I’M BACK!

I haven’t posted in over a year and I don’t really have a real excuse for it lol I just haven’t really felt like I wanted to. It’s weird, each time I try to start something, the feeling leaves me. But anyway, I’m back.


And we had a baby!

Alhamdulillah, ALLAH has blessed us with this little miracle of life and we couldn’t be happier.

I think it’s important for me to talk about what happened at first though, because I’ve learned that this is not something women talk about. Also, I’ve come to realize that perhaps the reason I haven’t been able to write is that I wanted to talk about my experience but I just wasn’t ready yet.

On the 3rd of May, I did a pregnancy test and it was positive. I seriously could not wait for my husband to come home from work so I could tell him. I had it all planned out in my head that I would tell him in some cute way but as soon as he walked in, I just blurted it right out. We were really excited.

Then, on the 9th of May, I started bleeding. It was the scariest thing I ever experienced. My grandfather and my husband took me to the hospital where the doctor examined me and they said that I was having a threatened miscarriage. This bleeding continued for a few days and I spent most of that time in bed, crying my heart out, afraid for the baby I’d loved from the moment I knew it existed. When the bleeding stopped, we moved on with our life, thinking that the baby must have been fine as the pregnancy symptoms continued and eventually got worse as the weeks went on. I never went back to the doctor.

On the 4th of July, I went for my first scan. Before I went in and in fact before the sonographer put my scan up on the screen, I was extremely anxious because I didn’t know what to expect. She asked me how far along I was and I told her I was about 12 weeks. When she finally got the scan up, my entire body relaxed as I saw my little miracle, still looking like a bean. That’s when she said that it wasn’t possible for me to be 12 weeks, this was a perfectly healthy 8 week scan.


She advised that I must have miscarried when I bled and then 2 weeks later, I was pregnant again. I couldn’t believe it and usually, our bodies need a bit more time to get “back into the swing of things”. Clearly, ALLAH had other plans for me and He knew that I was ready to have a baby.

Because I’d cried and mourned back then already even though I wasn’t sure, I managed to “handle” this information and kind of just wanted to get to my husband and talk to him.

We spoke about it at length and we will NEVER forget our first little Bean but we knew it was important for us to move on and focus on the baby we were going to have.

When we went for the next scan and the sonographer informed us that we were having a boy, the relief on my husbands face was comical! I think he’s so afraid of having a girl!

I only really started feeling him move about 5 months in and it was always just little flutters now and then. When it became fully fledged kicks, I could not handle the excitement! No matter how many times I felt him in there, I was delighted and excited each and every time. It is one of the most amazing feelings ever and made me love being pregnant even more ( even made up for all the morning sickness – which I experienced throughout my pregnancy ).

On the 14th of January 2018, at just 8 months, I gave birth to the most beautiful and wonderful little boy any momma could ask for!

 

 

ILYAAS

 

 

Our Little Creeper

When I got married, I didn’t just gain a husband, best friend and confidant, I also gained a son. My husbands little one – now my little one too, has crept into my heart like only a little boy can.

The first time I met him, I loved him. Merely because he is a part of Zayn – who I clearly love to bits. The more time I spent with him, the more attached I became and vice versa. It’s become a thing where he actually asks for me specifically and it really warms my heart.

But recently, its been a whirlwind of feelings. I would never force or even just mention to him that he should call me Mom, Mommy or the like but I have begun to feel like that’s how he sees me now; as a mother figure. One night after I bathed him, I was drying his hair on the bed and all of a sudden he launches himself at me, straight into my lap and lands a big kiss on my cheek. It was adorable but it caught me totally off guard. I told my husband about it later that night. Told him about how it made me feel. When Abdul Aziz shows me affection like that, I am proud of myself for the way I have handled things and my heart is rushed with emotion. It could so easily have gone a different way. I know of cases where the child resents their father’s wife but I think that usually stems from the mother’s negativity and I am lucky that throughout all our drama, his mother has been mostly okay and encourages him to have respect toward me. Maybe we’re also lucky that he’s so young and can basically grow up with me being a part of his life.

He started school a few months ago and if it was terrifying for me, I can’t imagine what his mother felt like. We joined her at the school for his first day and he looked absolutely confused and unsure but his teacher has assured us that he is doing well. I love the fact that she chose a Muslim school for him because I think that it’s so important for him to have that Islamic foundation. His teacher is wonderful and her love for “her kids”, is evident.

His most recent adorable moment would be when we took him home last weekend, he gave me the biggest hug and kiss ever and then said “I love you” in his sweet little boy voice. Once again I was caught completely off guard but of course I responded, of course I love him too.

I have always wanted to be a mother, really. And I am excited to have biological children of my own but I feel blessed and content being a mom to this little one.

Although we haven’t quite sorted out ALL the kinks with his mother, I am grateful to ALLAH for blessing me with this little man and my wonderful husband who has been the most awesome support for all that I have had to acclimate myself with.

 

An Open Letter to an Angel in Heaven

Dear Nina,

Today would have been your birthday. You would have been 35 years old and yet your life was cut short at barely 30.

The memory of you stays fresh in my mind. I will never forget your beautiful soul. The fact that on the day of your janaazah ( funeral), I met some people who told me that they knew you because – even though you didn’t always have for yourself – you always helped them and their families, warmed my heart and reminded me of the kind of person you were. I wish more people were lucky enough to have been in your atmosphere. To have been touched by your pure heart. I keep telling my husband that I wish he could have met you, I know he would have loved you to bits and yet I’m also glad he didn’t have to experience losing you. Because believe me, nothing I have ever experienced in my time on this earth can ever compare to losing someone you love – especially someone like you.

My biggest struggle is watching your kids grow up. Shane has been living with us and he has grown into this big, strong-willed young man. He’ll be 18-years old soon and who knows what he’ll decide… my biggest fear is that he won’t want to stay with us any longer and I can’t imagine what that would be like. Besides the fact that I feel responsible for him, I also feel like he’s my connection to you. He reminds me so much of you. And then Junaid. What a little genius! After every term he comes to us to tell us of his many A’s and how easy it was. And not so little Aaliyah. Goodness, that girl is such a madam. Her sassy demeanor and mannerisms…Jeez it’s like you’ve left us a little memento in her. Your children are a perfect reflection of you, each of them have a little bit of “Nina” in them. I know for sure you’re looking down on them and your heart is swelling with pride.


 

I never thought I would experience something like this but this is how it went:

STAGES OF GRIEF

Denial

You and your little family lived quite far from all of us and you guys never had a car so the only time we ever saw you was when my mom would pick you guys up or you randomly came through to make Ma and Pa food for the week. So I went through a phase where I had convinced myself that you were still with us, just at home where you always seemed to be. It was so easy to believe because we used to go weeks without seeing you.

Anger

Honestly, at first I was a bit pissed at you for leaving. As a rational thinker, I knew it wasn’t your fault nor your choice but as a grieving teenager, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of resentment. However, I did not once question God’s decision for you as I know that He knows best.

Bargaining

I don’t think I really did much of this as I knew that regardless of how I felt about it, this was God’s will and I accepted that.

Depression

A few months down the line I was randomly thinking about you and all of a sudden, my little facade shattered and it felt as though the pain was suffocating me. You were gone and there was nothing I could do about it.

Acceptance

One day I started looking for pictures of you and I together. I asked all your sisters and they rifled through their albums and no one could find anything. All my cousins have pictures of you with them. I cried about that because I just needed that connection but then I realised that out of all of them, I spent the most time with you when you were sick. I remember coming home from school everyday and coming to sit in your room with you. We’d talk about anything and everything and I will ALWAYS keep that memory with me.


I think the best way to overcome the grief is to deal with your feelings. Clearly the mistake I made was keeping it all in. Once I accepted that you were truly gone and the consequences that came with it, it became easier and easier as each day went by.

I will never truly be whole again because you took a piece of me with you when you left us. But instead of crying when I think of you, I’ve learnt to smile. And instead of resenting you for leaving, I’m glad that your pain ended. Every milestone I reach in my life all I wish for is to have you there but I know you’re watching down on us.

You will be in my heart, FOREVER.

My Hijab Story

I’ve made two “New Year Resolutions”. One, is to write and post more often. The other I’ll discuss in my next blog post.

So the post I plan to publish today is merely a re-post of an entry I sent to a fellow blogger – The Muslim Girl . This is one of my favorite blogs ever. It’s insightful and interesting.

I digress. The post I sent to her was for a segment she calls “My Hijab Story”. It’s about women around the world speaking of their experiences when entering into the life of a hijabi and believe me, it’s no easy feat.

It’s a personal story for me but I feel that it’s important I share it because there are so many women out there that are dealing with the same things I’ve dealt with and don’t know how to navigate through it.

Please use the link below and read My Hijab Story.

http://themuslimgirl.com/cant-see-without-hijab-story/

Really hope you enjoy it!

#2016InOneWord – Growth

Does anyone else feel as though 2016 just went by so fast? People have used words such as “painful”, “atrocious” and “awful” to describe it but I really don’t think I agree.

I went through so much shit last year with the wedding things and my relationship with my dad being in tatters but I still feel that although it was challenging, I have never experienced such personal growth before.

I went from being a closed-mouthed, soft-spoken person to finding my voice and being able to say what I want out loud and speak it into fruition. I learned that keeping things inside and not finding some sort of release was naive and damaging to my mental and spiritual health. Also, that I don’t need to follow trends and have everything that the people I follow on Insta have. I have my husband, my family and friends and that’s all you really need. I know it sounds ridiculously corny but it’s the truth. I have felt more happiness in this one year than I have ever felt in my entire life. After my father came around and I got married, you will not believe the ease in which we have begun to repair our broken world.

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This moment is everything❤

When I see my dad and my husband sitting together, talking, laughing… it makes my heart swell. Zayn has slipped so seamlessly into my family life. Not that I didn’t expect it, he is so easy-going and confident and fits in pretty much everywhere, I just need some time to get used to it. He enjoys spending time with them and although he is still adjusting to the headache that is my Saltriver home (we have so many kids in our family), he always enjoys being there.

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Look at em being all cutesie after the nikah

Saturday past, Abdul Aziz joined us for the first time there and got to play with his new aunts and uncles ( sounds weird but apparently that’s what my cousins are to him according to  http://www.famlii.com/what-relation-cousins-child-to-me-second-cousin-once-removed/ )  and jeez, he must have had so much fun because he was out like a light as soon as we got into the car to leave.

There’s yet another thing I’m grateful to 2016 for! Abdul Aziz. He is my husbands son and therefore my son. I come from a family where we totally disregard the step part. I have always treated him as such and will keep it that way always. I don’t expect him to call me mom because I know that it can be a touchy subject but he has crept into my heart and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.

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Could he be any more adorable??

My relationship with his mother has somewhat grown too. We are at the point where we feel comfortable talking to each other and we sometimes chat but it’s mostly about Aziz. I don’t think I would ever no wait, I KNOW I would NEVER talk to her about my personal life. I mean I want us to have a good relationship – where Aziz is concerned – but I ain’t looking for a new bestie.

Anyway, here’s a few more wedding pics (I finally got most of em)

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Couldn’t keep the tears away – what an ugly crier

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Really like this pic (although it’s rather dark), the detail on my dress is so beautiful

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Chaste kisses *nudge nudge

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That look though, I can’t even with all that handsomeness

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No idea what was SO funny right there but I really love this picture

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Hate my weird little hands but LOVE my mehndi. Please follow @w.m_henna_tattoo on Instagram. She is absolutely amazing at what she does

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My dress is from Fay’s Bridal Boutique. It was the first dress I tried on and it was love at first sight! lol My hijab was styled by a close friend of mine and the husband…well…straight from his amazing mom!

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Now this was my favorite part of it all. I wore my old, dirty, white Chuck Taylors. The reason I wore them is that this is the truest reflection of me. A girly girl but deep down, a thug.

Married At Last

Its been so long since the last time I posted anything but lately, things have been so hectic…

I was never the kind of girl who planned her wedding since her hair was in pigtails. I was never the kind of girl who played dress up and had pretend weddings with her friends. That was not me. But what girl doesn’t want the perfect day? The dress, the shoes, the car. The whole shebang! I must say, my family has surprised me in the support I’ve received. Not to say that I didn’t think that they would but the overwhelming support, morally and financially, was amazing. Everywhere I looked, someone was doing something for me and that made me extremely emotional. If they only knew how much I appreciated it. I can only just say thank you to my Creator for blessing me with such a wonderful family and also, for my dad coming around and being there for me.

And through all MY drama, Zayn was beyond patient.

Anyway, the point is, on the 3rd of December 2016, I married my best friend!

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To be honest, the days building up to my wedding day I was calm and collected. Stress-free. Relaxed. People kept asking me if I was crazy or panicking inside but really, I was totally zen.

The morning of my wedding, I got up, tidied my room and hopped in the shower. I thought that perhaps when I got into my dress and my make up was being done, I’d feel the excitement and nerves – still nothing. Then I was all ready, dressed, made up, scarf done and on my way to the mosque – still calm.

As we pulled up to the mosque, I saw all the women from all sides of my family, waiting to walk me inside and something inside of me snapped. All the calm left my body and I burst into tears. The sight of my family waiting for me brought it all home. I was getting married. The man I loved was waiting for me inside of that mosque, and soon, we would be husband and wife…

From there on out, it was a crazy and emotional day. In my next post I’ll add more pictures and details but for now, I just wanted to tell you all – have faith, know that ALLAH is great because only He could make this day possible. So now, I am married.

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My husband and my dad though – too handsome for words!

 

The Media in 2016

Does anyone else feel as if the world has just become like a girl on her period? Overly sensitive and emotional as hell. (Even this post would offend certain people lol)

I keep thinking about how we used to have the ability to say whatever we want and feel how we want and think with our own brains. These days it’s like aaaahhh! you can’t say this or that or someone might be offended or that’s cultural appropriation. Like what even is that and who the hell cares??? People should have the freedom to wear their hair however they like, or wear a scarf or whichever accessory they want.

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I think sharing your culture should be a beautiful thing. Wearing feathers in your hair or braiding it or whatever the hell you want, I dunno, just do it.

But THIS is not cool…

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If it’s acceptable for one, it should be acceptable for all.

And THIS is especially horrific…

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But in other instances, it’s just unneccessary.

I don’t mean to go on another rant but I read the news a lot, including celebrity news, and it just annoys my life how people get emotional over the dumbest shit you can ever imagine. Like Vanessa Hudgens got told off for wearing a dream catcher in her hair. Regardless of the fact that she is apparently of Native American descent, it shouldn’t matter. How many people have dream catchers over their beds? It’s the same damn thing. Oh and don’t get me started on people going off at Kylie Jenner for having her hair in cornrows. It’s a hairstyle for goodness sake, if she can’t do cornrows because it’s a “black thing” then black people shouldn’t use a telephone ’cause a freaken white guy invented that!!! And don’t EVEN tell me I’m racist. I’m only making a point.

People need to quit with this stupid “cultural appropriation”, it’s only a means to separate people even more and push agendas down our throats. Like this is your culture, you keep it to yourself and this is mine and I’ll keep it to myself. Its proof of how powerful the higher-ups are that they make people think they are forming their own opinions about certain things when it’s really their (the higher-ups) ideas.

Its bullshit, every culture is beautiful in its own right. Share it, love it, live it and enjoy your life!

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My Not So Little Brother…

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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.

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(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.

Moving…

Okay so Saturday began with a frenzy. It was moving day and everyone was excited.

After having moved so many million times (I’m such a hyperbolist), we have it down pat. It used to take me about a week to unpack AAAALLLLLL my things (I’m a bit of a hoarder, but in a cute way. I promise), and by Sunday evening my room was perfect.

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YES, my bed is unmade. Whatever. Move along.

I’m so excited to go shopping for some decor. Now that everything is unpacked and in their rightful places, I know exactly what I’d like to do with my room. Right now, it’s the only place in the house that feels like home to me because there are still boxes to be unpacked elsewhere and also, we have no lounge furniture yet LOL. The house is absolutely beautiful. Its difficult to get used to because it feels like we’re on holiday here. Maybe its TOO beautiful.

My only struggle is what the hell do I pair the salmony/maroony counter-tops and cupboards (forgot to take a pic of said cupboards) with???

Any aspiring interior designers with some advice???

Cancer Can Suck It!

So I’m scrolling down my Facebook Timeline and I come across this page – https://www.facebook.com/Relief-for-Naaziyah-1692938677621405/ .

It’s about this beautiful young fighter who yesterday, lost her life to a horrible, terrifying and all-encompassing disease. At 11 years old, your life should have been filled with homework, friends, crushes and fun. Instead; you had pain, anger, doctors and hospitals. It’s unfortunate, but God knows best.

May He put ease in the hearts of your family and grant you the highest place in Heaven, InShaALLAH, Ameen. It wont be easy and you’ll carry this pain in your heart for the rest of your lives and for a while, each time you hear her name you’ll cry but one day, you’ll think of her and you’ll find reasons to smile and slowly but surely that pain will ease.

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In 2012, I lost someone close to my heart. My beautiful Aunty Nina was diagnosed with liver cancer and within about 4 months, it had taken over her body and destroyed her.

Let me tell you though, she was strong as hell. Not once did she cry, not in front of anyone anyway. She always had a smile ready, dealt with her pain like the fighter she was and even though she was the one suffering, she’d always be the one comforting us.

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This is a dedication post. To the beautiful souls lost to this heartless disease, the ones still fighting and those who have survived. God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. Never lose hope and ALWAYS keep fighting.