An Undulating Journey
I had no burning desire to be a mother. It was one more thing to tick off my life’s to-do list.
Medical School – check.
Become a doctor – check.
Get married – check.
Have children – check.
But my journey was to be an undulating one.
It was two years into my marriage before I realized ‘have children’ wasn’t just going to happen. There was a problem. The day I sat across a colleague, as a patient, and was told our hopes of having children naturally would never materialize, I died a little.
I understood the diagnosis and the limitations of medical science from a doctor’s stance. I would need to go through series of infertility treatments. Nevertheless, our faith in God held us steady.
As the years turned like the pages of a book, my longing to have a child became stronger. Each day seemed like a year, every menstrual cycle, a thousand years. I established myself as a general practitioner in that time. I examined mothers and their babies while aching for mine. Everywhere I looked someone had a baby in her arms except me.
Almost ten years later, during which time I had three failed IVF treatments and we leaned towards adoption, I held my son on my birthday. We had received a miracle. I cannot put the emotions I felt on paper. At my son’s Dedication Service, I rolled on the floor at the altar—all my yearning, hoping, waiting, crying congealed into worship.
My journey into motherhood began when the magnitude of the responsibility to guide this little person from childhood to adulthood hit me. Two precious daughters have joined the fold. It’s an honour and a privilege to be called mum.
Taye Umole enjoys sharing uplifting stories about how medical science and faith can complement each other. Running is a passion she and her husband share.
A Mother to Those Who Matter
From a young age, I mothered my siblings. My dad was present but absent while my mom was absent, not by choice, but present by proxy. From her phone calls, I learned to parent, nurture, discipline, and correct on the go.
So, by my mid-twenties I was certain I didn’t want kids of my own; biological, adopted, borrowed, or otherwise. However, when my siblings and best friends started to pop out little humans, cute and fair, my heart trembled and betrayed me.
Last Christmas, I met my nieces Tara, Didi, and Edikan for the first time. They hugged and kissed me as if they have known me all their lives. My nephew, Jedd, and I are yet to embrace, and I can’t wait to hold him.
I never went back to not wanting kids. Well, when the ones in my life start acting out, for a minute, I’m thankful they aren’t mine. Although I am older, I haven’t given up on having kids. I’m not paralyzed by fear of my biological clock falling apart from ticking for so long. Nor do I care about societal expectations. In the serene peripherals of my mind, I yearn for mine. But, I will not let this desire so consume me that I forget to enjoy living in my now.
My friends are gracious and let me share their kids. Like Elim, who is five going on seventeen. He still calls me Sunshine even though he says I’m not as bright as the sun. Did I already say he is five?
Sometimes, I lose myself in the lives of ‘my kids’ until their mums walk in and reality gives me a big slap. For me, contentment is knowing that I am loved as much as I love.
Every Mother’s Day I get phone calls and kisses from kids who add vibrant color to my life. Because in wiping tears and snot, kissing boo boos, clipping nails, giving baths, braiding hair, doing laundry, and in every other sense of the word; I am a mother.
I just didn’t get to push. Not yet.
Elaine Otuije loves media production, TV, movies, and film. She shares her opinion about most things on her blog.
The Bikini Cut
My eyes were glued to the monitor in the private hospital room. Why would my body not go into labour? What had the doctor said? Your contractions are too weak. The excitement that followed my water breaking sixteen hours ago was giving way to worry.
Waiting. Whispers. Deliberations. Phone Calls. Then: we’re going to deliver your baby by caesarean section. The ‘sentence’ sounded awful. I began to cry.
“Can we wait a little?” I had been praying, faithing, confessing, I am like the Hebrew women . . .
“We can’t take any chances Timi; it’s been over twenty-four hours already.”
“But I want to have my baby like normal women . . .”
I sobbed all the way to the OR. I sobbed while the nurse wiped the nail polish from my toes—bye bye pretty red toes. I sobbed until they held the gas mask over my nose.
When I came to, they brought him to me. Long, fair, a riotous mass of black curly hair. “Pretty like a girl,” the nurse said. He latched onto my breast and I latched onto his heart.
I was happy but ashamed that I had been less than a woman. I lied and painted sketches of a vaginal delivery whenever I found myself trading birth stories with other women.
This shame, where did it come from?
For my next pregnancy, I elected for a CS. I could not, would not, go through the trauma of trying for a vaginal delivery and be denied last-minute. Time had not healed my disappointment.
My friend shares a similar story. She would gaze at her preterm baby, a minuscule wonder lying in a glass spaceship, and feel gratitude and guilt and shame.
This shame, where does it come from?
Watching kids play in the park, I cannot tell which one was preterm or which one came by CS or birth canal. Does it matter? They are healthy. The doctor said my scar healed beautifully. He is right. After all these years, I hardly see it. I cannot feel it. I must look for it.
Bikini cut without choice. Bikini cut by choice. My scar of love, my bikini cut.
© Timi Yeseibo 2015
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