Disclaimer: I wrote this two weeks ago. The day I was supposed to do the final editing and release, I was admitted to the hospital in the most dramatic circumstances, it was about five minutes away from being a Nigerian movie. But I am okay now….
I can never understand people! You know, you KNOW that Beyonce has released an album and you haven’t bought it. Yet you are just there carrying on with life as if you don’t know you are wrong. I mean, the other day I asked Iwiyisi what she thought about Lemonade and she asked me *soft sob* “What lemonade?”.
I said, “Beyonce’s new album” and she responded, “Oh I heard about that on CNN.” #Truestory. I don’t know what Beyonce ever did to her that she would treat her like that. Doesn’t she know Bey needs us??? And what is that talk of CNN? So snobbish. Everybody knows you only need instagram and E! News for current affairs! Gosh! CNN! For news? Ludicrous!
September 15th 2015
“Hello Dr. Rivera!”
I said this with a huge smile. My stomach was in knots, I was so worried about what I was about to hear on one hand and on the other hand, my baby was kicking me like I had offended her. So I knew she was alive, I knew she had strong legs but my belly had still not grown…
“Well, Maddy, you’ve been cleared, your baby does not have Down Syndrome and you are definitely having a girl”
To this, I responded by informing my doctor that I had already been told over the phone that she was not ill and I was very happy to learn that. My happiness was not contagious, clearly, I thought to myself, as I watched Dr. Rivera’s kind features deepen into a frown. He was studying the scans I had done again this week and was not happy with them from what I could tell.
He confirmed my worries and told me Baby YB had still not grown and now the amniotic fluid was low. He advised me to stay out of the sun and keep myself hydrated and my feet above chest level to manage the swelling. He was going to have us wait till the following week before he would let me know what my options were.
When we were done, I thanked him for his time and managed to hoist myself back on to my feet as I searched for my Uber back home.
September 22nd 2015
I woke up for my one p.m appointment at 7:00 am. By 8:30 am I was struggling to understand what was taking so long for the time to come for me to leave the house. After twiddling my thumbs the entire morning, it was finally time for me to go and I went online to get my Uber.
Pay attention class. Every detail is impor’ant.
As I got my Uber alert, I was surprised to find that my driver was a woman. I just hadn’t seen a woman Uber driver before but she would be the first of three. When she arrived, she introduced herself and told me about how she is a grandmother and how many children she had, how it felt to watch them grow and how excited she was for me at this point in my life. I say all this to say, she was so kind to me, I fell in love with her right away and wished I was in longer than a five minute ride, but all too soon, I had to say goodbye as I felt the nerves return. It was the make or break (water) day.
As usual, my vitals were taken and all the nurses fawned over me and told me how beautiful I was (I think these complements are a legal requirement because I had a mirror at home and I was AT LEAST two different shades of skin tone and swollen…just swollen). I went in and after a short wait, Dr. Rivera came in. Long story short, the baby had lost even more weight and had continued to recede in size. He told me they may have to induce a birth because at this point, the baby being out was always better than being on the inside and no one could tell why she was becoming smaller.
I should have been discouraged by this news but I just felt detached. I didn’t feel like they were talking about me and also, I had won, because I told Sure that my stomach was smaller but nooooo, he knew better than me by looking at me through FaceTime. So, I also couldn’t wait to tell him I was right. Plus every time any kind of worry started to creep in, my boosky would kick me to assure me that all was well.
September 29th 2015
After my last appointment, I had been told that they needed to proceed with caution and they were not going to do anything rash until they gave me one more, closely monitored week, just to be sure they were not mistaken.
So here I was again at the now familiar office, perched on my favourite exam table (and by “perched” I mean, I had created a see-saw effect from my weight on one end of the bed…but every body has a right to feel delicate and cute, you know?) and waiting for Dr. R to come in with the scans.
“We will need to take the baby out of you”
At this point, I was 37 weeks pregnant and my baby was showing up on the scans as weighing less than 3 pounds. I had mentally prepared myself for this possible eventuality but I had truly hoped it wouldn’t come to this. I was completely alone at home. All I could manage was a very weak,
“As soon as possible, I am considering tonight if all goes according to plan, the sooner she is on the outside, the better for her”, Dr. Rivera said to me, in response.
On the outside, I was nice, put together…some may have called me ice water…or mint, peppermint . But on the inside I was furiously calculating what my options were and everybody that knows me, knows that dangerous things happen when I try to calculate.
I just stared blankly at Dr. Rivera, I could think of nothing to say (at least, nothing I could have said while sustaining my British accent…you forgot about her didn’t you? I mean, my accent. I will name her…Alice, the accent.)
Anyway, I finally found my tongue and just as all the questions in the world were about to come tumbling out, he said to me that I just need to go through one more scan in the office upstairs. He said that if they signed off on the birth, nobody could bring action against him for acting prematurely. I just nodded and the nurse helped me off the bed and guided me through the corridors and up in the elevator till I got to an unmarked door (could have been marked though, I was still in a daze.)
The nurse pushed the door open and I walked in and sat down in the waiting room. The beige walls and muted television coupled with the cheerful dish full of sweets had a way of lulling one into a state of calm and safety. The people there spoke in hushed tones and I felt myself relax. How bad could things be?
And then I saw it, ‘High Risk Pregnancy’. It was written on a small sign right under the telly. I don’t know how I missed it. No wonder nobody said where I was going. They had just referred to this place as the office upstairs. Is that what I had become? High risk? How? When? It was at this point that I finally replied Sure’s worried messages and brought him up to speed on what had been going on.
I jumped as the nurse called out to me.
*Please note: I jump. I jump a lot. Second, our beloved Mr. Innocent (my family’s general go-to guy) had helped me fill my form for my international ID and I didn’t notice that he had misspelled my name. I was therefore Mrs. Ban-i-joko for my entire hospital stay.*
She beckoned for me to come over to the room she was standing in front of. I walked in and saw something akin to a spaceship or just a NASA control centre ( I mean, what I would imagine that either of those things would look like).
It was some super high tech scanning machine that could see clear through to thoughts and heart’s desires. So once I was properly situated, she started the scan. As she looked at the screen, she started to frown at something.
“Okay, the fibroids are growing right on top of the placenta, this probably explains why the baby is shrinking…”
Just like that, no introduction, no handshake, she didn’t even take me to dinner first. Just..bam! Fibroids! I had no idea I had anything like that, it had never showed up in any previous scans or caused any issues before. But apparently a lot of women find out this way…so I guess it was just my turn.
I couldn’t even think of anything to say. She said to me, “You knew about the fibroids right?” and yet again, I managed a weak “no”. She then proceeded to explain what they were and said my Doctor will inform me of their recommendation. So back up to Dr. Rivera I went.
I kept telling Sure what was happening and I could hear him sending encouragement over the phone but he suddenly seemed even farther away from me than usual.
What was I going to do? Who would help me? As I was thinking these thoughts, Dr. Rivera walked in and immediately informed me that they will need to bring the baby out of me, right away. He said they will schedule an appointment at the hospital for me that very night and labour will be induced. Then he asked the million dollar question:
“Who do you have here with you?”
It was a struggle not to cry. You know, you think it is fine. After 14 years without one’s mother, you are fine, grown now. You don’t need her. You want her, but you don’t need her. That’s what I thought. But never have I felt more like an orphan than when he asked me that question. Never.
I literally had no answer. Everybody around me had small children and no help to leave the children with, Sure was far away with travel that had long been scheduled for the original due date and this was so last minute, (I had hoped all would stay on schedule, so I didn’t bother anyone with the possibility that plans may have to change) Sis was stuck with work,some of it, even my work and could not leave yet, Iwiyisi’s passport was still stuck at the Embassy, Aunty Sola had requested for time off from work, but a month away from today. Nobody could just get up and be there plus, more than anything else, I just wanted my mother. But God was about to take the glory.
Anyway, I had to quickly swing into action. There is no time in life for sorrow and self pity. I am not the first nor am I the last and people have it FAR worse. So I sucked it up and told my doctor to give me two days to find someone to come out to be with me. He said two days was all he could give any way and if push came to shove, they would just assign a nurse to me.
So the baby was coming in two days!!! It was time!
Maternity Outfit: Shakara Maternity (its a thing I just created)
Taken at some Thai monastery on our honeymoon…
American apparel sweater: Gift from Sure
Bracelet: Other Stories Paris
Glasses: Tom Ford
Sandals: River Island