Day 5 of the: #You are enough 30 day blogging challenge
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
So you just read about the day I received the best news of my life which is also connected with a time I faced unimaginable loss.
Fast forward to my six month scan and my world was about to be flipped upside down. My last pregnancy had ended at five and a half months, so at six months I had past the goal post. I began to allow myself to relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I had even begun to buy cute outfits, bottles and bibs. Finally the day had arrived, the day I would find out what sex my bun in the oven was to be!
I laid on the cold examination table with a huge smile on my face, waiting eagerly for the consultant to say “it’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!” I was instead met with silence… I looked over at the doctor as she shifted the Doppler back and forth, forth and back across my heaving stomach. I saw lines appear on her forehead strained in concentration, focused in on the screen. I held my breath, heard the tick tock of the clock, yet it was as if I was not there, time seemed to stand still… until I heard the dreaded words, “I’m just going to get my colleague to take a look”
Long emotional story short, it turned out I was having a girl and my baby girl had been diagnosed with a rare disease called Arthrogryposis, pronounced Are-throw-griy-posis, occurring in only 1 of 3,000 births. I was that one. This disease meant that my babies joints were contracted, at best leaving her unable to move some limbs, at worst completely paralyzed. Their prognosis was that she would likely not survive very long after birth. I was completely dejected how is it that lightning could strike the same place twice? I remember later that night sitting on the bathroom floor in the dark crying and rocking, arms enveloping my baby in her human cocoon thinking why me? why?
I had very little sleep that night but like the saying goes after a dark night comes a brighter day. I prayed the dawn prayer at about 5:30am, as I closed the prayer with taslim I remember feeling determined. Regardless of the prognosis I had a little life growing inside of me it was still my job to protect and nurture her. Sometimes it is the unknown that scares us the most rather than the situation itself. I decided to arm myself with knowledge about this unheard of disease. I googled Arthrogryposis, I read every article, studied every website, scrutinized every picture and watched every YouTube video about it.
I then somehow found a group on Facebook with mothers from all over the world who were either pregnant or had children who had survived Arthrogryposis, living full and inspiring lives. Throughout my pregnancy and after my daughters birth, we cried together, laughed together and had rants together. Women from all over the world giving me advice, encouragement and just checking in. This group of women helped to change my whole outlook. Looking at those beautiful, resilient children whom before this, I might have looked upon with pity at their being “disabled” now made me feel puffed up with pride. My child was going to be among the 1 in 3000 differently abled children who had been given the gift of being rare.
My daughter died 3 weeks after her birth which of course weighed heavy on my soul and still does at times. Miraculously, although this is one of the biggest losses I’ve ever experienced it is also one of the biggest gains I have ever received.
This single event in my life brought about a full realization that EVERY SINGLE devastation Allah puts upon our path is here to build our character, develop our tenacity and elevate the level of our understanding. It reminds me of a verse in the Qur’an that says:
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (AI-Baqarah, 2:216)
No way should we crawl into a ball and admit defeat, neither should we cover our distress and stand tall in strength. We should have patience with our selves and stand in the tragedy. inhale- allowing the grief and pain in, exhale – letting it all out then changing our perspective to see what jewels may be found in the darkness to light our way. This is no easy fete but tremendously rewarding.
From that time till now I am still amazed at the beauty found in that struggle
Day 5: Share a time when you faced unimaginable loss, and how you came to realize that you were ENOUGH to handle it.
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