PART 3

There’s this place that I buy Jelly beans. Every. Single. Day. It’s not too far from where I pick up my (also daily) roasted corn and ube order. Now, I live a life of health and purity but this jelly bean matter…it is so shameful. I still went there this morning. 2 for one thousand. Sigh. They are always judging me, with their nonsense customer service. I think, when I go tomorrow I will fight with them and declare that I will never come back. Maybe then, I can stop going.

Maybe.

But I doubt it.

 

Episode 3:

Nigerian citizen survival guide: Deep breath in, deep breath out. Say, ‘It is well”. Repeat as needed.

I stay at the hospital for a total of four days.

My Oyinda has to leave on the third day amidst thank you’s and grateful goodbyes. I am on my own that night and the morning of the next day. I spend this time following my survival guide in order to calm myself.

Every time a nurse comes in to brief me about what is ahead of me or a Doctor comes in to look at my chart and sigh to himself or a social service worker asks me whether I am happy and I have to think a little longer than I would have preferred, to answer her question, I breathe in and out and say to myself “It is well.”

October 5th 2015

I start to pack my things. It’s a slow process. The nurses help with some stuff as I mentally run through the list of things I now have to do.

{In a feat of sheer mom-ambition, I had gone ahead and bought my baby clothes starting from 3-6 months. Not newborn. Not 0-3 Months. 3-6 months. I don’t know how I thought she won’t be a small baby when even at 37 weeks, my baby bump was almost non existent!}

So now I am bent over, because I still can’t stand up straight and I am thinking of how I have to go straight from the hospital to the store to buy preemie sized clothing and diapers, as well as the special formula Yoni would need. I would also need to wash all the new clothes I’d bought and dry them before she is due to come home.

Once I am done packing and all my discharge paperwork is done, Yoni’s Uncle A, comes to pick me up and he takes me for all my running around. I buy everything on my list (including some allegedly fat free popcorn). He is so patient. God bless him for us.

I am back home now and he has left.

Everywhere is silent. The washing machine rocks from side to side with my baby’s cycle, the only sound to be heard in the apartment. 

Doom…..doodoom…hummmmm….hummmmm….doom.

“How you doin’?”

I am startled out of my deep slumber by Ms. Wendy, she of the long legs and harsh judgement. I must have turned the TV on, at some point, to fill up the silence in the house.

A quick urgent glance at my left wrist confirms that…ahhh…yah! I do not have a watch…but the first streams of daylight, invading my room tell me it is morning. The Doctors have confirmed that YB will be coming home today. So I have been asked to come along with a car seat for testing and what not.

October 6th 2015

It feels like the 1st of October again. The anxiety..the excitement. I have finally managed a full night’s sleep. No beeping machines, no drug dealer nurses offering me narcotics, just a brown girl sleeping in a brown house.

Today is the day I have been preparing for. My daughter is finally coming home. As I get the carseat and the diaper bag to go to the hospital, I try not to worry too much about the fact that I kind of need a car for the car seat test. YB’s pickup time is in the middle of the afternoon. Everyone that can help is at work and I HATE to bother anyone.

I just bow my head and say a little prayer, asking God for the most patient über driver in the world. I ask for a female driver, preferably a mum. I assume she would be more understanding.

I swear, I’m almost certain I hear bells jingle like what you hear in the movies when a wish is granted. It is literally from my lips to God’s ears.

When I get to the hospital, all the discharge paperwork is done and YB is fitted for the car seat (she is so minuscule, they think the car seat is faulty. Even though it is at the smallest setting, she is swimming inside like new age coaster biscuit {judgement fall on them! From six biscuit to two. TWO!!!!!! *Woosah*Calm down Ewemade*}) I request my über and guess who answers my call! No, Guess!

Remember the Über lady from “Countdown”. (Remember? I told you every detail was important). The grandma that was so excited to be taking me for my pregnancy check up? *nodding* mm-hm! Her!!!

Once she arrives, I run down to meet her and ask her to please go ahead and start the meter as I needed the nurse to bring the car seat down and fit it in her car. I ask her whether she minds and she says,

“Hello darling! I had hoped I would run into you again!”

I don’t know why this makes me so sad (I am violently hormonal, so that might be a clue) but her warmth and general mummy-ness, makes me want to cry. I greet her enthusiastically and ask whether she will be okay with waiting.

Not only does she refuse to start the meter, she comes down and prepares the back of the car for me. When the nurse comes down with YB and the carseat (is it me or does that sound like a band? Yb and the car seat? There’s something there abi?), the lady, who we shall name, lovely über granny or L-to-the-UG for short (I know it is not shorter but in a world where people shorten “but” to “buh”, things could be much worse) comes and helps the nurse with the carseat test.

Note that all this takes about half an hour and she just stays coo-ing at YB.

When it is finally time to leave, we all get settled in the car and L-to-the-UG tells me that the reason she knows exactly what to do to help me is because her grandson was born in this exact same hospital in the exact same circumstances and so she knew as soon as she saw me at the hospital door, that she was there for a reason. You see God? (*cue slow clap and gradual standing ovation*)

By the time we get to the gates of our estate, my angel has shut her huge alien-black eyes and looks so peaceful. The car snakes slowly up the path till we get to our front door.

I wave a very prolonged and emotional goodbye to  L-to-the-UG  as I walk into the house and as I set my precious package down, I look around the house, filled with God’s presence, His angels and our prayers…It’s day one.

First order of business: Palm oil bath

I have heard Yoruba people talk (obsessively) about palm oil baths that a baby MUST take, straight out of the hospital. This apparently breaks up any remnants of the amniotic fluid that a normal bath can not get rid of and it also, allegedly, prevents future body odour (yes. It REALLLLLY works! There’s definitely no body odour in Nigeria…can you hear it? Can you hear my eyes rolling?).

Aaanyway, I tell myself, what do I have to loose? Let me just baff the baff for her. So with my oldest sister guiding me on speaker phone… armed with my palm oil, my wash cloth and my baby, I start my first official mama duty…

Next week….on Matilda’s child…wailing sirens…old friendships rekindled…first halloweens…stay tuned!

Matilda's Child

11 Comments

  1. O-to-the-M-to-the-G!!! Ewemade! please tell me you have done some story telling/writing course cos this is something else!!
    Your stories are so fun to read, real as heaven, creatively put and intertwined. Its just pure awesome!!
    So grateful to God for your baby and how it all went down. I am actually interested in knowing what happens next. Its so well put that I don’t actually feel so sad reading it. There is still all that humour in it that makes it soooo good.

    P.s I tots agree with you on that Coaster biscuit, those people are just harsh. Judgement to them, really!! I could swear it now tastes like the round Okin…

  2. Love this!

    God was looking at for you.

    I totally melted when the same uber lady showed up! Talk about a miracle!

  3. Ewe so proud of you. What a talent!!! Can’t wait to meet YB. God bless your family.

  4. YB & the carseat is a cool band name.
    Pleasantly surprised when the same uber lady came for You- God works in mysterious ways. Since you have his ears, please tell him to answer my prayers.

    Great writing, as always. Always end up beaming from ear to ear when I read you blog posts.

    • Thought I was the only who grin so much at my phone while reading ANY Matilda’s child’s story and people be asking questions like, ‘is that ‘him”?

  5. I have read every one of your blog posts. Your writing style is thoroughly enjoyable. I’d looooove to see you write a book!

  6. I felt down before reading this but now? I’m grinning from ear to ear! My Love to YB

  7. Ehn bia aunty Ewhe o! Somebody is salivating for the continuation biko nwannem Oo! Thank you in advance. Kiss our little lady! Well yeah. “Our”. It still takes a village. (Can I famz or what! haha).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *