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By: Bina Mustafa

An expert in the field of development, Bina Mustafa writes about her struggle and journey to seeing a successful pregnancy to the end.

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.

I had faced people (close ones and even unknowns) sharing opinions and bringing up topics of pregnancy at inappropriate times often in a blunt and critical manner. After each mishap my physical and emotional health suffered but I focused sternly on  how to prevent myself from being lost in a dense fog of “Why and How.” I focused on feeling good and stopped myself forcibly from negative thoughts. I failed multiple  times but also found ways to sweep away these dark thoughts. Eventually, I had to become my own best friend and connect with my being.

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.

I missed social events and on bad days, I would just sit and cry for no obvious reason. My pregnancy proceeded smoothly and surprisingly without any unforeseen event or episode. There was no bleeding or pain but I kept obsessing over the baby’s movements and would suffer huge anxiety attacks just before each appointment at the doctor. My old friend Mr. Doubt would pop up his head every now and then, forcing me to wonder and question and worry.
I was like an emotional pendulum. One minute I would be smiling and optimistic while the next instant I would be scared and worried. But I was adamant on seeing this pregnancy through. I had started to believe that I will become a mother. This time around my pregnancy was truly uneventful since I did not even suffer from morning sickness. Gradually I began writing again and even agreed to going out for dinner occasionally.  I also felt waves of concern daily, often hourly, and did my best to manage my internal state.
During the labour I felt strong and confident and once I held my baby in my arms, all the feelings of doubt evaporated – and everything fell into place. My son made it all worth it. Looking back at my pregnancy I missed out on having a baby shower and on the  fun of telling everyone about the little milestones a fetus achieves while in the womb. There was always a tiny voice in my head saying “What if ”  ( people never understood the subtle pinch and punch they created in my life )

 

#mypregnancykikahani

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.

minda

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