So unfortunately I’m going have to get back to giving you my thoughts about tea. Something else came up which also happens to be my excuse for not writing for the past few weeks. That reason is this:
On Friday the 27th of January (3rd of Rabi Al-Awal in the Hijiri calendar) at 00:28 in the morning little Maryam Noor entered our lives in dramatic fashion (as every baby does.) I’ll spare the details of the delivery room, but let me just say that this was one of the most life changing events I’ve ever been through. From the first contraction to the actual delivery it was about 43 hours. On the television or in the movies, they always fail to express how long and drawn out the process really is, as well as how draining it is . They always yell “My water broke!” and then off to the hospital and boom there’s a baby. Even I was already exhausted after the first 32 hours of 10 min apart contractions let a lone my wife who never really slept at all because of it. And then the real fun began…for about 10 hours! I’d like to see hollywood make a production out of that. And if they did, reproduction levels would decrease rapidly.
I can’t really even begin to describe my feelings through the birthing process. I don’t really think anyone else can either and that is why I think this event has such an impact in our lives . I have never felt such ranges of joy and distress at such close intervals. Watching Shaista go through so much pain was almost unbearable even though I knew I had to be strong for both of us. The baby was coming three weeks early so I didn’t feel mentally prepared. However anyone one who has ever has children will tell you that you can never be prepared enough. And that’s true.
With that said, I did have a classic “father” moment in the delivery room. I started to feel faint at some point. After not sleeping and eating enough it is bound to happen when compounded with such high levels of stress. But my moment of weakness didn’t come at the actual birth, no. It came approximately in the middle of the process when Shaista was having a hard time dealing with the pain and we decided that the gas was not enough in helping her get through. So we decide to get an epidural. If you don’t know what this is, it is an injection directly into the spine that basically numbs the pain from there down. I saw the anesthesiologist getting ready with the needles and warning her in Swedish not to move as she approached her back and told myself and the midwife to hold her. I saw my wife getting more and more worried as each contraction came. It all got a little much for me. I realized that I didn’t know much about the shot at all and became quite nervous that I might have signed off on the wrong action while my wife was all drugged up on laughing gas. I had to sit down at that point. I didn’t lose it all together thank God. I didn’t want to be known as one of “those” dads. Not to say there is anything wrong with anyone who passes out in such an instance, but thankfully I got it together just in time to watch Shaista’s face relax into a world of vegetable and exhaustion. I was worried that the veggie state would last quite a long time too but not long after, she was up and talking normally with 3/4’s of the pain the contractions were previously packing. I was happy we went with that decision and encourage you all not to wait so long to do it either. Well, make sure you are having a baby first.
After the thoughts of worry passed on as Shaista came to a bit, I started feeling better myself. We even were making great conversation with the midwife as the time drew nearer. When the time came for the actual delivery the whole experience was mounting up in my head. Shaista was beyond exhausted and I was whacked myself. But what was on the other side of those extremely painful and forever seeming moments was beyond my comprehension. When the baby finally came and I noticed it blue and grey as all babies are when they enter the world. It almost seemed lifeless even though it had been kicking around and growing for the last 8 months. I was stunned and didn’t really know where to look, but then little Maryam took her first breath and behind it came a small cry and lots of movement of the arms and legs which broke me down to tears. I lost it. More than my wife I think. They say that life flashes before your eyes just before death (which by the way has only been said by people who are still alive, obviously) but it also happens at a moment of life. I couldn’t comprehend how big that moment was and that is why I couldn’t hold the emotions any longer. There was so much pain and hardship involved with the birth that when it is over the marvel of a living being now existing on the outside of the womb was immense. It moved me beyond comparison and I am so happy because of it.
Stay tuned for more tales of Maryam and… oh yeah… tea.