Benyamin Rohaan Hussain
Son of Fareeha Amber Sadiq and Abid Hussain
Born on the 22nd of June 2012, at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, weighing 7lb
Brother to Zakariah, 2
met Abid when I moved to London in 2007 and I was instantly charmed by his lovely smile and good sense of humour. Our wedding took place in July 2009, in the Park Lane Hotel, and we honeymooned in South East Asia, which was wonderful. We’d talked about having a family and thought it may take a few months to conceive. Boy, were we wrong – I gave birth to Zakariah the following August!
Having Zakariah was a steep learning curve and when we discovered that I was pregnant with Benyamin, we had mixed emotions – excitement, and a little fear about how we would manage two children who were only 22 months apart – but we soon accepted our good fortune and blessings.
We had just moved to East London, to be closer to family, and everyone was really delighted about the pregnancy. I remembered that though the small age gap between my own siblings had made it hard for my mother during our early years, it had also been comforting for us to grow up with each other.
I was amazed at how different it could be to be expecting again – it really is true that no two pregnancies are the same. The second pregnancy was pleasant, with no morning sickness. I was also aware of how quickly pregnancy passes, and this time I wanted to cherish and enjoy as much of it as I could.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I developed severe hip pain, which impaired my mobility. We went to Spain on a last minute family holiday and I felt miserable because I wasn’t able to be as active as I would have liked with Zakariah. I was also concerned that the pain might impede my ability to give birth naturally.
I spoke to a wonderful friend, who is a mother of two, a day before I gave birth and she said, “you’re going to feel empowered this time round. It’ll be different from the first, and you’ll enjoy it!” The positivity was contagious, and I believed those words!
We felt much more comfortable and relaxed waiting for Ben’s arrival – understanding labour first hand from my previous experience, and accepting the labour pains as a necessary sign of my body preparing itself for the baby arriving, was liberating. My medical training was somewhat useful in considering the practicalities of pregnancy and labour, but experiencing them for myself has been an eye opener!
One evening, at 41 weeks, I was watching television with my family. My mother had flown down from Scotland to be around at the time of the birth, and I’d had a membrane sweep earlier in the day. It was 10.30pm when I felt my first contraction. I calmly shared my news with everyone and went to bed to replenish my energy levels. Within a couple of hours my contractions were five minutes apart, and 45 minutes after that they were just two-three minutes apart.
I will never forget the car trip to the hospital with all the speed bumps! I’d really wanted a water birth this time, but there wasn’t space in the birthing unit, so I was taken to the labour ward. I was impressed by my husband and mother’s teamwork during the labour. My mother’s warmth complemented my husband’s practicality, and they both really made me feel comfortable and at ease. It was a pleasant surprise, as they can both be strong-willed characters – I really appreciated their love and attentiveness in helping us to have a smooth delivery.
For me, the most wonderful thing about this labour was that I didn’t require any analgesia. With my first I had an epidural – which was ideal at the time, as I was in severe pain and I’d had a prolonged labour – but it was great to experience a different type of labour this time round. The delivery was not impacted by the hip pain, thankfully, and my midwives were amazed at how quickly I pushed Benyamin out.
Benyamin looked so beautiful when I first saw him, I wanted to hold my tiny little bundle of joy close to me. We were all overjoyed. I stayed an extra night in hospital as I wanted support with my breastfeeding. I’m so grateful to Merill, my midwife, and the staff in the hospital for helping me, prior to having Benyamin, during my stay, and post-natally.
The sleep deprivation and competing demands when you have two children mean that you become aware of your own limitations, and I’ve had to learn to access my support system of family and friends more than before. After having my children, I’m also really appreciative of women, and the hard work and juggling they manage planning a baby, during pregnancy, and caring for their children. My relationship with my own mother has become stronger as I appreciate what it must have been like for her, having three children only a few years apart in age.
Bringing children into the world is a massive life change and responsibility, and it’s important to value the role of mothers in society. Being a mother and having my beautiful two children to care for is so rewarding, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Trying to understand the world through their eyes can be hard work, but those first cherished moments and cuddles make it so worthwhile. ✿