When you walked to the bus Stop that day, the only thing on your mind was the test you had to write that morning.
You had stayed up all night preparing, and you just wanted to get it over with and catch up on the sleep you had lost.
As you walked down the street, you heard something – It sounded like a cat at first, then as you approached the end of the road, you heard it again, this time it was unmistakable, “it can’t be” you thought. Stopping in your tracks, you looked in the direction it was coming from.
The first reaction was to continue on, the bus stop was staring at you and time wasn’t really on your side, but then curiosity got the better part of you and you inched closer to the grass, heart beating so loud you were sure the thing could hear.
Strangely the sound had stopped. As you parted the grass with both hands, your worst fears were confirmed. Two beautiful brown eyes stared back at you in a big brown carton. Your heart twisted with all kinds of emotions: fear, pity, love, sadness, anger, all at once. You looked at it. it stared back.
Three years later those brown eyes still haunted you. You dreamt about your own baby, to care for, to love, to protect even at the cost of your life. When it didn’t happen after the first 6 months married to Jide, you were anxious, worried. Everybody told you to relax that it would come. Even the doctor sent you back and told you it was not an issue until after 12 months of regular sex. Jide said he didn’t mind and was enjoying this time with just the two of you.
They didn’t understand. How could they? They didn’t know how long you have yearned for this. They weren’t there that morning 3 years ago, they didn’t know that baby didn’t survive a day at the hospital after you called for help and the police came and took the baby away. They didn’t know how you waited in the hospital, hoping to see those brown eyes you saved from the dump site, with insect crawling all over her.
You channeled your emotions to your job. Working extra hours and taking on some of your colleague’s tasks just to get your mind off. They said not to be anxious, at least you can make good use of the time spent worrying.
It started as a woozy feeling that hot afternoon, dismissing it as a reaction from the heat. You kept on tapping away at the keys on your computer, the report was due in 30 minutes and you were only half way done.
When the intercom on the desk buzzed, a similar buzz resonated in your head, with one hand on your temple to stop the sound in your head, you picked the phone but didn’t get around to saying “hello”
Everything went blank.
There was no morning sickness; there was no nausea, no sore breast, no back aches, no fatigue, no missed periods or all the other regular signs of pregnancy.
When the doctor said you were pregnant after waking up in the hospital hours later, you didn’t know how to react.
It felt like a dream. Your heart expanded with joy, Jide couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear.
The first and second trimester went fast. The first movement was a flicker, not sure you dropped the dish you were washing and stood still with your hand on your stomach, waiting to feel it again but it didn’t come until 2 days later. Within weeks it felt like a war was going on inside of you.
Jide joked that it was going to be a footballer just like his brother. Most times he placed his hands on the now rounded huge mold on your stomach, feeling the baby move. It was the best feeling in the world.
You had both named her Susan after Jide’s mother.
You read all the books about pregnancy and motherhood. This new knowledge brought with it all sorts of emotions.
The day you read about Down’s syndrome , fear gripped you as you remembered how old you were and all the alcohol you drank those first weeks before you found out you were expecting, wondering if Susan will come out alright.
Sometimes you were confused and didn’t know what to do with advice from all angles some from family, some from friends who have had children before and even those that haven’t been pregnant before but tender their advice anyways left you overwhelmed and confused sometimes.
Your friend at the office said not to drink any chocolate drink or hot cocoa so the baby doesn’t get too big.
You went home for the weekend and was about to take the first bite of that special okra soup your mum makes so well, when your aunt screamed and snatched the plate from you. You soon heard that you were not allowed to eat okra so that your baby won’t be slow.
With the help of your sister, that okra soup still found its way back home with you where you relished every last drop.
Your most cherished moments were when you talked to Susan and sang to her. She kicked excitedly. It felt like she knew your voice already. You told her your plans for her and how you loved her and couldn’t wait to meet her. One day you didn’t feel her kick. Fear loomed largely at the back of your mind, all sorts of things went through your mind and for the first time in a long time you remembered the brown eyed baby. You couldn’t tell Jide, fearing that voicing your concern will make your worst nightmare a reality. Praying fervently you went about your chores for the day slowly, carefully and when you felt that familiar kick that night, tears of relief flowed down your cheeks.
You didn’t mind the fact that you were always tired and eating everything in sight, even waking up at night to eat.
Your face didn’t look the same, your nose was twice its normal size and your skin was somewhat darker.
Makeup didn’t seem to do the magic but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was bringing forth your own brown eyed baby. Every minute brought the day closer when she will arrive. You wonder most times. “Will she have big brown eyes?”