You can call me a scorned woman and you won’t be wrong.
My husband and I have been married for over 12 years with no child. Not once did I take in for my husband, so mine wasn’t a case of miscarriage, nah. Not once did my menses not show in twelve years!
As is the case in Africa, I was the one who bore the burden of guilt. It had to be me who couldn’t get pregnant, it had to be me who had a womb that couldn’t hold babies, it had to be me who had aborted all her children while at school and can’t have any child today when she needs one.
And to be quite honest with you, I am guilty of one abortion, it happened when I was at school. I was careless, I was young, I was stupid too. I got involved with a boy who was also clueless like me and before I knew it, I was pregnant, in my second year. Ha, thanks to my roomie, she took me to a fourth year medical student who removed it for me.
That was the defining moment for me and I never had to think much about it until I finally got married because after that incident, I kept my legs closed for real, until I got married! That abortion scared me shitless!
I never told my husband I had done any job on my womb, why tell him? Do I know how many he had done to other girls? That chapter of my life was closed and I wanted to keep it that way.
I began to see fertility doctors who made me do several tests, many of them very painful – scraping of my womb, blood tests, hormonal tests, I can’t begin to tell you…at the end of it all, I was told that there was no reason I couldn’t have children.
I would get home and beg my husband to go with me to the next doctor’s appointment, he never did. He would always say I should trust God that God is the giver of children and not doctors. I believed him but I was also a woman who wanted to cradle a child, so I would sneak back to the doctors.
One day, we were praying at home, and I was telling God that this problem of childlessness should be removed from our name but my sister, instead of my husband to answer amen, he replied, ‘I have no problem , o. I am a complete man’
I finished prayers that night but was too angry to confront him. What did he mean by he doesn’t have problems? You know, I felt it was stupid of him to say that and in the place of prayer too. I had never accused him of being responsible for our childlessness so was he accusing me?
But we were about to go to bed and I didn’t want to start a talk that would prevent me from sleeping that night, so I let it go.
The following day, I confronted him, I said, ‘what did you mean by you don’t have a problem?’
He went this way and that way, saying he knows he is a complete man. He had told me God would do it in His time, I should just take things easy…he had tested that he was complete…
Ok, I said to myself, maybe he was ‘faithing’ it…hummn.
It was not faith o, he strongly believed he had no problem, as in there was nothing wrong with his sperm, he could father children. I didn’t know he had based his so called faith on an event that was unfolding but I wasn’t aware of at that time.
What was the event? Apparently, he had a girlfriend, one small girl in the university who had been deceiving him or maybe I should say both of them have been deceiving each other.
Why did I say that? Wait now, you are in a hurry, let me explain.
When my husband said he had no problems, he had been told his girlfriend was pregnant and he had convinced the girl not to remove the pregnancy, saying he would take responsibility as a man who had no child from his marriage, so you understand?
I did not know about all these.
So, shortly after the matter of problem or not, my husband decided he would follow me to the clinic that I had been ‘harassing’ him about. Because you see, as far as he was concerned, if he could impregnate a girl, then he had no ‘problems’ which means the ‘problem’ would be me, who never got pregnant through him even for one day. You get?
So it was a very confident husband who went with me to the hospital.
He did a series of tests, these took a few months, you know it wasn’t a one-day thing.
At the end of it all, after we had been moved from doctor to doctor, hormonal tests to hormonal tests, drugs to drugs, the doctors concluded, my husband CAN never father a child!
They presented us with all the tests, results, the examinations, the drugs, the everything, they said we should think of adoption that my husband no get shinshin pikin for hiM body!
My heart dropped! Why? See, even at that time, I had no idea someone had got pregnant for him. You know the way doctors behave when they want to give you bad news. They were perambulating, ehen, having children or not should not determine how a marriage will last, there are options to consider, that a man cannot father children doesn’t make him less of a man…
As soon as they said he couldn’t father a child, my husband just got up from the seat, gbagam.
He banged the doctor’s table, gbam, told the doctors they were quacks, that there was nothing wrong with him, then she dropped the bombshell, that his girlfriend just gave birth the week before and so the problem was with me because after all, I was the one who never got pregnant, even once!
My head was spinning. See what this man has done to me, ooo, Osanobua! I was too shocked to even think straight!
I didn’t even remember that I had once been pregnant at school, but my sister, even if I remembered, na that kind place I for talk am? I just kept my mouth shut.
Why confess like witch?
My husband was just screaming at the doctors, then he stormed out of the doctor’s office, he left me there.
I felt two things, shame and relief! Shame that my husband revealed he had a girlfriend outside in the presence of outsiders; relief that, indeed, the problem of not bearing a child wasn’t even my problem; because if the evidence we were presented is true, then I am not the one with problems, it was my husband.
But now remains the problem of the baby; who’s baby is it if indeed my husband can not father a child?
How is that my dilemma?
Well it’s my dilemma because, at this point, I have no idea what I should do, 12 years no be beans. Where will I start from, how do I start? You know? With who? I want a child but how do I get one? Walk out of my marriage? I love my husband.
Presently, my husband and I don’t even talk because I feel betrayed; meaning if indeed he could father children, this is how he would have left me for that small girl? I feel so betrayed, so hurt by it all but I also feel thankful that I can have children…but with another man? But how would I even begin to look for another man, where would I start? I never planned my life like this!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)