This is the first Spring we’ve spent in America in the last seven years. Though New York still felt very much like winter during our visit a few weeks ago, we are now in the Sunshine State and the weather is pleasantly sunny. Our usual stay in Florida involves a ton of family activities, rest, and good vegan Southern cooking; but this time around is a bit different. We’re looking into children’s classes, homeschooling groups, Islamic gatherings, part-time work, and the like since we plan to be here for a few months, as opposed to a few weeks, in preparation for a new arrival.
Shortly after reaching Morocco last Fall, we discovered a stowaway. Apparently a fourth passenger had joined our caravan unbeknownst to us all. At first we felt a bit of déjà vu considering that we similarly found out that we were expecting Lil’ Z while in North Africa, and my initial symptoms were the same: a sudden disgust for olive oil and indigestion. However, with two failed pregnancies since Lil’ Z’s birth, we were careful to get our hopes up too soon. We had experienced the disappointment of loss before and wanted to tread lightly before announcing any news to our family and friends.
I quietly started visiting an obstetrician and we kept praying our way through, day by day, week by week, until we reached 14 weeks. At that point, we shared the news with our family and our beloved Lil’ Z. Much like ourselves, she had been eagerly awaiting a new family member and was over the moon when we told her. Watching her cultivate, nurture, and love the life within me has been a special gift that never gets old. After sharing the news with her, I told her that we need to pray that Allah (God) takes care of the baby and keeps the baby healthy and strong. In total confidence she told me, “Allah is already taking care of the baby” and to that, I could not argue.
Unable to keep a secret, Lil’ Z eagerly shared the news with our friends in Morocco but the announcement was slow to spread further West. Mostly through individual phone calls and messages, we’ve shared our pregnancy with a few close friends. Now, with about five weeks left until our due date, there is no longer room to conceal the news. I am a walking billboard of the joy we’re experiencing and the blessing we hope to receive soon. We started consulting with a midwife last week at a lovely local birthing center that we look forward to birthing in. We believe that it will be a stark contrast from our first birth. Being the second-time around, a lot of the first-time mommy anxieties are allayed but I find some new ones creeping up as I further my knowledge and raise my expectations for the pending birth.
I’ve been deeply moved by the concept of Hypnobirthing and have started reading about the Mongan Method. It is fascinating and thorough, but on a day like today, I feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many levels of preparation that I’m often stumped with where to start and what to do next. Exercises in breathing, relaxation, visualization, and deepening are the cornerstones of the method, alongside physical exercise, good nutrition, fear releasing, etc. In addition to all of that, there are herbal supplements, superfoods, and vitamins to consider. Sometimes I have to take the time to do nothing but reflect and rest, no matter how indulgent it may feel. We consciously left Morocco earlier than planned to take advantage of this very scenario: staying with family to have extra hands in this transition. I would be a fool not to allow for a little self-pampering , especially since Lil’ Z has more than Urbndervish and I around for a change.
Most gentle, natural, and easy childbirths are not by luck, but rather training and preparation. We’re trying to do our best to prepare for success but ultimately know that our destiny will unfold in perfection, just as it should. Our success lies in praying and preparing for what we desire and positioning ourselves to embrace what we receive.
To my many friends who are similarly pregnant this season, may your births be full of beauty, mercy, and grace. May your trust in the Creator and the Creator’s design of your amazing body give you confidence, resolve, and fearless peace about the birth that awaits you. May you raise healthy, upright, and strong children that are filled with faith and light to face the difficulties of the world they are born in. May you remember us when you supplicate in your sincerest time of need. Ameen!