Saturday, December 11, 2010

How you became a Father

The womb of a woman who is not pregnant, has never been pregnant, is about the size of a lemon. The one who has been pregnant in the past, her womb is a bit bigger, but still, think of this, O People. This organ, it has never been duplicated by man with all of the scientific knowledge concerning it, knowledge that was given by Allaah Ta'Alaa, who Knows better what He has created and fashioned. During the course of a pregnancy, that lemon-sized organ grows large enough to hold one, two, or sometimes more babies weighing five or more pounds, plus the placenta, aka "afterbirth" and the fluid that the baby or babies float in, swallows, pees, and is somewhat cushioned by. It is the safe place that Allaah has let us all have, it is warm, and through it some faint light can be seen (!) and sounds heard. And then the child is born, having remained in that safe and secure place for as long as Allaah decrees, wa subhana Allaah wa bihamdihi.

A woman's breasts grow also, to varying degrees. It is from Allaah's Mercy and Knowledge and Ability that they produce milk, milk specific for that pregnancy, that child. A woman who gives birth prematurely, may Allaah protect us all, the makeup of the milk that can be expressed has the fats, carbohydrates, proteins, needed for that level of development. The milk of a more advanced pregnancy has the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates needed for that level of development. This is only from Allaah! So much is transmitted in mother's milk that five sucklings by a baby before it is weaned is sufficient to make that baby one's child, prohibiting marriage and permitting familiarity the same as if the child had come from the woman's body.

During pregnancy, the mother feels the kicks, the punches, the stretches, the tumbles of her unborn child. Think of this, O men: your wife is never alone, her meals are altered as she wants more of some things and less of others, she considers everything that she eats and drinks in relation to how it will help or harm her little person, a person whose face she has never seen, whose voice she has never heard, whom she hopes will be a blessing for you both. She learns the person's personality; this one will not let her eat meat without becoming nauseous, that one will not let her sleep uninterrupted as the soccer match starts just around bedtime, and every week, this little person is getting heavier, bigger, stronger, bidhnillaah, and while becoming more dear to you both, she also sees her body changing, and you changing as well as things progress. Are you more helpful, keeping in mind that this is "weakness bearing weakness"? Or do you expect everything to be kept as clean and fresh as it was before another human being began to take from her strength, her attentions?

And then she gives birth! Whether vaginally or by cesearean section, this involves much effort on her part. If she gives birth vaginally, she has severe muscle cramps, which is what contractions are, up to every three minutes, lasting for a minute each time. Have you ever had a muscle spasm? Imagine one coming that often! Just when she catches her breath, and is not thinking about the pains, when she is trying to remember Allaah, calling on her Lord with sincerity, just when that muscle spasm has died down, only a few minutes later it comes again. This can last FOR HOURS. The average woman having her first child is in labor for up to 24 hours. Could you stay awake that long, undergoing such always increasing pains? There are men who will not hold the hand of the women that they are married to at such times, who will not rub her aching back, speak soft words of comfort. They say that this is a woman's job, not just the nurse, who is probably a woman, but the job of Woman. While this is true, is it not the job of Man to comfort and to protect, to show that love and mercy are not suspended while she comes so close to death? Make no mistake. Women do die in childbirth. It is not a thing from the past. It is only Allaah who brings the women through this time, and some He takes as martyrs.

Do you remember the first time that you held your child in your arms? While you thought of how small, how precious-- and you were right -- that little person changed your wife's body and mind forever. Not to be overly graphic, but have you remembered or even thought about how much effort it would take for muscles that cannot be exercised to push out five or more pounds of human being? Think about defecating something the size of a grapefruit, which is the approximate size of a full term newborn's head. When you stop wincing, then remember that arms and legs came also, with varying degrees of rapidity and ease, with someone's hands guiding, touching a very very sensitive area. Women sometimes tear in that area and other places as the head comes out, sometimes, the midwife or obstetrican has to make a cut so that there is sufficient room for the head to emerge without damaging other areas.

So. After all of this, you are, by the mercy of Allaah, a father. Your wife and your child. Your family grows. Your trust from Allaah has increased. Allaah bless all of you.


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