April 24th, 2013
Yesterday, after having to leave Idara’s house as early as 7am, dashing to the flat to shower and change, dash to see Diana and Phillip in the hospital, and then dash to see Ebika at her own hospital, by 1am, I was completely drained and spent. I didn’t need much prompting to return to the flat, and finally get to do what I had come to London to do in the first place…REST!!!
And rest I did. I ordered takeaway, I over dosed on TV, and, the best part, was that I shopped online!!!! I shopped like a thief! When I realized I just had enough time for items to be delivered to me before I leave on Friday, I decided to do the right thing and shop for my baby! I shopped for clothes, I shopped for things for the nursery, I shopped for gadgets…I just shopped! For a split second, I regretted going along with Patrick and not finding out the gender of our baby, as I saw some really cute baby girl and baby boy things. But I eventually psyched myself into being satisfied with the gender neutral stuff.
But for my next baby sha, I aint gonna do this ‘I want to be surprised’ crap!
So, this morning, I had a nice lie-in, and didn’t wake up till 11am. As I didn’t leave the house before 3pm, I thought I could lay about for a while, like I did yesterday. And that was when it started!
I didn’t know what they were at first, but I was feeling very very weird. So, I called Vou (the only person I could think of who’d had a baby), and when I told her that my bump was feeling really swollen and tight, she said they were Braxton Hicks, and that was my body having a trial run for the birth. Yikes!!! That sent the fear of God through me! Trial run ke?! Baby, I’m not ready oh!!! Abeg!
As if that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t get my shoes on, when it was time for me to leave the house, because my ankles had swollen so much. Thanks to a combination of pregnancy water retention, and too much waka about over the last few days. In the end, I had to wear a pair of Ebika’s sneakers, as that was the only thing that could fit. And I had to stop being an Ijebu, and called a cab this time around.
When I got to Diana’s hospital, I just had to tell her doctor of my sudden symptoms. Despite my swollen ankles, he said everything was quite normal at this stage of pregnancy, and nothing to worry about. I even asked him about the dark line that’s appeared on my bump. He said it was called the linea nigra, and that lots of pregnant women get it. He reassured me that it is harmless, and will disappear after the baby’s arrival.
Apart from that, seeing the newly weds, still basking in the afterglow, was heartwarming, as always. They have managed to make Diana’s room so comfortable, that it almost doesn’t look like a hospital room. Considering she will be here for at least another 15 weeks, it was the right thing to do, to prevent her from going stir crazy!
But the real high point was Vou’s offer to take me out tomorrow, for even more baby shopping. Me that I like freebies! That was music to my ears!!! I’m going to love being a part of this their generous family oh! Okay, I kid. But I don’t though…lol!
As I approached Ebika’s hospital, my good mood gave way to the nerves and tension that have characterized the last couple of days. Now that we have less than 24 hours to find out if she has cancer or not, I, for one, am a ball of nerves! But Ebika, as usual, was her cheerful, and chatty, and cracking all sorts of jokes. Going by the expression on Demola’s face, like me, he wasn’t in the mood for her silly jokes. But we both just sat there, and smiled through all of them. She had a field day teasing me about my choice of footwear, and I just politely laughed. How she can afford to joke at a time like this is beyond me!
Looking at Demola, I marveled over what difference a few days could make. These last few days, he has lost so much weight, and what was initially a small stubble, is now a full-on beard. Apparently, shaving has not been on his agenda. And I can’t blame him. This time tomorrow, their lives could change forever.
When he stepped out of the room, to grab a meal, I leaned in and held my friend’s hand.
“Babe…how are you doing?” I asked.
Ebika smiled, “Faith, I am fine! I am ready for this thing. If it turns out to be cancer, I am ready to fight it. I have everything to fight for now. If I didn’t know how much my man loves me, these last few days have shown me just how much. I can’t remember ever being this happy! If I should die tonight, I will die a happy woman!”
Bittersweet. That was how her words resonated with me. True, impending cancer diagnosis aside, things have been a fairytale with Demola these last few days. But my worry is that she hasn’t fully grasped the enormity of the battle ahead, if the diagnosis isn’t favourable.
Jesus, please take the wheel!