Realizations From My First Pregnancy by Anwaar A.

Story from Anwaar A.

As a soon-to-be first-time mom, I worried constantly. I think I Googled every possible question I could think of. Looking back, I realize that I was overthinking many things. Alone, in a foreign country that speaks a language I hadn’t yet mastered, and with no family around but my husband—okay, so maybe I had the right to freak out a little.

One thing that baffled me was: how would I know when I’ve actually gone into labor? After nine months of morning sickness (yes, it happens), I was anxious and ready to give birth. My husband would roll over at night any time I made a sound, asking, “Should I call an ambulance? Is it time?”. Well, I didn’t know how dramatic it would all be in the end.

I read online that when your water breaks, you can sometimes hear a popping sound from inside you. Well, this is how I went into labor: My husband had spent all night working, and I was with my mom in a hotel room because she arrived at the middle of the night as well. When we finally put our heads to sleep (at 7.30 AM!), I felt (and heard, I guess), a pop between my legs. I rushed to the bathroom and found water gushing out —my water broke. FYI: you can’t hold it in, and no, it doesn’t smell bad– it actually smells like syrup or something sweet.

I woke my husband, who freaked out because my mom wasn’t with us and we didn’t know what to do. So we got dressed—I’m the idiot who put on pants! And to my luck, my husband’s car was parked too far for me to walk. So, I stood there in the middle of the street while he went to get it.

When we finally got to the hospital, my husband had to leave me to get my mom from the hotel. So I spent the first few hours with a friend’s mom (who I just met), having contractions and talking. I asked for an epidural too late, so even though I endured the pain of getting one, I felt everything as I gave birth.

Honestly, I thought I would die. I actually said that to my husband. The pain was something I couldn’t even imagine, and my obstetrician told me it’s fine to scream if that helped me. Then, in an instant, he was born. The pain began to subside. The doctors put my squirming tiny son on my chest and my husband and I cried tears of happiness. In an instant, the excruciating pain was reduced to discomfort and nothing more.

Until you’ve held your baby, you won’t know that you’re capable of loving someone that much.

When and where will the 8 Billionth person be born?