The Little Things

I’m a full time working mother and wife. My alarm goes off at 6:15 am every morning, and ironically my 11 month old is sitting upright in his crib ready for action at 6:18 am. Note, even if I get up earlier or later, within 3 minutes, he is too. So I attend to him first. I change his diaper, dress him up, give him some milk, then pass him on to his father so that I can get ready.Meanwhile, I’m pumping milk for while he’s with grandma, getting dressed, preparing breakfast, and double checking … [Read more...]

Modesty

There are plenty of large and fancy shopping malls located in Jeddah, but the biggest and most extravagant are the ones in the northern part of the city where most of the wealthy families live. A couple of these malls happen to be near my daughter Maryam’s home, so she goes there for grocery and other shopping. With seven children and ten mouths to feed at home, you can imagine that Maryam has to shop frequently, and she’s quite familiar with the grocery stores and clothing shops and the types of … [Read more...]

My Struggle With Infertility III

Part IIIWell, ALHAMDULLILLAH, I didn’t have to do a second round, because I became pregnant. Alhamdullillah.I was now having ultrasounds done almost weekly and I will never forget when I saw the heartbeat on the screen. My doctor said to me, “It looks like we got it right this time!” With every week that passed and no miscarriage, my doctor was feeling more and more assured that this pregnancy was healthy. After my first trimester passed, she transferred my care over to an obste … [Read more...]

My Struggle With Infertility II

Part IIAt my follow-up appointment where we would discuss our options, my doctor mentioned to me that this radiological procedure which I had done was not always 100% accurate. She wanted to perform a surgery on me which would be for completely diagnostic purposes; to either confirm the results of the radiological procedure or to adjust the diagnosis. I went through with the surgery, and lo and behold-my tubes were fine!! I was confused, but relieved.Around this same time, my husband … [Read more...]

My Struggle with Infertility

When I got married at 19 years old, I didn’t expect or even plan on trying to have children right away. I was in college and my husband was just starting his career here in the US. But as a result of a routine doctor appointment, I happen to find out that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)-a condition that would make it very difficult for us to conceive, we were told (and that doctor was right). So, even though we weren’t planning on trying to conceive for some time, it suddenly became hig … [Read more...]

Old Friend

Procrastinating, I checked my SPAM folder, telling myself maybe something got misfiled. One thing led to another, and soon enough I was browsing an Islamic education website – the children’s section of course. And then there it was – the familiar name that appeared as the author of a new charming children’s book. I looked at the name again and realized that it was my old friend who had moved away about a year after both of our first children were born -over seven years ago now.Ours was an ins … [Read more...]

There’s No Other Name for Mama

I see her in the spaces she no longer occupies. Every room still holds outlines of her presence, and as I walk in, I feel like I just missed her. When I am still enough, I feel her being superimposed inside me; and she is breathing through my pores. Sometimes I want to rage against the thin veil that separates us. I know she is just on the other side, not so far away that her scent no longer lingers.Yet she is gone. And the irrevocable nature of her journey beckons me to examine mine. I … [Read more...]

Reason Number (insert high number here) I’m Grateful To Be Muslim

A generation ago there were two brothers in my family (my grandmother’s brothers). One was a laborer. The other was a doctor. They were both married. They were both alcoholics. The laborer lost his life to a failed liver (a direct result of his alcoholism). The doctor took his own life leaving behind his wife and children (although it is impossible to know the exact reason he committed this act, the increased depression that resulted from his addiction to alcohol was undoubtedly a f … [Read more...]

One kid, Two Kids, Three Kids

I’m not sure when it starts, but at one point in a girl’s life she wishes, “I want to have ___ kids!”  She may even go further by saying how many boys and how many girls, and what she wants to name them.Then she gets married. And oh the pressures of having a baby or getting pregnant and when! Does she still have the same wish she did long ago?I remember saying I wanted four children. And if Allah would give me two boys and two girls, I would be so happy because that would be so perfect! … [Read more...]

Just A Snapshot

Although Fall is my favorite season I do love summer. Warm sunshine, BBQ’s and festivals make my world go ‘round during the summer months. Last year my family and I attended the annual Muslim Summer Festival with thousands of other Ottawans.It takes place at a park that backs on to a beach and with the 30-degree (celsius) weather we were having that day, I was certainly glad to take a break from the park and frolic in the water with my daughter. After some splish-splashing fun we decided t … [Read more...]