Created by Allah Subhana wa tala
Photographed by iMuslimah
Copyright 2008


Assalamu alaykum all-

Seriously, this happened to me today:

I was out shopping with iBaby and my sister, at a very popular warehouse club where you can purchase things in bulk. While I was on line, my sister and I were talking about travel and airplanes. She mentioned that a certain airline (can I say on here?) is going to start charging for ANY luggage that is checked! The cashier chimes in, seemed quite lovely, and said "it's because of the price of oil- they are finding new ways to pass the increase onto the customers, and all airlines will probably follow the same new rules". She then dropped the bomb-

"You know, my son just got back from Iraq and said that oil is 3 cents a gallon. Our boys are there fighting to help these people and you would think the least they could do is send us some of their oil".

Can you imagine?

There are so many things wrong with her statement, that I didn't know where to begin.

What is it with people? Do they not understand that you don't discuss politics with customers, better yet, it shouldn't be discussed in the workplace???? I wanted to jump all over it- I was ready to retort, but I thought it best to hold my tongue, even though I would have been mild mannered and eloquent about it.

I would like to know where some make the connection between putting a material value on life under unfortunate circumstances (and that is putting it mildly). Ok, so her son was in Iraq, he survived- would cheaper oil have made her pain and agony better, while she was waiting for her son to come home in one piece? Would it make parent who has lost a son or daughter in service feel better? Highly unlikely.

Are we really helping the Iraqi people? No we are not. I do not believe that at ALL. The people of Iraq have lost so much, their children, relatives, homes, cars, roads, jobs. They continue to fall prey to hunger, poverty, starvation, unemployment and violence. Hospitals are destroyed, banks are gone, markets and other necessary structures have been destroyed. We are supposed to believe that we are helping them, and then take their oil in return? Give me a break.


Recently I went shopping for a piece of silver jewellery. I didn't have anything specific in mind, I just wanted something shiny and sparkling. The clerk kept overwhelming with pieces, and I couldn't take it. She just kept throwing things out of the show case for me to look at. I wanted to throw them back at her.

She decided she wanted to sell me a crucifix! I gently explained that I am Muslim, and that it doesn't jive with my religious beliefs. She look stunned. She kept insisting it was beautiful, and again I explained I am Muslim. Finally, I thought maybe I should take it one step further- apparently she didn't know what being Muslim meant, maybe she never met a Muslim. So I asked her if she wanted me to explain, and I did. I gave her a very watered down version, making the point that I would not wear a crucifix for several reasons. She got it, and stopped trying to make the crucifix sale. I ended up purchasing a simple ring. When she handed me my receipt she said:

"Remember there is only one God: the father, the son, the holy spirit; and Jesus is the son of God and our lord and savior".

I returned my ring.


Assalamu alaykum.

I was staring at iBaby tonight, while he was sleeping in his bassinet, and I cannot believe how big he is getting. Mashaallah he is SO cute and cuddly, and ROUND! His head is a perfect round melon with black peach fuzz. His nose is delicious, and his lips are sublime. His feet are irresistible, and his toes are like tic-tacs; tiny, edible and sweet. I cant stand the cute, chubbing-up cheeks and his sweet little chin. Oh and the thighs! He has totally filled out his stretchy feety pajamas (with little baseballs and bats on them), and he looks like a little sausage link. I can't believe this weekend he will be 4 weeks old inshaallah. Subhanaallah, he is just amazing. I think he is going to be a tall boy. May Allah bless him always, Ameen.

Am I biased?!?!?!?! *wink*

Maybe Ill do a photo-essay. That will take time, but maybe I can manage it when my husband is off. Don't know. I'm not sure how I/hubby feel about posting his photos on the internet. I'm so anxious to share his pic with you all......so tempting. (I don't feel conflicted islamically about photography- its the whole internet thingy that causes me hesitation). What are your opinions on this? Please comment!

Until then- Ma Salaama,

iMuslimah & Co.


Assalamu alaykum.

Hello all. Trapped in house today. No walks for us today due to plentiful rain. Grumpy. How dare I?

Happy to report iBaby is thriving and growing mashaallah.

Feeling bad about breastfeeding. I just wish I could do it. It would make life so much easier for both of us. I just cannot reconcile, in my pea sized brain that it is not working for us. On average, I am able to pump 20 ounces of milk for him per day, and only having to supplement with about 6 ounces of formula.

I used to love watching 'A Baby Story' on The Learning Channel', but I cant stand the sight of a woman giving birth the natural way, nor can i stomach seeing a woman nurse her child, right now.

How immature and nasty of me.

I have to change my perspective asap, or I will torture myself.

Seriously, how dare I feel this way? All of these circumstances in my life are beyond my control and in Allah's hands. He knows what is best for iBaby and I.

How can I grind my teeth because my milk supply isn't increasing, when there are women starving and thirsty in Myanmar and China- unable to nurse their children because there is no food or clean drinking water?

How can I complain that I have to use formula to supplement, when children in Myanmar and China have been orphaned and are starving to death? Heck- I don't even have to look that far. There is plenty of poverty and hardship right here, in the land of want and plenty- the USA.

Alhamdulillah I know I am so incredibly blessed with my son, my family. I love them more and more each day. Its amazing, I never thought my heart could hold so much.


Can someone please tell me why spaces are not showing up in between my paragraphs??? It is very annoying and ugly to read.

Alhamdulillah yesterday I had some free time without iBaby. I had reservations about being away from him, BUT my husband was with him and he actually convinced me that getting out and clearing my mind would be good for me! He was right! I missed iBaby while gone, but it wasn't terrible. I think if he had not been with his Baaba, I would have felt differently, or maybe I would not have gone. I got in my car and drove. Oh my, did it feel good. I cranked up some Frank Sinatra ("All of Me") and enjoyed every measure. It so reminded me of my mother, she would clean the house on Sunday morning to her favorite music, Sinatra being one of her all time fave artists. I was gone about 1 1/2 hrs, ran a few errands and just enjoyed it.

"You know- you got the part, that once was my heart......so why not, why not take all of me"

Oh- I had a post-op check up with my OB/GYN on Friday, and she went absolutely nuts over iBaby. She even remembered that he has fuzz on his ankles and shoulders! We took a few snapshots of them together, and then talked about health. Are you ready???

I am 49, yes FORTY-NINE pounds lighters than my first pregnancy visit! Can you believe that? I almost fainted! Everyone has been telling me that I look like Ive melted away and look great, but I'm so tired, and still recovering- so I don't feel it. Alhamdulillah I developed really good eating habits during pregnancy due to diabetes and chronic hypertension, to protect iBaby, and in the end, I reaped a huge benefit. I no longer have to take anti-hypertensive medication, and my blood glucose no longer needs to be monitored! Mashaallah! The breakdown: I lost 22lbs during the pregnancy and 27 after delivery! Oh yea! All this eating every 2 hours, and choosing the right foods- and we had plenty of calories too. I hope inshaallah I can continue on this path to loose 35 more lbs, and be in the best shape possible for my son, and my family. I want to run and play with him, as well as show him how to take care of the bodies Allah swt gave us. My husband and I want to get bikes so we can take nature trails through our gorgeous parks. I would like to start hiking- we've got lots of trails and nature walks around us. Alhamdulillah.

Finally- all the Arabian styled clothing my husband's family sent me is starting to fit, and I am sure they would love to see me in it. I would love to wear some of it too- there are a few gorgeous abayas/jilbabs (whats the difference???) that would be perfect for the Eids.

Each day, I find new hope and new joy- I am finally starting to feel like a true mommy (it took a few weeks), and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Assalamu alaykum ;)

Day 4

There is not going to be a Day 5, since my husband has a 4 day work week (Ameen!).
Day 4 went pretty smoothly, I got some help from my sister. She came over and fed, burped, changed and cuddled him, which allowed me to get other things done! It felt really good, as clutter was accumulating in our home, and I needed to tidy up. After that was finished, she accompanied me to Babies R Us- as I don't feel strong enough to leave the house alone with him, since I still cannot lift anything heavy (car seat, stroller etc..). It was nice. We shopped a little, then came home.
iBaby is having gas/crying issues at night. It also seems he has gone back to sleeping ALL day and having to be awakened for feedings, and then being super fussy between 10pm-2am. It is stressful, but it was nice having husband home to help with it, since normally he is not home for this. Even if the fussies don't go away completely, as his organs mature, it will get better. I noticed that the leg massage/exercises help him pass gas and make him more comfortable.
I found switching bottles has significantly helped the gas issue. I was using the Medela bottles and slow flow nipples that came with my pump- the nipples are super soft and iBaby collapses them, hence sucking too hard/getting air. I also tried the Avent bottles- and he was still getting too much air- and burping a LOT with hiccoughs. I purchased one Playtex VentAir Advanced, and one Dr. Brown's- and guess what? Dr. Brown's did not help at all, BUT playtex did. I was pleasantly surprised. iBaby is now using the Playtex, and its much better for him. The nipple doesn't collapse, and it is a true slow flow nipple- when he drinks from it, it's a little more work and his jaw/neck muscles move like he is actually nursing directly from me. We are happy.
Well- I must say that Medela has outstanding customer service. I called them Thursday night about my broken pump (Medela Pump in Style advanced), the agent I spoke to was getting ready to leave but said she would stay a few minutes extra if I could get to a fax and send my proof of purchase. Do you know why? They take breastfeeding/nutrition seriously and she told me that she would like to make sure I got a brand new motor the next day as not to interrupt my son's feedings. Can you believe that? Well, low and behold, the next day- a new motor arrived- and it didn't cost me a dime! I have since rented a hospital grade pump, just for a month to see if it will increase my supply. If not, Ill return in 4 weeks, and continue using the one I have which is pretty darn good. Alhamdulillah for everything.
iBaby now follows my face and voice. It is so darn cute- I can't take it! Mashaallah he is really growing and changing so much, and is really filling out. He is loosing his newborn look and the ripe old age of three weeks.
That's it for now- motherly duties await me!
Assalamu alaykum ;)

Day 3

Salaams to all.
Day 3 was essentially the same as Day 2. I'll take it. Anything is better than Day 1.
Still grappling with the nursing issues. I just can't give up. I'll keep trying until I am convinced it can't work. For now he gets mostly bottles, and a little bit of me. I am relieved he is at least getting my milk.
Pump aggravation: We spent $329 on a pump almost 90 days ago. All of it's functions are not working, so our options are (now mind you my son is relying on pumped milk) to return it to the manufacturer (it weighs a lot) with shipping at our expense, and then rent a hospital grade pump for one month at the cost of $70 plus the $49 accessory kit I need to use it OR I can attempt to wait until the 'buyer protection' (which cost us $40) warranty kicks in after 90 days, and get a brand new replacement (Im sure there are strings attached), and spare the cost of renting a pump for one month. I'll make a decision tomorrow morning after speaking to the manufacturer. Maybe they will offer me a better solution, who knows.
Positive stuffage: I tried on some pre-pregnancy clothing that was WAYYYYYY too tight on me before I got pregnant, and they are falling off me! Hooray! It feels good to be getting back on track to a healthier lifestyle. I'm really excited. My husband is taking us for my follow up visit with my OB/GYN tomorrow, and then to get me new threads inshaallah. I can't wait. I'm also looking forward to showing off iBaby to the staff at the office, whom Ive seen every week for what seems like forever. I'm happy to see my doctor too- as we just feel that she gave us the best care possible, and we cannot forget that. I'll have to dress shim in something extra delicious for his debut.
iBaby is up to about 3 0z milk per feeding now, and sucks it down quickly, even with a slow-flow nipple. I have to interrupt him so he can burp (and boy- can he). We had some issues settling down for bed, and basically he stayed awake from 1am to 430am. When my husband came home at 3:15am, I felt a sense of relief. I was exhausted.
Mashaallah he is getting cuter and cuter. Sweeter and sweeter, and big! His voice is starting to change a bit, and he is able to follow our voices. When I put him over my shoulder to burp, he tries to suck on my cheek; yet I am convinced he is trying to kiss his mama.
Inshaallah tomorrow is a new day for us.

Day 2

Assalamu alaykum,
Day 2 was better than Day 1 alhamdulillah. I'm still grappling with the bottle/nursing issues- but today I opted to only bottle feed beasty (A nickname bestowed upon iBaby by the nursery staff lol). I actually enjoyed feeding him, it was much easier on my psyche and his. No crying, no fussing- pure gratification for him. The down side is the constant pumping- the constant bottle and nipple washing, and measuring. I can't believe he is already taking 3 oz per feeding. Mashaallah he is growing so fast; I swore last night that he was bigger than when he woke up. His onsies are getting snug, and he is more able to wiggle out of his receiving blankets. His umbilical cord fell off Sunday, but I still sponge bath him. My husband and I want to give him his first bath together- we just haven't had time yet. It will surely be a Kodak moment.
I accomplished more Day 2: I got a long, hot shower with hair washing. I even shaved my legs! I also was able to sponge bathe iBaby, straighten up our home, make our beds AND actually cook a meatball and spaghetti dinner. I did all this after my husband left for work. I'm feeling better than I did Day 1. I miss him so much, and when he comes home, my heart leaps.
C-section is healing very well alhamdulillah.
I still can't believe I have a family now, and that I am a mother.
Inshaallah, tomorrow is another new day for us.

Day 1: Baaba Back To Work

Assalamu Alaykum-

I dreaded this day since the birth of iBaby- especially when I learned how awesome my husband would be....

I might as well be truthful- it was awful. iBaby had a rough day; his mama was exhausted and terrified. Breastfeeding was a total nightmare; we had made it almost one full week of exclusive nursing, and that ended this day. We've been for several lactation consults, and made some progress with the 'bionic nipple'. My nipples are flat, there is nothing for iBaby to really latch onto, so Im using a silicone shield. the draw back is that I have to hold the nipple on, and football cradle him with my other hand. That leaves me helpless when a problem arises. When baby sucks, the silicone nip draws breast tissue into it, to create more of an utter (for lack of appropriate vocab). He really doesn't like it, if he fusses- it falls off, and if his feisty little hands go bananas (like the usually do when he is hungry), the nip gets knocked off. By the time he latches, 20 minutes has passed, Ive pulled out every trick in the book, hes cried real tears, I've balled my eyes out, and then he falls asleep after 10 minutes of nursing. I then have to wake him and start over. Overall, it's taking about 1 1/2 hours to get a good solid 30 minutes nursing session. I am frustrated- disappointed, depressed. I've been wanting to nurse him and do the best for his health. It seems that the forces of nature are working against me. Mashaallah Ive been able to keep up a decent supply of milk by pumping, so I have not had to give him formula, yet.

I'm feeling angry- this is the most natural process, and I cant do it. At what point do I surrender and try to enjoy him more? Feedings are an ugly process, and I watch the clock now- waiting for the next session to begin.

I'm sure, some of you are reading and thinking that I should simply be thankful for my son, and wonder how I could be whining about this. I don't know how to explain my feelings. Nursing is a very strong instinct, as natural as the desire to be pregnant. Ive dreamed of this for a really long time, and time is passing quickly. I feel almost like I am grieving. I find myself unable to even talk to other moms about it. My son is growing mashaallah, and the window of opportunity to nurse him is growing smaller and smaller. I couldn't birth him the natural way, and now I cant feed him- and I feel completely and totally inadequate. I am feeling more and more like a failure. When I look into my baby's twinkling little eyes, I get lost in them and start to cry. I love him so intensely, and hope that my inability to do the best thing doesn't affect him. I cant stand the idea of even supplementing with formula. I have some here- because I do realize I will eventually need it, because my milk supply dwindles when I'm only pumping without nursing.

I'm sorry for sounding so blue. I need to get all of this off my chest. I realize there are many couples out there dying to start a family.

I never made it out of my pajamas. I never napped. I was awake for 20 hours, and when my husband came home from work at 3am, I handed iBaby to him and went to sleep. I feel guilty for that. He worked 12 hours and didn't have a chance to get his shoes off. He stayed awake until 6am, slept for 5 hours, woke up, made me a beautiful breakfast and packed his own lunch then went back to work for 12 more hours. I have to do better.

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala help me to be a better mother and wife, Ameen

Birth Story

Assalamu alaykum one and all ;)

We are moving beyond two weeks old, and life has changed dramatically. I am pleased to announce that iBaby now has a better understanding of night and day, and is actually sleeping 3hrs at once. Not bad mashaallah!

So for those of you that like more details, here are the rest:

Due to health reasons I had to be induced on a Friday night. The drive to the hospital was so exciting because now it was my turn, not someone elses. I work in the hospital I delivered at, so I always wondered what happened on the labor and delivery unit. The curiosity was killing me.

By 4am-ish, labor began, and by late morning, my membranes were ruptured and labor was in full swing. I still couldn't believe that I was having a baby, and my husband and I were full of anticipation. I just could not wait to push the little guy out, after a long pregnancy riddled with health concerns. The nurses and my doctor were phenomenal. You would never know that they were overflowing with patients and other deliveries by the individual care and attention they gave us.

The anesthesiologist came to place an epidural, and of course, he immediately asked my husband where he was from (he has an accent), and then assumed I converted to Islam for him!!!! You would think that someone with is degree of education and sensitivity training would know better. Anywho, it turned out he was from India and was interested in visiting my husband's country.... and then went on to say that all religions have their trials and troubles etc.....including his own (Hinduism). I left it alone, I just wanted to get rid of the pain.

By late afternoon, I was still 4cm, despite the wicked contractions. I had not made any progress, not even with the hard contractions and the addition of pitocin. By early evening my doctor discussed the inevitable: c-section. Two words I did not want to hear. I came all this way, and was almost at the halfway point! iBaby's head would not come down, and I carried Group B Strep, so the longer he stayed in there with membranes open, the greater the chance of infection. Of course, at that point my glucose kept dropping too low, and my blood pressure was getting too high, and I agreed to the surgery. I just wanted iBaby to be healthy and sound, and didn't really care how he came out.

Around 730pm ish I was wheeled into the O.R., it seemed so cold and sterile, and there was a rush of people moving about. I was strapped down, on the table, with plenty of reassurance from the entire team that everything was going to be OK, because I was terrified. When they re-medicated my epidural, it was different this time. I couldn't feel my legs, nor could move AT ALL. I was paralyzed. I couldn't even use my abdomen/chest muscles to clear my throat. Scary. Alhamdulillah it was only temporary. the shakes began, and I couldn't even speak. Once my husband was allowed in, I calmed down, and the surgery began (I didn't even know it!).

Alas, at 8pm, we heard the most robust cry, and I caught a glimpse of our munchkin on his way to be cleaned up by the nurses. He looked HUGE. Long, skinny feet. Perfect lips and chin. Black peach fuzz for hair. Just adorable. I was able to see him for about a minute and then he was whisked away to the nursery because his glucose was low.

About 4 hours later, after I left the recovery room, and I was stable, I finally got to hold our son. I was somewhat drugged up, but I remember feeling like I was on a cloud, he was so warm and soft and ALERT! He was so bright eyed and calm; we melted into him. I'll never forget it. Ever.

So, overall, it wasn't the ideal birth I had fantasized about. Allahu Alim, it was nothing like I had imagined. It was the opposite of what I hoped for. While I wasn't aiming for a totally natural birth, I mourn the no pushing, no release from the labor pains, no closure to the physical aspect of pregnancy and labor. I know in time, these feeling will leave me, as I work through them. We have a perfect, healthy baby. I could never ask for a better outcome. Alhamdulillah, we were placed in the hands of very capable people who provided excellent care.

The incision is healing well alhamdulillah. It still hurts, but it is not nearly as bad as days 4-5. That was the worst, and it's behind me now. My husband returns to work tomorrow (waaaaah), and I will be trapped in our house, as he works 12hr shifts and I cannot get down the steps myself, nor can I carry the baby down the steps, especially in his car seat. I can't drive yet anyway. I would like to take daily mini-walks, so perhaps I can arrange for a family member to help me with that. It really helps with the healing, and the weather is gorgeous right now. Spring is in full swing.

I had a very bad case of the blues until about 5 days ago-it was atrocious. I couldn't stop crying- everything overwhelmed and upset me, and the nursing seemed like a hopeless disaster. I felt like my body failed me again. To boot, no one mentioend baby blues- only post partum depression and how common it is, blah blah blah. So then I was worried on top of everything else, that I was abnormal, I was ashamed to say anything and kept it all in. Alhamdulillah a good friend shared her experience with me, and then I realized it was kind of normal. I branched out and asked others, and they all agreed. It felt like a weight had been lifted and I haven't been upset since (I kept forgetting I had surgery and that I need to heal too). I didn't ask for any visitors except immediate family, because I could barely get dressed and hobble around. I would get upset when visitors would just pop-in or call, as it seemed I was chained to my breast pump or the baby, and didn't feel comfortable with it yet (Im still not-it's not something I feel I can do in front of others). Nursing has been a real challenge, and we still have some kinks to work out. Inshaallah it will be successful. He's on pure breast milk thus far and I have not had to supplement with formula in a week! For now, he gets me 4 times a day, and nurses rigorously for about 30 minutes before passing out. It holds him for 3 hours! At night I need to give my parts a rest, as they are quite painful right now- hence he gets pumped milk in a bottle. He is happy either way ;) Mashallah he is thriving and gaining weight.

My husband has been great, in the hospital and at home. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, helping me nurse (he knows a lot more than I thought he would), changing and cleaning iBaby, grocery shopping and just loving us. He has been emotionally supportive through the mini break downs too. I love watching his relationship with our son flourish. It is just the purest joy.

I have to go now, iBaby ate 1 hour ago, so I should shower and grab a mini nap before he wakes up inshaallah. My breast pump is malfunctioning and I need to return it ASAP.
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back inshaallah!

iMuslimah & Co.

iBaby Stats

Assalamu alaykum all,

I've got a few minutes to spare, and I'm typing with one hand, so here are some details!

*Born two weeks ago
*7 lbs 9 1/2 oz
*22 in. long
*Loudest cry/squeal on earth
*Loves to be held, especially by Baaba
*Loathes diaper and clothing changes
*Big feet
*Covered in black fuzz from head to toe (and I love it!)

I actually managed to get a shower before 6pm, and it felt ohhh so good.

I'm dreading my husband's return to work Monday. He has been my rock.

New Man in My Life

Alhamdulillah wu shukru lillah! iBaby has made his way into this world and into our hearts. I am totally smitten with him, and my husband has gone bonkers- totally nuts over our magnificent gift. I'm wiped out, super tired - so I will post more later. Just wanted to keep you all up to date! Please make dua for us, that we remain in the best iman, health, healing, and that the nursing keeps up. It's been very difficult, and tonight was the first night it seems hopeful, and I want to be successful. Thank you :)
Assalamu alaykum!