2018.

How Social Media broke me.

Where friendships were based on the number of followers, likes and who made it on each other’s ‘ social media.

No one will admit to it. It’s too embarrassing, one said.

That’s the only way to show the world that they belong and to themselves for achieving their own sense of belonging.

For some, that sense of belonging turns to a social dependency. You depend on this circle for support, for constant sanity rants and invitations. And the opposite effects of them can be bitter.

Yasmin Mogahed’s words can’t be more apt. Below was an excerpt of her article. I don’t blame anyone but myself for these feelings that I had. I’ve been debating this all year to detoxify myself from social media, people and the world. I gave in to my worldly Nafs too soon every time.

“Social Media strengthens another dangerous focus: the focus on other people, what they’re doing, what they like. What they think of me. Facebook feeds the preoccupation with others’ assessment of me. Soon, I enter the orbit of the creation. Inside that orbit, my definitions, my pain, my happiness, my self-worth, my success and my failure is determined by the creation. When I live in that orbit, I rise and fall with the creation. When the people are happy with me, I’m up. When they’re not, I fall. Where I stand is defined by people. I’m like a prisoner because I have given up the keys to my happiness, sadness, fulfillment, and disappointment to the people to hold.

In a profound hadith (Prophetic teaching), a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of God, direct me to an act, which if I do, God will love me and people will love me.” He ﷺ said: “Detach yourself from the world, and God will love you. Detach yourself from what is with the people, and the people will love you.”  [Ibn Majah]

Ironically, the less we chase after the approval and love of the people, the more we gain it. The less needy we are of others, the more people are drawn to us and seek our company. This hadith teaches us a profound Truth. Only by breaking out of the orbit of the creation, can we succeed with both God and people.”

One of my goals and priorities this year is this exactly. Part of my detoxification and to declutter my life, from these worldly Nafs and the creations.

As the three of us lay here on our bed laughing counting down to New Years and Ayden’s bedtime. Here’s wishing everyone  a blessed and less social media frenzy 2018!

xoxo

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7 minutes

Wednesday; Heart stopped for a total of 7minutes before she was revived by CPR.My heart sank.

3 days prior; she was rushed to the hospital and no one knew what she had was more serious than her asthmatic episodes. Her heart was weak. Mum was placed in the ICU straightaway. To be exact Ward 28; Coronary Care Unit.

Honestly, I thank god that her relapse happened when she was in the hospital. If she was at home, just like the doctor said; she won’t survived.

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The family wasn’t informed about her near death experience until the following morning which angered all of us. But what’s done is done. She survived.

I was at lunch then without my phone when messages flooding in. Just reached my desk when The husband called to ask me to read my whatsapp messages.

I knew something wasn’t right. I cried reading each line of the text and my fingers automatically scoured for flights on Skyscanner’s website. It was so emotionally painful. I tried so hard to focus, getting the right flights and the correct names on the booking. I could even control my tears anymore. Booked flights, Called husband to confirm my plans of returning home, run to my Manager looking like a mess that I needed to go back to Singapore urgently. I don’t know when I’ll be back.

The husband decided to fly home with me knowing that I will be a further wreck and with Ayden tagging along with us . He’s afraid I’m just going to crumble. I can’t thank him enough to do this for me even when his job circumstance was tight.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“Three supplications are answered without doubt. The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parents for his children.” (Tirmidhi)

The whole time on the flight, I kept praying and Dhikr. Of course, Ayden had to be excited on this flight and refused to sleep!

As soon as we landed, we rushed back home. It feels so good to be home despite it being hot and humid. I was tossing and turning, I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t wait till the morning comes so that I can visit Mum. 9am arrives so much slower than I anticipated.

I had all these emotions in me, words that I wanna say when I see her. As soon as the ICU door swung open, I walked in so nervously. My heart literally dropped to see how thin she has become, her jawline was more defined as compared to 3 months ago and she looked so frail with the machine hooked up to her heart. The moment I kissed her hand, she was surprised and slightly unhappy that I came back. Waste of money she said. I had to. My mum hates when bad news of her reached me. All the time. She knew I will always drop it all and returned. Usually, She will use all her might to stop me. This time she failed.

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Our routine has been hospital-home all day. The husband and I agreed that it was just something about hospitals, maybe the vibe; it makes us all very tired and depressed even though we stayed for a while. Because it’s an ICU as well, Ayden wasn’t allowed to be in the ward. It helps to have the husband around.

But then Sunday came, his flight home was due that night. We were contemplating to send Ayden home with the husband while I stayed. It doesn’t help that Ayden was extra clingy since the moment we landed. And he hardly wants the husband which is not normal. Maybe he sense I was in distress? God knows. Since mum’s bypass surgery keeps getting delayed, I wasn’t sure when I’ll be back. It’s gonna be a nightmare putting him to sleep on nights that I’m not around. And so Ayden stayed with me.

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Even when we said our goodbyes, Ayden just ran off and not interested in saying goodbyes to his Baba. If this is in Melbourne, he would cry his heart out; wanting to follow him.

What this means was; we had to organise a carer for Ayden. We had so much helpful hands who are willing to sacrifice for us. I called all the childcare centres around the area and near the hospital that offers Emergency Care (I know right! I only found out they had such service through the Singapore Childcare Site!). We found one! The last one on the list of centres! We kept reviewing our list of our options. For the distance and convenience, we chose to send him to childcare.

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Putting Ayden in Childcare was the hardest decision we had to make in order for me to be able to care for mum. It wasnt the kind of first day of school experience we want to witness as parents and even for Ayden to go through. We did what we had to do and to trust my own maternal instincts. Our typical daily routine is Home-Childcare-Hospital -Childcare-Hospital-Home every weekday. It was exhausting I must admit.

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Thank you to all the staff at Genesis Childcare who very much love and nurture Ayden while he was there and who was willing to take in emergency cases like us.

Finally, after a week, Mum was wheeled in for her Bypass Surgery. It was a 6 hours operation. She was wheeled in at 2pm and got out at 9pm. I took the time to visit the husband’s grandma and by the time we got home it was already close to 10pm with a cranky toddler of course!

Dad and the rest of the siblings went to the hospital to catch a glimpse of her after the Operation. I wish I did, but Ayden was just being too difficult we had to stay home and put him to sleep.

The next morning after dropping off Ayden at the Childcare, I rushed to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). the Sister told me to prepare myself as the current view of mum’s well-being is quite heartbreaking. Don’t get me wrong, everything went well with the bypass even with a few hiccups due to internal bleeding, even in the doctor’s exact words “MasyaAllah your mother is such a challenge and I love it!”, seeing the amount of tubes on her, is very much overwhelming.

The first day was ok, got myself together, keep talking to her, fed her, silently cried at the side of the bed when she took her naps and trying super hard to keep it positive.

But at the end of the second day post surgery, things get a lil bit too emotional. I knew it must be stressful for her to hear my uncontrollable sobs while she were lying in ICU with so much tubes and wires from head to toe! I was coming in to just kiss her hand and forehead to tell her that we’re heading home and we shall see her the next day. And It just happened as I took her hand, I broke down. I guess I’ve been holding it in since I landed just to be strong for her but my walls crumble and I finally got my emotions out. She kept saying to pray for her health. I just kept crying and telling her that she had to be strong and recover. Not recommended to let your emotions got hold of you in-front of someone who is in a very vulnerable position.

Gradually, Mum got posted to a normal ward, daily we try to talk to her although the drugs in her system caused her to hallucinate (this literally break hearts!) and having nightmares. We try to refresh her memory daily asking her the date and time, perform her exercises with her and encourage her to finish her food. I am immensely proud of her. She has been such a strong, independent woman. You can tell she’s trying so hard to be discharged. Trying a lil harder during her rehabilitation sessions, finishing up her food, try to be more active in the day with less naps and interact much more with people around her. Amidst all these, with her limited vision, made it much harder for her to move around or interact but she persevered on.

I am thankful that our whole family is such a close knit. Supporting and be a team in any given situations. Mum is currently discharged. She’s eating so well and happy to be in her own home. Alhamdulillah. Life being away from home, hard.

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That 7mins of unconsciousness and no heartbeat feels like forever. I never ever want to lose you again.

PS: It was also my first time to see my dad teared. It puts me in tears each time I recalled this event.

xoxo

Driving… Finally!

Yay! So finally got the courage to contact the local driving school and bought a package for myself! Hoping that I could score my license before end of the year!

My true blue Aussie driving instructor took me by surprise with words like a**h*** and d***h*** every now then. But now I’m used to it.

This is definitely a big thing for me! Hoping I could ace them quickly but reality is I’m scared shitless in the driver’s seat!

Wish me luck!

Carpe Librum Singapore

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A quick shoutout to Carpe Librum Singapore! I am so proud of my good and close friend, Azura and my junior in Secondary School, Huda for creating a wonderful business set up for their love of books and reading.

Who is Carpe Librum?

They specialise in curating a bi-monthly book subscription box called the “Librum Box”.

The Librum Box is a thematic book box that consist of 1 book and 4 or 5 other book inspired merchandise.

The book is picked carefully based on the chosen theme and is a current bestseller, new release or a special edition of an all-time favorite title.
The box is curated by the owners, Azura & Huda or a special guest curator.
Each box is retailing at $35 (inclusive of personal delivery to your doorstep).

I reckon it’s a great idea! For all you avid readers out there or running out of gift ideas? Why not gift a friend a Librum Box. Well, who doesn’t love surprises in the mail?
Biased. Not at all.

Check out the July/Aug librum box, can you spot the local twist! Its great especially in conjunction with Singapore National Day just passed! I would have subscribed if i was in Singapore!

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If you are interested in their Librum box and wish to be on our mailing list, simply drop them an email at carpelibrum.sg@gmail.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find out more!

Here’s a link of a fellow blogger and avid reader unboxing the Librum Box!

Rants, Reflect and Recover

I haven’t had a rant in ages. Oh wells, there was quite a few things clouding my mind. So I try to put my thoughts in one entry. Just hate to spread this negativity but I needed to vent.

Recently I was invited to a bridal shower that is 1.5hours away from us or if by public commute would take me 2.5hours. She’s not in any groups of friends of mine that I can hitch a ride or anything. If she is, I am so more than happy to go out that way!

If those who knew me, I bring Ayden with me everywhere. I try to limit instances where I leave Ayden with my in laws. I just feel guilty enough to let them look after Ayden while Ali and I are out having a good time. So I try to minimize it whenever I can.

The Maid of Honor, (or that’s who I think she is!) advised me that it won’t be taking place in Melbourne and so advised me to catch a V Line (Train – Public Transport). Maybe if she was a little concern or bothered, she would at least ask me where I lived when I mentioned that “xxx is way too far out for a Mummy like me who doesn’t drive”. And maybe if she knew I am taking a 1 year old with me too. But I won’t blame her because she doesn’t know me. But if I were her, when someone said that “It is quite far for a Mummy who doesn’t drive to travel publicly” I would instantly ask where do she lives and if she’s thinking to bring her son/daughter. But then again, I am overreacting but I reckon it’s just unfriendly the way she handled it..

I did even add in, that I am happy to chip in for the Bridal shower (it’s the least I could do on top of showering her with her bridal gift! Yes because I love her that much!) And she declined it in the most polite way. But if that’s what I want to do, I reckon she would just let me be apart of it even when I couldn’t make it. Grrr

Maybe this is just my hormones talking. But frankly I find this whole conversation unfriendly. I have been to several bridal showers and I have hosted a handful myself. I try my best to accommodate to everyone, and for those who can’t make it I genuinely try to help them if they still want to be apart of the Bridal shower. Most of these girls who can’t make it will want to partake in anyway possible for their fellow bride to be.

 One rant down.

So I am pretty sure this happens everywhere in school, workplace, life, etc. I am pretty sure us Humans always overlook things. But I find it funny how people don’t include you in their activities, work projects, part of their lifestyle and they have the cheek to ask for your help for something big!

Where are those other people in your life that you have been parading around with? Where are all these people that you have that you came running for our help when it comes to something you need done? So convenient aren’t we?  But at all other times when you don’t need us you just accidentally “forgot” us? I said “accidentally” because I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did.

I won’t want to further elaborate but I think we should reflect. I may fall as one of them at one stage or another, yes you make mistakes but you learn and become better. But this happens too many times for some. That they need some sort of a wake up call. Insya Allah one day they will. But for now, please reflect before you do anything. What are our shortcomings? How can we be better?

End of Rant. Looking forward for the weekend and spending time with the fambam!

Mummy Struggles.

It’s been two months since i last blogged.

Yes. Motherhood taking its course alright. Everyday, is always something new to learn, to deal with and to adapt.

I learnt a lot, hurt a lot, disappointed a lot yet am still very proud.

People ask me all sorts of question from my birth story to my recovery and motherhood. But the following question stabs me in the heart. literally.

“Do you breastfeed or is Ayden on Formula?” 

A harmless question i never thought will hurt me the most. With low supply issues and expressing every so often indeed was very exhausting. Even Sophie my gynae did mentioned how exhausting it will be and if I can’t, i shouldnt be too hard on myself.

From the start, we have been mix feeding. Expressing breastmilk and topping up with Nan Pro Gold. It has been since the day he was admitted to Special Nursery due to my Gestational diabetes.

After 8 weeks, i decided to wean him off breastfeeding. I was exhausted and in near pit of depression. Guilty? I was swarmed with it every single day. I feel like i kept finding excuses not to breastfeed Ayden. Until one day the husband advised that nothing can replace breastmilk and no matter how little it is. It’s better than nothing. He supported and encouraged me to continue. 

Got myself a new breastpump. Spectra 9+. Now waiting for it to arrive. For the extra motivation to continue providing Ayden with breastmilk no matter how much the output will be. 

InsyaAllah he will guide me through.

To all mummies out there who are struggling with breastfeeding. Formula feeding is absolutely fine as long as Bub is well fed and gaining weight! He’s healthy and that’s all that matters. Don’t beat yourself up so badly! You’re awesome. You’ve done all that you can and the best that you can! Chin up!