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  • Writer's pictureDominique Bergiers

A plea for the mothers and children in war

My name is Dominique. I had two emergency C-sections in my life.

The first one was just over 8 years ago. My baby was in distress. It happened without anesthesia and it was the most excruciating physical pain I have ever been in.

"I was still afraid of dying, because bearing children is a revolutionary act, and so many die in revolution" (Jenan Matari)

I survived. And, most importantly, my baby boy survived. He stayed several days under observation in the neonatal unit.

Then, 3 weeks later, he was admitted to the hospital with a severe heart condition. There, I almost lost him again 3 times in the space of a few days. The horrific physical trauma I had endured during childbirth was NOTHING in comparison to the fear of losing my child, nothing compared to the powerlessness of literally seeing life leaving his tiny little body. It’s like your heart is being crushed and torn and hit, all at the same time, and you can’t even breathe. Minutes feel like days, and the whole world is spinning.

My baby got to be treated, and he lived to become a beautiful healthy little boy whose resilience, strength and livelihood I am so fortunate to get to admire every day.

There is not a day that I am not thankful for the luck that I got, and at the same time horrified by what could have been.

Which is why the words of Jenan Matari resonated so deeply with me as I think of the Gaza mothers, Congolese mothers, Sudanese mothers, and all those who, on top of oppression and violence, have to give birth in unimaginable conditions, those who go through the unbearable suffering of losing their children or fearing for their life at every moment; as I think of all those babies, children and all the innocent lives that have already been lost or are hanging on by a thread.

In a few days (Nov 20th), we will be celebrating International Children's Day, and on Nov 29th, like every year, the UN is supposed to observe International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, with special meetings traditionally held at the UN headquarters in New York, as well as Geneva and Vienna.

How many more innocent lives will have been lost by then?

How can we stay silent in the face of the unspeakable atrocities we are witnessing?

This horror needs to STOP. Now and everywhere.

Cease fire now!

Let Gaza live. Let Congo live. Let Sudan live.

PS: Please go read "Unless you're Gaza mothers. Some Reflections on birth" by Jenan Matari (@jenanmatari) on Instagram.

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