Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Photo Credit: Ben Earwicker www.garrisonphoto.org/sxc
My last post, Seek Allah in Pregnancy Loss touched many readers who have experienced the loss of their unborn child May Allah grant them ease and provide peace and may their children who have gone before them meet them at the gates of Jannah.
I am honored to share this story from one such mother who also shared some excellent reminders on my Saudi Life Motherhood column this week, The Blessings of a Lost Child.
It's a blessing to remember the mercy of Allah and the divinity of HIS plan. May we all be as strong in our remembrance during times of emotional and physical pain and loss...Ammen.
Please contact me if you'd like to share your story...may you find peace and blessings in the words below...The Shock and Lessons of Losing a Child...
It was the morning of the 6th of May 2008. I had my English Literature Exam that morning at University and was a bit nervous yet happy at the same time because it was the last exam I had before I was finished with that semester and waiting on the Arrival of my baby. I was only 34-35 weeks pregnant so I was supposed to have been finished with school and had just enough time to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy and continue to prepare myself for labour and delivery.
On this particular morning, things seemed to be going normal, got up, prayed, had the usual morning talk with my husband before he goes to work. But then, literally about 5 minutes after my husband walked out the door I got an excruciating pain in my abdomen! I literally curled up in pain on the side of the bed until it had passed, because I honestly thought it was just really really bad gas pain – just worse than I was accustomed to.
When the pain subsided I thought nothing of it and simply went to use to washroom. This time, when I wiped, I saw Blood! I checked again to make sure where it came from. When I was sure, I called my mother (we live in the same house) and told her. She was very excited as we both thought the baby was on its way – Just arriving early that was all. I was so nervous and afraid because I wasn’t prepared. I called my husband and within one hour’s time we were at the hospital, which was about 9 am.
In the examination room, the midwives hooked me up to the baby heart monitor machine. I didn’t know what was going on, except it was just taking a really long time to find the baby’s heart beat. I wasn’t too concerned at that moment because I thought possibly my baby was in distress and we would possibly need to do a c-section and get the baby out “safe and sound”. It wasn’t until I saw that the midwife called my mother and father into the room area that I realized ‘ok, maybe something isn’t right’ but even at THAT moment I didn’t think the worst!
My husband was by my side all the while as he called his parents to let them know what was going on. We recited Qur’an for our baby, and for ourselves to help us to find some comfort and in hopes that our baby would respond and make some movement. It seemed they had an idea before I did that something was definitely not right, and my in-laws made their way to the hospital in no time.
We waited on the ultrasound technician for what seemed like forever to arrive to see what was going on with my baby. After about an hour and a half of arrival to the hospital, the ultrasound tech finally arrived and started the procedure. I remember being very nervous as the lights in the room was dimmed, my husband was at my side holding my hand and my family just outside the door waiting for some word. I remember not hearing any sound coming from the ultrasound machine – usually I would hear my baby’s heartbeat – but this time, silence. The technician was also solemn as she did not know how to give us the news. I turned to her and with great hoping and yearning in my voice, I asked “is the baby alive??” Even in that moment I didn’t think my baby was gone. I asked yet again “is my baby alive??” and then finally she replied “No, Rochelle, the baby isn’t alive”.
“WHAT??” was the only word I remember coming out of my lips as I stared up at the ceiling, my entire body in a state of shock. That moment was the worst moment of my life, and I felt as though I had no emotions. I remember hearing my mother calling out to us for some word of confirmation that everything was fine, and as the technician made her way out the door and she informed my family of our baby’s death, I heard my mother screaming and crying hysterically. I also heard my sister-in-law crying.
My immediate concern was for my mother so I got myself up off the bed and went outside to her. I held her face and tried to calm her down and told her “This is the Will of Allah, This is Will of Allah”. I realized after that my husband was crying as we hugged each other, yet I felt as though I had to force myself to cry! Why wasn’t I crying? Why? Why Did I have to force the tears ? I realized now that because I was in shock, the emotions remained locked away in order for me to deal with what was going on around me and to remember Allah in those moments.
When the doctor arrived and told me I had to go through labour to have my baby I went into more shock because I thought I would have had a c-section done right away. However I ended up being in “labour” for the rest of the day, with family and friends coming to visit me, and my dear Husband comforting me and reminding me of the Words of Allah “Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raaji’oon”. Over and over he made me repeat it, especially during the sporadic moments when I broke down and cried. I cried not so much for my baby, because I thanked Allah for having given my husband and I the blessing of having a daughter in Jannah, but I cried for my husband, as I watched him and remembered how much he loved our baby even before she was born.
Coming to the end of the day around 5pm, my doctor said that I was not progressing very quickly, so we decided that we would go ahead and do a c-section because I was emotionally tired and I felt that giving birth to a stillborn would have affected me psychologically.
It was just about 10 minutes before my surgery that my family and I found out that we had a daughter. We had decided to wait to find out the sex of the baby.
While I was still in surgery my husband and family members were able to see our daughter, hold her and spend some time with her. I was also given the opportunity to hold my baby after my c-section.
The next day, while still at the hospital, my husband and I were able to spend some time once again with our baby alone, just the three of us, before she was taken for the Janaazah. I was unable to attend the janaazah but all of my family and even some of my very dear friends prayed the funeral prayer for my baby girl.
The days, weeks and months after was a long road to recovery, both emotionally and physically. I experienced postpartum depression, but Alhamdulillah was surrounded by my husband and my parents and sister with whom I spoke to about my feelings every day. Allah was however my greatest source of help through that trying time in my life, because without Him I would not have been cured of my postartum depression and I would not have been able to come to terms with such a loss. Allah is the One to whom I turned in my most difficult moments and He answered my dua every single time I called out to Him for help.
I thank Allah always for the trial that we were faced with because I would not be the person I am today had I not gone through it. I have realized through it that Allah is the only source of Help there is when in time of difficulty and that without Him, we would surely be losers both in this world and the next.
Alhamdulillah, Allah blessed my husband and I with another beautiful baby a year and a half after our first.
I hope that by sharing my experience through this article, it would in some way help other sisters who may have gone through the same thing and in some way help them to realize that nothing is in our hands – Everything is in the hands of Allah and without Him there is no peace and comfort.