Well, here goes nothing and my kettle is boiling. I've had the need to say this for a while and because the amount of people in this situation has increased, I figured it was the time to finally let all my thoughts out.

This year, I have counted beyond my ten fingers of the many people or shall I say, "lucky-no-longer-forever-alone" couples. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, I think that love has been in the air for quite some while. However, to state the obvious on what has been on my mind is this: is it love or is it temporary love or is it love, even if at all?

See. The thing is, you can be so completely in love with someone, and still know they are not the right person for you. Just because you have love someone, does not mean it's the type of relationship you necessarily need, and the sooner you listen to what your head/heart/gut is telling you and end it, the sooner you can start to heal; the more time passes, the more trapped you will feel because of the longevity of the relationship itself. It can become a really toxic thing. 

Aside from all of this, I don't want to seem like I am a Negative Nancy. I wrote this for the soulful purpose. Sometimes you make difficult choices that hurt others. But you make them because they are the right choices and they get hurt because you were damn strong enough to do what they never expected of you to do. And sometimes that hurt is mixed with a little bit of pride and a little bit of happy as well. It's okay to walk away from a relationship that does not help you grow and mature as a person and don't let anyone make you feel guilty, or miserable, because you ended a relationship you knew wasn't going to work.

Bear in mind that you are, potentially, worth more than that. So, go make that right choice.

"You might have loved and lost once, but that does not mean you cannot love another."
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By the grace of Allah, another month of Ramadan is around the corner. It starts on Saturday, 27th May in all countries of the world, inshaAllah. Are you ready? I love Ramadan - the lights, the quiet nights, the long days without food and water. It is a time of peace.

It's such a beautiful month where we try to get as close to our Creator as we can and we want to take as much advantage as possible. Seeking repentance asking for forgiveness from others for any wrongdoings you may have done, checking your ego, cut out the bad habits and improve or establish the good ones. Give to a charity with a cause that is close to your heart, but make it so that your left is not even aware of your right hands deeds. The lectures, tranquility, getting back to the Qur'an and understanding it with reinforced vigor. Refraining from food and drink from dawn to dusk teaches us self-discipline and sets an example for just how much self-discipline humans possess. The community around you, all doing it for the sake of finding peace amidst the chaos.

Every year, people resolve to make Ramadan meaningful, to dedicate a major portion of their time to ibadah, to stand the nights in prayer, to come out kinder and purer Muslims. And every year, without fail, they witness the days of this blessed month slip by with little to no progress. Until the month ends and they wonder: What went wrong? This is exactly what happens when people enter Ramadan with little preparation. They start with a bang but within a few days, they run of fuel and are forced to fall back into their normal routine with feelings of guilt and grief. So, do not waste it as a another month. Welcome it like an old friend and ready yourself, try and make it your goal to keep the good habits you have picked to stay with you after Ramadan.

If you don't have a goal for Ramadan, you're wasting your potential. Make a goal to strive for, even if you don't reach it before the end. InshaAllah, we will meet our goals.

Oh, I wanted to remind you guys that there will be people that fast because of social pressure, people that fast, pray and read Qur'an although they aren't very religious for the rest of the year, and people that have trouble fasting because of mental or physical complications - be a bit more tolerant and mindful. I just want to let all my non-Muslim followers to be aware and respectful of your Muslim friends and their practising of their faith. Please do not judge them. To my Muslim followers, it will be a trying and testing month but Allah rewards those who have patience. Remember to use those precious few hours we have after iftar to hydrate and eat energy fueled food as much as you can. And have faith in your Creator for hardship is followed by ease.

Last but not least, may your Ramadan filled with peace, harmony and joy. May the divine blessings of Allah protect and guide you.

"Oh Allah, grant us Ramadan. For we are in desperate need of your mercy."
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Growing up, I was told countless times to be patient and slow down. Whether it was my dad telling me to speak slower, or my mom yelling at me for eating too fast. But as a naturally impatient person I am, I always want to get things over with as soon as possible. I would feel so annoyed whenever people got in my way. I could never stand to wait more than a few minutes before feeling irritated at how long they were taking. Thoughts like "Why is this so slow?", "Why can't this be faster?" or "What's next?" are more than familiar to me.

What is patience? I like to start with the dictionary. "Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset." Patience is one of the most interesting traits a human can possess. While we are waiting for something, we go through so many cycles of emotions. We are perhaps angry for waiting too long, annoyed, frustrated, impatient, breaching insanity... I cannot recall a single day in my own life when at least one of them did not make an appearance. 

All the while not understanding the valuable lessons behind what we are waiting for. While we wait, there is this maturity and understanding that goes along with preparing us for what we want, and what we are waiting for. There is this sense of calmness that bestows us and trains us to be more patient, to be patient better, to appreciate patience and what it reaps. When we spend our time contemplating how long we have been patient and the fact that we have been patient, it takes away from us actually being patient. To be patient is not just to wait. It's not just to remain quiet. It's not just to abstain from complaining. Being patient is putting your trust in Allah. It's expecting that what you are waiting for is good for you, it's to know that you just may not get what it is you're waiting for; but you will get what's best for you.

Patience trains you and teaches you to place your trust in Allah. It teaches you that all these extra-curricular emotions of anger and frustration and annoyance only take away from the value of patience. They take away from your sanity. They take away from your trust in Allah.

Tawakkal. Place your trust in Allah. That is patience. Patience is trust. We can transform impatience into patience. It's well-worth the effort because being patient is a way of treating ourselves with compassion and it also helps us calmly accept things as they are... and that, always feels good. I hope you found this entry helpful in cultivating the virtue of patience. Know that patience is already inside you. You don't have to intentionally enforce it on yourself. What you should do is to address the broken beliefs that are making you impatient. When you do that, patience will become effortless virtue. One step at a time. Measurable progress. A little bit of patience can go a long way.
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I had survived the first poop post c-section and lived to tell the tale.

Here is the story...Before I had kids, my close friends loved to fill my head with horror stories about childbirth and life after having a baby. But none of them mentioned what it's like to poop after you've had a C-section. Your abs have been split open and sewn back together and this causes a problem when you have to strain to push a rock out of a hole the size of a Brussels sprout. Seriously, it can be brutal for many women. It is just as hard if you have a C-section as it is if you have vaginal birth. Really, taking a satisfying dump was not something I thought about often before my pregnancy... I was not prepared for hell. Why would I? Because I was more concerned about being able to nurse and take care of a new baby. But I was wrong!

When your bowels have been out of commission for a week...I'm sure you can imagine what your first poop is going to be like - it's like giving a second child. My first post-birth poop came about a week after I had my surgery. Fast and furious, my intestines squeezed and twisted as they tried valiantly to push stones as hard as coal through my gut. Literally, a soda can sized and shaped poo came out of me. I thought I was legitimately going to die - it left me with a level 4 anal tear. Then the toilet clogged because of my crazy giant deuce and I tried to plunge it (my husband and I still joke about me clogging the toilet with the first brick). I remember feeling shaky, sweaty, trembling mess, crying with half-numb legs and proclaimed, "I did it! I finally did it!" Sweet release. So glad that it was done. It felt like I was pooping glass. That was a special form of torture. No one ever offered me stool softeners... and it didn't happen once but I had trouble going for few weeks until my body return to normal.

And that's motherhood in a nutshell.

To all soon-to-be mothers, you need to prepared for those after-birth gems. Your Hershey highway is about to have a colossal traffic jam. If you had an emergency C-section (like me), you may have had a few anal fissures or hemorrhoids that can make going a serious major pain. It can be very painful for quite some time until you finish healing. Is there anything you can do about it? Yes, thankfully.

  1. Take your post-op medication  - use it. But of all things, make sure the stool softener is at the top of your list.
  2. Do not do it alone. As uncomfortable as it may be, wait until someone else is in the house with you to attempt your first poop. There is a good chance the baby is going to wake up and no one tend to the little one while you take care of business.
  3. Eat the right foods and stay hydrated. Stick to fruits and vegetables. Your body needs all the vitamins and nutrients it can get right now. Oh, and eat prunes because it helps to alleviate constipation after a cesarean delivery.
  4. Move. I know, it is the last thing we feel like doing. But according to the doctor, moving around restores circulation, helping to pass gas and move food down the pike. If it hurts too much to walk, ask for more pain relief.

Every mom has endured that gritty, painful first poop after a C-section. You're not alone and you will get through it. When friends ask me what it is like to have a C-section, I tell them that the recovery is no picnic and that they should really hope for a vaginal birth. But honestly, it's not the worst thing. There are a couple of advantages, namely no episiotomy pain and a few more days in the hospital before you're on your own with a newborn, haa! Anyways...when you look at your baby, it doesn't matter how he came into this world... just that he's here and he's healthy.
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For those of you that read my posts, you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while! Alhamdulillah, I was pregnant with a boy on 25th of March, 2017. I was extremely lucky in the circumstances. My baby was planned and dearly wanted. Honestly, being a mom is awesome!

So, these past few months have been hectic. Between the start of the pregnancy appointments, chasing after our very active and playful kitty, and my pregnancy exhaustion, I haven't gotten a whole lot done outside of work. My house is a mess, I haven't been able to blog much, I feel like I've hardly connected with my husband, and I haven't talked to my family. I went to bed most nights by 9 AM and had no motivation to use my weekends for anything other than rest. I didn't have any sickness, or even a hint of nausea. Everyone was really surprised that I dodged the bullet, hah!

But alhamdulillah, I had (have) a beyond-supportive husband who cleaned up everything, and retained his good humour even when the only conversation I would have with him for days at a time was him to do laundry and buy us food. I had a wonderful workplace that bend over backwards to make sure I was as comfortable as possible, but they didn't allow me to leave early though :(

Anyways, as the title said, I didn't give birth vaginally. He was born via emergency c-section due to footling breech in labor. At 10:07 pm on Sunday night, our first baby boy entered the world. My body was nauseated and shaking so badly from the labor plus the recent c-section meds, that I wasn't even capable of holding my new baby. Because I had just had major abdominal surgery, my epidural had worn off, and I had compression devices to prevent post-surgery blood clots... I basically couldn't move. And because of my c-section, I could barely sit up in my bed, let alone get up to look at or hold my baby. Apparently that's fairly common with c-section deliveries. Finally, after what felt like forever (less than 24 hours), I held my baby in my arms for the first time. He was warm, squishy, snuggly and amazing. However, over the course of the next 24 hours, I discovered that I was pretty much useless when it came to baby care. 

Sometimes I felt like my body had failed me. Like I was a failure. I worked hard to have a healthy pregnancy and set myself up for a beautiful birth. I did everything right, but things didn't go the way I planned. I took a path that I didn't want to take - it was not easy. It took me bravery to undergo a major surgery for the sake of our baby. I took a path that meant more pain, more courage, and more recovery. But if I had to do section again, I would in a heartbeat because it is sacrificial. I will always carry the scar. It's my battle wound which I will always remember my story and those memories will always be inscribed in my heart. 

If you're a mama who has had c-section, or you know you will have a c-section for an upcoming birth, let me tell you something... YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

And to my husband, thank you for being a part of the parenthood tribe. Thank you for your deep sacrifice for your wife and our little munchkin. I love you so much  It has truly been such a wonderful journey for both of us.
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