By J Samia Mair
J. Samia Mair finds motherhood in an unexpected place at the end of her battle to conceive.
The kingdom of the heavens and earth belongs to Allah. He creates whatever He wills. He gives daughters to whoever He wishes, or He gives sons to whoever He wishes; or He gives them both sons and daughters; And He makes whoever He wishes barren. Truly He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful(Quran, 42: 46-47)
“I don’t see the heartbeat. I don’t see the heartbeat!”
Neither my husband nor the emergency room doctor responded to me. My husband stared straight ahead at the monitor searching the gray and white lines for any signs of life. The doctor pressed the cold wet probe down firmer, moving it haphazardly across my abdomen. My heart sank. I thought we had a chance this time.
This would not be my first miscarriage. I had suffered several already. But this was the first time that we had actually seen a heartbeat. What an amazing sight. If I had been told that my child was going to have five heads and six arms, it would not have mattered.
It was my second in vitro fertilization procedure. None of my eggs were fertilized in the first one. Prior to that, I had five artificial inseminations—again with no success. Even before the years of medical intervention, we spent over a year trying to increase our chances of pregnancy by testing for ovulation and other less scientific methods — all to no avail. I braced myself for the inevitable disappointment that would interrupt the uncomfortable silence.
“I’m sorry. The fetus did not make it.”
Although the doctor merely confirmed what I already knew in my heart, hearing it affected me more than I had expected. It’s hard to describe now but it was more than emotional trauma. I felt actual physical pain from his words. It was as if I had been hit with a forceful blow.
I looked to my husband who was already staring at me. I could tell he was holding back his emotions. I felt so defective. I had all these specialized organs that just did not work, that were virtually useless. I could not fulfil one of my main purposes for being. I had completely failed in something I was born to do.
On an intellectual level I knew that I was not defective nor a failure as a woman. I knew that my worth transcended my ability to procreate. But shame and inadequacy hit me on a level where reason does not tread.
My husband could not have been more supportive. He was always far more worried about my welfare than his own whenever the bad news struck. He made it perfectly clear to me that he did not need a biological child. Yet, I still felt guilty. He was a young man that would not have an heir because of me.
I looked at the monitor one more time. At that moment, I knew that I would never be in this position again. Although my work would pay for one more in vitro procedure, I had had enough. No more painful shots in the belly, no more ultrasounds counting egg follicles, no more anxious phone calls to the infertility doctor learning my HCG levels, and no more emergency trips to the hospital. I had learned far more about my reproductive system than I had ever hoped to know.
To be continued ensahaAllah……….