Congratulations (?)

24th of August 2016. The day my beautiful baby boy was born. Alhamdulillah he was perfect. Allaahumma baarik lahu. After 3 days of agonizing labour, being induced on the fourth day and then having a c-section. My baby boy was here.

I remember the beautiful memory in theatre of when they held my son up in the air as soon as he had been taken out of me. I remember the shear joy on my husband’s face as he was the first to come in contact with our son.

I also remember trouble already starting from the evening of my son being born when I had received a visit from my mother in law and everyone else. It aches and hurts me even thinking about it.

I never received a congratulations from anyone. Certainly not my mother in law. I remember the look on her face and the first words that came out when she saw her grandchild for the first time. “OH,he looks like his mother. What a shame he doesn’t look like us. Yea he’s going to be exactly like his mother.”

My mother in laws sister; “well it’s better he looks like his mother than he looks like you.”… I remember this being the only time anyone laughing.

At this stage I was trying my utmost best to just smile and hold the tears back. I just about had enough and was counting down the minutes of when visiting time would be over.

The month before my son was born,I thought I’d ask my grandmother in law to choose a name. I was specific that I’d like for it to be a prophet’s name from the holy Quran. A few days before me going into hospital, someone had sent a list of possible names that I were to choose from in an open family WhatsApp group. We had opinions of what names it should be left right and centre. I had already discussed with my husband prior to my son being born which name we had picked from the list. However this had changed as soon as my mother in law entered the room.

I didn’t get a say of what my own son’s name would be! I didn’t get a say in anything at all. And my husband did not have a backbone to say anything at all. It turned into a huge arguement where my husband made the point that his lovely mother had the right to name his son more than I did..  Yea cos she gave birth to him too ! I finally persuaded my husband that we could hyphen both names that were chosen by my mother in law and I. He agreed. Till this day,it’s only me that calls him by his first name… no one else. Everyone else followed the leader.

I no longer had the urge of wanting leave the hospital. I no longer wanted to return “home”. This was just the beginning… just you wait until you hear how I was FORCED to stop breastfeeding! (To be continued…)

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Oh my! Pregnant already?!

As soon as I told my mother in law the news,she stood there in shock. Looking like a 47 yr old bangladeshi woman who wasn’t ready to be a grandmother.  I must say,being only 2 and half months into the marriage I wasn’t expecting this reaction but to be honest I don’t think she was either.  Eventually (what seemed like forever) my mother in law smiled and hugged me. Unsure of whether she was happy and being the new bride I was, I asked, “Is that okay?” Almost seeking approval of whether the gift of a grandchild would be accepted. 

Earlier on in the day she called my husband to ask me to chop some onions for her before she came home. I readily accepted this, however my little unborn child wasn’t too accepting of this and made me sick 3-4 times whilst chopping the onions (it’s okay baby,mummy still loves you). And for this reason I felt like it was the right time to tell my mother in law so she could sympathise,although me and my husband decided we weren’t going to tell anyone until I was three months pregnant.  

Literally,within 20 minutes of telling my mother in law, she was on the phone to her sisters,her mother and her brothers telling them the news. The majority seemed shocked (which is understandable,everyone to some degree always is) but one phone call in particular caught my attention, the wife of her youngest brother. (Always seeming to disapprove with life choices and circumstances of others unless it somehow puts her back in the limelight). “Oh my god,already?!” She screamed in a tone that suggested I couldn’t keep my legs crossed, not knowing that I could hear absolutely everything. I recall a conversation with her a few weeks prior to this where she advised that I take a couple of years out before thinking of enjoying a baby. (Each to their own). 

From then on,every other day until I reached the stage where I was very visibly pregnant I had others make the same remark. I even had a conversation with someone who asked me my due date and then calculated back to when I could have conceived with the hope that I conceived before I got married. (Well I’m sorry to disappoint you lady, that didn’t happen) leaving you not much to gossip about. 

Overall living newly with my in laws,husband and being pregnant from the get go ( literally perhaps the day after the wedding) it had been the most difficult time of my life. With tantrums, remarks being thrown at me by my mother in law and sister in law about my weight and my overall look (I was pregnant!) It eventually took its toll on me and was having a huge impact on my marriage. 

There were times when I expressed that I was feeling suicidal to my husband and I was told that I was being silly and to make effort with my new family… my honeymoon period was over within two weeks of being married! Little did I know that things were going to get worse…

 

stay tuned to find out what happened when my little bundle of joy was born and the difficulties I faced…