Humza Yousaf found out wife was pregnant while meeting world leaders in Dubai

Former First Minister Humza Yousaf was meeting with world leaders at the Dubai climate change conference when his wife Nadia called and said she was pregnant.

“He was so happy and excited but I was crying, thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’,” Nadia said.

Her surprise pregnancy was full of fear having suffered the pain of five miscarriages.

“Mentally and physically I just didn’t feel I could take that loss again,” she said.

“For me pregnancy holds so much anxiety. Until that baby is healthy and in my arms I am going to be scared.”

If the last year has shown Nadia anything, it is that “you plan and then life makes its own plan”.

She saw her husband become First Minister and then later resign.

And when she discovered she was pregnant in early December, her parents had only just escaped after becom-ing trapped in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. But the SNP councillor said there have also been “beautiful moments of laughter, loving and fun”.

She is speaking out about motherhood and her pregnancy difficulties because she believes women are under too much pressure to be perfect.

Nadia said: “Hollywood and TV romanticise parenthood and having babies but it’s hard. There is nothing romantic about it. I feel so blessed but I also know it’s important for women to talk to each other about the realities.”

The couple have a five year-old daughter Amal together and Maya, 15, from Nadia’s first marriage.

They had suffered three miscarriages before Amal and two after, one of them in lockdown when Nadia couldn’t even get the comfort of a hug from her mother.

After such devastation the couple closed the chapter on more children, choosing to concentrate on the gift of the two they had.

Nadia said: “It was actually more Humza who didn’t want to see me going through that again. He was so upset when we miscarried and we did want more but not at such a high cost to me. I agreed. I was done.”

She got on with being a mother, councillor and psychotherapist and wife to a high-profile politician and set about getting fit, planning to be in the best shape of her life when she hit 40.

But not realising she had actually created the perfect conditions to get pregnant.

She laughed when she recalls the dress she bought for her 40th.

“I was so swollen at that point, the dress split.”

“I had kept saying I didn’t want to be pregnant at 40 and a month before I turned 40, that’s exactly what happened. It was a huge blessing but also a shock.”

She is now into her 32nd week and doctors said the pregnancy is progressing as it should, though Amal arrived early at 36 weeks and this baby is likely to be the same. She admitted she never thought she’d even get this far along. When her pregnancy test came up positive, she had assumed it wouldn’t last when she experienced bleeding almost immediately.

Even when it stopped, she still felt she was bound to have another miscarriage. When Maya found out and she was so happy, Nadia cautioned her. She reminded her this was her eighth pregnancy with only two a success.

Nadia said: “I told her the stats were against us and to be realistic, that this might not end as we hoped.”

Eight weeks in, her daily curse of morning sickness suddenly stopped, as it had in a past miscarriage and she was sure the baby was gone.

Nadia said: “Humza and I both got really upset. A part of me was thinking that it was maybe for the best, given my age and the chances of an unhealthy pregnancy, Humza being so busy and Amal still needs so much from us. Then I got a scan and as soon as I saw a heartbeat, I sobbed and sobb-ed. I was so relieved and so grateful.”

It’s also been a great joy for Nadia’s parents Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, who is Palestinian, after they’d travelled to Gaza from their home in Dundee to see relatives and were caught up in the conflict after the October 7 Hamas attacks.

Convinced they would be killed, they had no water or electricity and were under constant shelling.

Nadia’s brother was an A&E doctor in the besieged Al Nasr hospital and they were all calling her frantically asking for help to get out.

She said: “I was terrified for them and for our family, friends and neighbours there.”

Eventually her parents and brother escaped to Turkey but they left behind other family, including a cousin who has been displaced four times.

Her mum, who had only been back in Scotland a month, wept with joy when Nadia told her she was pregnant. Nadia said: “She was just so grateful to have such happy news in the family after everything they had been through.”

But they still grieve for the people of Gaza.

Nadia said: “My mum is angry and traumatised. I am hoping she gets therapy. She says she can’t heal until it stops. None of us can.”

More than 60,000 pregnant women in Gaza suffer from malnutrition and dehydration withmany suffering miscarriage and premature births.

Nadia said: “I am able to get excellent treatment from the health service and I know how lucky I am.

“I cry for the people of Gaza every day, for the mothers and for the children who are being slaughtered, traumatised and starved. The genocide must stop.”

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