If you had asked Esther, a childhood friend of mine, a few years ago, how her life’s pathway was going to look like As someone who has plans, she would give you a short, concise and well thought out trajectory of what her life would be like. With time lines for emphasis but nothing turned out the way she thought. Not one of them and the worst part was they were inter-related, without one, the other was ‘un-doable’ at least in her books.
So, when things did not go as she wanted, the best option was to adopt a siddon-look approach or better still, “Oh Lord, let thy will be done!” Esther’s plans included:
Graduating at 24 years old
Service and paid employment for two years,- 26 years
Serious relationship – 27years old
Marriage – 28 years old
Two kids by 30 years old
Well, the best answer to her list is Man proposes and God disposes. She’s got all she wanted now but it never came in that order, it definitely did not follow her preferred time lines. In the end, she learnt the value of putting everything in God’s hands and waiting.
For starters, Esther did not graduate at the time, she said she wanted to. Instead of her 24th birthday seeing her as a graduate, she was just rounding off her third year final exams but she was already in a serious relationship.
It was so serious that she got married before the first semester of her final year started. She was a gorgeous bride on her wedding day, the whole crew from her school turned up, some of us, her childhood friends, who were still in contact were not left out. In fact, I was one of those, who had to listen to her concerns about getting married while in school, seeing that I spent the last two years of my university days married. What was my job description at that time? To make it easier for her to do.
However it was a decision that had already been made. She had said yes and was sure about her decision, so what’s was there to wait for. School? That can always be completed. All I did was lay the cards before her, as I have experienced it and allowed her to choose. She chose to go with her boo and handle school along the way.
Fearing that she had fallen off the wagon in relation to her life’s goals, Esther persuaded her hubby, ( who was somewhat older than she was, by the way) to allow them hold off on the baby-making aspect for the next two years. The man agreed of course, he wanted some more alone time with the wife of his youth.
She went on to graduate, completed her youth service but getting a job proved a bit of a challenge, until her lover boy stepped in and helped her get a job with the help of one of his contacts.It was a government job with pension and a decent closing hours. Wow, Esther literally danced, just remembering the day, she got this job.
By the time, the job came, she was over yet another missed deadline but it did not matter again. She was married, had a good job and had one more year to go before she would have to start trying to conceive. Her husband broached the subject of trying for a baby immediately, seeing that most of the items on her list had been ticked off.
If only she had known, she would have cut to the chase and started on the ‘important’ thing. Because in the end, that was what realised was more important for her was having a baby and everything else she had achieved paled in comparison.But she wanted to wait out the year.
When she was finally ready to start having kids, they were not ready to come. And for no reason. She just was not getting pregnant. With her inner demons and timetable chasing her, she wasted no time in seeing a doctor. Her first diagnosis was a unexplained infertility, however, a second diagnosis showed that there was a bit of male factor infertility involved as well.
She ensured they took an aggressive approach to this TTC business but it was not working. And everywhere she turned, they were babies, all her friends were giving birth, myself included, twins and even one set of triplet from a distant relative of hers. Being triplets, we all heard about it. It was not a nice feeling for her. She said she always felt like an outsider in the mommy caucus.
She said, her 20s were supposed to be her most fertile period, yet, it was the decade of her life that she struggled the most and with the most basic of human functions; procreation. It was like having wings, yet those wings were clipped hindering her from flying, Their infertility had put her in a cage and she was unable to fly.
The babies came eventually but, they had to go the assisted reproduction route. It was also not successful on the first try or the second, not even the third for that matter (by this time, I was perplexed at the strength in her tiny frame, to have withstood all the routines of an assisted reproductive for three times, all of which failed).While the first one was successful in terms of the fact that at the end of the 2 week wait, she got a positive pregnancy result, she miscarried four weeks later, due to what her doctors called autoimmune disease.
The subsequent cycles did not even show any BFP from the get go. It was traumatizing all the same. However, they got lucky with the fourth cycle, which would have been their last for at least two more years(while they saved), if it had failed. It did not. She got pregnant and stayed pregnant, till she gave birth to her baby, who was named Desire; now, this name has meaning in both Yoruba and English language and Esther has found herself calling her in both language, all depending on her mood.
Time line you ask. Well, by this time, she was on God’s time, little else mattered, except getting a BFP, and then carrying the baby to term. Now, it has moved to being able to have another child, Desire is just 8 months old but her mom is already anxious to have another time, “Kemi, I don’t have time on my hands any longer. If I struggled that much in my 20s, is it now, that I’m almost 30, I should expect miracles?”
My answer to her was, “miracles do happen” and I reminded her of her time lines that all failed but did she get everything in the end, yes.
The caged bird was set free in the end and she flew into the sunset with her baby literally.
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