Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
This story comes from a very dear and sweet couple. I know them personally and love them so much! I am so honored that they have shared their story here. It's one that brings tears and a smile at the same time. It's tragic, yet beautiful. I am truly inspired by their absolute faith in Allah and I pray that their story reaches other families as a comfort and guidance in times of loss.
May Allah bless them and provide for a healthy pregnancy, birth, mother, and baby soon. May their baby grow to be a pious Muslim, pleasing to Allah (SWT) and his/her parents! AMEEN!
I hope you enjoy reading these birth stories. Please let me know if you'd like to share yours. Now on to the story...Absolute faith!...
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In The Name Of Allah
The Beneficent, The Most Merciful
I have read many pregnancy stories and each one is uniquely different and beautiful in their own way. Mother (to be) in agonizing pain, father (to be) in panic figuring out just what to do. Sometimes swift and easy other times painful and messy, but they mostly end with baby in mother’s arms and with a picturesque moment to finish. My story however is beautiful in a tragic way.
My name is Salihah I’m 26 and from London. My husband Umar is 27 from New York. We have been married over 2 years now and are living in Egypt. We had just arrived in Egypt in November 2009 and had almost given up hope of conceiving as we had been trying to for over a year with one miscarriage and then nothing, month after disappointing month. I always remained making constant dua (supplication) to Allah to grant me a righteous child and to make me pleased with his decree.
One day some friends were having a traditional treatment called cupping and invited me to join them and I had always wanted to have it done so I went. The very next month we conceived.
My pregnancy story begins of course with me finding out that I was pregnant, Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). It was December of 2009 and the normal story of a missed period and a pregnancy test turning out to be positive. We were both very excited until the first ultrasound revealed a womb full of uterine fibroids. I had always noticed a lump here and there from time to time, but they went away after using the bathroom so naturally I thought it was just a full bladder. You can imagine the shock on all of our faces, including the doctor. I was 6 weeks pregnant and she let us know that this pregnancy was going to be a difficult one IF it went to term, and she stressed that “if”. She said the biggest hurdle would be to get to the 16th week. We could tell in her face that she didn’t believe the fibroids would allow the pregnancy to go on for long, but as firm believers in Allah we knew anything was possible.
I rarely take pharmaceutical medicine. I believe in natural remedies, maybe the occasional headache tablet because I suffer from migraine headaches. She put me on an unhealthy diet of prescription pills and periodic injections to keep the pregnancy in place. This kind of pregnancy is a very expensive one, lol. Regardless, we trusted and listened to her and did what she said. Alhamdulillah, there was no real morning sickness, just occasional nausea, or no real aversions to food, maybe a little to my husband, lol. I would get pain from time to time where the fibroids were growing and stretching the stomach further and I spotted every day for 3 months. But really I felt good. I had energy and was not too sleepy. Well, compared to other stories I heard I felt good and energetic.
We visited the doctor once a month. Every visit seeming like we had dodged another bullet. The monthly ultrasounds had relieved our worries of the worst; even our doctor seemed to breathe a little bit easier each time. We could tell this was going to be a fight to the end.
At the beginning of the forth month those time to time stomach annoyances had turned into severe pain in my lower abdomen. We assumed that it was my body stretching to make room for the growing baby because, what else could it have been? After contacting our doctor and explaining the situation, we were informed that the fibroids were trying to expel the pregnancy.
We were then directed to the nearest pharmacy for a Progesterone injection which would relax the uterine muscles and buy us some time. The next day we went for a checkup and the ultrasound showed everything to be fine.
The next few weeks were pretty uneventful, just the same cramp here, nausea there routine. In this time I discovered that cupping is an actual treatment for uterine fibroids and only Allah could have guided me to that group of sisters having it done that faithful day, although the treatment should be done before and not during pregnancy. Week 16 had come and gone without a problem and I was so relieved at the prospect of it being smooth sailing from here on out. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was the last few days of my 22nd week. I had woken up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. I went to the bathroom to freshen up and see if the pain would subside, but it didn’t. I couldn’t lie down and had to sit upright. All of my prayers were made where ever I was perched up at the time. I could hardly sleep more than an hour at a time. I remember praying to Allah and asking him for patience through this trial and I was trying my hardest not to think about the pain I was in. It continued all day and my husband had to help me do everything around the house because there was NO way I was doing anything.
This went on for the next 3 days. The entire time I was thinking that this was the difficult pregnancy the doctor had been trying to avoid. On the 3rd day we had gone to see the doctor for a checkup. Once again, everything with the baby seemed to be ideal and the problem was only with me and my overly packed womb. And once again I was given a list of goodies to go pick up at the local pharmacy which included Progesterone suppositories instead of the injections that we could use at home. Her main concern that visit was that we know the signs of labor so we “don’t have the baby on the floor”. We left that visit not having the slightest clue what lie ahead.
The next day around Asr (afternoon) my husband was getting ready to leave to go to the Mosque for prayer. I told him that he couldn’t go anywhere because I needed him home, so he stayed. I felt such sharp pains in my lower back that I was in tears. They were close together and I could only imagine that this is what contractions must feel like. I had hot flashes that forced me to strip down almost naked. I felt a tremendous pressure building up like I had to use the bathroom “really badly”. I tried to stand to make my way to the bathroom and I immediately fell to my knees. My husband was on the phone with the doctor as I crawled my way to the bathroom. I had this undeniable need to push, as if my body was forcing me to. I removed my underwear not knowing what was going to happen next and as soon as I did… my water broke.
The look on the face of my husband was that of pure horror as he held the phone in his hand with the doctor still giving instructions and his jaw on the floor. He yelled, “sister, she’s bleeding everywhere she’s gonna have the baby here on the floor!” Ironically this is what she was trying to prepare us for the previous day. We have come to learn that whatever Allah wills, will happen regardless of how much you try to avoid it. As Umar tried to get some help over the phone I gave a good push to reveal the head of my son Yusuf, still in the sack. Another good push released him into the world. Since he was premature he was smaller than a full term baby, but still big enough (just under 1lb and as long as 2 hand lengths).
I thanked Allah for relieving me of such a horrible pain and began to open the sack which had not completely broken. Yusuf came out of the sack and gave a little cry and then remained silent. The placenta followed not to long after that. First Umar recited the Adhan in the right ear and the Iqamma in the left ear (calls to prayer) as is the tradition of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when a child is born. Certain chapters in the Qur’an make the souls passing easier so we recited these over our son.
We were definitely not prepared for this so we tied his umbilical cord with some thread and Umar cut it with the kitchen scissors. I told you we weren’t prepared! Umar cleaned up what can only be described as a murder scene. Now if you know anything about my husband, you know that he cannot stand the sight of blood or child birth or anything of this nature. He cannot even stand to hear about it or watch it on TV without covering his eyes and ears wanting to run away, but he bravely sat there and cleaned up every last drop that fell from me. I know this was one of the hardest experiences of his life and he handled it perfectly Alhamdulilah. Yusuf fought strong for 2 hours, but then eventually Allah took his soul in his father’s arms.
Some of you who read this might be sadder than we were. In Islam we believe that a child taken before puberty is rewarded with Paradise right away and is not judged for his/her actions. Also, parents who lose their children before puberty have their children intercede for them on the Day of Judgment. This comforted us while our friends and family were more devastated than we were. We try our best to see the bright side to every situation because trust me; there is always a brighter side. We just thanked Allah that the 2 hours our son Yusuf was alive, the 3 of us were all together at home comfortably and not in some hospital with nurses and doctors taking him away from us only to come to find out that he passed away with strangers. This was our bright side and we were thankful for every minute with him.
We had no choice but to keep him with us the entire night. The following morning some brothers came over to pray the funeral prayer with Umar. After that a Sheikh that Umar knows came to take us to get the birth and death records to take to the cemetery. I did not go, but our son was buried in Mandara cemetery in Alexandria, Egypt.
We reflect on this story with a smile knowing that our son is in the one place that we pray to get to everyday. I just pray Allah allows us to get there so we can be with him, Ameen.