By: Bina Mustafa
Motherhood is natural for many and we live in a society that lauds fertility depicting successful pregnancies as a beatific state in which mothers-to-be are exalted and inducted into a sacred hall of fame. But for many like me it is a poignant journey that turned the celebratory occasion into anxiety and fear. My story is not about having a hard time getting pregnant but rather it’s about how I was unable to complete any pregnancy in 13 years of an otherwise delightful marriage.
Not once, not twice but four times I was curtly told: “We are sorry.”
Each miscarriage broke me and I grieved deeply after the loss of each child I would never get to know. Every time the pains began and I would start passing clots, my heart would sink. Each pregnancy would begin with hope and end in despair.
I broke and grieved secretly after these losses, initially for weeks and then for months. A suitcase stuffed with newborn clothes and stuff was tightly closed and locked. My faith was shaken- I questioned Allah that why me? I had been good in my dealings with people and with my Creator, then why was I being punished? There was also a state of disbelief concerning my own physical health. There is nothing wrong with me, I told my husband, my ammi and my doctors. I am super healthy. I exercise regularly. I am fit and I’m young. This can’t be happening to me.
Each time the little pink line appeared I was hopeful that this would be the one leading to me finally becoming an ammi. As each pregnancy would progress, I would be riddled with fear, anxiety and despair. Remaining calm and unemotional when you are batting a storm within is a monumental task in a world that lacks emotional quotient. Oftentimes comments are hurled consciously and sometimes unintentionally, but I wonder if any of those saying these hurtful things had any idea how I was being affected.
My pregnancy with my darling, darling son who is now one year old was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I swung between feeling confident and becoming fearful. There were times when I wept hysterically and other times I became ecstatic when I felt his kicks. I was fearful and anxious most of the time, and a prayer was always close to my lips. I was desperate for this pregnancy to succeed and for me to become an ammi.
My own experience of miscarriages and successful pregnancy has made me more mindful and empathetic towards others’ struggles and joys. It has never made me bitter but more appreciative and thankful for the gift Allah has bestowed.