MIA in Riyadh

The weirdest thing is when I have been gone for ages and come back to check my blog stats and find that for some unknown reason I had a spike in views (twice as many as on an average day) for no reason!!! I checked if anyone had mentioned me in the blogosphere? no. I checked if I had somehow, without actually having time to sit down, posted something profound? no. It will be a mystery for ever. It’s so weird!!

So, how do you know I’m back in Riyadh? By the fact that I have been MIA. It’s been two weeks since arriving and the first week I ran around like a headless chicken trying to get things done so I could move in to the “old new house” as J calls it now, ASAP. I went to my Dr.’s appointment the day after I arrived (lets call him Dr Gloom and Doom) and he (as is his usual fashion) went through all the things that could go wrong before I actually had the scan or the NST test. (My Dr. scans his patients waaaay more than any doctor I know. I thought this was normal till I spoke to people with different doctors)

So we did the NST and baby behaved himself well till the last few minutes when he moved too much and his heart rate went funny and I though my Dr. is going to tell me the world is ending. He didn’t! He said all was fine and dandy. he scanned me and said the baby is small. On the chart he is still within the normal range. Dr. said “the world is ending” but not in those words. I said “we don’t have to be the biggest, I’m not competitive” he said “I am.”

The next week he had me in for another scan. The baby is still small, but he has grown from last week. So HORRAY! no? No. Dr. said “this is not good, are you resting?”. Am I resting? Typical day, out of the house around 9 am till about 12 doing things for the house and other things. Grandmothers around 12. Pick up kids from school. Maybe go out again around 4 for more running around then go to mother for dinner. Have I been resting? No.

What did I say “Yes, of course I have. Define resting” Dr. “Sleep for 8 hours, lay on the couch for the morning, have a nap for an hour or 2…”  Me “I don’t nap! and if I did that then you would have to check my blood sugar again next week as I guarantee it will have spiked!”

My next appointment is on Saturday. I have rested this whole week and if the resting makes my baby bigger I am going to have to rethink the whole schedule I have set for moving in. But if, as I suspect will happen, my baby is still growing but is not a particularly big baby then I go back to my mission to move in by the end of february! Also, fyi resting doesn’t mean laying on my A%* all day. It does mean not carrying B, not going up and down stairs, not walking for hours and sleeping well.

S and J had their first week at school. They seem to be settling in well. There are many more expats than there were the first term, as it is now one of the schools recommended by the American Embassy for the American families living in Saudi, which sent me in a bit of a panic. I worried that the school would lose it’s identity as a Saudi school and turn into an American school which is not a bad thing in general but for me it is. I will explain my thoughts behind this at length in another post but in short the worry is that my children would lose their identity as Saudi Muslim children although they are living in their own country! (and I have seen this happen a lot with children who go to international schools here such as the American school or the British school).

My husband tells me I am over thinking it and that the children are getting the best of both worlds, being able to be around people of different cultures while still getting Arabic, Islamic studies and having Saudi students as well as foreign ones. I think I am over thinking it as well and am leaving it for now.

We almost had a situation last week though. S has started to pray (5 times a day) and is not viewing it as a chore or a huge burden and I am so happy he is finding it easy. So when we got out of school the first day I asked him if he had prayed since one afternoon prayer falls around lunch time at school. He said no, because no one else did. I told him it doesn’t matter what other people are or are not doing and he should feel proud to pray. I put a prayer mat in his bag and showed him that in the schedule there are 5 minutes free before lunch and he should ask his teacher where he could pray at that time. It hardly takes 5 minutes and wouldn’t cut into her class or even lunch.

The next day when I picked him up I asked if he had prayed and he said “no, I asked my teacher and she said you can pray at home not at school”. I was FURIOUS! We were in the car at this point but I nearly got out of the car and went back in there to give her a piece of my mind. She is working in a Saudi school in a muslim community and when an 8-year-old boy asks her where her can pray she should be respectful and accommodating and not dismissive. I found it rude and insulting. It’s not like the school doesn’t teach Islamic studies and it’s not like we are not a religious community.

I didn’t get out of the car. Instead I decided to take another route. I asked the children’s nanny to go into school in the morning and ask the headmistress where S could pray. And to explain that he wanted to pray and was told to do it at home. I thought I would see their reaction to that then decide if I was going to bite someone’s head off. To my relief they showed our nanny the room they are setting up for prayers and asked if S would lead the boys at prayer time as the female teachers would lead the girls! I was so happy and emotional and proud. The first day they had 4 boys praying and since then the numbers have been climbing.

It’s been really cold here the last week and not sure how I feel about it. Easier to find flattering summer wear for heavily pregnant me than to find flattering winter wear. Well, I have to run now as all three children have a dentists appointment today! Yipee. Please pray for me and wish me luck!


  1. Salem, the story is interesting, strange things happens a lot here, actually that I don t know instead.for exemple last time I wanted to refund clothes, the seller told me after Maghreb and because he doesn t no english and I don t kno arabic like an arab woman, I didn t understand why.
    So I was not agree, and it s not easy sometimes to come back. Anyway now I know why, if the seller do something without the knowledge of the one responsible, like refund, he will be accused of thief.
    I know i must adapt still.Make dohas for me too as I do for you, tks

  2. Don’t let Dr. Gloom and Doom intimidate you. As long as the baby is growing and moving about, he will be fine. A slightly smaller baby will make things easier for you in the long run. Just try to get a good 8 hours at night, eat well, and drink lots of water.
    I worked full time PLUS overtime right up to my due date. My baby was almost 9 pounds and very healthy. She’s 20 years old now and still healthy.

    • Thank you Sally :-) That’s exactly what I was thinking. I don’t do half the things working mothers do. Also none of my babies were particularly big! my first was just under 6 pound the second just over 6 pounds so big isn’t how you would describe my little ones. Even the biggest was totally average compared to other babies. So yes, as long as the baby is healthy small is not necessarily a bad thing.

  3. Re the blog mystery, it might be someone linked your blog to theirs, and more people came through that? Did you check for the source?

    Your dr seems really pessimistic and discouraging and that is not what a pregnant woman needs to hear. i don’t like how he is making unnecessary scans (it’s not good to have so much radiation near the fetus) and the stress test should only be done if there’s a strong indication!
    Also, is this the same dr that you had with the previous pregnancies, because then he should know that your babies were small ( but healthy and perfectly NORMAL) at birth, and not be concerned at all. If he wasn’t your dr, then he should find that out!!

    many women have smaller than average babies because we are all different in our anatomy and genes. There is no standard size.
    I seriously don’t understand this dude. He wants to do another scan? That’s ridiculous!
    Baby is growing, moving, you’re doing great, what the heck is his problem? I’m sorry I don’t want to seem harsh I just hate when drs do this to patients, just to earn more money, and then people get all worried for nothing.

    If he would know what the heck he is talking about he would instead of encouraging you to lay around all day, tell you to take small walks and perhaps some other light exercise. He would scan your diet and see if there’s something could be done to increase the babies weight gain through that. (not that he even needs to get any bigger lol)

    I would recommend you try and add proteins to your diet. eat red meat, you will also get iron which you need because your body has now increased 30% in blood volume. Try adding more milk, maybe laban, cheese, whatever protein source you like. That will help inshallah :)

    Sorry for the long rant I just have serious issues with ob gynes in this country. Yet to find a decent one myself!

    • Thank you for the advice. He is indeed insufferable sometimes but for me it’s better the devil you know than the devil you dont. He does scan too much and does NST’s from 29 weeks onwards weekly. With my first pregnancy I took everything he said to be a rule but since then I just try and get in and out of appointments without paying attention. He specialises in high risk pregnancies maybe that’s why he’s so vigilant. But none of mine were high risk… And after every delivery I swear I won’t go back again but here I am! I totally agree wih what you said but at this point in my 4th time around I’m not ready to find someone new. (sounds scarily like an abusive relationahip Lool)

  4. LOL! I am wondering if I know this guy, is he a western dude? I went to so many here when I was pregnant.
    Please don’t have those NST’s ya don’t want to take any risks right :)

    relax, eat well, move as much as you feel comfortable, and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy :)

    I wish you all the best!

  5. LOL If you came across him you’d know him instantly. He leaves a distinct impression and has a reputation of being a little over.

    Thanks for your wishes! Just saw a video of the woman who gave birth in the moving car while her husband filmed and drove and OMG!!!! WTH I wish all births were that simple! although I really do want the hospital, the drugs and the doctors when I give birth.

  6. Salaam ladies

    I had my first miscarriage at 9 weeks whilst visiting Riyadh. I went to Sulaiman Habib where Dr Osman (OB) carried out the D&C.

    I became pregnant again soon after that and Dr Osman gave me Progesterone and aspirin to take. Im guessing the progesterone hormone was given to strengthen my cervix as I had had an early miscarriage before. I moved back to UK and as they don’t prescribe these in the UK unless you have had 3 miscarriages I discontinued to use them.

    When I was 19 weeks pregnant my cervix opened and my membranes were bulging so I was put on bed rest. The consultant said that a cerclage carried too much risk of an infection. At 21 weeks I decided to go for the cerclage and got an infection. My waters broke and I went into labour of 15 hours and delivered a beautiful baby girl who was buried the next day.

    My mother who had followed my symptoms (slight pain in lower abdomen) is convinced that I had an infection brewing prior to going into hospital.

    I will be returning to Riyadh soon and am hoping to try for a baby in 6 months time. Could anyone suggest :

    -whether they think my cervix opened due to an infection or due to an incompetent cervix.
    -Does anyone know of a test that can be done to establish the cause of my cervix opening BEFORE I get pregnant again.
    -Is there a specialist based in Riyadh in this area of expertise that sisters can recommend?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.