Stories about pregnancy

We lack the wisdom to raise our sons the way we raise our daughters

Before our son Kareem was born, my wife Priya, my daughter Madina and I were on a flight and we ended up sitting next to a woman who was expecting her first child. I sat in the middle seat between Priya and the expecting woman while the two of them discussed things only an expecting mother could discuss with another mother. At one point we asked if she knew the gender of her baby and she said, “A boy thankfully. I am so relieved.” As she went on to explain why she’s relieved, she said having a girl would be a lot more ...

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What they don’t tell you about being pregnant

It first starts with the woman (let’s name her Boops) peeing on a stick while simultaneously trying not to wet her hand. It is not a pretty sight. No, don’t try to imagine it. I said, don’t! Then comes the waiting period. Tic Toc, Tic Toc – the longest two minutes to date.  Is it one line, or two lines? One… no… two, I definitely see two! And voila, just like that you are pregnant. The hand you possibly splattered on is forgotten, as you wipe your forehead in relief (or fear) that you are now about to step into another phase of your ...

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This boy saved his mother when the crane fell in Makkah

September 11, 2015. It is a day when the tragedy at Masjid al Haram in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stunned the world. A massive crawler crane, one of many used to modernise the city, collapsed without warning on the Grand Mosque after 5pm on Friday, a time when the mosque is usually bustling with activity. The unfeeling steel indiscriminately took down concrete as well as flesh and bones standing in its path. In the aftermath, the sorrowful scenes saw 107 people dead and 238 injured. The stories emerging from the incident are horrifying. Many have lost their beloved family members in a few heartbeats. Yet, there is ...

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Busting the ‘late’ marriage myth: Why I didn’t marry early

We are well into the 21st century, hurtling towards a new era of science and technology, but Indian women still face a basic struggle. As soon as they step into their mid-20s, Indian women have to deal with the pressure of getting married to a ‘suitable’ man. There are many things wrong with that thought. First, it assumes that every woman is sexually interested in men. Second, it assumes that every woman wants to get married. The pressure on men to be ‘suitable’ is another story. Troubles for women don’t end with ‘choosing’ the right sexuality, or the conventional desire to get married and have children, ...

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“May God bless you with a son” – But what if I don’t want one?

When I was expecting my first child, the occurrence itself was immensely exciting, hence pondering over the gender of my baby didn’t seem important at that time. However, others were more concerned about the gender, thus I would come across common remarks such as, “Allah (SWT) beta hi dai ga.” (God will bless you with a son.) Nonetheless, I would ignore such comments and tell myself that sons are typically perceived to be more precious than daughters by such people, thus they wish accordingly for others. But they didn’t have to say it to my face as it put me under bizarre pressure of giving birth ...

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We need to stop treating menstruation as a ‘fault’

“So what do you do when you… you know… have your monthly period?” I said to my domestic helper, after my mouth-gaping-open-in-shock reaction was over and I found my voice. For an urban woman, what she was telling me was unthinkable. I was truly scandalised that many women in Pakistan’s underprivileged parts walk around with no sanitary cloth or napkins when they have their menstrual period. Others do use folded pieces of cloth, she told me, but even then the hygiene conditions she was describing were hardly satisfactory. The year was 2010. Pakistan had been hit by one of the worst ...

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A C-section does NOT make you “less of a mother”

Last night, as I browsed the internet, a ridiculous statement at Inquisitr caught my eye. “C-section makes you less of a mother, says Pastor Patrick” Not only did I find his statement extremely offensive but it also reminded me of the sarcastic remark a ‘new’ grandmother once gave, whom I had met at a hospital. “Hum ne toh bohat takleef se bachay paida kiye tha. Aaj kal toh larkian dard se bachnay kay liye jhutput C-section kera ke farigh ho jati hain.” (We endured a lot of pain during our time while giving birth. Nowadays, girls opt for C-sections just to avoid the pain.) Her daughter-in-law had just given ...

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If Angelina Jolie and Deepika Padukone can do it, so can you!

Almost two years ago, American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, shocked the world when she disclosed that she underwent a double mastectomy due to the risk of breast cancer. A few months back, Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone revealed that she had been suffering from depression and had been on medication.

Jolie again stunned the world by revealing that, recently, she had her ovaries removed. Two of her letters published in The New York Times, the recent one on March 24, 2015, was solely aimed at informing and encouraging women, who suffer from cancer, motivating them towards dealing with its physical and psychological effects. These actresses, sharing their vulnerable side, ...

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They should have warned me

When I was pregnant, everyone kept “warning” me about what was coming next. I walked around much of those 10 (let’s face it, pregnancy is 10, not nine, months) months absolutely terrified. The warnings flew at me from every angle – in the checkout line at Target, on the street, slipping my shoes on and walking out of the yoga studio. Warnings, warnings everywhere about what was to come – from the excruciating, mind-numbing pain of childbirth to the shell of my former self I was about to become once I had the baby. There were times I felt like a prisoner ...

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12 and married

The small private clinic was echoing with mixed voices – those of ear-piercing shrills and loud excitement. Waiting to see my doctor, I realised the commotion in the maternity section with nurses rushing through a storm of women – aunts and grandmothers waiting on news of a baby child. Passing it on as regular routine at the clinic, I was alarmed when the doctor came out scolding the elderly woman in the group who was wailing, claiming the doctor did not do enough to save the child. The doctor told the waiting family, “The poor girl would have died in labour. She was ...

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