Hi, I am Hagar, one of The Fustany Team and a new mom. Today, four months after giving birth, I decided to share my journey with childbirth and motherhood with you. What are the challenges and difficulties that I faced and how did I rely on myself by reading, doing research and watching videos, in addition to the support from those around me to go through this stage as smoothly as possible?

First, the decision to have a baby...

I knew that being a mother is a great responsibility, and it needs a lot sacrifices, so my husband and I decided not to rush to this step and wait at least two years after marriage. During this period, I read about pregnancy and its complications, and about motherhood and what sacrifices a mother makes for her home and children, so that I can have an awareness and understanding of what will change in my life, in order to help myself accept the changes and take responsibility.

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The decision to conceive must be shared between you and your husband, and it has to be agreed upon in advance. The father must also be prepared, encouraged for this step, and fully aware of his duties towards the wife and child. It is also important to have help around the house, as well emotional and moral support for the mom. There are many changes that happen to you during this period, not only the physical changes, but also the psychological and feelings that you will start getting for the first time, whether they're positive or negative.

You must also take into account that not all women are the same during pregnancy and giving birth. Each body has its own circumstances and needs. Never compare yourself to anyone and do not listen to any criticism, because it may affect your health and your mood, which are important when it comes to deciding to have a baby. Health and a calm mind. 

Preparing for pregnancy and how I chose a gynecologist...

This was not my first time. I got pregnant before, I had a miscarriage and the fetus died before it was born and I did not understand why. I did a lot of tests and they didn't help us find out why this happened. So, I decided to try to know more about pregnancy and childbirth. I spoke with one of my friends and she recommended a course by a Doula named Mariam. You can find her here at Maryamya's Corner on Facebook. I reached out to Mariam to find out what the course would be covering and it included most of the questions had in mind. One of the advantages of this course is that your spouse can attend this course with you for participation and support.

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I was looking for certain characteristics in a gynecologist, and I wanted a lot to avoid what happened in the first pregnancy. I wanted an understanding doctor who supports natural childbirth, listens and communicates well and with a clinic close to my home. I also wanted them to work in a hospital that's close to me, and of course someone I can communicate with on the phone when I need any information. The Doula Mariam recommended Dr. Karim Zaki, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, and he actually happened to meet all the previous specifications and was one of the biggest forms of support for me during the pregnancy.

The first trimester

This stage of the pregnancy was not promising, after a month and a half of pregnancy I began to feel tired, constantly vomiting with a loss of appetite. After talking to my doctor about it, he told me that I suffer from Hypermesis Gravidurm, which is a condition of chronic vomiting, because my body is sensitive to the pregnancy hormone. I tried a lot of medications, but they didn't work. In a follow-up with the doctor, I got an injection and an allergy medication to reduce the vomiting. We wanted to deal with it before things got serious, because in some cases it could lead to hospitalization. And of course we wanted to avoid that as much as possible, especially because of Covid.

During that period, I was working from home because of the Coronavirus, and it was the only thing that help distract me from feeling tired.

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The second trimester

Going into the sixth month, the vomiting decreased and I was able to eat, and sushi was my favorite food at that time. Well, don't laugh. I had such a craving for it. It was an easier stage in the pregnancy, it went by quickly and my health improved, and I started to prepare my hospital bag and buying clothes and supplies for the baby. I also prepped the baby's room. Of course, I also bought most things online because of Corona.

The third and last trimester

After the seventh month, my body began to weigh down and my movement got harder, and of course common problems like acid reflux and stomach ache. There was also pain in my left leg that woke me up literally every day. The ninth month was coming to an end and there were no signs of labor. Of course, I was bombarded with sarcastic comments and the "It's taking you too long." and "What's all this, you still haven't given birth?!"

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And now, giving birth...

The doctor encouraged me to wait and be patient, for the baby was positioned towards the bottom and there was a great chance of having a natural birth...

On Friday, December 18th, I started to have pain with little blood and secretions. I talked to the doctor and he told me to follow up with him through WhatsApp every two hours, in order to determine if this was labour or not. The pain continued until ten in the morning. The doctor asked me to go to the hospital and do an examination to take a look at the cervix and see whether it has widened and whether my pain is labor or not? After the examination, we found out that it was labour and that the uterus had expanded 5 cm, but the head of the baby did not reach the pelvis, and my water didn't break yet.

Dr. Karim came to talk to me and suggested stimulation by breaking the amniotic sac, which will increase the intensity of the labour and I can then take an injection to relieve the pain and give birth with less pain. I approved because of my confidence in the doctor and his decisions. And so, the labor was stronger, and I took this injection and gave birth naturally, thankfully.

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After giving birth, I really felt how incredible we are as women, strong and great by nature, deserving of so much respect and appreciation.

From here began my journey with motherhood! I will also keep sharing with you more motherhood, infant care, breastfeeding, and the problems I had the first 3 months after giving birth...

Main Image Credits: Via Pinterest