Pregnancy is hard. It is physically and emotionally draining. I played volleyball in high school and before school began, our team went to a camp in Pennsylvania to train. We’d wake up at six to run up and down a hill at least ten consecutive times. We would then do body strengthening. We didn’t touch a volleyball those first two hours of the early morning. Then it was eight and we’d be able to eat. After that grueling week was over, I felt so fit. I was sore, but knew my body would recuperate.
Pregnancy is a lot different. You definitely see physical changes. You definitely feel sore. You run out of breath, not because you just climbed a mountain, but because you had to go up the stairs to use the bathroom….for the fourth time.
I always thought that pregnancy was going to be so easy for me, after all, I’m not a light-weight. I was wrong. The first four and a half months were the toughest I ever had to endure. Being an over-achiever, it was never good enough to just “be.” I had to be better. Those 4.5 months, I was struggling to just exist. Between the constant throwing up, visits to the E.R. and migraine headaches, I wondered why any woman would voluntarily do this again. It was difficult to remain spiritually inclined when I felt like I was being punished with this tribulation.
Then the ease started to peak its little head. Slowly but surely, I wasn’t throwing up five times a day, only once in the morning. The migraines weren’t as intense, I only had to deal with swollen feet and intense heartburn. I gratefully waddle to work now, instead of being bed-ridden unable to even consider going into the kitchen. I was so happy that those days were behind me and embraced every other physical ailment as a blessing from Allah.
It’s easy to complain when you’re pregnant. It’s hard to be conscious of the fact that you’re complaining. The day to day, “How are you feeling?” questions come with a mental list of obstacles I face day in and day out. I have to make a very conscious effort not to rattle them off.
So instead, here is the list of what I’m grateful for:
– I’m grateful that Allah has given me the opportunity to experience something that many women are unable to.
– I’m grateful for my husband who has been so patient with me through this whole ordeal and makes sure the fridge is stocked with milk, baby carrots, and popsicles 🙂
-I’m grateful for my family and friends who encouraged me and were there to drop off food and lend a supportive ear and hand when we needed it.
– I’m grateful for my students and supervisor who were so understanding during the difficult times.
– I’m so grateful to be a Muslim. I’m so grateful that Allah protected me from being a pregnant teenager potentially getting kicked out of the house, not having anywhere to go. (This happens so much today 😦 ).
– At Dunkin Donuts, the cashier told me “I hope you’re having a boy.” I told her, “It’s going to be a girl.” Her friend said to her, “What’s wrong with a girl? Girls are nice.” The cashier replied, “Wait until she becomes a teenager and she goes out “poppin.”‘ I replied by answering, “She won’t be poppin,” (Please Allah let her be righteous and not “poppin” (whatever that means)). Her friend whispers to her, “Nooo….her girl won’t be “poppin.” She’s traditional, they don’t do that stuff.”
I’m grateful for being “traditional.” Alhamdulillah.