Shamsiah Samsudin
Founder of Bliss + Bless

Assalamualaikum Sham! Please tell me how you spend an average day of your life with your family.

Waalaikumussalaam! On a weekday, I wake up anytime between 5.45- 6.45am. I don’t use an alarm so I depend on an internal alarm. Hence, the variation. -laugh- I’ll solat subuh first thing. This still comes as a surprise to me after all the years of not really praying 5 times a day. If Adam needs his morning feed, I’ll feed him. Otherwise, I’ll get my elder boy Adyan ready for school and pack lunch for hubby. After they head off, I’m home with Adam. I use an hour between 7.30-8.30am to do my own thing – I pray, read, write, reflect, meditate and prepare what needs to be done that day. These 6 things keep me on track.
If it’s a Tuesday, I drop Adam off at my husband’s aunt’s house and head to One Heart to prepare food to be served for lunch. If I have a workshop or meeting, I drop him off there too. Once I’m done, I fetch Adyan and Adam home. I live as authentically as possible, nourish myself with clean whole foods as much as I can and use Reiki, essentials oils and other alternative therapies when I feel I need to regain balance. As a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador , I love to spread healthy eating habits and getting kids and parents back into the kitchen cooking meals from scratch. If I don’t have anything on, it’s the most fun we have! I get the whole day with Adam. I cook lunch and we chat and eat together. Okay, mostly it’s me chatting and Adam babbling away. -laugh- Then, he has his afternoon nap and I do the housework as best as I can. You see, Adam has this thing – he messes up whatever I’ve tidied.

I’ve grown to be less uptight about keeping a neat house. With little children, there will always be a mess. I do try to keep it contained within their playroom, though. At around 4.30pm, I fetch Adyan from school. The boys will have their showers and their own downtime. We have dinner by 7 pm. Then it’s time to read, draw and play with my boys and connect with my hubby.

Ma shaa Allah, sounds fun and hectic! Tell me more about Adyan and Adam.

Alhamdulillah I have two wonderful beautiful boys. My first is Adyan who is 4 and Adam who is 14 months. Adyan is such a joy! He’s at a point where he’s not a baby and he wants to grow up fast but still wants to be treated like he’s little and asks for help dressing up and bathing. He’s growing into his role as a big brother. That journey has been very interesting. He’s pretty funny and witty too but mostly, he’s a sensitive boy who sometimes just knows when I need comforting.

Adam is also pure joy but my journey with him wasn’t as straightforward. While I was pregnant with Adam, I went for a scan. The doctor said that they could not find or see Adam’s nasal bone. He asked me to get my hubby down to the hospital as soon as possible before he would explain to us exactly what it was. Honestly, I hated that stage of not really knowing but also sensing that it’s not good news. He hinted that based on the risk factors, there is a possibility that Adam would be born with multiple defects. I felt devasted and helpless because we had tried for a while to get pregnant again. Every time my period came, I remember sobbing because that could have developed into a baby. When I was finally pregnant, I was ecstatic. I was super happy and high.

Subhanallah, only Allah knows how helpless I felt. I broke down immediately. Alhamdulillah, my hubby came quickly and we met the counsellor. My fears were met – they confirmed they could not find Adam’s nasal bone and that based on a few other calculations, the risk of him being born with multiple defects and not living long was very high. Again, I broke down. ‘What we should do? I don’t want my unborn child to suffer. Should I terminate the pregnancy?’ All these thoughts were running through my mind. I kept crying and crying. Alhamdulillah, my hubby and I spoke more and I must say it was one of our most raw and deep conversations. We both agreed Allah SWT had blessed us with another baby for a reason. We decided that we will go through with this pregnancy no matter what, and love and raise our baby as best as we can. Since I was continuing with the pregnancy, I told him that I wanted to know for sure so that I could be mentally prepared. I don’t do very well with vague information so I booked an amniotic fluid test for myself.

I also decided there and then that I wanted to go for umrah again that year. I didn’t want any other vacation. I wanted to be in front of the Kaabah and pray for the health and well-being of my baby. I wanted to be in the holy land doing my umrah because that I knew that it would help me to be in a calmer state. Alhamdulillah, my husband agreed. I began focussing on making my Umrah a reality.

I was also at another fork in my life where I wanted everything in my life to be blessed and halal. At that time, I had worked hard and made lots of sales. However, I felt deep in my heart that that way the commissions were being paid probably wasn’t right for me. I asked Allah to cleanse my life and to take away what is not clean and blessed. Other than paying for my ticket for Umrah, I went there with absolutely zero of my own money to spend. I’ve never been comfortable not having my own money because I’m used to working and earning. However, I didn’t want to spend money that I had doubts about. I decided to go with strong faith that all will be well and that Allah SWT will help me.

So there I was, making a whole load of mistakes, stumbling through the verses of the Quran, still giving in to human nafs and reflecting on how I could be a better daughter, wife and mother. Allah’s promise in the Quran is true – He provides from sources we could never imagine. Alhamdulillah, I had meals daily. There was always zam sam water. I didn’t need to wait long to go to Taman Raudhah, which usually takes 3 hours! I was really in awe of Allah’s blessings. I’m not perfect but still, Allah SWT invited me to His holy land and granted me ease. Despite being pregnant, Allah SWT had made the whole trip easy for me Alhamdulillah. I felt a serenity and calmness that helped heal Adam I think. On top of that, Adyan was so easy to be with during Umrah.

I learnt that when you surrender to Allah SWT wholeheartedly, He provides and He will guide you to the straight path. Never ever doubt Allah’s mercy; just have faith and surrender. I also learnt that we already have everything we need. We like to think that we need more and more when in fact, we don’t. It is far better to have a clean halal life that brings peace and clarity than having lots of wealth that could possibly corrupt our thinking and attach us to this temporary world. When I came back, the amniotic test result showed that Adam was normal Alhamdulillah.

Alhamdulillah… So did everything go smoothly after that?

Adam and I had a great bond even while he was in the womb. I told him that I couldn’t wait to see him. I assured him that no matter how he turned out to be, I will always love him. I was making Eid cookies to be given away for charity, knowing fully well that Adam will come at the right time. True enough, he waited till I was almost complete with the charity work before he came into this world. Adam was born at around 3kg, Alhamdulillah. I experienced less than 30 minutes of labour and delivered at maghrib time. I was ecstatic! 10 fingers, 10 toes and a perfect face, breathing and crying Alhamdulillah. I cried too in immense gratitude. Because Allah SWT made the labour easy, it felt like as if Adam also couldn’t wait to be with me. The feeling was indescribable. I felt super happy because he seemed normal and healthy. We finally were together, Adam and I.

On Adam’s his second day, he developed very high jaundice and the doctors found a hole in his heart. He couldn’t come home with me because he had to stay in the ICU. I was heartbroken. I thought my easy labour meant that we could be reunited faster but it wasn’t meant to be. Despite the post-natal pantang and my pains, I made daily trips to the hospital to be with Adam. I packed my breastmilk so he could have my breastmilk and heal. I was not allowed to see him for long during those visits because the doctors wanted him to be under the light as much as possible. While he fed on my milk, I asked Allah SWT to help me read His words. I brought along my Umrah manual which contains the Selawat Syifa. It was through those visits that I learnt how to recite it along with a few other Selawat.

Again, there was nothing I could do other than be there for Adam, pray, feed him and sing for him. I would hold him and recite Selawat Syifa, read whatever I could of Surah Yaasin as my reading was not very proficient then, put essential oil on his feet and surrendered him to Allah SWT. I pleaded with Allah SWT to help Adam heal if he’s meant to live. I begged Allah to make it painless for Adam if he’s not meant to live. After I fed him and had to return him to the nurses, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. It pained me to be separated from my baby. I could only touch him through the incubator he was in. My heart hurt when I heard his voice, hoarse from all the crying. The mother in me just wanted to bring him home so he could be with me but I knew Adam would have much better medical care in the hospital. Every time the nurse told me that Adam can’t go home yet, I’d be devastated. In the back of my mind, I was thinking the worst but praying fervently for the best . I saw Adam smile and seeing his fighting spirit made me stronger. I was still recovering from delivery but there were times when I spent the entire day with Adam. I wanted to be there to feed him whenever he needed me. I didn’t care about my own pain. All I cared was to spend as much time with him as I could.

The words of Adam’s doctor like “He has multiple birth defects. ” and “He will not live long.” kept coming back to me. However, I’m surrounded by good friends in the holistic healing circle Alhamdulillah. Truly Allah SWT wanted to test me by sending Adam. All my fears, all my hopes, everything, I surrendered to Him. Through Allah’s Mercy and Grace, He sent special people our way, people who were like Earth Angels, who gave guidance, their loving energy and helped me deal with the challenges and fears I had.

“Have faith.”
“Come back to love and give love.”
“Love and love some more.”
“Release and just love.”
“Surrender, forgive and love.”

They gave all of their energy sincerely from their hearts . My family and friends continually prayed for Adam’s recovery and I can’t thank them enough. They motivated me to give Adam all my love. At that time, Adyan and my hubby were lower priority but I felt it was the right thing to do. I’m blessed because they made it so easy for me to just focus on Adam. Allah SWT blessed me with a great husband who stayed by my side throughout. Adyan was a champ. He knew Adam was unwell and he was determined to make me smile through his antics. He told me everything will be okay. Alhamdulillah I’ve got a great family who kept me positive, especially my parents. I’m thankful Allah SWT gave me such great parents. And my dearest Adam? He kept me going too. We have this almost telepathic bond and somehow he communicated that he will be okay and that this ordeal was his journey to release all that wasn’t good for him. When he got out of hospital, I was sooo happy to be reunited with him. I thought, “All is well now, Alhamdulillah.”

Then, my mum and I brought Adam for a follow-up check up. The doctor told us that his jaundice level was not lowering as fast as it should. He informed us that Adam may have biliary atresia. Biliary atresia is a life-threatening condition in infants in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings. This would mean that Adam would not live past two years. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. I was speechless with shock. My world crashed and my hopes were dashed again. Alhamdulillah, my mum was there to comfort me. I told myself, “Shamsiah, you have to be strong. You have to have sabr. You have to persevere.” The umrah trip came back to me and again, I surrendered everything to Allah SWT. I handed my worries and fears to Him. I prayed fervently and focused my thoughts on love and positivity. I knew that if I succumbed to despair and dismay, I would not be as strong. I didn’t want Adam to be affected. I wanted my breastmilk that he fed on to be pure and full of love so that he would heal. I started to learn how to recite the Quran properly so I could read it and soothe Adam. That’s how mothers are, aren’t they? They naturally want to be the best mother for their child and would do whatever they can to achieve that. Every day meant I had another day with Adam. I learnt to be grateful for the fact that I’m alive and my baby is alive with me. Being thankful helped me keep my mind positive. I celebrated simple joys like being able to smell Adam and Adam still wanting to drink my milk. Alhamdulillah, after 7 months, Adam beat all odds and was finally cleared of all medical conditions.

This experience has given us faith that Allah SWT most certainly provides and that everything is by Allah’s will. We have to trust and believe in His plans even though we may never ever fully comprehend it. In times of good or bad, always be grateful. Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal. Turn to Allah SWT for everything. My husband and I try to instill “Alhamdulillah ” in Adyan and Adam. We remind them that everything is possible if Allah SWT wills it and to always give thanks to Him.

Subhanallah, that’s really quite a journey you and your family went through. Do you have any words of wisdom for us?

I am inspired by Prophet Muhammad SAW – the way he lived his life, how he conducted himself with others, how he took care of his health, his healing and the fact that he was a successful businessman but was still spiritual. I’m inspired by how simple he lived and yet how profound his knowledge was. There is still so much for us to learn from following our Prophet SAW. May we all be guided to follow his example, in shaa Allah Amiin.

From what I’ve experienced, I’ll have to say that you already have everything you need. Whatever you want to be, you already are within you. You just have to help your soul remember again by connecting with Allah SWT. Have faith and surrender. Allah SWT always provides and whatever befalls you is actually an invitation to come closer to Him. Never allow wealth and humanly desires to cloud your senses into choosing this temporary world. Build your account for the Hereafter for that is permanent. Take care of the physical body. Your body is the vehicle Allah SWT has blessed us with and given us the responsibility to take care of. We are spiritual souls on a human experience. Smile , be kind and love all because everything, the good, the bad, everyone, every living thing comes from our Creator. Life is finite and will always test us but life is also full of miracles if only you choose to see it through eyes of gratitude. Life is full of love. People are really generally good and loving so appreciate each day for what it is, appreciate all that you already have in your life, never compare, never judge and choose love always. I pray what I’ve shared here is beneficial. All good comes from Allah SWT and all weaknesses from me.

Shamsiah started Bliss + Bless to share and spread a holistic healthy lifestyle. Through Bliss + Bless, she aims to help improve your health science-based based Nutritional Therapy, respecting that every individual has a unique set of needs . Shamsiah believes that what we eat, drink, breathe, how we live and what we perceive ( real or imagined) all contribute to our gene expression and our state of health. Find out more here.

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