I thought I would update on my own experience, so it would make other moms who are having a little trouble feel less guilty 😀
The first few days of Ramadan seemed to be going fine…and then slowly, slowly, I got more and more exhausted by the time iftaar came around. I think this may also have had to do with the fact that I have never eaten a lot in suhur or iftaar; I get full too quickly. During pregnancy, I just snack a lot.
The hour before iftaar was pretty hard; I would get shaky, my body would ache because it felt weak, and my husband told me I was getting a lot meaner at that time too.
I actually wanted to skip a day, then, but I decided to wait for my doctor’s appointment before I skipped a fast. I wanted to make sure I had an excuse. The doctor has other Muslimah patients, so she knew about fasting, Ramadan, and the exception for pregnant women. As soon as she put the doppler on, I knew something was wrong because the baby’s heartbeat sounded a lot slower than usual. Plus, there would be occasional drops of the heartbeat and then it would pick back up. I asked her if everything was ok, and she said that they would monitor the baby for a little while to make sure.
Uh-oh. My husband was really worried. Alhamdulillah, when they monitored the baby, she said everything looked fine and the drops in heart rate were probably related to dehydration. This was mid-day, so imagine how dehydrated the baby must be by iftaar!
One day, I actually felt faint and dizzy. We went out somewhere that day, before iftaar time, and by the time I got home, I was faint, had a headache, and felt like I would pass out. After reading this answer from Islam Q&A, I felt a lot better. The fatwa is a bit long, but I felt this part pertained to pregnant women the most:
[…] where the pregnant woman is not able to fast, either because the pregnancy is advanced or because she is physically weak, or for some other reason. In this case she should not fast, especially if her foetus is likely to be harmed, in which case it may be obligatory for her not to fast. If she does not fast, then like others who do not fast for a valid reason, she has to make up the days when that excuse no longer applies. When she gives birth, she has to make up those fasts after she becomes pure from nifaas. But sometimes the excuse of pregnancy may be lifted but then immediately followed by another excuse, namely breastfeeding. The breastfeeding mother may need food and drink, especially during the long summer days when it is very hot. So she may need not to fast so that she can nourish her child with her milk. In this case we also say to her: Do not fast, and when this excuse no longer applies, then you should make up the fasts that you have missed.
I’m still worried about having to make up fasts for the around 15+ days that are left, so I thought it would be a good compromise to fast alternate days (fast one day, leave one day, fast one day, leave one day….) That way, I figured the baby and me could get our strength (and fluids!) back for the next day of fasting.
But please don’t take my word for this, check with your doctor AND local Imaam 🙂 They know your own situation better than anyone, and you know your health better than anyone, so don’t be too hard on yourself. I was kind of upset and feeling like I was weak because I know there are many moms who DO fast while pregnant. But I realized I should think about the baby first and not push myself for his/her sake.
May Allah accept from all of us this Ramadan!