Almost 4 years ago while I was expecting Maymoonah I had become extremely unwell. I remember feeling sick throughout my pregnancy, not just in the morning but all day and all night. But I could never actually throw up as I was not eating anything either. My weight plummeted to below 6 stones despite being pregnant and for the most part I would just try to sleep most of the day, I felt that at least if I was asleep, I would not be feeling so sick. I would wake up only to pray. I'm sure it was a miserable time for my husband too. I completely lost track of time, day and night seemed the same for me and one day when I received a phone call from a sister I didn't know very well, I asked her why on earth she was calling me at 3 o clock at night! (It was actually only afternoon.) She asked me, "Sister, are you okay? Do you need help?" She asked so many times I think I actually fell asleep on the phone while she was talking to me.
I avoided visiting my mum as I knew she would try to force me to eat, and she would also try to tempt me with my favorite foods. Curry was the last thing I wanted to smell. My poor husband would try to cook for himself and then have to face me complaining about the smells and the mess in my kitchen. Looking back - I was such a misery guts that if I had to live with me I would have probably left!
One day I woke up and thought to myself I need to get out and feel some fresh air. I rang a friend and asked her to meet me. At the time we lived in quite a multicultural area and there were many takeaways and fast food places all around us.
My husband seemed very surprised to see me dressed and I told him where I would be going and who with in case he needed to contact me.
I left the house and walked to the end of our street, managing to get to the bus stop. All of a sudden I felt like I couldn't breath properly and felt completely engulfed by the smell of curry - the worst possible smell for me at the time. I remember thinking that I needed to get way from this smell and trying to find my way home but everything seemed to be spinning around me, the shops, the people, the cars - they all seemed blurred. I can't really remember what happened after that, the next thing I remember is being placed by somebody on our doorstep, my husband took me inside and thanked the person and after that I was taken to hospital.
Alhamdulillah Allah brought me through all of that and my birth was by the mercy of Allah relatively straightforward, quick and easy. My second pregnancy was pretty much the same but by then I had learnt that the way to avoid the continuing sick feeling is to actually eat something. It doesn't make it go way but if you eat and then throw up at least you feel some relief for a little while. Also this time I couldn't sleep at all since I already had Maymoonah who was 1 years old at the time, I just learnt to get on with things and spent a lot of time at my mums.
Nobody seems to believe me (except my husband) when I say I would rather actually go through the birth process a few times in a row than go though 9 months of morning sickness!
We know that it is a promise of Allah mentioned in the Qur'an that: "After hardship comes ease. Indeed after hardship comes ease." But quite often after we feel the ease we tend to forget the hardship.
Today I was shopping at the local supermarket with my husband and the girls. A young man who works at the supermarket approached me in the aisle and smiled at me. At first I thought he was just asking me if I needed any help. He repeated himself: "Do you remember me?"
I looked at him and wondered if I had perhaps worked with him at some point in my life or whether he had been at the same college or Uni with me.
"About 3 years ago... You fainted on the road. I took you home.... I recognized your husband." He indicated towards my husband who was down the aisle.
He waited for my husband to approach us and introduced himself to him. "Is this the one?" He patted Maymoonah on the head, (my husband must have told him after he took me home that day that I was pregnant).
I felt really embarrassed to meet him and probably will not want to bump into him again, but at the same time it was a reminder for me to thank Allah for His mercy, that He had bought me through such testing times for me and has given me ease - so much so that if it wasn't for meeting this young man I would not have even remembered that time of hardship in my life.
I also felt relieved to know that this young man, whom Allah entrusted with looking after me (my unborn child and anything else I had with me,) that day was a decent Muslim man.
My husband told me that his name is Ihsaan.