We’ve all done it, whether intentionally and out loud or in our minds and hearts. We’ve questioned a happening. Why? Why me? Why now?
I was 25 weeks into my first pregnancy when things took a turn for the worst. Or so I thought, at the time. Baby’s movements came to a sudden halt. That’s when what I like to call “the stubborn why” began. I was calling the doctors frantically, demanding an answer. I was seen every day that week, but no one was able to satisfy my desperate need for answers. “Baby’s fine, just sleeping” they would say. “Great heart beats,” they’d repeat. And that is when the stubborn why started to spread and ache my mind and heart. Things weren’t fine, I wanted to yell out. I know what I feel!
And I did. The week ended. Key word, ended. I was sent to the hospital to be monitored, perhaps since the office staff was tired of hearing my complaints.
“No heart beats,” were the last three words I heard. For a few moments, I couldn’t even cry, let alone speak. All I could hear and think about was a screaming “why?!” inside of me.
The rest is history, as they say. I was induced and was in labor for nearly 30 hours. Thirty painful hours. Not so much physical pain as it was mental. I would sleep and wake up, almost forgetting where I was and why. My mother and even my husband were more like still objects. The nurses and doctors would come in and out to check on me, but I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the aching “why”. Oh how stubborn that “why” could be. All until it was over. Or I now like to think of it as when it all began.
I gave stillbirth to my first child, a most beautiful child, an angel rather, lovely, tiny, doll-like, baby girl. That is when I was clear and free of any question. As I looked down at the wonderful gift I was holding, I found myself whispering “alhamdulellah”. I felt blessed, even though my blessing was not breathing. Allah tests us in all sorts of means, and this was my test. It has made me stronger, more grateful, and closer to Allah. May Allah give us patience and rid us of the stubborn why.
Hoda is a wife and a mother to a stillborn daughter in heaven and an almost one year old son. She is an elementary school teacher in public school and lives in Virginia.