The Best Anniversary Gift Yet

This month, Urbndervish and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that five years has flown so quickly!  Some of you shared that special day in the park with us and some of you have joined our lives since. 

The last five anniversaries have been varied.  Our first anniversary was spent in Trinidad and Tobago.  The second and third were spent simply at home, as we were saving for our journey abroad.  The fourth we spent in Yemen and for the big five, we were here in Algeria.  Because travel has been a part of our united life, the need to go somewhere for our anniversary was not always necessary because in some cases we were  already “somewhere”.  Our only planned anniversary vacation was the first.  Similar to the more recent anniversaries, this anniversary was a bit low-key.  We skipped our professional development workshop for the day and went to an Islamic Artifacts Museum downtown and then went for lunch at a Lebanese restaurant.  We couldn’t cancel our evening classes, so it was back to work at the end of the day.

So, what’s the anniversary gift?  Well, I’ll tell ya!  A little over a month ago, I had some indigestion.  I wasn’t completely sure of the cause but I thought it had been the lack of raw foods in my diet.  So, I reformed my eating habits but still found my stomach bloated at the end of the day.  However, one thing I couldn’t comprehend was why the bloating wouldn’t go away and why my stomach continued to bulge a bit.  I went to the doctor about my indigestion and at some point wondered if I might be pregnant.  The thought hadn’t dawned on me prior to then because I didn’t have any noticeable symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, etc.  Anyway, when I went to the doctor she gave me something for the indigestion but turned her attention to this potential pregnancy.  A blood test confirmed that yours truly was 13 weeks pregnant.  Quite a surprise!  In our five years of marriage, there was only one instant when we thought we were pregnant in our first months of marriage.  Other than this, we just imagined that a baby would come when we were ready. 

From the time that we married, I made a consistent, simple prayer asking Allah (God)  to allow me to accomplish a short list of goals before blessing us with a child.  Most people would take pregnancy prevention more seriously than this but I was content with this prayer.  Though you may try to understand the workings of the human body or try to direct and manipulate them , I’ve always believed that ultimately the ability to conceive is ordained by God.  I knew people who took multiple forms of contraception and found themselves pregnant and I knew people who tried diligently for years to conceive but couldn’t.  Anyway, one by one, I witnessed my little list of goals being accomplished:  I finished my university studies, I paid off my student loans, I performed the Hajj (pilgrimage), and spent some time abroad studying Islamic studies.  Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), I was blessed to accomplish all of these goals, ambitious as they may have seemed, and I’m sincerely thankful for that!  My rationale was that if these goals are accomplished, I will be able to focus on embracing motherhood when the time comes.

As for this special little anniversary gift inside, he or she seems to be doing well.  We went for an ultrasound and discovered a big head, with tiny hands pumping up and down, little kicking feet, and a perfect vertebral column.  Subhan’Allah (Glory be to God), it was surprising to see that so much had been going on inside unbeknownst to me.  Urbndervish was a little freaked out and shocked at the sight of our little acrobat but now he’s easing into his fatherhood preparation.  However, as I told him, I recognized that he would be a great father from before the time we married, so I have no doubt in him.

As for me, I still have a bit of indigestion, so chamomile tea is my friend.  I also need a nap everyday to make it through my evening classes at night and I’m hungry in the middle of the day.  Thankfully, I’m not feeling any pain, nausea or anxiety.  Of course, I’m excited but not nervous in the least.  I was a little disappointed when I read online that all of the baby’s critical development should have been completed by 13 weeks.  I wish I had known.  Since conception, I had dental surgery to remove my wisdom tooth, had to take antibiotics and other medications for my recovery, fasted a number of days, and ate my fair share of French fries.  I’m not nervous because despite my own ignorance about pregnancy and my lack of resources, other than the Internet for now, I know that Allah is the protector of this child and I need not fear.  I’m doing my part and trying to do it as best as I can and with everything else in my life, I rely on Allah to fill in my deficiencies and cover my many faults.

Now that I know I’m pregnant, I’m trying to feed the mini Raggamuslim well.  All of the supplements that I brought with me are coming in handy now.  For the most part, my daily diet looks like this:


Large fresh fruit salad with soaked almonds, raisins, dried coconut, and hemp seeds


Large salad with lots of carrots, beets, and tomatoes served with a vinaigrette

(If I make my own salad, I prepare it with lots of parsley and I make a tahini honey salad dressing for extra calcium)

Baked or steamed veggies on the side


Beans, grains or pasta, and steamed spinach with garlic

Glass of juice with spirulina

Daily multivitamins

As much as I would like to eat more raw foods, sometimes availability of natural produce is limited.  Since the international development agencies introduced pesticides and herbicides to Algeria in recent years, you find some veggies that don’t taste quite right, so you have to be careful.  Sometimes, cooking the veggies is safer than eating them raw in this case.

As for cravings, most of what I want to eat is not here, so I just dreamt of the foods I craved for a few weeks and that was all.  Insha’Allah, we’ll be visiting the US soon, so I have a food tour planned.  This baby is about to discover how good veganism can taste.  😉  We’ve been missing sweet potatoes, tempeh, plantains, veggie patties, pumpkin soup and the list goes on.

Well, now that we’ve shared the news, we ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  This is a new and big adventure for us and we hope for your continued support.    Any useful advice and tips are welcomed in the comments. 

With lots of love,

From your favorite two and a half raggamuslims  😉


9 thoughts on “The Best Anniversary Gift Yet

  1. Congratulations! Hope you like the poem. I will be sending you something soon, though I know I’ve said that before… lol… don’t eat too much parsley after you have the baby, it can dry up your milk… that and sage…

    love you!


  2. Mabrook! Has it really been 5 years?? I can see myself in that photo! Our little son Sufyan was our 3rd anniversary gift, alhamdulillah. He’s now 4 months old! Please let Nur and me know when you come to the States!

  3. This is wonderful news mashaAllah! Please let us know when you’ll be back in the states inshaAllah. We’re so happy for both of you.

  4. Congratulations! I am traveling for work a lot recently, and finally I can go home tomorrow. Reading your blog while it’s raining outside. Hug’n’hug!

  5. BTW, the other day Fang said I didn’t say my own name right… the ‘xi’ part. Haha It immediately reminded me of you.

  6. oh my goodness, congratulations!! i’m still followin’ your updates here in cyberspace, and now celebrating for you from many miles away 🙂

    xo, sara

  7. Ye- Of course, I love the poem! I was thinking about asking for your permission to post it on the blog. Maybe it will inspire other mothers as much as it did me. love you too, sis!

    Ryan & Nur- Belated congrats for you both! How exciting! Nur, have you written your birth story? If so, please forward. I’d love to hear your about your experiences and insights.

    Xihua- Wo de pon yo! So, I learned my poor pronunciation from you??? Well, I’ve been told that I pronounce my name incorrectly too, if that makes you feel any better. Where will you be this summer? Let me know (if you know).

    Sara- Very good to hear from you, friend. I’ve been thinking of you and wondering about your studies and research project. Where has it taken you? Maybe our paths will cross along the way. 😉 Thanks for the congrats!

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