Even she knows, there are people who are saying, “I told you so” in their minds at her current childless state. However, what they do not know is the fact that, she believes it is an act of God, the way and manner her life had turned out.
I grew up knowing this woman, she is a distant family acquaintance, whom we see maybe once in five years but those meetings were often memorable, she has a presence and aura about her that puts you at peace with her and makes you open up to her about somethings that might have been bothering you. She evokes that kind of feeling in you. I definitely felt it as a teenager.
And I remember that while, I was growing up, I had wished she was always around but she had perfected the disappearing act like a pro. She was also a stunning beauty that even I could sense the lust in grown men for her and the discomfort some women feel whenever, she was around. She was at the peak of her beauty, when I was a teenager. As the years went by, she became more matured and her beauty ageless and men still chased her.
On one of those occassions, she re-appeared, she had looked pale and sickly. I think, she came back to be nursed back to health. However, the rumour mill was agog with news that she had had an abortion that had almost claimed her life, and she had survived only by the grace of God. While my mind couldn’t grasp the gravity of what she had done, I was happy that she was not dead.
Before, I write this story solely from my own perspective of what had happened, I should let her speak for herself. She appeared again, after almost ten years since we had seen each other. She came to my old neighbourhood and got in touch with my sister, who is the mobile diary of the clan. They gisted about everyone and of course. I came up in their discussion.
I got a call early one morning from a tentative voice asking if that was Kemi, I said yes and asked, who I was speaking to. She went on a long introduction of herself, it took me a while to remember her, it was a lifetime ago,( life before marriage and kids, a long time I tell you). When I recalled her face, I squealed in delight, as I called her by the pet name, we had all used to call her.
She excitedly asked if it was true that I had twins twice, I said yes, the next thing was, “I must come and see them o.” We made arrangement and soon she was in my house, looking at the twins, as though they had horns on their head and then back at me, as if, how could I have given birth to these people?
Soon, the pleasantries were sorted and even the twins were tired of this big Aunty, who was cuddling them ever so often. They moved on to their play and as I settled in to entertain my August guest, I noticed this always beautiful big aunt, actually wiping tears from her face. At first, I did not know, whether to ask her why she was crying or just comfort her, as there was ten years’ worth of un-chartered water between us. I chose to comfort and the floodgate opened, not of tears but of bottled up emotions.
She spoke of how, if she hadn’t aborted that baby, from long ago, she would be mother to a child, who would be 21 years old. She spoke of the man, who had been responsible for the pregnancy and his anger at the fact that she terminated the baby, without his knowledge, he had known about the baby, when the D&C had nearly claimed her life.
She, whom I will call Mariam for the sake of this article told of how, her decision to terminate the pregnancy, because they were both not ready for a child cost her that relationship and how, a few years ago, she had heard, he died of a terminal disease, in his mid 40s and he died childless.
That broke my heart! What a wasted opportunity for both of them. That child, if she had kept it would have carried on the lineage of that man and made her a mom as she rightly noted. But, I was jumping way ahead of myself and even her.
She told me, she had gotten married some years ago but was now divorced. Now, I did not hear about that news at all. She told of how, it would have been better, if she had not gotten married at all. She told stories of how, her beauty had been the rod, with which her husband beat her physically and emotionally, yet she stayed, actively TTC but nothing happened. By the time, the marriage packed up three years later, she had never been pregnant, not even for one day.
Wary of men now, especially ones, who attach so much importance to her beauty, Mariam just existed and tried to recover from the past years. When she said that, I wished, she had appeared during those years but I guess, she wanted to lick her wounds alone. She needed to heal alone.
Fast forward to 2016, Mariam is in a serious relationship with a once divorced man, with a daughter and who has had a vasectomy. The essence of all this information is, he is not interested in having any more kids and told her so, soon after they started getting serious. It was a case of, if you are still holding out a candle for kids, you are barking up the wrong tree. What a charming news to a now 47 years old woman.
Well, the health challenge, she had late last year, pretty much put paid to any more baby dreams, unless by the miraculous. Fibroids that she had been diagnosed with a few years ago were back and they had grown so big, they were literally blocking the flow of urine from her bladder to her genital tract. She couldn’t wee.
She found her way to the hospital where it was confirmed and the only options given to her, given the size of the fibroids was hysterectomy. She struggled with that decision but finally went in to have the surgery, which left her with one functioning ovary, so her body does not go into menopause already. So, you surely see, only a miraculous conception can do it now.
However, from the vibes, I got off her, she is not so down in the dumps about not being able to have kids again or mourning the loss of what might have been. I feel she has accepted her lot and seeing my kids might have stirred some emotions in her.
I did not sense sadness and regrets from her. Just acceptance. However, if she had these meltdown often, then, it is cause for concern.
In all, I’m enjoying her aura now, before she disappears, as that’s one inevitable part of her.
May we be always on time for our blessings o.
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