January 16, 2018

A bomb shelter birth story

Baby Talal was born on Saturday with war planes overhead

Welcome to the world baby boy Talal, Harasta’s youngest civilian. Talal’s mom gave birth to him this Saturday in a basement where she was sheltering from the bombs raining down over her town. 3,000 families in Harasta have been living in basements since the 29th of December.

Talal’s mom went into labour with war planes circling overhead. A bomb had targeted a building nearby but members of the other families sheltering in the same basement went out in search of a midwife. They found one close by and made it back with her safely.

The mother’s screams mingled with the sound of airstrikes and people muttering prayers. The neighbours searched for cloth and clean water. Minutes passed by like hours. The father prayed: “Dear God, please I beg you, help my wife, save my wife and my baby”. A tiny cry was heard. “He’s here! Thank God, thank God!” Everyone in the dark basement was crying along with their new guest.

The situation in Harasta basements is tough. Food and water is scarce and comes from local activists and volunteers who sneak around at night to deliver them at great risk to themselves. Baby milk and diapers are very hard to find. The basements are humid.

But both baby and mom are doing fine right now. Talal’s father, exhausted, said “I don’t know how I feel exactly, happy that I have a baby, relieved that my wife and my son are in good health. Or terrified and worried that my son was born in a basement under the bombing.”

Photo Credit: Damascus Media Centre