Monday, April 25, 2016

My Second Pregnancy 2 : Misunderstood

I'm writing this quick blogpost tonight just to clarify. As mentioned in my post about my second pregnancy, "I'm supposed to be 33 weeks". But, I'm not. I'm no longer pregnant at the moment.

To be honest, I'm extremely touched by all the congratulatory comments on Instagram and here since my blogpost on "My Second Pregnancy : Adik Jibrael" yesterday. It was totally unexpected. I didn't expect people to congratulate me at all. Especially since I'm no longer pregnant. As mentioned in my previous post, I said, I WAS pregnant. The thing I feared the most was pity and sympathy because I realised that those reactions are not healthy for my recovery. So, I'm glad there were no sympathies but at the same time I was surprised that people reacted the total opposite. Which was good, in a way.  

I was with my family last night when the comments came in. Some friends also whatsapped me personally when they saw the IG posts and congratulated me and wished me well but I told them that I'm not pregnant anymore. I couldn't talk much though when questions were asked, though. It might seem easy to answer but there are moments when it's just not. As I mentioned in my previous post, its also not easy for me to talk (or whatsapp about it) but when I start to write about it, I have no problems to pour it out. It's easier for me to express through writing my heart out than talk about it. There are also certain  rare times when I am able to talk about it, but like I said, I can get quite emotional when I do.

Kind and thoughtful Vivy was the first person who personally whatsapped me when she saw the congratulatory wishes on Insta. She said she just read my blog and was concerned because there were people who were congratulating me on Insta. She asked me "are you okay?" and suggested that I should clarify since the congratulatory wishes might be hurtful at the moment. Told Vivy that I will write about it when I'm ready. To be honest, I was also confused as to what to feel. But it didn't feel too hurtful. It felt more like a delayed reaction towards my own joy and happiness when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't feel down or sad at all. Really, it didn't. I continued spending quality time with my family without talking about it at all and today from morning till night was filled with lots of work stuffs for aere (it's one of the most hectic periods ever!!). And now here I am trying to make my situation clearer.

Instead of feeling hurtful, I actually felt touched by the kind comments and prayers from everyone. I feel so blessed and grateful to have so many of you who actually sound so genuinely happy. Most of those who commented on the post yesterday I have never met in real life, but I felt like the effort that each of you took to type out the comments and sincerely and genuinely be so happy for me when you found out that I was pregnant was just so heartfelt in a very good way. It's really overwhelming.

So thank you to everyone for your kindness in sincerely wishing happiness upon others and being so happy to see others' happiness and joys. I pray that all of you will be granted with the same or even more joy and happiness always and be rewarded by God for your genuine and sincere kindness.

I didn't want to share about my second pregnancy initially but yesterday suddenly I just felt like sharing it here. I didn't continue about what happened yet because it is more difficult than I thought it would be and yesterday I was rushing off to meet my family, but I intend to continue writing about it now as it is a beautiful experience for me which I will treasure forever, mixed with lots of emotions and feelings. Certain feelings which I never even knew existed in me. Again, it's something I want to write so that I can re-read this beautiful experience in the future and I feel relieved when I let it out since I'm not able to talk about it without feeling emotional or weird, at the moment. 

Till then, my apologies for not being clear enough in my previous posts or if I had caused any confusion. I really thought that I was clear enough in my writings especially when i used past tense instead of the present tense. I sincerely am sorry for any misunderstandings caused from my previous post. Whatever it is, I just wish to thank YOU for the love, support, concern and care. May God bless you all for all the sincerity, kindness and love.



PEACE & LOVE!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Second Pregnancy : Adik Jibrael

After the passing of our first child, Jibrael, a lot of people told us that "you can always try again". "You’re so young you can always try again". 

Try. T R Y. It’s such a short word. Only 3 letters. One syllable. It seems so easy. And when people say it, it sounds as though its very easy. To some, maybe it is. To others,  it really is easier said than done. Truly, everything is in God's plans and determination.

People should try to understand this fact and also believe it when they say it and hear it. We can only try our very best and give all our efforts to get something, but at the end of the day , He determines everything. He has determined life and death and our sustenance. Yes, we can give our all to achieve something but at the end of the day, if its not for us, it won't be, but if He has determined that it is meant to be for us, it will be. It sounds so cliche and everyone keeps repeating it but at times it's as if we just say it but we don't really believe it. I know sometimes I might forget too, but I hope in writing this, when I read this in the future, when I start to doubt, I'll be reminded again and again. But, always trust in His plan and never despair and give up, no matter how hard it is. Life was never meant to be easy anyways.

Have you ever had that feeling, when you have prayed so hard for and tried everything to get something you really, really wanted for a real long time and you've given your all and one day, one very fine day, when you least expect it, you actually get it??? 

That's the feeling.

I was blessed to have my prayers answered. Yes, I was pregnant again. :)


PRAYERS ANSWERED

Throwback to just over a week after Hari Raya Haji, Aidil Adha. On 7th October 2015. 

That week, I was busy sending stocks and preparing for the release of aere's Strength of Grace collection, had a blogging assignment for Kotex and I was also preparing for my solo 2-hour-plus talk for Petronita at Petronas.  And that morning, we woke up early as Khubayb had to go to Shah Alam court. My period was late, I had weird cravings, my breasts were sore, I felt bloated and I just had a feeling, an instinct that I was pregnant. I asked Khubayb whether I should test for pregnancy. But after a few false alarms, Khubayb suggested we waited a little longer. But I had an instinct and wanted to try on that day itself - even though I didn't put too much hope into it. Because I've had instincts before that turned out wrong. But for those of you who have also been trying to conceive, you know what I mean. So we decided to do it.

I couldn't believe my eyes at first when I saw that the pregnancy stick showed 2 clear lines. Those 2 lines that we have been waiting for so long!!! The "positive" sign! 

It has always showed one line (or a vague second line) the past 2 years after Jibrael every time my menses came late or when I thought I felt like I was pregnant. So after many, many, disappointments and frustrations over the past 2 years or more than 700 days, we finally saw 2 lines! Finally!!! So when we saw the double lined positive result on the pregnancy stick, we were beyond happy. We were filled with contentment and gratefulness: like, finally!!! After more than 2 years, more than 730 days, more than 17,520 hours, our prayers have been answered. :D

I told him and we hugged but he couldn’t believe it. We have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years.  Can’t remember the amount of pregnancy sticks we have used and how many times we just accepted the fact that there was only one line instead of two before this day.

We are pregnant. 

All praises to the Creator, the One who creates life, the One to whom we belong.

I cannot even begin to express how content and happy I felt when I found out I was pregnant for the second time. I was extremely happy and content but I contained my excitement. I didn’t jump around I didn’t shout or scream (even though I really feel like it even as I'm typing this out) but inside me I felt like bursting with joy and happiness.

It was a mixture of feelings. I was happy that I'm pregnant but at the same time there was a flashback of when this happened the first time I was pregnant. I tested more than 3 sticks when I found out I was pregnant the first time with Jibrael just to be sure.

Khubayb was still in denial.  He told me he'd buy more sticks just to be sure. He couldn't believe it and was in shock. But this time for me, after the first stick showed I was pregnant, I felt that I didn't have to check anymore. I wanted to believe that it's real. Because I've been waiting for this pregnancy for a very long while. As I said earlier, it's easy for others to say, "You're still young. You can try again." After Jibrael's passing. But they really have no idea how hard it is to keep on trying but always getting the "negative" results.  Not that trying is not fun anyways. :D I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. 

We had prayed so hard for this pregnancy. We went for umrah together for the first time on January 2015 together with Khubayb's parents and his uncles and aunties. We prayed hard. All of us. Among others, we prayed for us to be granted with zuriat (offspring) which will bring us closer to His Love. We never stopped believing that our prayers would be answered although sometimes we had our doubts. 

I was overwhelmed with happiness and contentment when I found out. Our prayers were answered. I was more excited than nervous but I didn't show it. I contained my feelings but I couldn't help but smile. 

So anyways, we prayed Solat Sunat Syukur right after. Our prayers to get pregnant again was answered. I had to get a cab that day to FV's office because Khubayb had to rush off to Shah Alam court (he was late) and couldn't send me. I told him I couldn't wait to tell both our parents. So I tried calling all of them right away and ask them to pray for us. My mother-in-law picked up the phone first and she was so happy to hear the news. When my mother heard it she was happy but worried and concerned at the same time. Her concern surprised me, honestly. It made me realise certain feelings that I didn't realise before. It reminded me of my first pregnancy. I wasn't thinking about it at all before that. She told me to take it easy and not to work so hard or stress myself out.

Things needed to be done though. It was still a busy week for me. But honestly, I felt so happy and felt like bursting with joy and telling everyone in the whole wide world! But of course, we (and me especially) had to contain ourselves. We decided to tell only immediate family. And a handful of my close sisters (friends who are pretty much like family) who were especially there most of the time when I carried Jibrael. As well as a handful of close friends that I meet almost every single day.


SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

No wonder I have been craving food which I don't usually eat much prior to finding out. For instance I've been craving steaks and beef. I don't usually eat steaks. Even if we go to Western restaurants, I would normally order my predictable grilled salmon or lamb cutlets. I wasn't into steak that much. Even when my mother cooks rendang, I usually prefer the Rendang Pedas Ayam rather than the Rendang Tok Daging or Daging Besamah. Its not that I don't like it. I do, but it's just that I love fish and chicken more.

So the past month before I found out I was pregnant I've been having weird cravings of steaks. That was so weird. And I felt I didnt like chicken or fish so much. But it was a good thing that I was now appreciating beef and steaks.

Other than that, I've noticed rashes and pimples started coming out. Which is also really weird because I've always had clear skin. Usually if I do get pimples its like one or 2 small ones during that time of the month. Even when I was in high school but the skin has always been clear and I've never had to use any concealers to hide any pimples. But out of a sudden there's a lot of pimples coming out.

Like really, a lott!!!

But when I found out I was pregnant, I didn't mind it as much anymore. It was just the hormones. Anything for the baby. Anything, as long as our second child is perfectly healthy. I also gained weight. I know it's too early for me to be gaining weight but I gained a lot. Maybe also because of my appetite and my craving for steaks. I had to eat a steak almost every day.


DIFFERENT PREGNANCY

It's true when they say every pregnancy is different, even for the same mother.

When I was carrying Jibrael, I couldn't eat at all because I was vomitting non-stop and was nauseous always. I couldn't even drink water or brush my teeth without vomitting. I wrote a lengthy post about my first pregnancy in my post P.P.R.o.M. I lost a lot of weight and some people thought I looked aneroxic at the time. But with this pregnancy, I ate a lot. And I never felt like vomitting at all except once.  

When I had Jibrael, my skin was flawless and glowing. I didn't have even a single dot of pimple. I remember when people came to the hospital when I was on strict bed rest, I dint even need to wear anything on my face. But I did use powder sometimes just for fun because I love makeup. But the skin was so clear.  Not this pregnancy though. My skin had breakouts. It started on the forehead, and then it went to the chin. Sometimes I felt as though I don't recognise myself because my skin was so different.

This is also something that I've been thinking about writing and sharing for the longest time. But I kept it to myself and I couldn't talk about it. Sometimes people ask questions about the change of my skin and I just go quiet and couldn't answer. The reason my skin is like this is because of my second pregnancy. The pregnancy that I've never shared with anyone.

So, why am I sharing this now? Truthfully, I was always in two minds about whether or not I wanted to share about my second pregnancy. There were a lot of times that I felt like that I wanted to to share and express my thoughts and my feelings about it. But I didn't. I wrote it down and blogged about my experience on my phone but never published it. I typed down notes about my pregnancy almost every single day on my previous phone when I could. 

I changed my phone in January recently. On the 14th of January, which is Jibrael's birthday to be exact. Didn't plan it though. My phone had served me well. I used it so much until the charge point was worn out and I had trouble charging my phone every day. Even changing batteries could not help.  But it had served its purpose so it was time for a change. 

Today I decided to open my old phone (after over 3 months) and I found all the things I wrote about my second pregnancy on my phone. Who knows when it'll die out on me for good, so I imported all my previous writings on it so I can keep everything I wrote. And today, I decided to share about it. And probably share some of my deepest thoughts too.

Some people close to me and friends from the blogging world have told me that I haven't really been blogging the past 6 months. Especially October onwards. At that time for a few months I didn't even Instagram much. They aren't wrong. Reason is, I've shared my thoughts and feelings, but in a more personal diary or journal. I've poured my heart and soul there and I didn't publish it here. The rest of the good things which are now secret : aere, my work and my travels, yes, I put on the blog. So yes, I felt a disconnect. My friends who read the blog feel it too. 

I feel scared at times and shy to share about it, although I know I have nothing to be embarrassed about. As much as I see it as a beautiful experience but I know not many can see it in a positive way as both Khubayb and I see it too. I'm not trying to gain sympathy. I'm not trying to get pity. That's the last thing that I will ever ask for. Whatever it is, by not writing about it, I feel like there's a huge burden. I'm blessed to have aere and it's been keeping me sane, but it hasn't helped ease the burden. But even when I can write about it, I still can't talk about it. I am still unable to control my emotions. Is it the guilt for not acknowledging that it happened? I don't know. I just can't talk about it.

So, now after almost 6 months. When I'm supposed to be 33 weeks today. Over 8 months pregnant. I'm starting to share. Maybe this will help me. 

The beautiful experience of my second pregnancy. Adik Jibrael. Jibrael's younger sibling whom Khubayb calls Adik and I call, Baby. :) Finally after over 2 years trying.

From the beginning, I've been very thankful that Jibrael has an adik. And now, she has one. It's what we've been praying for. May Allah grant our inner prayers and determine what is best for us. God knows best.

It was a beautiful experience. I'm writing this so I can relive the beautiful days that I was carrying my baby adik, my feelings and fears of what I went through. I'm going off to meet my family and celebrate the twice postponed double celebration of my brother Khairul and Khubayb's birthday now, so I'll share more soon. Till next time

My first note on the journal in my previous phone.

"We found out we're pregnant!!! Alhamdulillah."
7th October 2015

PEACE & LOVE!





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alluring Australia 4 : Women in Art



Moores Building - Contemporary Art Gallery

I've written about my love for the arts in my previous posts. I'm someone who appreciates the arts and even when I was little, if my family went on holidays overseas and also locally in Malaysia, my father would usually bring us to visit galleries and museums. So I grew up being exposed to the arts. 

I think that wherever we travel to, we should always try and visit at least one gallery or museum to witness and study their art and culture. Of course we won't be able to cover all but we should try to make a point to at least go to a few because its interesting and it is one way for us to know and love a place.





So when I saw the gallery just next to the cafe that we were having breakfast (Read my post here) I wanted to jump with joy. I didn't of course. Technically the gallery was not part of the itinerary  but I knew I had to go have a look and see what they have. I didn't know whether we had any time to go there after, so after I ordered my food at the cafe and chatted a bit with the rest, I told Khubayb that I really wanted to go to the gallery at least for a while just while waiting for the food to arrive. So we quickly went. I managed to look at a few of the art pieces on display, but it was quite rushed and the food came really fast (the Moore and Moore cafe had excellent service!). So, I headed back to the courtyard to have my yummy scrumptious breakfast.

After we had finished with our breakfast, I went to the gallery again to see the paintings. And I was so lucky because all 3 artists who were exhibiting their pieces at the gallery were all there.



Mia Laing, Alicia Gorey and Jan Brown 

I introduced myself to them and chatted about their art works for the Three Palettes exhibition. It just so happens that all three artists had different themes and they are things that I really love: beaches, ballet and portraits. The three artists were part of a group called Women in Art Western Australia (WAWA) which they founded.



The first artist, Jan Brown featured prominent themes of ballet in her impressionist style artworks which is a natural progression of her lifelong love of the special dance. I told Jan that I did ballet when I was younger. I actually took ballet lessons with my cousins when i stayed in Ipoh, Perak in primary school but when I moved to KL, I stopped. I also shared with Jan that I actually designed a skirt for aere which was inspired by ballet: The AURELIA and ALIVIA skirt and I've written about my love for tulle skirts years ago too. Jan told me a family member of hers was really into ballet and might be interested in one of my skirts. 






The second artist Mia Laing's paintings mostly captures the sun-drenched beauty of their lifestyle in Western Australia. She drew her inspiration from Rottnest Island (where we were going on our second day), and even from her painting I could already see that it was a very vibrant, colourful and beautiful place to be. Even before going there, her paintings already captured my imagination of our upcoming destination. Love the different shades of blue in her artworks as blue is one of my favourite colours and the sea is one of my inspirations when I started aere almost 2 years ago  too.





The third artist Alicia Gorey drew portraits of famous people in Freemantle. Well, some were famous, like a well-known footballer, and some were just locals who were not famous as we define it, but who are dear, special and important to the kind and talented artist. The everyday people of Freemantle. And that was an interesting concept. She really captured their essence well, and all the people she painted exudes warmth and friendliness - a very common trait of the people of Freemantle.



It was really nice to chat with the friendly and lovely artists. I got carried away chatting and appreciating their works till I realised that the rest of our group had already left the place and Ee Lian had to call us to move on to the next place in our itinerary. Really loved the gallery and talking to the artist so if you're there, do drop by!


Till my next post.

Wearing aere's NYDIA Flowy Pleated Cardigan


The Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery
http://www.fac.org.au/moores-building
The Moores Building
46 Henry Street, Fremantle WA
Galleries open 10am – 4pm, 7 days a week

PEACE & LOVE!