After battling infertility for years, suffering several miscarriages; both ectopic, chemical, first and second trimester miscarriages, not to mention undergoing several cycles of IVF, with both frozen and fresh eggs, Modupe* did not have a baby to carry.
However, she was getting too worked up, and her husband thought it wise for them to take a break from fertility treatments. Their doctor was very skeptical; he wanted them to try one more time.
They were able to convince him that four years on the fertility treadmill had worn them out, and they needed to take a break.
Their doctor agreed but pleaded with her to see him immediately, the next time she found out she was pregnant. But he was in for a long wait. Intact, he had almost forgotten he even had such a patient, when she eventually showed up, hesitantly asking for a pregnancy test.
It took two and a half years for her to get pregnant.
In that space of time, Modupe and her hubby travelled the world, changed jobs, changed addresses and were finally coming to terms with the fact that they might never have kids of their own, that they might have to look into adopting a child. They were not on any form of birth control…but they were not actively trying either.
She was unpacking boxes at their new home one day, when she blacked out. And that was in addition to some other symptoms she had been having, so she decided to test. She did and it came out positive…a BFP! Unbelievable!
She had waited another day, tried another test, and it was the same. Both tests indicated that she was pregnant. The next day, she made the formerly familiar trip to the hospital and requested for comprehensive blood work, to find out if she was indeed pregnant.
The result came back, and it was the same; she was pregnant. She was 4 weeks and a few days along. Her doctor was excited. While was calculating her due date, Modupe was just thinking, “Why is this man so excited? We have been down this road, remember?” Right on the heels of that thought came the “Abeg, this man! Don’t jinx this pregnancy for me, with your happiness.”
From, that day, Modupe became suddenly aware of signs she had not known existed, as well as those she had never paid much attention to. An example was the Baby on board stickers found on some cars; every time, she saw one, she became immediately apprehensive, “Why are these people announcing their joy to the whole world?! Don’t they know something could go wrong?”
She was paranoid about not telling a soul about her pregnancy. She was not jinxing this pregnancy by making any announcement. If she stumbled as she walked, to her it was a sign, which could jinx her pregnancy. If she had an unpleasant dream, she would be up the rest of the night, fretting and worrying, regardless of attempts by her husband to get her to sleep again.
When, she went in for her scan at 8 weeks, it was with fear. Fear that the baby would not be in the uterus, that it was not growing normally, that there would be no heartbeat…but it was at the right place and growth, for its stage. She heaved a sigh of relief when the doctor confirmed that. But it was just eight weeks, nothing to be excited about.
And then the first trimester passed. The baby was still growing, but she was still fearful. Her doctor suggested a CVS procedure, she agreed, as she was right smack in her mid 30s.
When, the doctor told her that the medical practitioner who had performed the procedure on her the last time, had left the clinic, she was happy. At least that person could not jinx her with the news of the past. However, her joy was shortlived, as the new technician had been an observer at her last procedure! Talk about being jinxed. But yet again, the result came out all clear; her baby had no recognizable birth defect.
At a time, her husband was concerned about her fearful nature, and refusal to tell anyone they were expecting, but he was soon infected and accepted that was how the whole pregnancy was going to play out.
Her only friends who would have understood what she was going through were her online friends, the members of the fertility community she had found, when she had been neck deep in fertility treatments.
Even from these ones, she hid her good news. Migrating from the TTC group to the Pregnancy group, where she had always stalked the members’ symptom threads was a dream come true, yet when she opened a new thread to announce her pregnancy and start to document her journey, her ‘liver’ failed her. Instead, she closed the page and forgot all about it, as it would have been too much of a jinx for her to talk about her pregnancy.
She believed she had to accord her pregnancy the appropriate amount of fearful respect, and she would be able to protect her baby and herself, from the wrath of whoever was watching and did not wish her well.
Even as she admitted that there were nice things about her pregnancy; like the glow, her improved appetite, and the few times she was able to forget her fears and allow herself enjoy her pregnancy, she still remained as paranoid till the very end!
Modupe eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but there are still surreal moments in her life, as a mother. Especially as she found out that she was pregnant again, some nine months after the birth of her first child. This time, she loosened up and forgot about all the fears that had plagued her last her pregnancy. This wasn’t because she was confident of a healthy delivery, but that she was almost certain it would end in marriage.
She couldn’t have another healthy baby, so soon after the first! After all, she thought to herself, thunder didn’t strike the same spot twice. Well, it did in her case.
She got a baby boy, exactly 40 weeks later. In the space of two years, she got two babies through natural conception, when she had struggled for over four years for the chance at having one baby.
I will leave you with these words: “The Blessings of the Lord, maketh rich and add no sorrow.”
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