Every woman has the right to want a baby…and to actively try to conceive. A lot of people would probably take a Kermit stand on this, and sip their tea while giving you the side eye. But allow me to be the voice of reason here. Can I preach?? Some of us are trying to conceive for all the wrong reasons! Like I mean wrongggg!! I just got back from the mall where I went to watch a new movie with some old friends from school. My girl, Queen, came along with her cousin Jane*, and while we were having lunch after the movie, Jane received a call, after which her mood just changed. Before then, she was your happy-go-lucky kinda girl, gisting with the rest of us as if we all go way back; which was understandable because our names apparently came up a lot in her conversations with Queen. Anyways, she suddenly turned moody after receiving this call and we all asked her what was going on and if she was okay.
Jane opened up and told us how she was engaged (which was pretty obvious, judging by the huge rock on her finger) to this adorable man, and they have been together for six years, and engaged for two and half. They haven’t been able to move on with the marriage plans however, because her fiancé insists that she MUST get pregnant before they get married!
I was like “For real?!”
She continued, saying she has done everything to get pregnant but to no avail and the guy is now threatening to leave her. As she was narrating, she started to cry and we all rushed to console her; with Queen assuring her that she would talk to the said fiancé and plead with him to give her more time. In my head, I was like “Oh My God, why do women keep hurting themselves?”
Jane was eventually able to pull herself together, but I wasn’t sure if it was okay to give her a piece of my mind or if it was any of my business. However, one of our other friends there started advising her on some local concoction to buy at Obalende, that was going to work some ‘magic’ and it was at the point of Jane jotting directions to this ‘miracle working’ herbs seller that I just blurted out “Don’t you think you have bigger issues than trying to get pregnant now?”
Everybody looked at me like I had suddenly grown a beard, and it was Queen who asked “How? What are bigger issues than trying to get pregnant? Pregnancy would end all her problems right now oh!”
I sat straight and started to preach. “Jane, I know we have only just met but I have heard a lot about you from Queen, just as you have about us from her as well. So I feel I should just tell you as it is”.
By this time, I had their undivided attention.
“A man giving you a condition before he marries you is a red flag, and I think you should have thrown his ring back in his face the minute he started talking pregnancy before marriage”.
When a man tells you to get pregnant for him before marriage, it says a lot about him. It shows that he isn’t the through thick and thin kinda guy, and who needs that? It also says a lot about you and your esteem issues if you quickly start trying by all means to get pregnant. What if you get pregnant and he still finds a reason to leave you? What if you do get pregnant, you get married, but you lose the pregnancy and suffer infertility for the next five years? There are so many ladies out there trying to conceive as a bargaining chip for marriage and I think that is wrong on many counts. How do you reduce the sacredness of motherhood to bargaining power? How do you willfully attempt to have an illegitimate child? Sometimes we can’t tell how understanding, patient and tolerant our partners are until we actually get married and the challenges come, but a man that is giving you conditions before he can marry you has the bold sign on his forehead “I cannot be patient! I won’t weather any storms with you, I would leave you to do it all alone.” We should run away from such guys faster than Usian Bolt.
Another lady that I grew up with is trying to conceive, also for the wrong reasons. Since Nesochi* started dating Franklin, he has been the classic player and cheat. Many times she would catch him red-handed, many times he would deny even in the face of undeniable evidence. Many times, Nesochi would forgive him, after much nagging and “punishment”. They dated for three years before Franklin proposed, and we were all happy for her. Maybe Franklin was done playing and ready to settle down. For where? Three days to their wedding, Nesochi still caught him pants down with a chic in his apartment. Everyone she lamented to, told her that a broken engagement is better than a broken marriage, but Nesochi had so much faith in him. She believed he was going to change, and so they got married…amid fanfare and well wishes.
It’s been four years now, and Nesochi is also in our TTC family. Franklin has gone from bad to worst (I say worst, because I don’t think it gets badder than this). Nesochi has done everything to conceive, but the problem is not medical at all. Franklin simply isn’t available. She and I recently reunited at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner and when we were having “two aside”, she opened up about trying to get pregnant, but her husband has not touched her in six months. It took the grace of God for me to keep a straight face and act like what I heard was normal. I sympathized with her, thinking that she really wanted a baby out of loneliness since her husband wasn’t available for her, and a baby could keep her busy or something. And then she says “I just know that Franklin is acting like this because I don’t have a baby yet, he would change once I give birth”. WHATTTT! Still giving excuses for his cheating? And trying to use a baby to salvage a bad marriage?
In my experience, babies have the tendency to unify a family even more and strengthen a couple’s bond, but the unity and bond have to be there in the first place! Babies do not create those bonds or unity; they can only strengthen what’s already existing. In the same vein, if all that is existing in a marriage is a huge gap, then a baby would only make the gap wider. If your man can’t stay at home with you, and barely touches you when you are single, taking care of yourself and still hot; trust me the physical changes of pregnancy (such as bloated tummy, a bigger nose, swollen feet and all what not) are only going to further push him away. If he won’t have sex with you when you are still agile and flexible, is it when your sex drive weakens or when you are too busy with midnight feeds, that he would have sex with you?
A relationship that has serious issues doesn’t need the stress of childbirth and parenthood; such relationships need work first. Things should be smoothened before the issue of conceiving should arise. It isn’t fair to throw an innocent child into such a mix. So, if you are tempted to be selfish and trying to bargain your way with a baby, think about that innocent child that would need a happy, loving, united home to thrive. If like Jane, you have been trying to conceive albeit the wrong reasons, you can see a doctor and find out what the problem is. This is important, even if you do not go on with the toxic relationship, because medical issues are better treated sooner than later. It is advisable to figure out what’s wrong, deal with it and still wait for your own man. Then, within the atmosphere of a happy marriage, you can have your baby!
* Not real names
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