If you want to understand who is the best to interpret the Qur’an and sunnah, and Islam in general, the answer is the ones who are most knowledgable and closest to it.

Okay lah Rasulullah died. He’s gone. But he did one very important thing before he died: he taught the Qur’an to his companions, both in letter and in interpretation. They, too, died; but they passed this on to the tabi’een, who passed it on, down through the chain of scholarship throughout time until today.

Don’t interpret it by yourself mbak. Makanya gw bilang kan mbak, cari guru ngaji sana! Cari!

– Abang Zaman

#SelfReminder

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What Labor Is Really Like?

 

This post is to answer the most common question people asked me when we meet, “What labor is really like, Kit?”

So, guys, let me tell you. As a first-time mom, I had a difficult time deciding if I was in labor or if I was having Braxton Hicks contractions or what we called false contractions. My symptoms did not fit into either category. I had a lot of cramping under my belly, not radiating from the top down or in my back like the books said. I was told it would feel like very bad menstrual cramps but that’s not what it felt like to me. It was much more intense and it was almost all in my lower back. Every time a contraction would come, my lower back would slowly begin to seize up or worst (? haha). It was kind of like the muscles inside me were slowly twisting harder and harder until it became almost unbearable (that I thought I’ll die surely), and then it would slowly subside. The pain is like having your insides twisted, pulled, and squeezed. If I fought it, the pain became worse. So, better you take a very very very deep breath than wasting your energy to scream and fought it. Even though the breathing technique I learned in class helped, it was hard to concentrate because of the pain.

p.s. It was still much more painful than I had imagined it would be. 

When I finally went in to the hospital to be checked, sure I would be sent home, I was told that I was actually in labor. it just the opening hasn’t completed yet. Can you imagine?

And the pushing?

Hahaha the pushing contractions! All I can say is that I knew I had to push. And it felt good to push! Reaaaaally good.

 

Would like to do it again?

Absolutely. Yes, I know the pain of my labor came in waves, where I could feel it begin, crest, and subside. During the crests, it was hard to remember to breathe, as it felt like my body was one big leg cramp, kind of like I was a towel being twisted and curled in half. But when it’s all said and done and you’re looking at your little joy, you know you’d go through it all again.

All We Want Is To Be In Jannah Together

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Allah described marriage very differently in the Holy Quran: “… He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)…” (QS 30:21).

It is very sad that this relationship which Allah has established for the good has been made a source of contention, deception, trickery, tyranny, humiliation, and abuse. This is not the way marriage is supposed to be. At least, it is not the marriage my husband and I want to live in.

As the time fly, my husband and I realize that marriage is the kind of arena which we need to play in wisely and correctly. It is full of challenges and new things. It can be the source of sadness and countless unsolved problem, unless we play it good and right. What is “Play it good and right”? or “Wisely and correctly”?

So, let’s answer this question, why did you get married?  Some people might say, I got married because I wanted a partner to join me on this journey we call life, and I wanted to start a family.  If you just want to have a partner in this life and accompany you on your life journey, it’s fine. But someday, it will come to an end. But if you say, I got married because I wanted a partner to join me on this journey and to last beyond this lifetime and into the Hereafter, where you can live in eternal happiness with them having earned Allah’s pleasure together. That’s exactly what my husband and I want.

We want to be in Jannah together, not my husband or me alone. we want it as a couple, a husband and wife.

So, this is how you can make it together, you can do these things to protect your spouse:

  • stop him/her from harboring suspicions or ill-will (about their boss or competitor or any other annoying person in their life)
  • stop him/her from backbiting (about their friends, colleagues)
  • help him/her be more kind and gentle in your speech and manners (to helpers, waiters, laborers, siblings, elders and children)
  • help him/her fulfills people’s trusts (by encouraging him/her to get to work on time and do the best at their job, to pay off their debts, to keep other’s secrets)
  • help him/her be more honest with themselves or to others
  • help him/her forgives someone and overlook their faults
  • help him/her becomes more generous or less extravagant
  • help him/her recognizes and overcomes the weaknesses of their inner self

I hope my husband and I can continue to do good deeds and remind each other. Amen.

(Almost 6 months from marriage, I Love You)

What Is It Like To Experience A Hyperemesis Gravidarum? (Part 1)

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No one in this world will tell you about the words “Hyperemesis Gravidarum” (HG) unless you have already pregnant and have got a (you thought normal, but honestly it is the worst form of) morning sickness, then you need to be hospitalized. No one’s to blame.

So, what is it like to have a HG during your pregnancy? Actually, what is it? Okay, let’s imagine a disease that makes your body reject food and water, lose 15% of your body weight, vomit violently up to 20 times a day, dry heave every time you moved and things like the smell of the sun and sound of your husband or people around you talking make you sick. Then, you are being too weak to lift your head to puke, everything spinning around you and not being able to look at the TV, phone or computer, or other things with an intense light, so dehydrated and malnourished and starving and you black out and can’t remember months of your life, so fatigued you can’t even go to the bathroom or shower on your own, your skin so dry it peels and dulls, your lips cracking and bleeding, your throat being so dry taking a breath burned, your throat burning from vomit and your mind being so foggy you can’t even can remember what you want to talk about. Now you get it a little bit. Oh, almost forgot! Plus count in many people including medical professionals, not knowing what this disease is or how to properly treat it and thinking you are FAKING AND LOOKING FOR ATTENTION OR DRAMATIC.

This is Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and what I had to live with during the first trisemester of my pregnancy. It has taken me quite a while to get me to the point that I was ready to share my entire story. I think I’m ready now and hope my story will help other women and their loved ones get through HG, spread the word about this terrible disease.

On March 11st, 2016 I started feeling kind of ‘off’. I was so exhausted I could hardly keep my eyes open, had a migraine that wasn’t going away an entire day, my lower back was hurting, had an all over ache and was feeling a little bit queasy. I thought I was just coming down with the flu. I got a feeling that I might be pregnant since the menstruation blood has’t coming out. To my shock, it was positive! (I wrote about how I know I was positive in my previous post). Long story short, I started my day dreaming about if we were having a boy or girl, baby names, growing a baby bump, getting the “pregnancy glow” and what cravings I would have. Little did I know at the time that those would all be the last things on my mind during my pregnancy.

Until about 1 weeks along I was feeling pretty good despite some fatigue and a little bit of morning sickness. I was still working full-time as a lecturer. I was confidence and also hopeful I’d be one of the lucky few women who didn’t experience severe sickness especially since I felt so great and even told my mom that my pregnancy would be one of what they call “Hamil Kebo”. I even was bragging about how I had not even thrown up once and how I knew this was going to be an easy pregnancy.

Then one day during my 5th week along I woke up sooo damn sick I couldn’t even make it out of bed without throwing up. I was hoping this was just a little fluke and I would start feeling better. That day was just superb awful, I thankfully had the day off work and spent all day going between bed and the bathroom with nonstop dry heaving and vomiting. The next day  my husband ended up taking me to the hospital, not because my severe vomiting but more because I had a little stain of blood and cramping all day. I told the doctor what I felt and how I was so frustrated with the vomiting, but he just told me “yeah, it is because you are pregnant. Congratulations!” and sent me home with the typical morning sickness tips and a script for oral medicines that reaaally pricey.

To that point, my husband and I didn’t know about HG. The first time I started wondering if something was wrong and I wasn’t just having a normal sickness was around 6 weeks. I was teaching in class and started feeling very dizzy and light-headed which was starting to become the norm for me multiple times a day. I should have pulled over at that point but kept pushing myself and blacked out for a couple of seconds and opened my eyes to my student’s call.

The first morning I woke up so nauseous I couldn’t even get out of bed and can’t eat anything. Several times ran to the bathroom and vomit until there was nothing left. I texted my friend about my condition and asked if she can help me get through this, she replied “just enjoy it, it is part of your journey of being a mother. morning sickness is common, tho. A pregnant woman should be happy (Bumil harus bahagia)”. I did my best to “suck it up and put on a happy face” that week but it never failed that everyday was the same. Exhaustion and nonstop vomiting which led to severe dehydration by the end of the week. But I didn’t tell anyone how bad it really was until one night, I felt that I can’t bare it any more and crying out of loud in front of my husband, he said “why are you crying again?” with a not understanding and resentment face. I replied “I don’t know, this is all hurting me and I just want to give up. I feel very sick, it feels like dying, I can’t even eat anything since this morning”. Then my husband decided to take me to another hospital out of town in Depok. At that time I knew I was getting dehydrated, was dizzy and light-headed and started having cramping. They did an ultrasound and said baby looked great, then gave me a couple of bags of fluids, some medicines and injections. Finally on my 2nd hospital visit a obgyn named Dr. Jumadi, SpOG, he came in with some papers on Hyperemesis Gravidarium. It was the first time I ever heard those words before, had no clue what it meant but was happy to hear I wasn’t just being dramatic and there really was something wrong with me and ended up being hospitalized for 4 days.

to be continued …

I’ll write more about it in my next post because I need to get ready to welcome my husband now! lol

 

Being A Super-Mom Who Stays At Home

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Well, I did it. My mother did it. Her mother did it. Many of my friends did it, and I know countless other women who did it. or maybe you’re considering being a stay at home mom, too. The “what-ifs” of being a stay at home mom are hard to face and equally as hard to talk about. Leaving my job to stay at home is a big decision and for that I didn’t make it lightly. Life is hard and unexpected, but it can also be great, as long as you take the time to consider your options and protect yourself and those you love.

Months ago, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with my life after I got married, pregnant and had my baby. Like many other soon-to-be mothers, I was approaching a crossroads and needed to decide the role I would play as the mother of my child. Believe me, it was more frustrating than decided the major I want to choose when I graduated from high school. Would I be a working mom who would continue to provide for my family and further advance my career, or would I stay at home as the full-time care and love provider, and of course, the absolute-ruler-queen of my house? It was hard because I was about to begin my Civil Servant-Lecturer in my favorite major and I also had graduated cum laude and have a very promising career path. Would I really just “throw it all away”?

Being a stay at home mother can be a very worthwhile experience for me and my soon to be born child. It’s unpredictable. I will end up facing many important unforeseen possibilities. well, yeah, life have already become unpredictable, but once I get married, I can’t be selfish anymore. I can’t bury my head in the sand about the consequences of my major decisions.

Anyway, both paths were and are scary for me. Ultimately, I followed my heart and chose to stay home with my future child. To make this difficult decision, I was forced to think long and hard about the benefits and the consequences of my choice, and of course, I discuss it with my husband, who never have words to calm me down when I’m confused because he is a logical person, for him, if I want to stay at home, just stay (but recently he really strict about being a working mom, I guess I will never get his permission to work anymore. Hoho).

I don’t want to miss my pregnancy moment. I dedicate my life and pause my activities during the pregnancy, pause my work, the deadline, the force, the stress and everything. Why? Why not. haha. of course to enjoy it, the pain, the nausea, the uncomfortable, the joys, the happy moment, everything. I have lived for 26 years, 99% of everything I do, I do for the sake of myself. Now, I want to do everything for the sake of us, me and the tiny baby that growing inside me. Dedicate my 9 months is not a big deal for me.

My second and main reason to be a stay at home mom is the fact that my baby is only a baby once. When I decided to left my job, I’m only one semester left to be promoted as a civil servant lecturer, but I did not want to work just for that. It would mean I would miss out every single moments of my child’s life, and I would never be able to get that back. I’ll miss out my child’s first word, first time sitting, crumbling, walking, and others first possible things my child can do. I reaaaallly don’t wanna miss them out.

Third, well, by stay at home, it doesn’t mean I really stay at home doing nothing. It is more like you quit your job and get another amazing and challenging job. The more I think about motherhood, the more I see myself not ready for it. There are so many many many things I don’t know about it. What would I do if my child cry? What would I do if they have question I can’t even answer? What would I do if they have got a fever? so many things, so many details. I was vulnerable when I think about that. haha

Well, Happy deciding!

Goodbye First Trimester, Welcome the Miracle Second Trimester!

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The moment I saw the second line appear on the test-pack, I screamed and jumped around the room. Yes, I actually did that. I felt like my heart was about to explode out of my chest, I was so ecstatic. I picked up the phone to send WhatsApp messages to my husband, who didn’t response for hours, and to my friend who have already went tru it. it was the beginning of my first-tear drop falls-semester.

Ever since I married, there is nothing in this world I wanted more than to be pregnant. I couldn’t wait to experience the miracle of a tiny person growing inside me. From the time I was a small child, I was fascinated with pregnant women with a giant swollen belly walking around. I would be that woman. I would be an adorable pregnant lady with a little basketball belly. I would embrace each new day of my pregnancy with a gracious smile and love every minute of it (which what exactly happened was I cried and vomited every day during my 1st semester. haha)

My first week of knowing it, I felt great and blessed. I was getting by on one cup of coffee latte, I was still working on my presentation, eating well, back then pregnancy was a breeze. And then came week 6. The nausea swept over me like a tidal wave, force me to knock on my knees, all over the toilet. I had no energy, could hardly eat and drink anything and I felt seriously hungover ALL THE TIME. I thought maybe I would beat morning sickness being nocturnal and all. But no, it seemed it only meant that I would be sick in the morning, afternoon, and night with only a few hours of “Maybe I could eat that” feeling in between. I dreaded going to work and even had to rest for the rest of the day. The only thing that seemed to help was being horizontal. I tried all the little tricks I found online like sucking on lemonheads, drinking soda, snacking constantly. Nothing would help for more than an hour. It was miserable!

Of course I had heard of “morning sickness” but this was completely debilitating. No one had warned me about this. Was I just being a big wuss? Should I just suck it up? In addition to the constant hangover, I was cramping at least half the time. I certainly was never warned about that. I was miscarrying? It felt like I was on my period every day. Are these the things that oxytocin makes you forget along with the pain of labor? Why didn’t I know about this?! My dream of having three or four babies was quickly disseminating in my mind. There is no way I could feel this terrible for another two or three go-arounds.

Now I’m not just being supeeeeer whiny. In fact, most of the time I was feeling so bad, I made sure not to take it out on my husband or complain too much. My days were still filled with nausea and how I fight to eat anything I can eat and I couldn’t have been more excited about the blueberry-sized embryo inside me. Besides feeling terrible, I started to gain weight from not working or do activities and eating constantly to try to keep the nausea away. In this early stage of pregnancy, however, no belly was obvious yet so I just felt fat and frumpy and ugly and etc etc etc.

Thankfully, around week 12-13, the nausea slowly started to get better. It could have been coincidental but I was also diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidanum and put on the correct dose of medication at that time so that may have contributed to my feeling worse as well.

The second trimester was absolutely awesome. All the discomforts, or most I should say, were gone and I had tons of energy. I sleep well and the nausea is not unbearable anymore. Now, I am about to start my second tri semester. hope everything, like every single things in my life, gets better and better.

 

 

Being a Lecturer

Think of your favorite teacher you ever had in school: the one who made it the most fun to go to class. They surprise you. They keep you guessing. They keep you coming back, wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

Me, being a lecturer is a big impossible in my list. I’ve never thought neither it ever crossed my mind I’ll become a lecturer. What a life! You’ll never know what will happen next in your life, they said. And voila! Now you become whatever you’ve never expected to be. That’s God. A perfect plan for everyone who worship Him.

It started when my husband and his family proposed me, on 1st March 2015. It changed everything and made everything clear that as a woman, my priority is to accompany my husband, being a great mom and a faithful wife. It was the hardest to choose either I want to put up with my career or just give it all, quit.

After a time-consuming contemplation, I decided to give it up, I don’t need to work in order to get money, plenty naive. Then, an idea pop-up! My husband said there is a new state university in the city where we gonna live in. Yes, with no hesitation and an absolute confidence I applied to the university. Months after that, they processed my application documents and Boom! I become a lecturer.

That’s not the point of this posting. Let’s back to when I was, almost every day, grumbling and complaining about, why I need to take master degree and a little late to start my career compare to my friends, and my husband always said ‘no, honey, it’s okay, it’s all planned by God, don’t be negative thinking, everything happens for a reason’. And I added ‘I wish I know the reason why’.

That happened every time I feel low. Then months and years after that, I realize, everything indeed happens for a reason and now I know the reason why.

I live in town and work in town, being a lecturer is a blessing, a great blessing given to me. I could work and worship God in the process of working, I have many free time, I could choose whoever I want to work with, man or woman, and it’s all up to me. I could change and arrange and organize my own schedule, I could work from home, I don’t have to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it’s a stress-free job! Last but not least, my workplace is only 250 meters away from my home. What a life!

For the Sake of Jannah

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Have you ever thought about why you get married with someone who isn’t perfect? why do you love your husband so much? and why are you sometimes hurt yourself by doing so? I mean, why it is so painful to love someone? Isn’t love should be all about loving and caring and smiling and galvanizing you to be a better person? Well, as per I believe, to love our husband simply for the sake of loving him is no good, because eventually, the love we have for him will consume us in a way that is completely unhealthy for us, emotionally, psychologically and most importantly, spiritually.

I’m afraid, when we love our husband just because we’re in love with him, there’s a possibility that he may eventually become our God. He may become dearer to us than Allah SWT Himself. We might even worship him as we’re meant to worship Allah SWT, we will seek protection, guidance, sustenance, happiness, forgiveness and mercy from him, when we should be seeking these things primarily from Allah SWT. Indeed, Allah SWT’s riddha is with our husband’s. But, we must know and alert that the purpose of our marriage is to worship Allah SWT and for the sake of His Jannah. Keeping that in mind, and we will go on forward to His blessings and Jannah, insyaAllah.

The key to love our husband wholeheartedly and healthily is to love him for the sake of Allah SWT.

Life After Marriage

Finally, get in touch again with writing, well life is no storybook but worth to be written. Here it is, my life after getting married. I could say that everything I ever imagined about newly-wed life was far from what is really happening in my life. In real life, your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a Mission Impossible. I mean, I often say, “you should land, Kit! Otherwise you’ll fall”.

Yeah, too high expectations, too many romance dramas I’ve watched made me think irrationally. A happy family, full of romance and flowers and kisses and hugs and traveling all over romantic places every single day, in fact not at all. He have to work and overtime every day and night, I have to stay at home and work and clean the house and other stuff, we only have 3 to 4 hours quality time. I thought life would be easier if I marry him, I thought my day would be very romantic if I marry him, I forgot to think that my husband is not mine, he is also belongs to his company, his family and his friends. He has 24 hours and 7 days to be shared with me, his works and his office-mates, his families, his other colleagues and friends, so do I.

Well, that wasn’t the worst part. A week after the wedding, I have to follow my husband and live in a completely new city, Karawang, which only 70 km away from my hometown, but has a huge different culture, environment and city structure. I cried at first, it was a completely different from what I used to live back then. But, the title of wife have weighed me more than my fear to live in a new town. I realize that life will be changed starting from the day he marry me. I am no longer a childish woman dressed like a grown up. I am a wife of a man, and I don’t want to disappoint my husband who, I believe he really expect me to be strong and more struggle in life.

Cheer up, hope can update this blog the soonest with a boost improvement!

Bizarre Hierarchical Bureaucracy

Imprisoned in hierarchical bureaucracies, what a shame! I mean, in this very hour this very year? Maybe the sooner these leaders can acquire the requisite competence in radical management or be replaced by people who have it, the better. The fact that these so called – corporate leaders reward themselves so lavishly—despite their incompetence—is another bitter irony in this sad saga.

I believe, the survivors in this (so called) industry world will be those firms whose leaders perceive that the game has changed. A radically different kind of management is required to thrive. It depends on delighting the customer, not unnecessarily too proud about themselves . And this in turn depends on drawing on the full talents and energy of those doing the work. And when people find themselves in situations where they can contribute their full talents and creativity to helping other people, guess what? You have work contexts that create the happiest jobs.

Well, bureaucracy is simply unable to cope in this new-era world. It was never intended to. Bureaucracy is aimed at producing average products and services efficiently. It’s not agile enough to delight anyone–either the people doing the work or the people for whom the work is being done. So it’s not that bureaucracy is inherently bad. It’s just that bureaucracy doesn’t fit today’s world.