My child (read: monster child) is now FOUR. I have lots of sentimental emotions about today… but they are currently being masked by my exhaustion in getting this birthday together during the Quarantine.
Liyana’s Second Birthday – no decent photos!!
LET’S TIME TRAVEL BACK TO 4 YEARS AGO…
That is how many times I was sent home from the hospital while I endured over 30 hours of labour. I was 12 days over due, and labour was not progressing fast enough. Every time I would go to the hospital, and wait for them to check me out… the contractions would stop. Then we would get back in the car, and as soon as we would hit the first bump… they would start all over again with an intensity I cannot even explain.
That is how many times I ate a Fillet-o-Fish, on those three rides to the hospital. You know.. in case they admitted me, and I wasn’t allowed to eat anymore.
That is how many times I blasted Beyonce’s “Get in Formation” while showering before each of the three times I went to the hospital… you know to make sure my hair was done for those perfect post-labour photos. That one time of Beyonce did the trick, and they didn’t send me home that time, because baby girl got in formation 😉
At 5 pm on May 3rd, 2016… after three times of trying to get admitted, I was FINALLY admitted to the maternity ward at our hospital. At 6:30 pm, I finally got my epidural from the best man in this world – an anesthesiology resident. Then, I took the most glorious nap of my life, after 35 hours of labouring without any support, pain medications, or BABY. Then I got up, and realized I could up my epidural dosage.. and continued to up it like an idiot. Come, 11 pm… my OB decided that for the baby to come, I would need to be taken off the epidural to actually feel the labour… that I had tried to escape.
At 12:54 am on May 4, after 40 minutes of excruciating pain… Liyana Maryam was born.
She had a full head of hair… I held her and immediately started blubbering excitedly to Shafi how she looked so much like him and “oh my gosh she is so cute”… while my husband stood stunned at shock (possibly because of what he had witnessed hah!).
We were transferred from the birthing unit to the recovery unit at around 4 am. While they were wheeling me and Liyana, my whole family who had been there now for 10 hours waited to see their first grandaughter/neice. My sister, who was flying out to Halifax that morning at 9 am and had extended her stay 12 days waiting for this baby to come, got to hold Liyana after Shafi and I. I joke that is why her and Liyana have a bond that is unlike any long-distance aunt/niece relationship.
We spent the next few hours trying to rest and not freak out trying to keep a 6.5 lb human alive… and somehow also feel like humans ourselves. Ofcourse, it was the wee hours of the morning, and we had no food and I was STARVING.. after all my last meal had been the Fillet-o-Fish a full 15 hours ago hah! One of the kind nurses brought me toast with jam from their staff fridge and that is all I ate, until our families returned the next morning with some home made desi food… did you expect any less?!?
In this WHOLE time, both shafi and I did not for a second think that our newborn child needed a diaper change. We were under the assumption that a nurse would come and help us out. What idiots were we?!
When my in-laws arrived the next morning… my sweet mother-in-law changed Liyana’s first diaper. Yup.. it wasn’t me. I think from there on, my mom and others have probably changed more of LIyana’s diapers than I have in total.
That is how LOVED this sweet first born child of ours is.
And today, she turns FOUR.
FOUR full years of life where everything is different, and also the only way I want to know.
FOUR years of incredible blessing, rizq, and love as a family.
FOUR incredible years of travel, memories, and adventures.
FOUR beautiful years of stories only we will share.
Last night, I kissed you three kisses on your last day as a three year old.
Today, I will give you four more as we enter into a new year and adventure.
Happy Birthday Liyana
I had plans pre-covid to have an ice cream themed outdoor birthday party for Liyana and her entourage of friends. However, all those plans went down the drain starting March 13, when the pandemic was announced and we began what is now a 8 week long quarantine. I actively avoided thinking of her birthday until literally last week, when I was like Okay… better get my sh** together. In that moment, all I managed to do was find someone who could make a cake – because the risk of getting sick by going to 10 different stores to collect baking supplies to create a masterpiece cake seemed too high. Sweet Bushra of Simple Sweets Co created this cake extraordinaire for me, and I have to say it tasted just as amazing as it looked!
For the rest of the decor here was my approach: check out all the decor stuff I have from hosting friends bridal and baby showers, and stuff I have at home. I did eventually have to go out to get some things like a candle, a banner, and craft supplies to finish all the decor – but 80% of the decor is old from previous parties! Yay!
I took this opportunity to create decor as an opportunity to have a craft day with Liyana. We painted old terracotta pots (which I last painted around the time she was born!!) and created paper plate popsicle bouquets.
I found some old ice cream moulds, which we never use and created these sweet yarn ice cream cones. I shared all the simple tutorials in my Instagram Highlights.
The best DIY was something that came to me when I was at the craft store. I saw these wooden MDF letters, and bought them. Then, I got Liyana to paint them pink (we use dollar store acrylic paints) while I did something else, and added the brown and sprinkle/ice cream cone details to go with the theme. I then rummaged through my scrap wood pile and found this stained piece and simply glued them on using express dry wood glue! Super simple… toddler friendly project that can be whipped up for ANY occasion and for ANY theme.
All of this took me 2-3 hours to create, and everything cost me under $50! I set it all up in our kitchen, and we set up a zoom call for close family and friends.
As excited as I was… Liyana certainly was not. I think she had a tough time talking to everyone at the same time, but also shes also likely feeling Quarantine Fatigue. All she wanted to do was to see her friends in person, and sadly that is not possible – as I am looking back at her “tantrum” during the zoom call, I am thinking that is what was playing out: frustration at why all the people she wants to celebrate with are not there IN PERSON to play with.
I tried to make this special for her and certainly, she loved it. All I can say is that I can’t wait for this Quarantine to be over.. SOON, InshAllah.
Anyway, I have saved all the DIY tutorials under my Instagram Highlights HERE for you to check out if you want! I purchased all supplies (old and new) from an Independent Dollar Store (more like a Dollar plus store – not dollarama.)