Two blue lines

When we first learned of our pregnancy, my husband and I were shocked. Flabbergasted. It had only been a month to the wedding and the news hit us like a storm. I recall staring at the pregnancy test strip and strangely hoping it to change. Telling myself in my mind that gadgets like these may very well lie. My husband looked up reviews of it online and said people are bashing the product-makers left, right and centre. Oh well, we convinced each other to go in for a reconfirmation with a doctor.

The doctor welcomed me in her room with a warm smile. A couple of very straight-forward questions, and she gave a positive verdict. The test had yet to be done. I kept thinking in my head – “is this really happening?”, “am I ready for this?.” Test done. Positive outcome. I came out of the door and looked at my husband. He knew, of course. Huge smiles on our faces. We shared a warm, trembly hug.

This was a day before my husband’s birthday. I had planned a party for his friends. No wonder, I would feel exhausted at the smallest of tasks. I decided on a rather simple menu: chicken casserole, chicken cheese balls, some spiced up fruit chat, and a birthday cake. I managed to do all of it in a couple of hours on the day. The guests loved what was served. Pretty much everything was gone in a few minutes. The picture you see here is a candid shot of us toward the end of the day. My back was quite literally killing me. This is us sharing a moment. Keeping a secret. Probably the biggest news of our lives ever. “Happy birthday, dear husband,” I said sarcastically. “Your gift will be here in a few months.”

That night, my husband sensed my worry. We weren’t quite settled then. Baby was due in the same week as his final exams of his final semester. He held me and said, “If Allah has blessed us with this baby, He surely thinks we are capable of taking care of him.” I smiled, still uncertain how things would work.

In the days that followed, I found going to my 9 to 6 job tougher. The one-hour long commute to and fro work would drive me up the wall. I would question life and think about the sudden change. Not being close to family was also quite upsetting. Perhaps, hormonal imbalance was taking a toll too.

Then, one day, I met someone who shared with me his story. A cab driver who had been married to the love of his life for 6 years. He had no children, he said.

“We have been trying sis,” he said. “You lucky. Ma sha Allah.” “So soon.”

I smiled and said, “Allah will bless you too in sha Allah.”

He replied, “My wife. Miscarriage, sis. Three time.”

I did not know what to say to him. “I am so sorry,” I said.

“One child lost at 8 month of pregnancy,” he said. He was in tears. I was quiet.

“It’s okay sis. When Allah wants,” he reassured himself.

I said to him, “I will pray for you, brother.”

“Thank you sis. Thank you very much. Allah listen to your prayer, in sha Allah,” he said.

In that minimal conversation I had with him, I learned one of the best lessons in my life: you really do not know what you have until it’s gone.

So often we take our blessings for granted because we have been given them so very easily. We did not have to strive for them, toil for them, or beg for them. Maybe, if we did, we would be a little more grateful, a little more humble.

In front of me, then, was someone who had lost something, over and over again. Something I was just not valuing enough. I forgot my minor pains, swollen feet, itchiness, gaseousness, etc and sincerely thanked Allah for MY gift. I prayed for him and his wife to get what they so eagerly desire.

Here’s to those who have lost a child, those who have suffered the pain of still births, those who have tried endlessly yet failed, those who are under treatment, may Allah bless you. May you be rewarded in abundance for all that you went through. You are the real warriors and you will get through this.

This story is submitted by Sidra Ayub

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