I've come to know what all of the small hours look like in my house. At 1am I get up to find the boys have turned the light on again to read after I put them to bed and have to switch it off again. At 2am the bathroom is mine although mum-in-law starts to stir at this time. At 3am she is up for her tahajjud prayer and at 4am the rest of the household stirs for fajr (dawn prayer) and by 5am we are crawling back to bed. At 6am hubby comes back from the masjid and clatter’s around in the kitchen looking for something to eat and by 7am the traffic starts up outside. At 8am, I finally give up and spend the next hour trying to straighten out my sore back and joints so that I can start my day (usually dishes from the night before and the washing I put in at fajr).
I cannot imagine another two weeks of this and I have been reminding myself of the fact that every life has a time to begin and end decreed by Allah (SWT) and that this cannot be changed. This thinking has really helped me to accept my situation and take one day at a time. I am trying to find some good in it, by using the time productively to organise my home, work slowly on my to-do list, spend time hanging out with my children and re-arrange wardrobes and cupboards.
The following hadith has also really helped me:
Narrated by Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him): Salamah – the nurse of Ibraaheem, the son of the Prophet (peace be upon him) – said: O Messenger of Allah, you give glad tidings of all good to the men and you do not give glad tidings to women. He said: “Have your friends put you up to asking this?” She said: Yes, they told me (to ask). He said: “Doesn’t it please one of you that if she is pregnant from her husband and he was pleased with her, she will have a reward like that of one who fasts and prays qiyaam for the sake of Allaah. When her labour starts, neither the people of heaven nor the people of earth know what is hidden for her of delight, and when she gives birth, not one drop of her milk comes out and (her infant) does not suck once, but for each drop and each suck she will have one hasanah, and if he keeps her awake at night she will have a reward like that of freeing seventy slaves for the sake of Allah? O Salamah, do you know who I mean by this? It is the chaste and righteous women who are obedient to their husbands, those who are not ungrateful for kind treatment.” (Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Awsat (7/20); Abu Na’eem in Mu’jam al-Sahaabah (no. 7049); Ibn ‘Asaakir in Tareekh Dimashq (43/347); Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawdoo’aat (2/274) and others)
It reminds me to make as much dua for myself and for everyone else during this challenging and vulnerable time and despite not being able to pray as well or as much, this time makes me feel closer to Allah (SWT). I tell myself that this time will be over soon and to make the most of it.
I have also found that when the discomfort or pain gets too much even to lie down comfortably, that dhikr (remembrance of Allah SWT) really helps. I rely on astaghfar (repentance), the third kalimah tamjeed and durood sharif (blessings on our beloved Prophet peace be upon him). I also find that reciting Quran helps me feel better in the morning and I can sleep for a little while.
I am a little worried as our nearest hospital has closed its labour ward and we have to drive 30 minutes to the next one which is very busy and takes the most serious cases in East London (the nearer closure means that the alternative hospital provides local hospital services to a population of 750,000). It also happens to be placed under “special measures” by the Care Quality Commission for previous failings in maternity care. Generally you are discouraged from coming in until your contractions pains are regular and four minutes apart. I had Darling within 20 minutes of reaching hospital, so I am concerned. But I remind myself that I cannot control everything and to trust in what Allah (SWT) has planned for me and this is helping me to let go of my anxieties.
Subhan’Allah this morning I had some interesting “twinges” which looked like something might be happening. Nothing came of it in the end, but just ma me think it could be any day and that I have to make the most of this time before I get even busier alhamdulillah.
His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness ~ Quran 31:14
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: “Which of the parents have a higher status?” He replied, “The one who for nine months kept you between her two sides (stomach), and then brought you into this world and gave you milk from her breasts.” (Mustadrak al-Wasāil, vol. 2, pg. 628)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The reward of a woman, from the time of pregnancy until birth and breastfeeding, is the same as the reward of one on the path of Allah, and if a woman leaves this world during that time because of the hardship and pains of birth, she has the reward of a martyr.” (Makarim al-Akhlāq, pg. 238).