If I can pinpoint anything to be the cause of Bilal’s autism it would be my pregnancy, with all that went wrong alhamdullah (thank God) its a miracle that all that he came out with was autism.
Bilal was conceived 6 months after we got married, I wasnt on any birth control or needed any fertility treatments, all natural. I quickly gained weight, I didnt suffer from any morning sickness or nausea other than from bad smells, like in bathrooms, trash, raw foods, instead of smelling bad they smelled 100% worse to me, my only aversion were to eggs in any form, and I craved food, lots and lots of food. I hated the taste of my own cooking so had a lot of take out and a lot of my mom’s home cooked meals. Another symptom I had was the inability to fall asleep at night, I just lay there awake for hours and by the time I finally fell asleep it was time to get up for work. I was working an 8 hour day as a business teacher for grades 9-12 up on my feet a lot, using dry erase markers and other teaching/office supplies. At five months it became apparent that my husband would have to leave his current job in Riyadh and we would move to Egypt, I hated the idea of that more than anything and there was a lot of stress on my part and also around that time I started retaining water, my ankles and fingers were swelling, but everything looked fine at the OB’s office. We packed up and moved to Egypt towards the end of my 6th month, I was very unhappy about the move, I was still gaining a lot of weight most of it from the water retention. One day I got really dizzy and it turned out that my blood pressure had spiked up, at one time it was 160/100 I was prescribed Aldomet 250mg, the OB told me to take 2 pills/3 times a day for a total of 6 pills a day of 1500mg. I just had to get out of Egypt and worked out me traveling to the US and staying with my cousin till delivery. While waiting for the travel day to come I got a severe ear infection in my left ear and was prescribed Augmentin an antibiotic to treat it.
I came to the US during the middle of my 7th month, my blood pressure went down, not normal levels but way better than it was in Egypt, my stress leveled off and I was happier, still very swollen with water retention and heavy but feeling good. I went to an OB twice a week, had several ultrasounds to measure the baby, blood work done, non-stress tests (NST) once a week, I was well looked after. I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension or borderline preeclampsia, still on Aldomet but a lower dosage. At the 37 weeks ultrasound they saw that the baby hadnt grown enough in 2 weeks and decided that I should be induced and that the environment outside the womb would be better for the baby.
So that was the pregnancy, research has shown that high blood pressure and stress increase the risk of autism, but then again a lot of mothers have high blood pressure but don’t have autistic children, I was one of them, my mom had preeclampsia while pregnant with me, her blood pressure spiked way higher than mine every did to the point where a C-section was the safest option… so was it the pregnancy or medications that caused his autism, I like to this so, I had no control over my blood pressure, no control over getting an ear infection, it was all out of my hands as it was his autism, all a trial or gift from God…