October 2nd (Part 2)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted two things more than anything else in the world. My own home and my own family. I don’t know how long ago this need started but I think it was before mummy died. Yes, it certainly was. I would always dream about decorating my own house and creating my own little haven that I could run to. These desires generally became more intense when I was kneeling down and facing the wall or when I was enduring one of mummy’s flog-athons.

I would play with my dolls (aka Iwiyisi’s hand me downs {if by hand-me-down, one means stolen and hidden} what? She preferred to read anyway! Gosh! So judgmental!) and I would name them after my children. My first born was going to be named “Orhion” I am probably spelling that wrong but it means strength in the Bini language and my second would be named “Uvbwi”, which means princess and the third name I can’t remember.

I harbored these feelings for a long time and then one day I told Iwiyisi my children’s names. I was so proud of them! I thought they were so creative and rare. She just looked at me and said “Hmph! None of them glorify God”. She was eight.

Anyway, I say all this to say, I waited a long time to become a family. To have my own unit and my own home where I would finally belong and they would belong to me. Just like my dolls.

October 2nd 2017

I swear I am floating above the O.R looking down at myself. You know, like Aladdin and Jasmine. *Clasps hands and sighs* who didn’t want to be Jasmine? Sigh again…

Where was I? Oh yeah.

I can see myself in this deep sleep. This deep, beautiful sleep, away from the cares of this world. I can see the heads of the people around me, working frantically as I lay on the table, at their mercy and then, suddenly, I can’t see them anymore.

But I can still hear voices from far away. They are talking about me. Or I think they are. It’s all so fuzzy…

“Look! Ewemade, look at her! She’s okay!”

It is so hard to focus. I can feel the panic creeping up and taking over. What happened to me. Why can’t I move. I had a baby. But where is she? I can’t feel her all-too-familiar kick.

“Ewemade!!! Look at me”

It’s Oyinda. She’s being very insistent about something. Some might even say pushy. Some might. I mean, doesn’t she know it’s bad luck to interrupt a paranoid lady while she’s panicking?

I turn my head to see her sticking her phone in my face and I am thinking, is she feeling okay? Is this the time to be showing me her phone?????

And then my vision clears a bit and I see why she has such a wide grin on her face. She’s not showing me a meme at all (although, in fairness to her, I should have known that) it is a picture of a baby. My baby. She is so so beautiful. She’s tiny and her eyes are so big and black and she has so many wires attached to her. With a big smile and a sigh of relief, I fall right back asleep.

“Hello Mrs. Bow-dee”

I am jarred awake by the cheeriest nurse alive. Oyinda is on the friends and family couch next to me and she too, has been woken up by my nurse.

At this point, I am high as a kite. I discover something about myself. I will probably be a very nice drunk…a little inappropriate…but certainly nice.

So as my nurse takes my vitals, she asks me how I am feeling. With great confidence, I respond (with my British accent of course, made even crisper by the morphine)

“You have a lovely face.”

You know, I hear it. My voice is really loud. Like, yelling-over-the-sound-of-thunder-loud. But I can’t stop myself. Maybe, this is the new me, you know? Maybe I now speak really loudly.

“Oh”, she says “That’s very kind of you to say. You have just become my favorite patient”

I hear my traitorous friend, Oyinda trying to smother her laughter in the corner and I believe it is because she and the nurse don’t understand me (perhaps it’s just how British I sound or….something). So I turn over unto my hip to face the nurse and back Oyinda as I prop myself up on my elbow. I feel this urgent need to explain myself. So. I do.

“I don’t mean you are pretty”, I expatiate, “I mean you have a nice face. Like, the face of a nice person.”

At this point Oyinda starts full-on laughing at me. Now, I will explain here that there are two great laughs in my life. There’s my friend, Timi who neighs (yes, like a horse) and there’s Oyinda. Oyinda’s laughter is loud and deep and is the kind of laughter that comes with finger pointing. Even if she doesn’t lift a finger to point at you as she is laughing, the laughter itself, feels like a pointed finger.

My nurse has little to say when she is leaving the room that day…. I never did see that nurse again…*said in deep meaningful voice of movie narrator*

October 3rd

I keep falling in and out of my deep sleep until finally, I wake up and it’s the wee hours of the 3rd. An attempt to move my limbs eventually yield result and I will finally be able to meet my baby today. Yay!

She weighs 1.5 KG, I am told, even though she was born full term. It turns out that my placenta ruptured at some point during my pregnancy and my little warrior was not getting enough nutrition so she had begun to shrink in size. For this reason, they have put her in the intensive care unit until she is big enough to come home.

I stand up slowly from my bed. I am in such excruciating pain. The nurses keep telling me that my body has been through too much and that I could feel better at a single push of my drug button thingy but I tell the nurse that morphine is hard drugs and I don’t want to be a drug addict so I don’t need anything stronger than Panadol…and try as they might to talk me out of this decision, I’m just there like, I said….what I said!

So I’m in the worst pain I’ve ever felt before as I hoist myself out of bed, with my new nurse’s help and I am unable to stand up straight. Everywhere hurts. I stifle a whimper. Must…not…cry…out. Must…be…strong.

The nurse asks what she can do to help me and I remember it, my waist snatcher is in my box. So I ask for her to get it for me (yeup! I am prepared. I had packed a box for myself and a care hamper for Sure, weeks before the due date. Sure’s hamper held a pack of painkillers, small bottles of water, energy bars, sweets and socks for the cold as well as a congratulatory card. My box included books to read, even more water proof make up and a postpartum belt to be worn as soon as I could).

So, with waist as snatched as it can be, drip stand in hand and body bent completely over, I hobble over to the NICU.

I walk in and I don’t see her at first, so guess who has two thumbs and starts to panic??

Eventually I see her, turns out she’s in a different room from the one I first walk into and It’s love at first sight as she lays in her glass bed! Surrounded by machines and other babies in various stages of recovery. She looks like an alien. But, like, a really pretty alien.

Pssst! *Draw nigh to me, I want to whisper something*

You know how newborns are ummm how shall I put this? Ummm…less beautiful than their parents think they are (I did well abi? Could have just said ‘ugly’ but I have home training). So, Sure and I had agreed that we won’t share pictures of her from the very first day. That we would wait until she was a little easier on the eye.

Well, that went right out the window as I smoothed my hair and checked to see my makeup was still in place for my photo op. Click, click goes Oyinda.

And the evening and the morning were the third day…

Matilda's Child

10 Comments

  1. Lmao….’You know how newborns are ummm how shall I put this? Ummm…less beautiful than their parents think they are (I did well abi? Could have just said ‘ugly’ but I have home training)’ You are hilarious!

    Beautiful write-up and your daughter is such a beauty! Without meeting her I can tell she’s a ray of sunshine.

  2. Beautiful write up. I read this and I am grateful to God for his faithfulness to us first time mothers and our awesome bundles of joy.

  3. Had a big smile on my face as I read your write up because I could relate to it…had my baby about 7 months ago and she weighed about 1.5 kg also .. looking at her now I am amazed at how perfect she is…congrats on your beautiful baby.

  4. Totally enjoyed reading this…..is there a part 3 ? Please don’t let us wait a year again.

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