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Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012 - Memories of having a baby on Y2K

It's New Year's Day! Aside from this day being the first day of a new year, it is also the 12th anniversary of a crazy blessed day when I went into labour at my (Islamic) sister Lisa's house.

Oh - I should also mention that I gave birth at her house and coincidentally, I was visiting her. My daughter was born within an hour of my water breaking. No screaming, no pain, just calm voices and then a babyyy wah wah lol .As ideal as that sounds, it happened. This time I have a houseful of witnesses besides God. The memories always flood back at this time, when the celebrations scream "Happy New Year", I am saying to my daughter, "And Happy Birthday, Alien". Her brothers thought her ultrasound pic at 4 months looked 'alien-ish' and after a while we just called her 'Alien' (Her name is Hiba, though, for the record).

There is a story...

Back in 1999, around the month of March the news of people trying to make babies in various parts of the world was making its way to CBC. Apparently, the new millennium will also coincide with the Year of the Dragon. It is supposed to be very lucky and a Dragon child is desired. The media was focused on the many people that were trying to get pregnant through natural and artificial methods in order to try for New Years baby.

However, there were other issues concerning Y2K on a world wide level. What was going to happen? Some of the worst case scenarios, such as every computer-programmed thing on earth would fail and we would be in a post-apocalyptic dystopia with no food, no power and no water. Why would people try to have babies at such a crazy time anyway?

I would often feel like I needed to barf at the very thought of it, but when I actually did - and on days subsequent to that day, I realized my own impending fate. Oh sh!t - I'll have to be with those crazy people during Y2K...them and their demon babies. More barf. More worry. Took the test. Took it again. Pregnancy confirmed. Husband ecstatic. What now?

Administration at the local hospital was bracing for the  possibilities of power outages and increased patient volume due to Y2K from both a social and mechanical perspectives. Here I was, pissing on another stick (the first time doing a pregnancy test I always doubt positive results), puking and craving lemon zest and soda crackers, praying to Allah (for a girl), and crying at the thought of the madness-to-be. What is a pregnant mother of two young boys under the age of four to do? Husband wondered what the fuss was about. In Sudan, women gave birth all the time at home because sometimes you didn't return treated with the same reason you arrived at the hospital in the first place. It got me thinking. With the second delivery being so easy and natural, there left little reason to consider a home birth.

I called Thames Valley Midwives. They would see me in a week. In the meantime, a blood test revealed how many weeks along and it was determined my due date was January 3, 2000. If everything went well, I would be able to deliver the baby at home, far from the madding crowd, in peace. No drama, no sleepless uncomfortable sick people superbug environment necessary. If I was ill or had complications, by all means, a hospital delivery. But for now, I was so happy to meet the midwives, who were so good to me and provided age appropriate information, stories and colouring books for my boys.

My 4-year old called the midwives, "The Midlife's" I still laugh at that today. My 2-year old wondered what it would be like to exist for so long in an upside-down position, which he practiced often without understanding the anatomy of a pregnancy and throughout his efforts, was disappointed to learn he had been there and done that - and not remembered a thing.

"Oh, and Mama, where do babies come from?"

The midwives had an excellent answer for that question and I was not only true, it was not embarrassing or crude nor did it say too much. No diagrams required of female body parts. It was simple. Ask me about it.


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