Skip to main content
Gem of a Lady

Gem of a Lady

In my previous article I explained my medical condition. Due to lack of ability, I have been advised by my specialist's that pregnancy could occur to high risk of much loss and depression. I am ever so lucky to be supported with love and care by my husband Hasaan with regards to this one drawback in my life.

My brother got married one year after me. My sister-in-law Anum is an amazing lady; she loves and cares for me as if she were my real sister. She very much understands the drawback in my life, when my brother and his wife were expecting their first child they were ever so kind to share their parenting with me and Hasaan. We wanted the experience of excitement at the birth of the child, so we did not find out the gender of the arrival. 

When Anum went into labour I prayed the whole time for the baby to be a girl, although I did not mind whether it was a boy or a girl. My brother called me and said "baby girl" I started jumping around the house with joy and happiness. Hasaan was really excited to welcome the new addition, so he had taken the day off from work to arrange her home coming with me and my family. We all got together and named our little girl Izzah.

Since the day Izzah came into our lives there has not been a single second where Hasaan and I have felt like she is not our daughter. There are very few people I've known who share their children with another couple, especially a mother. A mother's love and affection for her child is unexplainable and priceless, to share that love with another woman is a very big thing for a mother and I can imagine, quite difficult when it's her first child. Anum is one unique lady who has gone this far to prove to me that I can be a mother. I have experienced motherhood all because of Anum.

Hasaan and I love and care for Izzah as our own daughter. We take her on outings with us, I love dressing her up, and Hasaan loves playing football and other games with her. When Izzah was five months old Anum got a job at a lettings firm. She worked there for six months to gain experience.  During those six months I took care of Izzah, from early morning to evening. I loved every minute of it, feeding her, changing her, bathing her, playing with her. The best sight is seeing your baby smile with sparkling eyes, listening to them giggling and seeing them raise their arms for you to carry them. 

One year and two months later, Anum gave birth to another little girl. When she fell pregnant with her second child she decided to have this baby for me. When she spoke to my mother about her decision my mother was so overwhelmed and respected her decision, but also explained that taking care of a baby is a full time job, I would need to be constantly alert and available for the child. Because of my medical condition, my mother knew this would not be possible for me. When taking care of Izzah my mother was there to help out, but even the thought of it made my mother and I love and respect Anum even more. 

With the second child we wanted to find out the gender before the birth. And we were told it's a girl. We named the baby Ayra before she was born. One month after Ayra arrived; Hasaan and I got a flat, after a long wait on the housing register list. Once we had moved into our flat, Anum would allow me to keep Ayra for as many days I was able to look after her. Ayra was always dropped over to my flat with her belongings, her blanket, clothes, nappies, milk bottle and most of all she came with loads and loads of trust. Once a few days had passed, Ayra would go back home for a week or so while I relaxed and got my energy back to have her stay over again for a few days.

There was a time where both Izzah and Ayra caught the flu. Izzah had the flu while Ayra was with me; due to weather change Ayra had also caught it. I called Anum to inform her that   Ayra had the flu. I thought Ayra may need to be back with her mother while she was unwell. Listening to Anum’s reply had me in tears, "It's ok Henna. You just need to make sure she gets good sleep. I trust you; I know you can do it”. I was in tears. Thinking to myself, no mother leaves her unwell baby with someone. Only the mother knows what her baby needs. Anum trusted me and not once demanded for Ayra to be returned home. I took care of Ayra like a precious gem and she quickly recovered from the flu.

Hasaan and I took Ayra everywhere we went. Meeting friends and relatives, out to shopping centres and going out for dinner. On our wedding anniversary my mother gave us a beautiful Moses basket which came with a stand. Hasaan bought new bedding for her as well; it was lovely to see her sleeping in there like an angel. 

Izzah is now three years old and Ayra is two. Izzah goes to nursery and she loves it! I have collected her from nursery many times and she gets very happy and excited when she sees me. She holds my hand and tells me what she did in nursery the whole way home. Izzah is very much attached to Hasaan, she gets excited to see him and when his not around she would take my mobile phone and ask me to give him a call so she can speak to him and tell him to come home.
Ayra likes to be held, she runs to me when she sees me or Hasaan. She can’t talk much as yet but she is an adorable toddler and melts our hearts. My attachment to Ayra is emotional as I have raised her. On her first birthday Hasaan and I bought the cake we did the same for Izzah's first birthday. Hasaan entered into the party carrying Ayra with me beside him. We will always remember and cherish that moment.

 The love for both of our girls is always growing stronger. We have never felt that they are not our real children. We have always felt like parents to them and will always love and care for them in the same manner. All of these feelings and affection are because of Anum. She is the reason we don't think about the drawback that will most probably stay with us. I could never thank Anum and my brother enough for the love, care, support and most of all their trust. I am proud to have Anum as my sister-in-law, my parents are so proud of her and love her for all that she has done, and still does for Hasaan and me. I will always give credit to Anum for letting her girls be a part of our lives. She is truly a gem of a lady.

by Henna Hasaan Sheikh

« View all Inspirational Stories
image description

Help & Advice

Information on managing your heart condition, including Physical, Emotional and Mental Health.

Read more
image description Make a Donation

Make a donation to The Somerville Foundation today and you will help us to continue to offer the valuable services we provide to those born with a heart condition.