It has been a year since you’ve been in our lives and you have been the absolute joy just like I have always wished for. I greatly desired for this moment where I could reminisce on the long tussle experience leading to having you in my arms and be genuinely thankful for it all.
Dreaming of your prince charming, a romantic fairy-tale wedding among many other ‘whimsical’ were huge package ideas that were sold to us as young girls. When other ladies would fantasize about these things, I was yearning to become a mother. I would get lost in my thoughts for long hours thinking about the sexes and the positions I wanted my children in, unique Yoruba names for them, how finding out I was having a baby would feel, being pregnant with my hands-on rubbing on it at every second I get, decorating the nursery, and even my birth delivery. These thoughts always left me a soothing feeling and I loved it. Having children was a personal life desire I was full-on ready to achieve.
Children are said to be blessings but having it with the right partner makes it divine. Being with your dad made me want kids, even more, our love and desires for children was a match made in heaven. We were eager to see which child would take after our personalities or a fusion of it, our looks and most importantly we were eager to know how we would be as parents. Who was going to play the bad cop or the good one when it came to discipline and neither of us wanted to lean towards being the bad cop so we have a bet to see who is going to slip up first.
Informing our family and friends six months into our marriage we trying to have kids, they had looked at us like we were going nuts. “You guys literally just got married and you’re thinking of children already?” “You should still be in the honeymoon phase and not trying to mess it up by having kids” “Were you guys spiked with something during your so-called family counseling?” the comments were unending. We didn’t budge even a little, we wanted our mini me’s and we weren’t waiting any second.
Starting a family required that we were ready physically, mentally, and financially. Your dad and I had decided in moving into a bigger apartment we saw fit raising a family, a backyard fit for our kids to play in, different rooms for each child, and a living space area perfect for family game night. In the parents- to- be department, we were killing it. The third year into our marriage and life was taking us through an unexpected route, we should have been planning for baby number 2 but we had no baby yet. We went from friends thinking we were nuts to them asking us to be god-parents to their kids.
“All the tests carried on both of you came out normal, you both are fine. Mrs. Coker, you need to relax, I want you to stay hydrated and continue to use your multivitamins. Your body is preparing itself, trust me it would happen very soon” Doctor James, the family doctor told me during one of my numerous visits.
“When soon is your soon doc?” I replied in my most irritating voice. “It’s the same old line every time. You see, Doc, I’m starting to get pissed now, and I do not see the need for these visits you keep recommending if I get the same thing over again. Maybe you should tell me I have a problem so I know I’m dealing with something rather than this! Are we done, and this time maybe till I ever get pregnant or not?”
I walked out of his office without caring in the world for his reply. I was on an emotional rollercoaster and it was exhausting; it felt like the world was on my chest. Dad was great at making me feel less terrible but some days he had his share of emotional breakdown. We took turns crying over each other’s shoulder. Indeed the unplanned and unexpected situations surely did hurt the most.
I woke up one Tuesday morning with another episode of mood swings, thankfully it was my day off work and I didn’t have to deal with the mood alongside some of my irritant colleagues. The day’s mood, however, felt different from usual. I had very low appetite and felt like throwing up every single time an unpleasant smell went by my nose. I decided to go down the street to the pharmacy to get medications for whatever this uncomfortable feeling was. “Madam, I don’t think you have a fever, I would suggest you take a pregnancy test kit instead,” one of the attendants said to me, but all I heard was a foreign language. “Excuse me?” were the only words I could manage to say. “You might be pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test” he repeated himself. It felt impossible to make out words; I frantically brought out my credit card hoping to indicate that I had heard what he said. He handed over the pregnancy test kit to me. I walked out of the store getting all the mixed feelings that exist, I was excited, anxious, tensed, scared, I wanted to scream, everything all at once.
I couldn’t take the test alone, I was too nervous, I didn’t want to do anything wrong, or what if I wasn’t pregnant? I wouldn’t be able to bear the heartbreak. So, I decided to wait for dad. I couldn’t tell what emotions he was feeling when I told him.
“Have you taken the test?” I could hear the anxiety in his voice “No I couldn’t take it alone; I was waiting till you got back”. We sat at the edge of the bathtub, both of us breathing hard and impatiently waiting for the result from the pregnancy test kit in my hands. “How many lines does it say on the pack again?” I asked, “It says one line means ‘not pregnant and two lines ‘pregnant’”. We looked at the kit and there it was two red big lines. Simultaneously, we looked at each other and screamed: “We are having a baby!”
Seven months into being pregnant and it felt so fulfilling, the love and genuine happiness from friends and family felt really good. Everyone wanted to be there for us, I could almost get away with anything. It was pure joy all through. My friends suggested having a dinner party for dad and me, a little celebration just before the baby came. It was an emotional night for me and dad, we were having a baby and it felt surreal.
We got home feeling exhausted from all the dancing, and the next thing we wanted to do was sleep, and dad took no time to retire to bed. I decided to have a wash before going to bed. I felt a tingle down my thighs, it didn’t feel normal; I traced my fingers down the tingle sensation, it was wet. I began to panic, “Was I having a miscarriage?” I thought. I looked at my fingers, it wasn’t blood. Did my water just break? Was this normal at 28 weeks? I had all these questions; no one could give answers to at the moment. I rushed to wake dad up.
“Babe, Wake up!”
“Are you alright?”
“I think my water just broke!”
“Isn’t that too early?” he said as he jumped frantically out of bed
“Call Doctor James!” I yelled tearfully
“The baby is coming early, unfortunately; we might have to do immediate surgery to deliver the baby, bear it in mind that he is coming out pre-mature, meaning he would be transferred to the incubating unit” Doctor James informed us. I was scared and disappointed in myself; this had to be my fault, why did I think a party was the right thing to have done? After three years, I got the opportunity and all I did was mess it up. I cried uncontrollably before I was wheeled into surgery.
I didn’t know anyone who had visited the Incubating Unit more than dad and I had. I had to be forced one evening by the hospital security to leave the room. I wanted my baby in my arms and if I couldn’t do that, I wanted to in the very least be there watching him every single second. It had been a week having him in incubation, Doctor James walked into my room at the hospital alongside two nurses; I recognized one of them from the Intensive Unit.
“How are you today Mr. and Mrs. Coker?” Doctor James broke the silence in the room. “I wanted to do this personally; I know how long you both have tried almost everything in your power to have kids and trust me, I am fully invested in this family and your journey in making this work. Mr. and Mrs. Coker this has to be one of the difficult things I have had to do in a long time”. Dad and I stole a glance at each other giving a similar expression that read “Okay? What’s this?” He continued “I’m so sad to inform you both, but we lost your baby boy early this morning. I’m really sorry”
I wished for the ground to open up and swallow me, I was intensely overtaken by hurt. I felt guilt, pain, sadness, wounded, and sore all at the same time. How did I go from feeling so much happiness in the last seven months to ending up with an immeasurable fold of pain?
Nothing was keeping us at the hospital again, our little bundle of hope was snatched out of our lives before we could even hold him close to our heart. I was packing up our things when dad walked in looking a little different since the news, he looked a bit cheerful. “Babe, Doctor James wants to see us in his office” He had got to be kidding if he thought I was seeing that man again. “Are you kidding me?” “Do you trust me?” he replied.
“Thank you for seeing me, Mrs. Coker”
“You should thank my husband instead, leaving the decision to me? I wouldn’t be here” I replied with a dead smirk on my face.
“Well thank you all the same. I should get to my reason for calling you, last night we got a report that a young mother in the maternity unit had run off” he paused and looked at me
“And how does that information help me?”
“I’m getting to it ma” he continued “Unfortunately, she left her newborn baby boy at the nursery, all efforts to reach her have proven abortive, apparently she had dropped fake information at the reception the day of her admission, we don’t have any information leading to her or a close family member. However, this isn’t a new thing to happen at the hospital and what we always end up doing is to transfer these babies to an orphanage home. Mrs. Coker, I am not an enemy here, I want for you just exactly what you’ve always desired, and the reason I have called out to you and your husband is to present you this opportunity of having the child you’ve always dreamt of” He rang a bell, a nurse walked in holding a baby. I couldn’t see his face yet. I looked at dad hoping to find him just as puzzled as I was, but he had a smile on his face. “You already knew about this?” I was confused.
“Yes, oh well just some minutes ago. Babe, this is what we’ve always wanted; to have a baby. Yes, it has been a rough ride but just maybe, God was steering us in another direction we couldn’t fathom just yet, he had to bring us through this route. When doc mentioned it to me, it felt right immediately; there was peace in my heart just thinking about the decision and you know that’s my spirit saying yes to it. He is such an adorable baby” He spoke with tears rolling down his cheeks. The nurse handed you over to me. I carried you close to my chest, stroking my fingers across your face, emotions rushed through me. Dad wrapping his arms around me saying “He is our miracle baby”.
Olorunife (God is Love) Coker, we thought the storm had swallowed us up but you were our miracle baby. We walked out of that hospital feeling less pain but with a heart full of joy and a God-sent baby. You are the most adorable child I have ever wanted and beyond, you make motherhood feel heart-warming and delightful. Happy one year my darling. I look forward to being your mum for the rest of my life. Thank you for coming into our lives. We love you forever.