There is a Yoruba adage highlighting the different roles male and female children play during the funeral of their parents. The female child is expected to be the crier, while the male child is said to be the one who sorts out the arrangement of burying the dead. The point I want to bring out with this analogy is women, with our somewhat emotional nature, are more prone to carry our grief on for longer and on our faces than the guys, but does that mean they don’t feel the hurt? Far from it.
It took Bimbo several losses to realise that her husband was just as hurt, (if not more, as he had no outlet) by their losses as she was. But she carried on as though the weight of the world was on her shoulder. Honestly, at that point in time, it felt like it. It was as though all the troubles in this world called on each other and dumped themselves at her doorstep, barricading her door, hemming her in, and restricting her movement.
After 5 years of waiting patiently, Bimbo wasn’t ready to wait for anything again, as she took an aggressive approach to her fertility treatments. When her first IUI failed, she moved on quickly to IVF, and not the conventional IVF but the one with the ICSI addition.
Bimbo was prepared to go the whole hog, donor assisted conception, even surrogacy, if it came to it. At that point, even her husband’s opinion did not matter, and that was the honest truth. All she did during that phase was to tell him what their next options were and what she was going with. Thankfully, he loved her enough to let her go with her gut.
Seven years after they got married, for the first time, Bimbo saw two lines on her test strip. It was such a surreal moment. She had never gotten two lines and here she was, with two strong ones. After a really tough pregnancy, her beautiful daughter, with beautiful bow lips, arrived on the scene and Bimbo knew joy like never before. It was undiluted joy. Unmistakeable, inexplicable joy that came right from the inside.
When their baby girl, whom they had named Nadia, which means Hope, clocked two, a broodiness slowly crept up on Bimbo. She tried to work it off, recalling the torturous journey to baby Nadia, and told herself it wasn’t happening again, but that feeling, that urge for another baby, was so strong, there was no denying it.
In her mind, that desire grew flesh. It blossomed into flesh and blood. She imagined the child, and it was a boy with brown eyes, afro hair and cute smile. He looked like his father a lot. She started to see that boy in the face of every little child around her, and soon, she actually went back to her doctor. They talked through her options and it was decided they do a frozen embryo transfer before anything else.
With something to do now, Bimbo went all out in preparing for the FET; a week-long detox, an intense exercise routine and paying particular attention to her stress levels. Bimbo was so ready to have the FET, and she did. The two-week wait was worse this time around. She was so attuned to her body, and watched out for every symptom, pronounced or not, frequent or a one-off situation.
At the end of the two week wait, she got a BFP!!! Now, this was not expected. She had actually been steeling herself for a negative result, she was prepared to try again but God showed mercy to her by granting her that BFP.
The first trimester went by in a blur of morning sickness and senseless weakness. By her second trimester, she was getting some semblance of herself when disaster struck. She lost her mucus plug and her amniotic fluid started to leak, but she had no idea, until she went in for one of her ante natal visits, and a scan picked up the low levels of amniotic fluid and the decreased activity of the baby.
She was put on bed rest pronto, but that didn’t help as the damage had already been done. Her second baby died in utero. Because of its gestation age, she gave birth to the baby vaginally. Through it all, her husband stayed by her side, and sometimes brought their daughter to spend time with mom and the baby.
During the period of this loss, Bimbo lost the will to live. She wished she could die and just be done with it, but the thought of her daughter and how miserable her husband would be, stopped her from fervently praying for death.
However, one day, she woke up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and found her husband sobbing as he knelt close to the window praying. She heard clearly, “Why did my baby have to die like that?”
It was a defining moment in their relationship. Bimbo, who had been the one receiving comfort from him, turned into his comforter. All the reassurances he had been giving her for days, she blessed him with. Through that night, they cried together, held onto each other, calmed each other, made love for the first time in months, and fell asleep in each other’s arms.
When the day dawned, they went to meet their daughter and she was so happy to see them that she jumped into her dad’s arms, while pointing at her mom’s still obvious bump, calling baby. They explained as much as they could the fact that her mom was no longer pregnant.
The grief on Nadia’s face, when she got the idea that she wasn’t going to be a big sister anymore, was so heart-wrenching.
From these reactions, Bimbo knew that she wasn’t the only one grieving her loss; there were others who had felt the loss too.
Women go through a lot. They feel emotions that some men don’t understand, but essentially, women must understand they are not alone in their grief. The men care too, they may just not be very good at expressing it.
Whatever you are going through, let go and let God’s healing flow through.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here