BirthKuwait Inagural Gala

BirthKuwait Inagural Gala
celebrating 4 years of giving (note: it's by invite only)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Intuition, Sarah`s Paksima water birth story

Following birth story is re posted with kind permission from Sarah Paksima of  EngagingBirth  who is Co-founder of BirthKuwait and its Former President.


Each birth is a unique journey. Every time I think that I have figured out my "birthing pattern" you might say...I get thrown for a loop. 

I've always given birth on my due date or a couple days after; we scheduled a business trip for my husband just before my due date that I felt pretty confident about...until of course he left for the trip. I felt uneasy and anxious. It was a leap of faith to follow my feelings and ask my husband to come home a day was an expensive and inconvenient change of plans...but having my husband there for the birth the next morning made it more than worth it.

I've always given birth at night, going into active labor right after bedtime and giving birth early in the morning. At first I kept discounting the contractions I was getting all day...thinking that nothing exciting would happen until evening. But I finally felt like it was time to fill the birth tub that morning while my husband was at Costco. By the time he got home (around 3pm), I felt like I wanted to get in. He raised his eyebrows in surprise when I told him, and asked me if I was sure (even he was in disbelief!!) I was feeling a bit snarky at that point and made it clear that I could get in and out of that tub as many times as I darn well wanted.

I had my sister call my midwives, (Kim Garrett with Dearborn Midwifery) and told her I thought she should start getting ready to head over in a couple hours. Five minutes later I told her to head over now but not to rush. Five minutes later I told her to rush.

I was in the tub by 4:10pm. My sisters were amazing doulas. They encouraged me, kept cool washcloths on my shoulders and forehead, kept my hair out of my face, gave me water...and kept tossing ice cubes into the tub because I filled it up with really hot water thinking it would need to stay warm until the night time. My husband was my rock: when I was out of the tub, I needed him to hold me up; when I was in the tub, I needed him to press on my lower back (constantly!) 

I listened to my body and changed positions as I needed to, sitting on the ball and rolling my hips, leaning on my husband standing up, swaying on my hands and knees over the birth ball, in and out of the tub.

My last two water births I pushed on my hands and knees, and my babies' were born after a few long hard contractions. I was really confused when I felt like I needed to put my feet up on the side of the tub (and I still needed my husband to press on my back!) so I reached up my hand without looking. I'll never forget when my midwife and my sister instinctively took both my hands without my verbalizing anything. But the contractions were short and not very strong. I got to the point where I felt like I was slitting in two and I couldn't believe the baby hadn't crowned yet. I just remember asking God to help me over and over again. 

Finally little Fiona was born. I pulled her right up into my arms; she was alert but quiet. Just looking around, eyes blinking, nuzzling into my chest. We both were just so relieved it was over. She latched on while I was still in the tub, and after about 20 minutes we moved over to the couch to wait for the placenta to birth. My daughter cut the cord, and everything proceeded normally. I was so alert and happy. Fiona was born at 5:40pm. I had never had a baby before midnight, and I couldn't believe how awake and energized I felt. My sisters brought me a fruit smoothie, clean clothes, and eventually helped me up to my room. Fiona was a super nurser. Everything was beautiful, peaceful, and perfect...not the direct straight path I anticipated, but by trusting and listening to my intuition we found our way in and out of the labyrinth of birth together.

I went to sleep that night with snow falling softly outside my window, my husband and my new baby snuggling with me in our warm bed, and a team of midwives, sisters, and family watching over us.

My Body, My Baby, My Birth

Following birth stories re posted with kind permission from Sarah Paksima of Engaging Birth who is a Co- founder and Former President of BirthKuwait.

Battle over Birth

My Body, My Baby, My Birth?

Al-Jazeera- I love their work. Recently Al-Jazeera has been exploring the political battles over where a woman can birth in a series called BirthRights. Definitely take the time to watch it on YouTube. You remember the phrase from the 1970's civil rights movements? My Body, My Baby, My Birth (or for those advocating for abortion rights, My Choice). What do you think? Who has ultimate autonomy over a woman's body? Should women have the right to give birth with who and wherever she chooses? Do the regulatory laws that we set up to license professionals and protect women from unqualified practitioners also serve to limit their choices? Do health practitioners truly have the health of women as their top priority, or are they just as territorial as your next businessman? Are you willing to abdicate responsibility for your health to someone else to make decisions for you about what is safe and what isn't?

There is not a place in the world where this issue is at rest- although there are places where there are more options available than others. I had my first baby at a hospital. I took Bradly Method classes to prepare, but even so I wasn't satisfied- I felt stripped of dignity and defeated by the experience. I never wanted to go through that again, so I studied and read more about childbirth. I had my second baby at a birth center- which was better, but it still just felt like a low-tech hospital with a tub that I could labor in. I loved the water birth experience! But even the nurse midwives kept looking at their watches, giving my deadlines to meet, talking about what interventions I should consider. I wanted to birth someplace where I was acknowledged as the ultimate authority on my body- where my inner wisdom and personal wishes were respected, and the people around me trusted the beautiful and powerful process of birth.

My next two children were born at home with a rented birthing tub and two highly trained midwives. They were wonderful and amazing births! That is what birth should be like- a safe environment, surrounded by people you love- who are confident in your ability and power to birth.We had some false alarms (I was even dilated to 5cm)-but the midwives just went home and we waited until labor started again the next night. I remember in the most intense moments of labor, sinking into the water with deep vocalization and letting my body completely relax while the arms of my sisters and husband held me up and supported me.  Safety, privacy, and patience. These are really what birth requires- and they are the three things that it is difficult to find in a hospital.

Moments after Mehrsa was born, I was able to initiate breastfeeding and introduce her to her big sisters.

The more women learn about a different model of birth- a model other than medical interventionism that dominates most places in the world, including Kuwait- the more they are seeking for a return to the midwifery model. Midwifery is woman centered- a model that trusts women's bodies and their ability to birth; a model that recognizes that the intense journey of labor and birth is a rite of passage that transforms a woman into a mother and supports and encourages her through that process rather than trying to "rescue" her from it. The medical establishment- because they are trained to treat you when things go wrong- inherently feeds into cycles of fear and mistrust of the process. This is an ongoing battle that women and men will continue to fight, a battle for information, autonomy, and the right to act on that information- it is political, economical, and deeply, deeply personal.

Monday, October 21, 2013

BirthKuwait Open Day Event featured on 24/7 Parents Blog

Mommies-to-be, BirthKuwait is the answer!

I had the privilege of attending BirthKuwait’s Open Day on October 5th. What a fabulous event it was! I arrived late, yet the ladies had no problem showing me around the different stations and giving their mini-lectures all over again. Being there brought tears to my eyes and a few rolled down my cheek. Where were these ladies when I was pregnant with Mimi and then with Oullie? I would have given an arm and a leg for the kind of support and services they offer!
I was so overwhelmed with being there and meeting everyone that I forgot to take pictures. Plus I didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s privacy. Anyhow, let me say that the space is wonderful. The setup is very homey and comforting. Every single one of the ladies I talked to was friendly and smiley. The services they offer range from prenatal to postnatal. Namely, prenatal yoga, delivery assistance (doula), baby massage, nutritional advice and of course breast feeding support. They are even adding Parenting support classes to the list which is just mind blowing.
To every mom-to-be out there, whether it’s your first pregnancy, second, third or fifth, the love and support you will get from this group of women is beyond words. I can’t recommend them enough.
I have to admit being among these ladies almost made me want to have a third ;)
Reposted with kind approval from Subway Mom

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Open Day Event at BirthKuwait

Read all about BirthKuwait`s  Open Day Event which took place on October 5, 2013. Re posted with permission from

Birth Kuwait Event

by Yahalooo on October 9, 2013
Mama has attended many of Birth Kuwait’s lectures before but since this was an open house event with more activities she decided to bring Banoota long this time which turned into a disaster as she refused to stay in the playing area and insisted on playing with the candles at the yoga station. So the already so late Mama, took Banoota to her Mother’s house and came back to the event just into for the last 30 minutes.
On entering Mama was surprised as the turn up was exceptional, the word had truly gone out and many expecting moms were in the house. Everything was very organized and their was so much to benefit from. All people who entered were greeted by members of Birth Kuwait and then shown around the different stations which they had developed for the event.
The first one was all about Infant Massage where specialists demonstrated how to preform different massage techniques on infants to relieve them from constipation and colic massage.
The owner of the shop JellyBeanz was available which a selection of amazing products. One of the most products that attracted Mama’s attention was a tummy belt that protects a pregnant women’s baby from all the harmful radiation of cell phones, laptops and all other useful devices that produce harmful radiation that could affect your fetus. We highly recommend her shop which is located in Zawya Center in Hawalli and will be visiting them soon after Eid to stock up on all the useful products that any independent mother would need.
Another center was all about child birth education explain to mothers all the biology details that they should know before they give birth. No photography was allowed so we have very limited.
After two mini-courses on infant massage and children birth education you could move on over to the yoga center and enjoy a session of Prenatal Yoga with the Blooma certified yoga instructors.
So now, you’d be hungry and move off to the food section where they had Charity Richins from Balanced for Life talk about organic food and answer all your questions about feeding your little ones. They also had a spinach smoothies for all to taste which you have to check out the recipe for on their instagram account as it’s very healthy and don’t taste bad like the sound of it. It was actually pretty good.
The final station was from the maternity hospital and they provided you with a lot of detailed information about breastfeeding. The specialists where amazing as they answered all your questions and told you about all the required nutrients. They also handed out many beneficial leaflets and snacks the are good for mothers who are breastfeeding.
Finally it was the buffet time which unlike any other event was full of healthy food only, mostly homemade by different members of Birth Kuwait with the exception of Muffy Cakes which provided some healthy snacks. Even though the food was all super heathy it was so delicious Mama demanded for some of the recipes.
An amazing event by Birth Kuwait, Mama only wishes she could have been their from the start and chat some more with the participants but since her allergies are acting up her voice isn’t completely available so she was on silent mode.
Thank you to Birth Kuwait for such a wonderful event and thank you to the lovely Heba Al Ali president of Birth Kuwait for providing the pictures for this article.