Nadia and her husband Hamzah Alang Azman are doting parents to four kids – Aidan, 9, Tahlia, 5, Taraa, 3 and Tia, 1. While they are now the picture-perfect family, for a while it didn’t seem that a big family was what was destined for her.
But fate had other plans. Although it was difficult to conceive her first two children, baby Taraa and Tia came unexpectedly with age gaps of barely two years. For a while, Nadia and Hamzah were in the unique situation of having three children under the age of three.
Every child is a blessing but the pregnancies were challenging and became increasingly so with each child. Frequent admissions into the hospital, sickness that went on till six months and weight loss were just some of the things that Nadia had to cope with. Already petite, Nadia found her weight going down to just 40kg. All children were premature with both Taraa and Tia needing to be placed in an incubator.
The last two pregnancies were discovered while Nadia was abroad. With Taraa, Nadia was on holiday in Los Angeles and with Tia, it was while on holiday in London. Both times, Nadia recognised that something was “off” and flew back quickly.
“True enough, the moment I landed, the vomiting started and I was admitted and put on drip,” she says.
Difficult pregnancies are something that most don’t fully understand and more importantly, don’t really talk about. Often the effects are simply dismissed as “hormones.”
“But it is not just about that,” she stresses. “It is an emotional experience and sometimes just having to express my feelings was difficult. I get irritated when people keep saying it is hormones.”
Each pregnancy had its specific set of struggles. With Aidan, Nadia had to move in with her in-laws for support after being confined to bed. As it was her first pregnancy, there was less certainty on how she would cope. On one occasion, after much coaxing to get her to move, Nadia tried to take a shower on her own but she fainted because she was too weak.
During her pregnancy with Taraa, she had a bout of sickness that left her traumatised. On a morning that she felt better, she decided that she was well enough to go to KLCC. However, when she arrived, the familiar feeling of nausea started. She dismissed it, thinking perhaps she would feel better after eating.
“But after that I created quite a scene,” she recalls. “I got sick in front of everyone and I couldn’t make it in time to the washroom. I was so embarrassed and I remember the cleaner was looking at me. Hamzah even had to go and buy a t-shirt for me.”
With Tahlia, things took a turn for the worse when Nadia found herself falling into a depression. She was confined to her room and spent six months in the dark, too weak to even pick up the remote that Hamzah would leave by her side.
“Having the support of your spouse is really important,” she says. “And women should be able to talk about their experiences without fear of being judged.”
Unfortunately, Nadia adds, that difficult pregnancies continue to be a taboo subject, one that most don’t want to address.
Read full story in Prestige Malaysia’s May 2021 issue on Magzter.
Styling: Nigel Lee
Photography: Mickey Wong @ New Storyboards Photography
Makeup artist: Eranthe Loo
Hair styling: Ckay Liow
(Main image: FF Vertigo Summer 2021 Capsule Collection by Fendi)
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