respect the WO-MAN
how and why has it taken me so long to put up another post?!
i do sincerely apologise for the break in transmission. now i know i need to pay more respect to bloggers who manage to drop a few lines every other day. it’s not as easy as it seems – especially if you’re someone like me, who :works like a slave; lives in a country where everything is upside down; procrastinates like he’s paid to do so; and combines babysitting with other full time jobs.
yes, my girlfriend had our first baby on february 10. we had the customary naming ceremony seven days later, and i’m still in shock. no, it’s not about how much love folks showed me and my family; or how we consumed so much drinks i was wondering some breweries would close up. it’s the pain and pleasure of staying in the labour room with Dotun for over 30 hours; seeing her in pains, so much pains, and not being able to do anything about it. between sunday night (february 8) when i drove her to the hospital, and tuesday (feb 10) when she eventually put to bed, nothing else mattered. nothing.
here’s a girl i love, lying helplessly on a hospital bed. feeding on oxytocin because labour would not come; and bearing the characteristic pain of induced labour. for the first time since we’ve been married, i’m seeing her in such unbearable pain, and i am sad – knowing the pain, the torture, was inevitable. the pain may last for 30 hours or more, but the joy that comes afterwards will be with us for a lifetime…
was i scared? yep.
i’ve heard of so many women dying during labour. i’ve heard of so many ugly incidents. and it definitely did occur to me : ‘what if she doesn’t make it’? but i stayed positive. she stayed positive too. and instead of senseles despair, we prayed. we had good friends who prayed with us; and family who stood by us.
and so it was that around 5:pm on tuesday feb10, the naughty lil’ baby girl came, right before my eyes, into this beautiful world. ‘that’s your baby’, the doctor announced. but he didn’t have to. i had seen the baby’s head a few minutes before, i quickly gave Dotun a sign saying ‘ don’t worry, it’ll soon be over’. and i monitored the delivery progress every second from then. the room was well ventilated, but i was sweating profusely. sweating even more than the poor girl that was in labour. i was supposed to be taking pictures and video recording. but my trembling hands could handle no such tasks. even my mind was fidgeting, and my legs too weak to stand firmly.
‘i thought you wanted to record your baby’s arrival?’ one of the trainee nurses asked.
i looked at her, tried to gather my thoughts together, then opened my mouth. but my dry lips only parted momentarily. i could not utter a word.
and then i wept.
when they brought out the baby and i heard her little, innocent cry, it dawned on me that Dotun and i had brought a life into this world. it dawned on me that the suspense was over; that i can still have my friend and partner back… it dawned on me that i was now a father. soon, someone’ll be running round our over-sized house, with sagging diapers, shouting ‘da da’, ‘pa pa’ or ‘daddy’….
then i looked Dotun in the face again, saw the state she was in, even though relief was planted on her face; and i wept for what must have been the millionth time.
why do we men like to do so much shakara? when it’s the wo-man that does all the work? i’m sorry it has taken spending 30 hours in a labour room for me to realise this; but i admit that we men need to give the wo-men more kudos. they’re our mothers. they put thier lives on the line so we can have our own life. and that’s worth more than anything.
you see, Dotun has done so much for me, since i met her at that quadrangle in UI about eight years ago -from practically using her pocket money to cater for me, semester after semester, to helping me find faith in the church again, and encouraging me to follow my dreams, even when it didnt make much sense to her… she even defied her parents’ wish, left everything else that mattered and stayed with me while i was hospitalised and bed-ridden for weeks in 2004, shortly after losing my mother… but now, she has given the ultimate gift; she has finally done that thing that ushers her into the wo-man’s club. the tears she shed; the pains she bore; the sweat on herbrows; red in her eyes; the torture she endured… and the physical changes she has had to go through -all just so our baby can be born. Gawd!
i salute you, wo-man. i salute you, mother. and i wanna encourage you too to appreciate that wo-man in your life. it could be your girlfriend, you wife, your sisters or your MOTHER.
by the way, we named the baby after Dotun. for me, nothing else woulda been appropriate.