Sunday, 14 August 2016

Our Baby Journey.



Swipes dust. Teehee. It has been a month now since I last blog. Yet, my New Zealand entry is still unfinished. It has been almost a year since we've been to New Zealand! How crazy is that? Time passes sooooooooo quickly! 

But heyyy, I'm still blogging. At least. Right ? 

Sooooo, my post title is terribly misleading. I know. I purposely does it. 

For enlightenment, we weren't pregnant. Yet. However, our journey has started years back. Safe to say, almost 3 and half years back. For the first few month of marriage, I was scared of the thought of pregnancy. I wasn't ready to have a child, while my husband was staying so far away with me. What more I was living with his parents at the time. I didn't know who they were, they didn't know who I was. For our first 6 months into marriage, we held it back. We were young, we didn't thought the journey would a long and various heartbreaks away. 

By the time we were ready, we kept on trying. And tried. But to no avail. There were few moments where my menses were late and I was beyond excited. There was this one time, my menses were late by almost 3 weeks and I couldn't wait to get a pregnancy test. I actually went out to Watsons and get myself a set of ClearBlue tests. The girl at the cashier couldn't shed off her weird stare at me but I couldn't care less. I had a short stature and people often incorrectly guessed my age. They thought I am younger. Long story short, I went back home & ripped off the pack and get tested. 

It was a negative. 

And it has been a negative since the last 3 and half years. 

There were a few times I actually cried myself to sleep seeing friends who were just got married 3 months ago, announcing their pregnancy. There were times I was very emotionally unstable that I had muted or unfollowed certain people who keep updating about their pregnancy journey/newborn child. It's not their fault. Who here is not excited to have their own child? Much less expected first born? But it was too much for me. At the time, I had went for many appointments, went through many cycles of hormones which drives me crazy & gaining weight uncontrollably. I even go and search for supplements, googled various positions and tips for pregnancy. But somehow it wasn't working. 

Things seemed to cool down when I had the chance to do my master's degree in the UK. My husband and I, we agreed to just enjoy the opportunity and I actually had forgotten about this for a short while. I focused on losing weight, running, and eating healthily. We decided to travel as much as while we still can. 

But things started to spiral down ever since I was diagnosed with endometriosis and a retroverted uterus last December. I had finally decided to find out what was wrong with me. Why couldn't we be easily pregnant. Prior to diagnosis, my menses cramp & weird discharges started escalating. So I was given hormone treatment, again. And the nurses, also some people with same experiences were telling, 'Get pregnant, it's the only way to treat your endometriosis!'. Seriously, what do you think have I been doing since the last 3 years then? 

Aunties would come and tell, 'I got married at 16, at 17 I was already pregnant!', or 'Whaaa? You've been married for four year and no child?! You shouldn't wait that long, go get tested, etc etc etc'. Nonetheless, I kept my ear deaf. Couldn't deal with these people. It was an emotional roller-coaster for me. I was the one diagnosed and other people didn't help either. I was on borderline depressed because there is actually something very wrong with me. I cried myself to sleep every night since I was diagnosed at that time. People didn't know. They just know how to judge. At that time that my husband has just started his houseman-ship too. He wasn't as much as emotionally available for me either. With the hormones I was taking, everything was just too much. It was not a steady period for us. 

Fast forward to March, when my current hormone treatment ended, I had scheduled another appointment with my ObsGyn. That time, she found 2 cysts at my left ovary. It wasn't the end of the world for me. I was already unstable you see. She suggested that I followed up to where my husband is working since the cost of removing it at the hospital I was checking-up was too much. So I did. I set an appointment, and the earliest date for screening was in July. It was a long wait, and more hormonal treatment. When the date arrived, I went for another checkup and the cyst is still there. And they found another condition. I had endometriosis and cyst on my left ovary. But on my right side, they found I had PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Another condition that made pregnancy a little bit challenging to achieve. But there wasn't much to be done except remove the cyst first. 

So they booked me in for laparoscope KIV laparotomy in August. A 'scope' is where you'll be poked and a camera will be inserted to observe the actual condition inside. A 'tomy' is when they had to cut you up a little bit bigger to remove whatever that has been troubling you. In my case, the cyst. 

And last week, I had my laparoscope. And everything went well, alhamdulillah. I was put to sleep during the operation and wasn't able to leave the bed for the first night post-surgery. The overall experience of waiting before surgery, being in the operation theatre are... Interesting. Nonetheless, the doctors decided they needed no laparotomy. But I still had 2 small incisions down at my left abdomen and a poked belly button. My cyst was removed. Upon surgery, they found out that my fallopian tubes were both blocked and they had pressured it open. My doctor has a theory maybe that is why I haven't been able to get pregnant yet. My tubes were blocked before. And I am recovering pretty quick since I wouldn't take pain a reason for lying still in bed. 

Even with my cyst removed, I am still put under intervention for pregnancy by the team that treated me. Since I had other conditions too. I am on bed rest most of the time. Certain people would still come and say things to me. It doesn't bother me much at first but they just would not give me a break. One thing that confuses me, the pressure they put on me was JUST TOO MUCH. While nobody, not a single person ever said to my husband to take care of me well. I actually had a breakdown last night in front him saying it's not fair that people would just come up and say mean things to me because I'm  the wife experiencing all these but no one says anything to the husband. I wasn't strong, I am far away from an alimah. I am human too. It isn't fair because marriage takes two. Why put too much pressure on only one side? 

In fact, I think most women who are waiting just like me would agree, that there are very few people who would actually come up to the husband and said things like what those aunties said to me. If women are strong enough to handle all these bad mouthes alone, we would all be able to get pregnant without a man just like Maryam AS did with Allah's will. But we weren't. Because we are not strong and He knows these kind of things need not be handled by ourselves alone. But people are mean and vile. It's not enough that one person that has just undergo surgery, still recovering from painful wound  - they need to make it worse. I just wish for them to realise you know? Sometimes you just want that person to snap out of it and realise what they are saying are complete gibberish. I did not in any way ask for this to happen. I just want to be like my friends. So easily get pregnant without any difficulties. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those lucky people chosen by Allah. But I guess some people enjoy damaging others. Like Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan said in one of his lectures, 'Those with damaged hearts only find and do damage in what is in their surrounding'. 

I'm not taking my whole journey as a painful experience. In fact, it is a wonderful experience. I began to finally appreciate the hardship in conceiving. I get to see the love from unexpected friends. I know now who are the real ones and who weren't. 

I am thankful now that Allah has chosen me and my husband to venture on this journey. We might not be blessed with a child yet, but we were blessed with other things. But we hoped, with my recent surgery, it is another milestone for us. Maybe it will not happen soon, maybe it will take more time than the past, but it's okay. Through this, I learnt to be patient. Maybe some things are not yet meant for us, because He simply knows it. All we had to is just pray and wait. When the time comes, it will happen regardless. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Discover Down Under [ Part 4 : Lake Wanaka, Kawarau Bridge & Te Anau ]


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

اسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته



Passing by Lindis Pass, we arrived Lake Wanaka approximately 2 hours later. It was a 185km journey.

Note :
  • Please arrange some extra time approximately 2-4 hours for your to be able to hike Roy's Peak. It is one of the main attractions at Lake Wanaka. Otherwise, you would have to enjoy the base lake like we did.

Not complaining though, when you have the opportunity to enjoy a view like this. It's divine. The calm lake, the steadfast rows of snowy mountains, refreshing breeze. It's every thing New Zealand.

Note : If you are short on time and couldn't visit any other main lakes in New Zealand, make sure Lake Wanaka is a compulsory!



From Lake Wanaka, you need another 1 hour to reach Queenstown, where we stop for the night. Along the way, you could make a short detour to the Wanaka Puzzling World.

Note :
  • A point worth noting, the entrance fees is quite expensive. They have several attractions such as The Maze World and Illusion Room. Fees range from NZD 16 - 20 for adults, meanwhile it's NZD 12-14 for children.
  • They open from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm in the summer and 5 pm during winter.



We didn't managed to enter the attractions as we were short on time. Just a few minutes quick stop and we continued our journey to our holiday park. Our pit stop for the night this time is in Queenstown. 

About Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park :
  • For non-motorhome vehicles - they offer One-bedroom studios (houses 6 person), Studio Unit (houses 4 person), Self-Contained Cabin (4-5 person), Tourist Flats (house 4-6 person), and 2-Bedroom Park Motels (house 4-6 person). Price varies between weekends, holidays and peak season.
  • For campsites - they offer powered and unpowered. Prices also vary between weekends, holidays and peak season.
  • They offer 100GB 24 hours wi-fi access too. Which you have to buy at the reception before 8pm.

Our parents didn't stay at the campsite with us. We booked another motel for them to stay nearby.

Note :
  • If you didn't manage to book any accommodation prior, there are abundance of motels available around Queenstown which you could easily walk-in and enquire for available rooms.
  • There are a few halal restaurant selling Arabic food around town. Google Maps 'halal restaurant' and you should be good. We set choice for some biryanis for dinner. 






We were supposed to go for a cable car ride at Queenstown Skyline Gondola but were restricted with time. If you had the chance, just go for it. Price starts from NZD 56 per person.

The next morning, we had our brunch by Lake Wanaka. It was the morning of Eidul Adha. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to find any mosque/muslims in order for us to perform Eid prayers. So we prayed two sunnah prayers together before continuing our journey to Te Anau.




On the way to Te Anau, you will pass by a myriad of mountains and lakes along the way. Please do not hesitate to stop and enjoy the view.




It was magical beyond words. Why is New Zealand is so amazing?

The most amazing stop on our way to Te Anau was of course, the infamous Kawarau Bridge Bungee. From Queenstown, it took approximately 40 minutes to get there.

Operated by AJ Hackett Bungy, it was said to be the first bungee jump in the world. It was seen in one of DevinSuperTramp's New Zealand bungee video as well.







We didn't go for the jump obviously. It was a little bit out of our budget. Price was NZD 195 for adults, NZD 145 for 10-14 years old and NZD 165 for students with valid New Zealand Student ID. Either way, we stayed for quite a while and enjoyed seeing people plummet into the river. It was fun.

From the bridge, you need to allocate at least 2 and half hours to reach Te Anau. Te Anau is a secluded town almost far south in South Island New Zealand. There pretty much nothing (except the common magnificent view of New Zealand, no big deal) besides Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.







One point worth noting :
  • When you're in New Zealand, please allocate time for EVERY attractions. We didn't. So... I end up buying every fresh fruit ice cream I can find round town. The one I'm holding is the best. Mixed berries with fresh milk.
Te Anau is a pit stop for tourist before they continue a few hours drive to Milford Sound. Now this place is so special, it deserved a post on it's own coming up next.

We arrived Te Anau around late afternoon, had lunch and rest for awhile. We stayed at Te Anau Top10 Holiday Park for the night. Now, out of all the parks, this one is by far the best. Well, second best. The best was in Dunedin. The amenities is awesome, toilet it super clean. Kitchen super spacious. Motels was incredible!

Note :
  • They offer studios, motels, and cabins as well. Prices range during different occasion but it starts from NZD 47 per night.
  • Meanwhile campsites price range start from NZD 40 for tent areas and goes up for powered sites. 
  • You could also book tours if you didn't book it prior. Multiple tours are available such Milford Sound, Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour, and few days cruise tour around Doubtful Sound. 




The morning in Te Anau was spectacular. I couldn't made up my mind what was so special about Te Anau. It was serene. Combined with morning breeze that was cold but not freezing. I love this place too much. After breakfast, we set out to our next destination - The Milford Sound.

P/S - It's where they shoot Argonath, Pillars of The Kings in The Lord Of The Rings.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Life As A Houseman...'s Wife.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

اسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته


Been 7 months now since my husband started his housemanship/house officer ship over at a semi-government hospital here in Kuala Lumpur. One thing in general, houseman is busy. Super duper busy. And insult-proof. I think. His life has changed 300% and upturned 360'. 

As a houseman, he rarely has time for himself. Day offs are often next to impossible, and sick leave will be deducted from their annual leave. So they work all day, every day for the rest of their lives I guess. How could you have time to think about other things like this? He couldn't even care less on his work stuff he brought from the hospital. For the past 7 months, I have found countless small vials with VERY difficult pronunciation, machine-washed and tumble-dried too many pieces of papers still inside his work trousers pockets which basically ended up shredded and destroyed every dark clothing, countless and ever changing stationaries, don't-know-whose stethoscope and mini papers with patients' names and codes, medication dosage and bed numbers - even though I had bought him a mini notebook for this. But well, I guess it's faster to work with mini papers. All he wanted to do once he's home is just one thing - sleep. He didn't even bother about eating. That took a toll on him. He lost 8 kgs in 7 months. What does that tell you ? 

A hospital everyday life is so busy that it imprinted in his head even when he's unconscious. Most days when he had to do 6am-10pm shifts, he would fall asleep at strange places at home. That's why I drive him to work everyday. Couldn't risk him falling asleep behind the steering wheel, am I right? When I tried to wake him up at home, he would mutters some very funny things. Mostly work-related as, "Dah, dah ambil darah patient tu", "Baru lepas intubate", "Yang ni dah boleh discharge" and many moreee. Most things I couldn't catch up because you know, advance medical terms. Dude, sometimes I wish I had a video recorder on so I could show our children in the future this is what their father like hahaha. 

Even now that we no longer had long-distance marriage going on, I do feel as if it is still ongoing sometimes. I work in retail. Trading hours end at 10pm, I had to do closing report, housekeeping, walk to my car, drive home, yadah yadah - it's already 11pm. When I got home, he was already sleeping. The only conversation we had each day would only lasted about 10 minutes, undisturbed.  Most of the other time, we only ever had conversations on iMessage. Which normally would consists of me texting him, and he typically replies 3-4 hours later. Our iMessage conversation thread dated way back when he started his housemanship. 

On those rare days, I do hear him complain about this life. This tiring, medical life. I wasn't in the picture last time when I used to see my friends uploading FB statuses about how hectic housemanship was. Some were annoyed by them, some chose to ignore. I didn't know until I become one of the many spouses. I didn't blame them. I know how tiring it is now. 18 hours shift without eating, barely have time to perform prayers properly and toilet breaks? What is that? On top of that, on-calls. On-call every other day, weekend on-calls, public holiday on-calls. To add some more, with the hate our medical personnel receiving these days, I'd say they're bionics. But some broke down too. And when they broke down, people surrounding (who are not medical personnel mind you) would say, You chose this job

Well, if they didn't, would you ? 

Would you chose to stand 10 hours attending to patients without eating and drinking?

Would you chose to sacrifice your weekends? 

Would you want to celebrate Eid at the hospital instead of your family & loved ones?

Would you chose to ignore when your spouse is sick - and tend to other people spouses instead? 

Would you chose to be the last one hearing about family mishaps? 

Would you chose to hurt people around you because your job is too demanding, you couldn't say no?

I could go on and the list would be endless, but the point is, would you? 

As a spouse to a medical personnel, you need to have a strong shield. Your spouse are not to be around most time in your life. Not on weekends, not on public holidays, not on the days you are sick, not on your doctor's follow up, not on your mom's birthday, not on everything. You are just basically what you are. Married. But things are pretty much done solo still. This is where your shield took place. A shield held up and put to test whether it can withstand all things by you. First shield is to not forget God. Pray to Him, ask Him to make you strong and independent. Pray for whatever challenges you face, you are able to get a grip and not let go. 

I do not know what will this journey brings to our relationship as husband and wife. I just pray that once it's over, we could look back, high-fived each other and proudly say, 'We made it.'


Monday, 20 June 2016

Tongues.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 
اسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته


For these past few months of working, I had noticed one thing we humans love to do. 

Talking. 

We love to talk. Regardless of what the issues were, we love to talk. Talk itself is fine. But it's not fine when talk, suddenly turns to gossip. Gossip turns to slander. Slander turns to backbiting and so on. 

It dwells on me. How could oneself go back home, kiss their children, their spouse or mothers with a mouth that has been saying out bad words to others. Do they not feel guilty? Or at least feel uncomfortable. I get uncomfortable whenever people around me talked about others. I did my very best to steer away from those conversation. It wasn't an obvious feeling but my body detests it. 

My face felt iron hot, my ears ring, sometimes I even had headaches. I noticed this a few times now. Whenever a group of people sit down, talk about others, spewing gossips and slander - my body really rejects it. I felt drained out of energy, and exhausted. Even though we just had a meal! It felt so negative. 

I thought, the older we get, the wiser we'll be. We are supposed to think before we talk. We should withhold our tongues from things that weren't true or wasn't worth it to mention. But we didn't. 

In this golden month of Ramadan, fasting does not only applied for food and drinks - it goes for our tongues too. I found a video, worthy of our time to reflect what has our tongues been saying for the past years we have been living. Here's hoping it will be beneficial to all. 






JazakAllahu Khayr.


Tuesday, 3 May 2016