Monthly Archives: December 2009

Watching Jack and Jill Fall Down The Hill

Standard

Ok, so a lot has happened in a short while. At least emotionally, to me.

I know I am hormonal and all that ‘isht’ but at the same time that doesn’t explain how or why this should have happened or why I am letting it happen. I know why : I am a very proud person. And I’ve never known how to reconcile with friends. When I was in school, or just when I was younger, if I had a fight with a friend I would pray to God to reconcile us, or be hoping that someone does. It never worked. LOL. But we always settled eventually.

Anyway, the real story here is that I am feeling quite lonely and alone and it’s because the two people who have been closest to me in Lagos have been given a wide berth by me. Let’s start with my closest friend and benefactor, J. Everything was going well until one Sunday when we went to Shoprite together. After a few hours of shopping, plus the fact that I had woken up really early, about 6.30 am, even though I slept in the early hours as well. I wandered off to the room to sleep and was quite fast asleep when her sister barged into the room, not once,but 3 times! Now if she did this noiselessly it would be less of an issue but she does this noisily and all the time. Also, getting to sleep is a luxury I cannot afford to waste, in this condition. I find it difficult to sleep at night, because of the baby, and during the day because of the noise of people in the house, so when I can catch sleep I do, and I guard it jealously, or else I wake up with a headache. Which was what happened with this girl. I was so angry I went to the kitchen where she was and was scolding her, she knowing me and my sleep issues was smiling and saying her sister, my friend, sent her. I was like ‘ Even if she sent you, how many times did she send you,? Don’t you know how to open doors quietly, etc. Her sister, J, then said ‘Joie, I sent her. I said ‘ How may times?’ She said ‘ Joie, If I didn’t send her she would not have come’. I don’t know if it was the tone or the message but that came across badly to me. I felt, for one, she had just given her sisters- there were two of them there- permission to go into the room at any point in time and disturb. I also wondered what would happen when I really needed the peace and quiet, when I gave birth. Then it occurred to me that I had got too comfortable here and was beginning to feel like I had rights in this house. For a day or two, I sulked and then finally gave it up. I was in Dolf’s house one night and I noticed he had no plans to take me home that night so I called her , J, to say that I would be late and she was extremely cold. I also noticed that she was not nice at any point in time since then and had been like that since then. If she liked she would say a good morning to me, or reply mine, or if she did not like she would walk past , and that’s the way the situation has been. Maybe she thinks I have taken her kindness for granted. To properly understand this story, let me situate it. I had stayed in a spare room in J’s house for about a month before she told me that I would have to move cos the room was for her housemaid. She wanted me to move to her room, which I did, with the understanding that she and I would stay together. Barely 2 days into that arrangement she started sleeping on the couch. I tried hard to get her to the room, and to this day am still uncomfortable with seeing her on the couch but nothing worked. I guess she’s tired and I have gotten too comfortable having the room to myself. It’s just that rest gets more and more important to me as the weeks go by. Oh well, time to move on, I guess.

As for Dolf, I sense that he’s reached his limit as far as this our ‘love’ can go. A few weeks back I was at his house, J was fumigating hers and I needed somewhere to go. He came to pick me up but while there he seemed determined to do everything, and to go out of his way to show me that he does not care for me intimately. I was making lunch for myself, cos I always carry food with me, and he sent an sms that he was on his way home and he was hungry. I gave him part of my lunch when he came and while he was eating I asked if he minded that I was going to change into a small, top. (Pregnant women get incredibly hot at some stage, a lot of my friends have testified to this.) He said I should allow him finish his food first, as though the sight would disgust him. Again, later that day we were talking about my job situation with him asking what happened with the office and so on; it would be the first time he would ask about it. I told him the story and he said maybe they would come back. I answered that they could go to hell for all I cared. He then said, ‘look I can take this risk cos I have no wife who is pregnant for me, no child at home to feed, nothing. You have a baby on the way, no house, no money , no car. You cannot afford to be [nonchalant]. Ok, even if you don’t want to go back what are your plans? Your friend J, and I, and everyone you think you are relying on now can only take you so far, blah, blah, blah, and on he went. As he was speaking I was growing more and more frustrated with the situation, angry that a useless company like that had pushed me to this point of desperation, unhappy that I was so dependent on people and tears just welled up in my eyes and started dropping. As he saw me crying, for some reason he got angry and stopped talking. I tried to explain to him that it had nothing to do with him, but I was just thinking of the general situation but he would have none of it. after, trying to get him to understand for a while to no avail I got angry. We spent the next few hours in silence until he was ready to take me home.

On the way he tried to make me talk to him, but I refused. When I got home, my friend, J, did not think it was safe for me to be in the house because the fumes were still strong.She called him and tried to get him to take me back while explaining the situation, he said he would come back but that he was going out with his friends so I would be alone at his house. She said if I was safe that was not an issue. He called me and said he was coming to pick me up. Later he sent me a bb message that he was going out with several guys and that they were in his friend’s house where he was, so would I stay in his friend’s house? I had only met this friend once so I said no, it was okay, but inwardly I was seething. I knew he felt like I was a hindrance to his plans and that he did not want to be bothered, but I felt wronged especially because, in the past, I had gone out of my way to give him money when I noticed he was broke, to bring food over to his place when I knew he had nothing, to constantly take care of him when things were not so good, business-wise. And now, on something as critical as my health or maybe even my baby’s life, he walked away. It made me feel he was just saying.’ wetin concern me with your wahala?’ Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had to sleep on the porch to avoid inhaling the fumes. The other members of the house all slept in the living room cos the rooms were still too unsafe.

After that I began to avoid him for a while, he noticed, and after unsuccessfully trying to solicit conversations via bb and phonecalls he came to the house late one night and began to apologise for whatever he had done, and ask that I forgive him. I did, and that matter ended. After that we had a long bb conversation where I said we had to lay down rules to this our friendship so no one would get hurt. He agreed but kept breaking all the rules deliberately, just to avoid putting a wedge between us. I shrugged it off and continued as before, but we mended things when there was a fuel scarcity recently, he was flat broke and hungry and I had to go and help him out with some money. Only for him to do something more nasty recently.

So I come home from the hospital, to find the doors locked. I had been struggling with a bout of malaria, or so my doctor thought, and he was worried about it because of my condition, so that morning I went o the hospital which is not far from the house and was given some medication. When I got back to the house everyone had gone out and the doors were locked. The onl person with the keys was J, and because of how she was behaving I could not call for the keys, so I had to look for somewhere else to stay. I then called Dolf to see if he could help out, he agreed and I took a taxi to meet him up. As we were going to his house he told me he was searching for a girlfriend. Inwardly, I wondered why he would tell me such a thing except he had found someone and was trying to hint me me to move over. I however, joked about it and said I would take him to the depot where they kept girls for foolish boys like him. At his house his flatmate was there, I sat down to eat the food I brought – I’m pregnant, sue me- and he sat down beside me probably to eat too. As he did this I raised my feet to plac ethem on the couch but they landed on his laps. The next thing he said was’ Please,don’t let my wife catch you o’. Again we joked about this with me telling his flatmate that I didn’t understand this girlfriend/wife business all of a sudden. Then a friend of his who came in from London, for the holidays, came in to join us. The friend and I apparently have the same taste in music and we hit it off. At some point, the gfriend tells me to ‘balance the equation’ by calling my female friends to join us. That’s when Dolf said what for me was the last straw,’ Don’t tell Joie, he said, all her friends are either 38 or thereabouts or ‘after-one or after-two’. Meaning, my friends were all either single mothers with one (after one) or two children (after two). He said he was joking but I took that seriously for several reasons. He’s met just my friend, J, who IS a single mother. I am older than him by one year, and ‘after one’ is a derogatory way to refer to anyone who has had a child. The way I see it it would only be a matter of time before I become an ‘after-one’ myself, spoiled virtue, discarded trash, if he hadn’t started thinking in those terms. He could tell I was upset but I denied it vehemently. In my mind my decision was clear; the road had closed on this relationship. For what it was worth, I had to leave with at least some part of my dignity intact.

So I stay away now, it hurts when I imagine what I hoped could have been but c’est la vie. Meanwhile I am house-hunting o, with no money. Wish me luck.

Joie

Standard

My dear tiny Tot,

In the length of time I have spent being pregnant, this is by far the most enjoyable thing I have had to do, and has been my most anticipated task. I don’t even know why I did not think of doing this ever since. But it’s better late than never, isn’t it?

I’m supposed to describe, in this paragraph, how it feels to have you growing inside me. For someone who earned a living as a scriptwriter and content creator for television, you would think I have all the powers of description at my disposal. Well, I did, until this. Words fail me in describing what I feel towards you; I love you fiercely, I am in awe of your presence, of the obvious miracle that you are turning out to be- and all inside this unworthy body of mine. I will die 300 times before I hurt you, and I don’t even know you. I felt this way from the minute I suspected you were in me, and I have felt it more strongly as the days rolled into months. One night when I felt pains that seemed like contractions, I panicked, thinking I was having a miscarriage, not just that I was losing something precious, but that you were in trouble. And instead of praying to God to ease my pain, I began to shout aloud in prayer, all the dreams I had for you and how your life would not end in that hotel room in Abuja. ME, praying! Turns out I had UTI, and God heard my prayers. And when I saw you flitting around on the scan, my joy, my happiness was indescribable. You were, and are, as fit as a fiddle, and you looked like you were having fun. I love your ‘kicks’, and I worry when I know that my sadness or my anger has made you still for that day or that moment. Gosh, my precious, I could go on and on.

When you finally make your grand entrance and you’re big enough to go out with me, and understand it, I hope we have a lot of fun together, travelling, going swimming, eating out, going to the movies,playing. On a perfect day we would have a good breakfast and then go to the amusement park for a swim, and some fun activity like shooting water guns, or the water slide, or whatever you want. When we are thoroughly exhausted, we’ll go to a nice restaurant and get some delicious treat as lunch, before we go home to just flop in front of the tv. Or we could go shopping for nice story books, then see a movie and then have a nice treat. And during holidays, we can travel to lovely, exotic places. I will show you Zanzibar and Nairobi, we’ll see Spongebob in Hyde Park, and discover Disneyland Paris, together.

Oh, I pray for you daily, my Love. I hope that all is well with you physically, and me materially, so I can provide for you. I worry that at this time I have nothing to even offer you and that I am bringing you into the problems that I have. I worry that you will be born in someone else’s house, a place where I am already a burden, that I will still have no job to support you when you are born, that I will fail in providing materially for you. I worry that I will transfer my physical affliction to a poor, helpless innocent, that you will be born, already at a disadvantage, before you can even see. I worry about what will happen when you begin to realise that other children have two parents but you have only one. I feel somewhat angry at myself for not making the situation better – not that I could. I worry that I am too human, too fallible to be the perfect guide you need.

Despite all this, I have high hopes for you, darling. I pray first and foremost, you find happiness in life, early on. That you are not consumed with thoughts of self-sustenance that you forget how to be thankful. I pray you find love, in someone other than your family, and that you both hold on to it forever. I pray you walk down a career path that you love and are successful in it. May you be your own person, and may God be your compass. But most of all may He show me the best way(s) to point you down this path.

Speaking of me, I wonder what sort of mother I’ll be.Me, with all my failings, my flaws, my shortcomings, my imperfections. I want to be a good one, but who is a good mother? And who is judging? To me, I think it is when you are there for your child, to wipe the tears, to share in the victories, to teach the child what you know, and to admit that which those you don’t. These I’ll try my best to do, Sweetie, even though I make that vow with fear and trembling.

I love you, Baby, and I’m anxiously waiting with open arms.

Mum ( I can’t believe that’s me, soon!) XOXO.

A Day In The Life

Standard

It was kind of a slow day today. I made breakfast that seemed to knock everyone out. LOL. We all slept the whole day ! I think my baby enjoyed it if anything, he/she is back to the hyperactivity this evening. I still can’t believe I’m actually carrying a baby in me! I sometimes wake up in the morning and expect to have a flat tummy, and I’m surprised that it is this large. A baby will actually come out of that? Wow. God is wonderful.

( As I write I say a prayer for the unborn. May he/she be free of affliction in Jesus name. Amen.)

In a related development I googled the drugs that my doctor is giving me as ARV therapy and I am a bit worried. The first was contraindicated for women who in their words ‘wanted to have a pregnancy’ and was never to be used alone! We broke both rules. The 2nd one is labelled highly toxic and has several warnings. He did tell me that we had to do a liver function test every month or so now because of the drug, but I think it may need a little more than that. I really need to get educated on this disease but where do I find a place with the time and the interest and without all the negative attention?

Plus, it’s beginning to set in financially that I no longer have a job. A deal that I tried to cut fell through today with the guys cutting me off by about $200. That’s money I could have used ‘cos I am recession-compliant now. LOL. I hope I will be able to make enough money, somehow, this month to take care of my antenatal charges and have a little Christmas. So help me God.

Pray for me. 🙂

J.

Gratitude

Standard

I did not start this blog to rant or rave. I started it to talk about the issues facing me with my peculiar situation, in the hope that someone, somewhere, in a similar situation would draw strength, and companionship.

So today, I am going to write about all the things which I am grateful for and which have been the highlights in this funny, turpsy-turvy year.

1. I’m immensely grateful for the life growing in me. The fact that I am experiencing a dimension to life that I never desired, deserved, nor even considered existent. The fact that I am allowed to share in the magical and mysterious process of creating a miracle with God. I am so grateful. When I loked at the baby things I got as gifts today, the tiny, tiny socks, the little booties, the vests, feeding bottles, I felt like breakdancing! I am having MY OWN baby. Thank you, Lord.

2. I am really grateful for the presence and support of my friends and family around me. I have literally been living on love for the past few months and now I know how important it is to share in the life and issues of those you care about. For my mother whose daily calls teach me that giving birth to a child is just the beginning of motherhood. I joke that she and I are both pregnant because she calls everyday to find out what I am eating, what I am doing, how I am coping. My best friend who took me into her home for the past 5 or 6 months and left her bedroom to sleep on a couch when I became pregnant, ensures I have my own kind of diet and has not uttered a word of complaint ever since, there cannot be many people like that. That defies all understanding. My sweetheart, Dolf, who takes care of a woman who got pregnant by another man, as though she were his own, without pausing to wonder what the hell he is doing. My brothers who are eagerly anticipating the birth of their nephew or niece without a thought as to the fact that their sister is unmarried. My friend, Joyce, who would call me everyday when she heard I was ill despite the fact that I was not even picking up my calls. My colleagues who gave me a break when I was ill and encouraged me and bought me gifts and helped me when I couldn’t help myself. The list is endless. God bless them all.

3. I’m grateful for the abilities I have; the fact that I excel in EVERY job I do.It is only by His grace that I succeed.

4. I’m grateful that in pregnancy I look even much better than I did when I wasn’t. Everyone cannot get over how I am not showing, how pretty I look, and how attractive I am.

5. Despite my lack of a car for over a year, I have not had the need to get into public transport, i have paid my way from cab to cab. Despite my lack of a house, I still have a roof over my head, and a great one at that.

It wasn’t easy, but it has come, and we are surviving. Thank you, Lord.

And Here She Blows

Standard

Unsure of what the balance held
I touched my belly overwhelmed
By what I hadn’t chosen
To perform

Lauryn Hill/ To Zion

Wow! A lot has happened over the past few days. For one thing my attempt at negotiation with my company did not work. To cut a long story short my manager came back to me with an apologetic email saying the VP and the HR lady did not agree to my terms and since that was a deal breaker for me it was nice working with me and he hopes I would keep in touch. Just like that! No counter offer, no nothing.

To say I was mad was an understatement. I am VERY good at what I do, I know that, everyone knows that, so it was not an issue of them trying to get rid of a useless employee. It was just that moving forward with someone who demanded to be treated like a human being was not on the cards. That day, I was supposed to go around with a colleague of mine from SA, visiting independents/ freelancers. Just to be a good sport – and maybe partially pretending that I was not too hurt by everything – I went along. But a few hours into the ride, my anger and hurt began to affect my baby. I started hyperventilating and finally threw up over and over again. i had to go home, but I continued throwing up. Throughout that day and the next I did not feel a single movement from my baby. Then I realised I had to calm the fuck down! This was hardly the end of the world.

It’s been almost a week now – 4 days to be precise- and I feel much better. My little bump is back to his/her restlessness and I am not worried anymore. I just am praying to make some money this month so I won’t be totally broke. (kinda late, though, LOL). On a more positive note, two of my former colleagues sent me some lovely baby stuff from SA. And I went to church on Sunday, prayed about the problem, and felt good about it. God is good.

J.