A Beautiful Time of Life

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Today is the beginning of a new journey, in a sense. Today is my first official day working full-time from home. It is also the first day of my husband’s new job. The timing couldn’t be better between the two, because with both of us working now again we have managed to avoid childcare costs since I no longer have to commute.

I will be returning to the office sometime after my maternity leave, but I don’t expect to do it all at once. Perhaps I will start going half-days first, and when Shukurah is closer to 6 months old in shaa Allah I can do full days there again. By that time we should have enough budgeted for any childcare needs for her and Jabiyr, since the older two are now at the age to be able to be home after school without an adult.

I never planned on working from home, but the truth is my pelvic symphysis problem was getting worse. The pain started at 8 weeks gestation, but at that time it was only uncomfortable and annoying. As the weeks progressed my ability to do certain things became more limited. Over the past month, it’s gotten to a point where my husband has had to help me bathe, get up the stairs, and he basically has assumed all the housework. Too much going up/down the stairs hurts me. Too much sitting (which is what I couldn’t avoid working in the office) hurts me. Too much walking hurts me. There are so many things that aggravate the condition, and I knew that the only way to more easily finish the rest of the pregnancy (which I am not yet halfway through) was to stop doing as many of those things as possible. So I talked to my manager yesterday after what had been one of the worst weeks of chair-sitting pain, and he approved me to telecommute for the remainder of my pregnancy. I will get whatever paperwork I need from my doctor at my Monday appointment.

So for now, I spend the majority of my time laying on my side (making sure to keep my legs parallel) in bed. I do get up for small things and I try to do some light cleaning/organization when I can, but when it starts to hurt I stop. I imagine I will be spending a lot more time online in the coming months because of this, and I suppose there’s not going to be a better time to write the story that has been percolating in my dreams either.

This also gives me more time to reflect on things and thank Allah for the blessings that have been coming. Like I said, my husband started a new job today. He will be making authentic Puerto Rican food on a food truck. He has been talking lately about wanting to get a food truck and do something like this, but at least now he gets the chance for some experience with someone who he vibes well with. That doesn’t always happen in the restaurant business. Plus he gets to learn some cooking from his heritage, as he is half Puerto-Rican himself but missed out on so much when his dad passed away during his early childhood.

The biggest blessing this week was of course finding out I was pregnant with our daughter. It’s been such a momentous thing for both Bashir and I. I think in some ways, the way losing our first daughter Nadhiyrah had hit him so hard, he lost hope in himself. The grief has been so deep all these years that it’s been hard for him to talk about her at all. I think he believed that when Allah took her away, it was like He was telling Bashir that he wasn’t good enough to raise a daughter, and that just made him give up on himself in a lot of ways. Now, having Shukurah is like a second chance, and Bashir is showing energy and hope I didn’t know he was capable of having. Something special is happening in him, and it gives me hope for us too. I’ve been making dua for weeks that Allah help him with his 3 biggest character flaws, and there have been improvements. Shukurah is making these changes worthwhile, I can tell.

And I’m not exempted either. I carried around a lot of incompleteness all these years that is now being filled knowing that I will raise Shukurah in shaa Allah. One of the biggest things for me, when I was going through the painfulness of the polygamy, was wondering how things might have been different (read less difficult) if somehow Bashir and I had not been put back together, and I had managed to move on eventually with someone else. Of course I had thoughts that if that could’ve happened, I might have had the daughter I always wanted with whoever that would’ve been. Yet, now that it is Bashir and I having this little girl, there is a “rightness” that can’t be matched about it. Only he and I went through Nadhiyrah’s loss together. Only he and I have longed for her and felt an emptiness where she should be in the years since then. Only he and I could appreciate what it would mean to hold another little girl in our arms again. And masha’Allah, that’s exactly what we’ve been given. I can’t imagine any other outcome with any other person feeling this blissful, and for that I’m so thankful for the way everything has gone- despite the hardships it came with.

And that’s another reminder that we really don’t know what’s coming, especially when things are looking bleak and hopeless and too heartbreaking to bear. We want out, we want ease, and we think we know what’s best for us. But time and again Allah shows that those who persevere, who turn away from the illusion of the circumstances and back to Him, and who nurture sabr, those are the ones who are ultimately gifted with outcomes that could never be imagined or matched. Alhamdulillah!!!

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