The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop


Labour Day

by Batoul Kharbutli


I’m a pregnant woman expecting to deliver my twins next Monday.

I had told my doctor I wanted my second baby to be a natural birth. My pregnancy is a result of an in-vitro process and because it would be twins my doctor said that I probably couldn’t go through with a natural birth.

Today is Saturday, it’s 8:00 p.m. and I’m in the doctor’s clinic. The ultrasound has shown that my babies’ heads are up which means for sure I couldn’t have a natural birth. It is my doctor’s opinion that I must have a caesarean on Monday morning at 7:00 a.m.

I prepare a bag for the hospital. I’m waiting for that day because being pregnant with twins is not easy, especially in the last few weeks.

I’m sleeping and suddenly I feel cold and ask my husband to give me an extra blanket. It’s 5:00 a.m. I want to pray Al-Fajr, it’s the first of Muslim’s five prayers. During my prayers, waters come out after a strong cough. I am shocked and understand this is a sign of labour.

There is no pain and no labor contractions.

I call my doctor. He tells me he has to deliver the babies today. He asks about contractions but there aren’t any. This is not my first baby, so I know the feel of soft contractions.The doctor tells me to go to the hospital at 7:00 a.m.

I have a quick shower then I start feeling the contractions. The pain is increasing. Things are going so fast. Suddenly, there is some blood.

I call the doctor again to let him know about the severe pain.

“You will deliver your twins soon,” he told me. “Come to the hospital as fast as you can.”

I can’t dress in my pants so I put on a skirt. I can’t stop myself from yelling because the pain is unbelievable. It is early and my yelling has awakened my neighbours. I walk to our car. These are the hardest steps in my life.

My husband asks me to sit in the front seat but I can’t, so he helps me to lay in the back seat. It’s almost 6:00 a.m. The streets are empty so my husband drives fast—160 kilometers per hour. I feel that I can’t hear or see anything because of the pain.

After three minutes, I tell him to slow down because our first baby is here. He is shocked. He tells me that I’m tired, that I’m imagining I’ve delivered the first baby. Then we hear our baby crying.

He parks on the side of the street and looks at me with astonishment. Both of us are lost and wondering what to do. I realize I have to wrap the baby. I ask my husband to bring a towel from the bag that we packed for the hospital.

He realizes that he forgot it in front of our home. It’s still in the parking lot.

Now I am thinking of how to have a clean place for my baby. My husband takes off his shirt and wraps my baby with it. The baby is laying on the back seat in his father’s shirt. I can feel his warmth as I hold his head with my hand.

I feel better with less pain, but the second baby is still inside my womb.

My husband continues driving fast. I call the doctor to let him know what’s happening. I ask my husband where we are because the other baby is almost here. My husband tells me that in two minutes we will be in the hospital. We arrive and nurses and patient stretcher are there in front of the hospital.

My husband tells them we can’t move me now because the other baby is on his way.

 The doctor realizes that the other baby needs to be out as soon as possible; the second baby doesn’t come from his head, but the doctor acts quickly and takes him out of the womb. Within two minutes my second baby is born and the doctor cuts the umbilical cord.

Then he cuts the umbilical cord for the first baby. 

Then he takes out the placentas.

Then I enter the hospital. 

I wanted a natural birth but not this natural! 

My twins “Fares and Mohammad” now are 10 years old.