A little sharing about my experiences regarding Tawakkal, especially during my pregnancy and postpartum.
Tawakkal: trusting in God's plan, perfect trust in God and reliance on Him alone
To be finally preggie is something that is luxurious for us. We have waited for five years and had undergone many fertility check-ups and once intended to do an IVF. All the results show that both of us are okay, fertile, and should be able to conceive naturally. Then it made us think, it's probably just a matter of time. And it must be Allah’s plan. We have made all the efforts and let’s just be tawakkal.
When the long-awaited pregnancy is finally here, the ride was not so smooth. I had a miscarriage in early 2017. The fetus was not growing, and no heartbeat detected. Of course, we were devastated. But then again, there’s nothing we can do. Life, death, and rizq are Allah’s prerogative. All we can do was, again, be tawakkal. We believed that Allah has a much better plan for us.
Just two months after the miscarriage (and our dream road trip to New Zealand - well, this was actually our heart broken road trip, that was intended to console our minds), alhamdulillah Allah bless us with another pregnancy. This time around, it took us by surprise. And if I counted the days back, I was already pregnant when we travel to New Zealand. Alhamdulillah this baby survived long-haul flights, hours of driving, hiking, trekkings and all sort of physical activities that I wouldn’t do had I known I was pregnant. Well, maybe Allah wanted to give us a chance to make our dream road trip before having a kid 😄
Alhamdulillah, my pregnancy was relatively easy. Just had a little morning sickness, but I can still be (very) active. Not too much weird cravings, which will be troublesome as I live far away from home. But there are times something went beyond usual that made me super anxious.
On the early week of the pregnancy, I bleed. For someone who just had a miscarriage two months before, it was a total nightmare. I remembered that day I booked a taxi to go to the hospital with trembling hands. I was so afraid that I keep shaking for God knows how many minutes or even hour until I see the doctor. But then, I tawakkal. If this baby meant to be ours, I believe it will be eventually. Thankfully, the bleed is nothing to worry about. And that day I got to hear my baby heartbeat 💗. I was so thankful to Allah that I cried with happy tears.
In the second trimester, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. I had no family history of diabetes. I have been exercising throughout my pregnancy, and I walk at least 4Kms daily. I was quite taken aback. I had made my efforts to stay healthy in this pregnancy. Why me? With GDM condition, I need to monitor my blood sugar twice a week closely. And each day, I needed to prick my fingers seven times. For a person who is afraid of needles and blood, this is very disturbing (mentally and physically). Not only that. I needed to closely monitor my diet too. More veggies, very minimum sugar intake (which I found it very troublesome), and even more exercises. I was still at the denial state at the beginning. But, what else can I do besides living it? Then, I tawakkal. As the days went by, I got used to it, and hey it's not so bad! I got to eat only healthy food intake, which is very good for the baby. I did more exercises, includes yoga, stair climbing, core muscles training, which later I know that they did speed up my labor!!
Baby Alula really took her time in my belly. She decided to come out only three days before the EDD, which means at 39 weeks+4 days! Obgyn consultation approaching EDD was not so pleasant, as the doctor intended (in an intimidating way) to go for induction if the baby hasn't come out by 40 weeks. The concern is, "usually" GDM baby will be big, so it would be hard to give birth naturally. It took us by surprise. Isn't EDD just an estimated date? I didn't want to impose any harm to my baby by unnecessary medical intervention, especially when there was no medical problem. As in many cases, unnecessary induction may lead to fetal distress and could end up in an emergency C-section. If we can just wait for a couple of days, why would we undergo an intervention that may have higher risk than the waiting itself? The discussion with my gynae at that time was so intense, as she insisted on going with induction, and we also declared we prefer to wait. At that time, my blood sugar is under control, and I'm in a carefully monitored diet, my baby is kicking, and very active, amniotic fluid is within a normal level. It makes me confident to go as natural as possible. She gave in after I challenge her to schedule another fetal growth scan to see my baby's weight if it's her concern. Good thing that the estimated baby weight is within normal, and we can at least delay the induction to 41 weeks.
To be honest, it makes me anxious too. What if my baby hasn't come out by 41 weeks? From then, I walk a lot more. Double the distance than usual. Hoping that the walks help the baby to descend, make her way to the birth canal. Until one evening during my walk (which has always been accompanied by my husband), I told my husband that I just want to be tawakkal. I have done my part with all the efforts. And I surrender all of the birth affairs to Allah, who creates the baby and the master of every plan. Guess what? My water bag burst a couple of hours after that, and I had a fast and furious 4 hours labor.
The story of Tawakkal continues in my postpartum journey. I have trouble with breastfeeding, which later I know a lot of mommies experienced it too. It was so painful to breastfeed my baby until the 3rd week of postpartum. I have visited lactation consultant twice, checking if the baby had a tongue tie, applying a cream, cabbage, and do every advice I heard from friends or I read online. It doesn't help to get better. Even, worse. I know I have been (very) stressful. The breastfeeding session that is supposed to be a happy bonding moment between my baby and me has been a traumatic experience. The problem continues. My milk supply drop and my baby doesn't gain weight. Inevitably it builds up the stress even more to the point that I want to give up breastfeeding. Then one day at the end of 3rd week, I decided to be tawakkal and be happy. I will accept all the breastfeeding pain, as long as my milk is sufficient for my baby, and more importantly, she is healthy. There you go! After that very day I changed my mindset, my baby's latching is improving a lot better, the wound on my nipples are healing very fast compared to the past three weeks, and breastfeeding my baby is not that painful anymore. Well, the pain is still there, but it reduced very very very significantly. I'm sure it will only get better. I realized that for the past three weeks I was too focused on finding the solution to the problem myself, and I completely forget that Allah is the greatest solver for every problem.
Then I remember one of my friends posted this on her social media account:
Allah has already planned your life. If something goes wrong, it went wrong for a reason."
Well, this parenthood journey is still a very long way to go. But looking back to my pregnancy and postpartum journey, I am very grateful that Allah has given me a chance to taste the beauty of this spiritual journey. The problems made me believe that Allah will always be there. We just need to be tawakkal.
A blessed mom