ON THE NIGHT MY WIFE PUT TO BED, SOMETHING HAPPENED IN THE HOSPITAL
THE COST OF MOTHERHOOD
Later in the night on the day that my wife put to bed, another woman was in the labour room, labouring and shouting to bring forth a life.
The painful cry lingered as she pushed and pushed but the baby never came out.
She was then wheeled into the Caesarean Section room my wife emerged from earlier in the morning.
Soon afterwards, she had her baby – also a baby girl as we had.
Then she was moved into the same ward we were.
This was where the drama began.
The new mother suddenly began to talk gibberish (Speech or writing that is unintelligible, incoherent or meaningless.)
It sounded like what the Yorubas call “abisinwin.”
That is, postpartum psychosis.
She began to tell her husband to take care of the new baby as if she was preparing to die.
She told her husband to remain humble even after becoming wealthy.
She went on saying a lot as if she was giving her last words before breathing her last.
We were scared in the hospital ward as she looked all weak as though she had just returned from wresting with an elephant and coming out triumphantly.
Her somewhat meaningless talk (to us) made everyone apprehensive.
We were just praying for her.
Childbirth is a deadly journey. It is a journey of life and death.
I wonder little then when the Yorubas greet new parents “E ku ewu omo.”
That is a way of commending someone who just emerged from the dangers of childbirth.
The woman got better but she never believed she said all she said.
She was in another world at that time, I suppose.
Motherhood is a tough phase.
It costs a lot.
During my wife’s pregnancy in 2018/2019, she had a nasal congestion that has not left her till now.
It is called pregnancy rhinitis (an inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose) and it makes breathing so difficult as both nostrils get blocked.
It is more than usual catarrh.
It is a cost of motherhood we are yet to get any solution to.
Research revealed it should go on its own in two weeks but my wife’s rhinitis has not gone in more than three years.
Following her birth, she has had a backpain that she is managing till date.
Motherhood brought that pain too.
Oluwatìmíléhìn Faremi Anani had a pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (Hypertension)
It has since gone after the delivery.
She had wrist pain for many months after delivery too. She could not bear anything heavy at all – not even to wash a baby’s clothe.
The pain was severe.
Pregnancy also took her tiny and sweet voice away.
Timmie’s voice used to be a melting one but pregnancy turned it to a coarse one.
I am managing it like that as she is getting it back gradually.
My sweetheart’s flat tummy gave way too.
To get it back is a war as the backpain won’t allow for much bodily exercise too.
It is a cost of motherhood for some like my wife.
Other women give birth only to develop some complications that they get to live with for years before getting solutions or sometimes, having to deal with them for their lifetime.
Curiously, some never have any issues afterwards.
Postpartum complications like uterine, bladder, or kidney infections, pain in the vagina or rectum, excessive bleeding, vaginal discharge, stretch marks, pregnancy-induced diabetes, painful haemorrhoids, urinary or fecal incontinence, tooth or hair loss, depression, difficulty with sleeping, and sometimes the supreme price of death, are some cost of becoming a mother.
I didn’t mention the cuts in the tummy in a CS or the tears in a vaginal delivery.
These things re-make the woman. They are the cost of motherhood.
But how did our mothers manage to roll out 6 to 8 children?
How on earth did my mother have at least 7 children that I grew up to know?
In all these, you will agree that women are strong.
Fathers equally pay a lot to earn that name.
By payment, I do not refer to just monetary sacrifice.
Fatherhood cost = Motherhood cost + other costs.
It takes the man the cost of motherhood plus other costs to earn that title.
It is the reason the man ought to care for his wife a lot.
These other costs are numerous too: money is one.
In addition to this, the tender care for the wife, full attention to the wife, provision of emotional support for the wife, being a part of the children’s total life, being responsible in total and putting the family first are some non-monetary costs a true father pays to retain his title respectfully.
In summary, the job of being a mother is hardly well paid. I’m not sure we can determine the salary breakdown fairly.
The same applies to the man.
These two responsible people raise lives that are invaluable.
These two people are serving God when they parent a child in honour to God.
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