I lay on the cold steel gurney covered by a flimsy blue cottoned cloth. The cold penetrated not just my bones, but it seeped into my soul too. The light above my head was too loud although it had no voice. It blinded me and I couldn’t see anything or anyone. All that I was able to do was to lie there, wrapped in waves of shivers, listening to their voices as they spoke about me.
” Its time”, the doctor said.
“But she’s not ready”!, Suhail said sounding concerned.
” Please! let him wait outside”, the doctor’s tone was harsh and it cut through my ears like the blades of scissors cut through winters dry grass.
I tried to speak but my mouth wouldn’t part. It felt like my lips were sewn together! I wanted to ask what was going on! No one seemed to notice the frantic look on my face. It was as though I was merely a specimen, laying there as they probed and discussed me.
” She’ll never make it out alive”! The nurse said with a grunt. ” Just another one down the drain”.
“Suction”, the doctor said extending his hand.
My heart was pounding but I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t move! My baby! What are they doing to my baby! Tears began streaming out of the corners of my eyes and I could feel their warmth soaking into my cheeks. I could feel my body shudder and heave as I grieved another loss. But they couldn’t see my distress.
Suhail shook me awake frantically but the tears were still wet on my cheeks.
“Its a dream”, he whispered and kissed my eyes holding me close. But I still cried. It felt so real. The pain in my chest, the tears on my cheeks, even the emptiness and ache in my womb, they were all so real. When I closed my eyes, I could still see and hear the bright light from my dream shouting incoherently at me, but when I opened them, the room was silent and dark.
I dreamed this dream over and over again and when I wasn’t dreaming about losing my baby, I was day dreaming about holding one in my arms.
In those days, I remember wanting a baby so badly that I would have done anything, anything that it took, to get one. I thought that I needed a baby to feel complete and whole. Everyone around me seemed to attack me even when they weren’t attacking me. If they said anything it came across as an attack! If they didn’t say anything, I saw it as another form of attacking, a silent attack. My life was dark and gloomy but most of the darkness was caused by me not allowing the sunshine in. And I am only able to see and understand that now after time has passed. Time has been a remedy for centuries, since time began in fact. Human beings are just too hasty to see it, to feel it.
We fixate and focus our gaze for so long on the closed doors that we’re too blinded to notice the open doors right behind us! I was blind to all the blessings that I had, focusing only on what I did not have! I took for granted that I was healthy, that I was protected daily, that I had a home, a husband, a family and people who cared about me. I had eemaan, I could use my tongue and my tears to call out to Allah. But that’s just the nature of human beings. That’s why they always say that we’ll never be able to count our blessings even if we tried to, because its impossible to focus on them for long enough.
People will always try your patience or test you. They’ll always say the wrong thing’s, do the wrong thing’s, get a reaction out of you or even react to what others say to them or about them. Again, it’s just how insaan is and how he was designed to be. So while the world asked me question after question, passing comment and advice after more comments and unwanted advices, the years, they passed me by too. Sometimes they moved achingly slowly, sometimes they were like the summer clouds and I didn’t notice them passing by at all.
I never did move out of my mother in law’s house, in the end I couldn’t force Suhail to do that. I could see how it pained him to leave his mother. I gritted my teeth, I prayed to Allah to make it bearable and I stayed in the only home that I knew other than my parent’s home.
Sometimes life is unbearable and sometimes we’re able to bear some of it, with patience of course. I had learned countless life lessons from this one specific trial of mine. While being deprived, or so it felt, of having a child, my thirst and want to mother and nurture became acute and led me to seek that role in every which way that I could and when I was deprived again or more, the thirst and the want just heightened making my chase and pursuit of it more and more and so I learned that for as long as we chase the world, it will forever run in the opposite direction of us. I read somewhere that naseeb(one’s lot in life) comes in many forms, sometimes its through loss or deprivation. This was my naseeb and Allah alone knew why.
Eventually I gave up trying for a baby. Alayna, my baby girl that I would never meet. Eight years of marriage, 1 chemical pregnancy that everyone ruled out as a phantom pregnancy instead, and still no Alayna to smile at or to kiss. Suhail had made peace with our situation and I tried to do the same but it wasn’t easy and I failed almost every time that I tried. Eventually the questions about having a baby got lesser. But every time that we visited a new life, a new baby, it always seemed as though the world had faded out and for a bit it was only Suhail and I carrying a little life in our hands. We marveled at how they smelled, we cherished how they smiled, how they slept, how they looked. We kissed their fingers, gently touching their perfect nose and toes. We were lost in a world no one around us could see, feel or understand.
We had tried every conceivable thing to conceive a baby. Every type of treatment, every drug, every plant and every herb. Eventually people stopped asking us questions and instead, they lowered their eyes, gave a sympathetic smile and ruled us out as one of those who would never have children. “Shame”, they sometimes said. Shame? Of course it was and is a shame for every women who cannot conceive but please remember that we don’t need to be quizzed and reminded about it.
Eventually I built up a resistance and I didn’t care what people thought or even what they said anymore. Aamina had three kids, Shenaz had three too. While they complained about the lack of time and me-time or naughty toddlers, I had plenty of time to do all the things that I’ve always wanted to do. This too was a blessing that I was blinded to. Suhail and I visited some parts of the world, the parts others can only dream of. And that is how life is, it’s how it will always be. You’ll want what I have and I’ll want what you have. Suhail and I grew closer as a couple and closer as human beings. We grew closer to Allah too, alhamdulillah. Its so easy to turn away from Him when denied something for so many years. Its always easier to give up than it is to persevere, to continue to ask and to be grateful…
My life was filled but then again it was also empty. I didn’t wait to fall pregnant anymore, I considered myself like a barren desert that nothing could ever grow within. I think that I was numb. I felt nothing anymore and I just lived as best as I could, as best as I knew.
But that all changed the day that a telephone call startled me in the middle of a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, unexpected, unplanned and when she said, ” I have a baby for you”, It felt like I fell through the ground.
Who has called with a baby? And who’s baby is it? What does this mean for Suraya and Suhail?