I came across this post from my one of my favourite bloggers and friend Ilsa Aida and it inspired me to write this. Here are a few excerpts
That beautiful day arrives. You dance, you are excited, you feel beautiful, finally you have been joined at the hip with the man of your dreams (or so you think)
Days pass, months crystallize into years and they begin to look at you. Your spouse begins to look at you because you have not uttered the words ‘I am pregnant’ Both families begin to give advice about how to get pregnant, you struggle with what to do while trying to stand firm on your beliefs.
When all you really want to do is run, run and stay on a bed forever.
Now and again, you are reminded that you are barren and little by little even your spouse begins to discount you as a human being. You are strong, so you must be strong.
Then in a moment of clarity in between your depression, you wonder where the ‘better for worse’ is.
You wonder if you have ever been really loved, you wonder if all the ceremony was for show. Truth is, you were married to provide a warm body and birth heirs to brag about.
Your sense of identity is lost because in your refusal to provide a child, you are not relevant in the scheme of things and everything you do is constantly weighed against the fact that you have not borne a child.
Now, I have a lot of amazing friends who would make amazing wives but for some reason, are yet to settle down. Then there are those amazing friends who have settled down and would make amazing mothers but they are not yet blessed with the fruit of the womb. I see them running from pillar to post, from one fertility clinic to another and my heart breaks for them. I find myself questioning God (I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it) why children are born into abusive poverty-stricken home with only a bleak future awaiting them and not in loving home so desperate for them.
Honestly, I cannot imagine what these women go through. They have to put a brave face to the world while their heart aches. They have to smile and rejoice as their friends and others who married years after them give birth. They turn to God in fervent prayers, wishing with all their heart and soul that they don’t see their period the next month. And when the period comes, the depression sets in month after month after month. The pressure that the husband faces to be strong for the two of them, to comfort her, placate her and make her feel secure. There are many Nigerian men who stand with their wives in this trying times, but there are so many more who crack. They question the wife’s history and assume promiscuity , they put her down, they kill her spirit and sometimes (if they are not the one with the problem) they get another girl pregnant.
The level of wickedness that a childless Nigerian woman sometimes faces from her own fellow woman is unbelievable. Even those with wonderful mother in-laws begin to feel the brunt when years pass without a child. They begin to ask questions. Some want to find out if there is something spiritually wrong. Others get downright hostile. In gatherings, women constantly talk about the achievement of their kids in the midst of the childless one. I am not saying that you are not allowed to celebrate or be proud of your kid simply because someone else is yet to have, but a lot of tact is required in such circumstances.
I know a lot of my readers would probably be wondering ‘What is the big deal? Adopt already!! Use a surrogate or something’. These are excellent choices but Nigeria is still a long way from this. Thankfully IVF is catching on and more couples are going for it. However, it is very expensive and sometimes it does not work, discouraging a lot of people from trying. There are a lot of abandoned kids just looking for a home but the average woman wants to carry and birth her kid. And who can blame her?
I say a long deep prayer to all the ladies looking for a child. It is not easy to be patient and no one would ever understand how hard it is. All one can do is empathize. Please be brave ladies. God is not asleep and he will work, but don’t sit on your hands waiting. Get proactive, get fit and visit the fertility clinics. Baby dust to the childless Nigerian wife.