Trying to conceive is not easy oh. In fact, it is the ultimate test of your faith, of your values and everything you believe in; even your very existence. With many people, both well-meaning and not-so-well meaning, asking questions along the lines of “where is the baby?” Omawunmi’s song comes to mind, “If you ask me, na who I go ask?”
Well, there is always one person to ask. God. And that was exactly what Nike did after yet another baby shower of a close friend and a not-so-gentle reminder that she was yet to join the rank of the bumpies (even though she had been married longer) by friends, who had come to celebrate the new life growing inside their friend.
Tuoyo, Nike’s husband had once been married but, unfortunately, before they could start their family, his wife was diagnosed with a terminal condition and was given only six months to live. Well, with better management of the condition, she was able to live for the next five years.
However, her life was not a healthy one. She was in and out of the hospital often times and Tuoyo spent his days taking care of his ailing wife. Having babies was not on the cards at all. All they prayed for was a miracle to tide them till the next breath at times, the next hour sometimes, and the next month. His wife hung on, until the pain became too much and she just lost the will to keep fighting, and gave up the ghost a few days to her birthday.
It was after two years that he met and married Nike. Yes, he wanted a family after all these years, when his age mates had finished having kids, but he also wanted to enjoy his wife. He hadn’t had that much time before to do that. And that was what Tuoyo and Nike set out to do; to enjoy themselves and they did so thoroughly.
Until, everyone intruded on their honeymoon with, “Happy six month anniversary oh, you baby will soon be here oh.”[insert blank stare].
“Happy one year anniversary! When are we coming to chop your naming jollof rice?”
To the outright, “Do you think you still have time to be doing all this lovey-lovey?! You not getting younger oh”
“Your husband didn’t tell you he’s not a small boy? Let his small body be deceiving you.” and those are even the nice ones, and the ones which bear repeating.
As the months rolled into each other, the voices calling for babies grew, and even her husband started hearing them. So they earnestly tried to start conceiving. Only it was not happening as fast as they wanted it to.
While they are waiting, the pregnancy announcements from friends and family came almost on a daily basis. Even those of people, whose pregnancies should not be of concern to them, were mentioned in their hearing. “Omo lagbaja ti loyun, omo tamedu ti bimo, se omo, omo iya ile ookan yen, o bi beji.” (The daughter to so so and so, has gotten pregnant. The son of that woman just had a baby. You remember that our former neighbour, whose house was in front of our own, her daughter just had twins.)” Jeeeeez. No chill people?!!!
You see why, TTC is a test on its own.
They are staunch Christians, with leadership positions in their church. They have become a prayer point for every member of their congregation. People will see them, smile and say, “We are praying for you.” Nike is often tempted to ask, “Praying for us, for what exactly? Did we tell you we need prayers?” If not for the tightening grip of her husband on her arms and the knowledge that that outburst would spread like wild fire through the church, a lot of people would have gotten an earful!
With many people on her case, she had started to doubt the saying that “God’s time is the best.” Because every few days, she hears some news that pulls her into depression and makes her wonder if she had the same God as everyone else. Her prayer time is sometimes filled with moaning and groaning, instead of outright requests. Sometimes, she even jokingly wondered if God had gotten her prayers mixed up with someone else’s, perhaps mistakenly blessing everyone else with conception except she, Nike.
It was rough, and it was honestly one of the most difficult spaces in life she has ever experienced. But God’s consistent faithfulness is a hard thing for her to forget. The knowledge of all He has done for me makes all the difference. The LAST thing she wanted to do was to be ungrateful.
Having come to that realisation of not being ungrateful and she had told her friends, who had questioned her at baby showers, that it was all in God’s hands. Right there and then, she had raised her hands to heaven and said, “Baba God, where is my own baby?” and used those same hands to rub her tummy.
Nike’s public prayer actually shamed some of her friends, but others could not be bothered. “Let her just hurry up and get pregnant.” As though you could deliberately be trying not to try and get pregnant, when what you really want is to get pregnant.
Nike is still TTC but she’s in a good place mentally. I hope she stays there but she surely counts her blessings every single day.
Where ever you find yourself in life; TTC, single and seeking a partner, just remain grateful and keep your eyes peeled, because the true nature of people often shows forth when you are going through challenges and it seems their condition is ‘better’ than yours.
If you are asked, why you don’t have kids, tell them you are waiting on God or better still, ask them to ask Baba God.
Stay cheerful, this too shall pass!
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