WAITING CAN BE TIRING
Hassan and I met at the NYSC three weeks orientation camping program in Edo State.
I was so sad having been posted to a strange land to have my one year compulsory service to my father land.
I left my hometown ile-ife on the exact day camp would be opened. It was a six hour journey from Osun State to Edo State and I got to camp around 5:pm in the evening.
There was already a large crowd of intending corp members and registration was a little bit difficult and stressful.
Instead of me to join the queue and have my registration done, I sat at a corner and begin to weep like a baby who had been denied of breast milk.
After a while, a sister walked up to me and asked what my problem was. I refused to answer and continued weeping, the environment was unfamiliar as that was the first time I would be leaving the confine of my hometown.
The sister later introduced herself as A’isha, the camp’s Ameerah and persuaded me to share my problems with her. I refused again and this time she walked away and I wept the more thinking she had left me to my problems but I was surprised when she emerged again with a brother.
“This is the camp’s Ameer” she introduced. “We are all one, from east to south, to west and even north, Islam binds us together. If you don’t share your problem with us, who else will listen to you?” She asked in an emotional ladden tone and I couldn’t help but opened up that I was scared and don’t know how to go about my registration.
” Then you’ll seek for help instead of crying ” The Ameer who i later knew to be Hassan said.
With the help of those two, I had my registration done and the Ameerah later became a force to be reckoned with in my life, we became quite inseparable and it was through her that Hassan made his intention known a day before we left camp.
The first impression I had about Hassan was that of a simple and complete gentle man, who had an endearing personality. This really swept me off my feet and I found him irresistible the moment he proposed.
A’isha always passed a compliment to him that his character is an exact replica of his name which means goodness, he’s indeed good.
Hassan later got transferred to Lagos to serve with MTN Nigeria with the connection of one of his brothers while I was posted to a village in Edo state to serve as a teacher. This got me depressed as I would have a disconnection with my friend because A’isha too was posted to another village.
One year finished anyway and I was reunited with my family and friends. By now Hassan was already disturbing to meet my family immediately as he was retained by MTN Nigeria as a permanent staff.
Both our families met and a date was fixed for our wedding.
On my wedding day, mother and father prayed, Aunties and uncles prayed, friends prayed and and even well wishers prayed that by the next nine months they shall flood my house to felicitate with me on the joy of a new born, but nay, I’m yet to behold my bundle of joy, yet prayer was never stopped.
Waiting to have a child can be tiring, depressing, frustrating, exhausting, time and money consuming and crestfallen.
With constant pressure from family and friends, with a lot of sleepless nights, with series of dashed hope and terrible fear of the unknown.
The pressure the society places on waiting couples is immeasurable and indescribable. The low self esteem experienced at the gathering of fruitful mothers is killing, the humiliation and stigmatization that trail the belief that Olomo loloko, a productive wife owns the husband is sorrowful.
The scornful gazes you get to experience each time your in-laws wants you to know you’re a failure for not giving their son a child.
Is it the unending hope every month to hear a good news you want to talk about or the great disappointment and huge sorrow that comes with the arrival of every monthly period? Or is it the different kinds of herbs every tom, dick and harry recommends for you.
Let’s not even talk about the shirk they call you to come and engage in, all in the name of looking for a child. They’ll tell you Olohun o ko aajo.Waiting to have a child is indeed a trial, a trial which I pray all waiting couples should overcome.
One day my mother in-law came visiting and instructed me to join her in the guest room immediately which I obeyed.
She started talking in parables which I couldn’t understand at first.
She started by asking me if I and a friend are going to the river to fetch some water and on our way, my own calabash slipped from my hands and broke into pieces, will I prevent my friend whose calabash is still intact from fetching water just because I broke my own calabash?
At first I was dumbfounded because I found her question ambiguous, but it later stuck me that she was referring to my husband and I. My emotions betrayed me again and I burst out crying.
” Our childlessness is not my fault ma” I managed to defend myself amidst tears.
” Heebatullah! Pls don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say anything is your fault, I only asked an harmless question. We all know that your husband loves you dearly. Even a blind man can feel the great bond and ultimate connection between the two of you, and that really explains why Hassan has refused to take another wife, he doesn’t want to hurt you, and it just occurred to me that you’re taking undue advantage of his simplicity and good nature to punish him. All I’m begging you to do is to plead with him to take another wife, if its coming from you, I’m sure he would listen. Who knows your own prayers too might be answered” She concluded and was about to kneel down for me before I quickly stopped her.
” please Mama don’t kneel down for me, I’ll talk to him, I’ll tell him exactly what you’ve said” I said innocently.
“Look at this child o! Alakoba. Are you a baby? Plead with him as if it’s coming from your heart, tell him as if it’s your idea, don’t be selfish now, even if no one is telling you to do so, can’t you reason on your own? Are you not supposed to have advised him a long time ago? I see your action as selfishness. If you can’t have a child don’t prevent him from getting another wife. Thirteen years is no small time, please do this for me and I pray the Almighty grant your heart desires as well”.
Hmmmm( if you’re been tumbled by bigger anguish, smaller ones will dance Azonto on you) insult upon injury. I felt the salty taste of my own tears as it cascaded down my cheeks to my mouth.
Suddenly I stopped crying and started ruminating about what mum in-law has said. Haven’t I been selfish and inconsiderate to be sincere to myself.
Thirteen years is no joke now, I should have advised him a long time ago to take another wife.
Note: not all mother in-laws are as described above.
Waiting can be tiring