Disclaimer: This blog contains sensitive pregnancy photos. I ask everyone to be respectful and any negative comments will be deleted. It took a lot for me to be vulnerable to share these images. With my health history, I wanted to be as transparent and open as possible with this miraculous pregnancy.
Many of you already have been following my journey and know that my health history has been plagued with illness, numerous surgeries, and plenty of setbacks. I had my colon removed in 2008 because my Crohn’s disease was so progressive. Doctors, worried about the dangerous potential of colon cancer and with fast deterioration of my colon, removed it to save my life. That journey was wrought with so many setbacks and ongoing severe illness. Chemotherapy, biologic treatments, thousands of procedures, multiple ostomies, hospitalizations, and repeated surgery had severely impacted the quality of life I was living in my late teens into my 20s. Most of my dreams were put on hold just to survive.
The one dream I held onto and hoped for was to one day be a mother. Doctors could never give a definitive answer as to whether or not pregnancy could even be possible. It was always a “wait and see” possibility. Without my large intestine or parts of my small intestine, even carrying a baby to term was a huge risk. And, it has been. This miraculous pregnancy has been filled with many issues, illness related problems, and so much worry. Yet, this sweet little boy growing inside me is a fighter. Just like me.
That is why, as we came closer to my due date, I dreamed of having pregnancy photos taken to mark this extraordinary time in our lives.
My colo-rectal surgeon told me last week, despite all the complications, try to enjoy this. “Enjoy being pregnant, Nadia.” She said, “Time goes so fast, we forget these moments. Try to remember how exciting it is to feel him moving…” And it is! This is so true! I have to appreciate everything I am going through to bring him here, and I love him so much that I don’t care how much I have to endure. This is temporary and so worth it.
Next week, I stop the last of my medications needed to keep my disease in remission, so our baby has the best chance and can be his strongest at birth. That part is very unsettling because I don’t know what my body will do without those medications. I am hoping that the last dose will sustain me through the final weeks until delivery and beyond. With that in mind, I decided now was the best time to do these photos. While I felt as good as I can expect to feel, I wanted to capture the power of this moment and the profound feelings of this health and pregnancy journey. I channeled my inner “life-giving goddess” for these powerful images!
I want to thank my mom and dad for their help in bringing my vision to life through these photos, and a huge thank you to Nate for being the most amazing husband and best friend on this journey. I couldn’t have done this without him..obviously..haha!!
“Life reveals her beauty one precious miracle at a time.” ~Flavia
It’s no secret that my battle with my health has been mostly an uphill one. Numerous surgeries have taken their toll on my body for the past ten years as I continue my fight. My Crohn’s disease has to be considered in every facet of my existence. My life, daily decisions, activity, diet, my body, and my future are ruled by this illness and how it will affect my daily living. After ten years, it is “Normal for Nadia” to be at the mercy of this condition. It just is that way. Like a habit, living with severe Crohn’s disease becomes part of my routine.
Doctor appointments, daily meds, regular testing, procedures, and so many details have worked their way into the fiber of my ordinary existence. Even getting married in March was overshadowed by the very real possibility that I may end up sick or in the hospital on our wedding day. It’s just the reality of living with chronic illness. Fortunately, adrenaline was my friend on March 17, 2018 and it helped carry my aching body through the day without incident! Our wedding was the most glorious day ever. Sure, I paid for it afterwards, but I would do all of that 1,000 times over just to relive that beautiful day!
Hardcore family planning
Nate and I always knew we wanted a family, we also knew that it would not be an easy path to having one. Several months after getting married, we sought help from my doctors to find out if I can safely support a pregnancy since I have such a challenging health history. I underwent a series of tests, some incredibly invasive (dignity be damned). A team of specialists were assembled to oversee my care if we were able to get pregnant. According to all these insane tests, there was no reason, despite my health battle, that I couldn’t get pregnant. We were so relieved! We were aware it would be very risky; the warnings from the medical staff came across loud and clear, but we have confidence in the high-risk team overseeing my care. They were very realistic but also reassuring. I was facing my 28th birthday, and although we weren’t aggressively trying, we weren’t being careful either. So, in early November–two days after my birthday–with symptoms that screamed that I might be pregnant, I went to the store and bought a half dozen pregnancy tests.
My internal dialogue was: “I just spent a small fortune on something I am going to pee on. Who cares!??? I need answers!”
It all comes down to a (+) sign
It was a Friday afternoon, November 9th. My friend Sarah was coming to town for a visit, and I was planning on picking her up at the bus station in a few minutes. I only had a small window to privately check out my pregnancy suspicions. So like millions of women before me, I peed on the stick and nervously waited through the minutes that could change everything. I was pacing, nervous and fidgety. How do you distract yourself for those moments without constantly checking if you have your answer? If “a watched pot never boils,” does frantically fanning a pee stick prolong the results?! Because that 5 minutes felt like a flippin’ lifetime!
The test read (+) and I freaked out! I called my mom on Skype immediately, and I was hyperventilating and crying and couldn’t get out what I needed to say. I completely freaked her out because she thought something tragic had happened. I couldn’t speak, and my dramatic reaction had her thinking the worst. I was able to show her the pregnancy test and get her expert opinion on what it was saying. (Like I didn’t already know, right?!) Were these tests saying what I thought they were saying? Of course they were, but I needed Dr. Mom!!! She talked me through it and asked me what Nate said about it…
Oh. My. Gosh. Nate!!! I had yet to tell Nate! How did I not think of that?
She suggested that maybe I should have called him first! Oh my goodness, absolutely! I was a bit of a frantic mess. Where’s my coat?! I’m wearing it. Where are my keys?! In my hand! I had only a few minutes because Sarah’s bus was about to arrive! I jumped in the car and decided to stop at his work! Woops! Was that a stop sign? Just kidding! I am grateful I didn’t receive a citation on the way to tell my husband!
We are having a baby… What do we do now?
Nate came out to the car and I had the test stick in a Ziploc bag. I told him I have to tell him something and without asking, he just said, “You’re pregnant.” I cried, I laughed, and I shoved the pee stick in the Ziploc at him and told him to look at it. We were so happy! He said he had a strong feeling. He knew. What emotions! So high, but then reality started to sink in like “What are we going to do now”? Even though we didn’t know what direction to take at that exact moment, we would figure it out together. We called my mom again from the car in the parking lot at Nate’s work. After talking to her, we knew I had to see my doctors first. We had to keep this quiet for a while. By all calculations, I was only about six to seven weeks along. Things were so precarious with my health and we wanted to make sure the pregnancy was viable and baby was healthy. We also needed to be sure I was fully healthy enough to actually support a pregnancy. On a scale from one to ten our emotions were off the chart. What ARE we going to do now?! GAHHH! WE ARE HAVING A BABYYYY!!
Game Face and A No Colon Surprise Party
Nate went back to work, and I had to pick up Sarah. How was I going to keep a straight face? How do I keep this from my best friend? Although I was busting to tell her to the point I was getting twitchy, I knew I couldn’t. I am the WORST at keeping a secret, God knows, and it was stressful to not blurt it out! I put on my best game face and decided to get it out of my mind (yeah, right!) and enjoy the weekend. Little did I know that the reason Sarah was really coming to visit was because my mom, Nate, Sarah and Nida were planning a surprise party to celebrate my birthday tied into a No Colon, Still Rollin’ – 10 years later party! WHAT IS HAPPENING!??? Saturday afternoon my entire family and all my friends surprised me and I couldn’t say a word to any of them! I ate three poop emoji cupcakes just from the stress of it all. Only Nate and my parents knew, and I couldn’t talk to them with everyone around! Again, ALL THE EMOTIONS!!!
Thank goodness for poop emoji cupcakes. That’s all I’m sayin’.
Well, it’s true! We’re pregnant.
I scheduled my first appointment and we had our first ultrasound. I knew going into this that it wouldn’t be easy. Nausea, heartburn, extreme fatigue, restless legs, extremely sensitive boobs that have grown 10 times their size, body pains off the charts, visits to the ER to check scary symptoms caused by adhesions from past surgical scar tissue, phantom sharp pains in my non-existent anus, my ostomy is shifting to the side as my tummy begins to grow, the scars on my tummy are being stretched, back pain, sciatic pain, vivid dreams and nightmares, itchiness, sleeplessness, aversion to certain foods, no appetite to ravishing hunger, even more profound vitamin deficiency (particularly folic acid and magnesium), chronic asthma symptoms to the point I need my rescue inhaler constantly and now a nebulizer, and more issues are plaguing me night and day, and I’m only past my first trimester!
But, it’s all worth it.
Especially at that very moment when we saw our baby on the ultrasound.
Suddenly, it all became real. We heard the heartbeat and we laughed and cried.
We called it our “little bean.”
We instantly fell in love.
Our baby is due in June 2019, and our hearts are so full.
What now, doc?
We had our first minor complication. There was a subchorionic hemorrhage (a blood clot) that was found on the ultrasound. The doctor said it happens in implantation, and unless I had excessive bleeding (I was only having some bleeding), not to worry too much about it, and it would be monitored. I also had to cease a bunch of my medications. In stopping the meds, I risk some complications, but I have been managing things pretty well. One medication I can’t stop is my biologic injection. I am so worried about taking it, but I can’t risk getting sick to the point it would put me and baby in danger. My team has warned me over and over not to stop it.
I have to be truthful, I was contemplating stopping my biologic injection. The grave warnings from all my doctors have me reconsidering as I face having to take it this week. There is no evident risk to baby, but to me, if I stop, it would be very grave. I could become too ill and not be well enough to sustain the pregnancy, putting both of us at risk. Every doctor concurs. I do have to stop taking it at thirty weeks into the pregnancy to best insure that baby comes into this world the strongest and healthiest it can be. I am concerned without the protection of any medication to control my disease, my body won’t cooperate. I am hopeful. I am optimistic. I am scared. I won’t lie, I know what I am facing, and I know it will be worth it, but I also know this isn’t going to be an easy journey. Nothing this wonderful ever is. I have learned this lesson over and over in my life; I am familiar with how this goes. I am familiar with the bargaining process.
Now we are three!
We are now in the planning stage. I am almost 14 weeks pregnant, and have been following all the doctors’ instruction and am closely monitored. I am also chronicling my pregnancy on The Bump Phone App! According to the app, today our baby is about the size of a lemon! I have regular doctor appointments both with my standard team as well as a high-risk OB-GYN in Rochester, Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic. I couldn’t ask for a better crew of docs overseeing our care! They are so thorough. My last appointment with the specialist was two hours! We are in great hands, and we’re hopeful that things will continue to go well. I just pray that I stay healthy and strong for our little sweet pea. My heart is so full and all I want is to provide the best for this tiny baby despite my challenges.
Merry Christmas to Us!
We told Nyle, Nabeel, Samantha and Des over Thanksgiving. We also went to visit Nate’s dad and gave him a special “Grandpa” shirt.
We also told Nate’s brothers that weekend, too. Other than immediate family and a couple close friends, we decided to wait and reveal our news to everyone else over Christmas! Our family and friends are elated, and some told me they “just had that feeling!”
Today, I wanted to share this with our YARNutopians now that our extended families and close friends received the news. Now, my crochet project list grows! Baby stuff galore! I already have some baby projects on our agenda! What an exciting year of crochet we have ahead of us! I hope to continue with our filming and projects as long as I can and will continue after baby’s arrival! We all have so much to look forward to in the New Year. Not only are we expecting a new addition, but my brother and his wife are also expecting a new baby in January! So many reasons to crochet! Haha! I am excited and filled with joy to share our news with all of you. Cheers to 2019! Thanks for being with us on this crazy and wonderful journey!
Up until I was 21 years old, I was a true daddy’s girl. Every hardship, illness, and setback my parents were there to help me through everything. As I grew and gained independence, I met a man and was engaged in a semi-arranged match. Initially, after finding approval by both sides of our families we decided to arrange our marriage. Unfortunately, this guy was not as forthright as I had anticipated and after a series of eye-opening events, I ended the engagement. Thankfully these revelations came before marriage, but it didn’t come without a huge price.
During that trying time, my dad and I had a deep falling out, when looking back is a very raw and painful period. The entire situation was a dark and sad chapter. As more and more things came to light about this guy, I wasn’t sure what to believe. I chose to believe him over my dad who had the foresight to know after a few encounters, this person was not who we thought he was, and as the strict Pakistani father that he is, he gave me the ultimatum to end the engagement or I was going to be on my own without his support. I chose the guy, and with that decision, I closed the door on my dad and hurt him probably more than I ever thought possible. But I was a big girl, and I knew better, right? Wrong. I could not have been more wrong.
Choices and Consequences
But the damage from that decision was done and when all the chips fell and the engagement ended (my decision), he went back to teach in Jordan, I stayed in the USA, I was left to pick up the pieces of a terribly embarrassing and heartbreaking time. My parents separated and my mom came back with our family to take care of me in Wisconsin. The stress and anxiety of everything that happened took a toll on me and my illness attacked my body with a vengeance. My dad stayed in Texas dealing with his own obligations coming back and forth to spend time with us several times before deciding to finally stay.
During that year following this episode it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable to face my dad. Gone were those days where I could call him Daddy and be at ease like I always was. He didn’t talk to me the same way, he didn’t act the same way toward me and most of the time I just felt like a complete disappointment even though I know I wasn’t. One act did not define my entire relationship with my dad. But it is difficult to describe what it is like to be a Pakistani daughter to a dad that once looked at you with pride and now all you saw in his eyes was hurt and disappointment. We both had a lot of work to do to repair this relationship, but one thing I have learned from my dad is to not be afraid of doing hard work.
Things Take Time
Even if we struggled in those early days, the love between father and daughter was always strong. Slowly but surely (and with so much encouragement from my mother and brothers and sister-in-law) my dad and I began to repair and recover from this difficult time.
It happened gradually. Mending any relationship doesn’t happen overnight. Pretty soon we started joking again. Anyone who knows my dad, knows he is the master of the lame jokes. He isn’t funny AT ALL, but being not funny makes him so funny. He has this contagious laugh and when he laughs at his own bad jokes, you cannot help but laugh along too. Things became lighter, easier, and soon everything fell into place and we arrived where we needed to be. Now our relationship is stronger and better than ever.
It has been 5 years since that fated time. In 5 years, so many changes have taken place in our lives and my dad and I have been through a lot. Together we built YARNutopia.com. We collaborated to bring our videos to a channel on YouTube. We both share the same work ethic and understanding on what it takes to build a dream into reality. We also have developed a deeper understanding as father and daughter.
Although he is still a very strict, and a traditional Pakistani dad, he has loosened his grip and supports his children’s decisions and choices even if we don’t always see eye to eye. This understanding has led to a better relationship between us. Now that I am facing my future with Nate, I am grateful that this growth and understanding between my dad and me has allowed him to accept and love Nate so much, accept my decisions that are somewhat less than traditional, and support us as much as he has! Growing up between two cultures is a difficult challenge, and unless you have gone through it, most won’t understand. Together my dad and I have been working on finding an easy median. I think we have found that common ground. I am happy to say that all the difficulties of the past are gone and that having gone through it has made us stronger! Yarn really can help stitch together relationships!
Onward and Upward
Today, through all the ups and downs, we have arrived in a better place. With hard work, our loving and supportive family, better respecting one another, and the unending love between a daddy and his baby girl.
On this Father’s Day, there is so much I want to tell my dad. How can I put into words to express what all he means to me? How many times I wish I would have listened, how many times I needed him and he was there no matter what? How much I love him? I don’t think there are words to express that gratitude that exist in any language. Thank you for loving me through all the good and the bad times. Thank you for being as loving and protective as you are. Even if I rebel against it, I realize you only have my best interest at heart. Thank you for encouraging me to build YARNutopia and always being here to make our amazing videos. Thank you for it all. I would not be who I am without you by my side. A simple I love you doesn’t seem to be enough, but I will say it anyway. I love you, Daddy.
So please help join me in wishing my daddy and all the other great dads, step-dads, granddads, moms who fill the role of dads, foster dads, and anyone who is there for a child, Happy Father’s Day!
Need a creative yet quick and easy gift idea for Father’s Day? These Geometric Arrow Coasters are just the project for you!! Whip this set up in an afternoon. Perfectly paired with a great mug or any beverage glasses, these coasters are a nice way to show Dad how much you care. An accent for the home and a great way help protect the tabletop.
These coasters can be made for anyone, anytime! Make these for your own home or as a gift for anyone!! Change colors to match decor. They really are a nice touch to a dinner party or table setting!
Follow along with this video tutorial to make these coasters:
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Please check out the new beginning graphic designed and developed by my brother Nabeel. He and his wife own and operate NFD Graphics. Please hop over to their Facebook page and show them some love! For all your graphic and video/logo design needs be sure to contact them today!
“Designed by Nadia Fuad You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.
You can buy any of the items in this kit. Buy all or buy one item. Check it out to see the supplies you can get online to make this project!
-This project uses less than 40 yards of yarn.
-Use a smaller hook to make these smaller
-Use a bigger hook to make these bigger
-Watch the FULL video tutorial for visual instructions for each row and tips on how to make this smaller and bigger.
-Weave in all the ends as you go so you don’t have to weave them all in at the very end.
-If the instructions above are confusing, please message me on Facebook, and I will answer any questions you may have. Please be specific in your questions. Thank you!!
-The measurements for these coasters are 4 inches
-Use this awesome guide to learn Graph Pattern Designs
-This pattern does not have a graph available. I just have the written instructions
-I recommend to drop the yarn in the back and not trail it under your stitches when changing color, you won’t see it under your stitches then. (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
YO: Yarn Over
BLO: Back Loops Only
Sl st: slip stitch
SC: Single Crochet
SC2TOG: Single crochet decrease
HDC: Half Double Crochet
If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.
Ch 2 Row 1: With Blue, SC in 2nd Ch from hook, ch 1, turn. (1)
Row 2: With Blue, 3SC in 1st st, ch 1, turn. (3)
Row 3: With Blue, 2SC in 1st st, 1 SC in next st, 2 SC in last st, ch 1, turn. (5)
Row 4: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in next st, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (5)
Row 5: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, 3 SC in next st, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, Ch 1, turn. (7)
Row 6: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, 2 SC in next st, SC in next st, 2 SC in next st, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (9)
Row 7: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in next 5 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (9)
Row 8: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Carrot, SC in next st, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (9)
Row 9: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Carrot, 3 SC in next st, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (11)
Row 10: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Carrot, 2 SC in next st, SC in next st, 2 SC in next st, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (13)
Row 11: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Carrot, SC in next 5 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (13)
Row 12: With Blue, SC in 2 sts, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Carrot, 2 SC in next st, SC in next 3 st, 2 SC in next st, Change to Redwood, SC in 2 sts, Change to Blue, SC in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn. (15)
Continue to SC Down Side of Triangle Shape with Blue, and up the other side of the Triangle. (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
Fasten off, weave in all ends.
With Buff Working down the side of the triangle
Row 1: SC in 13 sts, Ch 1, turn. (13)
Row 2: SC2TOG, SC in each st until 2 sts remain, SC2TOG, ch 1, turn. (11)
Row 3-4 Repeat Row 2 until you have 7 sts left. Pull up loop and work the other side of the triangle with a new ball of yarn.
Other side of triangle:
Row 1: SC in 13 sts, Ch 1, turn. (13)
Row 2: SC2TOG, SC in each st until 2 sts remain, SC2TOG, ch 1, turn. (11)
Row 3-4 Repeat Row 2 until you have 7 sts left.
Fasten off, weave in ends.
Go back to other side and Continue to SC around entire coaster. Use Surface Crochet to outline each Triangular shape. (See video tutorial on how to do that)
Fasten off, weave in ends.
This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia