Today is my birthday.
I know this has been overshadowed by the diplomatic crisis that is the interview given by national treasure and she-of-the-perfect-eyebrows, Tiwa Savage. It is my hope, that every Nigerian has now watched this interview. As anything short of that is downright unpatriotic and borderline treasonous (I’m looking at you Oghale).
Soooooo….Happy Birthday to me!
And now we resume our regular programming.
Abroad airport: September 1st 2015
“They said when I get here, I should give you this…”
I stood there with my hand stretched out, in my fist was my “fly safe” letter from the Doctor as well as my medical documents indicating I was pregnant. I watched the confusion register on the face of my audience of one, the immigration officer at the airport desk.
He was all that stood between me and my Sure, well, him and three more flights…
Officer: “I don’t understand what you mean…”
Me: Shuffling from swollen foot to swollen foot, “I am here to have my baby and I am supposed to inform you”
Officer: Looking even more confused, leans out from behind his high imposing desk, looks down at the floor in front of me, “where is the baby? I don’t see a baby”
Me: Shaking my head emphatically and pointing at my stomach. “No! In my tummy! My baby is in my tummy. I am a pregnant woman, here to have my baby”
Officer: Squints at ‘alleged’ pregnancy, clearly fails to see it. A look of impatience fleets across his purposely stern features and he says, “I don’t have enough time for this!”.
With that he sent me to a separate room where my documents would be checked…
This was the story of my pregnancy. People would squint, turn their heads to the side, close one eye and still not be able to tell I was pregnant. This caused me to coin the now familiar term (at least, familiar to my long-suffering Church family) ‘just because I am not heavy, does not mean I am not heavily pregnant!’
I would say this while demanding that Emmyray fetch me a chair and Oghale massage my feet and demand that Chinasa tell me I am looking stunning and harass Feyi to go and buy me small chops..( and fried yam and plantain and gala and fanta) and while I made Ikechukwu drive me home. Even my superiors in the choir didn’t get away, I would insist that Joel buy me lunch and give me his glasses or whatever I saw on him that caught my fancy and he would always oblige, I would demand free medical advice from Dr. Kay and Mrs. Kay would go out of her way to pamper me with an endless supply of mints and anything else my heart desired. Nothing was too much for them to do for me and if anyone so much as rolled their eyes, I would declare that I am pregnant and therefore, EVERYONE’S priority.
Sigh…those were good times…
Anyway, so yeah. I was small but it did not worry me, I thought nothing of it. After all, Kate Middleton was small and her babies are fine. Yes *staredown* Kate Middleton, I look exactly like her, but with African skin and an African body and Kinky hair and bare feet. But other than that…twins.
So I arrived in Texas and met up with the ever smiling Sure. He was here to settle me in, sort everything out with hospital registration, groceries, baby shopping (pikin is cost oh!!!), whatever else I needed. The plan was he would spend this time with me and then as he was leaving, my big sister, Sister Ayo will come and then she would stay for a while and then tag Sure again who would be back with me for the birth and then he would tag Mummy Sure and Iwiyisi. They were to stay with me until my Aunty Sola would come and take over then finally, Sure would come for the third time to bring us back home. Such a neat, perfect plan.
September 17th 2015
It was Thursday. The first part of that plan was now done. I was settled and Sure had left (sob). My doctors appointments were on Thursdays and I was booked in for an eleven a.m, every single person in America had been told to look out for me, my beloved American mummy that I had adopted from Sure was nearby, so were the Ades (my equally beloved happy family down the road, ever ready to take me anywhere and help me with anything)…and many more. SureBoy had told every single person to help me with everything and they all took that responsibility extremely seriously.
But I have always been the “I didn’t want to bother you” person. So there I was sitting in my Doctor’s chair, after my old faithful über had dropped me off. I was thirty five weeks pregnant and brimming with excitement. I was still small, but my feet and ankles were positively hobbit-esque and my nose was threatening to wander clear off my face. It was official, I was now unmistakably pregnant.
I sat waiting for Dr. Rivera to come in and take a precursory examination so I could be on my way. It was my first day here on my own. SureBoy had gone back to his boarding house the Monday before. I swung my legs off the edge of the bed, they could not reach the floor…that always made me feel like a cute little child. As I waited, my mind wandered back to my time here so far…I was so excited, time was drawing near…
Dr Rivera finally walked in with his familiar smile and contagious calm. Once all pleasantries had been exchanged, he picked up my charts and scans and after a quick look, he informed me that my my baby’s due date of October 21st was wrong and was on November 17th. To this I replied that I do not live with my husband and so the 17th could not be her due date, I knew exactly when her due date was as my Sure had already left at the point that they were giving as the date of conception (You see it? You see how they put people in trouble? This is where side eye starts from).
Once I had assured him of the timeline, he became quiet and studied the paperwork more intently. At this point, I started to pay a little more attention to his body language, trying to decipher if there was a problem. He eventually started to ask me questions and told me he had looked at my documents repeatedly and it appears that there is some sort of mistake, as the paperwork starts at four months into the pregnancy and it should start from six weeks.
I explained that I was told (by *ahem* George’s *ahem*) that I did not need to start my pre natal visits till I was four months along. Anyway, at the end of the interrogation, I discovered that my Rhoding hospital had taken the liberty of skipping one or three tests. This would ordinarily not have been a problem, but…
It appears your baby is shrinking in size
I blinked twice, I wasn’t following. Whose baby? Shrinking? From what? I couldn’t understand what he was saying and what it meant for my baby.
It turned out upon closer inspection that she was smaller today than she was the week before. He then told me that they were going to need to draw blood to test whether she would be a Down Syndrome patient.
Ha! I just sat there aghast. It was like I had been hit square in the face. I just started crying. No preamble. I was told I would need to speak with the other parent and I was excused to do so. I had a tearful conversation with SureBoy and then went in for blood to be drawn.
Now I had to wait seven days for the result.
I had to go home. Alone and think about all this on my own. I called Sister Ayo and Iwiyisi and wailed to them about it. They both dismissed it as nothing but a desperate ploy by the devil to shake my faith and prayed some powerful prayers for me. But I was still inconsolable. I think I just wanted to wallow in self pity but I knew I needed to stop being scared be strong and just trust God to see me through. So, when I was satisfied that I had cried enough, it was time to go back to my roots.
Right then, I found bread and ‘wine’ in my fridge (to think I judged SureBoy when he bought all this juice oh) and I consecrated it. I spoke to my womb and declared that seven is the number of completion. Therefore, in seven days, I was going to see the complete work of Christ made manifest in my life. A renewal, a refreshing, a turn around.
I continued to do this as I waited for the seventh day and looked forward to the results. They came back on the 6th day and they were negative. She was fine. First Battle down. But there was more to come…
Photoshoot Set: Hermosa Boda
Iwiyisi’s Hat: Discovered in my living room. It is now mine
Shirt: Gift from Sister Ayo
Dress: Shakara Couture
Chucks: Gift from Sure
Dress: Shakara Couture
Stockings: Janie and Jack
Smile: Aunty Iwiyisi