The nurses rushed to get me from the ER and into the labor room. My husbands left hand was already squashed as I squeezed it hard anytime a wave of contraction rippled through me. I was wheeled into the labor room and helped on to the bed, my husband was still beside me trying to pry his already broken fingers from my vice grip. He was as scared as I was and also very tense.
This is our first child after 16 years of marriage, after several attempts and after various visits to the doctor’s office. The doctor said my husband had a low sperm count, he explained that it didn’t mean we were going to be childless but that it may take many attempts to conceive. It meant that there was hope, no matter how small. The doctor prescribed drugs and recommended some fruits that could help to improve his sperm count.
Things weren’t looking up for us, it wasn’t easy for me when I saw my friends with their children. Whenever my friends complain about the trouble their children gave them, deep down in my heart I’d pray for a chance to know what it felt like to be a mother, to know what it means to have your baby kick inside your womb. To feel the irritation, the cravings, even the contractions that lead to labor. I wished for it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some months later when I and my husband got the news that I was pregnant, we were overwhelmed with joy. Tears flowed freely down our faces, it was more of a miracle because the news came just when we were about to lose hope.
The pain I felt in the labor room was more that I had ever imagined, the mid wife and my husband kept encouraging me that I could do it and that I was close. With one last push, the cry of a child filled the room, I slumped back on the bed tired and trying to catch my breath. The mid wife wrapped my child in a shawl and brought it to me. I cradled it close to my chest, unable to stop my tears. I declared with tears in my eyes.
‘This child shall be called Hope’