I do not know if I made apparent enough my exceptional love for my children and my incessant gratitude to Allah, the Almighty, for answering my prayers. Maybe by sharing my story I can vindicate my recognition for how blessed I am. Also, before skimming the rest of this piece avid reader, be warned; I am just a woman at my most vulnerable, sharing my battle scars.
Even before my husband and I had decided to pursue marriage, we were certain that whoever we ended up with, had to be on board with having children right away.
Lo and Behold! We ended up with each other!From that point onwards, then we held our breath and waited…
It just was not happening. At that time, I did not know what we, what I was doing wrong. I was a stranger in Lahore with a brand new family and was more out of place than ever before. My parents were more than a continent away from me, and I knew no one who had been through something like this, therefore no one to ask help from. Yes, constant emphasis was given to the lack of an infant in my lap and undeniably it was accentuated that medically something was wrong with me. This was literally just 6 months into the marriage!
Eventually, I got concerned and wanted to see medical physicians who could tell me what was the problem . I went to all the specialists I could find or was recommended to go see. Yet every time Aunty Flo visited, it was monitored and frowned upon. I cannot highlight the height of my embarrassment and the magnitude of failure I felt. After every consultation, I was told that I am not infertile, I was just stressed and this alone was keeping me from conceiving.
But isn’t that just the thing with medical professionals. They say things like, “Don’t think about it”, and “It will happen, give it time…”
“Well Doc ! It is constantly on mind my and I cannot “not” think about it, that’s why I have come to you. Just help me.”
The months melted into years and all my alarms went off. I started to take medication, which at first were just a few pills, but escalated into hormonal injections and even opted for serious surgery. After many arguments with my husband I persuaded him to let me get an IUI procedure… or 3.
Then I turned to IVF.
It was excruciating…
Not to forget demeaning and it physically drained and shattered me.
But it worked!
I was pregnant. But only for a little over 2 months, then the inevitable happened, I miscarried.
There are no words in any language that can explain what I felt .The moment I found out, it was as if my guts were clawed out of me. My mind went into a deep shock. I didn’t want to believe it and desperately waited for a miracle. All I wanted was some hope to cling on to. Everything I went through, this could not happen to me.
We were good people; we would make good parents. I thought everyone pitied me, or worse snickered at yet another failed attempt made by me. I was disgusted with myself. That is the mildest term I can come up with. There was so much self loathing and it was a dark period for me. This is when my relationship with depression piqued.
The worse was yet to come. After losing the baby I was expected to not mourn. It was pressed on me time and time again that I must just shrug it off. It happens. I cringed every time someone pointed out she was not even bigger than a walnut and it is okay if the walnut is gone, I should just get over it. My mind screamed, she was not a walnut, she was my baby, and it was so hard to have her! I couldn’t believe I lost her.
But nobody understood. No one cared. I wanted to mourn my unborn child and I was brushed aside. All the traumatic physical anguish my body went through and the turmoil my mind was in was devastating. But no one came forward to tell me it is okay to yearn for a vanquished probability. Everyone said “Just move on “
Then came the nights where I just bawled into my husband’s arms. Those nights were cold and ruthless.
It was then, somebody said to my husband that I miscarried because I was careless with the pregnancy. Maybe he saw what an effort I made just to get out of bed every single day to face the world, maybe it hit him how I had anguished over every tiny detail during the pregnancy, or maybe he was just tired of hearing people put me down for something I had no control over, he flipped.
A gear just shifted, our lives changed. He lost his cool, packed our bags and we left that city, where our hearts were broken time and time again.
New beginnings, change of scenery, away from the brooding eyes of relatives brought an amazing blessing. I was pregnant sans medication and all its hoo ha. God had finally answered our prayers !
Years have flown by and now I have Ismaeel and Wali. They are the centre of my universe. They are the reason I believe God rewards His believers.
But I still think about my unborn child. She does not leave my heart and I don’t think she ever will. So, when I want to do something for Ismaeel and Wali, I always have a yearning for her also. I feel like I have to love the boys twice as much because a little bit of her is in them. I want to give them the world and then some. With every milestone they hit, I like to believe she has helped them along.
Love your children, appreciate them and applaud them because they are the most divine of blessings. God must have seen a spark of brilliance in you for rewarding you with little boys and little girls. Hold them, cuddle them and enjoy them.
At the same time, be kind to those who struggle with fertility. There are people in this world who crave parenthood beyond any other blessing. It is not easy being on the other side of the fence. Respect the mums who have lost a baby, because no matter when the pregnancy fell apart a mother never forgets.