After close to two decades of trying to conceive without success, Monique was tired, as in T-I-R-E-D, of the whole crap, as she called it, and was ready to move on to other things with her life, that were now firmly rooted in middle age.
At this stage, there was nothing she had not seen, no specialist she had not met with or even heard about and that is just for orthodox medicine. The unorthodox aspect of the business is just uncountable. Is it the Babas or Mamas in Lagos or Ibadan, or even the ones in the East and yet nothing had happened? It had reached the stage where even these unorthodox medicine practitioners were telling her she was cursed or destined not to have children, after all, she was the odd one that wasn’t falling pregnant after their treatments or fell pregnant and then miscarried. That was laughable to her, considering the fact that every woman and man in her family was so fertile, it was sickening.
After all those years, when she lived solely for the next doctor’s appointment, the next IVF cycle, the next IUI, the next first scan, the next heartbeat from that growing foetus, she was drained emotionally, physically and financially. Her husband had moved on to another woman, whom he had two kids with, but she was still his first and legal wife, at least according to their marriage certificate.
By this stage in her life, everyone knew what her challenge was, it was public knowledge, and some people unconsciously or consciously kept track of her progress, or non-progress, so when she told the people close to her she was throwing in the towel and moving on, it was a huge battle to convince these people that she was really done trying and hoping. If it happened, fine, if it did not, ba wahala. Top on the list were:
For Monique’s mom, quitting was not an option for her oldest daughter. So, when Monique told her she was no longer going to do anything related to getting pregnant, ever again, her mom had told her she was not serious and she would have to continue, even till she drew her last breathe, if that was how long it took.
And true to her word, she kept up with the latest fertility news, both orthodox and unorthodox and relayed same to her daughter. The ones she needed to see for herself, she went and nagged Monique until she went.
Sometimes, she succumbed and tried again, and at other times, she was just blah about the whole thing. Did it result in a pregnancy, no, it did not. At that, Monique would get angry, she would not talk to her mom, but that did not stop her mom. She was always there with more TTC titbits.
Monique’s mom is not the only mom, who would do this. There are lots of TTC grandmothers who would not hear the phrase give up. Give wetin up? They would most likely remind that daughter that since they had given birth to her, then she must give birth, whether that is a prophetic statement or not is another matter altogether.
For Monique, there was this older couple who had tried to conceive for some years, back in the days, before their children came in quick succession, thus, they felt they knew something about the fertility business. They wouldn’t hear of her stopping all things TTC.
They believed that Monique was quitting at the time when she was so close to getting her breakthrough and begged her, cajoled her regularly, not to ever give up. Every time they saw her, they would counsel her to continue to press on.
This was a couple who knew so much about her, they had been there for her when her husband had strayed. When her husband was not available for hospital appointments, the wife had gone with Monique, and for some of her hospital stays, she had preferred the wife to her own mom, as they had bonded and she had essentially just stayed as her friend, never imposing her will, unlike her mom, who did not mind bulldozing her way through anything and anyone, doctors inclusive.
Apart of this older couple, there are friends who couldn’t fathom the fact that she was going to quit. “So are you saying you are never going to win this battle and your husband might as well bring in the other woman?” To them, having a baby guaranteed her place in her husband’s house. They were right, to a certain extent, but Monique was way past caring about such business. Already, she felt she had tolerated more than she should, all because she was yet to have a baby.
And…interestingly, her husband:
This was the one that moved her a little bit. No, she was quite angry and resentful when her husband told her he was not buying into her plan to stop trying to conceive. The numerous thoughts that crowded her head included, “So you can now talk after what you have done.” “Oh, but you quit on me, several years ago, when you decided to find an alternative woman to give you children.” “All I was to you was a malfunctioning baby making machine, and since you have your babies from another woman, you don’t think I should have my life back?” “Oh, you still want to continue testing? Sorry, I’m no longer available”.
The more she thought about his comments, the angrier she got, and convinced that her choice was the best, at least for her. Having a baby was now toxic to her, much like toying with her life.
While, all of these people had valid points and reasons for not wanting her to give up her dream of a baby, all she really craved were kind words, some empathy for her situation. “So, dearie, that’s how you feel? No problem, we are with you whatever your choice is.” And if the baby fever ever hits again, then its hits again and onward, the fertility train goes.
No time for, “But you said you were done.” No, just keep on moving or get out of the way of a TTC warrior.
Never give up though.
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