For many Palestinian women in the occupied West Bank, pregnancy has become a nightmarish experience, fearing that their babies would be delivered stillborn at Israeli checkpoints or they would be tear-gassed, and maybe killed, en route to hospital.
"Recently, two of our pregnant patients here were tear-gassed in their homes ... The women couldn't breathe and went into premature labor," Hindia Abu Nabah, a steely 31-year-old staff nurse at Al-Zawya Clinic in Salfit district, told Britain's The Independent newspaper Saturday, December 23.
"By the time we got there, the babies had been delivered stillborn," she added.
Jamilla Alahad Naim is waiting for her first medical check-up of her five-month pregnancy.
"I am frightened all the time," says the 29-year-old woman.
"... I know I will give birth at home with no help, like I did with Mohammed [her last child]. I am too frightened to go to hospital because there are two checkpoints between our home [and there] and I know if you are detained by the soldiers, the mother or the baby can die out there in the cold. But giving birth at home is very dangerous too."
Many pregnant Palestinian women traveling to hospitals to give birth are usually locked up at Israeli checkpoints.
They ended up delivering their babies with no doctors or sterilized equipment, only in the shadow of the Israeli checkpoints and under the watch of occupation soldiers.
According to the UN estimates, a total of 36 Palestinian babies have died because their mothers were detained during labor at Israeli checkpoints.
Giving birth in startlingly similar conditions to those suffered by the Virgin Mary 2,000 years ago, Fadia Jemal in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is also trying not to howl.
"What would happen if the Virgin Mary came to Bethlehem today? She would endure what I have endured," Fadia Jemal told the paper.
"It was 5pm when I started to feel the contractions coming on," says Fadia in broken, jagged sentences.
As she was en route to the Hussein hospital along with her sister and husband, they found the road blocked by Israeli soldiers who said that nobody was allowed to cross until morning. (Many deliveries take place in early AM hours)
"I was bleeding very heavily on the back seat. One of the soldiers looked down at the blood and laughed. I still wake up in the night hearing that laugh. It was such a shock to me. I couldn't understand." ( I can tell you why, he's a typical judeofascist war criminal )
The pregnant woman delivered on the car's back seat with no doctors and no nurses.
She gave birth to a tiny boy called Mahmoud and a tiny girl called Mariam.
Doctors said they could have saved Mahmoud's life by getting him to an incubator.
Since her delivery in 2002, Fadia has miscarried for four times.
"When I see the [Israeli] soldiers I keep thinking - what did my baby do to Israel?" (The baby's crime was being born to a Palestinian mother)
In addition of the Israeli draconian measures, many pregnant Palestinian women are suffering consequences of the Western siege on the Palestinians. (Yep, calcium, folate and iron tablets are WMDs)
Nearly 30% of pregnant Palestinians suffer from anemia, a lack of red blood cells.(Iron deficiency anemia, actually)
"Tell your readers that we need their help," Hindia Abu Nabah, nurse, told the paper's correspondent. (Donate here)
"There are no Hamas or Fatah fetuses. They don't deserve to be punished," she added.
The United States and European Union, the two biggest donors to the Palestinian Authority, suspended aid to the Palestinians since the new Hamas-led government came to power in March. ("Its not democracy unless you vote in someone we approve off")
"I couldn't stand to look another anemic woman in the eye and tell her that her baby will be underweight or malformed and we don't have iron supplements to give her," said Hindia.
"I can't go back to that. I can't."