1 Horse Power Air-conditioner.

Dear God,

It’s been a little over two months since I birthed Star and she’s gone on to be with you. As much as I’d have loved it if we got to experience her a bit, I know for sure you’re happy having her among your angels.

God, this letter is about air-conditioner. I know, what’s the relationship between Star and AC. Let me explain.

Before Star was born, the Nigerian Husband began making plans of what he’ll like to have in place by the time she arrives. Air-conditioner in our bedroom was one. Needless to say, as much as I’ll love to have one installed for the bedroom – Lagos is hot – I’d have loved it more if his dream of having his child comfortable came to reality.

This was a couple of weeks before Star briefly graced us with her presence.

See, God, often, women are the focus of attention when a couple lose a child. There are support groups, people even go out of their way to tell husbands to take care of the women, be there for them and all that. Now, that’s great, women need support, but, Lord, men, unfortunately, are often forgotten.

I was in labour for more than 48 hours. Through those painfully long hours, the Nigerian Husband was supportive. If there was a way to transfer that physical pain, I’m sure he’d have carried the pain. The helplessness he felt was palpable especially in the final few hours of labour.

He’s one strong guy and I’m so sorry he’s had to deal with the loss of his child. I saw him sob before I got into active labour. Immediately I pushed out your angel, he didn’t care what anyone thought of him at that time, he was strong enough to acknowledge his emotions and vulnerability, he sobbed and sobbed.

Dancing In The Waves by Bethel Music played in the background when I was being delivered of the placenta. That song will forever be a reminder of our loss, but importantly, it will remind us of how wonderful God is even through our pain. On the flip side, in the earlier days of losing Star, the Nigerian Husband cried in the car each time that song came on.

Father, really, I wish there was more open support for fathers who’ve lost their babies. They suffer just as much as the mothers.

All said, I’m ready for the Nigerian Husband to start dreaming of things he’ll want to have in place for the child we know you’ve blessed us with. I want him to think about having his 1 horse power air conditioner in the bedroom again. I’ll love to see him show me baby videos on Instagram again.

God, in faith, I thank you for restoring that dream but above all, please continue to heal his heart.

Vou.

Navigating Life After Miscarriage.

No one ever plans or foresees themselves having a miscarriage and for sure, no one can ever fully tell you how it feels to have one. You’ll read of how people feel and how they lived life after the fact, yet that doesn’t do it.

Here’s my own account of how the past few weeks have been.

When I pushed Star out, I didn’t cry immediately, I spent time praising God and even consoling my husband and niece who were with me in the room. Not a single tear was shed by me. I was empty, yet didn’t fully grasp what had happened and what that would really mean going forward.

Like most traumatic events that’ve happen to me in the past, I can really say I had a delayed response to the loss.

After the nurses cleaned me up, I continued playing my worship songs, started having regular conversations with those around and still was in an emotional state to eat my dinner that had been waiting since the peak of labour.

One nurse was worried. She kept coming to my room asking if I was okay. She was worried I was going crazy. Which mother won’t be crying after such a loss, she thought. At that time, I really was fine, I had no tears to offload, I was blank. I told her I was fine and she didn’t need to worry.

I went to sleep and slept as comfortable as the IV needles in my hand could allow.

The emotions only came in the morning when I went to have a shower.

Wearing a pad wasn’t something I thought I’d be doing for months to come. But there I was, staring at jumbo pads the hospital had initially provided. The “baby” bump was still there but there was no baby.

As Forever by Bethel Music played, the tears came rolling down, I lost it totally when the thoughts of my daughter laying alone in some strange cemetery hit me.

I’ve cried so many times since then.

But no one ever prepares you for the feeling you’ll have when you get home without a baby. As we approached the Estate, I cried and cried some more when we entered the compound. I wasn’t bringing home Star in a car seat. I left home a few days prior with her safe in me, but there I was returning without her and my heart feeling as empty as ever. I sat in the car for a while crying before I could muster the courage to get inside the house.

No one ever tells you you’ll cry randomly at night.

No one ever prepares you for the feeling of guilt that’ll hit you. The what if’s, could I haves, if onlys, come knocking hard.

Depending on how far along you were, your breasts may have started preparing for the baby. I was just at the six months mark, so my breasts were getting engaged already. A day after returning home, my breasts started leaking. It broke the remaining pieces of my heart. I felt wasteful and guilty. “She should have been here taking all this milk.”

There’s no manual to read on how to manage your feelings when you meet friends who are pregnant. You’re happy for them quite alright, however, your emotions could betray you.

Yes, things may/could get better with time but not a day will pass by without reminders of the little angel you’ve lost. You just learn to live with a hole in your heart.

I want to/need to get back to venting my feeling again. Since we lost Star, I’ve gotten better at opening up to the Nigerian Husband. Apart from God, we’ve leaned on each other, cried before each other and joked more too.

I’ll need an entire post to share how supportive the Nigerian Husband has been while grieving himself. I can’t say this enough, God created the best guy ever and handed him to me as a husband.

For posterity, I need to get back to penning down my feelings now so I’ll have more reasons to give thanks and glory to God in the future.

Vou.

Heaven Gained An Angel.

Dear God,

I can’t in all honesty say I was super excited when on October 11, 2020 I got to know the Nigerian Husband and I were going to be parents. My emotions were all over the place. I was afraid, I was happy, I was thankful, I felt adequate and inadequate about parenthood all at the same time.

As days turned to weeks and my emotions got to settle down, I began to adjust to the impending reality of being a mother.

This was Star’s pillow. She rested on this while she grew in my uterus. Sleep time was made comfortable each time this pillow cradled my growing uterus.

Truly God, as challenging as much of the journey was, I enjoyed some of it and I’m very grateful you granted me the opportunity to have hosted one of heaven’s precious angels. The Nigerian Husband too got to feel the kicks, he got to carry the pregnancy in his mind too. It was beautiful to see him grow into it, to hear the plans he had for the baby. (By the way, please continue to imprint on his mind the idea of having air conditioning in his room. And may the funds be available for us to have that in place. Thank you.)

God, we’re really grateful.

February 19 – 21, 2021, taught me two things: everything should be done for God’s glory and secondly, we can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING out of our strength.

As the contractions got heavier, I drew strength from God. There was no way I could have done what I did out of my own human strength. It had to have been God.

As I pushed out one of your angels, God, I’m sure I used your strength. (By the way, thank you for the opportunity to have experienced labor. As a result of the myomectomy I had in August, I was advised to opt for a Caesarean section rather than labor whenever birth time came. Thank you for allowing me and my uterus make it out of labor alive.)

All must be for your glory. As painful as it was to know our little bundle of joy wasn’t going to grow up with us, I prayed that the experience would bring glory to your name, that the experience would make someone get to know you, that someone would get to know that indeed, through all things and seasons we must give thanks. And by the way, shame on the devil, he thought this was a curve ball to cause us to derail us from worshiping God. Na lie, we go still praise our God. We cannot bite the hand that feeds us.

Dear God, I’m human, please forgive me at times when I may get emotional like I did when I had my first shower and a few other times between then and when we came home.

The thought of knowing the physical body of our little long neck-long legs-head full of hair little girl lays in a cemetery alone in a strange land breaks my heart and makes me cry. But God, I know she’s right there in your host of angels.

Father, whenever you see her, please give her extra hugs and kisses. By the way, I’m sure she’ll make a good member of heaven’s humor/goofy angels club. She sure must have gotten that from her father.

Neither her father and I can sing, so I’m not so sure she’ll make the choir, but may she praise you nonetheless.

I never got to hold her in my arms, but I held her in me for a little under six months. Here are some of the things she liked while I had the opportunity to host her; she loved olives, she was into spicy foods at the beginning, but soon hated it. She also enjoyed gote her grandmother made when we visited Jos. She craved quesadillas – too bad I never got to make it for her, but I’m sure the quesadillas in heaven are the bomb.

Dear God, it’s going to be a long road ahead, but we’ll continue to count on you to make this road easier to ply.

Thank you for this opportunity. We’re really thankful for family and friends you’ve placed in our lives. The outpour of love has been incredible.

“Star” Ahmed Usman – February 21, 2021.

Quesadilla Made Me Do It.

Star,

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.

This was hours before my village people caught up with me.

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.

I pray for better experiences to come.

Keep growing well and strong,

Love, mom.

Long Neck, Long Legs.

Disclaimer: Another unpublished post.

Dear Star,

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.

Turned out, She was a girl.

“It’s For The Baby.”

Disclaimer: Another old unpublished post.

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.

Salad.

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.

I digress.

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.

Why I Write.

This is sort of a big disclaimer.

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.

This photo was taken during a trip to Guyana- South America. I was quite the baby girl then. I mean, I’m still a baby girl.

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.

Vou.

I’m Fine, I Think.

Dear Star,

It’s sometime in May, 2020.

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.

Continue reading

Single Line.

Dear Star,

It’s March 31, 2020.

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,

Mom.

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.

Christmas Support Group.

Dear Star,

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.

Merry Christmas, Star.

1545 Days of Love.

Dear Nigerian Husband,

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.

That’s all.