My Birth Story: Yusuf Kazi is Here!

When I got pregnant for the second time, the hype was no longer there. I wasn’t worried about what we needed. I didn’t need to create a baby registry. I didn’t need to plan a baby shower. I needed to take care of my existing baby while making sure this baby comes out nicely. My first birth was a disaster. I suffered for over a year and didn’t feel like myself for at least 18 months. Therefore, when it came time to give birth to Yusuf, I needed a very strong mindset and a steady game plan.

I spoke to my midwife for weeks about how I wanted to give birth. I wanted to spend as less time as possible in the hospital. She asked if it was due to concerns of child care regarding first born. I specified that my daughter will be taken care of very well and I had no worries about that. However, I did not want to be in the hospital where doctors can intervene and pressure me into taking all the drugs. Drugs that take forever to leave your system. Drugs that give you backpain. Drugs that hinder your recovery process. Drugs that – no matter how much they tell you it won’t – will enter your baby’s body and affect your breast milk. Thus, labouring at home until at least 6-7 centimeters was what I preferred best.

She then began to convince me about home birthing options. And I very much considered it. I even told her it sounded messy but appealing. She told me she’d take care of all the cleaning. However, something didn’t quiet sell me on the idea. I opted for a hospital birth – under my terms.

Come 37 weeks, I began my process of getting my full term baby the heck out. I’ve had enough of him in my body at this point and the past 36 weeks have been nothing short of a *literal* pain in the ass. I watched videos on how to labour at home. Instagram videos on the best positions to give birth in. The bloody show and water break signs. I did the miles circuit. I walked. I carried my 25 pound toddler around town. I felt a contraction one night and got up the next morning to run to the mall and buy my baby a hospital outfit. I packed my hospital bag. I renewed my expired driver’s license. I was ready for this baby.

At 38 weeks, one night I felt some really horrible pains. “These aren’t as bad as I thought they would be.” But they were definitely contractions. They were minutes apart and they kept me up from 3 am. The baby was coming. I began cleaning my windows and spray painting my wooden Quran stand white — the only thing I had left to do to prepare for Ramadan. Imad woke up at 8 am and I was excited to break the news to him. “He’s coming!!” Imad went about his work day, brushing me off because there’s no way I could be going about my normal day, watching Friends at 6 am with a baby coming. “It must be braxton hicks.”

I was convinced too. The pain completely stopped. I spoke to my mom on the phone that day and she wondered why I didn’t come over. It was Wednesday and I always go over on Wednesdays. I told her I felt a few contractions and I should stay home and rest. I told Imad we needed groceries. The day went on as normal. We didn’t do groceries, and Yusra was being quite the handful. I tried to sleep on the sofa but couldn’t. I was tired.

Fast forward to the evening. Yusra was very much still awake. Imad fell asleep on the bed while I tried to rock her to sleep. My pain was on and off the whole day and I was angry. Around 10 pm, I told Imad to take his daughter and give me some space to sleep. For some reason, I knew that was the last time I would see Yusra as an only child. Even through my anger, I said I love you to her, and wished her a good night. “See you tomorrow inshallah” as I watched Imad carry her into her room.

At midnight, they started again. This time, more painful. I was counting out loud through my breathing to get through the contractions. But, being so tired from the lack of sleep and my busy day parenting my toddler – I fell asleep after every contraction. Every. single one. Until 3 am, when it was getting quite difficult to even breathe. At this point, I wanted to sleep and never wake up. But, I also needed to pee. I got up and sat on the toilet, having the worst contraction yet. “I should probably start timing these”, I told myself as I headed back to my room with my phone on one side, and my exercise ball under me. I rolled back and forth, providing relief to my pelvis. My contractions were very obviously 3-4 minutes apart. It was time to wake my husband.

He got the midwife on the phone after being in shock of my state. My midwife listened to me breathe through a contraction and told me to get myself to the hospital in 30 minutes. Imad got my dad on the phone who woke my mother and brother to come over instantly. My mom watched me have 2 contractions and began worrying this baby will come out in the car. I tell her I’m fine and take the longest most painful walk to my car. I was not fine.

Imad drops me off at the hospital lobby. I want to die waiting for him to park the car and come. I think of the Ayah in Surah Maryam:

Then the pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She cried, “Alas! I wish I had died before this, and was a thing long forgotten!” فَأَجَآءَهَا ٱلْمَخَاضُ إِلَىٰ جِذْعِ ٱلنَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يَـٰلَيْتَنِى مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَـٰذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًۭا مَّنسِيًّۭا ٢

Then the pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She cried, “Alas! I wish I had died before this, and was a thing long forgotten!”

Everyone’s staring at me and there’s no wheelchairs in sight. I take the slowest most painful and even longer walk to the 3rd floor maternity ward. At this point, I’m swearing through my contractions. I hear my midwife behind me as my husband checks in. I want to hold her and cry but I refrain.

She and her student began to examine me. The bloody show that I watched in YouTube videos to know you’re in active labour was very apparent. They check to see how much I dialated. 9 cm. They skip all the formalities, check ins, Covid testings, and throw a hospital gown on me. I’m escorted to the room. I walk passed my baby’s first bed, the weighing machine, the bathub, and everything else I was excited to see the first time around. I beelined towards the bed. I just wanted to lie down. My midwife breaks my water and I feel everything gush out and a gush of pressure. As if I wasn’t feeling enough.

This is when my primal instincts came out. I was losing my mind. And I wanted drugs. I beg for something. Anything. I’m given laughing gas. I shove it up my face and begin feeling loopy. Still in pain. But very loopy. I chuck the mask. I hate it. I scream for my ball. I hate that too. “I want to push!” I scream. I get on all fours like that Instagram video I watched. It made it look like the baby would slip out in this position. He did not slip out. He didn’t even inch out. I begin to scream louder. My midwives did not instruct me on any positions, just whatever I felt like my body needed to do. I flipped over on my back. She tells me to push. I scream. This is when she very sternly tells me to snap out of it and focus. I need to push this baby out. She tells me I’ll feel better when he’s out. This resonates with me. I want to feel better. I want to feel better now. I just needed to figure out where to push. I listen.

Thus, I began taking the second biggest shit of my life. I’m being updated on all the hair. I can feel things shifting. And then, I hear cooing. SubhanAllah. I freak out. What is cooing in my vagina. “We just need the shoulders out!” I tell myself I need to this baby out and give it one last push. Relief. I don’t even look at my baby. I close my eyes and say Alhamdulilah. I’m alive! My baby is put on my chest. I don’t cry like I did with my first. I’m too tired. I examine his face. I gave birth to Yusra again. Another win for the Kazi Klan. As they delay the cord cutting, I apologize for my behaviour and tell everyone it’s great to be back. They chuckle and congratulate me on the beautiful birth.

This birth really shed light on to the miracle of Allah. The blessings of Allah. The rewards by Allah. Yusuf was here, on my chest, after 9 months in my womb.

I did require stitches as I pushed a baby out in 10 minutes. This is where the laughing gas really helped. It was 6 am and we had the whole day ahead of us. I urged the midwives to let me go home as soon as possible. All the tests were complete, we were just waiting on a blood result to rule off any jaundice risk. We’re home by 6 pm. My first born meets my second born and my family is complete. Alhamdulilah.