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Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Power Struggle (part-two)

Sarah placed her nightgown and robe in her suit- case and reached for her feather slippers. Her pregnant belly was too big, so Fahad kindly pushed them toward her and asked, “Are you really going to wear those?”
“Yes, I have to. There are going to be so many guests coming to see me and the baby in the hospital. I have to look nice. I have arranged for the hairdresser to do my hair soon after I deliver too,” Sarah responded with a smile.
“Why are you packing so many things, how long do you plan on staying in the hospital?” Fahad asked, already knowing the answer, but hoping he would get a different response.
“Fahad, I already discussed this with you, Habeebi, you know that this is our tradition, and we can’t change it. You know that my mother decided that it is a better idea for me to go to the hospital from her house and not from our home. After delivery, all the girls stay at their mothers’ houses for the forty days. It’s not like you and I know anything about babies; we can’t do things on our own. What if the baby cries? I am going to be too tired and will need my mother’s help. At least that is what all the women say. I’ve never had a baby, so I am going to need my mother’s help.”
“Sarah, are you telling me that I will be all alone for six weeks? That is a long time. What if I want to see the baby? What if I want to carry him, and get to know him? I can try to help you, and your mom can come here to help you if she wants,” Fahad said with sadness in his voice.
“Fahad, khalas (enough), this is our tradition, and you have to abide by it. This is how it is here in Saudi. Where do you think you are, America? Didn’t I already tell you that mama and my sisters invited their friends and family for dinner tonight? We are going to be working  on  the  final  preparations  for  all  the  d├ęcor,  chocolates, and guest favors. We’re not going to be the ones who change this tradition,” Sarah responded harshly.
“Fine, go. But choosing the name will be mine. You have to leave something to me. He will be my son, bearer of my name! Oh, and don’t forget to pack your books. You need to learn about breastfeeding, or is your mom going to do that for you too?” Fahad left the bedroom, sat on the living room couch, and turned on the TV. “Sarah! Tell Fatima (the maid) to prepare my dinner, I’m hungry.”

A  huge  cloud  of  sadness  floated  over  Sarah’s  head.   She suddenly felt alone and lost. Sarah truly loved Fahad and did not want to hurt or upset him, but he just didn’t understand the importance of her mother’s role in her delivery. Besides, Sarah didn’t want to embarrass her mother in front of friends and family by staying with her husband and resting at home during her last month of pregnancy. Her mother had repeatedly told her that she would need her help, that she might need to use formula because she might not have enough milk to breastfeed. Besides, her breasts were small, and she would not be able to carry the baby and address all his needs by herself. 

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Please exercise proper manners and respect for all. Thanks