Zahra’s Birth Story

Jul 16, 2020

First family photo after Zahra arrived.


Good morning friends!

I can’t believe how time has been flying by. Zahra is ONE MONTH today! We’ve been busy around here but I have to say having a newborn the second time around is a whole different game. My anxiety has subsided a ton, there is far less unknown and overall I think Zahra is a much easier baby which also helps. Don’t get me wrong, I would love a good 8 hours of sleep but hopefully that will happen soon. 

I don’t want to jinx us but things have been pretty manageable around here. I know a huge part of that is having my mom here to help. She is truly one of Zain’s best friends and having her here to help and show him attention has been life changing.

Quarantine was a challenge before when it was just Zain and myself so I can’t imagine how stressful it would have been with a new baby and Trevor only off work for 5 days. Major props to all the new moms out there right now because this is definitely not the easiest time to have a newborn that no one can see or really help with! 

Anyhow, I digress. I wanted to share Zahra’s birth story today since I’ve been receiving questions on it and it’s kind of a long one. Just like Zain she decided to show up a bit early! My water broke with Zain on the night I turned 37 weeks. 

So, here’s how it unfolded.

I had headed to my 39 week doctor’s appointment on a Thursday (I turned 39 on that Saturday) for a routine checkup and everything looked great on the ultrasound. I met with my doctor after and as she was getting ready to let me go she noticed that my urine sample was already back and I had protein in my urine. With no elevated blood pressure or sudden weight gain she was concerned but didn’t want me to be alarmed. She decided to send me down to L&D to have some labs drawn and monitoring before making a decision on how to move forward. 

However, the longer I sat there listening and panicking a little inside I realized I would likely be going to L&D at the hospital and not leaving before I had this baby. I won’t lie, I left the office and called Trevor almost hyperventilating and crying. He was working and on call so the thought of going to the hospital alone and not knowing what would happen was terrifying me. 

I also hadn’t seen Zain that morning because he was still asleep when I left for my appointment and it was breaking my heart. After talking to Trevor and calming down, I decided to swing by our house to give Zain a hug,  grab a few things and update my mom before I headed downtown. 


Last picture with Zain as my only child! I’m so happy I stopped by to see him because I missed him terribly the next few days.


When I got downtown, I was checked into L&D triage where they monitored my blood pressure and drew some labs. Soon after, the nurse came in and informed me that I was going to be induced. I had somehow developed preeclampsia suddenly and it wasn’t safe to ignore it. 

I called Trevor immediately and took several deep breaths. I’m not someone who is attached to a ‘birth plan’ and have never really had one, I was just worried about the baby and wanted to make sure she was safe.

Luckily by the time I was given a room and started on Pitocin Trevor’s colleague had come in to cover him from vacation and he made it to my room. As far as the actual labor went, it was so smooth! I was already 3 1/2 cm dilated and 50% effaced when I was admitted and progressed pretty quickly. Once I got to 6cm the nurse gave me a peanut ball and had me lay on my side. She told me she would check on me in 2 hours but after about 5 minutes, I knew it was time. 

I called her back, she attempted to check me and I’m fairly certain couldn’t get very far because Zahra was ready to arrive. She said she was going to call my doctor but wasn’t sure if she would make it in time and when she opened the door my doctor was right there as excited as ever! She has been watching me from home and said she knew I would go quick. 

Trevor was totally ready to time my pushes and help me through this time around but I pushed 3 times for 3 and 1/2 minutes and she was here! We were so excited and she was perfect. As we were soaking it all in my doctor reviewed my labs with us and recommended I be put on a Magnesium Sulfate drip for the next 24 hours to prevent seizures. My blood pressure was really high and my labs were all over the place. We obviously trusted our doctor and wanted to do whatever we needed to. 

I had never chatted with a friend who had the same experience or was put on Magnesium Sulfate so I naively assumed it didn’t mean much.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’m sure everyone reacts to medications differently but I was basically knocked out for the next few days. The medicine made me extremely hot, unable to stay awake or move my limbs well. I would try to use my hands for something and just give up because they were so heavy. 

We were also informed that mother’s on the medicine can’t be left alone with their babies (for good reason) so Trevor wasn’t able to leave much and when he did we would need a nurse to keep an eye on the baby. He was so incredibly helpful those first few days in the hospital holding Zahra so I could nurse her, doing everything for her and helping me as much as he could. I can’t imagine going through life or parenthood with anyone else and each time I think I can’t love him more, my heart grows bigger. 

I barely remember much of those days and sadly wish I could have soaked up that time with my daughter more but I know I needed the medication. 

Thankfully by Saturday my blood pressure had come down a little bit with the help of medication and we were given the green light to go home. I will say that I don’t think I shed the fluids or effects of the medicine for almost a week after being home. 

I had every intention of signing off social media for some time after giving birth and coming home but this experience just solidified how much I needed it. 

In the end, I am so thankful she is happy and healthy and my only lingering need was blood pressure medication. Thankfully, everything normalized after two and a half weeks home and I was taken off the medication. Things have been looking good so far and I’m very grateful for that.

Thank you again for all your kind and thoughtful messages, our family appreciates it so much!


My sweet baby girl!




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  1. Katie says:

    Oh Shaheen, your birth story is so similar to mine with my first baby. Mag is the absolute worst! So glad y’all are home safe and sound! Zahra is so precious! Congrats!!!

  2. Sara says:

    Shaheen, Oh my gosh, such a scary experience for all of you! This gives me shivers just thinking about it…. I’m so sorry you went through this. Trevor sounds like the best husband and father. And your mother — everyone should be so lucky to have one like her. I’m so happy you and Baby Zahra are well, and that Zain is proud to be a new big brother. All the best to all of you! I love following your beautiful family, and try to keep up daily! Thank you for sharing your lives in the ways you do. ❤️????

  3. Shalini says:

    Pre eclampsia is a serious medical condition that can have undesirable consequences, glad they caught it and treated you!!! Glad you and baby girl are safe!