You’re 21 weeks and some days today. Your kicks are becoming more apparent. Finding comfortable sleeping positions is a more of a challenge.
In the first trimester, I didn’t have much cravings apart from that one time I made your cousin Racheal and aunty Successa walk with me all over Omole Estate in search of Pringles.
I thought that would be the extent of weird things I’d do as a result of pregnancy hormones. Child, I was wrong.
See, a few days ago, maybe a week or more even, I began craving pizza followed by olives and now it’s quesadilla. Your amazing father who was away for a wedding quickly sent some funds for me to go splash on pizza.
The craving for quesadilla, however, has continued. It peaked today in the most embarrassing way you could ever think of. We went visiting Big Uncle Ugo and Big Aunty Nsini and being so nice, they kept bombarding me with questions of what I’ll like to eat and options too. Cake? No. Rice? No. Garri? No. Pizza, chicken? No. I only wanted quesadilla. The more options I was presented with, the intense the want for quesadilla got.
I was overwhelmed and before I could take all in, I started crying. Like, serious sob tears flowing like rain kinda sob.
Star, everyone there gathered around me consoling me as though I had just lost everything I’ve ever held dear. They were so gracious to blame my breakdown to pregnancy hormones.
I couldn’t believe myself. I couldn’t believe me too will be among women who had crazy unexplained food episodes.
Pregnancy is weird or should I say my village people were out to get me today and they got me real good.
Before we left, I had a few slices of pizza as pieces of chicken wings. By the time we left, the craving for quesadilla had almost died down. I think it’s all the cheese making me go crazy.
You’re officially 18 weeks in my womb today. So much has happened since we found out you’re joining us: serious nausea, I’ve only thrown up once though. I went to Jos for Christmas to see your grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles. Everyone was fine.
At 18 weeks, apparently, your ears are developed and your likely to start hearing my voice and movements in my body. Sounds exciting but I’m a bit nervous. I don’t know what I’ll be talking to you about yet. What if someone sees me talking to you, sure they’ll think I’m mad or something. Star, I hope this comes easy for two of us.
Your father wakes up almost each time I turn a sleep position. “Are you okay?” He always asks. I think this means his fatherly instincts are kicking in. He touches he morning and I suspect he’s praying when he does that. And randomly during the day, he interacts with you. Are you able to discern his touch yet?
During a visit to the doctors here in Lagos, we tried to see if you’re a boy or a girl! you pranksters, you wouldn’t move a bit so we’ll see what you are. Your dad thinks you’re a boy – and even calls you Hercules – and so do most aunties and uncles. Only myself, your cousin Racheal and cousin Arhyel think you’re a girl. Honestly, I don’t mind what you are, I just want you healthy.
Will you show us if you’re a boy or a girl during the next ultrasound? Well love to know.
Dear Star, It’s been a few weeks since we found out you’re going to be joining us soon.
We’re just over the first trimester. Tomorrow, we’re set to visit the doctor. Hopefully at this visit, we will get to see that you’ve grown bigger – maybe some hands, legs, I don’t know.
I’m just happy to be finally getting my energy back. The first few weeks weren’t so nice; I was constantly tired, my sense of smell was off the charts, I didn’t eat well and my cravings were all over the place. But things are getting better.
I’ve always heard pregnant women say things like “it’s for the baby,” and things along those line. Yesterday, I used my first pregnancy pass.
We were at a retreat and lunch was taking so long to come by. At some point, it was decided that children can go ahead and be served and parents with children could take their children outside to get lunch. Guess who followed? Yes, Star, you’re right! Mama went there. Thankfully, an aunty who knows of your journey was there to tell the servers that indeed, I’m a parent with a child, they just can’t see the child at the moment.
I got our serving of jollof, sat on one side and devoured the entire plate. I come clean mouth comot.
It’s for the baby and I look forward to using more of my pregnant woman passes.
Disclaimer: This is an old story I never published. The ending could be good or bad depending on however you wish to see it.
Dear Star, It’s October 12 today and it’s Aunty Kangyang’s birthday. Yesterday, October 11, was an eventful day for Nigeria – after several days of protests by the nation’s youth, the Inspector General of Police announced that SARS, a notorious police unit, has been disbanded but that doesn’t really deal with the issues we’re protesting.
Star, I hope by the time you’re grown, and if you’re in Nigeria, SARS won’t be an issue anymore. My generation hopes it can give you a Nigeria to be proud of.
Star, your father travelled to Kaduna last week to handle grandma’s business. While he was gone I slept very little at night and tried to catch up during the day. I had body aches and abdominal cramps. Apparently it was all for a reason. Yesterday, a few hours before your father was to return, I had a hunch to take a pregnancy test. I really just needed to take it for my sanity. “I mean, I’m not pregnant or anything, it’s just my mind playing games on me,” I thought. Earlier in the week I had taken a rapid pregnancy test and it read negative. The test yesterday was just to calm my mind. I peed, dipped the stick and instead of walking away to continue cooking my jollof rice, I sat there staring at the stick. It really wasn’t going to turn into two lines. Single line was the norm. But all of a sudden yesterday, there was a faint second line. Nope, definitely had to be my mind. That was a phantom line.
I managed to get my self together and also managed to stop my legs from giving way while I finished the jollof rice and grilled turkey. I immediately headed out to the pharmacy in the estate to get a more advanced test kit. They were out of advanced test kits. I resolved to going to the hospital in the estate to get a blood test.
After almost 45 minutes, it turns out that, indeed, Star, you’ve started your physical journey to us – your dad and me.
It took so much out of me to not text your dad or call him to tell him the news. When he came home, as he settled down, we spoke about friends who were pregnant and some who had given birth. Little did he know he was about to hear of his impending fatherhood. Earlier while I made jollof, I also made salad all while thinking of ways to tell your father the news. As I plated our salad, I remembered we have a tiny bowl that almost matches our salad bowls. I quickly plated yours too. So as your dad and I sat for dinner, yours was also there, but underneath your bowl was the blood test result.
Your father was happy. It’s not totally set in for us, but I’m sure as time goes by, the reality of your coming will set in. I hope you enjoy your salad bowl.
I started this blog mostly as a way of documenting my experiences then as a single journalist living far away from home in paradise, I mean, Virgin Islands. I wanted to an outlet to let out my crazy, A place I can someday look at at read about what life was like in previously years. I get to do that now and laugh at some of the things I’ve written.
Secondly, I tried humor as a way of making me laugh first. As a result, many have come to laugh as well. The world needs more reasons to laugh. If my ramblings are one of such reasons, glory to God.
However, it then metamorphosed into documenting the journey of meeting my husband and then to letters to my unborn children, most recently to Star.
When I write about feel-food things, I invite you to feel good along with me. When I write about the not so happy moments, I see it as therapy on myself and if that inspires someone to see life differently, it’s a plus. But my not-so-good stories are never meant to beg for sympathy. Instead, they’re meant to show the different seasons of life- the sad and the happy moments.
I’ve had some experiences I haven’t shared on the blog. And I’ll post them all, of course for record keeping sake and then for my unborn children to read more about what my life was like before then.
Enjoy, laugh and cry if you must and I pray life’s happy moments outweighs the down moments for you.
We’ve spoken to a doctor recommended by your grand uncle. He was pleasant and made me feel comfortable, your dad likes him too.
When inter-state travel begins again, I’ll go to Jos to have the fibroids removed so we can officially start the journey of holding you in our arms.
I’m fine. I think.
When I shared the story of my previous doctor’s visit with your aunties and uncles, many of them were quite supportive, many have reached out just reiterating their willingness to support in whatever way they can. Some even cried while doing so.
Corona Virus is causing havoc around the world: countries have shut their borders, states within Nigeria are locking up too. Thousands of people around the world have died from the virus that originated from China. Hundreds of thousands are still battling it and thankfully, recovery rates are more than mortality.
Your father and I are all the company we’ve had for a while. He returned from France and had to self quarantine for 14 days and just when his days were up, the government announced a total shutdown. Now this is all good, we’re all fighting to beat Corona Virus.
But here’s the real reason I’m writing you; this morning I took a pregnancy test.
Apart from being with your dad and waking up everyday to feel his heart beat again and smell his stinky farts, I’ve desired nothing more than wanting to know you’ve started the physical phase of growing. Growing inside me.
I pray for you everyday, I have conversations with you everyday and pray that someday soon, you’ll be here to talk back to me. I’ve even convinced your dad to start talking with you too sometimes. You’re blessed and lucky to have a father like him.
The test came back negative and needless to say, a tiny part of me felt disappointed and the rest of me is happy that you’re taking all the time in the world just to come out as the perfect light you are. And hey, I’m not sure I can handle bringing you into this world during these turbulent times.
Make no mistake, even if you do, I’ll continue to love you and protect you with all the strength God provides me.
Make the line double soon,
Disclaimer – This is an old draft. I’ve been writing posts and hoarding them. I may post more in the coming weeks or months, let’s see how it goes.
You probably won’t know, but perhaps your aunties and uncles who love reading your letters behind your back can be of assistance.
I need to join an early Christmas support group. You know, a group where lovers of Christmas like myself can congregate and support each other.
Hear me out, 2020 has been quite the year for everyone. Being able to see this far into the year is such a great blessing. As such, there’s no need to delay Christmas.
But there’s a problem: your father isn’t as crazy over Christmas as I am.
I want the tree up already. I’ve been playing Christmas carols since September and I have no plans to stop until January. Dad on the other hand, can do without a tree. In fact, he’s threatening to not put up the tree this year at all!
Star, your father is a great man and if you’re a boy, I’ll love you to be like him, but on this Christmas issue, please don’t emulate him.
Until then, please I need to join an early Christmas support group. I need to know how other Christmas enthusiasts like myself are coping with the grinches of this world.
It’s 1545 days since we began this journey together. This journey of inhaling each other’s farts, of pretending to laugh at each other’s jokes when they’re nothing close to being funny. (But to be honest, you’re a comedian and I really wish I had hidden cameras to capture your comedy. The world could use such humor.)
I woke up this morning with the urge to write you a love note. I’m so not sure what to write, I don’t have all the romantic things to say. I really just want you to know you’re appreciated. (Well, let me be truthful, you’re not immediately appreciated at times when you’re brutally honest. Eventually, you are though. God knew I needed someone who’d dish out some tough love from time to time. I really never knew my stubbornness at the time would allow me have a partner.)
These four years with you have been amazing. Honestly, my life has turned around for good because you’re in it. And it will continue to get better. Thanks for reawakening the dreams I once had and for pushing me even when I resist the push. I prayed for a good man, God gave me the best he’s ever created.
I’d say I can’t wait to see what the next four years and more will bring, but I really have no option than to wait. What fun will it be if I’m able to see our future in one day. I just pray as our love evolves we never lose our zest for life. I pray as our lives change, our love changes to fit the circumstances.
Beautiful Man, you’ve been the best support any girl could ask for. You’re the best guy, I can’t wait to see you live out your life as the best dad. I’m sure Star will have nothing but great things to say about you when the time comes.
I may not always be physically expressive of my love as I am when I write about it. I pray to get better, but I pray there’s never a day that goes by when you’ll question my love for you.
I really don’t know what good I’ve done for God to bless me with a guy that still chooses to love me even when I’m very unlovable. God, you’re really gracious.
I’m in a good mood today, I’m listening to some old school songs as I write you this letter (Try writing to Kool and The Gang and the likes playing in the background.)
You’re reading this letter, which means all went well with the surgery I had in Jos. And things went well not because I was strong and brave and not because I had the best doctor, who by the way is the best doctor I’ve ever had, but things went well because God had a hand and still has a hand in it all.
Six weeks ago, just a few days before the surgery, I wrote you while nervous. God came through for us, Star. As soon as your grandma picked me up from the airport, we dropped off your cousins – Arhyel and Hyelni – and also grandpa at home while we headed straight for consultation with Dr. Patrick Daru at Hope Hill Medical Center.
At the consultation, he listened to my story, which wasn’t short at all. He answered all my questions and even saw through my fears and answered those questions and fears I tried to mask under jokes. Weeks ahead of the consultation, I barely slept and wasn’t eating well, but after the consultation, I went home, had a warm bath ate very well and slept all through the night. I was at peace, not only in knowing the doctor was knowledgeable and seemed to genuinely care about me, a patient, but I slept well knowing God had everything settled. Having a doctor with a great sense of humor, emotional intelligence, sarcasm and love for people was reassuring.
Unlike many Nigerian doctors – at least the old school ones – Dr. Daru and I spoke about social media, and other fun topics including music. Heck, he even said I could bring the loudest Bluetooth speakers I can bring to the operating room. I had put together a playlist I’ll like to play just in case I was allowed my own music.
I had a few days to further prepare mentally for the surgery. Initially, I thought your father couldn’t join me in Jos for the surgery. Oh was I in for a surprise. He showed up at grandpa’s house less than 24 hours before the procedure. I was happy knowing he’d be there with me all the way. I had all my family in Jos and they’d be with me too, but having your father there was the icing on the cake. Star, if you’re male, I hope your father is your role model on how to be a good human and how to treat women. If you’re female, I hope you don’t settle for any guy that isn’t like your father.
Thursday morning, the day of surgery, your dad, your grandmother and I went to the hospital and I got prepped for surgery. Dr. Daru came in with his jokes to further calm me down. When the time arrived, your dad walked me to the theatre and off I went. Even after entering the theatre, your father who was outside had a question he needed the doctor to answer before the surgery began, and the doctor, being the ever receptive and patient man he is, stepped out and made sure your father was satisfied before he got in to start the operation.
I was terrified on and off throughout the entire procedure, but knowing God had control of the doctors’ hands had me calm. God wouldn’t take me into that room without bringing me out in good health, I thought throughout the entire time. It was even more comforting to hear the anesthesiologist ask everyone to gather around for prayers before he administered the spinal anesthesia.
My playlist of mainly Marverick Music worship songs and some Bob Marley kept me distracted for the most part. At times when my mind wondered off, thank God, I was able to reel myself back in with the worship songs and some verses from the Bible.
When the surgery was over, your dad and grandma were there to welcome me back to my room. Pains only kicked in about an hour later or so. Most of the pain I had were within the first 24 hours after surgery. However, I was able to take my first few steps within that period after the nurse gave me some kind of hospital bath/wash down. The entire experience was marked with some first – first surgery, second time ever throwing up and first time ever fainting. That was as scary as the entire thing went.
As far as pain goes, it was very manageable. I began talking walks less than 24 hours after the surgery and I was able to eat heavier meals in less than 48 hours. The only challenging thing for me was getting in and out of bed without disturbing the incision area. Things got better with time.
Recovery has been great since then, except for bouts of pain here and there. However, my first period since then was PAINFUL. When I couldn’t take the pain, I had to call the doctor. Apparently, severe pains after a myomectomy could be normal and even last for the first three menstrual circles. I pray I don’t get the experience those pains – first because I don’t want pains, secondly, I hope you officially start your physical journey to us by then. (Apparently, contrary to what was obtained in the past, depending on the types of cuts or how intense the surgery was, one doesn’t have to wait months to start trying to conceive, Dr. Daru explained. Thank God for advancements in medicine.)
Star, as much as I’m documenting all these for you to see how your journey – on our end at least – started, I’m documenting all these to first of all, encourage other parents in waiting that good things do and will happen in the end. But for you Star, I want you to take away from all these the fact that God is always with us and will never leave us at the times when we need his presence the most.
I leave for Jos on Monday and I’m scheduled to go under the knife on Thursday.
This surgery will bring us closer to having you here with us physically. I’m happy. However, I’ve never had any surgery before. Heck, not even a stitch have I ever gotten.
I couldn’t sleep last night, I tossed and turned, I thought of all sorts of scenarios. Thankfully dawn came and I left the bed to exercise. But needless to say, today has been quite an emotional roller coaster.
But Star, the nerves may rage, emotions fly all over, but I’m confident of this: God is going to ensure all ends in praise. I’m going to go to Jos, have a successful surgery and in a few months, you’ll start the physical journey to your father and me.
Speaking of your father, yesterday, July 29 was his birthday and July 27 was officially four years since we got to know each other. Honestly, God has been faithful to us. We see his hand in our daily affairs. We’re thankful and can’t wait for you to share in this love and life we share.
Star, there’s so much I’ll want to teach you, but I hope my open letters to you will help you see the need to be vulnerable if you have to, but quickly draw strength in first acknowledging when you’re hurt and also draw strength from the support system I’m sure you’ll have. My support system is a lot bigger than I thought. As the date for the surgery was set, I realized I had quite a lot of people who I care for and who care for me and need to be updated on my health status. I’m truly blessed to have them on my side. They’re quite a lot, I can’t wait for you to meet them all.
I’m packing so I’ll have to stop the letter here, however, I’ll be sure to be in touch before surgery.
First things first, I must apologise for my recent letters that haven’t been fun. From writing about unpleasant doctor’s visits to birthdays that weren’t so cherry and also pursuing the fat-depositing-village-people. (To be honest, I think chasing the Village People away is a positive thing – I can’t see the six-packs yet, but I know they’re in there somewhere, I can feel them.)
Seriously, life is good. Life is fun and is meant to be lived with joy and filled with plenty lovely moments. On that note, I’ll tell you more about things that make me happy.
After all these letters I’ve written you, I’m very sure you know for a fact that writing about love makes me happy. But not just any love, the love your father and I share. I’ve enjoyed telling you how your Uncle Moh hooked your father and I up. Your aunties and uncles have also enjoyed snooping in on the letter I wrote you on when your father met your grandfather.
Let me tell you of when I met your grandma, Hajiya.
After about two months of chatting with each other, l already knew your grandmother as a very important part of your father’s life. He adores her and so does she.
Even before your father and I met physically, he gave me Hajiya’s number to call her and just have a chat.
Like, is this man alright? How am I supposed to call my prospective mother in-law whose son I’ve never even met? What am I to tell her? In fact, she being a Nigerian and the reputation most mother in-laws have, how am I to Continue reading →