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It was on the night of a full blue moon. Roosters had laid their heads after a hot sunny afternoon.Men had gone to rest after such a day of bloom.Then suddenly, a shrill little cry was heard from the Queen’s court.The King’s wife had just given birth to a son.This was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.After years of tireless waiting.After months of ceaseless prayer.The heir to the throne had finally come.The soldier and saviour to end the Queen’s sorrow.Now, the Queen shall suffer no more woes, no more sorrows, and no more groans.Because she has finally passed the terrible and painful test of child birth and brought forth an incredible and worthwhile result.Though the pains of childbirth are bitter.The Queen has finally concurred that the result of child birth gives joy to the soul.
“Push! Push!” The nurses yelled at Egana in the labour room . She’d passed through the excruciating pangs of childbirth for over three days. She was exhausted. One of the nurses brought an empty bottle, she neatly placed the mouth of the bottle tightly on her lips and instructed her, “ blow air into it with force”. She used her last ounce of strength to do that, yet nothing happened. “I am tired, I can’t make it any longer,” she wailed and fell on the floor, gasping for breath.They took her to the emergency room. After a meticulous medical examination, the doctor looked at her and told her that her case was a complicated one. “sorry lady, from the report here, both of you may not make it. We will save your life…”
“No, I love my child, let it live and let me die!” she snapped.
“Omotejohwo, please call me Mama Onose. Tell her that I said its time”
“Ok Mama” I answered and ran out of the hut. Conquering the fears of the night with each step, my little feet took me to Mama Onose’s hut. Mama Onose fastened her wrapper firmly around her chest and rushed with me to our hut carrying a basket. My heart was beating fast as I heard Mama scream in so much pain and Mama Onose gently saying “Push”
I watched as Papa kept pouring palmwine from his calabash straight into his mouth. My six sisters surrounded me each leaning on my small frame. As the voices heightened my tears poured. Then, the baby cried. Papa sat up as he always did eager to know if he now has a son. “Omote!!!!” My heart sank. Papa kicked the calabash and walked straight into the night.
“My wife it’s a boy”
I smiled tiredly as I felt myself drifting away. I swore solely to myself to protect and love my baby boy. Now I feel complete,earlier on while going through the torture of being in labour as immense pains wracked inside me,I saw my life flash before me. I was a disgrace to my parents. Was I blinded by wealth? Or was it my pride that made me end up here as the 3rd wife to my husband? I’ve been childless for 4years and my life was in shambles.
I faintly remembered my fellow wife begging me at some point to put up a struggle or I will lose my life and that of my child,as the pains were tearing through me I felt this was my punishment but looking at this new miracle,I’ve found peace.
He will be named Samuel.
“She has done it again”. Alago echoed from the hill top of Obakun temple.
“Another bouncing baby boy is born”.
“Hurray! Thank you Obakun, the male child gods”. Merriment commenced and free meal was dished to the villagers of Omoye, a small village where Obakun was situated. Osanja, the father of the baby was unhappy but he tried, faking a rejoiceful mood. “Congratulations”. An aged woman with a bowl of meal and a walking stick greeted him.
“Thanks ma”. “I’m happy your baby wasn’t forbidden”. His mind trailed back to what Obakun was all about. It’s a place where the birth of a male child is announce while female child was forbidden.
A striking thunder brought him back to life. He saw Alago in pool of blood. Pandemonium occurred. He bribed Alago for false declaration. His hope became frail when the aged woman transformed to Obakun’s image.
“I want a daughter with your fine nose.” her husband chattered excitedly as he drove her to the hospital.
“If this man knows how this thing is doing me, he will keep quiet.” she thought, as she spared him an angry glance. She needs to reserve energy for the ‘push’
“Push!!” the fat nurse screamed into her ear for the umpteenth time.
“Shut up woman” her mind said. She glanced over at her man as he stood a little off, recorder in hand, smiling sheepishly. She hoped she could mask her disappointment if his wishes should come true. Who wants a girl that would go through all she had been through. The abuse at six, rape at sixteen…………
“A girl!” She broke down in tears. To her astonishment, she felt relieved. Perhaps the chance to right the wrongs smiles brighter than her fears.
Nancy is alone at home with her protruding stomach; watching her favorite program ‘Married again’ on Zee World, when she felt a very sharp back pain. She wondered what it could be because her doctor had told her that her delivery is in two weeks. The pain continued, she tried call her husband but the network wasn’t favorable.
The pain persisted and then she realized she’s in labor. Nancy dragged herself to the hospital and on arrival at the hospital gate, her eyes went blank and then she fell on the floor. The nurses realized what the problem was and one of them rushed to get a stretcher but before she came back, Nancy delivered right in front of the hospital gate.
The nurses carried the baby with Nancy to cut the umbilical cord, when another baby came. They never knew she was carrying twins.
As I sat at the waiting room of the hospital, worrisome thoughts flickered in my mind. I pictured her punching death to stay alive. Fear gnawed into my soul as I thought about consequences of our mistake.
We had met at a cafteria just few months ago. Just one month into the crazy love, i took her pride. Then came our undoing – pregnancy. I felt her pain as she screamed. I had no one to share my fate as I moved, restlessly from one end of the passage to another. Her screams were getting lower like a radio with dying batteries. Gradually been drowned by the thunderous voice of the midwives which hit my ear like a bomb blast. After few minutes, the noise ceased. I was wondering……. when a nurse fetched me. I dashed into her ward only to be frozen by what I saw.
Used to hearing screams, I had seen pain manifested, reminded of the Borno offensive, the discomfort.. palpable.
“Madam abeg try breathe I see the head” first dulcet news after 4 hours of Labour, a sufficient jolt to reality. Joy brought by the gestation period – trumped by uncertainty – restored by a glimpse. I desired to help; here I was tactically inept.
“Madam pikin don dey come out, remain small” another watershed at 10 hours.
Like a commanding officer, the midwife instilled fear, but this was in no way akin to me barking orders. A piercing sound snapped me to reality, beyond the tiny wailing came “madam na girl o”
That I brought a soul into earth is what Nirvana feels like. With your curly hair and hands in a fist, you were joy personified.
I will name you Ayo after your late father.
Her deep moaning was what woke her husband.
“Bayo! Bayo!” she cried, “I think the water just broke.” He looked at her, so confused, as if he did not understand anything she said.
“Bayo, I think I’m going to have the baby, now!” she yelled. Hitting Bayo on his leg.
It was late already, and the clinic she registered her antenatal is about 40minutes walk from their house. He panicky picked his phone to call Ayo, his brother, who has a motorcycle. But there was no network. Neither was there any other means of getting there. It is too far for a woman in labour to cover.
He made her lie on the floor, and knelt in front of her not knowing what he was doing. Soon he heard himself saying, “push! Push! Push!”
Who would dare to question him the next day if they heard what he has done?
Of my many pains and sufferings, I thought I had seen it all till the eighth month of my pregnancy.
That fateful morning, I woke up rather eviscerated, the agony of my weeping womb pushing me into a steady and fast movement. Since my thrilling experience of having a second body, the doctors and nurses constantly sang to me the signs I was going into labour and today, I felt them all ranging from low, dull backache, abdominal cramps, contractions that are regular and then start to come closer. There was no leaking fluid till I barged into the doctor’s office. ‘It’s a Preterm labour’, he screamed.
After what seemed like forever, I heard my first fruit cry aloud. It was a Normal Vagina Delivery. ‘It’s a baby boy’ I heard them say before I passed out peacefully. I tell you, the most pleasant pain in life is Child Birth.