Fake Life.

Dear Noor,

I was born in Jos. Jos isn’t too cosmopolitan so we didn’t have all the fancy things you’d get in Lagos or Abuja or any big city. There were no big spas with all the amenities.

Even when I lived in the Virgin Islands, I utilized spa services but never went extreme.

Here’s why I’m telling you all this; your father took me to the spa today. My pidgin isn’t the best, but I think only pidgin English can adequately express all I went through today.

I began planning the outfit I’d wear days ahead. God forbid, my enemies shall not be lurking around the hallways of Radisson Blu and catch me looking unfresh. With that in mind, I decided to wear my Trefle Designs dress. See, I got this dress many years ago when I was still a size 8/10 and living the premium baby girl life. I’ve given birth to you, I’m not the size I used to be: my breasts are triple or quadruple the size they used to be. E better make good dress bust than sit down for closet waste. I wore my dress, my thing. Na my money I use buy am, anybody wey e pain, make them drink panadol.

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Na My Business.

I’ve been back to the gym for a little over a week now.

Things have been good but this morning, everything almost went south.

I’ve shown up each morning, I’ve sweated, I’ve jumped, I’ve lifted weights. Apparently, my enemies are not happy with my consistency.

The decided to throw me a curve ball this morning. First of all, I woke up and they swamped me with the idea of not going to the gym, but staying home to jump rose. I almost bought it.

I caught on to their scheme when they made me have fufu and oha soup for breakfast. Thank God I was quick to see their evil scheme. I ate the fufu and cleared the plate. It was nice.

But I just wouldn’t let them triumph, first over my absenteeism at the gym and secondly, with the fufu they made me give into.

I braved it, packed whatever little will and shame I had and drove to the gym.

I defeated them.

Next week, when I’ve developed a little more control over my enemies in the kitchen, I’ll come back with gist on the personalities at the gym. I almost fell for the pressure to wear bum shorts to gym one day, thanks to the gym bro with the shortest shorts ever.

Love and light, few calories.

To The Strong Ones.

Dear Noor,

I’m back to exercising. Before I got pregnant with Star your sister and then after Star went on to be with Jesus at birth, I started exercising again. It’s therapeutic. Plus, who am I kidding, I love how I look in dresses as a result of the exercises.

I hope I keep exercising as an example to you. I hope you grow up and have a very active lifestyle for all the health benefits it offers.

This is Hyelni wearing Arhyel’s shirt. I’ll dedicate the next exercise to Hyelni, a fierce guy.

However, truth be told, it’s not easy. It’s hard on some days, fun on some and on others, you just want to curl up in bed and sleep. But keep moving.

Today wasn’t bad. However, during my routine this morning, I almost gave up on several occasions. I sought to self motivate myself using the strong people in my life. There are so many of them that I’m sure keep pushing in the face of adversity.

Your cousins – Arhyel, Hyelni and Mase – came to mind. Arhyel, the oldest, isn’t 10 years, but I was happy that as young as they are, I can draw inspiration from them to complete my routine.

Future workouts will be dedicated to strong people in my life. There are so many of them. I pray they inspire you as much as they inspire me.

Here’s to many more workouts for the strong people in our lives.

Exercising Postpartum.

So, it’s been six months since I gave birth to Noor. She’s an absolute delight. Her smiles neutralize any sulky feeling I may have after not sleeping well at night.

Here’s the deal, six months mean she can start eating other meals and I can delegate more of her demands to others – not that I haven’t been doing that already. ( Thanks to a husband who is an involved parent and a nanny who has been understanding so far.)

But it’s gym time. It’s time to get back to my superwoman vibe. You know, like, lifting the heaviest items on the gym and giving those sacks of sand-chested men in the gym a run for their money.

Watch out! This was me working out a few days after conception.

So on this beautiful day – August 2, I made a walk back into a gym. I think I’m ready but are those at the gym ready for me? I’m not sure they know what just walked into the gym! They don’t know the force they’re about to face.

I walked in there jamming some soca music from DJ Private Ryan. There’s something about dancing to soca music that makes you feel ready to conquer all the workout.

I walked in and noticed people just flaunting with no regard. All those women in crop tops and bras, be very scared. There’s no telling how fast my mummy bod will transform. It could be one week, it could be 6 weeks, but I’m coming for allllllll of you.

While the fitness instructor was coaching me through some entry level workouts, those flat-belled, crop-top-wearing girls walked around showing off, pressing my neck with a smirk on their faces. You think these flabby arms and meaty back is here to stay? You’re wrong. I’ll be back in my toned back and each one of you will raise your arms in defeat to me. Be scared! Be very scared. I’m coming for you in my own crop top too!

Let’s talk about those other ones wearing shorts in their fine legs! Cover your jugulars! Forget that I could barely walk after the instructor was done with me. Forget that I thought I had spaghetti for legs, by the time I’ve transformed out of my not-so-toned legs, I’ll walk into the gym and all of you will bend your knees in respect.

While at it, I saw you lot in the Tabata class showcasing how fit you guys are. SMH, what show offs, but worry not, go ask Mitch at Body Images Gym who his top fitness girls were. He won’t forget to mention my name. I’m coming and all of you will be left at the back of the class begging me to slow down!

I . AM . BACk!

I Judged a Mother.

I judged a mother yesterday.

About two months after Noor was born, as novices that we are, we took her to the hospital to check out the umbilical hernia she has and for a doctor to confirm that indeed, she’s okay and it would most likely go away. We ended up learning she’s got some narrowing of some pulmonary valves in her heart, bla bla bla.. ( I put it that way, because she’s been made whole in Jesus’ name.)

Anyways, she had a second echocardiogram yesterday. And while waiting for our turn, I noticed a mother facing the wall and I could hear bubbling sounds coming from her little one.

“Oh my God, does she want to choke the child?” I couldn’t get off my uppity self-righteous horse.

I mean, this woman had to be wicked, hasn’t she heard and read of the dangers of force feeding children like that?

Yea, all the medical advise doesn’t support that, she had to know better right?

I quickly caught myself and how hypocritical I was. I may not be force feeding my child, but certainly, there must many things I do that many mothers would scoff at ; I don’t always use wipes when changing Noor’s pee diapers. Sometimes I get tempted to skip bathing her. I sometimes pretend to still be asleep in the middle of the night and keep her crying a bit to see if she’ll just go back to sleep and I won’t have to leave my sweet sleep.

What a wicked mother I am.

Over the weekend, I had a dream about me judging someone. I didn’t extent grace to that person. The next day after that dream, at church, the sermon centered about being hypocritical. “Drop that stone.”

After judging the mother, the dream and the sermon came to mind. I felt awful! I couldn’t just “put face for front” and pretend I didn’t pull a Pharisee move.

After a few minutes, I called the mother’s attention and confessed. I told her I was sorry and didn’t consider that she may have reasons for doing what she did.

I later learnt the child is almost a year old, but looks way younger because she doesn’t eat. She throws up everything. Strong mother has tried everything in the books and the only way she can ensure her child has anything in her little belly is to forcefully feed her in the one way I considered a cardinal sin.

As “dangerous” as we’re told or even know that is, that’s a mother frustrated and doing the best she can do. All that was and is out of love.

Judgement is easy, but I’m learning to extend grace instead of judgement.

Motherhood.

Dear Noor,
Exactly a year ago on June 28, 2021, I found out I was pregnant and as an anniversary surprise, I told your dad.
It’s been quite the year since then. You’re almost five months old and these few months have been great. Motherhood hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be. To be honest, it’s been easy because of hands I’ve had around to help. Daddy has been quite a hands-on father.

Long before I got pregnant, I always thought writing you letters will continue at ease once you’re born. How wrong was I.
I’ve not written anything since I was about four months pregnant. It has worried me. There’s no better time than now to really write you letters I hope you’ll enjoy in the future. I hope these letters will serve as some sort of life manual for you.

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Writer’s Block.

It’s been so many months since I wrote anything here.
Since my last post, I gave birth to Light who we will now refer to as “Noor,” a name give to her by her paternal aunties.

I always thought whenever I finally had my child, I would write letter after letter to said child. How wrong was I.

This is the new me with all the pregnancy weight gain present.

Noor has been a delight, I can’t think of any concrete reasons why inspiration has eluded me. Today is the Nigerian Husband and I’s anniversary. You’d think I’ll write a post specifically on it since it was on our anniversary last year that we found out we were pregnant with Noor.

I’m not sure that the issue is, but I long to write again. I long to write posts that’ll entertain me but also throw in one or two life lessons for Noor. I want to write and poke fun at some traditional expectations of men and women in relationships. I want to write about what makes me happy and things that cause me to laugh. I want to vent again.

Has any mother, specifically, a new mom experienced a writing draught after birth? how did you overcome it?

The Goodness of God.

Hi Light,

You’re 15 weeks, two days (in-utero) today. You’ve just completed your first international flight. Dad and I are taking off from Atlanta right now to go see grandma and the family in Houston. You handled the flight well and I pray this leg of the trip will be easy on us too.

There’s so much for you to experience but this post isn’t about that. This is about the goodness of our God, who I pray and know you’ll grow to love and honour.

See, we’ve planned this trip since we – dad and I- found out we were pregnant. Here’s the deal though, from time to time some doubts crept into my mind. Our US visas were due to expire in a month or so, so I worried we may not be allowed to stay beyond the visa validity and may have to return to Nigeria. I wouldn’t have a problem at all giving birth to you in Nigeria, but just for the little perks here and there, we chose America.

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Australian Accent After Cerclage.

August 2021

Dear Light,

I’m convinced you and I are meant to be Australian. We can apply for citizenship for dad after.

So, I had a cerclage at exactly 10 weeks. It was smooth and interesting. Dr. Daru, who we will now refer to as Grandpa Doc, did the procedure.

After I was brought back into the room for recovery, I found out I was actually Aussie.

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Staying Pregnant.

July 23, 2021.

Dear Light,

(I choose to refer to you as Light today because that’s what I so desperately need.)

You’re about 7 weeks and some days today. Science will still refer to you as an embryo but you’re my baby.

Since we found out you’ve been conceived, grandpa Dr. Daru placed me on progesterone injections and pessaries. I have to push the pessaries each night and then injections twice a week.

My butt hurts and though not difficult neither does it hurt, it’s tiring having to mentally prepare for bed each night knowing I have to use the pessaries.

Light, I’m very thankful God has seen us fit to be your parents. It’s really a blessing to be pregnant once again. Many people are struggling just to be pregnant. We are pregnant and thankful.

That sad, I’m struggling with staying grateful. I wish I could just go through my weeks without planning for injections, I wish I could just go to bed without thinking of pushing progesterone up inside me every night.

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Light, Wedding Anniversary Gift.

Poetry or Light or Poetry and Light.

Today – June 28 – is mommy and daddy’s anniversary.

Well, technically, we have two anniversaries- the day your father paid my bride price(December 1,2018) and June 28, the day we got married at the Federal Ministry of Interior- Ikoyi. Today, June 28, is our second registry wedding anniversary.

I’m currently broke and was wondering what to get your dad as an anniversary present. He’s not big on receiving gifts from me, he’s pretty much content with very little things. However, I still prayed I’d be able to afford him a present.

I was deep in sleep when he woke up this morning to prepare for work. I only came out of sleep briefly to pray with him before he left. I was deep in sleep, I tell you.

After about two more hours of deeeeeep sleep, I woke up and had the need to take a pregnancy test. See, for a few days here and there in the past two weeks. I had taken tests that turned out negative. But this morning, I felt the urge to take the test again for the umpteenth time.

There was a very faint negative line. So faint I thought it was my mind playing games on me. I quickly rushed to the hospital in the estate where I took the test that confirmed I was pregnant with your sister Star.

Positive!

I guess you, or you two, wanted in on the anniversary celebration too! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give your father something grand for anniversary!

You, or you two, are here to stay!

(I’ll come back with updates on how your father took the news.)

He replied in the usual way. He doesn’t get overly excited about things. 🤣 Anyway, apart from today being our anniversary, it’s also the day aunty Kangyang got to find out she’s having another boy. You’re going to have many more cousins to play with.

Forgiveness.

Testimony:

For a while after I lost Star in February 2021, I was so bitter about my experience at the hospital. They could have done better, I always thought.
Each time we drove past the hospital, I’d be so mad and angry.


I never met the doctor/OBGYN who was on call when I lost my baby. He never showed up when I needed a consultant to show up. It was so bad, I was on a road trip from Abuja to Jos and I got a notification on YouTube that the hospital had uploaded a video on the last antenatal Zoom class at that time. It was the consultant who didn’t show up who facilitated the Zoom session.

I got upset all over again, I felt I needed to watch the more than hour-long YouTube video just to listen to him say the wrong thing. I listened scornfully. I listened with anger.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to seeing the man just so I can tell him to his face how much his inaction those 24 hours have affected me so much.
But I’ve prayed about such pain and need for revenge several times.
Thank God, I saw another video from the hospital on YouTube around the last weekend in June and it was same consultant speaking. I felt no pain, no resentment, no need to get even. I thank God for healing me of that pain and feeling. I actually pray for that man. Because he wasn’t among the doctors that saw me during my antenatal visit, we never met, so I’m sure to this man, I probably don’t exist and therefore probably has no clue that someone was out there “hating” on him. I wouldn’t want anyone having ill-feelings towards me knowing or unknowingly. I really wish him well, I pray God blesses him and all that concerns him. May God use him in the course of his job.
God is faithful, I feel no pain. I can pass that hospital without feeling pain, I can see the consultant’s face or name and feel free.
Thank God.

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