THE S U R P R I S E

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

Before you continue reading this post, let’s catch up with the first two posts in the trilogy of Isa’s birth:

  1. T H E P R E G N A N C Y – [Here]
  2. T H E  B I R T H – [Here]
  3. T H E  S U R P R I S E – [Live]

They say life is full of surprises. So let’s start off with the not-so-nice surprises that followed the afterbirth: the hormones, the recovery, the loneliness and isolation.

t h e HORMONES.

// you go from carrying a baby one minute, to becoming an empty vessel the next. All those hormones you used to help nurture and grow your baby is left in your system floating all over the place – you are all over the place. One minute you’re hyper, the next minute you’re sad and utterly depressed.

Ultimately, I blamed my hormones for everything, it provided me with some form of relief and comfort to “just get over myself” and “get on with it”. It helped rationalise everything, knowing the over-reaction isn’t just all me and that there was some form of chemical imbalance 😛

t h e RECOVERY.

// you hear about all these wonderful birth stories and they make it sound as if it wasn’t that hard or painful – well they make it appear that way. But for me, it felt far from the truth. It doesn’t help when you have social media sharing glossy, near perfect images of their afterbirth. I know that social media is a reel of our lives, hence why I think it’s important to have a social detox during this period; focus on the now and being with your baby – learning and recovering.

I had a c-section, recovery was not what I imagined. In all honesty, I didn’t think or plan my recovery in detail – it was definitely an oversight, which was such a big mistake! Please be your future friend and plan, if not prep for your recovery; from visitors, to stockpiling and prepping food!

When it’s your first born and your first experience into motherhood, recovery from a c-section is very difficult to handle, especially if you don’t have additional hands on deck to help, because a) you don’t know what you’re doing and b) you’re constantly up and active with minimal sleep – which in turn I think led to the failure of my breastfeeding attempts. Going back, I would decline ALL visitors who just wanted to visit and see out of curiosity and keep them pending until further notice, however, I will welcome honest help.

Help in the form of time. Friends and family who know their way around my place without feeling uncomfortable and who can offer their time, so I can take in the moment, bathe, sleep, cook, eat, relax or have 10 minutes to myself. The last thing I want to do was overly socialise, entertain guests and host – I appreciate the sentiment and love they offer but during this recovery phase, focus your efforts elsewhere and recover!

t h e LONELINESS AND ISOLATION.

// I didn’t have the option of having a family member come round to stay or help, I had zero help with a newborn and no supervision or family guidance in breastfeeding, which made the ordeal terrible. Ultimately, I felt like a failure as a human, female and mother – a being that could not feed her baby. It’s something that you beat yourself over as you assume it’s a natural motion, however, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

Due to issues of their own, my family made my pregnancy experience difficult and unenjoyable, so to some extent I cut them out for awhile so I can focus on my studies, work, safe pregnancy and delivery. But it was after birth where I cried the most, this was so unexpected. That was the time I needed them the most. Bless my OH, he was amazing throughout, no faults or complaints about him, he’s a soldier. But sometimes you just wanted that maternal help, that comfort and guidance and I feel like that’s were I missed out and struggled to get on with things.

I understand why they weren’t there and I couldn’t have been more upset – and the sad thing is I didn’t reach out or ask for help, I felt like I couldn’t – given the circumstance. I just felt alone through my pregnancy, no support, no maternal advice – the excitement wasn’t there. Even when I finally did get an ounce of excitement, the moment was quickly snatched.

My advice to new mothers-to-be, who cannot get this maternal help, is to join mum-related forums and groups. So many advice, assistance and guidance can be found under one page, it’s a godsend.

Despite all of the negative aspects I share on motherhood, all the joys it brings along definitely trumps the bad. I guess I don’t share a lot of the happy and merry moments, purely because I don’t want to give nazr (evil eye) on what’s going good already, Alhamdulilah for everything. Motherhood is all about adjustment and compromise. I feel like when the crunch-time comes, as female human beings, our innate instincts guide us through the journey.

The loveliest of all surprises is seeing your little one grow and learn, start calling you mama and those little random just because cuddles and kisses – nothing beats those moments.

Overall, motherhood is the biggest life lesson and surprise. It teaches you to respect your own mom and reminds you of the sacrifices they had taken to raise you. It also spurs you to be better and raise confident, respectful, well-mannered little humans, to love and co-exist peacefully.

With that said, here’s where I finish off the final surprise:

I hope you all enjoyed this lengthy and delayed post (sorry, took me some time to edit!) and feel free to follow and subscribe, well because it’s free!

Until my next post xoxo

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LIFE // The P R E G N A N C Y

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

I entered the elite motherhood club on 08th August, 2017 at 14:16
To my beautiful baby boy: Isa Mikaeel
a wonderful mix of Bengali and Ghanian roots – my little baby.

——————–
My journey into motherhood wasn’t easy or as straightforward as I expected and this is why…

According to this picture I found out on 05th December, 2016 at 23:04 // and wasn’t expecting it at the slightest.

I remember taking the test, leaving it by the sink, checking the result and went to tell my OH the test was positive and proceeded to sit back down on the couch calmly (clearly the severity of this news hasn’t sunk in with me, as I was ever so blasé) – he didn’t flinch and thought it was a joke as I’ve joked about it before (because my menstrual cycle is always late and all over the place due to the pill where I’d taken tests before // Note, this is why you don’t cry wolf girls and boys haha). Hours went by until the OH noticed and only did so when he got up to go pee and came back into the living room looking breathless and holding up the stick asking if it was real… but boy indeed it was.

He was super excited, scared, nervous and confused and likewise so was I. A wave of emotions intertwining.

We weren’t ready for this news. We knew this wasn’t the right time for us. We always discussed that we wanted kids and how we had a process for life, we knew there were certain steps we wanted to take before we settled down into the family life. We wanted our own space – one which we didn’t rent, to be homeowners – we wanted our own careers, our own businesses and to further our education.

Once reality hit, the following day we booked an abortion.

We booked it as a precaution, not know what to expect or feel. What I thought would be a quick simple process where you book an appointment, pop in, grab a pill and bobs your uncle – but nope, that wasn’t the case with me. Because I was far off my period it meant that I needed to book two appointments and the first one wasn’t until a week away. That meant IT would be growing for an extra week. But that’s what we did anyways, we booked that appointment and that entire week was a very tense week… I was so lost and confused and beyond overwhelmed. There was no one I could approach regarding this topic, not even my family or friends.

Everyday me and my partner would discuss if what we were doing was the right thing. As people of God, we found going down the abortion route was incredibly worrying. It went against all of our morals. It just didn’t feel right. Through countless of discussions we came to realise that God gave us this precious gift of life knowing we are ready even when we thought we felt we weren’t ready. This was our test and first hurdle in life together and we couldn’t abandon it, so they day before my first appointment I called up the clinic and cancelled the appointment. A huge cloud was lifted and I was left feeling reassured that we were making the right decision.

Throughout my pregnancy journey with Isa I experienced a lot of emotional distress from the start till the end, whereby I wasn’t able to pause and really take in the beauty of the pregnancy and enjoy it for what it was – a gift. Majority of the emotional stress came from family and a secondary form of stress was my final year of uni exams (FYI, I graduated with a first 😌 Alhamdulilah – so if you’re struggling in Uni, persevere and know you can get through this!). I was constantly busy between work and uni, I didn’t have time to really notice and document my growing bump. If I could go back, I would log it more and take more pictures and not be so shy and awkward about my bump – the entire pregnancy I tried to hide it because by nature, I am a reserved person and surprisingly don’t like any attention on me which asks too many questions.

Despite my external stresses in life the actual pregnancy itself was soooooo smooth, to the point I would often forget I was pregnant. I did not experience any symptoms except a slight metal taste in my mouth in the early of days of pregnancy. Other than that, it was pain free and I was breezing along.

The first real hit of…

Omg the baby is real!!

Started when I could feel the little one flutter in my stomach approx 4/5 months in. It was such a surreal moment. This is the moment you suddenly realise you are responsible for the life of another being. It’s your duty to care in the upbringing of this innocent soul and make them an honest and god-fearing person. Instilling them with good values and decent morals. As scary as the responsibility sounds, it’s also an honour to be a parent and to offer so much love, joy and happiness.

The second wave of realism hit when I went in for the 16 weeks doctors check up. Now here you get to listen to your babies heartbeat!! It was so bizarre and dreamy all at the same time. Super quick fluttering beats, I was too shy to ask if I can record the moment 🤦‍♀️ – please don’t be like me, go and ask if you can record these special moments. They’re not everyday experiences and one you wouldn’t want to walk away from.

Then we had the 20 week scan 😍🤲 it was out of this world. You silently lay there and marvel at Gods creations and are super grateful of all the technology in the world which allows you to meet and see something amazing and clearly before you have a chance to hold them. It’s a beautiful moment. Do not forget to take your videos and purchase the scan pictures, purchase them from every single scan otherwise you’ll end up like me regretting it. Don’t be silly like Yasmin!

Feeling the first flutter of movement grow into mini kicks and turns is soooo bizzare. Just thinking about it makes me emotional and makes me want to cry. It’s such a special moment and a unique bonding experience that only mother and baby get. But don’t get me wrong towards the last month of pregnancy those kicks are not nice or forgiving haha, feels like your chest is gonna break 🤪 and all you want is for your waters to break and for the little rascal to be free!

Now, I wouldn’t say I had any cravings, I ate a lot of citrus fruits and WATERMELON. I was having a summer baby and summer 2017 was incredibly hot – so I didn’t limit myself to food, I ate what my body wanted but I did not “eat for two” – as this myth ladies and gentleman is where you pile on the pounds extra quick.

The only stage it got problematic was that at 28 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and that wasn’t fun to deal with. I had to take my blood samples 4x a day!!!! I didn’t just prick myself with a needle once a day, but 4!! It’s safe to say my fingertips felt consistently bruised lol and it was a headache sorting out my repeat prescriptions because my doctors kept getting it wrong 🤦‍♀️ – issuing me one needle per day instead of 4 and they kept questioning why I kept running out so quickly.. turned out someone made an error with the prescriptions. You also then have to watch you eat and my goodness is there sooo many foods out there which can spike your sugar levels, it wasn’t fun keeping blood levels down.

But aside from that as I said, the actual pregnancy itself Alhamdulilah was easy-breezy.

That was. until. you get to the birth.

Overall it was incredibly amazing to learn about the miracle journey of a sperm to egg and too see it develop overtime in your belly. Following the apps were insightful and mind blowing. Crazy to think at some point the little energetic cheeky man that is running around today was so small and unimaginable and that I helped grow him, nurture him and give birth to him.


I hope you’ve enjoyed the read so far! You’ll have to wait till next week to read all about the birth, so stick around follow and subscribe in the meantime to get notified. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you wish to know so I can include that.

As you all may know I never really shared my pregnancy journey on social media. Here are some never before shared images (and the only few I’ve managed to capture) of Isa as a bump. As you can see they’re quick selfies and slightly awkward. Now the last image here, is me the day before induction.. the day before I meet my little man. I remember my feet and face being really swollen at this time and I had to ask for the OH to help me pop on my sandals, as the lovely bump was just in the way.

I’ll be splitting my experience into three parts:

  1. T H E P R E G N A N C Y
  2. T H E  B I R T H
  3. T H E  S U R P R I S E

Until my next post xoxo

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Ten things they don’t tell you about motherhood…

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

I feel like there’s always something to add to this post, hence why it’s taken me some time to post it out. There’s always something new to share or something crazy you learn. Motherhood is one of the wildest adjustment you’ll make to your life so here are 10 things I was never told about motherhood…

When looking for a picture to set the tone of this post I realised I don’t take enough candid photos of me and my boy together – it’s usually pics of him and his dad, with others, or just of himself. I’m too busy looking like a bum to even think about getting involved, so that’s why you’ve got a photo of little ol’ me. Moral of the story: GET INVOLVED, get taking those photos and capture those memories coz I know I damn well I would want to reminisce about them later on.

In no particular order let’s get started on the ten things they don’t honestly tell you about motherhood…

1) DRY HANDS.

// You wash your hands after every nappy change, before every feed and then for your own needs – it’s constant wash wash wash, dry dry dry. Don’t even get me started on the chore that is sterilising bottles 😒 but it’s safe to say I’ve developed the most aged hands around town and it looks sad. I’m at a point where I’m like is there really any point to moisturising if it’s going to get washed off in five minutes? The answer is no. BUT if I don’t moisturise it my hand gets super cracked and bleeds and that’s not pretty to look at either.

2) 10 NEEDLES.

// When you have a cesarean everyone forgets to tell you the part where you have to self-inflict yourself for ten days with jabs. Yes, it’s there to prevent blood clots but boy did that hurt! I personally felt a burning sensation every time I got injected and it was a time of day that I dreaded so much.

3) WEIGHT.

// I don’t know what magical human out there exists but nooooo it doesn’t drop off anytime soon and nooo there is no time to go to the gym. I’m loosing out on £15.99 per month on a subscription which I never use. 😭😭 (DW, I’ve cancelled this now 6 months later).

4) LONELINESS.

// Motherhood brings out a sense of loneliness which I never really expected. Even though there are people around you it’s not the same. The nights are the worst because there really is no one else you can call upon. I mean realistically how many times a night are you gonna bother someone? (Please note this feeling does get suppressed over time when bubba starts sleeping longer) 😅. On a side note I think it’s important to note that Isa’s daddy works nights hence maybe why that feeling felt stronger? But either way it’s there, I’ve spoken to other new moms who have experienced the same helpless lonely feeling.

5) DEPENDANT COMFORTERS.

// I know as a parent you are responsible for the upbringing of your child. Which is great it’s the literal definition of a parent – to love and care for your little one. I never realised just how dependent the little critters are. Soooo clingy. From a cute morning hug to a temper tantrum cuddle who wants to be rocked and patted to sleep… but oh no, wait for it.. you can’t sit whilst you do it… you need to stand up!!! Can someone explain this logic and crazy science to me, please????! Why and how do babies realise we are standing as opposed to sitting? Like I’m doing the same motion. I would be able to get loads more done if only he was content with what he’s doing without me sitting there holding him or staring at him. 😴 < that’s me exhausted and no this feeling will never pass for the next 18 years (or so I’ve been told 🤪).

6) FIGHTING SLEEP.

// If you’re tired, sleeeeep!! They fight sleep and I don’t know why. I thought if they’re tired you rock them one, two, three boom 💥 they’re down and gone. I’ve spent countless of hours rocking Isa to bed and before you know it it’s time for a new feed and nappy change – and guess what the boy never slept. Yet he’s literally moaning and crying to sleep. Those initial first months were hard, but don’t worry now that he’s 8 months old I’ve got him figured out to a T.

7) NECESSITIES.

// Don’t buy shit – from clothes to useless shit and gimmicky things. Don’t get sucked into it – don’t forget this is a consumerist society everything is made with the intent to sell sell sell! Save your pennies. Wait for your baby shower, wait for people to come by with gifts when the bubba is born because you don’t know what’s coming. In our family we all chip in for the various bits and bobs a baby needs because they do come at an expense. For example, one member will buy the cot, another the pram, another the bouncer etcetera… basically a registry? Of course don’t rely on anyone but in all honesty, you don’t need anything in the first three months except 0-3 months clothes, nappies, bottles, sterilisers, food and YOU. All they need is lots of warmth, love and cuddles from you.

Oh please note; the baby season rotates every 3 months or so. Take your time when making a big purchase. No doubt it’ll go on sale at some point. When one store has a baby sale they ALL go on sale – it’s what makes a competitive market. Having said that – make every opportunity of First Time Shop vouchers and mailing lists because when you sign up no doubt you’ll be emailed with a discount code too.

8) RELATIONSHIPS.

// The dynamics change – what I didn’t expect is all the disagreement that follows. You don’t realise as an individual how selfish you are as a person and in relationships. See that changes when you have a baby because it’s no longer about the two of you, your sole purpose for those initial couple of months is to focus solely on the baby. The early stages of parenthood are tough because you are the sole carers for this fragile beautiful being that you need to nurture and strengthen. Just be 1000% confident in your relationship with your partner before having a child – just make sure you’re both on the right page that way you’ll be able to overcome any hurdles that come your way.

9) HIPS AND HEELS.

// Nobody mentioned to me that after a baby wearing heels like I was 18 is no longer possible. I remember the days where I would wear heels at 6:30am and trot into London to uni and be back home by 7:30pm in heels no problem. What I realised at my cousin’s wedding is that I can’t last bloody one hour in them 😩😭😭 no joke my hip joints felt like they got stuck.

10) LATCHING.

// Prior to having Isa I never gave breastfeeding much thought, it was a natural action and bond between mother and child – yet it was one that I didn’t realise was quite difficult to master. I presumed babies automatically attached to the boob and knew what to do and the milk would just flow. Oh no my fellow readers that’s not the case, well not for me anyways. I had such a difficult time getting Isa to latch on it just ruined the whole breastfeeding experience for me and I ultimately failed. What’s supposed to be a really natural and seemingly easy experience – just wasn’t the case. It definitely made me more “depressed-like” post-pregnancy as the stress and importance of it weighed heavy on me.

I do hope you enjoyed reading this post, if you would like read all my mommy parenting style posts please search “parenthood” in my blog search bar on the right. && if there’s anything you’d like to know or have any suggestions for me don’t be afraid to get in touch and let me know.

I would love to know as a new parent what shocked you the most, or you felt in the lurk about? Feel free to comment below – Until my next post xoxo

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Parenthood // I’m struggling but it’s okay.

As-Salaamu Alaikum
Peace Be Upon You

I wasn’t going to share this post because I know a lot of people are on the good vibes only train – and that’s amazing. I’m all for it too. Hi 2018, and welcome my loves.

But right now it’s honesty hour and every now and again I feel as though it’s important and it’s okay to share the daily struggles we go through – I’m choosing to share this post partly because it’s a therapeutic form of release and partly to let others in a similar scenario to me know that it’s okay to be feeling like this because life isn’t all hunky dory – and we DO need to share the struggles to help each other overcome it, no? Because as they say: “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist” and “It takes a village to raise a child” but lately I’ve been struggling with adjusting to becoming a mom.

It’s hard to say I need help when I feel as though that help isn’t readily available when I need it the most. For many different reasons I’m quite distant and reserved from my family and unfortunately my closest friends aren’t within the easiest reach, which in turn makes asking for help extremely difficult.

I recently stumbled across this quote on Tumblr:

“Stay strong. Make them wonder how you handled it”

// It resonated with me in so many ways because I’m not one to usually share my most vulnerable thoughts. It’s so easy to share the blissful moments but oh so difficult to share the struggle and pain. I’m not going to share the intimate details, but just talk in general, because this is my personal experience and everyones journey and tolerance is extremely different so it wouldn’t be exactly fair for me to comment on a whole when it’s just little old me.

All I know is that ever since I read that quote it’s been my mantra ever since and I’ve been saying it to myself every single day, to get myself through the day because for me motherhood ain’t been easy and I felt the need to hide the fact I was struggling. But I’ve now realised that it was stupid to think like that because it’s normal to struggle throughout this time, it’s a big change and it’s important for me to speak up so I can find a resolution. We live in a world where we are constantly told to stay strong and positive and in all honesty, it can be so overwhelming especially when there’s no real guidance. Everything is so vague and subjective, especially parenthood.

For me, parenthood in particular hasn’t felt natural, it’s been hard, I’ve had limited support and help, I’ve felt judged and constantly question, and ultimately I’m confused as heck… but I’m learning and doing the best I can to manage. All I know is that during the early crazy hours of the morning my mind takes me into the deepest corners of mind, it’s not a pleasant experience and one that I’m not too familiar with. It’s an unnerving experience, a lonely experience and one that stresses me out. I know I’ve not been myself lately and getting myself through this phase has been hard.

Despite all of this, Isa is smiling and is healthy, Alhamdulilah, so I guess I must be doing something right along the way. I know it takes two to parent and trust me my partner is in the picture and doing amazing and being the best he can be to be there, but working nights isn’t easy and does take it’s toll occasionally.

But this is where YOU can come in

…if you wanted too.

For everyone who’s not a parent – can I kindly offer you some tips on how to care and be there for someone who is struggling or is down or even offer simple solutions as to how you can make them smile?

Basically what I want to say is if you know someone who has recently had a baby check up on them, give them a call, see how they’re doing, offer to cook for them, babysit or even make a bloody cuppa or hold the baby for 5 minutes because I can assure you they will appreciate your love and comfort. Create a judgement free zone for them to enter, relax and just momentarily slip away from their duties. Those little actions and gestures will mean sooo much to them… trust me.

I’m so sooo relieved when I can find someone to hold Isa for me whilst I pop to the loo or have a shower or even put on a long awaited face mask. Simple tasks and chores get dragged out because my focus is 100% on the baby and his needs. That’s why when the people around me offer to visit, help to cook, or chat – I feel a sense of relief from my worldly struggles and that small action created the biggest of difference in making me cheery for the day.

If someone didn’t tell me directly how they felt post-pregnancy I would not have thought twice about them and assumed they’re okay.

I love being a mom and I promise I’m not complaining, I just wanted to share that recently I have been struggling and learnt that’s just part of the package. Sometimes you get help and other times you don’t. It’s not until you join the parenthood crew you realise what it takes to ‘parent’.

However, the people around you can make the smallest of difference if they know what’s happening… because prior to having Isa I know I’d be none the wiser and would not think twice about so-and-so person who just had a baby – and wouldn’t think to check up on them or offer help.

Most the time I don’t really know myself what kind of help I’m seeking, but sometimes I just need a little comfort to let me know I’m doing okay? Especially when I have no guidance to help me through. I know you may think if I need help why don’t I ask for it instead of writing so much rubbish. Well don’t worry lads I’m actively seeking it – it’s just been a hard admitting it and a path I didn’t think I needed to take.

If you’re a first-time parent or a single parent or even just parent who’s feeling down in the rut, I just want to say it’s okay, you will ride this wave out beaming 😁💖 and that every little thing will be A-Okay👌🏽

From the bottom of my heart, I love you all. It’s been a deep evening but I hope some what of what I said was coherent, relatable and understandable. If you thought of someone whilst reading this post I want you to share this post with them and to message them right away and ask if they’re okay and want to meet for a cuppa? Coz come on we all got tea, coffee and hot chocolate at home. – I’m sure they’d love to see a friendly face too.

Until my next post xoxo

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