I’m a good mother. I believe I am. I try to do right by my daughter. Every thing I do is geared towards giving her a good life.
Kunle and I had decided early in our marriage that we wanted one child. We didn’t want to chose favourites or have to share our love. We wanted just one child who we could give our undivided attention and love. ChiChi and T.Y thought we were crazy and selfish. ‘Just one child, be real Kemi, your mother gave birth to five children’ was ChiChi response. T.Y said ‘Kemi, one child? And you think your mother-in-law will like it because I know your mum won’t’. But like all good friends, they were supportive of my decision.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was happy. I finally had it all – a career on the right track, a handsome and loving husband, great family and friends and a baby. My life was complete.
I bought books on pregnancy and parenting. Kunle would laugh at how serious I would get while reading these books. He would say ‘Doll face, you don’t have to read all these book to become a mother. You have the natural maternal instincts and you are going to be a good mother‘. This made me smile. I was flattered he thought I would make an amazing Mum. His kind words didn’t slow my reading down, I read all the books, magazines and articles I could lay my hands on. I wanted to be the best Mum for my child.
On the day of my first ultrasound, I was so scared, I asked ChiChi and T.Y to come with Kunle and I to the Doctor’s. Kunle didn’t think it necessary but he indulged me all the same. Dr. Adewole, my Obstetrician, an old man and friend of my father, was in a good mood that day and so he allowed my husband and friends into his tiny office. When I saw my baby on the screen, my heart was filled with so much love I thought it would burst. ‘Dr D, what sex is it?’ was my one and only question. ‘A girl, a healthy baby girl’. I smiled. My world was truly complete.
Nine months couldn’t come fast enough. I had a calendar where I would tick each day has it went by and journal to write my thoughts, moods and experience as a pregnant woman.
Kunle was really caring and understanding throughout my pregnancy. I got body massages, foot rub and breakfast in bed often. Even when my moods would change suddenly and I would become a fishwife screaming at him, he would smile or laugh saying ‘Would you like to take a shower to cool off a little?‘ I threw the T.V remote at him once for saying this and to think I was mad because he said Brad Pitt wasn’t cute.
My water broke in the wee hours of morning on the 21st of October. I thought I had wet myself when I woke up to pray but the slight pain I felt told me otherwise. By 7am, I knew for sure that my baby was coming. I had read for this ‘exam’ so I was prepared to excel. Kunle, on the other hand, became a nervous wreck. He started shaking and mumbling gibberish. When my pain became unbearable, I yelled ‘KUNLE, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND MAN UP, YOU AREN’T LEAVING ME ALONE IN THIS SHIT. I NEED YOU HERE, SO TELL THIS WHIMPERING IDIOT THAT WANTS TO TAKE YOUR PLACE TO FUCK OFF AND GIVE ME BACK MY HUSBAND’. He looked at me and laughed, ‘Doll face, you have never used so many swear words before, thank you for hitting me with some sense’. I smiled as he came to my side to hold my hand. When the nurse came to ask him to leave, he rushed her out of the room before I could devour her with words. ‘Who’s the bitch? I paid a lot of money to have my baby here with my husband by my side. If its against hospital policy, go fuck yourselves and give me a refund till then HE STAYS BY MY SIDE’.
I was cranky throughout my delivery. Dr. Adewole said ‘you remind me of your mother, she was like this five times. Harassing me and my nurses, she almost got off the bed to slap one of my nurses and almost…’ I cut him off ‘Dr. D, I don’t mean to be rude but as much as I would like to hear how much of a bitch my mum was to you and your staff some centuries ago, today isn’t the right time. All I want to listen to is the sound of my husband’s voice telling me how much he loves me and our daughter’. Dr. D and Mrs. Akinwunmi, the midwife, laughed out loud saying ‘You are the true daughter of your mother’.
My daughter was born with a great wail. She wasn’t pleased to be out of her mother’s body and she made her displeasure known. Her displeasure was joy to us and her wails were music to my ears.
Kunle was as proud as a peacock. He kissed my forehead and said ‘thank you doll face, she’s very beautiful’. His voice was thick with love and his eyes shone with tears. In that moment, I was a very content woman.