Wednesday 1 October 2014

Reactions to Baby Number Five: Anxiety, Curiosity and Joy

I was a bit wary of the way people would react to news of a fifth baby so I was fairly discreet about my pregnancy. I knew though that the people around me can’t resist a newborn, so I was looking forward to my family welcoming my youngest daughter and seeing what their reactions would be like.

My mum wasn't very impressed when she found out I was pregnant (at about six months), in fact I expected a big telling off. Instead she just told me that I had ruined a perfect family (two boys and two girls) and left it at that. Now that the baby is here, every time she is nearby she will take her from whoever has her and sit with her in her lap for simply ages. She keeps remarking “I think this one is going to be pretty”. Plus she has another grand-daughter to shop for pretty dresses for.

My mother-in-law had 14 grandchildren at the last count, so was more than happy to welcome number fifteen (and number sixteen next year insh’Allah – my sister in law not me!!). She has been enjoying watching the baby snooze in the sunlight that falls on her bed as she makes dhikr and showing her off to guests.

My husband is besotted with his tiny new daughter. I complained to him once that he adores his youngest child until the next one comes along and then he adores the new one. He is very close to Darling who is not quite two yet and I knew she would be anxious and need reassurance once the baby was here. So I have asked him to pay extra attention to Darling and she is ready with her coat and shoes every time he heads for the door. He takes her with him if he is popping to the shops or picking up the children from school.

Little Lady went from having no sisters to having two little ones. She was pretty astonished when she realised I was having another one and asked me a couple of times why I was getting another one so quickly after Darling. After the initial awe at getting Darling she would irritated with the babies if I had less time for us to do things together or couldn’t go out as much. She also found the crying annoying or when Darling gets her hands o her big sisters stuff. Despite that she has been a star and has helped with nappies, bath time, distracting Darling when I need to take care of the baby and cuddling the baby when she cries.

Little Man found out very late in the day that we were having another baby. When I called him from the hospital to tell him it was a girl, he said he didn’t mind and was happy. He is fast friends with Darling and is great with all of the little ones in our family.

Gorgeous disliked Darling for a long, long time, begrudging the fact that she stole his place as our “baby” and calling her names or bothering her. Slowly he has started to get used to her and either play with her or ignore her. In contrast he likes the new baby and he loves being asked to watch her. I think he is finally coming round to the idea of being a big brother, even if she is another girl and he is not very impressed that the boys are outnumbered.

Around the end of my pregnancy, the normally very placid and sweet-natured Darling started to play up a little. I’m convinced that small children feel something different when a new baby is on the way, because mine always seemed to start playing up around that time. Darling initially was very happy when we brought the baby home and greeted her with happiness thinking it was my sister’s baby. By the end of the day she started to be a lot less happy when she realised this baby wasn't going back home. Ever since she has been throwing little tantrums, getting upset and angry over little things and refusing to listen to anyone apart from her dad. She was very clingy with me for a few weeks and wouldn't let anyone else take care of her. She still won’t let the baby use her nappy mat, blanket or bed and takes any opportunity to give her an overly-physical hug or kiss which turns into a headbutt or squeeze. So we have to watch them like a hawk and make sure someone is always with the baby. I’m trying to make sure that this sweet little girl of mine gets lots of hugs, love, reassurance and some firm boundaries.

My sisters and sister-in-law's reaction was easy to predict: tons of cute outfits, lots of praise and cuddles and photo-shoots for the baby and lots of encouragement for me.

Me? I am in love all over again. Long tiny fingers, sleepy smiles, that sweet baby smell and all those daydreams about what she will be like. It’s hard work and thoroughly exhausting, but I feel like the luckiest women in the world. Also I finally have a baby that looks like me, after four that looked like my husband, I kind of thought it was my turn.

“If you were to count Allah's favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely humanity is very unjust, very ungrateful.” ~ Quran (14: 34)

 So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? ~ Quran (55:34)


  1. '...I'm in love again...' It made me cry to read your description of your love for your baby. May Allah give her and all our children health and imaan. Xxx

  2. What a sweet little thing! Who cares what other people think? It is none their business how many kids you have or don't have. You were sent this sweet spirit for a reason. All children are a gift from God, whether we expected them or not. Congratulations!

  3. السلام عليك ورحمة الله
    In light of what you had written about Gorgeous earlier (“Only if it’s a boy”), I was curious about his reaction. Thanks for writing about it. Good that he has taken such an understanding approach rather than a childish one.

    As for Darling, I do feel sympathy for her. But then, these events are there to make us realize that in the end our only true lover and beloved is Allah. He loves each of us thousands of times more than a mother. And He deserves our love because of all His favours upon us. All other relations however strong in themselves are feeble compared to this great relation:
    وَلَقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا فُرَادَى كَمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَتَرَكْتُمْ مَا خَوَّلْنَاكُمْ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِكُمْ
    (Quran 6: 94)
    You have come to Us all alone, just as We had created you, and you have left behind yourself what we had bestowed on you.

    Perhaps, some day Darling too would understand.

    1. Walaikam-assalam,
      May Allah (SWT) reward you for the reminder. I think Darling will be fine, plus in a few years she will have a playmate close to her age.

  4. "My mum wasn't very impressed."
    Where do we get such human-hating tendencies from? Certainly not from the Quran or Hadith, nor from the madrasahs or masjids. It must be either the modern school or the Satanic TV.

    In the corporate English media, I had read about Macaulay's children ridiculing their old parents for desiring more children in the family when 2 was the Europe-Revealed Law. These sin-theta-cos-theta-parroting idiots would mock their parents to please their Colonialist gods.

    Things seem to have changed now.
    وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالْأُنْثَى ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ.
    When one of them is given the good news of a female child, his face becomes gloomy and he is choked with grief. (Quran 16:58)

    We appear to have gone a step beyond the Jahiliyyatul Ula (the Ignorance before Prophet's days). Our faces now become gloomy and we are choked with grief at the good news of any human -- no difference between boy and girl; lest the gods of feminism be offended!!

    PS: What I wrote has nothing to do with your family, but to the general trend in our world -- Bihar (India) and the other former colonies of Europe.