Our Twin Birth Story

The day I delivered my babies was both completely blurry and seared indelibly into memory.
They turned out to be exactly what I’ve always prayed for throughout my six years of hopefulness.. They are my perfectly healthy babies:
1) Madeenah Az-Zahraa (means: The radiant city of Islam, Beautiful & Smart)
and
2) Mayeesha Ar-Rawdah (means: Gentle & Bright, The Garden of Paradise)
They were born at 36 weeks, weighing 2.4kg and 2.6kg respectively at 9.17am and 9.19am on 8th December 2016.

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Ironically, I have always loved December, not only that it is also my birth month (which I no longer celebrate due to religious beliefs), but because I always felt that at the end of it, we’ll get a chance to close the doors on all of the things that didn’t go our way. We can start afresh all over again by clearing the year’s calendar and pick up a brand new one. December and I fit hand-in-glove because I am romantic in every sense of the word. I am passionate about everything! I am over the top sentimental, ‘flowery’ and my mind thrives on beautiful thoughts and things! I am starry-eyed and I just love fresh new beginnings. I feel a boundless awakening mixed with emotional wonderment every time it’s December and the 2016 one was truly special with the arrival of my twin princesses 2 days before my birthday! What a beautiful start, Maa Shaa Allah.

Pre-Delivery

I think I was weighing at a hefty 80kilos days before I deliver???! (Penguin passing through, make way make way!)..

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Medical check-ups, scanning and what not were all smooth sailing. I must emphasize that everything was utterly breezy for me at the KKH Private Suite and I am so thankful to have a gynae who is neutral on birth plans. From the moment I met my doctor when I was having twins, he advised that a scheduled c-section would be my best option but he was also open to natural birth. He was confident to do both options and had always asked me to relax and let things flow naturally. But on my 35th week visit check-up, he decided that it was safest for me to deliver the twins via c-section, especially since baby B was still in a breech position (Mayeesha’s usual antics! Sleeping like a clock & always rolling & turning that one!) At the time I blew it off and did not think twice about it since giving birth always frightened me anyways. Like many moms do, I suppose, I went back home and started researching what exactly goes on during c-section… I had difficulties sleeping towards the end of my pregnancy so I was on youtube all night watching birth videos with Sazrin’s loud snores in the background (LOL!). I watched all those gory scenes and the whole operation process just to be certain that I know what exactly would be done to me. Not only was I scared during the whole 3rd trimester, I sort of already knew that natural birth was not in my favor either, so I just redha…

The Actual Day

After a long, surreal lead-up to my scheduled c-section, there was nothing left to do but deliver some twins. (keep in mind this was a scheduled c-section, not an emergency, there were no immediate health dangers to either myself or the babies. An emergency c-section, I would imagine, would be rather different. So, remember to read this through the lens of a planned, non-emergent c-section).
That morning, Sazrin was actually sleeping when the alarm sounded at 5 a.m. whereas I only managed to ‘tidur-tidur ayam’ from the night before (guess I was too restless!). I peeled my enormously pregnant body from the bed and got in the shower. I shampooed, conditioned, blow-dry my hair and put on some light makeup. Sazrin couldn’t understand why I would bother, but of course I would! Cos I knew there would be pictures and it might be a very long time before I managed such a feat again.
For the last time as a family of two, we left the house hand in hand at 6.30am, a quiet and chilly Thursday morning that was. CTE was smooth, and we reached KKH Women’s and Children’s Hospital about 20 minutes later. We also had the privilege to choose a nice parking spot as there were not many cars around at that time (so rare!).
We were expected to make our way to the Admissions centre to check in for labour and delivery, at the same desk we had seen on our maternity ward tour when the reality of this day seemed infinitely far off as if it were on another planet instead of just weeks away. This time, it was we who were checking into the hospital to deliver babies, and it was still too enormous to process. I was like a walking zombie, starving, cock-eye (cos I hadn’t had much sleep), heavy, itchy and so so so thirsty (I had to fast from the night before)! All I could think about was that spinal thing they do and whether or not I would feel them cutting me open. Not to mention that I will be having TWO BABIES that morning itself which would change my life forever!

A day prior, I was talked through the procedure by my gynae and then snippets by the nurses on the day of the actual procedure. I felt like I had a good idea of how things were going to go.
Sazrin and I arrived at the hospital about 7am, two hours before my scheduled c-section time. After signing some paperwork and doing final rounds of checks, we were ushered to a back-end path which I never knew existed and I was asked to change into a pink hospital gown and leave all belongings. I was then placed on a bed and given an IV.

It was sort of strange, sitting there with Sazrin waiting to be rolled to the operating room. I wasn’t nervous at this point. I don’t think it had quite hit me yet. It felt a little bit like a random doctor appointment, but with more equipment.

Minutes before…


About 8.05am, the nurse anaesthetist came in to explain to me what she would be doing and she asked if I had any questions, I didn’t, and then she excitedly walked away saying, “See you soon!” At that point the reality began to hit me. I began to get a little nervous, but Sazrin helped me stay calm.
Finally, about 8.20am, a few nurses came to get me. At this point the reality was weighty. I began to get more nervous and a little emotional. Sazrin was asked to leave and change into the operating attire and wait at the “dad’s lounge” until he was allowed into the operating room. I cried when he left me. I literally did! Then I made some prayers, gave myself a pep talk and pulled it together. I didn’t want to start getting anxious and end up needing some sort of drug to “chill me out”. I wanted to be mentally present for the entire experience to welcome my girls, so I quickly snapped myself out from all the nervousness.
I was rolled into the cold operating room, and slid onto the operating table. A very kind nurse stood in front of me and showed me how I need to bend over for the spinal block to be administered. A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in, explained what she would be doing, and got to work. She numbed me first, which was virtually painless (felt like a minor bee sting), and then said she was going to insert the spinal block. She warned me that my legs would feel warm and the numbing sensation would begin almost immediately. I didn’t feel the spinal go in, but I did feel it start to work immediately. Spinal block is different from epidural as it is delivered directly into the spinal fluid whereas epidural doesn’t penetrate the membrane that surrounds the spine. And secondly, Spinal block is a one-time injection rather than a continuous feed through a catheter. As a result, numbing is rapid but lasts only a few hours.
Then I was laid back with the help from the nurses, I never felt so paralyzed in my entire life. Minutes later, my whole body started to shake vigorously, not because I was nervous, but because of my body’s reaction to the effects of the anesthetic. This is normal, but it was not an effect that I was prepared for!! The nurses placed thick wool blankets over me and pumped in hot air through a vacuum-like thingy but those did not stop me from shaking uncontrollably either. Sazrin came in, fully dressed in the operating attire and looking really cute if I might add, and sat by my head. He was worried to see me trembling so bad and I can’t remember what we talked about because it was quite a blurr. A nurse took an ice block and did some tests on my cheek, neck and chest to make sure that I was really numb and not feeling anything. In the background, there was a conversation happening between the doctors and nurses so it wasn’t completely quiet in the room and I was thankful for that. At this point, they began to hang the sheet and I could feel light touching but there was no pain whatsoever. I think the catheter was inserted, which I didn’t feel.
At 9.00am, my gynae zoomed in with a loud cheery “Good Morning!” and asked Sazrin to whip out his phone to take videos or pictures! (my gynae’s cool like that!).. But unfortunately, Sazrin’s phone was inside his pocket and it would be a hassle to dig for it since he was already dressed in the operating jumpsuit over his jeans and sweatshirt.. So sadly, there weren’t any pictures taken during the operation, but QadrAllah, perhaps He wanted that special moment only for our eyes to see, indeed it was a very special moment which is still very deeply etched in our minds.
At that time, I felt relieved as I was surrounded by the birth team of my dreams: my husband and my long time ‘go-to’ gynae along with his team of professionals. Throughout the whole birth, as things came up (and there were a few surprises), I felt totally cared for, respected, heard, and secure in the choices that my birth team and I were making. They did a practice cut on my skin, and I thought I could feel it (I freaked out) but they said I was numb. My gynae then announced that he was making the uterine incision. There was absolutely no pain, but I felt slight pressure, tugging and pulling. It seemed like a long minute, but in hind-sight it was really nothing.
Finally, The Moment… 
At 9.17am, we heard the cries that we’ve been wanting to hear for many many years. Tiny screechy cries like that of a kitten! And there she was, our Baby Madeenah! She was maroonish (LOL!), watery and crying out loud. Two minutes later at 9.19am, our Baby Mayeesha was out! I got to kiss each baby and I clearly remember being so surprised at how soft and warm their cheeks were! Tears cannot stop rolling from the sides of my eyes and teary-eyed Sazrin was praising Allah throughout – Maa Shaa Allah.

Once the babies were out, Sazrin was asked to leave the operating room while I was stitched up for about 10 – 15 minutes. I was so glad that Sazrin was there with me throughout the entire time to witness our babies’ arrival. As soon as my gynae was done, he congratulated me and said goodbye and I was rolled back into the recovery area where Sazrin was waiting. Awhile later, a mid-wife and a couple of nurses came to my bedside wheeling two baby cots with my babies in them. Such unexplained feeling.

They laid both my babies on my chest for skin to skin contact, but I was laying completely flat and was still a little trembling from the drugs so it was not very comfortable to hold them. The mid-wife was also teaching me how to breastfeed and kept pressing and pulling my nipples so it felt a little awkward. There was a lot happening and I couldn’t tune out all that was going on in order to focus on them.
The whole entire ordeal from the moment we reached the hospital at 7am up till the time that all four of us were brought to our room took about 3 hours!
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Our comfortable stay was at Ward 81 bed 22, a private cozy space for us and I felt so at ease, Sazrin even had his own sofa bed and slept with me throughout the entire 3 nights. Once babies and I were pretty much settled, Sazrin got busy and went to the Admissions centre to register our babies’ births. I think it would be much cheaper if it were to be done at the ICA, but because Sazrin refused to leave me all alone with the babies, he chose the convenience of doing the registration at the hospital itself with some added costs. We got lucky because our babies’ birth certificates are in running number (i.e. Txxxx239B and Txxxx240F), the customer service lady said that even though they are twins, it would be hard getting ID numbers in running order as the whole of Singapore’s birth registration run under one single registry. So I guess during the time Sazrin was doing registration, no one else in Singapore was doing the same, thankfully!
Throughout our stay, we’d be asleep by 9.30pm and would arrange for nurses to collect our babies to stay overnight at the nursery (just so that we can have adequate rests). Around 7am, the nurses would then return our babies to us (after their bath) and they’d stay with us throughout the entire day. The feeling of finally being able to hold both my babies while sitting up a bit felt so comfortable. But I was still in a little bit of shock that it all happened so quickly and was so painless.
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Visitors and Hospital food…

My family arrived shortly after I delivered and we spent some time visiting with them. At the beginning, there was a lot going on because they were all anxious to carry the babies and would accidentally placed them at their wrong cots. This caused a red light to flash and the alert system to go off. For all we know, nurses would start swarming into my room to check what was going on. This happened quite a few times!.. So embarrassing. But if baby and cot are correctly matched, the tag will flash a green light and there will be a sound of musical chime. A corresponding tag was also placed on my wrist, in addition to the usual identity bands that were placed on babies’ ankles. I was very impressed with KKH’s baby tagging features to give us greater assurance that there’ll be no babies mix up whatsoever.

After a few hours of having guests around, we were left by ourselves to get some rest. It was pretty amazing to be just the four of us in the hospital room (you, me and our babies.. OURS)… it was just surreal. We took turns to hold them and just staring at them.
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At this point my pain level was at a 1, on a scale of 1-10. Very minor. And it pretty much remained that way for the duration of my recovery. I stayed on top of my painkillers and took them every time they were offered. The nurses also arranged for me to have customised compression stockings (they got someone to come in my room to take measurements of my legs and they were ready within an hour, amazing!). I tried to get up and walk around on the same day after surgery to prevent my legs from swelling. But I needed a lot of help getting out of the hospital bed, going to the bathroom, and pulling my disposable panties up though.

Food has always been important to me, but never has a meal been elevated to such extreme importance as the first post-birth meal. My children’s birth is marked not just by the swell of love I had for them when I first laid eyes upon their precious beings, but by what deliciousness I devoured shortly after they were born. I was so so hungry and thirsty! I had been fasting from the night before remember?! So, in honor of the awesomeness after delivery, I felt that I very much deserve a warm hearty meal. And what would be better than thick luscious chicken tikka masala on the menu card?! I think the one I had during my hospital stay was the best I’ve ever tasted! Actually, I’m not quite a fan of Indian cuisine, but during and after birth, I had cravings for chapati, naan, briyani, dhal and anything Indian almost everyday because pregnancy and giving birth messes with my mind like that! LOL!

The nurses and doctors also came to surprise me with a cake since my birthday was on that Saturday, 10th December.. so I had huge slices of it, Yummmms!

We left the hospital on Sunday 11th December, 3 days after the surgery. We were both very ready to get home. At that point I was moving around quite well once I was up, but still needed help getting up and down. Very thankful to have my mum and aunty to help manage the babies for us.


Once we were home, I felt great. I was still a little sore, but it was so comfortable to be home and in my own bed. At this point I was also still taking the painkillers regularly. The baby cot we bought months prior was finally filled up with its occupants. It felt so good and relieved to watch them getting all comfy in there. Finally, our home is complete and no longer empty.thumbnail_IMG_6113

Every night, Sazrin would set up the bed with lots of pillows for me to sleep on an incline. He also slipped a pillow under my knees to keep my knees bent. I wasn’t read to stretch out completely flat cos I was paranoid that the cut might tear! He helped me get up, and lay back down, during the night. As far as going to the bathroom, I was able to do that on my own once I was home but it was still painful when I pee. Bathing wise, Sazrin placed a stool for me to bathe and sit in the shower which I did for almost two weeks!

Within about 5 days of arriving back home, I had tapered off my painkillers and was just taking Sangobion every morning, together with Polleney’s fish essence and Herbal soups that my mum had prepared every morning. I felt really good and almost back to normal. The swelling kept going down too, which I was really happy about. My incision was healed completely and I haven’t had any pain but every once in awhile, I do have a minor sharp pain when I stand up, but it goes away very quickly.
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3 weeks after delivery (and after getting the green light from my gynae), I started with my post natal massage with the same makcik I had for all my prenatal massages. I took up the 7-days package which includes full body massage, sengkak, ganggang, herbal ball therapy together with all of the pilis, jamu and bengkung. The joy of motherhood is often accompanied by unpleasant symptoms such as water retention, bloatiness, body aches, cramps, fatigues and mood swing, therefore, post natal massage is very important to help mothers relieve the stress and anxieties associated with pregnancy, childbirth & motherhood.

And now, almost 6 months post-surgery, I feel 100% myself. I try to go for a walks almost everyday even though it is just at the nearby park or Mall.

I am very, very thankful that I had such a smooth procedure and recovery. I think part of the reason I bounced back so quickly is because I stayed active throughout the majority of my pregnancy (if u see my Instagram/FB pictures you’d know what I mean, I cannot sit still, LOL!)

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To those who are having c-sections: I hope this was informative and helped ease your mind! It really wasn’t that bad, and the hype and anticipation of it was far more dramatic than the procedure itself.
On the contrary, I think there is still a considerable percentage of mothers in our society who tend to brag about experiencing the pain of real labour. I admit that enduring the intense pain caused by giving birth naturally deserves recognition. Nevertheless, it does not give them the right to feel superior than those who were hurried to the operation theatre or being scheduled for a c-section because Allah had put trials on them like having their babies in a position unfit for a natural birth.. so, who are we to go against the nature and who are we to judge?..
Irrespective of the delivery method, every mother endures pain and hardships during pregnancy, labour, and for the rest of her life for her children. Therefore, all moms are worth praising! Sending you love! 
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Best Wishes,
J.
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Pregnancy Blog IV – The Final Leg

Date: 25 November 2016

And it finally happened……

My tummy is so huge that I have to pick it up so that it doesn’t drag when i scoot off the sofa or bed. The most recent doctor’s visit on 23 Nov showed that the twins are weighing at 2.4kg and 2.6kg each (5 hefty kilos that I’m lugging around & counting!)… I’m itching, swollen everywhere and stretch marks have officially taken over my belly. I’ve reached to the point in my pregnancy where none of my T-shirts and tops fit, but only about a handful that still do. The rest are doomed – there’s a big, gaping hole at the bottom with no hope of them actually covering my belly (and I suddenly became an unsightly woman wearing Midriff tops like Baby Spice tak jadi!)  But that’s okay because Sazrin’s L-sized shirts work just fine.. I refuse to buy anymore clothes cos I would grow out of the ones I buy in a week anyways, so I end up wearing the same big shirts (unbuttoned) , dresses and jubah all the time.
Shoes you say?? I finally gave in and had to ask either mum or Sazrin to tie shoe laces for me all the time (cos I’d be like humpty dumpty rolling over if I were to curl forward and I can’t even see my own feet at times!). Not to mention my fugly toe nails that someone had to trim weekly for me. I felt so helpless. But I recently bought an easy to wear studded fit flops which is suitable for my aching swollen feet, just slip em on and that’s it. Most likely, they’d end up in my hospital bag for me to use throughout until I deliver and beyond.. Speaking of hospital bag, I am now slowly beginning to pack and fill up the luggage with mine and the Twinnies’ barang-barang (yes, a luggage!).. Not to Changi Airport on a 16 hour journey to an exotic destination… but to the hospital instead!! (ironically, around the same time like this last year, I remembered myself busy packing for our winter holiday to Europe, this time, I am still packing but to somewhere much more meaningful.. How time and priorities have changed.. Honestly, I’m even more excited now compared to the travels.. Heheh!)

Things that I’m bringing (thanks ladies for the DMs in IG):
1. My Going home clothes
2. Sweater, socks, furry slippers
2. Disposable undies
3. Some maternity pads (in case the hospital ones are not as comfy)
4. Two small milk bottles (just for standby)
5. Breast pump (just for standby)
6. The Twinnies’ going home clothes
7. Socks, mittens, hat
8. Swaddles
9. Important documents! (IC, Marriage Cert, Pre-admission documents, etc)
10. Facial wipes
11. ???…..???….

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Leaving on a Jet plane, Not!

This time, it really struck me knowing that it is for real. Especially when I have strangers coming up to me and said “any day now” whereas I still have a couple more weeks to go lah. When I was only at 31 weeks, my belly has officially reached to the same size as a woman who is carrying a 40-week full-term singleton. Size of a coconut Times Two!

A throwback pic:

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Coconutyyyyyyyyy

I can now feel constant hard smacks in my cervix and I think my babies are enjoying themselves as acrobats cos they love to do somersaults and jumping around, treating my bladder as a freaking trampoline, Ouch!!! But I am completely thankful to have made it this far, Alhamdulillah.

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Carrying Two of my Favourite fruits!

Chores at home have become very minimal for me ever since I hit the third trimester. Kicking the laundry basket across the living room to lipat baju is easier for me cos picking it up and carrying it takes too much energy and I’m just not willing to put in that much effort! (laundry, is my least favourite by the way!).. I still love cooking though. But there was once when I felt really sick, Sazrin became the Chef of the day (never seen that side of him for the past decade!). He conquered the whole kitchen and caused a huge hurricane! Surprisingly, his fried macaroni and grilled barramundi turned out OK, even though some parts of the fish were undercooked! Luckily we weren’t down with any diarrhoea or stomach flus, hehe! An A-star for effort, but I guess you better stick to doing the rest of the household chores minus the cooking ok sayang?!..

What goes up must come down, what goes in must come out right? haha! And that is one thing that is so hard for me to do – Emptying my intestine that is! Even how I stuffed myself with H2o, banana, avocado, papaya and whatnot, it is still just too hard for me!… The funniest part of all was…when I finally feel that the ‘bombs’ are coming out days later, Sazrin even joins in to cheer me on!!!… and when the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs were released, I couldn’t help it but to give a huge sigh of relieve and many giggles! We sort of like celebrated a Poo which is totally out of our minds but a little thing like this has got to be something which will always be memorable for me in this special journey!

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My intestines finally screamed : FREEDOM!!! LOLOL!

And then comes the relaxing part where I do not have to stress one bit. Prenatal Massage! I’ve secured a friend’s mum as my masseuse for both pre and post natal. With an extensive experience of more than 20 years, she is fully certified to massage not only preggers and stroke patients, but also for individuals who yearn for a good massage. Her hands are so smooth, relaxing and hard when needed! I was very impressed by her readiness in getting all the tools that she needs well prepped beforehand, complete with a foldable massage bed fit for a spa! All of these were done in the comfort of my own home, what more could I ask for?!

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Confident Me prepared everything on the floor!!!
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Lovely, Talented and Skilful!…

The very most interesting part for me during this final leg has got to be when my motherly instincts kick into high gear due to a cocktail of hormones causing me to become the master of almost any DIY project. I could be seen dragging almost everything we own out of the corridor to be thrown away. I even sold some of my well-loved shoes on Carousell cos I needed less clutter and an entirely new decorating scheme.  I spent days vacuuming, mopping, dusting and wiping everything in the babies’ space, cupboard, and store room putting together carpet, frames, chairs, strollers, baby cots and play pen.. I even bought fabrics to make the cot mattresses, pillows, bolsters and blankets. Sazrin was great during all of these and even got himself into action, taking part in some spray-painting activities.
The babies’ space is finally ready! But i’ll share more pics when the time comes 🙂

Once I came down from my super-active-DIY high, I turned my attention to the “last kopek” gatherings of 2016 for me with my family and friends! I had so much fun, filled with emotions, having to reminisce all of the tough times that I had to go through in order to reach to this stage, counting down the moments together and of course, many chats with lots of laughs and food glorious food! Can’t believe that these will be my last hee-hee-haa-haa hanging out “berlenggang lenggok”without having to think of anything or anyone (ofcourse I ingat laki kat rumah lah, but babies I meant) .. Next time, don’t know how I’ll be like.. Ok, let’s not go there yet. haha! (Thanking Fateen, Shahin, The Saharanistas, fellow colleagues and my family for all of the great time!)

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And then, it all boils down to the real business.

We’ve decided that we will be delivering the Twinnies at KKH. Main reason for this is because we are having Twins, which is prone to having higher risks of complications and KKH is known to be the hospital where all specialised equipments and expertise are readily available. Should there be any complexity, I wouldn’t be wasting time waiting for the ambulance to transport me from Hospital XXX to KKH. I would definitely love to deliver at other private hospitals though especially when I heard horror stories of KKH’s fierce nurses and poor customer service in the past.. But thankfully, I had never experienced one tiny bit of disappointment ever at The KKH Private Suite from the very beginning up till now. Everything is efficient, neat, with great amenities (my mum is crazy over their drinks machine which has 10 over beverages to choose from and big bowls of fruits! LOL!), my appointments were all set accordingly by the friendly staffs and our preferred OBGYN is a highly skilled doctor, who is very composed and reassuring.
With regard to our birth plans – whether it’ll be a c-section or natural birth, I leave it to Allah………
(Special Shout-out and Thanks to my good friend, Suzi Tan for her endless advises from post-natal depression, breast feeding techniques, the types of baby bottles (gawd), milk formulas, road to recovery, what to buy, what to expect, etc etc… Information Overload – but I love it! hehe!
Not forgetting Mimie Amellia, who had shared with me on all of her latest experience when delivering baby Layth in October. If you’re reading this, I would like to thank you for your very thorough descriptions about childbirth; on both natural & c-section, you left me with Goosebumps! What a ‘brain-opener’ definitely incomparable to just watching youtube videos!) 

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My Mother is spoilt for choices. haha!
We recently had a tour of the maternity and postpartum wards in the hospital and left feeling very impressed with one of the wards which featured en-suite bathrooms, beds for the dads and TVs. For the sake of the Twinnies and my family, we are willing to spend a little and make our first experience a comfortable one… Furthermore, I do not know when I will ever fall pregnant again (if only you know our struggles)..
And maybe, this will also be the place where I’ll be spending my 30th birthday in! heheh! I am very glad that deposit, paperwork and all other pre-admission procedures are done.. and we’re just waiting for the day to arrive… In shaa Allah..

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My “Staycation Ward”, where I will be spending my 30th birthday in perhaps? hehe.

To this end, I would like to apologise for any of my shortcomings if there are any. Thank you for all of the well wishes since I first announced the pregnancy when I was 3 months along. Do include us in your prayers, may all goes smooth-sailingly for us.

To those who are still trying to conceive, I know exactly what you’re going through, from all of the frustrations of seeing others having children after children while your womb still remains as an empty tomb.. I understand the feeling of lousiness, the pressure from social media, peers and relatives, the comparisons that were made, the remarks that were thrown and the silent cries before your sleep..
As an only child who has many cry-baby moments, I survived all of those and I am truly certain that you can too!
Don’t ever give up!.. Keep trying and have faith in Allah.

Lots of love and baby dusts to you.
My Infertility Resume:

May 2005 – Got to know each other randomly..
June 2005 – Boyfriend-Girlfriend
Feb 2008 – Got Engaged
March 2008 – Adopted two kittens! Fatty boy and manja girl
Jan 2011 – Got Married
Feb 2011 – “Not trying to get pregnant” yet… just wanted to go on holidays & enjoy honeymoon period …
Apr 2011 – Started charting basal body temperature, ate all sorts of supplements, did massages and officially tried to get pregnant
July 2011 – Slight disappointment
Nov 2011 – Frustration began
Mar 2012 – Further disappointment
June 2012 – Major frustration plus anger, irritable mood swings, marriage on the rocks
Jan 2013 – Still Nothing… decided to pursue my degree studies
July 2013 – Went to the Polyclinic and got a referral letter to go KKH for fertility tests
Nov 2013 – They found that I had Polyps in my cervix and uterus
Dec 2013 – Went for surgery to remove all growths and polyps
Dec 2013 – Hubby’s “swimming tests” came back very normal
Jun 2014 – NOTHING still… life goes on…
Aug 2014 – Got the keys to our very first home together..
Oct 2014 – Menses are always on the dot, tried to not think and focused on home reno
Jun 2015 (Ramadhan) – Officially don the Hijab, life changing moment..
Dec 2015 – Had thoughts of adopting children. All frustration, anger and hopes subsided… leaving everything to Allah
Jan 2016 – Graduated from my degree studies
Mar 2016 – Hubby went on pilgrimage
Apr 2016 – For the first time in my entire life, I had a positive pregnancy test and a positive blood test to further confirm that I am pregnant!……………
Dec 2016 – Expected month to deliver our Twin Girls. In shaa Allah.

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Lots of Love,

J

 

 

 

Babymoon Retreat.

We thought that it’d be a chance for first-time parents like us to get away and have one last hurrah before the arrival of our babies which will make us FOUR!
Not too sure when will we ever get on to a long vacation with having two “extra baggages” around! LOL! Perhaps in a year or so to come??… And so, we jumped at this opportunity while we still can!

so what we did?…..

  • Sleep.. Strictly no agenda!

As soon as we arrived at the resort, the Singapore stress melted off our shoulders, as we were lulled by the warm breezes and the sounds of singing birds and crickets… The comfortable king sized bed made us just want to roll around and sleep!
And that is the number one reason! Sleep in as much as we can cos we’ll soon be expecting many many sleepless nights since newborns have radically different sleep needs than adults. Imagine the thick luscious sheets, fluffy pillows and all the good snoozes… plus, someone else makes the bed! hehe!

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Royal Madura Suite, our stay during the retreat.
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How sweet is that?…
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Thank you for making this happen.
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Someone just refuses to get up…
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Sleep, sleep & cuddles… Beautiful 6am ombre skies.
  • Rejuvenation & Relaxation… 

This one should go without saying but don’t we all love to get away now and again?
Both Sazrin and I just want to forget about the daily grind by getting totally unplugged and be in total indulgence. We just wanted to immerse ourselves in long spa massages, nice food, fresh air and chilling by the pool under the skies!

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Sprite can chicken and sides.
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Thick, luscious and juicy just like your lips.. hahh!
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Just us.
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Beautiful quiet day with my fine companion over delicious food. Even the Twinnies are kicking so much in excitement.
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Chilling by the pool and coconut.
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Sazrin had his, while i swallowed mine whole???
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Just us..

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Breakfast.
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I don’t mind losing civilisation just to be here in the tropicals.
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Our spa treatment room.. Enjoyed my 3 hours pre natal massage, foot massage and Rose body scrub (first time doing all these during pregnancy)..
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Delicious food, under the stars.
  • Reconnection

I find that my pregnancy journey has really been focusing on me and the babies only (which is rightfully so, No??) But what about my husband?? I’m afraid, with having the babies soon, time alone as a couple would be minimal as I will focus my full energy on caring for the Twinnies and also meeting my own needs for sleep and nourishment. Therefore, our Babymoon Retreat is a super sweet chance to reconnect with my ‘BabiesAbi’ – to come to an agreement on the Twinnies’ names (it was super hard i tell you, but we did it!) and to reminisce about how far we’ve come together and daydream about what our new life will look like..
“Dear Sazrin, we’ve come so very far together since 2005 (of those “blurry” days)… and the time when you made me as your fiance in Feb 2008.. Thank you for slogging day in and day out to make me your legal wife in Jan 2011… And thank you so much for not giving up on me, when I got depressed and cried desperately every month hoping to get pregnant throughout the years…..”

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Everything.

 

Above all else…. 

I’ll try to remember that I am stronger than I realise and with Allah’s will, everything will be just fine. I shall just embrace the moment and enjoy the smooth sailing when it comes and weather the rough waters knowing that they too, shall pass. Throughout this journey, I learned that I might be surrounded by people in other boats, sailing the same course as me. But, they’re not quite in the same boat as me. No one ever will be. In the end, it will just be me and my husband and together we shall figure things out.

Ultimately, the best part of disconnecting the past few days was seeing my husband in a new light. On the days during our retreat, we were indulged with a great quiet relaxation which doesn’t have to be far and exotic but there’s something about shaking things up a bit. So glad that it all went well (no nose bleeds for me, LOL!) and thankfully, we managed to just get out of the hum drum and all the daily grind – Never felt this good in months..we felt so rejuvenated. Alhamdulillah.

Until then…

Lots of Love,

J.

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Celebration of Pink(s).

I don’t think I had ever really been this excited in my entire 30 years of life…..
My first trimester of pregnancy was totally boring. YES, of course I’m so grateful (we had been trying for 5 years remember?!) and I’m so excited to have a family of my own but for the first few months, I was just exhausted and bloated with no real sign that my future family is living inside of me. As time goes by, reality sank in as my physical changes are much obvious and finding out their genders was more exhilarating than an astronaut’s first time launching into space! So here we go!….

Sonographer: “Are you guys ready to get to know their genders?”

Me: “OH YESSSS OFCOURSE” – I screeched!!

Sazrin: “oh yes, can can” – In his low toned voice, always so cool and composed… no emotions lah that guy!

Sonographer: “Ok, so here’s the three lines indicating the labia, Twin A is a GIRL”..

Me: Blurrrr, and my heart was racing like a freaking horse at Turf Club..

Sonographer: “Ok now let’s find out the gender for Twin B… oh, here’s another three lines, Twin B is also a GIRL”

Me: Looked at Sazrin with my eyes popped out and big big big wide Darlie smile.

Sazrin: Was just smiling with watery eyes.. (oh, so he does have feelings afterall).. LOL! 

Both: Walked out of the ultrasound room like smiley Zombies, everything happened so fast… It was like a beautiful dream. 

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(Twin A) Excuse me for Yawning! I’m so sleepy…. and I think I have the same chin like my Ummie.. 
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(Twin A) Opppssss! Those 3 Lines! (Can you see the cursor?)
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(Twin A) See through my body and you can see my healthy organs 🙂
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(Twin B) – I think I have the same sharp jaw line as my Abi… 
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(Twin B) Hi!!!! I’m Waving!! Can you see my small hand??? 
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(Twin B) Those 3 lines indicated that I’M A GIRL! hehe!

I know the thought of finding out the sex of a baby may seem silly to some, and I totally understand that sentiment as well. To me? I say, let’s sujud syukur kepadaNya and celebrate a little! There is nothing more special and more precious to celebrate than life, each and every part of it. After having gone through an unexplained infertility for many many years.. I jumped at the chance to make each moment a special one! And to have my loved ones surrounding us? That’s just the fun of living life together.. Alhamdulillah.
So come together we did! Nothing big and fancy.. just a mini picnic with my Bunnies and the long time Love of my Life, Sazrin.

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Thanking my Bunnies for the beautiful Set-up… ‘TWINCESS’ theme.
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Fulfilling yummies.
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Love. 
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I’ve always wanted my very own… and Allah granted me Two. Alhamdulillah. 
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You always make me laugh in your most foolish ways. 
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Alhamdulillah for everything.. 
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Beautiful day… 
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Delicious cupcakes from my neighbour… Alhamdulillah… 
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Love. 
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Our mini Pink picnic.
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🙂 

So much more to share, so little time… But until then,

Lots of Love,

J.

say-alhamdolillah

Pregnancy Blog III – Decisions, Decisions.

I guess one has to go through the rain in order to see the rainbow eh? That was exactly what happened on the 26th of Sept as I had 3 different appointments scheduled in a day from 9am till 7-ish in the evening which left me dead beat! Had the glucose tolerance test in the morning, ultrasound growth scan in the afternoon and gynae appointment in the evening. Thankfully there were breaks in between, if not, I’d faint half way.

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Bright early morning ready for a long day ahead.

I had to fast after 12 midnight on the 26th before my glucose test and remain fasting throughout the day until everything was over. I arrived at 8.45am, checked in at the registration counter and was asked to take my weight and blood pressure reading. After that, I had my first blood drawn in a tube and the nurse asked me to drink up a bottle of bright orange coloured drink within 5 minutes (Really?!).. No food and drinks are allowed for the next 2 hours, great! And there I was, watching mum having her Delifrance’s smoked salmon croissant and mushroom soup for breakfast, all salivating. The drink was definitely not comfortable and I would never choose to drink that fast, but I was able to get it down somehow. But within about 10-20 minutes of guzzling the 75g drink down, my forehead broke out in a light sweat and I started to feel a little nauseated. I also had a slight diarrhea within half an hour. Yeah, you needed to know that detail. The test really made me feel awful! Yucks. I returned back at the same treatment room exactly 2 hours later, and the nurses took my second and final blood sample!
Hurrayyyy! First hurdle done!

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Not a favourite, but a must. Urgh.

Next, was my ultrasound growth scan at 2pm.. I was smiling widely as I had filled my empty stomach with a nice lunch and was very excited to see my Twinnies in the monitor screen again! They were measuring right on schedule, both with about the same sizes (actually one was bigger than the other when we last checked a couple months ago) thankfully, the smaller one had catch up! And we could already see their chubby little cheeks on the monitor. It was amazing! After the sonographer took all of the fetal ultrasound images and the measurements that she needed, she asked if we wanted to peek at the babies’ “parts” and see if we could find out what we’re having. I told her that we had tried at our last appointment, but we still weren’t 100% sure… That explains why we took so long to reveal their genders.. So sorry!
I was ecstatic, my heart pounded real fast that I could feel it coming through my throat when the sonographer confirmed their genders (it was something that I had secretly hoped for!) Alhamdulillah.. But I’ll share that special part on a different blog post (just cos it deserves a post on its own).. hehe!

Lastly at 6pm, was my appointment with my favourite gynae. I have been with him since 2013 when I had polyps, cysts and other nasty things in my cervix and uterus. He got them removed and ever since then, my ‘inside’ has been sparkling clean. I love the fact that he is gentle, soft spoken, super patient and very sincere in his advices.
BUT, when I first got to know that I was pregnant in April 2016, GATAL me had went to a different gynae in a reputable private clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (thinking that I would be handled well).. Needless to say, it turned out to be my worst experience ever. I had visited a matured female gynae but somehow, I just could not ‘click’ with her. From the very beginning, she kept pushing for sales.. repeatedly asking me to do the expensive version of a down syndrome test – it’s not that I don’t care and don’t want to find out, but I would still want my babies in whatever shape, state or condition that they might be in, I love them, period. So, by doing the test which will cost up to a thousand plus dollars would be redundant (just my personal opinion). Not only did she ask to do those tests, she put me for check up on every 2 weeks which I think is unnecessary (first visit was close up to $700 and the subsequent ones at about $350 plus plus) that excludes the many supplements that she had prescribed for me. During every visit, she would want me to purchase the same supplements again and again! Err, hello… I still have tons of them remember? .. When I said I still have those, she would start to sell her other products like the stretch mark creams and all which cost way more expensive than the ones in the usual drug stores. Moreover, whenever we discussed about my birth plan, she would always opt a Cesarean delivery for me, no other options given and I couldn’t ask, what more decide for my own.
Despite it all, Sazrin and I remained patient and still followed suit (just because it is our first time experiencing all of these, so both are pretty clueless)..  until one day, an incident happened which caused me to snap. She knew that it is a Twin pregnancy and space constraint is one major factor as the babies would tend to cuddle up real tight. I was very very very very upset when she started to handle me roughly and pressed the ultrasound device so hard around my belly, then acted all agitated and worked up when she couldn’t locate them properly to get the measurements she wanted. With her bothered impatient face, she asked us to step out of the clinic just so that I could do some walking in order to wake the babies up. But I read somewhere that walking is supposed to be a movement which is soothing and calming for them in the womb, hence, making them fall asleep even more! Worst of all, when we returned back to the clinic, we were placed as the last patient when we were actually the very first few to arrive in the morning. Everything ended only about 5 hours later, it was disastrous! From then on, we decided not to stick with her anymore. Remember… prestigious and expensive doesn’t mean its good!
We then made a very wise decision to go back to the same doctor, the one who had helped and see me through my difficult moments since way back then, our none other; Senior Consultant, Associate Professor Dr Jerry Chan Kok Yen of the KKH Private Suite. Much more affordable, very experienced (also), gentler, calmer, patient, someone whom I’m much more comfortable and satisfied with. That’s all that matter.

The appointment with him on the 26th was a breezy one, as usual. I brought mum along that day and he was so pleased to finally get to see her (mum got teased by him for being my sister cos she looks younger than her real age! hehe!) Thanks mum for the company!

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Mummy and I

The first thing Dr Chan said was, I had passed my test for the diabetes and high blood pressure checks with flying colours. YIPPIE! That was certainly a huge relieve for me as I was guilty of having all the waffles, ice cream and whatnot. Then he jumped on to discuss about my birth plan and asked me the million dollar question – “So, how would you like to deliver the babies?”… I was quite shocked because all these while, I have never thought about it yet and never had been given the chance to make that decision for my own.. I was somehow brainwashed by that previous female gynae to have Cesarean (just because it is a Twin pregnancy)… And so, my answer to Dr Chan was; “By Elective Cesarean perhaps???” .. He chuckled. Then he started to advise that I have got no complications whatsoever, the babies are very healthy and he strongly urged me to try for a twin natural birth! (GAWD)..
On a side note, I think I am very lucky to have a doctor who wants the best for me and not just an easy and beneficial way out for himself. He emphasised that he wanted me to feel how childbirth is like and willing to go all out to assist me in delivering them naturally if possible.
But there are many butsssss going on in my mind.. What if I can’t push twice? What if I had ran out of energy? What if one of them is head down, but the other is not?… I am scared, nervous, frighten, worried and everything else because it is different compared to a singleton pregnancy. It had been many sleepless nights for me as I kept thinking, reading and watching natural birth videos…. Gosh.
And in just a few more weeks to come, I have to make up my mind and come out with a final decision.

Here’s a summary of both the options after some discussions with Dr Chan:

Elective Cesarean Pros:

  1. More convenient than waiting for labor and childbirth, allowing me to easily arrange for extra help at home.
  2. Minimise the pain or certain complications – such as tearing, incontinence, or sexual dysfunction – that are associated with a vaginal delivery.
  3. Can choose the date of delivery.

Elective Cesarean Cons: 

  1. C-section involves an increased risk of blood loss and a greater risk of infection. The bowel or bladder can be injured during the operation or a blood clot may form.
  2. Women who have had a C-section are less likely to begin early breastfeeding than women who had a vaginal birth.
  3. The recovery period for C-section is longer because I may have more pain and discomfort in my abdomen as the skin and nerves surrounding my surgical scar need time to heal, often at least two months.

Vaginal Birth Pros:

  1. Shorter stay at the hospital and recovery time
  2. If I were to opt for this option, I might avoid major surgery and its associated risks, such as severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and more longer-lasting pain.
  3. I may be less woozy from surgery and could hold my babies and begin breastfeeding sooner after I deliver.

Vaginal Birth Cons:

  1. There is a risk that the skin and tissues around the vagina can stretch and tear while the fetus moves through the birth canal. If stretching and tearing is severe, I may need stitches or this could cause weakness or injury to pelvic muscles that control my urine and bowel function.
  2. I will be more likely to have problems with bowel or urinary incontinence than women who have had C-sections as I may be prone to leak urine when I cough, sneeze or laugh.
  3.  There may be lingering pain in the perineum, the area between my vagina and anus.

So for now, the question is: Elective Cesarean or Vaginal Birth?… hmmmmmm…

But, whatever happen on the actual day itself are all by Allah’s will.

Kita hanya merancang, Dia yang menentukan…

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Pregnancy Blog II -Blues, Breeze & everything else..

The First Trimester Blues (such a downer…)

Those first few months of my pregnancy were the nervous ones as conceiving twins means that I am categorised as having a High Risk Pregnancy. I was all too keenly aware of what could go wrong. But, we took my pregnancy day by day and then slowly, week by week.
In the beginning at about 6 weeks, I was too sick to do anything. Whatever I eat or drink, will be thrown out from my system and I had to ask Sazrin to chuck all of my favourite Yankee Candle scents away cos I couldn’t stand them anymore! Day after day I worried over little things like how I would get out of bed to make something to eat or if I’d be able to take a shower without throwing up. I remembered the feeling of being so alone and depressed that I couldn’t take care of myself or be a “good wife” who could go out to do grocery shopping, make decent meals, clean the house or do laundry. I had always been that independent person before I got pregnant and I really struggled having to rely on other people for what seemed like such menial things. But, I am truly truly grateful of Sazrin and my mum for always being there and making sure that everything was in order.

It was my first time experiencing all of these without knowing when it will end. And to make matters worse, I hear horror stories of women who would throw up their entire pregnancy or of the first one being the longest and hardest. It was not easy breezy cos I often broke down and bawled my eyes out. I think my 10th week was the hardest for me emotionally because I had just endured a month of throwing up and dealt with constant nausea and I couldn’t see myself being strong enough to endure another month (or more). And worst of all, I felt like I wasn’t being  grateful enough for finally getting pregnant or that I wasn’t as strong as the other woman out there who seemed to handle pregnancy really well.
During that period, I didn’t really step out of the house, never took much pictures, cooped myself up most of the time in my ‘dungeon’, basically no mood for anything and everything. I didn’t share to people that I had fallen pregnant during that vulnerable period because my “tigress” mum warned me not to do so.. had only shared when I hit the third to fourth month because of all these pantang larang nenek moyang.. Ok, whatever rocks your boat mum..

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My dungeon, my safe place where I cooped myself for weeks and weeks..

Second Trimester – What a Breeze! 

Like a rainbow after the rain, there’s always a good thing after the pain..
Alhamdulillah, with much patience and perseverance, all of the sickness vanished as I entered my 14th week…. I felt so so so much better and couldn’t be more happier, plus it was during Hari Raya period (July 2016); all of the ketupat rendang, lontong, ayam merah, sambal goreng and kuih-kuih tasted oh-so heavenly!.. I stuffed my face silly alright! I really did.


Aside to finally being able to eat without throwing up, another amazing thing I experienced was the feeling of little kicks and flutters. I was sitting watching TV one day when I felt this teeny tiny flick and I immediately waited in silence for a few more. About 2 more flicks happened and then the Twinnies decided that they had enough of exercise for the day. It was truly amazing! I called Sazrin at work and was screaming on the phone like a little girl who sees Cinderella’s castle for the very first time! It was a blessing and a miracle to feel those teeny tiny flicks for the first time in my entire 30 years of life! Ever since that day, the Twinnies had made it a habit to give me at least a few good kicks during the day and night, especially when I am laying on my back or sitting down..  🙂

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Love your kicks little sayangs..

 

A lot of other changes happened during my second trimester. Below are some of the highlights that stood out for me:

  1. Weight gain!
    I weighed at a decent 50-ish kg before I fell pregnant in March. But weeks after weeks during the gynaecology check ups, my weight had increased significantly, with the most recent one at a whopping 75kg!!! Whuuuuutttt??? Hippo alert! Make way Make way!
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  2. Changes in Skin.. 
    I often itch like a monkey! But my family and friends had pre-warned me not to ever scratch! Its torturous for not being able to!
    I bought Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula lotion for stretch marks and Bio Oil to combat the tightness and itchiness. I apply them twice daily on my breasts, belly, hips and thighs. Thankfully, no unusual sights till date except for that long dark brown line that runs from above my belly button up till my pelvis. I learned that its called Linea Nigra caused by the placenta creating more hormones and these are the same hormones that caused my nipples to appear darker (urgh!)..
    I had also purchased some certified organic skincare (no alcohol and toxic chemicals) that are made from pure Manuka Honey by an Australian based company, Origani Skincare. Love them cos they help to refine my rough and dark patches that I had accumulated around my cheekbones, neck, underarm and back of the thigh areas (a huge mess I am, yes?)
  3. Lower back and round ligament pains..
    With additional freaking 20 over kilos (and counting) that I had piled over the past months, it had led me to an increased discomfort, particularly in my lower back and pelvis. Sazrin bought me this “World Wrestling Federation Champion” type of belt (LOL!) to help ease the pressure and pain. To me, it is kinda thick and bulky, so I will only wear when I feel like, otherwise, I would prefer to lay down to ease the discomforts.
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my WWF belt.

I also had round ligament pains caused by the growth of my uterus. It was so painful for me, I felt like as though someone had boxed and kicked me repeatedly in my abdomen and private part! Tossing from right to left in bed seemed torturous and the pain always kept me wide awake. Not to mention the daily toilet trips in the middle of the night; I struggled every time I had to roll over using my elbows to push myself up before I can lift my big butt off the mattress. Maybe it will be much easier to rise for those who sleep on a normal bed, but unfortunately not for me as my ‘adventurous’ husband had designed our Master bedroom with an elevated platform bed. Made it all even harder for me to get up and sometimes, I would be so sleepy, but the urge to pee was too unbearable, that I would roll and be on my palms and knees crawling to the toilet in the dark like one freaking pregnant cat.
Nothing much that I can do about this, just gotta go through the growth spurt and pains that go along with it.. (i love you my Twinnies, don’t worry, Ummie can handle it… hurhurrrr)

 

  • Leg cramps (Simpul biawak/ charley horse) 
    Its like a monster, attacking me randomly in the middle of the night. I got them especially on my right calf and the cramp is strong with painful contraction which tightened my leg muscles. For a minute or so, I felt paralysed. Pity Sazrin who always got a shock of his life whenever I screamed out loud for help out of the blue.
    But gladly, I managed to encounter this by staying hydrated (I drink about a minimum of 3 litres of water a day), load up on my calcium intake, do mini exercises like pointing up my feet towards me to stretch the calf muscles and stole some of Sazrin’s soccer socks to sleep cos they are long and thick!..
  • Bleeding nose!
    Can you imagine the embarrassment I had when I was on flight enroute to Phuket in July as bright red blood was flowing out from my nostrils and I didn’t even notice it one bit? Huge mess it caused on my clothes, head scarf and all over the aircraft seat. My mum who was with me panicked as she tilted my head backwards and stuffed loads of tissue into my nose (how do i even breathe mum??!).. And that was not the only time my nose had bled as I had experienced it over a period of three weeks. I learned that increased hormones can heighten the risk of bleeding during the second trimester. As a result, I have a lot more blood flowing through my body and this can also occur due to airway swelling and dryness. From then on, I have been on Vicks Vaporub every night to moisten my nostrils. So far so good, no more embarrassing moments and nose bleed anymore.
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  • Heartburn and constipation. 
    I would be bursting and turning green like Incredible hulk whenever heartburn comes uninvited. Thanks to progesterone for being the main culprit as it relaxes certain muscles including the muscle in the lower esophagus that normally keeps food and acid down in my stomach and move digested food through my intestines. I had received some advice that I should try to have smaller meals throughout the day and avoid greasy, spicy and acidic food such as citrus fruits. But how do I say no to my asam pedas and ayam merah? Sigh..
    Another annoying experience would be – Constipation. Why oh why are you hiding my friend? Come out come out wherever you are! I shall drown you with tons and tons of water if you don’t…

 

The ‘Secret Weapons’..

Actually not so “secret” lah cos I’d usually share things on my social network pages (but mainly more on my Instagram _jszrn).
I am actually very the “Bochap”.. simply oblivious and couldn’t care less kinda, unless there’s something major or anything… So, watching me like a hawk on my supplement intakes are Sazrin and the none other, my “tigress” mum.
I have been religiously taking the organic calcium tablets, fish oil and multi-vitamins recommended by my gynae, on top of the Al-kurma dates and Anmum Materna milk daily. And on alternate days, I’ll have the bird’s nest and cordyceps that mum had prepared (she’d randomly come over my place just to check if I had really consumed them or not, scary!)

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Food cravings you say??… 

Even before I fell pregnant, I have always been a ‘foodie’.. so when I actually was, I don’t really feel that I have any particular food aversions or cravings. EXCEPT that I remembered of having strong desires for bubur masjid (during Ramadhan period in June), Sushi, bubur Taiwan, Chapati and warm waffles with ice cream.. hehe!
And i tell you.. i ate, eat and have been eating a lot. Like a lot. That explains my buffalo size now…

 

Food and more food (for confinement)… 

I’m a tad kiasu lah when it comes to food.. Ehh, actually not kiasu.. You just imagine, me, a first time Mum-to-be, handling Two babies, Sazrin with his new position in the logistics firm who has more work responsibilities now and returns home on uncertain timings… plus, my mum who is still fit and working too.. So who’s gonna help to cook for me??? With that, I had quickly scoured the whole nation a couple of months ago and had thankfully secured this kind-hearted lady who managed to squeeze me into her packed slot! (my edd would be in December, so maybe that’s why she is OK lah).. I took her 30 days package cos I think her food looks healthy and good!..
Ok, one headache solved.. Alhamdulillah.

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To this end… 

You can probably deduce that there are plenty of highs in my second trimester despite the harrowing moments of the first trimester and agonising pains like the heartburn, lower back and round ligament discomforts.. but Alhamdulillah, they are all wonderfully manageable. I feel more intensely focused than I had in years, more purpose-FULL in life and lit up. I am cautious on how and where I spend my time at. The energy is potent, and I am riding it with glee.

But, as is the nature of life, heartbreakingly, there were also some unforgettable low moments that unfolded during this time as well — Unfortunately it involved people whom I knew from the past who are still suffering from a permanent ‘illness’ of the heart with green evil eyes, overwhelmed by insecurities. Sometimes I wish I had not known them.. I wish I had not gone to that ‘dark dishevelled road’ and had listened to all of mum’s advise..  but it was all Allah’s plans for me cos without having to go through all of that, it would not have made me wiser person as I am today. I had fought really really hard to achieve some of the things I had dreamt of as a child coming from humble beginnings and I wouldn’t allow anyone to bring me down, except by Allah’s will.
It took me awhile to absorb all nastiness which got me disturbed for days sometime in August, but I’m more at peace and happier to let everything go cos indeed, Allah is with those who patiently endure. The reward is immense and I’ve always believed in Kifarah as long as I know that I am purely upright and virtuous.
Also in September, I had encountered a sudden passing of a long lost acquaintance which too had left me saddened for days.. I was in shock and grief. The emotion I felt at that time is still difficult to wrap words around, so I’m not going to dive too deeply into it here, but it goes without saying that the period of my pregnancy was filled with loads of happiness and fulfilment but also tinged with some sadness.
I hope my children felt my senses and will also grow to be as forgiving and understand that life is not just about all bed of roses….

For now, my main focus is to be on my healthiest, best-est wellbeing – body and mind, for the sake of the Twinnies.. and Oh, did I mention that my babies are…. well, I need to make further confirmations before sealing the deal.. Get back to you real soon on their genders!… and all of our crazy sprees for them.
🙂

Until then.. In shaa Allah..

Lots of Love,

J.

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Grief.

I wish I could say that I would get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I know dies, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what that person had ever said and done. We are in grief that comes in a form of waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything that floats remind you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that once was, and bamm, suddenly no more – Just like a happy memory or a photograph. But all you can do now is to float. Stay alive cos life has got to go on..

Death is never easy to deal with, especially when it is sudden and comes totally unexpected. But we’ve got to make the choice to give it a place in the public eye so that it can teach the rest of us a lot about living, loving and letting go. Allah give us signs everywhere we go, its up to us to learn from it..
The loss of a friend in adulthood can have many meanings. This person may have been an integral part of your life, regardless of how often you may have spoken or seen each other. We often have friends with whom we don’t speak for weeks or months because the daily tasks associated with work or family might preclude frequent communications. But when we do speak, we pick up the conversation as if it had just ended a few hours before and it can continue on and on and on..  When death takes our friend, it also takes away one of our connections from the past and a presence we had counted on in the future because of the many common memories and experiences that we had shared together…

The shock….

Last week I had received a text saying that a long time friend of mine had passed on. For a minute, I stared back at my phone, re-read the text over and over again. When those messages finally penetrated into my brain, shivers ran down my spine and I was left trembling all over. It was a sudden unnatural passing of a beautiful lady in her late twenties and there was no indication of any major sickness, but news has it that there were ‘other factors’ involved. The shock still reverberates till today and I constantly stumble over the realisation that she is gone. As I try to process her death, I have some recurring questions running through my mind:  I believe in QadrAllah, but there were distinct red flags and tell-tale signs for months and years leading up to her death, how can these be prevented in the first place? (Kita hanya mampu merancang, tetapi Allah yang akan menentukan).. 

Lessons to learn…. 

There are some important lessons to learn from this mournful story – Depression. 
This is not something to be shameful of, laugh at and shy about. It is serious. Firstly, the tricky part is, it is not always obvious as it can be masquerade as something else. Many people are able to keep up a facade of good mental health to protect themselves, but they aren’t suffering any less simply because they can do this. Similarly, those who are unable to keep up such a facade are not “weaker” than those who can. A lot of people can pretend that they are happy, but they are actually not deep within!
Secondly, it is valuable for friends or loved ones to learn the tell-tale signs of depression so that they can offer help as early in the process as possible because depression is a painful condition, both for the person suffering from it and his or her loved ones.

Here are the seven signs that I’ve gathered especially after having to know the gist of her painful journey:

1. Loss of interest in things that were previously pleasurable.
They tend to isolate themselves..
Sometimes you can gauge this through their social media page. If someone who used to actively upload photos or share posts but had not done so for the past months/ years (not because they’d forgotten their passwords or not able to pay the mobile data bills).. and if that someone who used to be sociable and outspoken but had suddenly turned “silent” slowly fading away is definitely something that we should all ponder about. Not to be busy-bodies, but just to constantly be in touch and keeping up with their recent developments knowing that everything is OK.
When it comes to relationships, if things like playing video-games, sitting in front of the TV or surfing the Web leads to thoughts or comments such as “You have plenty of time and interest for playing games, but not when it comes to spending quality time with me.” – This screams for ATTENTION and may lead to be an early sign of depression. It is not something to be taken lightly of.

2. Eating changes.
When they eat too little or too much..
A depressed person tend to lean towards their bad habits, and when they are hooked on it, they tend to eat less or not at all, hence, it will lead to major weight loss and serious health issues. For example, the curvy and chunky beauty I once knew was like Beyonce but had suddenly became so skinny like Amy Winehouse (days before Amy passed on). This is a big big red-flag, perhaps having counselling sessions would be ideal but if it prolongs, getting the authorities to step in would be the next best option. Sometimes, being the bad guy might save a life.
In another instance; a husband who becomes angry with his wife and blame her for eating too much and gaining weight, misinterpreting the symptom as a sign that she no longer cares as much about their intimate life and is therefore letting herself go – is a BIG no-no.

3. No support system.
Social support keeps you connected with life..
Every human being wants to belong. This need is so strong that people will do nearly anything to feel like they are part of something. Personal relationships form a safety net around individuals to protect them from too much isolation. A person who keeps meaningful connections with others stays connected with life so that she can visualize the future, making plans to keep on living and stay out of harm’s way.
Its sad to know that my dear friend had to fend her ways in juggling all of her 6 children alone for most of the time, handling the household and at the same time yearned for the affection and attention from her loved one.. for all we know, she might have been suffering from post-natal depression that was left untreated for years which had turned deadly.

4. Sleep difficulties.
The feeling of lonesome and abandonment..
This may be a form of trouble falling asleep, or waking up during the night or the early hours of the morning. She may find her loved one in another room, trying to while away the time. This may disrupt her own sleep and may feel like an ABANDONMENT, leading her to say things like, “Not only isn’t he available for me during the day, but even at night.” Again, it’s important to take note of the symptom and recognize it for what it is.

5. Anger and irritability.
Easily snapped..
A depressed person struggles to get through the day. Ordinary obstacles and challenges become more difficult and can lead to frustration and the feelings that go along with that. This is another tell-tale sign of depression that is easy to take personally.

6. Often seem exhausted or complain about always being tired.
Constantly complains about being tired.. “I’m sick and tired of this.. I don’t care if I live or die”…
This is a prevalent side effect of depression and not everyone with the disorder struggles with it, but it’s extremely common. They can get plenty of sleep each night and still wake up every morning feeling like they only slept a few hours. Worse, they may blame themselves, believing it to be laziness or some other personal fault that’s causing their low energy levels.

7. Loss of confidence in oneself and optimism about the future is sign of a depression. Depressed people feel poorly about themselves and their future. If your friend or loved one is usually more self confident and optimistic and this then changes, suspect depression. Rectify it.

 

A little note to you… 

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The afternoon on 17th September 2016 was the time when you were finally being laid to rest at the Pusara Abadi Muslim Cemetery. I envisioned the whole incident from the moment you collapsed on the morning of 16th September till the last moment when your body was placed on the soil.. It must have been utterly agonising beyond words, but we as Muslims, are obliged to be patient, practice self restraint, and gracefully accept Allah’s decree, because Allah has already promised mankind that He would test them.
“Verily I will test you with fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, life and the fruit of your labour, so give glad tidings to the patient ones” – Al-Quran 2:155

Your passing had taught us a lot of lessons, it is a huge eye-opener and it had impacted many of us here as we realised that life is very vulnerable and unpredictable. We shall abide to Allah’s commands to remember Him much, the One who has bestowed upon us with all kinds of blessings and favours, because this will bring us a great reward and wonderful destiny. In times of agony and difficulties, we should always Remember Him because, Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest..
“Remember me and I will remember you” Al-Baqarah 2:152

We should also fear Allah’s punishment for our sins and at the same time, hope for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness … May all of your wrongdoings be forgiven my friend, have faith..
“Do not lose hope of Allah’s mercy, for verily Allah (can) forgive all sin” – Al-Quran 39:53

I might not have known the exact pain you had to go through, the emptiness you had deep within, the difficulties in juggling to manage all of your 6 children’s wellbeing and all of the loud screams you made that were left unheard by anyone..
It was about 3am on the 18th of Sept, just hours after you were being placed to rest…. I was startled by the loud sounds of thunders and lightning that kept me wide awake.. and it hit me so hard knowing that you are there alone, wet, in darkness… it is where all of us would be one day… And please know that you are loved dear friend, cos Allah had taken you away to end all of your miseries here in this world. I can only afford to pray for your mercy, may all of your wrongdoings be forgiven by the Most Merciful, Allah.

Until then, you will be greatly missed dear one. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you.

Till we meet again someday in Jannah, In shaa Allah.

Your long lost friend,

J

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Pregnancy Blog I : Discovery of the Miracle(s)

With just fourteen weeks left until my due date, sometimes I can’t help but to stop and wonder at the amazingness of it all: Me? Pregnant for the very first time? Maa Shaa Allah. When I look back at the long and winding journey to get to this moment, I can’t help but be filled with wonder, awe and gratitude. This is my journey of pregnancy after many downfalls and years of hopefulness.

When you marry your teenage sweetheart, it just seems natural; so next-step, to have children together. When Sazrin and I were on our trip in Hong Kong Disneyland a few years ago, we joked about all the strollers parked in front of the rides. We got giddy at the thought of having children together and knew we wanted to wait for a while more before we started trying. But, we have no idea what we were in for!

In 2012, after a year of marriage, Sazrin and I began our journey into parenthood. Like most couples, we didn’t expect it would lead us down the road of an unexplained infertility. After I was diagnosed with having cervical polyps and ovarian cyst, I went through years of treatments and surgeries until my body finally gave out in 2014, and we were told that there was no clear-cut reason for our inability to conceive. Neither of us exhibited any physical, physiological, or biochemical reason to prevent a pregnancy. The experts themselves didn’t have a clue as to why I wasn’t pregnant. The news was devastating (cos there wasn’t any specific reason WHY), but eventually we accepted it and moved on. Sazrin was very calm and composed about it all, whereas I was totally feeling the opposite. I even began exploring our options for adoption, but after almost two years of research, I simply gave up.

For the first time in five years, I have started by keeping an open mind, open heart and releasing all of my expectations. For the first time, I have not started the year with an internal countdown of when my family will expand going on in my mind. And for the first time, I finally feel I have some peace moving into a brand new 2016. I had honestly given up on the idea that I would ever become pregnant. I always knew Allah could do anything, and after so much time had passed, I realised I needed to fully entrust my life to Him and accept His plans regardless of the outcome.

That special moment… 

As part of our fertility issues, I have very regular menstrual cycles, it is so annoyingly predictable like a permanent body alarm sytem. We tried every ways and means to stay as healthy as possible. Sazrin even permanently quit his very long time habit of smoking in early 2015 and we have been eating right ever since (err, not so right at times cos we still love Arnold’s chicken)! I began the obsession of visiting pharmacies and stocked up on all sorts of pre-pregnancy vitamins and folic acid (most of which ended up in the trash bin cos they made me nauseous & constipated!) My regular gynae gave me Clomid, a hormone medication to stimulate ovulation and also Progesterone, something which stimulates and regulates various functions like preparing the body for conception and pregnancy. Honestly, I suck big time with medications and am not disciplined at all. I hate the yucky after taste and the nauseating effect it gave me. I tried my very best, but eventually failed cos those too ended up getting stranded somewhere at the back of my drawers.

In April 2016, something strange happened. I was 4 days late of having my period. I tried to console myself that it was just: Late. Maybe the crazy concoction of medications that I had been taking caused my system to go haywire. I was so tired of getting “cheated” with myself and tried to brush the happy thoughts off, after all, I wouldn’t want to waste money again on getting my 117th piece of home pregnancy kit which will eventually turn out to be a big fat negative. I deviated my mind elsewhere when my period calendar app began to beep and gave me notifications on the 7th day of my missing period. Coincidentally later that week (in early May), I was scheduled to have my routine pelvic exam and sonogram check up with my gynae (something that I’d religiously do ever since I was diagnosed with cervical polyps & ovarian cysts). I thought that I should forget everything and just get thoroughly checked at the doctor’s once and for all.

It was a bright Monday morning that day, no lazy blues for us as we took day offs from work, eager to know what was wrong with me. I couldn’t help but to stress out and think about the blockages that caused my period to come to a halt.. “what if the tumours or polyps had returned? what if they got bigger and more dangerous now? what if they are cancerous?”.. The long drive at the congested Central Expressway that morning didn’t bother me at all (the later the better i thought..so scared to reach the hospital.. can we make a U-turn and go shopping instead?).. I muttered to myself.
I could hear my own heartbeat in the quiet hospital’s underground carpark as we made our way up to the clinic. My heart pounded even stronger in terror as my queue number flashed on the screen and I entered the nurses’ room. But, everything was like a breeze, the whole procedure took only less than 7 minutes, Phew! The garang looking nurse took bottles of my blood samples and shoo me away to go get some breakfast. She told me that they will call to inform me of any abnormalities (if any) and that I need to return back to the hospital do an ultrasound pelvic examination or a CT scan . Geez.

Sazrin and I didn’t think much afterwards except for the Masala Thosai at Sri Kamala Villas to feed our growling stomachs. After the breakfast, we decided to take a walk to the nearby Mustafa Centre. The smell of the mall transported me back to the good old days where I’d normally go in the wee hours of the morning (packed with all sorts of people). But that bright day seemed to be a pleasurably quiet one, felt like only me and Sazrin conquering the whole mall, definitely got me excited! I picked up on some toiletries, browse through some Hindi movies DVD, sashayed my way to the cosmetics section and Sazrin with his never-ending exploration at the Sports section. It was what it seemed, the longest one and a half hour walk in the mall that made me felt very tired and dampened at the thought of the hospital calling me. I guess they might have forgotten about me altogether or maybe, they had found some abnormalities in my blood that made them afraid to call me and break the devastating news. Crazy thoughts raged into my mind like wild-fire.
Finally, we exited Mustafa Centre and were standing at the entrance area when I heard the familiar iPhone ringtone. A weird looking number flared furiously on my phone screen (which I know was from the hospital) .. on that very second, I felt like throwing my phone in the drain, pretended nothing had happened. I was very nervous to answer the call, afraid to hear what they have found out and I was scared to know what was happening in my system. I just don’t want to hear anything and breeze through life happily even if I’m dying with monstrous tumours in me.. But that little voice was telling me to pick my goddamn phone and just face it.
With the unglam cable-ties plastic bags on one hand, I picked up my phone on the other hand and set it on speaker mode as I dragged Sazrin closer to me so that I won’t have to hear the news alone. The call went:

Nurse: Hello, I’m calling from the hospital
Me: Oh hi, yes?
Nurse: Can you verify your full name and IC number please?
Me: My full name is Juriah Binte Aziz and my IC number is S8636XXXZ
Nurse: Ok, thank you for the verifications. We would like to inform you that based on your blood test, we found out that you are PREGNANT, Congratulations! Could you come back to the hospital to schedule a gynae appointment and collect your prenatal vitamins?
Me: Choked, Shocked, Teary and in pain!!! (cos Sazrin was squeezing my back the whole time till it left finger marks to the next day!)
Nurse: Hello are you there?
Me: Yes yes, ok thank you.
Both: Trembling… shaking…

What left me worried sick for weeks turned out to be the most wonderful news in my entire life ever. Sazrin and I stood rooted to the ground, right in front of the Mustafa Centre’s entrance as we embraced each other in tears. People in our surrounding must’ve thought that we were actor and actress filming a drama in Suria channel. We were literally tearing, extremely overwhelmed with emotions by the news (in front of Mustafa Centre??!)
Maa Shaa Allah.

The days up to our very first viable scan were like a dream.. We were led to a dimly-lit room where a young sonographer awaited us. She was nice and very skilful as she inserted an ultrasound probe into my vagina seamlessly. I learned that a transvaginal ultrasound is more likely to be used during the early stages of pregnancy, when capturing a clear image may be more difficult. We found out that we were 6 weeks 3 days long and just as when she was probing the thing around trying to capture images, I caught a glimpse of two flickering lights. Two?! (Gulps!)
Even though I’m no expert, I knew that those lights resembled heartbeats and to substantiate my presumption, the sonographer typed in “Twin peak sign”in the monitor screen.. I immediately looked at Sazrin with my eyebrows arched high up and popping eyeballs.. TWINS? And it was then confirmed by our sonographer that we are indeed, having twins! Maa Shaa Allah! I don’t know what to feel, it was an unexplainable feeling that I had never felt before.. This was something that I had prayed for, cried over, dreamed of, begged Him for, and within those first moments I whispered a heartfelt thank you to Allah for His precious gift(s), Alhamdulillah…

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When we first saw you both….

I remembered those 12 lonely nights in March 2016 when Sazrin left me for Mecca to do his pilgrimage for the very first time. It was his ultimate dream, and I couldn’t be more prouder and happier. But it was those times that I had cooped myself up at home due to the severe detachment and immersed myself with loads of prayers seeking for his safety, wellbeing and something that I had yearned for. I am convinced that he too had prayed tirelessly for our prosperity in health, happiness and our longing to have children. He sent me pictures of the Kaabah and mosques which he had spent most of his time at, it was beautiful beyond words.. Miraculously, a month later, Allah answered our prayers and gave us more than what we have asked for. The thoughts of it all swarmed me with goosebumps and teary-eyed. Such graciousness, generosity and merciful our Almighty lord is. Allahuakbar.
On that day when we heard our babies’ heartbeats, I broke down as reality sank in. I squeezed Sazrin’s hand as we listened to the soft thudding sound on the fetal Doppler, the sound that we had been so eager to hear after all these years.. “Assalammualaikum sayang sayang”, I whispered… I was finally going to get to be a Mum with them calling me “Ummie”.. my dream was all going to be a reality soon, In shaa Allah. (Tears)

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Sazrin off to Mekah, Saudi Arabia.. Us in March 2016, before everything changes a month later. 
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Ultimate dream place.. Miracle Place.. Bring me here someday?…
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It all happened here… Our Hopes, Our Wishes, Our Dreams..

The last five years have truly been some of the most difficult and challenging years of my life, but at the same time, they have grown me in many ways I never imagined were possible. Through it all I never knew what Allah’s ultimate answer would be, but I had learned to be content by living the life I was blessed to live. Little did I know that He was waiting for me to wholeheartedly release my desire to Him so that He could ultimately use my story to touch others, and bring them hope in knowing that He’s still in the “miracle business”, always and forever.

We’ve waited so long for you, little ones – it won’t be long now until we get to meet you.. In Sha Allah.

Love XX,

J.

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For the first time, a HPT turned positive on Me! When we first found out (6 weeks)

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Till we meet again….

Little did I know that a small experience would leave such a huge impact on each one of us, as individuals, as human beings..!
The recent visit that I made to an Orphanage home is truly an eye-opener, something that I’d remember for a very very long time for it is such a dear to my heart..

As I’m writing this, I’m so Grateful for what I have. I’m thankful for my family, for my parents, For Me – just being me, as I am. So many times, I complained about my parents, about my troubled background and so forth, but looking at those orphans, I’m Grateful. At the very least, I know my biological parents no matter how my relationship with them maybe. I know them and they know me and we are concerned about each others’ welfare. Many times, I complained that life is unfair, because I didn’t get what I want and things don’t go my way. Yet, I know I have a future and that glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow. Many times, I get pissed when I don’t find a particular food to eat, or when I don’t have a particular clothes to wear. Yet, I’m never starved or naked.

I discovered that most of these kids are not certain of a future. They live each day as it comes and are glad whenever someone steps in for a visit, for they know food, clothes or gifts had arrived. This visit has made me realised on a lot of things and I am reminded of the children who didn’t have the opportunity of knowing their parents, children who were dumped while their umbilical cord was still attached and children who has lost their parents at birth or very early in life. I am reminded of those people who live from hand to mouth; hustling each day for food for that day. I am reminded of those kids that hawk; those who steal, prostitute and smoke because they know no other way to live. I am reminded of those kids who sleep under the bridges and sell newspapers on the roads, barefooted because they are forced to. I am reminded of those kids who are victims of human-trafficking and can’t come out of it because being trafficked gives them food and shelter. I am reminded of those kids who never had the chance to go to school due to the lack of financial support. I am reminded of the young girls and boys who are turned into drug mules, sex slaves and beggars because they never had anyone to love, guide and protect them. I am reminded of those kids who died tragically in the process of battling all odds for their lives when no one had come to save them………… May Allah have mercy and bless their pure souls, Ameen.

Most significantly, there I was, up-close and personal with the orphans. It was real and truly heartening. I was very excited and a little nervous at first (don’t know why), but I definitely consider it a privilege to be there and be able to meet a bunch of ‘Angels’ from this orphanage home of Riau Islands, Indonesia.

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This one right here, can I adopt him?

Meet Aliff, this 3 year-old. As some of you might have known, I yearn for children (only that, it’s not my time YET).. I truly have soft spots for them ‘little thang’!.. And especially if I am surrounded by a clingy, ‘manja’, soft spoken and a well-behaved one… I AM SOLD, TRULY MELTED.

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25 ‘Angels’ at this Orphanage
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Interior of the Orphanage

You know, the moment I stepped into this home, I was stumbled by mixed emotions. To illustrate, not only was I excited to meet the children, I was also appalled by the sight of a dark and dingy interior all reeked with stench of unwashed pillows fused with sweat, stale milk and urination. It’s sad to know that this home is shared by 25 children (if I were a millionaire, I would re-build this home for them with all of the modern facilities that they need). I am extremely particular in cleanliness and hygiene, and this is definitely an eye-sore and a sad sight, but on a positive note, at least they have a shelter to seek refuge in.

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Beautiful kids

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We got them biscuits, milo packet drinks & Apollo chocolate cakes. They were so happy at the little things that we took for granted in the cupboards of our homes, till they get expired (Yes, I’m guilty).

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The clothes that they wore were passed down by people after people who don’t need them anymore 😦

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The cutest, but also the naughtiest!

Hey you lil munchkin with curls!.. He just wouldn’t stop crying, threw tantrums and got into a huge rampage when we came and needed to have one of the supervisors to calm him down. No I don’t dislike him for that, on the contrary, I am rather fond of him because he is just too cute! His story is one of the tragic ones cos he was found abandoned at the front door of this Orphanage home with his umbilical cord still attached, probably when he was just a day old. Why on earth would anyone dump such a sweet pumpkin like this? Why??? I can never fathom that, ever. 😦

There are many things out there that we will not be able to understand, people who are born in a third world country and had never seen things that we often took for granted; people who are mentally or physically challenged and not given a chance to live a normal life the rest of us can and people who are born so poor that they are sold to foreigners for labor and slavery. Life is never fair for these people. No matter how you want to put it, there are many less fortunate people around us everyday. Often, a lot of us turn a blind eye to their existence because it made our lives easier not to care, for some it’s just plain ignorance. Despite many out there who are already helping and care enough to understand and offer help to these people, help… is never enough, sadly.
On this visit, I learned to appreciate the littlest things in life more and had developed a liking to most of the kids at the orphanage as they warmed my heart like no other…
Till we meet again, In shaa Allah. 

“And the righteous ones are those who give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan and the captive; We feed you for the sake of Allah alone, we seek from you neither reward nor thanks” – Quran 76:8