Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Ahlan Baby!
By Jana Kelley
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But now something strange has happened. Mother said my water has broken. I don’t know what that means, but I feel like I pee-ed all over the bed. Now the pain is even worse. My mother says not to yell if the pain gets worse. She says to stay calm and she will call the midwife. The hospital is too far away she says. I am even more scared. I know who the midwife is. She is the one that performed my circumcision when I was a child. She cut me and she sewed me up when I was only five years old. I remember it well. I don’t like her, but now the pain is so bad, I don’t have the energy to fight with my mother.
They have moved me to a bedroom now and my sister is wiping my head with a cloth. I am trying not to scream. My niece has gone to tell my husband, Nadr. Nadr and I have been married for one year. I live with him at his parent’s house. It is very different there because his sisters do not like me. I am so happy to be at my mother’s house for the birth of my baby. My baby! Oh, it hurts so much, what do I do? Make it stop! Out of the corner of my eye I see Khaltee Amna, the midwife. I know she will have to cut me where she sewed me up so many years ago.
I know my mother told me not to, but I screamed anyway and all went black…
It has been three days since my baby was born. I wish I had been unconscious the whole time. Unfortunately, I was awake for the cutting and the pushing and I did my best not to scream very much. A baby girl was born and I was so happy, but I heard Khaltee Amna say “Malesh” to my mother. “Too bad, better luck for a boy next time,” she said quietly after she sewed my back up. It only stole my joy for a moment. For just a moment, my mother’s face looked angry at Khaltee Amna, then her sweet smile came back and she offered the older woman some hot tea.
My sister came to attend to me. She gave me my beautiful baby girl to hold. I want to name her Maria, but I think Nadr will name her Fatima, a good, strong Muslim name. I hope Nadr is not disappointed that his first child is a girl. I have more chances to give him a boy. I hope no one else says “Malesh”. I don’t want to hear that again! I want to hear, “Mabrook!” “Congratulations!” There is still plenty of time to give him a baby boy. For now I will enjoy my baby girl! “Ahlan!” “Welcome, baby girl!”
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