Stories about baby

Why women need to complain more

I can’t tell you how much I relied on my girlfriends for my sanity in my 20s. During our student days at the University of Virginia (UVA), we were each other’s roommates, psychiatrists, parents, and siblings. Far away from my family in Bangladesh, my friends and I became each other’s families. But something happens to our female friendships when we leave our 20s and enter our 30s. As we get older and get married, have babies, work, work more, and did I mention, work more, we also begin to talk less. Why is it that when women need their girlfriends the ...

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‘Don’t tickle your baby’s feet’

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman in possession of a new baby must be in severe, dire need of parenting advice – or so the aunties would have you believe. Parenting is probably the only profession where you can be an expert with the least amount of training. All you need to do is have a baby, or have a sister who has a baby, or have seen a fleeting glimpse of a baby bawling in a park. It seems like the minute you announce you are expecting, a swarm of visitors besiege you with ...

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A ‘beta’ for Bruni

Life in the upper echelons of European society can sometimes be as gender biased as it is on our side of the globe. On the one hand, there are Drottningholm Palace of Sweden, that has followed equal primogeniture in their law of succession since 1980, and the Buckingham Palace that plans to do the same to enable William and Kate’s firstborn boy or girl to succeed to the throne after the future King William. On the other hand, there’s Èlysée Palace, home to President Sarkozy of the Republic of France, where (as reports suggest) the First Lady, Ms Carla ...

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Unplanned pregnancy: Time to speak up

How many of us, Pakistani or South Asian women, have the courage to narrate our feelings on the issue of unplanned pregnancies? Why does society not understand that an unplanned pregnancy is a risk factor for depression both, during and after pregnancy? Why do health care providers tend to miss opportunities to learn more about the pregnant woman’s feelings about her pregnancy? I understand that these are difficult questions to answer, considering the norms of our society and medical practice which traditionally view pregnant women as a machine whose purpose is to produce a healthy infant and then be a happy mother-to-be ...

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Who knew life was all about making babies

If you’ve been married for a few months, you probably have been asked the same question repeatedly – ‘the baby question.’ Now, I’m not in any way opposed to people who pop little-poo-filled-bundles-of-joy nine months after their marriage. But please, I urge them to spare us. When you ask me 15 days after my wedding if I’m pregnant or not, you are not only being a tad bit intrusive, you are also being highly insensitive. Asking newly weds every month whether they have been visited by a certain ‘special aunty‘ is not only a huge pain in the behind, it is also ...

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‘Are you having a baby? I hope it’s a boy’

In an era where cell phones and Botox have changed our lifestyles, our mentality is still not very different from the dark ages. If you browse through any Urdu newspaper’s classified section, you might come across an ad that says “beta” (son) in big, bold letters. If you read further, it says “Inshallah, beta ho ga” (God willing, it’ll be a son). And it’s not just newspapers. People send spam text messages like “Boy or girl, choice is yours”. This is a gruesome reality that tells us our thinking has not evolved at all. The stigma attached to the birth of a female ...

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My brother is special, and it’s not because of his disability

I remember the excitement in my father’s voice when he told me “You are a big girl now” because I had a baby brother to look after. I felt important and eagerly awaited for him to grow up and play with me. He was a beautiful baby, to say the very least. I waited for him to start crawling, to become responsive to the love I showered him with. I waited for him to call me “aapi”. But the days turned into months and months to years. He never crawled, he never responded, he never spoke. My family yearned to hear ...

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A moral argument for abortion

Abortion. An eight lettered word that can ruin any well-heeled kitty party or friends’ night out. I should know, since I have successfully brought conversations to a screeching halt (or the opposite) on both occasions. I often wonder what it is about that word which awakens the morality brigade. Those arguing against abortion often claim “It’s a living thing!” blithely ignoring my scathing looks of disbelief. Science and logic seem to take a back seat in this argument. How about some facts to back up emotion? The power is hers I’m pro-choice, in case there was any doubt. If there is anything in life ...

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Surviving flight 304 with cake-boy

Karachi-wallay like to stereotype. We spin whole life stories around accessories and behaviour. Pants above ankle length? Member of an Islamist party. Pink iPhone case with matching nails? Definitely out of town, maybe a Lahori. So it was only fitting that when I boarded the PK304 to Lahore I was assigned the seat right out of a bad airplane movie: the one directly behind the bathroom, next to the mother with the howling baby. By that I don’t mean I’m going to start bashing PIA. Personally I like PIA, I like the spicy food and I think the schedule runs ...

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No test, no nikkah (Part 2)

After my post “No test, no nikkah”, I have got some appreciation and at the same time some objections as well. Here is the reply to those objections: Several people asked me how they can ask their partners to get tested. “It doesn’t look good,” they said. A friend of mine said “The in-laws might start beating me Ayesha!” and I simply replied, “Just for once think of your generation – that beating won’t be anything then.” Then, there are people who ask me who am I or the government to stop them marrying their love if both are Thalassemia minor. Who said ...

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