On the 29th of August 2004, my littlest brother was born. I was lucky enough to be one of the people who helped bring him into the world.
I remember that day so vividly. It was a Sunday and I had been out with my Aunt. My mom was alone at home and it was about 10am when her water broke. She called the hospital to inform them and they advised her that since the contractions were still very far apart, she could stay at home until they became more immediate. So we get home and my mom is waddling up and down as if nothing has happened. But as soon as I knew, nothing could stop my excitement. My mom however, had other plans for this baby. She wanted to keep him in there long enough to see the finale of Fame and also to taste my Aunt’s yummy supper. However, as the afternoon drew in, the pain became unbearable and she absolutely HAD to get to the hospital.
Now this part was quite comical. My late Aunt, Nina, and her ex-husband Faizel, were the ones to drive us. In his little Uno, my mom and I sat in the back while she huffed and puffed and squeezed my hand. And as luck would have it, there were roadblocks on the way there. An officer pulled us over and my poor Uncle nearly passed out with nerves for my mothers impending birth. He actually stammered and stuttered to the officer that HE was the one in labor LOL.
So we got to the hospital in time and my mom was booked in to her private room at Mowbray Maternity. My Aunt, Isobel, was the only family member in there with her. I was ushered into the waiting room, all by myself, bored as hell. I remember sitting there, watching the Olympic rhythmic gymnastics when all of a sudden, a nurse came to call me. She asked if I would like to be with my mom. There was no chance I was going to let that opportunity pass me by.
So off I went, an unsuspecting 10-year-old, excited with the prospect of seeing childbirth. Let me tell you, it is NOT a pretty sight but ALLAHU AKBAR, it is a beautiful process to behold. My mom gave birth kneeling. I sat on the bed in front of her and she held onto my legs for support. Although it was a bit scary seeing her in so much pain, I was in awe of her for her ability to bring a life into this world (of course by ALLAH’s will). The nurse asked me if I would like to see my brother being born. Naive little Layla, I went ahead and boy! it was a gruesome sight. The blood and fluids all over his little body kinda freaked me out but once he was out, the nurse asked if I would like to cut his umbilical cord and I was brave again. I was the first person-other than that nurse-to hold my little brother.
Sidenote* Isn’t childbirth amazing????? Imagine having that ability to hold another growing human being in your body for 9 months and then bringing them into the world. Imagine the strength of a woman to be able to endure that? I think it’s fascinating and proves women to be waaaayyy more superior than men!
Anyway, I got to sleep at the hospital with them and had to focus so hard on not rolling over in my sleep lol and the next day we went home. To a 10-year-old, having a little brother was simply intoxicating. It was like a real life doll that I could play with and naturally my motherly instincts began to develop. My mother went back to work after only two weeks of maternity leave and when I was home, I would look after him. I became quite adept at being a little mommy. Changing nappies, making bottles and hushing him to sleep.
(Those are all older pics)
I’ve always thought that my being there and being the one to care for him in my mom’s absence is what’s created this bond and close relationship between us. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge my mom for going straight back to work. She’s a strong, independent, single mother who did what was necessary for her kids and I will always admire her for that.
I always joke now that although I do not have children of my own just yet, I’ve already developed mommy skills. I absolutely cannot wait be a mother one day. People say that being pregnant and giving birth will change my mind but InShaALLAH, I want at least five children. But then again, only God can plan.