onwards, what you will read is what I thought happened!
By 10:30pm my mom came with the doctor! I was in the bedroom and was telling Cheroona that Adam was stuck and that I was not progressing! She was telling me that she will be there with me in the hospital and will make sure that everything I wanted would be properly communicated to the doctors.
The doctor stood at the bedroom door horrified by the sight of a woman who has gone insane with hours and hours of pain! He wanted me to lean back on the bed so he could check me but the surges and the pain paralyzed me! I barely managed a semi recline on the edge of the bed. He checked me and said that I was 9cms dilated and that he felt Adam's head! He had a doppler – I guess – and heard Adam's heartbeats. He told me that he was OK! He also said that I have about half an hour more! This was when I finally broke down into tears! I could not imagine going through this for another half an hour! I was ready for some drugs! He was very empathetic, calm, and reassuring; he told me not to fear going to the hospital and that everything I wanted will be done!
Cheroona advocated on my behalf! She clearly explained that I did not want an epidural, a c-section, or an episiotomy. She told him that the only drugs I wanted was some "gas and air"! No cord-cutting! The placenta delivers naturally! Adam to be put on my tummy once he was born!
She explained to him why those things were important to me and he promised to do his best to meet my demands! I agreed to go to the hospital!
My mom stood there in the room thinking that I was literally insane! She did not understand why I put up with all that pain for those long hours without drugs! She did not understand why I did not want a c-section that much! She just saw in me a crazy reckless stubborn curse-of-a-daughter! Again I felt that she wished I was someone else! Again I felt that she wished I was "normal" like other daughters! And again … it hurt me!
Going down the stairs never seemed more difficult! I was going down the stairs in my bathrobe and slippers, vocalizing between surges! The neighbors came out to watch! They finally saw the woman behind all the noise that haunted them all day!
I do not remember much of my arrival at the hospital! I only remember that they refused to let Cheroona in with me! I remember telling them to consider her my husband and that they said it was also not allowed!
In the operating room, I remember how I had a contraction or two as I tried getting myself on the bed! I remember the doctor telling the anesthesiologist that it was a natural birth and that I did not want an epidural! I remember the pain medication kicking in only to numb my head but the contractions were still there. I also remember the doctor monitoring Adam's heartbeats and assuring me that he was doing well.
The doctor asked me to push and to bear down but I could not! I remember the pain and the rapid contractions that came from him manipulating my cervix. I remember someone or something pushing my stomach/top of my uterus so hard that I stopped breathing.
Next thing I remember is seeing the doctor's face as he was seated on a chair between my legs. He was working on some stiches. Someone took my hand and put it on my belly and I panicked when I did not find Adam inside me! The doctor told me that I gave birth and that Adam needed help with his breathing. He said that Adam was distressed and inhaled meconium, that he had to cut the cord, that he kept the placenta for me, that he was sorry that he had to do an episiotomy but he could not wait for my perimeum to stretch naturally because of Adam's distress, that he put Adam on my belly when he was born, and that the cord was cut 30 minutes after Adam's birth.
It was finally over!
This is how this section should have been written! This was how I dreamed of it over and over!
I had another dream! I saw exactly how Adam was delivered into this world! I have had a way of making my dreams come true but out of all the dreams I have had, I really want this one to come true!
Dearest Adam and Mommy Marwa ~
This candle has been burning brightly for you both and we are sending you the loving warming energy within this beautiful flame. This is the first of the beeswax candles that your mommy bought for our children and we will keep them burning until you are well and in your mothers arms and when the last candle has burned out it's wick the light will continue to shine in all our hearts. We are your spiritual family and we love you very much. Thank you for bringing us into your lives Adam and Mommy Marwa ~ May you be together very soon and heal in a profound and powerful way!
With Love ~ Cheroona, William, Aurora, Ophelia and Wilde xoxoxoxo
I sat next to Adam and watched his peaceful face as he was asleep in my arms. He has his father's eyes and chin; I smiled to myself. Then I looked at his cord that was still attached to his first mother – the placenta. The cord stopped pulsing and Adam took his full supply of blood and nutrients from the placenta. The placenta stopped seeping and was beautifully wrapped up in a bamboo colander. I kept coming back to that scene and watched in awe how Adam slowly and gently let go of his attachment to his first mother; bit by bit the strong rubbery cord withered and dried; bit by bit the crispy cord detached from Adam's belly-button; bit by bit the embalmed placenta became a lovely memory of Adam's first mother. No force or violence was used to cut the cord or to end Adam's attachment to the placenta; he let go when he was ready to let go.
I kept Adam's placenta embalmed and wrapped in the freezer and decided to wait for a couple of years when Adam was older, then we could give it a proper burial! I believe that the place where the placenta would be buried will always be "home" for Adam, his father, and myself! After all, this placenta is made of the three of us! It is Adam's double – in a way his twin!
"All attachments will fall away of their own accord" I said to myself as I remembered the yoga principles of life; creation, maintenance, and destruction – we all have to let go at one point of time. I let go of Adam's father. I will always love him and he will always be a special man in my life but I am no longer attached to him in a way that hurts me or hurts Adam … we are both students of the universe and with love and inner peace we shall live.
Adam was originally due on April 24!
He stayed in the incubator until April 23!
We watched the first sunrise together on April 24!
This should have been his birthday and I wonder if there is anything I could do to wipe out the time from April 17 to April 24 – when we were finally reunited!
FINAL WORD – quoted from the movie Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love:
"Knowing love, I can allow all things to come and go,
to be as supple as the wind
and to face all things with great courage.
As Rasa would say to me: Life is right in any case!
My heart is as open as the sky."
PS If you are wondering about the two vaccine books that I bought, read those