Almighty Allah has bestowed upon married women the gift of pregnancy and nurturing a child within us to increase the Ummah. Since finding out about my surprise pregnancy, I’d like to share with you my pregnancy diaries! I hope it will provide an insight into the highs, lows and emotions that we all may feel during this blessed time, in sha Allah. I would like to start off by congratulating all mums to be and wish you all a happy and blessed pregnancy! So here it is – the pregnancy diaries that will take you through all the trimesters right until the much-anticipated D-Day (the birth)!
It was the early days of the blessed month of Ramadan and fasting had just begun. During the first few days, I was feeling quite nauseous and a little dizzy. I didn’t think anything of it and I put my symptoms down to the fact that we had only just started fasting – it must be my body getting used to being without food!
I was still nursing my 2 year old son on demand, so there was no way I could be expecting…at least that’s what I kept telling myself. I already have 3 children: my eldest daughter just turned 6 years old, my first son was 4 and my second son was only 2 years. Having a 4th child was not something that me or my husband were planning or even thinking of. Allah is the Best of all planners.
As the 7th day of fasting was approaching, I felt myself feeling increasingly dizzy, more nauseous and extremely hungry. I took a pregnancy test and confirmed that I was expecting alhamdulillah, but began to worry about how I was going to cope with 4 little ones! I was reassured by my husband that we should never worry about having more children or whether it would decrease our sustenance. We should leave all matters in the hands of Almighty Allah for children are a real blessing from Him and He would always provide a way for us insha’Allah. I think it is important to remember that however challenging or difficult parenthood may be, there are innumerable rewards and blessings in bringing up children, and this was something that I reflected on as my initial fears subsided.
As I had suffered a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, I worried about whether feeling ill whilst fasting might affect my baby. I referred back to the hadith of our beloved Prophet when he said:
“Allah has relieved the traveller of the obligation of fasting and half of the prayer, and He has relieved the pregnant woman and nursing mother of the obligation of fasting.” [Hasan Sahih Al-Albani]
Allah made an exception for pregnant and nursing mothers during fasting, with the obligation to make them up by giving charity or fasting later on in the year. I did however try to continue fasting but the nausea became more severe and I could not continue. I felt so guilty about missing fasts as I had been really looking forward to them, but the thought that harm should come to the baby’s health, would go against the tenets of Islam itself.
Managing nausea in pregnancy
Many expectant mothers experience some form of nausea during the first trimester, ranging from mild to severe. Here are some helpful remedies that I found beneficial to help calm the sickness:
- A hot cup of ginger tea
It really seemed to give me a boost of energy and helped to calm the nausea down. Try boiling a few thin slices of raw ginger in water for a few minutes, and add honey for some natural sweetness.
- Keep energy levels up with dates
Dates contain natural sugars that can provide additional energy and is beneficial for both mother and baby.
- Take a quick break or rest
Rushing around with the kids can be quite hectic and you can often feel drained out. It may help to take a quick break by resting on the sofa or bed for some time until you feel refreshed again.
- A spoonful of honey
I found that a spoonful of honey helped me when I was feeling nauseous, as it also helps to increase energy and has nutritional benefits for mum and baby. It is also great for those sisters who have a sweet tooth!
Dealing with weaning whilst pregnant
The doctor had advised me to slowly wean my two year old son off nursing, but I didn’t realize that was going to be so hard. My youngest son just didn’t want anything but my milk at first! Slowly but surely, I persevered in trying to wean him off and he eventually came round.
If you are a nursing mother and are expecting, try not to cut out breastfeeding completely. I found it more beneficial to take your time and slowly wean the child so they don’t feel completely confused that it is being taken away, and it gives them time to adjust to fresh milk or the bottle. There can be tears and challenges when trying to wean your baby whilst being pregnant, but perseverance is key and eventually they will adapt.
Managing Ramadan, family and pregnancy!
Ramadan is truly a blessed month so we all want to get the very best out of it. The fact that I was unable to continue fasting did not stop me from carrying out other spiritual tasks. Many pregnant women can still make the most of it by doing the following:
- Attending Taraweeh with the family
Ramadan is the only month we get to observe these special prayers so keep your motivation up to attend taraweeh and create a spiritual bond by going with the family.
- Reading, learning and listening to the Qur’an
There are many benefits for pregnant mothers who read, listen or learn Qur’an during pregnancy, especially during Ramadan where we can reap more blessings and reward in sha Allah.
- Enhancing our spirituality through seeking knowledge
It is the perfect time to seek knowledge, learn examples from ahadith or stories from the wives of the Prophets . Watching YouTube videos are invaluable while cooking, cleaning and running around with the kids!
- Giving and attending Iftars
If you have the means to do so, it is a blessing to give iftar to those fasting. You can also attend iftars as this further enhances family ties and kinship.
- Preparing meals early
As I live in Scotland, the iftar time was quite late and the suhoor was very early morning, so there was little time in between. It helped that I could prepare the suhoor meal in advance and keep it in the fridge to heat up later. I also prepared the iftar meal earlier in the day, so that I had more time for other Islamic activities with my husband and children.
It is always a worry getting through the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy. I had suffered a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, so I made du’a to Allah to get me through this first trimester with ease. Du’a is something that we can all benefit from and I think it is an extremely powerful means of sharing your concerns and worries with the Almighty. Masha Allah the first trimester has passed, and alhamdililah the doctor confirmed that all was well at the booking visit. In sha Allah I look forward to sharing with you the highs, lows, challenges and tips through the next trimesters of pregnancy right through to the birth. I wish all expectant sisters a blessed journey through this special time. Watch out for the next instalment of the Pregnancy Diaries!
About the Author:
Tasnim Nazeer is an award winning Freelance Journalist & Author. Tasnim writes for a variety of print and online publications on the topics of human rights, Islam and world news. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post UK, CNN International, BBC, Your Middle East, Islam Channel, The Muslim News and many more. Tasnim was the winner of the Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2013 Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in Media 2013 for her human rights and interfaith journalism. She received the Ambassador for Peace Award from the UN Universal Peace Federation. For more information, visit her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.