Then And Now, The Loss Of The Superwoman.

Have you seen this?!

All I can say is wow! I mean she was in the front seat and basically just pushed her pants down to make room and the baby came out! All deliveries should be like that! Although I would definitely opt for the hospital and the drugs and the doctors. I always pray for a fast delivery but always always add “in the hospital” to the end of that prayer.

At nearly 30 weeks everything around me seems to be about pregnancy or birth. I am sure this is all in my mind, like when you learn a new word and suddenly everyone is using it all the time. At my grandmothers this morning the conversation turned to pregnancy and birth. My grandmother is a bedouin woman and many of the women who were there today are also bedouin women. Meaning they are no-nonsense, made of steel. give birth alone then walk back home kind of women.

The conversation was about how women used to do everything as normal right up until delivery. One of my aunts was telling us about a woman who would jump up on her camel at 9 months pregnant. Apparently she just hopped on and off like she would any other day. Then they told me the story of the woman who went out to get fire wood and came back with her baby AND the fire wood.

I remember my grandmother telling me the story of when she went into labour with one of her children but she had visitors over at the time and felt it would be rude to tell them she was in excruciating pain while sitting with them and having polite conversation. It’s only when one of the visitors notices that my grandmother kept clenching her fists and looked uncomfortable did they get up and leave.

They discussed at length why women now have so many complications during pregnancy and how they can’t do anything at all during. How they women are not made of the same stuff anymore and maybe it’s because women aren’t active anymore.

It was then that Baby B walked into the room and straight for a hot cup of coffee shouting “Patuccinooo”*. I jumped up and raced to grab his hand before poured it all over himself. The reaction in the room was instant! Every woman in the room simultaneously shouted at me to “SLOW DOWN!” and “ALLAH YHDEEKI DON’T MOVE SO FAST!” and “SIT DOWN BEFORE YOU GO INTO LABOUR!”.

I burst out laughing at the irony of it all! When I pointed out to them the contradiction they laughed and my aunt said “That was women then, you are not those women so sit down”.

So yes. Women used to give birth with MUCH less of a fuss than we do now but along with all the super woman birth stories are an equal amount of tragic stories that end with the death of the babies and sometimes the death of the mother.

So in your opinion is the way it used to be done before all the medical intervention better or are you happy to have your sterilized room and flowing drugs? Do you think women had less complications then? Or more still births and losses of babies? 

*Little side note; I had a very very distant cousin there who flipped out at me giving my son the foam from my cappuccino and no matter how much I explained to him that he is not actually drinking the coffee he kept going on and on about how bad it is for him to have caffeine. The irony in this situation is that this is a man who had just said to me “You’re lucky your kids sit in their car seats, my daughters refuse to. I wish they would but I just can’t get them to”… Seriously… you’re in your 40’s… your kids are in their 5’s and 3’s… if you can’t make them do stuff now God help you later. And I’d give my son an espresso any day over letting him ride in a car without being strapped in. 


  1. I think it was so different back in our grandparent’s and great–grandparent’s day. While I do believe there were the women of steel who would give birth and work in the rice fields 20 minutes later, I also feel many more of these women lost their lives because of no or little medical intervention. Shoot…2 years ago I gave birth in a hospital, totally natural (not by choice…low platelet issue) I’m convinced if I were not in a hospital with medical attention, my kiddo wouldn’t be here. She was vacuumed out after 3 looong hours. Another story in itself! Good post! I’ve thought about the subject as well!

    • It’s true there were so many tragic situations we don’t have to deal with anymore. Thank God for medical intervention. I am even ok with the fact that people tend to be over zealous when it comes to intervening cause better safe than sorry! Although I wouldn’t go for an elective C section just because!

  2. I think there are 2 factors here. Medical intervention has made pre-natal care so much better that our babies are much larger and healthier and, therefore, harder to deliver. And I agree with you that more babies are born healthy and mothers survive delivery because of that medical help. Like Danielle, I don’t believe my daughter would be here today without the doctors who help me to deliver her.

    • Very interesting. Never thought of it that way but it’s true. Like so many things medical science has helped fix it has resulted in it’s own unique circumstances and sometimes gave us whole new problems. My sister gave birth at 24 weeks 5 days and it was by the grace of God then the medical help she received that she survived and is a beautiful healthy little girl now.

  3. During my first pregnancy I told everyone I am not taking any drugs, and the first few contractions changed that instantly! I know women used to go through the entire labor process on their own, but I also believe if something went wrong due to the mother’s exhaustion or baby’s condition due to fatigue or being breached or anything, they accepted the results partly because there was nothing more they could do. On the other hand it would be excruciatingly devastating for one who refused medical intervention when she was able to have it ,, If God is giving you the ability to have it the easy way, I’d say USE IT :D

    • So many Saudi’s (and muslims?) believe that women shouldn’t take drugs during child birth and that by taking drugs she is denying herself the rewards that come by going through such terrible pains. In my humble opinion we are rewarded for carrying the baby for 9 months and going through labour and delivery regardless of what pain management we used. delivery is the last tiny part of the whole journey and I don’t think taking pain meds negates all I went through for 9 months. Also, I don’t see the logic behind it! You wouldn’t have a tooth pulled without pain management would you? or have an operation without being under anesthetic? So why would anyone logically go through childbirth without pain medication? only my opinion. Also love your point of view on the subject Reem. Gives me a new answer for the whole epidural no epidural discussion.

  4. I had four children without any pain medication. I didn’t think of it as painful at all. We all have different pain thresholds, differing relationships between our brains and our bodies. Going without medication is not illogical. I would love to have had those births in my home, not in a hospital. I don’t think medical intervention is “better”, but then, I don’t necessarily think “safer” and “better” are synonymous. I do think both birth and death are totally natural.

    • Thanks for the comment. As you said people have different pain thresholds. I had my second without an epidural because she didn’t give me a chance to get one and she was definitely the easiest to recover from. My mother had all 6 of us without an epidural and wouldn’t go to the hospital till the very last minute (Almost having me in the car) I don’t think what you did was illogical but not having the option of relief and going through hell maybe to the point of fatigue possibly putting the baby in danger does seem illogical to me. I think that doing it as naturally as possible, as long as all is fine, will result in a better recovery time but I am against when people think I am doing something wrong by wanting an epidural.
      it’s not about medical intervention being better or not but it is sometime a very necessary thing and I think denying yourself the option is careless. I believe your death is written out before you are born and of course birth and death are unavoidable but at the same time you wouldn’t intentionally cause your death if it could be avoided by medical intervention.

      • Like you said, death is unavoidable, even with medical intervention. It can only be postponed. So, maybe I will chose not to postpone my death through medical intervention. Is that the same as “intentionally causing” my death? I can imagine certain circumstances where I might make that choice.

        • Thats a totally different post lol. I am assuming you are talking about euthanasia or similar situations. I made a mistake in my last comment by using “you” as I didn’t mean to be pompous and assume I know what you would or wouldn’t do. Each person is different and each circumstance is different so I can’t tell you if it’s the same as intentionally causing death.
          I initially wrote a really long reply to this filled with personal experiences of family having terminal illnesses and examples of different situations and what is suicide and what isn’t but I cannot even attempt to talk about this as my opinions are unique to myself and I cannot apply them to other people.
          I will just say that I personally do not believe in deciding when my life should end or cutting it short. I feel like that is the biggest loss of faith… Having said that different situations mean different decisions… why take another round of chemo and radiation if a person is so ravaged with the disease and knows it will only make them worse or prolong the inevitable. This subject has too many levels and goes way beyond having a simple epidural. I respect your beliefs and your right to have them and I hope you respect mine. We are on a journey headed the same way. I just don’t think I am the one who decides when we get there.

          • I absolutely respect your beliefs. This is a huge topic, this decision-making. Even saying that you don’t think you get to decide when to die is a decision of sorts! Respecting and owning decisions is very valuable, and being able to discuss them openly is also greatly prized. Thanks for inviting discussion in this blog and listening respectfully to comment-makers like me!

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