Monthly Archives: February 2010

Counting My Blessings

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It was 2004, I believe, I had recently been duped of some money I paid for a house, my soon-to-be-ex landlady was on my neck to leave her place (I’ve never been lucky with accommodation, right from University), so I had moved to a friend’s bq. Unfortunately, as it turned out, she also wanted me out too for some reason, so I was stuck. At that time, as at now. I had no way of gathering the money needed to make rent again. everything I had was gone into the dupe’s hands. I don’t know if it was then I turned to God, or before then, but I held on to Him and believed in a miracle. I had turned away from doing evil, including sleeping with my boyfriend who I told I was turning my life around. (Funny, boyfriend, then, is baby daddy now- so much for that resolve.)

I actually enjoyed being Christian then. It wasn’t borne out of a need per se but just a desire to do right by God. I loved going to church , both on Sundays and during the week, and I loved the communion with Him ; my neighbours thought I was having an affair with someone and was concealing it. Anyway, in the midst of this situation was when this accommodation issue came up again. I was at a loss as to where to get money to pay for a flat, and my friend was not finding it funny with me still in her bq. Anyway, one day, as I went to God in prayer I got this idea to contract my services to my former boss for the price of the accommodation. I knew this idea was divinely inspired because it made a lot of sense yet it seemed a tad too difficult. My former place of employment, then, was the biggest independent TV station in Nigeria. I joined it because it was an ambitious and promising project, I left because it had too many issues. The people were not paid regularly and as a result they became mercenaries at their jobs, only going for the highest bidder, the equipment was unavailable, etc. He never wanted me to leave, in the first place, and he did a lot to make me stay, but the structure of that place and my standard of living, did not fall in line with my dreams for my first job.

So, this was the situation God advised me to go back and ask for, and I obeyed. The miracles started almost immediately. When I got to the office, I wondered how I was going to go to his office and make my offer. I did not need to worry because he saw me as I came into the premises and opened his window in the penthouse, and asked me if I was running away from him.

I wish, I wish, I wish

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The worst day of my life was probably a few weeks ago. Around mid-February. Due to the bill for my delivery that I had been given by my doctor, 300k (naira) I decided to look for a cheaper and equally as close place to give birth. My doctor had warned me that I would not get it any cheaper than that because of my status, but I decided to try anyway.

I went to the hospital where my friend’s sister gave birth because I heard it was only 180k for a CS. I asked for the doctor from the nurses and receptionists in the very crowded hospital, and for some reason it seemed I had committed a sin. There was a lot of whispering and turning to look at me, over and over again. I guess they just did not understand why a heavily-pregnant woman would want to see the main gynaecologist without registering. Anyway, finally they told him,and he came OUT of his office, stood by the stairway, and asked me to hurry up with what I had to say. When I mentioned my status, he immediately asked if it was my HIV status and said he actually did not deliver ‘them’ in his hospital. ‘They have a centre in LUTH, I actually used to send them there until I heard of my colleague who delivers them not far off.’ I asked what was so special about delivering HIV + women, and he said a lot of things have to be prepared for the delivery but he never asked his colleague how he does it for ‘them’. He then gave me directions to the hospital where ‘they’ were attended to, and he went back in.

My doctor had told me that it was difficult to get a colleague who could perform the surgery I needed (Caesarean) because HIV+ people were discriminated against among doctors. I thought it was a lie until this happened. He said he brought it up in the meeting they usually have and many of them verbally put him down. They asked why he wasn’t sending them to their centre and why he was bothering. some said they never wanted to know their status. Doctors! How will the stigma ever end? And even in the centre which is a great distance away from most places, the way the people are handled is appalling. A queue that goes on for days because there are only a few people to answer to everybody, and I can imagine the kind of insult such people receive.

Anyway, I went to the hospital that attended to ‘them’, only to find out that the MD was unavailable. I never went back again, though, because the place didn’t look too clean or organised.

Telling my mum about my status was quite difficult but it was probably the best decision. However, now she bothers me to go to some pastor we both know, to be prayed for, so I can be healed. I have been going there for weeks now – believe it or not- but suddenly I am tired. Is God not enough? Must I chase miracles? And I am not also comfortable with his mountain of fire type of prayers. In truth, though, I guess I am a bit disappointed because I was prayed for and I went to do a blood test again, and it was still positive. A part of me considers it silly, to ask for healing for an illness that has been said to have no cure, to start looking for miracles in church, like all those ‘other people’.But though this illness is not a death sentence, the stress of attending to it, and taking care of yourself is killing, not to mention expensive.

In an unrelated development, my mum will come in a week to see me, before she returns, again, in 3 weeks, for the birth.. I had wanted to see my mum for years in my place in Lagos, I just never knew it woukd be under these circumstances. How she will manage with me in one room in someone else’s house is a problem for me. I wonder if the people will show her respect, how she will eat (presently, I mostly make my own food), everything. I feel like a disappointment as a child; now when she should sit back and enjoy the fruit of her labour, she has to attend to an adult child, with no income and no house, who has an incurable disease, and is having a child for a man at large. After all she has gone through for her kids. Honestly, not that I am ungrateful for this place or anything,but, even in this state that I am, if I find a more private place to go to, a place of my own, I will leave without thinking about it. I wonder what I’ll do after the birth. How I’ll get a house, when there obviously seems to be no in-road here. Already, my friend’s 10 year old son walks past me without greeting me, for reasons best known to him.Ordinarily, that would not have even caught my attention, but the mixture of hormones and circumstances make things hurt more than usual.

Still, I thank God. I’m expecting a part payment for a job I did for some people in SA. If that comes I can cover 2/3rds of the hospital bill and still have a little money to buy some baby things. Fingers crossed.

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Today is Sunday but I’m not quite feeling like going to church at all. Is it because I desperately need a miracle to pay for my delivery and buy my baby’s things and I cannot get one? Or because I am down to my last 3000 naira and do not expect payment for the freelance job I got which I can’t do myself but no longer have the werewithal to send people out to do? Is it because I am tired of the inconvenience and lack of privacy in staying in someone’s house? Yes to all. I’m just tired. I want a way out, and death is not out of the question. I feel that if God has time for me it is not now so it’s better to just forget it altogether. I don’t know…

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It turns out that it’s when you really need to write that you don’t feel like. Anyway, a lot has happened in the last month or so – wow, it’s exactly a month-and I hope I can remember it all. (One thing I can say for this pregnancy is that it is definitely eventful, if anything.)

So I moved out of my friend’s house into another friend’s place. When she kicked me out I tried frantically to get a place around or within that same area, as my hospital where I am registered is in that estate. I tried to raise money through friends by getting 12 friends to each get 1000 naira from 60 friends. The idea was to raise about 700k which was half of the rent required for a 2 bedroom flat I saw, including agent fees and sundry, and to beg the landlady to allow me pay for only one year. Not a few of my friends made promises, appalled that I had to go that far. But suffice it to say that all those plans, and those promises, fell through.

At the same time I plucked up courage to finally tell my father about the pregnancy. The decision was prompted by a discussion I had with my mum concerning the accommodation problem. I mentioned to her that my cousin called me

That Day In History

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My friend’s elder sister gave birth or was delivered of her baby today, 12th February. A really cute baby that had been in the womb for 41 weeks. I saw when she hurried out of the house in the wee hours of the morning; at about 4:15am. A little part of me envied her, a major part of me was happy for her. I’m just going on 32 weeks and I can’t wait for it to be over, not to talk of someone who has been at it for 40 weeks!

When I heard she had given birth I was suddenly struck with the reality of the situation I was/am in. It was made worse by the fact that I have still not bought anything for the baby, nor paid for my hospital bills; not out of a lack of trying to get freelance work or money but for reasons best known to God.

I know there’s a lot of info to fill in and I’ll do it in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, I need prayers to be able to live up to my responsibility, and take care of my needs.