It's A Boy: War Reporter's Baby Shower In Baghdad Unlike most baby showers, the guests at Hannah Allam's are more accustomed to donning helmets and flak jackets than Baby Bjorns and writing out advice for the new mother on small blue cards. Allam and the guests are women reporters in Iraq.
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It's A Boy: War Reporter's Baby Shower In Baghdad

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It's A Boy: War Reporter's Baby Shower In Baghdad

It's A Boy: War Reporter's Baby Shower In Baghdad

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Unidentified Woman #1: Aww.

HANNAH ALLAM: Unidentified Woman #2: I'm just going to pass out motherly advice cards. If you're not a mother, just give her any advice you want to give her.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LOURDES GARCIA: Unidentified Woman #2: We have pens on the table.

GARCIA: In a room festooned with blue bunting, Hannah reflects on covering a war while pregnant.

ALLAM: The reactions started to change when my belly got bigger and definitely with the military. I spent most of the first trimester here. I was at the Iranian border, I was on a Chinook. I was on a Blackhawk. No problem. Second I start showing, they took one look at me and said we're not putting you on a Blackhawk.

GARCIA: Hannah Allam says she's been criticized for working in a war zone while pregnant.

ALLAM: Now, yes it's dangerous. Yes, I am responsible for another life, but I don't see how it's that much different than a man who comes here while his wife is pregnant at home. You're still putting a parent at risk. You're still putting your child's future at risk.

GARCIA: Of course, Iraqi women give birth here everyday, and that has its own challenges and difficulties. But Leila says a special sisterhood developed among women correspondents here.

LEILA FADEL: You sort of bonded over being married to your job. And it's really an exciting thing to be able to celebrate somebody who's been able to, not only be an excellent war correspondent but also, you know, married to a really wonderful person and is about to have her baby. And five months pregnant, she's still coming here.

GARCIA: And she says she thinks it's important for Hannah's son to know what his mother did before he was born.

FADEL: I threw this baby shower for her because it's been a part of her life since 2003 as a person. So now she's going to have this memory for her son.

GARCIA: As she looks around the room, Hannah gets teary eyed.

ALLAM: I hope to come back. Everybody keeps asking me, when are you going to come back, are you going to come back? And I say, see you in a year.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ALLAM: Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, Baghdad.

MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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