Daughter of Shazia Mustafa and Yusuf Chadun
Born on the 18th of June 2012, at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, weighing 7lb 9oz, Sister to Esha’al, 5, and Isak, 3
e knew from the start that we would be together for a long time – Yusuf proposed to me just four months after we met and with the blessing of our families, we were married another four months later. We decided to start trying for a family shortly after my thirtieth birthday, by which time we had been married for almost three years. The timing felt right and I fell pregnant with our eldest daughter within six months.
We live in Wandsworth, and we also have a business there – Third Door, an integrated workspace and nursery – which we launched when Isak, our second child, was six months old. When we found out that we were expecting a third baby we were both shocked. It was a complete surprise, and it was only when I started feeling tired that I suddenly wondered whether I might be pregnant. When it was confirmed I experienced every reaction under the sun: disbelief, shock, anger at my husband, and despair at how I was going to cope with three young children and a business!
We had another surprise at the scan – I thought I was 10 weeks pregnant, and they told me that I was actually almost 14. After the nuchal scan, I was also informed that I had a very high chance, 1 in 40, of carrying a baby with Down syndrome and I opted for the painful procedure of an amniocentesis – the result of which was negative for the genetic disorder.
The pregnancy was tough. I had really bad back pain, and at one point found it difficult to walk anywhere. This was made even more difficult as I had to work long days, every day – it’s hard to take it easy when you run your own business and have two small children. The third pregnancy was completely different – I only started preparing for Henna’s arrival about a month before she was due, and then it was just a case of digging out her brother’s and sister’s items! I didn’t have the luxury of relaxing, unlike during my first pregnancy. My due date was the 11th of June, and I worked until the 14th.
Four days after my due date I finally decided to take some time off, and I noticed that the baby’s movements had slowed down. On Sunday the 17th I went to the hospital, and they made the decision to induce Henna that evening. Unfortunately, nothing happened overnight and in the morning they had to break my waters. Once the waters were broken everything happened very quickly – from the contractions starting to Henna being delivered was just one hour! It was a very painful hour though, and resulted in second degree tears!
Yusuf was amazing all the way through, and when we saw that we had a baby girl, we were over the moon. She was tiny and absolutely perfect, with lots of hair. It’s amazing how much love one little person can bring – even though our initial reaction to the pregnancy had been surprise and shock. We named our baby Henna. It means ‘blessing’ in Arabic, which she certainly is – both a blessing and a gift.
Henna is amazing. She’s a great sleeper, which has allowed me to recover quickly and actually get some work done, as well as spending quality time with my older two children. Having Henna has also helped me to delegate to my staff so that I can spend more time with my children and focus on growing the business, rather than worrying about detail.