Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blessing in Disguise

When I was growing up, there were way too many street children in my town and country as a whole. I tried so hard to share with them whenever I could. This I learned from my dear mum. It was not enough though, and it really broke my heart whenever it rained... I just didn't know how they would survive. Where did they come from? Some actually had parents who had neglected them for one reason or another. Few were orphans...  Others, their parents could not afford to take them to school. The rest were just rebellious. We saw them everyday and everywhere, that they became a part of the society and were accepted as just street boys. This in so many ways affected the way people viewed pregnancy and babies. Pregnancy out of wedlock was frowned upon. While you were still in school it was a shame. Just after high school, you were the talk of the town. My personal opinion back then, was that you were finished! It was associated with so many negative things. Unwanted pregnancy was also the cause of so many street kids. It's what your mum in your teenage years would be preventing you from, through curfews and examples of girls who had failed miserably. So I spent my whole life trying not to get pregnant till I get married. Things didn't go as planned.

 I had just been separated about 5 months, when I started feeling sick... so I went to the hospital, but the doctor just gave me a sick leave. I was not satisfied, so I went back again. When I saw the nurse was not going to that direction, I took the liberty of suggesting a pregnancy test. As usual, they asked me to go for a blood test. That was gonna take way too much time, and  I was in a hurry. After the blood test I rushed to the nearby pharmacy and bought a test kit. I had a meeting with my boyfriend later on, so I decided to use the bathroom in the mall, so that I could give him the news. I took the test and put the kit in my bag. It was really slow... I kept looking during my short trip to the other side of town, but nothing yet. Finally, I got to me destination and sat in the car where he was waiting. We decided to shake it a little bit, and slowly the lines were showing. I was pregnant? I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but one thing for sure, my marriage was officially over and there was no turning back. And as for me, I was finished! It's not like I had not made my decision, cause I was already seeing someone else... It was that, I was not married to this person and I had not been divorced.

My boyfriend however was celebrating! He was going to have champagne and pray it was a boy. That caught me by surprise! Babies from where I come from were unwelcome, if you were not married. They were mostly seen as a burden. There was school fees to think about, and all the expenses that come with bringing up a child. I had seen so many men abandon this responsibility, especially when there was no commitment like a marriage. My natural reaction was negative... and all this questions flooded my mind. I had been a good girl thus far... how could this have happened? The timing was so wrong.  What were people going to say? At this point though, my boyfriends reaction was all that mattered. I knew if he was on my side like that, I didn't have to worry about the outside world... right? I called my mum and the rest of my family, and they were so happy they were screaming on the phone. That gave me a lot of comfort and confidence. Everyone so far was on my side. Now... my friends had no idea that I was even dating this guy.

The morning to evening sickness got worse by the day. By this time, I was busy trying to stay away from everyone who knew me. My phone was mostly off and whenever I spoke with someone I pretended everything was fine. I never mentioned where I was or whether I was pregnant. I thought my friends would reject me. I was ashamed... I was scared of facing my pastor who had helped me through my hard times. My conversations were brief if I had any. I became too sick to go to work, and I would only get a few days at a time from my doctor. This continued for a month, till my summer holidays started. By this time I was not eating anything... just water and a few nuts. That was crazy. I thought it would never pass. I felt better at some point and decided to go to my home country for month. The decision was so random that I surprised my boyfriend too. I had to go. I had gone through too much in a short period of time, I needed some unconditional love. I was sickly but knowing my family would be waiting on the other side was all that mattered. My journey was difficult but the airline crew gave me so much love and blankets to take home.

I enjoyed my holiday to the max. It was so much fun to be with my family. I even forgot I was sick. There is nothing like unconditional love. We all need to bath in it when we're running low on love. It replenishes. It's amazing how small our world becomes when we're out here. Now, I could see what my mum was seeing. She would say, "Forget it, you're not the first and certainly not the last, if it's not working let it go" I could now see my life from outside, and also from where she was sitting. It was so small. It was as simple as that... let it go.  She was right.

I got so much strength and I was able to make decisions.  I wanted to live on my own, but who was I doing it for? I didn't want to be judged. My mum told me it didn't make a difference whether I moved in now or later, cause I was pregnant anyway. My family and friends showered me and my unborn with so much love, that I started embracing it. His father would call me every other day to check up on me. It was awesome. I was given priority whenever people found out I was expecting. There was favor everywhere. My mums pastor was pure awesomeness... he's so open minded cause he knew what I was going through and had been praying for me. He opened the door to my speaking career by arranging a seminar for me once he knew what my dream was. So many great things were happening. My time was running out though. I had to come back to my reality.

When I got here, the sickness became even worse for sometime. Then slowly I started feeling better as I approached 5 months. By this time, I had only been to work for a week. I stayed home till about 6 months. I had some good and bad days but I could now eat. My diet consisted of avocados, mangos, broccoli , maize and beans. My boyfriend was awesome and supportive all the way. He would be very sad though to find me lying in the same position all day. I only rose up to vomit then I would go back to bed. My confidence in the house was soaring but outside there was judgement. I had gathered the strength to tell my friends by now, and they were all so happy for me. What a reaction?... I was so relieved. My mentor is the only one I was able to share with right in the beginning and the first thing she asked me was, "can I be grandma"? The way people reacted to the news was always the opposite of what I expected. I was now in love with this baby.

This baby came to heal, strengthen and  to help me move forward with my life. I truly had no choice. Even if I was to go back, I was pregnant with someone else. He was a blessing in disguise. I only realized this, when I woke up one morning and noticed since I embraced my situation back home, all I thought about was the future. My past hurts didn't matter anymore. I was blank... no fear, no pain from the past. I was healed. God works in ways we cannot see. The timing was wrong for me, but not for him. I would have wanted to look good for sometime. To probably prove to people it was not my fault, but now it looked like my fault. I was now the bad guy. In fact, he found out and used it against me. Everything he put me through didn't matter anymore. I was now pregnant. They hurled insults at me. He called my mum and everyone else to inform them that I was pregnant. Telling my mum I should have at least waited till the divorce was final. Now he had a voice. I was too gracious to answer... I let him enjoy the show, cause soon it would not matter. He would remain bitter but I was free. Free from hatred, resentment, anger and blame.

I have never felt so much peace in my life. So much love for anything. I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy. My world is complete. I found love and a supportive family with my boyfriend. It was something I would have been ashamed of before, but having been through a huge wedding with nothing to show for it, I have come to embrace my 'come we stay' till further notice. If you ever want to move on, pretend you're pregnant cause that way... there is no turning back. After all I went through with the pregnancy, I have one question. How are all this precious children abandoned and living on their own. Where does a woman find the strength to give birth and abandon a baby? My dream of one day building a school and a home for orphans will come true.. and I hope more of us will come together and change one life, or two...... in other parts of the world because this is not only a Nairobi problem, its a universal problem.

“A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.” 
 Carl Sandburg


  1. Wow! Your stories are really easy to experience.. I read them and ask myself every question you ask or ponder... I'm happy for you for your bundle of joy. As a women's studies scholar however, I will dare say our society is sick and that is one of the many reasons we have street children. Girls and women have died having an abortion just so they don't go through the shame and rejection you describe and others have hidden their pregnancies to the end and abandoned their babies in the end just because of what society dishes them after pregnancy. To women I say, EF society! That is the one true love you can always depend on...

    1. Dear Sherri,Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that women should def forget the society. After writing this I've been having the worst vulnerability hangover ever! That's why it took so long to answer.