About a day or two before it happened, I was thinking how Inaya and Abdur Rehman have shaped the meaning of love for me, or how, because of them, I have come to know this particular aspect of love, which includes selflessness as well as a very personal and real attachment. I was also missing her – more than I missed AbdurRehman this time – and had put a very cute photo of her on my phone’s lock screen so I could keep seeing her, though that made me want to pull her cheeks, and somehow, to pull her out of screen too. Her mom, my sister, hadn’t visited in a few days as Ramadan has started and it’s a pretty busy month for most, but then her husband dropped her and the kids one night so they could spend time here. Before that, they checked into a hospital for Inaya wasn’t feeling very well.
Over here they had dinner, we talked and laughed; I took my niece in my arms and she got really playful which was delighting, as it typically is with babies. Then, to cut it short, when bro-in-law left we started preparing for sleep. In our room, the lights were off, my sister tucked Abdur Rehman into bed and stood up for Taraweeh prayers, giving Inaya to us to put her to sleep. As it happened, Abdur Rehman refused to visit his dreamland without her even though he was quite tired. I was really really tired myself, so I sat on the vinyl floor by the bed and putting my head on its frame, closed my eyes while also running my fingers through his hair. You get the picture? It was all very normal and relaxed… when suddenly Inaya got a serious coughing thing, and her mom quickly held her, trying methods to heal. She was having trouble breathing and her mom was screaming and running now, I ran quicker to my parents’ room to call them and they came rushing frantically. We were all shaking and crying ourselves, completely in chaos, helplessly praying, watching, being. Please breathe, Inaya, breathe Inaya. Baba held my sister while my mom held the baby, trying to get her to breathe. She did, eventually, and they ran to a nearby hospital where her heartbeat was monitored then she was treated with a nebulizer. Before Sehri (late, late at night), all of them returned to their respective homes: kids and parents.
At Fajar, though, Inaya’s parents rushed her to a hospital again and this time her condition was more serious. Finally she was admitted into an ICU and there she stayed for two days (stretching to third) which was really tough. I don’t think I can rightly put in words the events or emotions of this phase.
When I went to visit her, through large glass windows I saw three beds, three babies, and with them, three moms in a room. On the middle one was Inaya, she had a drip attached to her, and breathing tubes, plus a monitor, and it was a poor sight – seeing her like that. She is hardly two months old. Her dadi and nano stood beside me and then just before us, she had another intense attack. The doctor and nurses hurried into action, a mask was put, prayers and tears were spent, heard, and she came back once again. This happened a lot of times in total though I only witnessed it twice – then, and another which was thankfully shorter. But the thing about each of them was that it shook us to the core. Every single time, it was a miracle to see life again when it had almost stopped.
AbdurRehman is a little more than three. The most heart-wrenching was hearing his voice break, and his eyes teary as he asked Allah taala for her. Indeed His rehmat is immense.
Inaya got discharged from hospital last night. She is doing a lot better now infinite Alhamdulillah for that.
Without actually wanting to, some events leave with different understandings of things, people, and feelings. This was one of those.