There is symbolic saying in Yoruba, that, its the clothes we wear which covers our true nakedness, which is translated to mean our outer coverings are what really covers the different baggage and stories that are our lives.
That saying is so apt for the story, which I’m about to relate. I met for the first time, the elder sister of an old friend, whose father just died, which was the main reason, Sis Nkechi was in town. We were children when she travelled. She has never been married, she’s in her 40s, but that might be about to change, if things work out for her well.
In her early-20s, Nkechi had travelled out of the country, same as several of her friends in search of greener pastures, and she found plenty of such pastures over the years, even though it was quite rough in the early days.
She moved around from states, then around Europe. She also dated, some Nigerian men, some foreigners, but it did not always end well. Either she was jilted or she did not like the guys well enough to commit, assuming they wanted commitment in the first place.
Her unmarried state was a cause of concern, for their late father and mom. They were worried that, although, she was a great daughter to them, nice aunt to her numerous nieces and nephews, they believed, she could be a good wife to a man and an even greater mom to her kids. They hammered on this matter, as we all know how our parents can become fixated on any matter, they term important to our benefits.
Well, none of the men, she dated had ever bitten the bait and proposed. It was when she clocked forty that she started thinking seriously about having a baby on her own. Considering she lived outside the country, that could be so easily done, without any one the wiser about the paternity of her child or children, unless, someone comes home and turns tattler about her business.
She had a friend, who was her age mate, which had already become a mom, via a sperm donor. Even though, it did not work the first time, it did the second time and she’s got a son, who looks so much like her and she’s enjoying parenting him alone. He is her consolation, was what her kept telling them, “If I can have a husband, at least, I can have a child.”
Nkechi went ahead to use the same clinic that her friend used, they sourced for sperm donors, and that was where the whole business got entangled. Nkechi was not satisfied with the bare details, she had of the anonymous sperm donors presented to her and she turned into an undercover agent, trying to uncover the identity of the men, whose semen might help her have her own baby.
One of the donors turned out to be a long term friend of hers, who she had known, since she came into the country. Incidentally, he had even helped her in the past, when she had issues with immigration services and had been through several other trials with her. Thinking, it was going to be easier to have someone, she knew rather than an anonymous donor, she decided to confide in her long term friend, what she was about to do and ask for his help outright.
This did not go down well with her friend, who had gone through the process before. She was adamantly against her using a known donor, moreso, one she had known forever, like that. Her grouse was that the donor was now likely to want to share in the parenting experience, which was not what Nkechi had set out to do.
Anyways, the cat had already been let out of the bag; it was time to deal with the consequences. Interestingly, he agreed, he would donate sperm for her. In fact, the way, he took her request, was quite business like. So, she thought, it was going to be fine.
Not wanting to try it by herself, like her friend did the first time, she went to the hospital and was inseminated, fortunately or unfortunately, it failed. And then it started. The concern showed by the friend turned donor practically made her ran away from him. He was playing the role of a father, whose dream of a baby was aborted. All her attempts to tell him, things were not supposed to be like this, was met with, “You don’t understand Nkechi”
Even though, she did not get pregnant, this friend’s outlook about her has changed since that time. He promised her an endless supply of semen, if only, she would have his child. He doesn’t want even want the help of science, he wants to ‘inseminates’ her himself. You get the drift?
When she ran to her friend, that one gladly told her, “Ntoi, Did I not warn you? Use anonymous donor, you said “No, I want to know what my baby’s father looks like.” Well you know now. No strings attached, you did not hear, deal with it.”
Well, Nkechi is dealing with it by herself, as her friend had categorically said; she did not want to be drawn into it. Her fear is, getting drawn into the whole brouhaha would lead to questions being asked about her own son’s paternity.
As at the time, she left her base for Nigeria, she already has a marriage proposal from this guy. And you know what, she doesn’t mind marrying him and being ‘inseminated’ by him either. After all, he was a guy, who had been there, all the while, when she was trying her luck with other men, none of which had clicked.
As I write, Nkechi believes that perhaps, she needed to get to this stage in her life to come to the realisation that what she was searching for was actually closer than she thought. This was a guy, who had comforted her, at times, when she was jilted and at the times, when she left relationships. He never showed himself in any romantic light until now, but he was always there.
Besides, for me, it smacked too much of a coincidence, that, he was one of the sperm donors, she had to choose from, but even this is a sign for Nkechi. It just was too good to be true and if she had not turned detective, Nkechi might not have known of that side of him.
The question now is, does he want her, just because he wants a child or wants her for her own self? This is germane question for a 40 something year old woman, who might have issues with conception, so, if it’s a child, then the anonymous sperm donor, might still be her best bet, no need to add pressure to an already pressured situation.
But, I guess, she would have to find out, the answer, when she completes her Dad’s burial and returns home.
Praying for a clear head for her to do what is right.
Oluwakemi is a member of The Fertile Chick family, and she is a writer, dreamer and mother of two sets of twins. She is passionate about issues that concern women, and does not shy away from airing her views. And words are her weapon of choice! She is reachable on her handle @oluwakemine
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