Today marks week 8 and, finally, the week that ended my plateau! Yeah!! The scale started moving again!

I heard a story on NPR yesterday that really has been stuck in my mind. Baghdad NPR staff member Saleem Amer told listeners about how he and his wife were preparing to have a baby in war-torn Baghdad. I believe Saleem's family was Shiite. There were two hospitals, but the best, closest and most practical to them was a Sunni hospital. (I could have this reversed -- I have an awful memory).

In any case, they chose the Sunni hospital. Now, when he said hospital, it's not what you think. They have to bring their own water, blankets, pain medications, space heaters, etc. Even someone from the family has to be with the patient at all times to administer their care. Saleem's wife was scheduled for a C-section. So, I guess the doctors cut, deliver and close -- the family does the rest.

What made this day the best and worst in Saleem's life was information the nurse shared with him. She told himthat the malitia comes to the hospital every night checking for Shiites, who when found were killed. Saleem didn't want to leave his wife and (at the moment) unborn child. The baby, named Yousef, was finally born. Saleem was filled with the glory that only a new parent could fathom. That moment you meet your child for the first time is just beyond description, so I won't even try.

Of course Saleem was torn as to what to do; stay in the hospital with his family or leave with his brother. His family encouraged him to go and be safe. After the birth of Yousef, Saleem could not leave his family. In the end he bribed the nurse and their names were removed from the list of those in the hospital. Saleem barely slept through the night, but they made it through and the nurse kept her promise to them.

Knowing that kind of pressure just escapes me. The closest thing to that kind of fear I've ever experienced was when the doctors though my Daughter had neuroblastoma when she was 4 months old. Both my husband and I would have nights when we'd just lay in bed crying, for fear of the unknown. We spent 2 or 3 days in the hoptial with her to have tests run; it was the most harrowing experience of my life. Just hearing Saleem's story brought a wave of fear back over me. Of course the situations are different, but it prompted my feelings nontheless.

It reminds me how blessed we really are.


  1. Anonymous2:00 PM

    I'm glad your daughter was ok. Thank you for sharing this story with your readership. I know what fear of the unknown is like. I have experience the worst loss of all, the loss of a child.

  2. Yay on the weighloss front!!

    That story is so disheartening. I can't even imagine having to go through that.

    The thought of having a sick child is one of my worst fears. I'm so glad things turned out ok for you.


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