I waited for some time before wanting to try for a baby. I knew what kind of pregnancy I wanted and I wanted to be ready. Financially, emotionally, mentally. But then it suddenly just happened. I accepted it with joy and an open heart but then I miscarried. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever gone through in my life. Or so I thought. A year after, I got pregnant again. And again miscarried. I thought it would be easier to accept the second time around. It wasn’t. Nothing will rock a mother to the core more than losing a baby, working through the grief and becoming pregnant again. There was nothing technically wrong with us, so we kept on trying. A year after and month after month of disappointments, I gave up. I couldn’t take it anymore. If it happens, it happens. If not, I’ve made my peace with it. And just when we stopped, it happened again.
Week 6 – December 28. I thought I would be filled with complete happiness upon seeing the positive sign on the pregnancy test. After all, we waited for this. I was shaking, half happy, half terrified. What if I miscarry again? I would be devastated. I didn’t want to go through that again. I cried and I prayed. And later that night when Josephus got home, I told him. I could see how happy he was and I knew I would be willing to go through it again just to make him that happy.
Week 8 – Our first pre natal appointment. I couldn’t get an earlier appointment so you can imagine how anxious I was during the 2-week wait. And then we heard the heartbeat and my husband turned to mush. I have never seen him cry so many times in a 2-week period 🙂 I, on the other hand, still couldn’t quite believe or didn’t want to believe there was life inside me. I was happy but couldn’t allow myself to be that happy. What if the heartbeat suddenly stops like it did with a friend who also had a miscarriage?
Weeks 9-12 – The longest 4 weeks of my life. I was fatigued, nauseous and all the “perks” that come with pregnancy. And we couldn’t tell anyone. Only immediate family knew. I was anxious and terrified of every small thing that could make my baby go away.
Week 13 – February 14. We were past the first and most delicate trimester and the risk of having a miscarriage after 13 weeks dramatically drops to 3%. I was relieved. We were finally able to let everyone know and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. Or so I thought.
Week 15 – I got fired. The company I worked for shut down and everyone lost their jobs. That would have been easier to bear had we been given everything that we were entitled to. The next 4 weeks was literally a battle. Dishonesty, betrayal. Everyone who knows me knows how loyalty and integrity are very important to me. And so the whole month was filled with tears and stress. But at the end of the day, my loved ones were right. It wasn’t worth the stress of going to court and fighting for it. The baby’s welfare was at stake. And so I let go and let God.
Week 16 – I felt the first flutters. It was a weird feeling. Kind of like having butterflies/growling in your stomach. Before this, I knew I was pregnant but I didn’t really “feel” it until I felt her move. It was amazing and something that made me happy amidst all the stress.
Weeks 19 – 23 – April. I was already too pregnant to find another job. So when there are no opportunities for you, create your own opportunity. So my partner and I, plus the unconditional help of Josephus, set out to put together www.loud-digital.com. It was not easy. I had just gotten out of the previous battle and I was anxious and stressed from losing my income and having Ramadan and summer coming which meant literally no booking for Itsoura. Ergo, also no income from that end. I sold my beloved car and whatever I could just to make ends meet for the next couple of months. I still miss it until this very day 🙁
I also discovered I had a problem with my insurance. It was due to expire a month before I was due to give birth and I simply thought I could renew it for approximately the same cost. Good thing a friend warned me ahead of time. They would treat my pregnancy as a pre existing condition and the renewal would be 4-5 times more than what it initially cost. I wrote about it in more detail here. This, including the costs of bringing a baby into this world exacerbated my stress and I was already hormotional enough as it is. I was close to having a mental breakdown that my husband had to intervene and make me stop working and babysat me every single day to make sure I was ok.
On a lighter note, we had a small gender reveal party with close friends.
And it was a girl!
Weeks 24 – 27 – God reminded me of his infinite goodness and provision and gave me a miracle through a fairy godmother. I took Ana, my partner, shopping. Debenhams had a raffle draw and I think she got 4 coupons. As she does not live here, she put it under my name. And what do you know, I won 10,000 AED worth of gift vouchers from all Al Shaya outlets. Which included Mothercare. And Ana was generous enough to give everything to me. I now had the means to buy the essentials I needed for my little baby girl, thanks to her fairy godmother.
Week 28 – I was feeling better and starting to enjoy my pregnancy. I felt the first moves this week. Not flutters but actual kicks. Feeling her move would come to be my favorite thing about the whole pregnancy.
Week 32 – June 29. My inlaws have been a rock during this whole time. Constantly checking up on me, praying for me and encouraging me. Ate Joy, the older sister I never had, sponsored my baby shower. And it was because of that baby shower that we got everything we needed for the baby… stroller, car seat, clothes, swaddles, breast pump, every single thing. We only really had to buy the crib plus disposables (diapers and small things). Just a couple of months ago, I was so worried about all these. Again, God had to remind me to trust him to take care and provide us with what we need.
Also, I had the best time of my life in a looong, long time.
Week 37 – August 6. The last few weeks had actually been really good. Loud was moving forward, I was in a better place and everything seemed to be falling into place. I woke up though with a numb feeling in my right eye. I didn’t think anything of it. 4 hours later, I couldn’t feel my lips and the right side of my face. I thought I was having a stroke. And so we rushed to the ER. I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and the right side of my face was and still is, paralyzed. It’s idiopathic, meaning it’s spontaneous and the exact cause could be a lot of factors but largely unknown. Pregnant women, especially those in the third trimester, are more prone to this. And so my whole world fell. Again. Just when I was nearing the finish line, I had to fall and crawl my way through.
Week 38 – The last couple of days have been really depressing. My body is getting really heavy, sleep has been more difficult than ever, my body hurts like never before and half of my face was still paralyzed. I had to stop going to meetings and I basically just didn’t go out and face anyone outside my inner circle. Aside from my OB Gyne, I had a neurologist, ENT and Physiotherapist. The very expensive insurance turned out to be worth it after all.
Week 39 – Zia’s movements are getting really big, like there’s an alien wanting to crawl out of my stomach. This made me happy. It’s quite fun and amazing to watch her dance inside me and I had to cherish this as I only had a couple of days left before I would forever miss carrying her inside me. I’ve started to feel better emotionally and mentally. Bell’s Palsy still there but I have accepted my fate and trying to stay positive that this will get better sooner rather than later. Trusting God for whatever he has planned for me. What does not kill me makes me stronger. And as my infinitely optimistic husband always tells me, “We are still very blessed. We have a baby coming, we have everything we need, we have a lot of people who love us and are praying for us.”
Week 40 – I couldn’t wait to get her out. We both were getting really big and it was extremely uncomfortable. My doctor said she would only wait a maximum of 7 days before inducing me. So she scheduled me to check in on the 6th day to be induced on the 7th day after my due date. The hospital later called saying they were full so they moved my induction later to check in on the 2nd day and induced on the 3rd day. She came out 4 days after her due date.
5 years and 2 miscarriages later, you’re finally here, my rainbow baby. Your name fits you perfectly. Zia Amaris. You are our light given by God. You bring hope and a reminder that after incredible storms, rainbows do appear, permitting us to open our hearts to heal and grow in love.
My whole pregnancy was a very stressful one. We got thrown with so many setbacks and problems. Looking back, I wish I was able to embrace the moments. Because when you’re in the trenches, you’re more focused on trying to survive than embracing the moment. I wish I had more faith. Faith that in those chaotic moments, things will settle. I can’t do anything about it now. I can only look forward to what’s in store for us and learn from what I went through and the sacrifices we made. And it was such a worthy sacrifice. But it wasn’t easy.