Cuddling my bundle of joy, swaddled in a fluffy shawl, with her pinkish lips eagerly searching out with a closed eyes looking for something to suckle, I behold the mystery of creation. She is the most beautiful baby of any gender I have ever seen, with tiny hands and legs grabbing and kicking, her skin glows in its sultry smoothness and freshness.
I tilt her head towards my breast and she picks up the nipple with nibble. Golden juice courses through me sending sparkles of electrifying shards through my whole being, as I feel something go forth from me to nourish the neonate, one I call mine.
Bulbous tears of joy, excitement and appreciation rolled down my face as I remember the journey from then till now…
The journey began few weeks after my wedding. I woke up with a bitter mouth, aching joints and a very deep crankiness originating from my core. I was nauseous and highly irritable, “Malaria!”, I said irritably. Typical me, I was ready for self medication but hubby stopped me. I winced in pain as I explained to him that I understand my body system and was very sure it was malaria. He whispered into my ears that this was no malaria but ‘omolaria’, a coined word meaning baby sickness, morning sickness or pregnancy sickness in our local parlance. I went for a medical check with the family doctor and was informed I was eight weeks pregnant. My joy knew no bounds at that instant. I informed hubby immediately. “The Doctor says we’re gonna be parents”, I said to him with glee.
I was treated to a special delicacy by ‘Onitemi’ on his return from work that day. The physiological changes that took place in the next few months were beyond words. My skin took on a new glow, coming out glossy and creamy at the same time. Gravity pull became noticeably higher and little work got me exhausted. I consumed anything eatable in the first trimester and by the second trimester I detested any spicy foods. Thanks to my ever present mother-in-law and my one and only, who were there through the thick and thin. Mama was always making jest of me, telling me I would forget everything a few minutes after my baby came and “you would even be ready to try for another baby the following day”. Onitemi was my motivational speaker, readily offering words of encouragement and endearment when my mood swung in it proverbial dig. I really appreaciated his “sweet nonsense” as I used to call it then. I really enjoyed my term. There is this extra special way of treating a pregnant lady in my part of the world, and I milked all the specialness for all it was worth then.
As my EDD drew near, anxiety peaked too. Will I have normal delivery or will it be through Caeserian Section? Will my baby be big or small? Will my baby have my nose or her father’s pinkish lips? I admit that was one of the features that got me stuck on him. Looking with hindsight now I discover that most of my worrries and queries then were needless and pointless.
I learnt one thing from my hubby that stood like a rock all through the phases of the pregnancy. His optimism was world class and his faith, contangious.
After eight months and one week and my EDD still a week ahead, my water broke! Luckily for me, he was around to rush me to the hospital. Funny enough I was still wearing my three quarter trouser, the one I had come to love in the course of the pregnancy, when I was rushed to the hospital. The head nurse or was it matron, a graying, graceful looking woman smiled and shook her head. My husband asked her why and she said “ she’s not dressed like someone ready to deliver”. I later came to understand what she meant because by the time the whole sequence of contraction and pain started, I flung the three quarter nonsense away and lost all sense of sanity. The shyness that has been a feature everyone talked about in me evaporated.
After a few hours of tension undescribable and pain never before experienced, my baby came out with a little cut to my perineum and assistance from the ever encouraging matron. The beauty of the whole thing is that I forgot all the pains as I cup the cheek of my bundle of joy. I later remembered my mother-in-law’s jests that I would in no time forget the pains and be ready for another baby immediately. I forgot the pain, but ready for another baby? Nahhhh, lemme rest biko. Wow, the joy of carrying and nurturing another human being is so sweet. I am short of words to describe that experience, it is one every woman should have. I pray everyone looking up to God for the blessing of children will testify by the grace of The Almighty.
Motherhood is sweet.