30 10 2009

My son J was born on October 12, 2009, 7:34 PST. The delivery was quite difficult, and according to my doctor, one of the most complicated she’s dealt with. After about 12 hours of labor, I had an emergency c-section and the baby was in the NICU for a few days.

But, all’s well that ends well. We’re both doing fine now with the grace of God. And he’s one of the most objectively cute babies I’ve seen, if I do say so myself.

Its been about three weeks at this point and I’m perpetually tired. No surprise there. What is surprising is how much I still feel like the same person. When someone reminds me that I’m a mother now, or when I find myself saying “my son” –  it doesn’t seem real. I’ve always felt detached from my life at moments when my emotions should be at their peak, and this time is no different.

Part of me is still getting over how my life has changed so much. Even though he’s a really easy going baby thus far, the constant feeding cycles mean I have to be around him all the time. For someone who likes being alone, this is hard to adjust to. But at the same time, its hard for me to be away from him – I cried after leaving him alone for a few hours with my mom to satisfy a sushi craving with my husband.

I’m still getting to know the baby, since at this time he still feels like a stranger. And yet, it feels like he’s always been here, has always been a part of me. But the initial exuberance of meeting him has faded a bit, and a weariness is setting in as I digest exactly how my life has changed. Maybe once he starts responding to me, things will be different.

Ofcourse I still enjoy him – his little hands and nails, the way he scowls like an old man, the way he sucks in his bottom lip all the time. But this demanding newborn phase gets to me at times.

The Waiting Game

7 10 2009

Today’s my due date. Baby’s still not here yet. Not sure how much longer I have to wait. Come on baby.

The Still Undanced Cadence

21 07 2009

I saw this poem written on a wall, and I stopped dead in my tracks to jot it down. I think it hits home with me because in the middle of content moments, I can’t help but think about how fleeing they are. This poem reminds me to be still, to remember that the moment I am in is real, and that moment comprises the world.

If one day it happens
you find yourself with someone you love
in a café at one end
of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar
where white wine stands in upward opening glasses,

and if you commit then, as we did, the error
of thinking,
one day all this will only be memory,

as you stand
at this end of the bridge which arcs,
from love, you think, into enduring love,
learn to reach deeper
into the sorrows
to come – to touch
the almost imaginary bones
under the face, to hear under the laughter
the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss
the mouth
which tells you,
here is the world. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.

The still undanced cadence of vanishing.

– Galway Kinnell.

Don’t call it a comeback

11 07 2009

It is a strange thing, I think, that I should fall silent when I’m undergoing one of the most radical changes in my life so far – my first pregnancy. Its something I’ve dreamed about, worried over, and even dreaded at times, and now that its here I’m afraid to talk about it. Not really afraid, but maybe just unable to put in words the changes I’m undergoing physically, spiritually, emotionally. By putting it all into words, I’m afraid to find out what I already know – that my feelings are maudlin and pedestrian, because most women who become mothers undergo the same transformation. On the other hand, there is ofcourse comfort in identifying with others, and when anxiety over the future becomes unbearable, I do take comfort from knowing that many others have gone through the same thing, and most get through unscathed. Its a fine tug-of-war game – to want to feel extraordinary and one of a kind by separating my feelings from others, and yet to want to be comforted by knowing that others have walked the same path.

In any case, here I am. I don’t know how regular my posts will be, but I will keep the blog around for whenever the inspiration and the mood strikes.

These days, I am in love with my body. This is a radically new phenomenon for me, someone who’s never felt quite at home within myself, always thinking of myself as too big and wieldy even when I know that objectively, I am not. But now that I am the biggest I’ve ever been in my life, I am in love with what my body is capable of. I marvel at every movement, every kick inside me. I cannot believe that my body is capable of forming flesh on bones and creating nails, eyelashes, fingernails, spinal cord, hands, feet, lips, brain, eyes, heart – where none of it existed a few months ago. Something from nothing. My body is doing this. How can I not love it? It helps that I’ve had no health issues thus far, and I love that my body is functioning as its supposed to. Good health is truly, truly one of the key blessings for which I’ve always forgotten to be grateful. Not these days. I do wonder what my body will look like after the baby is born, and how much damage will be done do it. Lets see how much I love it then.

It is easy for me to understand the bond between a mother and her child. The child is literally her flesh and blood, the most intimate connection there is. Its harder for me to understand the bond between a father and his child. I have to question my husband about why he will love this baby. Ofcourse he looks at me like I’m crazy, and it may be a silly question, especially because growing up I felt closer to my father than to my mother in many ways. But I do legitimately wonder – where does that father/child bond come from? From the 1/2 DNA?

Another change – I find myself doing more remembrance of God (zikr) than I ever did before. I don’t know why, but with my every sigh and moment of physical pain, I reflexively say “there is no God but God” or “God is the greatest.” Before, I used to say oh shit. I’d say that’s an improvement. I don’t know where it comes from. But its not that I’ve become a zen sufi during my pregnancy, because a lot of little things and people in general continue to annoy me. But I’m happier now that I’m remembering Him more.

I am ofcourse anxious about the future. I don’t know how it will be to go from a family of 2 to 3. This weekend is our 6th wedding anniversary, and time is flying by so fast I feel like I dont have enough of it to spend with my husband. I love it when its just me and him and nobody else. I wonder how the dynamic between us will shift with another person around. So far, my husband’s been a blessing during this time, and I marvel at the strength of women who have to birth and raise children on their own. I pray that the little one will be the bond that will truly make us unbreakable (ameen).

Also, no offense to other moms out there, but I also don’t want to become one of those women whose only topic of conversation is their kids. I find other people’s kids cute for about 2 minutes, and basically not at all interesting. I assume people will feel the same about mine. So I hope my main topics of discussion do not involve my kid’s sleeping, eating, or pooping habits. So help me God, I do not want to become uninteresting after having a kid (I flatter myself by thinking I must be semi-interesting right now. Don’t we all?) I allow myself the indulgence of blogging about it for now, because this is all quite new for me at this moment. Once its been a little while after the baby is here, I hope to move on with other concerns. It reminds me of the time when I got married – all I could see and talk about was my husband, and I’m sure that must have been unsufferable for my friends, but I got over that phase soon enough (no offense, baby).

Also, can I just say, I dont ever want to drive a minivan. Please, dear God, no minivans. I’m already trying to convince my husband that suburbia kills a person’s soul so we can’t live there permanently, but being the uncle that he is, he doesn’t see it that way. However, I will put my foot down on the minivan issue.

The other main issue I’m worried about is trying to see how I will balance my job and my child. I am not wired to be a permanent stay-at-home mom. I know I will need adult interaction and intellectual stimulation to remain sane, so I do plan on working, but with a lighter workload. I am already anticipating the guilt I will feel for leaving my child with someone else though – I can already see it coming. One thing’s for sure – this country needs to accommodate working mothers (and yes, fathers too) better – 3 months of maternity leave is not enough. Don’t Canadians get a year? Damn, why don’t I live in Canada already?

The worries about my job and things like the minivan all stem from an overarching concern that I don’t lose too much of what makes me who I am. I want to remain the same woman – a lover of ghazals, daal, and politics, somewhat of a news-junkie and a semi-pseudo-intellectual. I tried to step into what I call the “world of the mommies,” by reading the mommy boards and blogs, and I just cannot see myself being fully immersed in that realm – surely there are bigger concerns than writing ad nauseam about strollers? But my worries in that regard are mollified by my belief that forming new relationships and bonds has never diminished me before – every relationship I have with people I’ve let into my life has made me more fully the person I was meant to be. So it will be with the little one.

Anyway Internets, these are some of the many thoughts I’ve been ruminating over for weeks now. I’m grateful for those of you who are still around, you gluttons for punishment.


13 06 2009

I haven’t been blogging lately. I think I’ve stopped seeing the point. Nobody wants to read my emo musings on how I feel, least of all me. I’m done with navel-gazing, at least for now. I’ve noticed how I have no patience for it in others, and I hold myself to the same standard.

Other than that, what’s there to talk about?

Politics – things I have no control over, therefore I let the bad news (and oh boy, isn’t there always a lot of that?) affect me for a certain time, and move on with my life. No point in dwelling.

Religion – I got nothing.

Personal life – rather not discuss it.

See? I’ve have nothing to say. I’ll be around though, making the blog rounds.


4 04 2009

My husband told me this song reminds him of me. Now I’m all verklempt.

He’ll get a good dinner tonight.

Los Angeles

27 03 2009

I’m headed to LA tomorrow for a weekend of hedonistic amusement with my college roommate and closest friend.

What do a couple of no-good hijabis with a lot of time on their hands do in the City of Angels? Hit up the clubs? Stalk celebrities?

Ofcourse, we’ll probably end up reading on the beach or going to every single museum we can find, like the bonafide dorks we are.

If anyone knows of fun places to hang out or eat in, let me know peeps.

I’m out.


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