say hello to…

October 3, 2017

I left her in the hospital room and felt so excited. I’m going to have another niece in no time! Since my sister is having a planned birth (inducing wooohooo!), I already budgeted her timing tomorrow. I was induced at midnight and for both Daniel and Mariam, I gave birth at 2ish pm. So I figured from noon I will make myself free and standby outside the labor room.

“Ida, make sure my Friday is blocked because Along is giving birth,” I told my new assistant Ida earlier in the week.

I found out soon after that there were meetings already set for Friday that had to involve me. I could postpone but I like to work efficiently and fast so as to not drag projects. I don’t like it when people need to wait long for others and make the whole thing delayed, so I always make sure I work and make decisions as early as possible. So, before I knew it, I was booked for 2 meetings in the morning.

“V, you added things to your calendar. I thought Friday was blocked?” Ida came to check with me.

“It’s ok. As long as I wrap up by noon, I won’t be missing Along’s birth,” I said confidently.

I kept asking for updates from morning from my brother in law. She was doing fine, 2 cm, then 3 cm dilation. Progressing, but steadily.

One meeting down, and on to the next meeting. In front of the second meeting venue, I asked again on the family group chat, “What’s the update, please? Is she ok?”

I was walking to the meeting, prepared to wrap it up quickly because I was getting more anxious for my sister.

It’s ok, Vivy, I told myself, it’s not noon yet, you still have time. 

Suddenly on the group chat:

“Assalamualaikum, everyone.”

I wanted to cry on the spot. Happy because my niece is absolutely perfect and healthy, but sad because I wasn’t there for my sister even though she didn’t need me (she had her husband for god’s sake, but still!).

I finished my meeting and apologised for rushing through, and zoomed to the hospital swearing at every car driving slowly and hogging the fast lane.

I still managed to catch her in the labour room breastfeeding the new baby and gave her a huge hug and kiss on the head. I’m so proud of my sister. Four babies out of her, no epidural prior to this, quick labour, no stitches needed, and she’s just so tough. Allah swt must really love her because all her births and recovery so far have been so smooth. I stayed with her while my brother in law went for Friday prayers and we just talked about her experience and laughed until she fell asleep, obviously tired.

I had my little niece in my arms.

“You just couldn’t wait for me, could you huh, young lady?” 

I might have missed the minute she came into this world, but she’s going to have her Maksu forever and always.

Everyone, say hello to Grace Sofea.