Waiting arms

This article is dedicated to all women trying to conceive. You are the uncelebrated heroes among women.

Trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant is a cause of unimaginable heartbreak for women around the world. The wealth and fame amassed by fertility clinics, herbalists and miracle centers is a testimony to this fact. However, if you are African, your problems are much bigger than your personal heartbreak. In fact, nursing your pain privately is a luxury you definitely won’t experience. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the fact that the most common prayer at your wedding (if you are married) was probably for children, children and more children. Some even put a timeline to the prayer-they want the babies to start arriving nine months from your wedding day … or earlier… but definitely not later. Is it any surprise then that a few months after the wedding, everyone is staring unashamedly at your body to see if you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones?

It is every woman’s hope to be able to get pregnant when she wants. It can therefore be a rude shock to find yourself trying month after month, unsuccessfully, to achieve such a seemingly easy task. In fact, it may even seem like the harder it is for you, the easier it seems to be for everyone around you to get pregnant. However, as with everything in life, sometimes, fate just has its own plans. You can never tell what cards you will be dealt. It is pure agony I wish no woman ever had to go through.

In some countries, having children is a choice to make. Africans on the other hand, do not believe this a topic worth discussing. Every woman is supposed to have children. Period! It’s your greatest responsibility..a rite of womanhood. Being unable to get pregnant is like failing the ultimate test. You are expected to feel ashamed and sad. An object of pity. Less than the fertile woman.

I believe that as a society, this has always been the case because the women allow themselves to be treated as such even in cases where the problem lies with the man. Children are blessings and not medals that are acquired for some outstanding performance and displayed as such. You should feel humbled and grateful if you are blessed with them. It’s an honor. A privilege and not a right. Therefore do not feel in anyway better, more deserving or more pious than the woman who has none yet. If you have none yet, walk with your head held high. Feel angry because you deserve to have one just as much as any other woman. It’s also okay to feel angry because of the stupid neighbors, colleagues and family members who just won’t mind their business and stop whispering behind your back. Ignore them. Feel frustrated with the doctor’s unending tests…and do them anyway. DO NOT feel ashamed or less of a woman. DO NOT let this problem consume you. It’s okay to feel as if no one says the right words. Sometimes even well-wishers do not know the perfect things to say. Pay attention to your marriage and career. If having kids guaranteed a good/lasting marriage, there would be no children of divorced families.

I hope this is a phase and ‘this too shall pass’ very soon. I pray for and with you, that God rewards your patience. I hope you have a supportive and co-operative partner who will make it easier for you. I hope God gives you the wisdom to choose correctly whose pockets to enrich -the doctor’s or the imam/pastor/herbalist (it may be confusing). I hope your miracle is closer than you know.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of optimism. Be positive (while being realistic) in your thoughts and actions. You are a strong woman. Stepping out daily and putting up a brave front despite all you go through is proof of how strong you are. All these experiences are paving the way for that wonderful mum you are going to be to the sweet little bundle coming into your waiting arms sooner than you think. Keep your head up.

Baby dust to you.

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