Desi Pregnancy Problems: The Need To Know And The Rush to Assume

pakistani problems, desi moms, first time mother, judgmental people


Our first pregnancy shoot, back from the 22nd week, in which we were only supposed to be testing the light and figuring out how to pose with a baby bump. But I loved how the pictures tuned out. Or maybe it’s just my
obsession with bright, popping colors. Aaaanyways.
So a few days ago, I was congratulated by someone I know, on my pregnancy. After the customary congratulations and small talk, she very casually made a statement: “… especially when you're having the baby itni dair se”(for newbies to the blog, I celebrated my 2nd anniversary about a month ago). I was not surprised at all. I was well aware that the person belongs to the school of thought that considers it their right to start inquiring about the ‘khush khabri’(good news) 24 hours after the wedding. If no baby is found within a year, these people feel no reluctance in showing pity for the poor girl’s bound-to-be-miserable-life, ‘bechari’ becomes her middle name and she is generously blessed with special duas and totkas(home remedies) so she can join the mommy club asap. No one considers it a possibility that the couple might not be all that keen on joining the ranks of parenthood just yet. 


pakistani society problems about pregnancy.

Now I am not the one to bite off everyone’s head who told me I shouldn’t delay bearing a child. A lot of times, the suggestions came from people who only wished the very best for us and we could not expect them to know any better. Like there is this house-help lady at my in-laws’ who has been around since my husband was a school going boy. Since the day I moved into the house, she didn’t let go of a single opportunity to tell me that we should have a baby at the earliest. But that never annoyed me because I could understand where she’s coming from and it would be unfair to expect her to see why we might not want to have a baby right away. However, this conversation that I’m going to talk about was a case of suggesting: ‘My reproductive system is better than yours.’

For perspective, this person knew absolutely zilch about my life plans, she had no clue about mine and my husband’s thoughts on having kids, but she had conveniently declared that we were ‘late’ to the party. So I could not resist myself and questioned this girl, who is a mother of two toddlers herself, about the timeline and the cut off duration for starting the parenthood journey after marriage. Because in her books, I had clearly missed the deadline! She dodged answering my query. It was an innocent question, no? I brought it up again and told her I was genuinely curious to know her thoughts. For how many months could a couple safely wait before getting shunned to the ‘sorry, too late’ group? No answer again. God had blessed me with the privilege of choosing to have a baby when I wanted to. But I couldn’t help but wonder, how deeply could her statement have hurt someone who had desperately been trying to conceive but was just unable to?


It may sound contradictory to what I’ve said in this post by far but I do not believe in the idea of everybody strictly minding their own business either. Confused? Allow me to explain.

At times, in our well meaning efforts to not intrude into other people’s life, we sometimes become a little too cautious and it may lead to isolation in some cases. Especially with sensitive topics like marriage and pregnancy, even the closest of friends sometimes avoid discussion because they do not want to give the wrong impression of invading their friend’s privacy. However, due to the same sensitive nature of these topics, there is often the need for a window to vent, to let someone know how you feel, to be able to share your thoughts and even seek advice. In such cases, isolation only leads to further frustration. Sometimes you do want a friend to ask why you haven’t had a baby yet just so you can put across the reasons you believe in. We’re humans, sometimes we just need outside validation, we may need advice to deal with our doubts or just someone to structure our thoughts. Not everyone is comfortable seeking out this support on their own and that’s when the whole ‘mind your own business’ attitude becomes a problem. So what is the right way to go about this tricky business?


After putting my tiny little brain into this, I strongly feel that it is not so much about WHAT you ask/say, it is often more about HOW you ask/say. Of course it matters WHO is the person making the comment, it makes a world of a difference if it is my mother or a random aunty at a wedding who knows nothing about me except my preference for rice or naan. But even in close relationships, it is usually HOW things are said and assumed that makes them troublesome. Saying “It is about time you had a baby, buddhi ho jao gi!” is definitely the not the best choice of words. If your'e close to someone and mean well, there are politer ways of communicating that you don't mean to pry but just want them to know you're a call away if they ever want to share something on the subject. 

I really think it is still better to ask and satisfy your desire to know a couple's reproductive plans than to assume and make insensitive comments. A couple may be super excited about having a baby within the first year of marriage and that is the best choice for them if that’s what brings them joy, but that doesn’t mean everyone must feel the same. If the curiosity can absolutely not be curbed, asking the couple how they feel about having a baby is a much wiser option than assuming they must be unavoidably distressed and therefore telling them how they deserve pity and prayers.

pregnancy aunty problems

Personally, I would have preferred this person asking me up front if I had planned my pregnancy at this time, had I faced any problems conceiving earlier or was my pregnancy unplanned even now (that’s also a possibility, which we tend to ignore because how can a couple not be desperately trying for a baby after two years of shadi, astaghfirullah!) than assuming that it had taken me too long to achieve something that she was certain I wanted much earlier. As for the answers to the questions I asked her, I still haven’t got them :)


Follow the journey on Instagram @thespiceofadulting







16 comments

  1. Love the pictures and your writing style!

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    1. Thank youuu! The unpaid and harassed photographer, who happens to be my husband, would be happy to read that :)

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  2. I'm glad you spoke about the need to talk as well. There's a fine line between showing concern and invading someone's privacy. And living in our isolated cubicles is not the best way to go about it either.

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    1. Hain naaaa! Bus that line is so fine that it is easy to not see it :(

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  3. I so agree with this ! I mean this is soooo common in our society that it is sometimes annoying ! Thanks for addressing up something like ths !

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    1. Thanks for appreciating Bucket of Girliness :)

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  4. Please do tell if you ever get the answer to your questions from the same lady hahaha

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    1. Hahaha! I think you and I both know I never will :P

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  5. Love the pictures! If you got that dress from Jeddah, please tell where from?

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  6. Awesum... U hv covered up the sensitive topic beautifully...

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  7. Not a mother yet but i can relate to the curiosity, and excessive interfering and insensitive comments. I didnt marry at a 'marriageable age'. One of my friends who is a colleague as well stopped at my desk after i got engaged and in a very loud voice said, 'budhay ho ker shaddi kerna kaysa lug raha hay'.
    I wish people are more careful in choosing their words.
    -MBS

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    1. Sigh! That is totally imaginable in our society. In all likelihood, this colleague of yours did not even mean to be hurtful. If we start thinking before we speak. Not all topics are open for reckless jokes.

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  8. Very nicely written. I totally agree with you on these points.I hate how people feel the need to shame others just because they don't have a baby after marriage. Beautiful photos Mash'Allah.Love the bright colors

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