We got to the doctor’s office barely speaking to each other. I’m sure the doctor was used to seeing drama like this on a regular basis, so he just rested his arms on his desk and waited for one of us to speak up.
Usually I’m the more vocal one but I wasn’t going to bell the cat tonight. He wanted an abortion, so let him be the one to speak the word. After he explained to the doctor what he wanted and why he came to that decision, the doctor asked me when I saw my last period. From the information that I gave him, he was able to estimate that I was about six weeks late. He wanted to be sure, so he did an ultrasound scan. I carefully avoided looking at the screen. I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to attach any emotions to it. All the while, the doctor was carefully observing my demeanor.
When he was done with the scan, I carefully put my clothing back on and took my seat beside my husband. Then the doctor spoke.
“Mr. Williams, your wife is right with her estimation. The pregnancy is six weeks gone, the baby’s heartbeat also sounds very normal.”
I think at that point, my husband was growing impatient and mumbled something about not being interested in the heartbeat, rather he wanted to know how soon the deed could be done and the nightmare of another child joining the existing multitude over and done with.
A bell set off in my head muting out what the two men were discussing. My motherly instincts were kicking in real fast and I couldn’t fight it anymore. “Oh my God, it has a heartbeat! It’s alive? It’s a human being…I’m about to take the life of a human being…My Baby!!!” Suddenly flashbacks of my discussion with my mom were ringing in my head ‘Obey God…Obey God…Obey God!”
“If we start the procedure now, everything would be over in the next fifteen minutes,” I heard the doctor tell my husband.
“Great. Sweetheart, why don’t you go with the doctor so he can get started?”
I looked at my husband, but the truth is I wasn’t really looking at him. It was a blank stare; the type you give when your mind is preoccupied with so many things and you are required to make an on-the-spur decision that can never be reversed.
“Madam, are you ready to join me?” The doctor’s question jolted me back to reality.
My mind was made up. I knew what I had to do, and so I said,
“No doctor, I’m not ready to join you. Not now, not ever. If there’s anybody who’s having any part of them cut or scraped off tonight, it’s him,” I said pointing to my husband. “You can chop his penis off so he can stop getting me pregnant!” Then I stormed out of the doctor’s office.
I knew it was going to be a very rough night. I was going to receive a thorough dress down by my husband. He’d tell me how I knew I wasn’t going to go through with the abortion all along but decided all the same to patronize him and eventually make a big fool of him at the doctor’s office. I had made up my mind to be as silent as a mouse all through his rants. After all, I had achieved what I wanted – saving my baby’s life and no amount of ranting was going to stop that.
I was eventually giving the threat that I was going to be responsible for the baby all by myself. He wasn’t going to spend a dime on any antenatal or any of those baby stuff that needed to be got with money. Our relationship became extremely strained from then on. He came home late most nights just so he’d avoid talking to me, while I just counted the days as the baby grew.
When the pregnancy was about seven months gone, my sister asked that I go for a scan to determine the sex of the baby, so it would help them know what to shop for. I was scared! Suddenly, I realised I didn’t want to know the sex of the baby. I was already going through the challenge of trying not to hate the baby for coming at the wrong time. It honestly would have made a difference if it was the second son, I had forever longed for. At the same time, I didn’t want to feel rotten for being such a stupid, selfish prick. Let the baby come as a surprise, I decided.
“Look, cash is tight,” my sister admonished. “It’s either you go scan for the baby’s sex, or I’m buying nothing!” This sister of mine alway had had a feisty tongue and when she stood her ground, nothing would make her budge.
So I took the long uncomfortable trip to an Ultrasound lab. The doctor who attended to me wasn’t keen on putting me through a scan. This was because I had no referral letter from a gynae. He said he had seen so many pregnant women get very hysterical and weep inconsolably when the scan results showed the baby they were carrying wasn’t the sex they desired. Such emotional display put the life of the woman and foetus at risk and he didn’t want a crisis on his hands. It took me some minutes to convince him that I already had four children, the sex really didn’t matter and I just wanted to know so that I’d know exactly what to shop for. “They are unisex clothes Madam,” the doctor still argued. After many ‘I begs.’ He succumbed.
“How many girls do you have?” The doctor asked as he slid his transducer probe around my gel covered baby bump. My heart skipped. “I have three girls,” I said. “How many boys?” “One,” I answered obediently. “Where you praying for any sex in particular?” He continued with his questions. Was he a doctor or a detective? I wondered. Why all these questions. By now I was tired of all the questions, not knowing where there were leading to. “I prayed for a boy,” I said. “Well then, congratulations Madam, your son has brother.
Yesssssss!!!! Prayers answered. All the insults and pain flew out the window in a split second. I was the happiest woman alive. As I walked out of the clinic into the Abuja afternoon sun, I couldn’t wait to break the news to my prophetess mother, sister…pretty much every member of my immediate family except Ben.
No I wanted him to bask in his ignorance of the power of God and his mind-blowing miracles.
To be continued…