>22nd August 2006.
Green. Please God let it be green. Dear God…Tick, tick, tick…
“Are you okay? You’ve been in there for quite a while.”
“I’m fine mum.”
“Okay, I’m going to the supermarket, do you want to come along?”
“No mum, I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll just rest a while.”
“Okay, see you soon. Are you sure you’re alright? You look a bit pale. Come let me feel your head.”
“No mum, I said I’m fine!”
Fine. At this point, I’m not even sure what that word means. My life as I know it is over. Blue. I’m pregnant. I’m finished. How could this happen? How did I let this happen to me? Who do I tell? What do I do?
Most importantly, how do I explain this?
“You don’t have to explain it”, the voice said.
What do you mean? I can’t even think of aborting it. But then if I keep it, what do I tell my parents? “Mum, dad, congratulations you are about to become grandparents!” Yeah. Right. How about my church? My fellowship?
I’m a leader in my fellowship for goodness’ sake…I’m as good as dead. If I don’t keep it, what do I tell God? How do I live with myself…Again, I’m as good as dead. So the question now is which death am I going to die?
Calm down girl. Calm down, get out of this bathroom, into your room, then sit down and think.
I managed it well up until the ‘sit down and think’ part. As I got into my bed, I just became numb. Couldn’t think, couldn’t feel, couldn’t do much of anything. But suddenly, as if on cue, all of the feelings building inside me came rushing like a tornado. Confusion, guilt, fear, regret, apprehension, hatred; for myself, for the world, for no one in particular…the reality of what that simple color ‘blue’ signified, hit me. There was life growing in me. And then the tears came. In torrents. I sobbed hard like my life depended on it. I didn’t even know when I moved from my bed to the floor and wept, clutching my pillow, till I was weak and had no strength left. I still couldn’t think; my brain numb, body exhausted. I garnered all the strength I had left and crawled into my bed.
23rd August, 2006.
I opened my eyes slowly and wondered why they felt so heavy. I knew there was something bothering me and that was why I woke up but I couldn’t place what it was just yet. It kept slipping out of my grasp like a teasing mosquito. And then I remembered. And wished I had died in my sleep. The baby. My baby.
“It’s not a baby yet.” That voice again.
But it will soon be.
“But right now and for the next two months it won’t be.”
So? What difference does that make?
“You can do something about it now before it becomes a baby.”
No way, that’s murder.
“Is it? Really?
Shut up! SHUT UP! Oh God! Oh God Lord. I know I should shut out that voice…
“Think about it. No one has to know. If you don’t do it, your life will be ruined. HOW WILL YOU FACE EVERYONE? It’s the perfect solution. And you certainly won’t be the first. Wake up girl! Look around! Everyone is doing it. Last semester alone, Motunde, your bunkie had two. She could give you the address of the place. Go with you even. Quietly. It’s the way. The only way…”
God says it’s wrong.
“Did He? Where does it say in the bible that abortion is wrong?”
15th September, 2006.
I just got back from the doctor’s. I just killed my baby. And I don’t feel a thing. Except for the rawness and pain in between my legs. They didn’t say it would be this painful. Thank God my parents have traveled. I crawl into my bed.
16th September, 2006.
I woke up with a start. I’d been having a dream. A man in white was taking my baby from me. The baby was crying and I just kept screaming ‘NO!’…my pillow was soaked in tears…I didn’t want to think about it, couldn’t allow myself to think about it. So I tried to go back to sleep. But sleep eluded me. I couldn’t escape it any more. And so I gave in to the flood of emotions inside me. I wept. I wept like a baby for my baby I had killed. Nothing. Absolutely nothing could compare to the heartache I felt. I wished I could go back. I’d give anything to go back and get my baby. I’d gladly face the scandal. Yes it would have caused an outrage. But it would have been better than this. Anything would have been better than this. Why doesn’t anyone warn you about the heartache? I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop crying, couldn’t stop the guilt that was eating at me without mercy, couldn’t even talk to anyone. Will I ever be able to pray again? How do I ever look into the eyes of my parents? How do I even go to church?
My punishment had begun…
15th September, 2016.
It’s exactly 10 years after. My child would’ve been over 8years old. I still ache for my baby. I’ve made my peace with God. I have a Bsc. in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration. I have a good job; I’m married to a wonderful man and have been blessed with two wonderful children. So I guess you could say my life is back on track. But I still ache for my unborn baby. I constantly ask God to take away the pain. Sometimes it feels like my heart will burst from the pain…if only I hadn’t done it.
‘Dania’s Thoughts: The rate of abortions among young girls is alarming. Many of them make the decision for social reasons; they cannot face the world. The condemnation from society is at best, overwhelming. A friend of mine told me about how she went with a pregnant young girl to a hospital to register for antenatal care. She said that even the nurses looked at the girl with disdain and almost refused to attend to them. She (my friend, who’s a bit older) had to whip out her Naija wѐrѐ (display of madness) to get proper attention.
Nwanyibuife’s case is a classic example. At no point did she think about whether or not she wanted to keep the baby. All she could think was ‘What would people say?’
I’m not saying that society should encourage premarital unprotected sex. I’m just saying that maybe we should step down from our self righteous judgmental horses once in a while and be human. Not everyone exercises good judgment but it doesn’t make them any less human. People make mistakes. Every second. Let’s not use our ‘upturned noses’ to push them into making more mistakes.
I have never been pregnant. But if I’d made a mistake while I was still in school (not now that I’m gradually freeing myself from the tentacles of societal expectations) and gotten pregnant, I cannot state categorically without flinching that I would not have aborted it. And that really, is what is scary.