Wild Women: Aysha, my challenging pregnancy
Aysha’s baby was born three months early after a difficult pregnancy. Here she reveals how she and her family got through it and how Turmeric is her go-to supplement.
1. You’ve had a long journey to get back to yourself following the birth of your baby. Tell us a little about it.
From the start, I had quite a complicated pregnancy and had to have an operation on my cervix to keep the baby in. Lots of times I thought I'd miscarried and then, at week 21, I was admitted into hospital and told you've got to stay here on bed rest until the baby's born. It was tough as I basically ended up living there. What I didn't realise was the toll being bed bound would take on my body. Even just walking up the steps was a huge, huge thing I’d have to figure out. My mind was able, but my body wasn’t.
I had quite a complicated birth. My baby came three months early and I lost a lot of blood. She went straight into the Intensive Care Unit for three months and we had a few near misses. It was just a crazy time. I was driving back and forth to the hospital. I’d arrive first thing in the morning then head back about 10 or 11pm at night. My body had just had it.
2. Would you have any advice for anybody else going through a situation like that?
Be open and compassionate. The expressing room was really the hub for mums to sit for 10-20 minutes and I think everybody who went into that room appreciated it was a shared experience. It’s a very small room and everyone’s close together so you share a lot. Conversations would start with how early your baby was and where they’re at. There’d be a shared sense of joy but also appreciating the gravity because some babies don’t make it.
It was quite bizarre because people moved in and out of the neonatal ward quite quickly. So I’d meet somebody and might not see them again. If a baby was transferred it meant they were doing really well but when a baby didn’t make it, it was just heartbreaking.
3. And how is your baby now? Is she thriving?
She's doing really well in terms of growth. The thing with premature babies is that you sometimes see complications later on.The last three months of pregnancy is actually where the lungs are actually developing so my daughter missed out on that as being intubated isn’t the same as being in the womb.
So we've had a couple of hospital admissions, because for her a common cold can be quite severe and turns into breathing problems.We’re able to manage it at home with more natural remedies, adding fresh ginger, turmeric and garlic to her food every day. It seems to be keeping things at bay.
4. Tell us a little more about your love for Turmeric.
I’m of Indian heritage, so Turmeric is used to flavour our food, but it’s also revered as a 'fix it' for most things. Got a cold? Back pain? Take Turmeric.
When I found Wild Nutrition’s Turmeric, the only way I can describe it is healing from the inside out. As I slowly got my body used to basic tasks and exercise this supplement helped me a lot with aching pains in my joints and back and I feel it also played a healing part in my recovery from birth. It improved my skin as well with a natural glow and also I feel it contributed positively to my mental health.
5. Do you follow a specific diet?
I like fresh foods and cook fresh every day. It’s how I’ve grown up. My husband is a keen cyclist so he’s on quite a healthkick with fresh juices and smoothies. We use a lot of oils in Indian cooking so I’m mindful of that. Definitely fresh food feels healthier.
6. What does the day in the life of Aisha look like?
Our household is multi-generational so there’s always something going on. There’s me and my husband, we have a three year old son and my daughter who’s now nearly one, then there’s my parents as well.
My husband works full time in quite a high pressure job and I work compressed hours in financial services so mornings are busy with the nursery run and my mum looks after our daughter during the day. London living is just so fast paced. I mostly work from home, which to be honest, is really helpful. The key question every day is what do we eat today? I didn't realise as an adult that would be the hardest thing!
7. It sounds like you’re keeping the plates spinning! What does self care mean to you? How do you find calm in the chaos?
I’m a big believer in meditation and quiet time. I'm a Christian so for me time with God praying is important to me. And definitely getting out and about physically. It would be easy with my job to say I’m really busy I won’t do it but if I don’t get fresh air and exercise, it definitely takes a toll on me physically and mentally. And then the nutrition elements. Some might say that with the cost of living, it’s optional, but for me actually it’s mandatory. It’s part of my self care.
8. What does 2023 look like for you? Do you have any goals, wellness or otherwise?
Definitely more exercise. I’m 35 years old now and the aches and pains are starting. I definitely want to get into the gym and do some weights to strengthen myself.
9. How was your lockdown experience? And did you learn anything from that time?
It really changed my life, to be honest. Previous to lockdown my husband and I lived in Greenwich Bay with our son at the time. My parents lived in Wembley, the opposite side of London, which is about an hour and a half drive away. Then things locked down in March 2019 and we decided to temporarily move closer to mum and dad for childcare but as things progressed we thought maybe this is a longer term thing so we decided to move in with my parents and started renovating a new house. That was quite stressful for six months. Then I got pregnant. It was tough having to manage work and going to the hospital, especially with all the COVID restrictions. Historically, they'd allow siblings and grandparents to come to the neonatal ward so it could have been quite a different experience. Yes, it definitely changed my life.
10. If you could pass on one piece of advice to younger Aisha, what would it be?
Oh, that's a really good question. I would say, have faith in yourself, but in God as well. I think there's many times you'll go through challenges, big or small, but there's definitely comfort when you have hope and faith in something bigger.