Tosin watched as Idiat hugged and kissed her kids on the cheeks. The way they greeted, you would think they had always known each other, but this was their first time of meeting. Although she had been speaking to them via the phone, since they were in their mother’s womb, this was the very first time of Idiat meeting them in person, and it was magical as the connection was instant.
Immediately, Tosin informed her kids that this was Aunty Idiat, her friend and Godmother of her eldest daughter; the same one they always spoke to at least every fortnight, the children zoomed in on her, and they all fell onto the couch in one big hug. Every one of the children wanted to remind her of what they had last discussed, did she bring any chocolate, how about the head bands. In all of this, Tosin was forgotten as the children wound their way into the heart of this Aunty, who had always been so close…yet faraway.
After some minutes, the excitement wound down and Tosin shooed the children away, so she could have some time with her friend whom she had not seen in fourteen years. Thank God for technology, or their friendship would not have survived the years. However, instead of catching up with her friend, Idiat burst into tears as soon as the children left the sitting room. The tears came so fast, that it was as though a dam had been opened.
Indeed, it was a dam that the few minutes she spent with the kids opened in her. They reminded her of her childless state. Tosin had dealt with this before, but it was always over the phone, especially whenever Idiat went through a miscarriage and also the last time she had a stillbirth. In these cases, she had been devastated and Tosin had literally spent the whole day on the phone consoling her friend over her loss.
She had had practice but it was different in person. It was a lot harder for her to console her, so they both ended up crying over the ache in Idiat’s heart, and ended with a prayer, handing everything together to their Creator. It did not matter that they were of different faith. They prayed together, for a common goal- a baby for Idiat.
The two friends had both been married for 14 years. Idiat relocated out of the country shortly after her wedding, as her husband was not based in the country. They also started trying for a baby the same night of their wedding, same as Tosin, her friend, who had gotten married a few months earlier.
When Tosin announced that she was finally pregnant after six months of trying, Idiat was ecstatic. She put herself in charge of baby shopping, she told her friend not to bother about anything as she was going to buy all the essentials for the baby – who was going to be her Godchild- would need. And she stayed true to her word. By the time the shipment Idiat sent arrived, Tosin realized she need not have bothered buying a thing here in Nigeria. Her dear friend Idiat had taken care of everything imaginable!
Meanwhile, during that time, Idiat suffered her first miscarriage at 6 weeks. It was a shock, but she took it in her stride and laughed off the fact that she was not destined to have a baby at about the same time as her friend.
However, these miscarriages kept occurring…all of which never passed the first trimester. It was the same miscarriage she suffered when Tosin was pregnant with her second child. When Tosin knew she was pregnant again, she dreaded telling her friend. She knew Idiat’s happiness for her would be genuine but somehow, she felt like she was leaving her friend behind in the child bearing stakes.
Well, someone got good news; Idiat was pregnant, and was in her second trimester, with everything looking okay. When she told Tosin, she screamed and did a small celebratory jig. A week later, Tosin told her about her own news but it was of multiple proportions – as she was pregnant with twins. Now it was the turn of Idiat to dance a jig, which Tosin vehemently told her not to try, because of her condition. She did not pay her any heed as she danced away. They compared notes, and found out that their EDD was close…in fact, the same week.
The friends were tickled; finally, they were going to have babies at the same time. Only it did not end that way. Idiat suffered a still birth at 30 weeks and it was the news of it that pushed Tosin into premature labour. She had to be admitted to the hospital, where it was contained, and she stayed there for three weeks, before she was allowed home. All the while, she would call her friend, who was also in the hospital, to console her. When her twins came at 36 weeks, Tosin felt unsettled informing Idiat that the boys had been born and were fine, but she knew it would be worse, if Idiat found out from other sources…so she told her.
As usual, she was happy, and even wanted to send some baby essentials again, which Tosin vehemently refused, and told her to keep for her own baby that was coming soonest. Tosin knew her friend was hurting…and it hurt her too.
Tosin did not know how she did it, but she was in awe at the real joy she always heard in Idiat’s voice when she talked about her kids. She stood in awe of the selflessness with which she always sent presents, not only for her kids, but also for other children she knew. How she planned her first baby shower, while abroad, and even attended via Skype…and finally, the way she hugged her kids as though they were her blood. Tosin did not know where Idiat found the strength to smile, despite of the pain infertility had inflicted on her and her husband.
Tosin did not but she knew she loved Idiat like herself and ached for her…and prayed for her that God would remember her soon…just as she never left her heart.
May her prayer, and the prayer of all TTC mothers, come to pass!
Godspeed to all!