September 19, 2018

Seasons of Life

We were heading to our respective workplaces yesterday morning when my husband Jabar informed  me that he didn't make it to the promotion list in his office. He was sort of expecting it already but was hopeful that his performance in his hardship post assignment in Nigeria will get him promoted. One major criteria for promotion in his line of work is a continuing education (equivalent to continuing medical education among doctors) which means having enrolled in a masters class or, at least, a language class provided by the Foreign Service Institute. I have been pestering him to enroll in a language class since last year but his excuse was that he didn't want to lessen his time with his kids. I understand but his career has to progress. 

During the early days of my residency training, our helper decided that she didn't want to work for us anymore so Jabar and I were left with no one but ourselves. I didn't want to quit residency so I had to work extra hard balancing motherhood and my training. To say that the daycare center in Jabar's office is a major help is an understatement. The daycare saved my career. For 3 months that we've been helper-less, our daily routine consisted of bathing the kids at night so we only scoop them out of bed as early as 6am to hit the road while the kids are still sleeping. I go with them to his office, drop the kids at the daycare to change them into their new clothes and feed them breakfast. Then at 7am, off I go to my workplace which is only around 10-minutes away from my husband's office. That was the time that I was able to decipher Allah's plans for me when I got rejected in my application for Internal Medicine residency. Had I pursued IM, I know it won't take long before I quit considering that situation. Gladly, the workload in Family Medicine is not that heavy so I can go still go home as soon as the clock ticks 5pm. At home, Jabar and I divided the work. It's either I cook and he cleans the house and bathes the kids, or vice versa. During weekends, I do the laundry and ironing of clothes. I squeeze in whatever time left studying for my monthly exams and writing reports. It was a crazy 3 months!!!

Although FM residency is lighter than the other major fields, I am still a freshman who has to strictly comply with many department rules. I attend lectures during weekends or after office during weekdays. Jabar did adjusting the most, especially when I am on duty and he's left alone with two toddlers. He gives them a bath, feed them, put them to sleep and clean the house. He had to skip office whenever one of the kids get sick. During those time, he never told me to quit residency to focus on our family instead. Never. He continued to support me and we lived one day at a time.

Presently, we don't have a helper for the next two weeks as Ate Belle, our helper for almost 4 months, went home for a quick vacation. So the daily routine we had during our helper-less days is back. But it is not without a twist. It feels more difficult now that I am 26 weeks pregnant and the kids are heavier than several months ago! I can no longer carry either of the kids with my belly protruding and carrying another bag, even a light one. With  pregnancy discomfort sets in, it is more difficult to move around doing household chores, but I had no choice but to stand strong and do what I have to do without acting like a damsel in distress to an already-stressed husband. 

That, my friends, is the very reason why Jabar is not yet eager to enroll in any further studies in order to get promoted. He cannot do it while I am on residency training, not the season for it, he told me, smiling. Life has its different seasons. During the winter season of your life, do not wish for spring as it will eventually come. All we can do is appreciate the beauty of the season of life where we are presently in. Jabar is enjoying every single moment he is spending with our daughters, while he lets me proceed with my residency training. Our situation right now will not go on forever, he assured me. I will eventually finish residency and the kids will grow up and will need us less as they explore the world, then in shaa Allah that's the perfect time he can also proceed with his postgrad studies. Who knows, he might even have an opportunity to enroll in a prestigious uni abroad while he's at Post? 

Jabar and our eldest, Yamyam. 

One thing I admire most about my husband is his positive outlook in life and his resilience in whatever storm that come his way. I think I said this before but I never heard him complain while he faces each day with a strong demeanor. I pray for him everyday, may Allah give him all the best things in this world and in the hereafter because he is one of the genuinely good-hearted people I know. I love him so dearly, isn't it obvious? Haha!

September 11, 2018


Assalamu'alaikom! I know I blocked the lighting in this photo (husband didn' tell me so! tsk tsk, poor photog skills) but Baby #3 says hi!

September 6, 2018

August 24, 2018

πŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ‘§πŸ» #AminaMariam #AmreenNurlailah

via Instagram

August 5, 2018

Study buddies. πŸ€“ #AminaMariam #AmreenNurlailah

via Instagram

July 21, 2018

Amreen Nurlailah (Part II)

This post is a bit too late but for my Amreen Nurlailah, there's no such thing as too late. Lol! To my Amreen who might be reading this in the future, I'm apologizing as early as now. You know how busy Ina is these days. I left you at home, cuddled and kissed you goodbye while your Kaka Yamyam is still sleeping, and off I went on a Saturday duty. All our sacrifices will eventually pay off, in shaa Allah. Know that your Ina misses you every second of the day and would still want to cuddle and kiss you all the time if only time permits, but right now, I'm temporarily finding comfort in looking at your baby photos. MashaaAllah Alhamdulillah...

My Amreen is 19 months as of writing time. Alhamdulillah I was able to capture so many baby photos since I know that my baby will never be this small again. 


At 1 week old. 

At 1 month old.


At 2 months old. Look at those tiny feet! I used to kiss and smooch them until she started walking and getting dirty. Haha! 


At 3 months old. Look at that smirk, my little girl was always mistaken for a boy!


At 4 months old.

At 5 months old. That smile that melts my heart away....


At 6 months old. She started going to the daycare!


My little girl literally grew up in the daycare. She learned to crawl and walk first inside the daycare. 



A visit to the Pedia. She's not as cooperative as her older sister during her shots. She looks calm in the above photo but few seconds after that, she refused to be put down. The mere sight of the bed scares her already! I was so relieved after her MMR shot at 1 year old, I never brought her to the Pedia since then. Alhamdulillah. We love her Pedia though!

Her first ever solid food at 6 months old was a carrot puree. I used to feed her with pureed fruits and vegetables and she loved 'em all! 




My little Muslimah at 9 months old. Look at those tiny little teeth! She loves to wear a mukna and pretend to pray beside me whenever she sees me doing my salah. MashaaAllah. My biggest achievement was exclusively breastfeeding her until 9 months! If it wasn't for pre-residency, perhaps I would still be breastfeeding her past 1 year old.

May Allah protect our children at all times and may they grow up to be among the pious. Allahuma ameen. 

July 11, 2018

Road to #AminaMariam the artist. 🀣

via Instagram

June 18, 2018

Eid #ootd. It’s been ages since I last wore an abaya. πŸ’•

via Instagram

June 15, 2018

Eid Mubarak!!! πŸ§•πŸΌπŸ•Œ✨ #jaigulove #home🏑

via Instagram

April 16, 2018


The threshold has been reached.
I wish this is merely a fleeting emotion, one that vanishes after a good cup of coffee or after a good night sleep. No matter how I coax this emotion to dissipate, it lurks like an unwanted shadow.

I must re-learn my value and my worth. I must stop compromising.
For what?

I deserve to be loved.
I deserve to be respected.

April 8, 2018

Amreen Nurlailah

I was going through my Motherhood entries and noticed that I blogged less about my second child, Amreen, compared to her older sister. To avoid future heartache on the part of my Amreen when they eventually found out about this blog and see that I write less about her, this post would be wholly dedicated to her. The photos already belong to the throwback category (Amreen is 1 year old and 3 months as of writing time) but how sweet it is to look at her newborn photos, so adorably plump. MashaaAllah.. 

Amreen is our surprise baby, I never expected her to come along as soon as her older sister turned 7 months old. It was a bittersweet moment when I saw the double line on the pregnancy test. When I missed the arrival of the red flag that month, I already had a hunch that I might be having a new baby in my womb. I was right. Jabar was so excited to have a new baby while I cried. I cried not because I didn't welcome her but because I felt like my body hasn't healed yet and here comes another one and I'd go through the entire pregnancy process again. I haven't had enough sleep yet since Yamyam was born and here we are again with a new baby. I thought of the new environment we will be in as we were about to be recalled to the Philippines at the time, I thought about my residency plans. It'll be postponed for sure. 

Love at first glimpse.

Right when she was already out of my womb. 

It was a relatively easy pregnancy like that with my firstborn. No morning sickness, no easy fatigability. In fact I wasn't convinced I was pregnant until I saw her ultrasound on my 11th week. Perhaps I was still in denial. I continued my usual pregnancy self-care --- nourishment and taking my calcium and vitamin supplements---except that I didn't have a regular exercise. We were already in the Philippines during the whole duration of my 2nd pregnancy, living in Quiapo where my husband bought a condo unit for his siblings who were studying in nearby unis. Where do you think I'd go walking in Quiapo without getting stressed? Haha! Unlike in Bangkok where we live near a park and where there's a gym within the building where we live, I never had a regular exercise with my pregnancy with Amreen. As a result, I found out on my 33rd week that she's in a breech position.

Jabar, my parents, his uncle Bapa Sowaib, and my cousin Ate Lalay. They're our companion right when my baby and I was wheeled into our room.

Upon discovering that she's in a breech position, that was the time that I started to do serious exercises. I did yoga at home and started morning walks along Luneta. At 36 weeks, my OB told me my baby's still in a breech position. I was determined to have a normal delivery that I even considered undergoing external cephalic version which my OB disapproved because of risks of uterine rupture. My pregnancy went beyond 40 weeks AOG and I didn't feel any hard contractions yet. I have seen cases of meconium staining where babies didn't survive the infection, or babies and moms had postpartum complications because of meconium staining on top of breech delivery. Subhanallah. I can't afford to see my baby in any condition other than normal.

Yamyam was 1 year and 4 months old when her younger sister was born.

At 40 weeks and 3 days AOG, after praying salaatul istikhara and conferring with my husband and my parents, I told my OB that I want to undergo a CS delivery even without labor pains yet. I don't want to wait for that time when there's no turning back. I don't want to expose my baby for any risks concerning her breech position. 

Mom for the 2nd time around.

On the evening of December 17, 2016, I had my beautiful baby girl whom we named Amreen Nurlailah. Amreen is an arabic word for sky while Nurlailah means light of the night. Indeed, LAST YEAR when Jabar and I were wrapped in utter darkness, our Amreen stood as a bright light who made us forget all the horrendous happenings in our lives. She always made us smile amidst our sadness. She was such an easy baby. MashaaAllah alhamdulillah.. 

Photo taken as we were about to be discharged from the hospital. Yamyam was left at home. 

I was able to breastfeed her until 9 months when I had to go into pre-residency. She used to cry when I refuse to latch her then she got used to drinking from her bottle. She's very attached to me that when I had to leave her at 3AM during pre-res, she also wakes up and sees me off. Aaaww... my little girl. 

Motherhood has really changed me. It made me more understanding and more sympathetic to others' needs. Right now, I couldn't be more grateful that we have Amreen in our lives. She's her older sister's playmate and of course isn't it more fun to have two little rays of sunshine? 

Amina Mariam and Amreen Nurlailah