Sunday, September 03, 2006

ONE is for:

‘WHAT the heckers like happened?? One is also for WAAAKKKKKEEEE UUUPPP…….
Oh woe is me….my head is spinning literally. No matter how much I rub my eyes I cannot see clearly.
I feel like vomiting from underneath the pit of my stomach. I can’t remember what my name is, what we called the baby, and who else lives in this house.
Now this cute heart warming little scenario is what I go through every few hours of the day; multiply the intensity of disorientation and it’s what I go through most of the night.
ONE, my friends, is for ‘month one’.
Was it this hard the first time around?? I dozily question myself over and over. I remind myself it must have been, because this gut wrenching fatigue was way too familiar to me.

The Togster doesn’t sleep for more than an hour or so.
Sometimes I put him down, and start running for the bathroom or to go grab a snack, and he is awake within five minutes.
I have to latch him back on and feed him, he drinks slowly and sleepily and I have to tickle his ears and feet constantly to keep him going.

I feel very hungry for the first two weeks.
The midwives keep telling me not to forget to eat. Believe me, my stomach wouldn’t allow me. It reminds me constantly I need food, even through the night I find I am feeling hungry and in need of quick snacks.
I’m told to eat a lot to be able to produce the high fat rich milk the baby needs now.
The initial runny but nutrient milk will not sustain him for too long and I need to get my milk supply going by latching him on very often.
I have no choice, masha’Allah, bless him he is a hungry baby and has taken to breastfeeding very quickly and easily. Alhumdulillah.
It’s me who is having the problems.
Each time he latches on my uterus contracts; this causes immense agony. For the first three-four days I have been in sheer pain.
The contractions are so intense I feel as though I am in labour and have to breathe deep, and hold on to something to steady myself.
So each time he cries I cringe at the thought of feeding. I know I have to, but if I could get away with not doing it-I think I would.
Alhumdulillah this passes.
The other thing I feel is extreme soreness.
Other mothers, midwives and book experts all recommend different remedies, from breastfeeding nipple creams, to rubbing some breast milk over the affected area (as breast milk is anti-bacterial and healing) or simply allowing the affected area to completely dry before covering. many mothers experience and will empathise with the dry cracks and bleeding that often accompanies the initial stages of feeding.
I found the soreness was intensely painful each time he latched on (which ranged form every ten minutes to half hour) and this lasted for the first month, getting less by six weeks.
Sore to the point I thought ‘that’s it, I cant breastfeed any more.’ My midwife tells me, most new mums feel this way and get through it.. A close friend who had her baby this time last year told me to keep going and whatever I did, not to stop.
‘I’m trying, I’m trying..’* She says gritted teeth, clenched fists and tears in eyes*.
But this too passed. I just had to get through the pain barrier. *squirms at the memory*
Engorgement is a problem I had only once, and a good hot shower soon fixed it along with constant feeds to empty myself of milk and create fresh supply. Apparently savvoy cabbage leaves are very good for alleviating pain. You are supposed to stick a couple of leaves in the fridge then put one each inside your bra. I did not have time to go look for cabbages, I did not fancy the idea of having some manky old vegetable rotting in my underwear. So that was as far as that theory went with me. However there are gel filled pads available for those of you who are interested or need some pain relief. They go hot and cold. but nothing will beat the good old fashioned method of emptying yourself of milk to get rid of milk lumps and all the discomfort that goes with it, and the best way of doing that is to let your child feed as often as possible in those early weeks.

The other thing I found was I couldn’t stand up for more than five or ten minutes at all without feeling like my legs were going to give way. I felt drained beyond belief and was physically unable to do much. This really frustrated me. Never had there been so much to do and never have I been able to do so little.
I was blessed if I could have a shower

The second day home, I woke after a couple of hours sleep and came downstairs.
Tookh was allowed to stay home today we wanted to be together and wanted him home to share the new little life as it joined our family.
Then, something strange happened to hubby.
He began running around the house like some demented chook for the next few hours and cleaned, sorted and polished. He went on some housewife overdrive.
Whilst cleaning sorting and cooking, he would bring me meals snacks and water, fetch me things look after baby etc I observed in quiet amazement. I was struck by his utter kindness and care, but wondered how long he would be able to keep up such a super feat.
This madness and insanity raged until Thursday when suddenly he pooped out.
He looked grey, drained and all wifed out.
That’s hubby through and through.
Once he gets an idea into his head, or starts a project he does it with so much gusto and immense passion then…burn out.
Oh did he burn out. He looked as exhausted as I felt, he had no energy left, and I almost thought he was going to get ill. It kinda put an end to all the manic running around.
He was so sweet. But going at that rate, I was on my way to redundancy as mother and wife, keeper of the house. Thank goodness we found our balance again; he carried on helping, just at a do- able rate.
I remember wondering how on earth I was going to cope without another female around to help me, to reassure me with Toga etc. I felt quite scared. But instinct kicked it again, and lol so did hubby. He looked after us round the clock; taking Tookh to school, feeding him, bathing him, homework etc
I didn’t have a spare minute but he took care of everything else so I could concentrate on the little Toga.

More than anything I was just too tired to think. I was mentally and physically so exhausted I couldn’t really muster much thought.
That Monday in the early afternoon, Hubby tucked me and Toga into bed, and before he left I clutched at him, and through tears and a choked throat I told him JazzakAllah khayr for being my rock. As far as I was concerned he was my hero. The delivery had traumatised me and I couldn’t even bear the thought of it. He had been there all the way through. Not just been there, but really been there.
As he left the room I remember sobbing, trying not to wake Toga. I was overwhelmed. I was consumed by trauma, by shock, by a new found admiration and respect for him and indeed a new found perspective on everything.

I also couldn’t face the prospect of visitors after coming home. Apart from very close relatives (like parents), and even then, only for half an hour at the most. Every one else who called we asked politely if they would kindly wait a few weeks before visiting. I really needed my privacy at this time. I needed time to heal, time to get my head straight before I could sit and chat with people.

I went through a strange feeling for those first two weeks.
I was scared. I was constantly scared of being alone.
Well when I say alone it was more being scared without Hubby.
Every single time he left the room I wanted to scream for him not to go. But I bit my lip each time, telling myself I was being stupid and that some weird post natal weakness had invaded my heart.
I couldn’t help it. Whenever he was around I would feel safe, and reassured, but as soon as he was out of eye and earshot, I felt as though I just couldn’t cope with life. I felt as vulnerable as the tiny baby I was holding.
The first time he and Tookh left the house, I cried after they left.
I didn’t want him to go.
I felt as though I was a small helpless child, who couldn’t cope without its mother.
I know it does sound crazy but it is how I felt and no matter what, I couldn’t stop it. I look back now and can see clearly I had become very fragile and delicate. nine months of a hard pregnancy, polished off with a slog of a labour had taken their toll.
Alhumdulillah for it all. Women across the globe go through far far worse and I know I had it easy in comparison.

Thank goodness this gradually stopped after a couple of weeks, and I gradually came to my senses.

The Toga is a funny little creature. He seldom stays awake long enough to really get much of him, but when he does, he is very alert for his newborn age.
Because I am his mother, to me he is the most beautiful baby in the world as was Tookh when I first laid eyes on him.
His eyes are like big dark marbles. He has an intense look, and he seems very observant already.
Hubby and Tookh bought him a soft green rattle on the third day. It was amazing to watch him trying to follow it with his eyes. He could look at it only so long before he got tired.
We would try and snatch these few precious moments of him playing in between feeds and sleep.
The other thing this Toga does a lot of is pooh.
Yup, bright yellow very runny, pooh. It must have been about his third evening, it was around the middle of the night, whilst I was changing him and Hubby was hovering around, that Toga decided to do one mid change.
I can see it slow ‘motion’ now; I remember something coming at me, and before I even knew what it was I let out a yelp, then I realised it was pooh flying at me. I then grabbed his nappy and covered the entrance of the enemy line from where it hailed.
I waited for him to finish and as I looked at myself I saw I had pretty little arrangements of yellow flower like patterns distributed in a delicate design around my pyjamas.
I was horrified. I t took me back to Tookhs first few days at home, where the same had happened. It came from nowhere and shot at me spraying me all over. I was more horrified then as I had never experienced it before.
Anyway I cleaned up Toga, and then I went to clean up me.
Hubby had looked absolutely horrified during this. He had sworn, and declared repeatedly that he would do anything and everything but change a nappy. This incident only exacerbated his irrational fear.
He watched stunned as I went to and fro from the bathroom, and got myself de-poohed.
Then as if I hadn’t been humiliated enough, he found the funny side of it and couldn’t stop laughing me. Every time I looked up, he was diving towards the ground arms up in mid air shouting, “I’ll save ya Mr. President…hee hee hee…”
*rolls eyes*

By Thursday, my body ached so much from top to toe, I felt as though I had run in some marathon, or completed some Olympic event. I was extremely sore; I could feel my bones, and muscles aching. I knew the long labour really taken it out of me and that it was going to be a painfully slow recovery.

Whenever time permitted, I would take a quick soak in a bath infused with tea tree oil. The stuff is superb, Subhana’Allah it has to be one of the real blessings from Allah. It is amazing stuff, it has such beneficial healing properties, I would recommend a bottle for every household. It is anti-bacterial, as well as anti-septic, and is great on cuts, wounds and for things like stitches. It also unblocks a blocked nose quite well.

Toga has very sharp teeny tiny fingernails. To keep his hands warm and to stop him scratching himself I have to keep his mittens on him all the time.
They became known in the house as ‘showbiz’ mittens. I think it has something to do with smeeta smitten showbiz kitten from Goodness Gracious me- if any of you remember it. From that we somehow ended up calling Toga our showbiz chicken as he also had the thinnest little chicken legs. He has to be the worlds cutest (masha’Allah)little showbiz chicken lol….

Another name he earned was Mouch. Toga is a long baby, and because he is so long, and because his name begins with an M, we ended up calling him Mouch because of Peter Crouch, the lanky lad from Liverpool famous for his height and headers. Scouse fans (or enemies) will know what I am talking about…

At around three weeks we cut his hair (according to Islamic rites). Gosh that was trauma in itself.
You-our dear brother (you know I am talking to you) came round with your family, armed with the swanky hair trimming machine. You cut his beautiful silky dark hair down to a few millimetres in length, and then began shaving it. A quarter of the way through you had to go home as it had taken much longer than we thought and it was very late.
But, we had to finish the job. So reluctantly, hesitantly and nervously I took the razor and began. I could feel my heart in the upper part of my throat, and my hands shaking as I began.
My Toga cried a lot from the disturbance and eventually exhausted, cried himself to sleep. I carried on. As time went on I picked up speed and gathered momentum. The nerves steadied as I kept telling myself to get a grip and just get it done.
After a while I was tired and Hubby took over.
This was one job neither one of us liked at all. It was awful, but we did it.
Something I never want to do again.
When it was over I was so relieved I cannot explain.

As three weeks passed, it was time for hubby to go back to work, and for me resume the school drops and pickups for Tookh. I was gutted to see Hubby go back. I knew I would miss him terribly. I know it sounds strange, but he has become my Hubby, my best friend, my mum, all in one.
I didn’t know what I would do without him.
However I knew I had to thank Allah for what time I had with him at home, and that all considering, he still had working hours which enabled him to come home early and be with us most of the evening.

The one thing which didn’t let up was the exhaustion I felt. I was severely deprived of sleep.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t catch up.
The child spent more time feeding than sleeping, and then it took ages burping him. Although I remembered I had driven myself to delirious exhaustion trying to burp Tookh, I knew this time I should be wary of repeating the same mistake and spent only so long. Then burp or not I would have to put him down. Very often he would wake screaming after a few minutes because the said burp had decided it wanted to be expelled now .I was sure it was a conspiracy on behalf of the burp. It was out to get me; it was trying to kill me….

Barely sleeping in the evening, this Toga would shut his eyes around midnight only to wake again an hour or so later.
I have no idea how I would wake. Each time my head would spin from dizziness, and that sick feeling would kick me in the guts. He would feed for about 45minutes, then do a pooh or few for that matter, then I would have to feed him again. So about three hours would have passed just like that.
He would then sleep for a couple of hours only to wake again for a feed.

I used to feed him leaning back sitting up in bed against pillows. Initially this caused me immense pain everywhere. It was often too hard to bear. I am wondering if those nursing chairs are any good.
After the first couple of weeks the pain subsided and I was just left too tired.

The fatigue definitely had an effect on me. I felt so tired that I began feeling miserable. I felt as though life had just become black and bleak. I felt isolated. I knew I was fighting myself all the time to bite my tongue because I felt very impatient, making me snappy and hostile. I was doing the passive-aggressive thing.
Sometimes I would look at Toga waking and just mentally plead with him, ‘no please, not now, please give me an hour more…’
I had to tell myself that he wasn’t doing it intentionally, that he was a baby, dependant on me, that his tiny body needed the nourishment. I had to keep telling myself that it wouldn’t last forever, and that was the only way I got through the first 6 weeks.

For me, this was by far the worst aspect of being a newbie mummy. In the quiet dark hours of the night, it can be a very isolated world. You’re up not out of choice but having to be awake for your baby, whilst everyone else sleeps on. By day you are good for not much at all as a result of the night. You are going through major physical and psychological changes and the circle of fatigues winds round seemingly endlessly.
Somehow though, time does move on, your baby grows and slowly learns to go a few minutes longer each time before waking.
By no means is it over, but there is hope as each day turns into the next.

With the first month over, I was barely getting over the shock and immense changes to my mind and body.
Let me welcome myself back to the joys and trials of early ‘mummyhood’.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Aftermath.........

I was allowed to hold Toga for ages; we stared at him and babbled about how masha’Allah perfect he was.
The poor little fellow was so exhausted. His journey must have been as arduous as mine.
Hubby went to call a couple of close family members (and one of them was you T. Babee), he then came back to me and sat beside me while at the other end of the bed Penny and Grace completed the job.
I was given an injection to help deliver the placenta quickly. I hardly remember it. Alhumdulillah the epidural was still in action so I didn’t feel any pain. Penny marvelled at just how much umbilical cord had been inside me, it seemed as though miles of the stuff had come out, along with a huge placenta.
No wonder I had felt so tired and heavy during pregnancy…it must have been weighing me down and causing all that discomfort.
I then had to have stitches as I had torn a little, but again the epidural relieved me of any pain I would have felt.

Toga was taken, cleaned, and weighed. He weighed in at 7lb 11oz. Tookh had weighed 6lb 12oz.
Toga was dressed, wrapped in a shawl, and was placed in an incubator. Hubby had gone out of the room at this point, and as the midwives were busy cleaning, writing, organising etc, I watched my baby who was wide awake, suddenly just started softly talking…. in baby language, gurgling gently to himself. I was stunned; it was almost as though he were conversing with someone.
He did this for a few seconds, before going quiet.
All I could think was, ‘you have just entered the world and there you are chattering away…’
The similarities to his father were unquestionable. The mini mouth had made his entrance….

I was wondering how Tookh was. All day he had never left my mind, and I had wondered if had eaten and what, and if he was ok, if he had watched too much T.V at his grandparents…typical mum thoughts. I had really missed him though; it was probably the longest I had been without him since he had been born.

Hubby came back, and I held our Toga again. I asked Hubby to text a few close friends who had made me promise to tell them as soon as it happened.

Hubby looked exhausted. I told him to go home, and get some rest.
I knew I still had a while yet before settling down and there was no point making him wait.

I was still lying in utter chaos and mess, but was too numb to feel it.

Hubby left me a huge glass of ice cold Pepsi, and there was jug of water next to me too.

After he went, I was so tired. I held Toga to me, and he slept, cuddled up swaddled to my chest.
I found myself incredibly thirsty. It was so strange I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and I kept dozing off, I had no energy at  all, but I kept waking every few minutes for water. The thirst was overpowering.

I had been left to allow the epidural to wear off, and the drip was also still attached to me. So I lay in half awake/sleep state for the next hour.

Eventually Penny came back, and removed the tubes from my arm. She put Toga in the incubator, and began cleaning me, preparing me to get up.
She had bought in a wheelchair, and asked me what I needed form my overnight bag as I was being taken to the shower room.
Than God I was well prepared, and had kept just about everything I needed in one toiletries bag. I had that and my p.j’s, my flip-flops, and towel taken out.

All this took quite a while, and Penny and I chatted. She told me she had been an intensive care nurse.
I felt a real sense of admiration for her.
I have had relatives in I.C.U and know how harrowing it can be, and that’s just for the visitors.
We talked about life and illness, and I asked her if all the births in the maternity unit go well, and she stopped what she was doing, and looked me straight in my eyes and said ‘sometimes … its not all right’.
I found out that rarely mothers do die in this process and I felt so thankful to my creator for bringing me through safely.

A stupid thing to think and I do sometimes, which is; I don’t know what I would do if I had died.
Reality is, I would be in the life of the barzakh and I would do and have to face whatever it is Allah has ordained for me, and the life of this world would be behind me.
I wondered, what would my husband and children do?
Trying to imagine how they would cope with grief, a newborn and each other is too overwhelming and has me in tears just to think of it.
I shouldn’t entertain thoughts of ‘what ifs’.  Yet around the world this is the reality for millions of people. A humbling thought if there was one.

For what we have and for whatever we think we don’t have we need to be thankful, something I often realise I am not at all.

I had my shower, and while I was weak and dizzy it was the most welcome thing. There is nothing like warm water to wash away not just physical but emotional hardship too.
When I came out Penny had the wheelchair ready for me, and we went back to my room to collect my baby, while she took my overnight bag.

We went out of the ward, into the lift, and towards another ward upstairs.
A nice long journey in the middle of the night through the dark quiet corridors, we talked all the way. We talked about her family, about mine, about life and the indeed the value of precious human life, and the value of time.
I think after what we had both witnessed and shared, a simple chat about the weather would have been absolutely lame.

She wheeled me into a ward, and towards a room which housed four beds, I had the one nearest the door. She carefully put baby in his incubator and tucked me up in bed and made sure all was comfortable for me.
She came over to say goodbye and I thanked her from my heart. I held my arms out and she bent forward to hug me, and I held her tightly for a second.
This woman had been part of one of the most profound moments of my life, she had been the first one to hold my baby and bring him to me and for that alone I pray Allah guides her to the best way of life.

It was to be a long night; it was already about 1am.
I had drawn the curtain around my bed for privacy but could hear what was going on in the room.
The woman on the right of me inside her curtain was on her mobile, chatting softly to her husband in urdu or Punjabi-I couldn’t tell… and I didn’t really want to know. I lay there rolling my eyes up thinking, ‘for goodness sake you are not supposed to be on your mobile, besides you should be knackered from delivery’. But then I remembered how differently women react after giving birth and not all are tired. You can sometimes feel hyperactive or too euphoric to sleep. I remember I had that with Tookh; I had to get up at 3am to phone a close friend the news because I couldn’t wait.

The woman opposite me was awake, she was coughing and then effing and blinding away to herself, I realised she must have had a c-section and the coughing was too much pain for her to bear, and the woman in the far corner was trying to settle her baby who seemed a little agitated.
My Toga wasn’t waking, but every now and then he would whimper or moan and wriggle, and I would reach out to stroke him and pat him back to sleep.
I hoped he wouldn’t wake for milk because I was very sore, I was very uncomfortable, and I had to go the bathroom every hour or so to clean up because the bleeding was too heavy.
Listening to the ward sounds in the dark was very strange.
I lay awake in numb shock reminiscing over the last nine months of my life, and here in front of me was the fruit of my toil.
And never has this verse hit me harder than it does now;

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.
Surah luqman,31:14 

When morning eventually came I noticed on one of my millionth walks to the bathroom how nice the whole ward was. It was bright, open, and clean. The bathrooms and facilities were plentiful and clean. The kitchen was lovely with a help yourself service…and lol I did.
I actually felt comfortable and surprisingly happy there.
It’s ironic because this was the part I had been dreading. Looking back, it had been a dull and dreary hospital I had attended in London when having Tookh, and I hadn’t been impressed.

I waited a couple of hours before calling hubby at 9am, he was still in bed. I needed some more clothes, and extras. I didn’t know how long they would keep me in so I needed to be prepared.
I thought they would at the most keep me in for another day or so.

Hubby wasn’t allowed to visit till 1ish, so I had breakfast, and sorted out baby clothes etc and had a lie down.
I cleaned Toga’s nappy. He had done his first pooh. it is known as Meconium, this first pooh is a black green paste, which is a mixture of amniotic and other fluids collected in the baby’s intestine inside the womb. This soon changes to mustard yellow and dare I say far more manageable to wipe pooh.
I then waited for the nurse to come round and show me how to bath my baby.
I know its strange seeing as I have had Tookh I should know. Truth is, after so long I felt a little rusty and nervous. It has been 6 years, and I almost felt as though I were a new mother again.

The nurse did it in five minutes going through all the little precautions with me, and Toga was soon in fresh clothes smelling cute and baby-ish. It was lovely to have him clean; he hadn’t been dirty, or smelled bad, but just knowing his past had been washed off him was relieving for me.

It had been ten hours since Toga had last fed; apparently it is usual for new babies to not want food a lot for the first day or so. I was still a little worried, but then I could see how exhausted he was.

We all introduced ourselves in the room and had a little chat, compared babies, bruises, and other gory things as only women can do. Bit like men’s changing rooms at football eh?

I lay down; feeling exhausted as I had still had literally no sleep the previous night.
I couldn’t wait to see my little Tookh when he saw his little brother for the first time, and I couldn’t wait to see my husband. I felt restless and lost without them, and was counting the minutes.

When they arrived it was as though a long thirst had been quenched.
They examined Toga and stared at him.
It was lovely to have them with me, as I had really missed them. I felt very lost without them, and even though I had Toga, it was all too new for me to adapt quickly.

After that my dad and brother came, and it was amusing to watch my father hold Toga with nerves and fear.
I guess you must forget how delicate and fragile these little creatures are when they are so tiny.
The nurse came round and told me I could go home whenever I wanted.
I wanted to go home simply because it was so inconvenient in finding fresh clothes and storing used ones. I packed everything up, and early that evening Hubby drove us home. I noticed how he drove so carefully taking care at every junction, bump and corner – he had special little cargo  to take care of…

Going home was very odd. I came inside and immediately felt frustrated confused and lost.
I have never even told Hubby this, but I felt pretty down and out.
I felt as though I didn’t belong there. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to sit or lie down or stand, I didn’t particularly want to talk to anyone but I didn’t want to be alone.
I felt so down and I didn’t know why.
For some strange reason it felt so ark and heavy and I was at a loss.

Toga by now was feeding, crying and starting to behave more like a newborn baby.
I felt as though I needed the hospital and the experience of the nurses around me, that I couldn’t do this on my own.
It was around midnight before we finally made it up, and Toga would not settle in his cot.
I was going to throw up with exhaustion. Eventually I had no choice but to put him in bed with me, and amazingly he calmed and went to sleep for a few hours.

Looking back, he must have been feeling pretty insecure himself and must have needed my smell and warmth near him.

And so marked the end of the delivery and birthing saga; another chapter closed.
With my family sleeping soundly in their own beds I thank Allah for His mercy, and His immense blessings.
Here we were, average ordinary people tucked away in our little home amongst millions of others under the same sky, on this one beautiful planet.
For now the world continues turning as yet another new life makes its entrance, innocently touching our hearts and souls in sweet ignorant bliss.

Friday, April 28, 2006


I am now officially a ‘Blogsbeen’.  In reality this means I am a has been in the blog world. In fact I feel like a has been in my ‘normal’ world.
Yes folks as you may well know or have guessed, the Toga is out!
Toga/Perrep, has finally escaped what must have felt like a sentence in Alcatraz. After digging slowly away for nine months, the creature has escaped from ma belleh.  
However the creature has captured me, and is holding me hostage to meet its every desire and need (probably as payback), and has mashed up my brain in the process.
I live in the demented world of new mothers, where there is no distinction between night and day, nor meaning to either. It’s a place where meals are eaten between the changing mat and cot, you live in endless pyjamas, walk around with demonic red eyes, your vision is constantly blurred, and everything you hear is loud, muffled and grinds through you till that sharp trill LOUD cry emanates from the new creature and your body jerks awake in pain. You even have to have a plan of action of how and when to have a shower in true military fashion. I barely recognise my family, in fact I barely recognise myself in the mirror.
Hence me not blogging for what seems like decades.

I have missed blogging. Truth be told it has been kind of cathartic for me doing this over the past year…I haven’t read back  what I have written, and it would be good to do so,  just to see what has taken place.
I was pondering over whether to talk about the birth or not.
I know it’s not many people’s cup of coffee, but I decided to go ahead with it; partly because this blog is almost like a diary for me, and if God wills in years to come my children can read back and see for themselves (what a crackpot their mother is), and partly because I think whilst this is an extremely personal and intimate subject for each woman, it is something that is natural, and a part of almost all lives at some point. And maybe some of this could be of use or interest to other mothers/fathers( to be) in some way.

Problem is, where do I start?
I guess I left you somewhere just before Toga’s imminent arrival.
It was the 20th of January and I knew although this was my estimated date of delivery, it aint gonna be happening today. I could feel it in my waters, or not feel it in my waters if you get me.
Anyway boy did I feel depressed. I had had enough. I was heavy, tired, heavy, tired, heavy…get my jist?
I couldn’t move, breath, eat, go to the bathroom, take a shower, pull up my socks, get my shoes on, hold a conversation, pray etc etc etc.
This was the lowest end of my tether. I wanted to bury my head in my blanket and sob, but it would serve no purpose but to tire me more so I gritted my teeth and got through the evening.
By the next morning, Saturday I was in a much better place. I realised this baby was only coming at his/her appointed time by God, and no amount of nonsense from me was going to change that, so I relaxed. I knew if it didn’t come soon I had been given a date for inducement so either way it had to come out, I just needed the patience to see it through.

Besides, everyday I would look around the house and know that I wasn’t ready because there was ironing to be done, or the bathroom needed cleaning, or this or that had to be done. This is the totally illogical part of me, the paranoid, obsessive me who is not satisfied till every little dot is under control. I knew this was ridiculous but I couldn’t help it.

Once upon a time, there was a contraction…

One week on, we had gone to bed on the Thursday evening, and at around 3am of that Friday I woke from my sleep in a strange way. I woke as though I knew I had to be up for something, and within seconds of waking, I felt a ‘click’ inside me. I knew what it was even though I had never felt it before.
My waters had broken; I went to check in the bathroom and sure enough they had.
At last…
I didn’t what to feel, nervous, exited, scared…all of them really.
I woke hubby and told him. I waited in bed for a while, then went down to phone the delivery suite. They told me to come in when I could and that it wasn’t a hurry even though I could feel contractions.
So I got together my things, and we woke up Tookh as normal at 7, and dropped him off to my parents. We headed off to the hospital with my overnight things in the back just in case.
On arrival at the delivery suite I was given what looked like a big hollow egg carton to pee in. Last thing I needed; to strategically pee into some cup whilst having a contraction in some tiny hospital bathroom.
I came back and the attending midwife wanted to do an internal. She checked me and told me I wasn’t in labour yet, and to go home with some thermometer strips and take my temperature every four hours, and keep an eye on the contractions.
She said waving her fingers about in front of my face, and I quote, ‘now that I have fiddled with you, things might start happening a bit quicker’
I felt utterly violated.
Fiddled with???

So we went back, got the Tookhster and dropped him off to school where some of my mummybumchums saw me heavy breathing (something I’m not normally prone to doing) in the car and looked really exited to see that Toga was at long last on the way out.

This was the start of an extremely long day and night to follow. The contractions continued, and the pain just got slowly worse. By the middle of the night I knew we would have to go in soon. By 3 am I was in agony at each contraction. This night seemed endless. Its funny how everyday seems to whiz past me, hours and minutes fly, but when you are in pain, even the seconds drag.
By about 3 in the morning, Hubby fell asleep on the couch, as I sat, and walked around clutching on to whatever I could when the next wave of pain came. Poor guy, he was so tired, and I knew we had a long long way to go so I let him be as long as I could.
We dropped Tookh back off at my folks at around 8ish and headed back off to hospital. I remember feeling every bump on the road just go through me. I wanted to get there quickly, but I wanted the car to stop…it was utter agony.

We were taken into an examination room and I was given an internal by a midwife called Karen, who was one of those, ‘I’m here to do my job and absolutely nothing more’ nurses.
An hour or so later, a doctor came in after there had been much faffing over the trace which monitored Toga’s heart rhythm, and told us that a caesarean may be needed soon.
Well my own heart rate rose at hearing that. Apparently they couldn’t tell if Toga was alright or not as his/her heart rate kept dipping.
They monitored me for the next few hours, and during most of it we were left alone. We were both shattered and kept dozing in the minutes between the contractions, where I would need to hold hubby and just grit my teeth for trying not to scream.
Inside I was feeling anxious, time was moving slow, my pains were getting worse, I didn’t know what was happening to my baby, and I  didn’t know why I was still in that exam room.
After a couple of hours me and hubby were chatting about life, about everything, even having a giggle here and there, and it was nice to just talk. Lol little did I know it was probably our last conversation for many moons to come.
He went and got a couple of sandwiches and we ate, I felt drained by the past couple of days and needed energy.
I was wondering how Tookh was and what he was thinking.
By 3pm the contractions were just coming stronger and harder and Karen moved me into a proper labour room. At this point hubby had left the room for a few minutes and one of the no nonsense doctors came in. After an internal, I was told I was to have my ‘hind’ waters broken for me as they hadn’t done so. The instrument used looked like a long knitting needle, and looking back I am glad the doctor showed no mercy, because if he had faffed around taking ages it would have been far worse. If only Hubby could have heard me howl when this took place…

My arm was then hooked up to a drip for anti-biotics, this was because my waters had broken and it had been over 24 hours, so there was a higher risk of infection for the baby.

Karen’s shift ended (much to our relief) and two angelic midwives; Lindsay and Sharon floated in. They smiled at me kindly, and tried to give me gas and air which I had to stop as it made me want to wretch.
I couldn’t take the pain anymore, it was continual, and I knew I had gone way beyond my threshold. This pain seared through me, leaving me unable to breathe. I felt as though it was ripping me apart afresh each time and I wanted to cry but didn’t have the energy.
I cannot describe exactly what a contraction feels like but I will try. It’s basically a pain which comes in what I can only describe as waves, it begins gradually for a couple of seconds, but then just washes over you, pulling you under, and in those moments you can neither think nor reason. The pain just engulfs you. The main bulk of the pain is very similar to a huge band wrapped around the middle of your body and it just gets tighter and tighter squeezing the life out of your back, tummy and bottom. I remember just wanting to say so much and not being able to. I had planned on praying something short but even that was trapped inside my head. The only thing I was saying involuntarily was hubby’s name over and over, and because I was only using a shortened version of his name (not that it’s long) it was worth only one syllable of air.
At many points I wanted to cry so badly but I couldn’t, simply because I didn’t have the energy, the contractions were taking it all.
I recall saying to hubby at one point, ‘I want to go home, take me home’, and Lindsay smiling and saying how hard it would be to get me to the car.
Ridiculous I know, but I had had enough.
in my mind I was a little girl again, I felt vulnerable and lost, and I wanted to be better.
They offered me an epidural and I knew I had to have one.
By the time the anaesthetists came I was writhing about, and could barely hold still for them to inject my spine.
I hadn’t intended on having an epidural, but I knew I couldn’t last without one.
I found it so hard to keep still, I had to sit on the side of the bed, and curl my back over so they could inject it into me. I wanted to scream and scream and scream. I couldn’t keep still, and I had to hold on to Lindsay. I remember banging my legs against the metal frame of the bed in anger and despair; I thought if I had pain elsewhere it would alleviate the contraction pain. Hubby gently told me not to and I stopped.
After about 20 minutes which seemed like 20 years I felt the epidural begin to work. Relief flooded my body and mind and at that moment I was in love with my epidural. It was my best buddy. I looked up lovingly at the drip and just exhaled.
Poor hubby, I think he felt that way too. He looked exhausted and hadn’t left my side except for the odd phone call/prayer.
I fell asleep as hubby watched Bolton play Arsenal.
It was a strange sleep because, in the back of my mind I could faintly hear the noises, but I was somewhere I couldn’t quite reach the outside world. I could hear hubby say it felt like a haunted house, which made the midwives laugh …the woman next door, bless her, was fighting her own battle in labour, and she was wailing very eerily- woooo-ooooo kind of noise, which we could hear through our walls.
When I woke about 40minutes later I was shivering cold, my teeth were going to fall out with the chattering, the midwives found it hilarious.
I felt the pain come back; slowly slowly it began coming and I felt it all in my thigh. Maybe that was one area the epidural hadn’t reached, within minutes it was too much to bear, I was writhing about and I was begging for more epidural.
All in all I wondered how I would get through this. I hadn’t slept for a couple of days and had been in constant pain. I was being monitored and checked, and toga seemed to have stabilised but was moving very slowly down the birth canal.

Again the epidural men came and topped me up.
Relief once more.
Then Lindsay told me I would need a catheter. ‘You what?’ I thought.
Don’t really ill people or old people need those?
I really didn’t want to go through that-it was scary and embarrassing. Lindsay gently told me that if I didn’t have an empty bladder when toga was coming out, it would case a lot of problems and I may end up having a caesarean.
She also told me not be silly as I was embarrassed at the loss of dignity, she said she’d seen it all, and had even had women’s pooh fly in her face…Nice.
Like a frightened child I agreed, and she fitted it in within seconds.
I watched in cold silence, I watched my own urine dripping down a clear tube into a bag which hung from the side of the bed.
I think I felt lowest at this point, looking around my room; the gas and air, the heart monitor, the antibiotics drip, the epidural drip, the catheter…it was too much for me. I felt as though I was in a terrible nightmare, but my eyes wouldn’t open.
I felt as though I would be in there forever. In the back of my mind I had always entertained the possibility of dying.
No I don’t think I was being silly or dramatic, it’s a possibility as any other. Hubby and I had talked about it once, and what he would have to do in the event. But it was a very brief and painful conversation but one which was needed.
I looked at the old man, wondering what the hec I would have done without him. He was there practically all the time, holding me, telling me it was ok, letting me use his arms and hands to squeeze. Apparently at one point I had him in a headlock, and also almost took his fingers off, but I don’t remember it.

It was almost time for the midwives to leave; it was the end o f their shift and I felt sad because I knew Toga was close, and they wouldn’t be there. They both hugged me, and told me they would come and see me the next day to find out what happened. As they floated back out of the room my heart felt a pinch, it was as though two close friends had left me. They had been beyond kind, they had held me, stroked my face, massaged me where I hurt, and had kept me talking and giggling. They had been just as good to Hubby minus the stroking and massaging ;- )

Penny (Penelope) was the next midwife. She was about my mums’ age and seemed a little stern in appearance. I remember thinking I had better be on my best behaviour and suddenly…. I belched loudly. Goodness only knows where that came from, but I looked up horrified with my self and exclaimed ‘excuse me’.
She glanced at me and carried on.
Turns out, Penny was absolutely lovely. But Penny was not messing about. She told me this had gone on long enough for me and the baby, and it was time to get this child out.
She efficiently prepared the room for Perrep’s arrival.

Now because of the epidural, I couldn’t feel the pain of the contractions, but I knew when they were coming because I could feel my heart pump really fast inside.
I was to push as hard as I could each time a contraction came.
Easier said than done.
I remember when Tookh was coming, the midwives were telling me to push and I was thinking,’ but push what????’
There’s no manual in the world that can tell you exactly what to do.

I meant business now. I was exhausted, hubby was exhausted, and I was worried for my baby. How long had he/she been travelling slowly down the birth canal, getting distressed, and on top of it all I was worried about having to have a caesarean. It wasn’t the operation that was the main worry, but the recovery period; I knew I would be totally out of action for 6 weeks and I couldn’t afford that at all.

So I pushed for all I was worth and more than I was worth. Hubby held on to me, like a lion he fought alongside me, and finally, at 9.53pm the baby slid out as Penny gave it a helping hand. I fell back drained. The room turned into some surreal blur; in front of me a baby, Penny was cleaning and sorting, cutting the umbilical cord, another midwife had come in to help, and hubby through many tears was overjoyed, exited and saying ‘it’s a baby, it’s a baby!…’ I smiled and didn’t know quite what to say or think.
I’m glad it was a baby I had been carrying for nine months, and not a pickled onion or something.
Penny spoke up saying ‘it’s a boy!’
I looked ahead at this strange creature, in slow motion my eyes took this profound moment in. A moment which will never leave my heart, in the same way Tookh’s birth has never left my heart.

He had beautiful dark hair, and huge big black eyes. He let out a high pitched cry when he came out, and then went quiet. Penny placed him across my stomach and chest, and he was breathing fast, he seemed exhausted and shocked. He remained quiet as a blanket was place over us…… and finally, finally, finally, the moment came when I held my baby to me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Finishing Line

Perrep progress.

Weeks 32-36

Perrep is now formed with fully developed lungs. Perrep is gaining about 14 grams of fat each day; Fat ensures that a bay can regulate heat and cold once they leave the controlled environment of the uterus. The fingers and toes have soft nails, which reach right to the end. The hair on thePerrep’s head may be as long as one inch long and is very slippery (to aid the baby’s passage during birth). By week 36, Perrep’s skull is firm but not hard because it will need to compress as Perrep squeezes down the birth canal.
Perrep is about 46 cm (18 inches long) and weighs about 6lb, if this is the first baby the head will soon engage, drop downwards into the upper pelvis in preparation for birth.  As I’ve given birth before, Perrep may not engage for several more weeks and maybe not until labour.

Weeks 37-39

Perrep’s nervous system is maturing ready for birth, the lungs aligned with its surfactant which resembles bubbles of foam, this keeps the lungs partially inflated each time Perrep breathes out after he/she is born: Without surfactant the lungs would collapse.

Perrep’s heartbeat is twice as fast as mine, about 110 to 150 beats per minute, hubby can now hear Perrep’s heartbeat by putting his ear to my abdomen. Perrep now weighs approx 7 pounds.

Alhumdulillah Perrep’s head has engaged at around 38 weeks.

Week 40

Perrep’s movements decrease from now on because, there is less space in the uterus for movement, the movements are becoming increasingly difficult to identify, although a sharp kick from Perrep every now and again reminds me that he’s there. When Perrep is awake, his/her eyes are open for lengths of time. Perrep’s intestine is filled with a dark green almost black substance called Meconium, this is a mixture of the secretions from his/her alimentary glands together with lanugo, pigment, and cells from the wall from his or her bowel. It will be the first motion he she will pass after birth, although he/she may pass it during delivery The placenta now measures 20-25cm (8-10 inches) in diameter and is just over 1 inch thick, thus creating a wide area for the exchange of nourishment and waste products between myself and Perrep. There is now more than 1 litre of water in the amniotic sac. Perrep now measures about 51cm (20 inches) and he/she weighs approximately 7lbs 8oz.

I get really worried sometimes when I don’t hear from Perrep for ages. Sometimes even my poking and prodding on my belly doesn’t get the reaction it used to.
However, Perrep seems to have turned into a little slow shifter. my little shifty bottom, which reassures me that he/she is ok insha’Allah.

The Craves.

Well it has been a strange couple of months, all sorts of things going on – with me, with hubby, with the family, with Tookh…..and as they say, ‘such is life…’.

After week 30 I found I was morphing into a being that I wasn’t too familiar with anymore.
For a start, suddenly I had become hostage to anything that pleased my olfactory bulb – that basically means, anything that pleased my sense of smell.
And what pleased madams’ sense of smell?
I tell ya what…exhaust pipes, turpentine, gloss paint, antiseptic, plus anything at all related to motor vehicles.
I know I can hear you all tut tuting at me; most of these things aren’t safe.
Don’t you think of all people I (being eggnant) know that??
Ajeeb, I couldn’t control it, and truth be told I still can’t. I am salivating as I type.
Weekends passed as I begged hubby to take me on an outing to any car garage.
Traffic suddenly smelled so damn good I felt high; glossing a couple of skirting boards at home I was just buzzing; and washing out the brushes after...oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan…don’t even go there.
At the same time, I also craved sugar free polo’s. Panic sets in if I don’t have any on me, even in the middle of the night.
Usually I hate the petrol stations, but now I love them. Thing is, cos I know how bad they are for me, I can’t do much anyway. It’s not like I can get out and stick the petrol nozzle up my nose just because I suddenly like the smell.
The weirdest one though is this little tub of vapour rub I have. I cannot stop sniffing it. It goes everywhere I go, a bit like Perrep.
The strange thing is that it has to be the one from Asda. The brand Vicks or any other form of the stuff does not interest me in the slightest.
Go figure that one.
I was reading the ingredients and one of them is turpentine oil. I thought ‘Hmmmnn I wonder if it is the same turpentine as in the solution I was using to clean the brushes?’ so I looked it up and found there are two forms of turpentine oil…one is the volatile stuff used for cleaners etc, and the other is the non-volatile stuff used for such things as medicine etc.
No flaming wonder I thought.
Suits me though, a safe way of sniffing all the turps I want. Turp heaven………………

Every room contains a little delight for me. In the bathroom I have a bottle of ‘Meytol’ its like Dettol, but not Dettol. It smells fabulous.
In the kitchen I have my bottle of bleach which I normally use to wipe surfaces down with, so cleaning is just a pleasure right now.
In the store-room I have the paints turpentine, and brushes.
Even the new pushchair for Perrep smells amazing.
I must carry around with me, my vapour rub, and the polo’s – it’s a question of survival….

I have now noticed that as cars drive past, some models and makes smell much better than others. I never knew!

To be truthful I will be glad when this madness leaves me. It’s not the safest of cravings. I don’t mind the polo thing but I think that’s where it ends.
I remember with Tookh I had similar cravings, but the polo’s had to be the sugar ones, and I also needed ice cream and anything icy constantly.

Frumpy, Lumpy and Grumpy.

Let me introduce you to Frumpy.
Frumpy has practically nothing left which fits, save a few outfits. So it’s the same repetitive wardrobe in sequence.
Frumpy feels nothing short of frumpy, and is losing the will to make an effort on many days.
But not a huge problem, this was kinda envisaged. Hopefully it will be all the more fun when the normal wardrobe is eventually dug out again.

Meet Lumpy. She feels just that.
Lumpy is going through an image crisis.
And so what if the rest of the world doesn’t see it? Lumpy does. Lumpy does not feel right, attractive or pleasing to herself and probably to her nearest and closet.
However there’s really nothing to be done, until the big lumpy (bless it) has been delivered. Then for an exercise regime….but even that will be difficult for several months with a newborn baby around.
A bit depressing.
Everything about you changes, to the point you are clumsy and drop everything everywhere, you walk into people, you open doors and cupboards banging them into your stomach because you can’t measure distance anymore.
You look in the mirror and wonder who the hec is staring back at you. Your body is not your own and everything about you has changed, from your shape and size, to the way your skins feels an it’s’ texture. Even though you know that things about you will change, and no matter how many text books warn you of this and that, you wont have a text book reaction to it. Things still shock and surprise you

Finally meet Grumpy.
Grumpy has been feeling this way sometime into the third trimester.
She doesn’t always feel this way, but when she does, she tries to conceal it. Most of the time the reason for feeling down is usually due to pain.

Now that you have met my three alter ego’s, you may get a better jist of how I feel some of the time.
And how many pregnant women feel a lot of the time.

As time has gone on the pregnancy has challenged me with a variation of different problems, and I would be lying if I said any of it has been easy for me Alhumdulillah.
I don’t know whether it is because I am 6 years older now or whether it is just this pregnancy, that I feel extremely tired, and in a lot of pain most of the time.

Hicks or Malix?

I had been getting Braxton hicks contractions for a while (these are basically pretend contractions) but at around 34 weeks, they began coming on much stronger, and with much pain.
So much pain I began to time them in case they were the real thing. But as time has gone on, I have noticed they calm down after a couple of hours or so.

Anyway apparently they have changed their name to the Malix.
Hubby was asking a friend at work if he had heard of them, and he said something like, ‘Heard of them? They’re named after me…’
Ok Mr Malik, if you say so.
I guess I got the Malix then.
Thought the ‘x’ at the end of the word gave it a nice slang twang…

I am also now feeling really tired again.
It is not easy getting to sleep at night, and many times I need to compensate for it during the day. Only thing is I am not someone who can get to sleep easily in the day so I often end up totally mashup.

Other thing about this that is frustrating is that I have incredible urge to be ready now. I want the house organised and clean. I want cupboards and drawers sorted out, I want space for Perrep, I want cots and things set up; I want clothes and nappies at the ready; I just want peace of mind.
What with feeling so constantly tired it’s impossible to get much done in one go. I know Hubby is always offering to do it, but he does enough as it is masha’Allah, and also I want to do it because I know I normally enjoy doing these things. The fact that most of the time I can only do one drawer at a time or whatever really annoys and frustrates me.
I know I am going through my nesting period…makes me feel like a proper bird lol.
I think I need to learn when to stop and wave the white flag.

I’m not one of these people who can chill out and just think ‘oh I’ll do it later’ I simply cannot relax when I know there are things to be done.
I know I need to learn to relax because with a tiny baby on the way there will be many days when I wont be able to get anything done, and I don’t want to get all worked up over it every time.

Another thing I really enjoyed was my time with the Tookhster over the x-mas hols. We didn’t do anything in particular, just spend time together at home, watch things together, draw and read etc. but it was so nice to have him with me, to chat with him, and I found he was satisfied with doing the same. I was a bit worried he may get bored stuck in the house etc, but he was fine.
I had really wanted some quality time with him over the holidays because I knew it would be our last holiday together before Perrep came.
It’s an odd feeling it was almost as though I was going to lose a part of me and Tookh. All this time it has been him alone who has been my baby, he has had my total and whole attention, and my world has revolved around him being safe warm and well. Insha’Allah I pray nothing about that changes, but inevitably the dynamics will have to change, which is not a bad thing either. I want Tookh to be as involved with his baby bro/sis as much as possible. I do think it will insha’Allah do him the world of good.
I didn’t want to let him go back to school, but the nice thing was, that the day after he did go back it was Eid, so I had him and Hubby with me for the day which was fantastic.

Eid was absolutely lovely.
It was much simpler than the one before and I loved that.
We attended the Masjid again for Eid prayers, and I was blessed enough to hear the most touching and beautiful recitation of Surah Al-Qaf, and a very reflective sermon afterwards.
It lifted us all, and set precedence for the day.
JazzakAllah khayr to the brother who led the prayers, it still resonates in my ears, Alhumdulillah.

One thing that made me sad over the hols was the story of little baby penguin ‘Toga’ being kidnapped.
Some plonker decided to kidnap Toga, and snatched him from his mama and papa whilst he was still a baby. Toga was still on regurgitated food from mama and had not even seen a fish yet. Toga’s survival chances were very slim if he wasn’t returned soon.
He wasn’t returned so only Allah knows what really happened.
This story so touched my heart.
I want to slap the person who nicked him… with my foot.

Anyway Perrep is now very often referred to as Toga. I find it such a cute name.
So Alhumdulillah my Toga is safe and warm inside me.
I go for my ante natal checkups regularly and get to hear the heartbeat, and it lifts and reassures me each time.

I now just want it to be over safely.
I look back and it felt like such a long stretch at the start, and here we are almost at the finishing line.
The last month or more have really tested me. After 33/34 weeks I just felt so fatigued, in so much pain most days. Simple things like walking had become a challenge, and this is coming from the gal who loves walking everywhere.

I found I couldn’t do the simplest things anymore like putting my socks on. Prayers now have to be done on a chair.
My back has been on occasions unbearable. Sciatic pain has not left me, and often I get stuck in some awkward position where moving even an inch makes me catch my breath.
Sleep is now virtually impossible. I cannot lie in position for long at all as it hurts too much – everywhere. Sometimes I dread bedtime because I know it will be hard work and frustrating. I normally awake zombified, and motivate myself only because of Tookh, and the school run.
I take a lot of hot baths to soothe soreness and aches and pains. I have found tea tree oil is amazing. It treats virtually anything and everything. Subhana’Allah.
I have no concentration span, and absolutely no memory. As Hubby says “dense fog” has truly set in.
I cannot now think past having this baby, I feel as though whoever and whatever in terms of outside influences, and stress can wait.
My only goal right now is to sit tight with my family and pray this baby is delivered safely to us. I feel suddenly extremely protective over my family, almost lioness like in my defensiveness.
I don’t know, maybe it is my maternal instincts kicking in…

Weeks 38 and 39 have pushed me to the limits, and I have burst into tears a few times over this period. I keep reminding myself why my body is doing this to me, why sometimes every moment feels like its beating me into the ground. I remind myself of the blessing I have in my womb. I remind myself of insha’Allah a day when I can meet this little creature I so long for.
I remind myself that if my sins are expiated through this, then it is more than worth it, because I know I would rather take it here, may Allah save us all from hellfire.

These thoughts give me the sabr I need.

Through it all, my Hubby and my Tookh have been rocks for me to lean on. They have got on with it, never complained, always making allowances for me, always helping me and accommodating me.
They have been prepared to get their hands dirty and muck in with whatever needs to be done.
I honestly don’t know what I would have done if they were not so good natured, kind and understanding.
Hubby has lifted a huge load for me, taking care of Tookh so much. Hubby has never once frowned even, and has taken the many jobs that we both used to share and just got on with it masha’Allah.
The best thing I can say is JazzakAllah khayr to him.

Not to make them big headed, I will also add that they are a pair of lunatics, and don’t hesitate to make a mess and eat junk at any given opportunity…humph!!

So I can almost see the light at the end … somewhere.

I will keep you posted. At present I am over 40 weeks, and well overdue. For some reason I feel calmer, and so does my body although I am not looking forward to being induced and pray it happens naturally.

Watch and wait with me folks…

Monday, January 16, 2006


I am ashamed to say I haven’t blogged in sooo long, I can hardly remember how to do it. I haven’t even had the courtesy of replying to those of you folks who gave me such beautiful comments and duaas, that many had tears rolling down my face. JazzakAllah khayr to you all. Virtual hugs and apologies all round
However I am not a complete imbecile, just a 75% one. I have been making notes using the old fashioned and almost obsolete method of paper and pen, and it’s about time I get them on the pc before I err pop so to speak.

Perrep progress

Weeks 25-27

Perrep is still red and skinny but will soon start to put weight on. The body is growing faster and the bone centres are beginning to harden. The brain cells used for conscious thought now start to mature and he/she begins to be able to remember and learn.
The genitals are differentiated.
Perrep can hear frequencies beyond our range, and will move more in response to higher frequencies than low ones.
Soon Perrep can also learn to recognise his/her father’s voice, so hubby this is the time to practise thinking before speaking ;-)))

Weeks 28-31

A lot of changes take place in the nervous system this month. The brain grows larger to fit inside the skull; it has to fold over and wrinkle up until it resembles a walnut. Brain cells and nerve circuits are fully active.
A fatty sheath begins to form around the nerve fibres, just like the sheath formed earlier around the spinal cord, and this fatty sheath will continue to develop until early adulthood.  As a result, nerve impulses can travel faster and Perrep becomes capable of increasingly complex learning and movement.
Perrep starts preparing for birth.
Some fat begins to appear under the skin; the coat of hairy lanugo made diminish to a patch on the back and shoulders. The eyes are now fully formed and eyelids have separated allowing Perrep’s eyes to open.  Perrep continues to develop swallowing and sucking skills.
Perrep now has a fully developed breathing rhythm and the air sacs in the lungs start to prepare for the first breathe Perrep will insha’Allah take in the world outside the uterus. Perrep will find there is less room to move about in and will probably wriggle uncomfortably if my body is in a position that does not suit him/her. Perrep passes urine into the amniotic fluid at the rate of about ½ litre (1 pint) every day.

Ok, so here it is from mama
I thought I would be cruising through the middle months, blooming and all that business. But I have (Alhumdulillah) found myself overwhelmingly tired constantly. I don’t feel as sick any more which is a relief, but I still have to take it easy in the mornings.
I get very dizzy, and have to be careful when I am out and about; I think my loafing days are really numbered.
A lot of growing aches and pains are taking place. I have really bad sciatic pain. No one told me I would be turning into an old relic.
I sit or lie down and cannot get up without hubby having to slowly slowly pull me up.
I then stagger around the house as though I am still evolving…..
My legs are cramping real bad at night. It’s awful because suddenly I wake and find some muscle just sticking straight out, away from my leg or thigh. It then refuses to join the rest of my body again, defying me, threatening to just up and leave. I am even getting cramps in my back. However I have found out, that eating nuts are very good in helping to alleviate this problem, so a few a day seem to keep the cramps at a moderate minimal.
The other major thing is that as soon as I hit 30 weeks, I felt a sudden, sharp, stabbing, pressure on my bladder. It comes and goes all the time, and when it does, it is so sharp, it takes the breath out of me. I feel it a lot when I am walking, and I always have to stop till it passes. It happens a lot in the evenings and it feels as though a knife is being jabbed through me. I think Perrep is using it as a water bed…
Having said all that, I do have slightly more energy to do things, so I’m managing to cook, and I get out and about for walks which I know will be good for my stamina.
I have noticed that whereas before I could do loads in one go, I can only get in short bursts these days. So it’s either cooking, or cleaning or whatever. I can’t do it all in one go.
But, I don’t for one second resent these pangs of pregnancy. I am not about to moan knowing I have been blessed with the opportunity to become a mother again. When I write about these things, it’s simply a reminder to myself, and an insight for other people – and not a means to complain. I pray Allah gives me the patience to bear it all, and bear it with dignity. Plus that these pains expiate my sins insha’Allah.


Ramadan came and went.
Hubby had been coaxing me to write an entry for it, but for one reason or another I didn’t.
Either I was busy, or not feeling well, or just plain out of inspiration; ‘bloggers block’.
Not to mention that at the time I was busy reading everybody else’s Ramadan blogs and they were quite insightful, and inspiring into what others make of this blessed month.
Apart from that, these things at the time are often best left to people like Abu Eesa, the top cat of bloggers, who can do such subjects far more justice than most of us can dream of.

The other reason I was out of blog juice, I realised, was the fact that I wasn’t fasting.
I had long been planning on fasting, I couldn’t imagine doing otherwise.

In the past, I had always looked upon Ramadan with a sense of fear and dread. I would see it looming, and wonder how on earth I would ever get through it in one piece. I guess that’s a combination of not understanding why I was fasting, and also the wrong attitude in the run up to it.
I was never forced into it, in fact my folks were not ‘fasters’ so it meant going it alone most years.
Anyhow things changed in recent years, and for the past two years I have actually been enjoying fasting. I have seen it approaching, and instead of trying to hide, welcomed it into my life with open arms.
Much of this is due to me entering Islam, reading and attending talks etc
I finally understood what this means and basically however big or small the sacrifice of food, water, and other of life’s little luxuries, it was only for Allah, so how could you go wrong?
I put my all into fasting, and into everything else involved with making the most of the month.
Yeah it was shattering doing the daily run alone, it was so satisfying. Wasn’t I just one amongst millions in the same position? And are we not blessed that we can actually eat at the end of the day? how many others don’t even have the choice??

Even Eid meant something different after a hard slog over the month. It wasn’t about what it used to be as a child; it was far simpler but held much more significance than ever.

So back to where I was…I had been mooching around trying to plan fasting and how I would cope with it being pregnant and absolutely not up to it.

You see, I didn’t want to think about not fasting because it would be hubby’s and mine first Ramadan together.
After years of waking at dawn alone, and having my porridge and fennel tea alone I finally had someone who would share the moment with me, although I knew he would never go near a breakfast like that, but lol I would make him anything he wanted for the company.

So when hubby pointed out I would not be able to fast - literally, I was gutted. I knew better than to stick up a fuss because I knew he was right… although I did have a little protest and didn’t get anywhere.

So the poor guy fasted alone, and all I could do was wake with him, well actually wake before him, and yank him out of bed.

I thought I could do Ramadan without the fasting, but truth be told, I couldn’t. I felt so despondent and detached from it with everyone else taking part in it actively.
I felt tired, and weak, and that didn’t help either in motivating me to take part in real ibadah rather than the lame bits n bobs I was offering.

As time does nowadays, it sped past and before we knew it, Ramadan had disappeared.
It wasn’t completely wasted, but it wasn’t what I had wanted either.
I didn’t make my annual sin list.
No, not a list of sins I haven’t quite yet achieved (which much to my regret would be a small one) it’s a list of all things I feel I have done wrong over many years.
I start off by thinking back as far as I can from childhood tantrums, to teenage fits and through to adulthood and all the nasties I have managed to achieve quite easily up to now. It’s weird, cos I begin writing, and the things I remember trigger memories, which trigger other memories, and before I know it, I am cringing away, writing with my fuel injected pen steaming away. The list gets longer, the sins vary in diversity, and by the end I am drained, and feel sick at the thought of being such an ingrate and disaster.
So, this year I wasn’t up to it, but I have a sort of imprint of my list from previous years in my head so I kinda knew what I had to ask forgiveness for.
I know I need to have a clean heart for me to even begin rectifying myself, I need to examine how I think and feel and why. My intentions need to be correct and pure and if I can’t achieve that, then my actions certainly wont be.
I don’t want to sit there in the middle of my prayer, lamely asking Allah to ‘forgive all my sins’ without meaning it, without thinking about what I am actually asking forgiveness for.
If ever there is a time to ask, to beg, to be sincere then it is in this month.
How many of us just give prayers the old lip service without the prayer touching our hearts, without it stabbing our souls with fear and hope??
It’s a hard one to achieve, and I for one don’t even know if I have ever got close to it, but Ramadan is the time to get in touch with your soul; examine what it needs to live, to become pure; to benefit yourself and those around you.

When I think about mercy and forgiveness, this hadeeth always comes to my mind;

On the authority of Anas, who said: I heard the messenger of Allah say:

Allah the Almighty has said: "O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as its."

Related by Al-Tirmithi, who said that it was a good and sound Hadith.

How can that fail to touch your heart?

So, that was that.
Eid came, and the run up to it was really heart warming and exiting.
I wanted a meaningful one. I wanted to go for Eid salaah, something I have never had the opportunity to do.
We went this time together as a family.
I cried all the way through; I had a jimas moment.
Many thoughts and feelings over powered me; the precious feeling of knowing my child and husband were praying in the next room; finally I was praying Eid salaah in the mosque.

It’s one of those days where you do feel a sharp pinch thinking about your lost loved ones, and the patience I get is simply from being able to pray for their souls.

All in all it was a lovely simple day, I saw around me the various people I loved, and a sense of contentment in the eyes of Tookhster and Hubby and I had my belly of ‘Perrepment’ (contentment in baby terms).
What more could we ask for, especially just after the recent earthquake in Pakistan, and all the other challenges people around the globe are faced with.

Straight after Eid we had visitors, and as lovely as it is to have company and to see long lost relies, this time it knocked the wind out of us. What with Ramadan, Eid, and the ‘eggnancy’ it was very draining. Problem was they only had a couple of days and in that we had to cram in a million and one things. Had it been stretched out over another day or so I’m sure it wouldn’t have felt so taxing ( hubby rolls eyes)
But all in all it wasn’t too bad and I just hope we were good hosts more than anything else.

I think it affected hubby so much, it almost drove him to the brink of dollallyness. On the last night of their stay, as I was getting ready to get into bed he began making strange walky slithery movements around the room and opened his mouth, and out came……………. Gollum.
Yes, there he was slimily hissing towards me calling me his ‘precious’. I stood staring in wonder at the demonic spectacle before me, then had no choice but to erupt in torrents of giggles. I just could not stop.

It is quite a sight, his whole face changes, and his eyeballs jut out huge and round like massive golf balls, and the guy looks quite manically insane. Since then, Gollum has become a regular and consistent part of my life. To add to the team of alter ego’s, Yoda has also decided to join the ‘force’, not to mention the odd visit from Ja-Ja (I think he is called), and even bloomin Churchill the dratted ‘muuuuuu-hooooneyyyhh’ dog from the ads.
I tell you, sometimes the house feels very cramped….

This was not even in the fine print of the nikkah contract, I demand more mahar to compensate…..otherwise an adequate exchange/refund/or at least a full service for the hubby…………………….
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