I'm sorry for not posting for a while. I have a few blog entries that I haven't had time to type up. I'm starting to catch up now dated back to Yousuf's birthday in August....
I just gave birth to Yousuf not long before they wheel chaired me up to the recovery room. I probably had never been so exhausted my entire life; little did I know that exhaustion was just the beginning. Yousuf was the tiniest little human that I had ever seen, held or cradled. This was my baby, my little baby boy. I was excited and ready to be a mom. Once the reality of nursing sunk in the excitement quickly vanished and the overwhelming sense of responsibility began to sink in deeper. The lack of sleep and privacy from being in the hospital created deep felt tears, fears and thoughts of, “Can I do this?”
I had nursed Yousuf right before they took him for a few routine checks. It had been less than thirty minutes when the pediatrician rolled Yousuf back in and told me he was hungry again. The words stung my ears as I exhaustingly replied, “But I just fed him.” My inexperience as a new mom led me to believe that she must be mistaken. I wasn’t aware that new born babies can feed consistently over hours at a time. She gave me a discerned look of disappointment and rolled him back out. I thought to myself where is she going? I wasn’t denying feeding him. Later I found out I was not being discharged the next day due to worries that I was not a fit mother! What?! I was going through the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced and to be put under watch was only adding to my stress as well as insulting. After all, if I was such an unfit mother wouldn’t I just have given up and surrendered to the many attempts to formula the nurses insisted on? I chose to do what’s best for my baby even if it caused me pain. Finally, after sucking up the pain as much as I could and plastering fake smiles and calmness all over my face they let me go home.
As a first time mom, the day Yousuf was born, I embarked on the journey of motherhood. For the first time in my life I didn’t have the option of ultimate failure. All my “failures” in my previous life were only that because of my lack in attempt to try again. This time I didn’t have that option. Motherhood does not give you that luxury of ever quitting but only the option to create new strategies to try and succeed. In my past, I could and did walk out of the house when presented with a problem, quit a job I didn’t like or even move to a new location. When I reached home with my little Yousuf, it was only him and I facing this tremendous task of breastfeeding together. I couldn’t run this time. Not only did I have no choice to face this problem but I HAD to succeed. My baby’s life depended on me. I spent two months struggling in the worst pain each time Yousuf nursed from me. Two months of problems from ER visits due to breastfeeding related illness, flooded home and a hurricane evacuation…and I did it alone. It wasn’t until Yousuf was 2 months old that I could look at him and smile and truly enjoy him. It sounds sad I know but I’m glad I did it. I succeeded in something that some mother’s eventually give-up in. Those two months were worth the 21 months I got to nurse my child and give him the best nourishment there is, a mother’s milk. This experience taught me that when you make success your only option you will create a way somehow.
Nursing was just the beginning. The idea of physical pain in order to nourish my baby seemed a lot less severe after watching my 3 year old endure the pain while I can do nothing but sit there and watch. This taught me a new lesson, once you pass one test there is always a more difficult one waiting around the corner. Tests, they are an exercise to our eeman (faith) and the higher levels we achieve the harder the work-out becomes. Never at a steady level, either increasing or decreasing in our eeman (faith), there are harder tests to keep our hearts in shape and beating stronger. When I see a difficult task, no matter how difficult it is, I must just face it and say, Bisma’Allah, Allah knows I’m ready for this.” I must grasp the handles of life and petal as hard as I can through this world despite the terrain. Yousuf has not only given me the experience and strength but the wisdom behind it.
Happy Birthday on August 2nd 2005, a day on which more than just a beautiful baby boy was being born. A day that gave birth to a whole new meaning and purpose in my life, with a steady target of success, and the determination to always reach it.