Preggo Diaries: The Blankie Story

I don’t know about you, but when you spend nine months incubating life in your womb, you begin to reflect on your own childhood. You ask your parents to share stories of their experiencesraising you. You are shown photographs and documents and if you are lucky, an actual momento, maybe the first outfit you wore, or your ID bracelet from the hospital, or maybe even a well worn out toy that you carried everywhere with you. 

I have loads of photos [perks of being the first born], but as a result of moving as a child, many of my physical momentos were lost in translation. I desperately wanted to have something of mine to pass down to my future child. But reality is… I don’t really have that…

In my search to find something meaningful to pass down, I realized I wanted it to have a sentimental value far beyond anything that could be recreated. I wanted it to infuse in itself the generations of the past and weave a story for my child and any future child of this family. I wanted the love I have always felt from my family to radiate from this *thing* I was in search for… Except, it didn’t exist. 

Then one day, I got it. I knew what I wanted for my baby. I wanted an hairloom katha [blanket]. In Bangladesh, everyone had one or a hundred growing up. A tradition that grew in the villages out of necessity, but a staple in the linen closets or rather alnas [clothing rack] of every home in villages and cities alike. 

Created by cutting a well worn cotton sharee and layering those pieces together and painstakingly straight stitching the entire area of the blanket. 

These tiny stitches that encompass the entire blanket are what makes the fabric incredibly soft to the touch and surprising warm. Usually they are made by the women of the village who are very resourceful in nature and have an indescribable amount of patience to sew in such great detail. 

I went to my mom’s linen closet to scour through our collection of katha and even though I was impressed, there just wasn’t one that I burried my nose into and felt connected to my childhood. I couldn’t really see why I would pass them on to my baby. 

I was sad. 

But not for long! I scoured some more and came upon an old cotton Sharee my Nani had left behind when she had left for Bangladesh. When I opened up the nine yards of soft well worn fabric, I smelled my Nani. The scent of her when I used to lay my head in her lap to listen to the stories she would tell my sister and I. As I examined the piece of fabric I could even see a turmeric stain left on it from her cooking for us. That’s it! This is it! I grabbed this Sharee and practically ran to my mom and requested that a katha be crafted from it as soon as possible. The problem was, who the heck did I know who could make a katha!? 

No one. 

I was sad. Again. 

But not for long! Because guess who loves a challenge? My mother! Heh.

Also the idea of my mother sewing a katha out of her own mother’s Sharee has a very transcendent quality to it. It was already part of a story. I liked that. Not surprisingly, when I brought it up with my mother, she was completely on board. She had no idea what she was doing, but she knew she wanted to do it! 

Over the next few weeks, she washed, cut and layered the old fabric… and began the process of straight stitching small stitches through the entire fabric till it was complete. 

Two generations of love weaved together that will belong to my baby. And when he asks about his childhood, I’ll tell him the Blankie story.


Preggo Diaries: I see you and I thank you…

I see you, your eyes lighting up as you are told that you are going to be a daddy. I also see that nervousness flash through your face as it all too quickly changes… It changes to a new expression that I’ve never seen before… Because it is the look of a different man. 

I see you, hustling through the aisles of the grocery store, every day,  making sure your baby-mama eats healthy and fresh and avoiding the poultry section like the plague because I just “can’t stand it’s God forsaken smell”. You don’t argue when I don’t want to eat what you’ve cooked, and get up in the middle of your meal to fix me something else. And when I breakdown because the shawarma place ran out of beef shawarma, you dutifully drive to another shawarma joint without making me feel like a crazy lady.

I see you, exhausted after a long day’s work… ready to drop on the couch for a night of relaxation. Instead, you wipe the tiredness from your eyes and you cook for us, clean and do the million little tasks that make our little household function. Every night you say, let’s go to bed a little early… And I do, but you finally drag yourself to bed at one in the morning… 

I see you, even when you go stone faced because you are worrying and struggling when you see me in pain that you are not able to make go away. You hold my hand, offer me your shoulder, or sit in silence, holding me as I go through whatever it is that I need to go through.

I see you, looking at the swell in my belly and I see you whispering little messages to your child. You have hopes, you have dreams, and I know you want to give this baby the best possible life. 

I see you, and I thank you for shattering every expectation of what I wanted you to be as a partner in this chapter of my life; and exceeding them a million times over for me, for the baby and for us. 

I love you. 


Preggo Diaries: Let’s Talk Cravings.

Scribbles From A Shahzadi

Your head starts to hurt. a slight buzz of a headache. Chalk it up to preggo symptoms. I mean we have so many things happening in our bodies… its hard to say what’s related to pregnancy and what’s not. You paddle on over to the fridge to feed yourself breakfast.  Mom’s cooking… her amazingly concocted meals packed for you laced with grandma – lovin’ for the benefit of my unborn child.
Yes.  This should cure it.  I’m full – but not satisfied.  Something is amiss.  What could it be? How about some tea.  Maybe some fruit.  Banana, my favorite, since I conceived… come to mama.  Nope. That’s not it.

By now the buzzing has stopped… and now… it’s a whiney feeling.  Like a childish nagging.  Like when your mom promised you a toy for good behavior.  I still don’t know what I am feeling like eating.  Then like a tidal wave, stronger than any urge I have ever felt, I knew… Starbucks Lemon Raspberry loaf.  The lemony crumbly spongy cake marbled with tangy raspberry jam, with a dense white icing. Perfection. 

I must have it. I must have it right now. 

But it’s 11am. Calm down, let the hubz know, he’ll grab one on the way home from work. Simple. 

11:07am. What? It’s 11:07? Why is time only inching forward?  Maybe a nap. Yes. A nap is always a good idea. 

3:51pm. That nap was unsatisfactory. My face is feeling warm. My eyes brimming with tears… LEMON RASPBERRY LOAF.  LEMON RASPBERRY LOAF. LEMON RASPBERRY LOAF. I might die if I don’t have a bite. 

I might actually die. 

That’s it. I’m not going to wait. That 6 minute walk to my neighbourhood Starbucks was a 17 minute pregnant waddle. But I made it. I bought three slices. 

I broke off a piece. It had what seemed like the perfect ratio of cake to jam to icing. I was in heaven. I died, and went to heaven. 

Preggo cravings. I get it now. 

Preggo Diaries: What no one could have told me about being a preggo

It was probably around the 6 week mark.

After the initial shock and excitement of finding out that I was knocked up, I went into a trance almost.  everything seemed to slow down for me.  I was very aware of EVERYTHING around me.  My sense of smell – all time high.  My sense of taste – all kinds of crazy.  I was not able to eat most days.  This was a huge concern for me because… if you know me, I love to eat.  Also, all my life, I was under the impression that you get to “eat for two” – um. This is practically a right when you get pregnant! Isn’t it? Apparently not for me.

Early in my pregnancy, the hormones were raging and basically my body had no idea how to handle it.  I had never walked this path before.  Every day, I would wake up and get nauseous.  At first, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal seeing as I knew that most pregnant women go through some sort of nausea.  What no one could have told me about being a preggo was that in my particular case I would experience the following:

  • Extreme fatigue – I felt like my head was like an anvil and I just needed to sleep.  I would sleep any time i would see a bed, couch, car seat.  No one could keep me interested in staying awake.
  •  Migraines – my head would consistently hurt, and over the course of the day I would experience a full blown migraine complete with sound sensitivity.
  • ALL DAY sickness – I would wake up and the first thing I would do was throw up. Then anything I consumed over the course of the day would also be thrown up within fifteen minutes of consumption. Some days, this would really alarm me as I was concerned that I was not eating enough for my baby to be developing!  My mom was instrumental in telling me to suck it up and keep eating small meals, anything I could keep down, even if I only held it down for a little while.  It got to the point where I was throwing up about 14 times a day.  NO ONE TOLD ME THAT I WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS!  See, for most people, the nausea and vomiting is not that horrible.  In my case in particular, this was my reality.  At the most extreme stage, I had to go to the hospital and get saline hydration treatment for 14 days.  This means I was hooked up to an IV for four hours a day to pump me full of fluids as I was throwing up so much I wasn’t able to keep any solids or liquids down.  No one could have prepared me for this as it’s different for everyone.
  • Sensitivity to smell – For the last six months, I had not been able to cook or be around when onions are being sautéed! And chicken? Forget about it! Chicken in the bane of my existence at this point in time. Who discovered that you could eat these foul? ( see what I did there? ;) My sister says that pregnancy has made me funnier lol) 
  • Effects of weather – Canadian weather is bipolar. One day it’s 20 degrees and sunny, thirty minutes later it’s 6 degrees and hailing golfballs. This is turn has turned my mood swings on to full throttle!  I feel myself get so happy sand chipper when the sun comes out but I feel like the world is going to crumble to smithereens the moment a dark cloud approaches in the distance! I know it’s super dramatic, it’s truly how I feel! Oh God! 

The point of writing this post was to kind of cronicle my experiences through this and open up the dialogue for other preggos/mommies to share their experiences. 

What did you experience in your pregnancy that you could never have known till you went through it? 


Preggo Diaries: How Pregnancy had left me speechless!

In the last 24 weeks, I have watched my whole world flip on its axis.

Dramatic statement? Yes.

Exaggeration? No.

Let me explain. I am by nature an over-sharing individual. I am all about talking about how events in life effect me in big ways and in little ways, but when I came to know that the hubz and I were expecting our first child I literally was thrown into the whirlwind that is pregnancy.

The hubz and I had just started to talk about potentially adding a baby to our little yet crazy world. I mean we had JUST talked about it a month before I got knocked up so to speak…

Then in December of 2014, I was feeling under the weather and super unlike myself. I was told by a friend to take a test just to rule out pregnancy… But then the two lines appeared in the three minute wait time.

Our whole world changed in that three minutes. He was over the moon and so was I but that was the beginning of my speechlessness.

I told my parents soon after we found out! Read: over-sharing I mean I managed to stay mum for a week before I had to find a cute way to tell them! I gave my mom, dad and sister a onsie and they were all so happy they did not stop crying tears of joy for a while…
Over the next few weeks, I went through classic pregnancy symptoms, nausea, morning all day sickness, lack of appetite, I was always exhausted, needing to eat very bland food… It wasn’t very exciting.

I wanted to tell people what I was going through but I wasn’t able to put it into words. The fact that I was carrying life was a daunting idea to wrap my head around. It was really humbling. In those initial moments when my body was not doing what I wanted it to, it basically went into a mode I frankly did not know it could ever go into. I was a carrier for this mass of cells working hard to flourish… And I had to do its bidding.

The first 15 weeks of my pregnancy were next to hellish. It took me completely by surprise. Zombie is the only word I can use to describe what I was living. This is a whole new topic, one I want to cover in a blog post all on its own. Let’s just say, that I am super glad I can eat food now.

I am happy to say I am almost through my second trimester and I couldn’t be more happy with the way the baby is developing! MashAllah.

I am happy to say that over the last 24 weeks I have been sort of in a reflective state. Withdrawing from my need to over share on Facebook and Instagram and just lived the moments in this time, I have learned so much about myself, my husband, my family, my life in general that I would not have known otherwise.

As I come to understand this whole experience I realize how important it is to share my experience. I know that every pregnancy is different, each mother is unique in the road she takes in her pregnancy, but I feel like there are a lot of similarities that should be shared and that is my goal for this series of entries!

Please send me your prayers and good vibes as you read more about my journey and I hope that I am able to at least speak to one mom-to-be in her walk towards a new chapter in life.

Goodbye 2014

It’s occurred to me that over the last year so much has happened that I don’t want to remember. The last year has been a roller coaster of peaks and valleys. Most of which has been an internal struggle for me, as I always pictured myself as someone who was fairly put together, however as the days unraveled in the year 2014, it became painfully obvious that I was on a search to find myself, again.

Having a few years of marriage under my belt I found myself searching for the individual that I thought I was. Somewhere along the way I realized that I am not what I wanted to be, I am not who I wanted to be, and I’m not doing things the way I wanted to do. And after much thinking I realized that… it’s okay.
It isn’t necessary to be who you wanted to be, or do what you wanted to do because somewhere along the line, life takes you for the ride that life is and I realize that in life has a plan for me. It takes a lot for me to admit I’m not in control, because if you know me, you know that I am a total control freak I need to plan crap out of everything.

So as I close out the year 2014 I want to admit that I am not in control and my life is uncertain and I know that the next year will be a whole new ball game of challenges.

But I am feeling optimistic.

This year has shown me so many things I am fortunate to have in my life, I have a beautiful family, an amazing husband who pulls out all the stops to make me laugh every single day… I have so many blessings that Allah has dropped into my life this year, that although it has been a challenging year for my personal growth, I cannot forget the happiness.

So many good things are going to grace us in 2015. I am excited. I am nervous. But most of all, I’m ready.

I wish all of us a fantastic new year! May all our hopes and dreams become a reality this coming year.


I Need Some Sleep

The pain is a buzzing pain.  It’s a kind of pain that happens in the background. It does not come to the forefront for me to be able to resolve it.  It taunts me, doesn’t leave me alone.  It’s been following me around like a dark cloud.  I wake up with it.  I go to sleep to try to escape it.  I try to distract myself but nothing seems to make a difference.  I feel entirely by myself in this struggle.  Although I know that people are around me,  I am missing a part of me.

That void is creating this pain.

I don’t feel whole.  And that is something that is so hard to deal with.  I just don’t get it.

I have a wonderful family.  I have amazing parents, the perfect little sister, a great hubzter and not to mention the countless other individuals in my life that want good for me.  But I can’t shake this incredible feeling of spiraling further into a hole that I am afraid I might not be able to get out of.

It’s odd.  I don’t ever recall feeling so helpless and sad before in my life.  I am really trying to see the silver lining in my life, but I am just failing to do so.

Can sadness physically hurt? I know that my life is not progressing the way I had once planned… I know I had wanted to be in a different place, professionally and personally.  Neither of which are going my way as a result of forces I have absolutely no control over.  So if I know that I have no control over these aspects of my life, why am I feeling bent out of shape?  Why am I so unable to cope with this lack of direction?

This is by far the worst point in my life.  The idea that happiness is just a pipe dream is really taking a toll on me.  I didn’t want to write an entry on a blog, and open myself up to my family and friends and strangers alike.

I didn’t want to be judged or pitied.

But this is not letting me sleep.

I need some sleep.