I had just finished downing an elaborate plate of Beans and Garri and decided to lie down after overfeeding.
I was still in my nightdress and it was a Saturday morning, so the laziness streak had hung around
I had been tossing and turning as I had a truckload of materials on my bed and sleeping on them was just uncomfortable. As I made an attempt to get up and fix this uncomfortable situation, the room seemed like it shook and something pushed me back on the bed.
I tried to get up again and the thing pushed me back again.
I forced myself up. I was sure to fall back so I held on to the bedpost and leaned on the wardrobe to assist my standing.
It was then I realized that I was terribly dizzy.
I managed to get to the sitting room, then I began calling for help.
“Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!”
My mother sat down there without attempting to move an inch.
“Kilode? (What is it?)”
She did not get up so I called for my Daddy instead.
I was lying on one of the chairs now and my head was spinning terribly. Something was terribly wrong.
My brother, who had noted the distress in my voice, walked up to me and asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
“My head is spinning. I can’t see. Everything is spinning.”
“Do you have a headache? How did it start? ....”
My dad came in.
“Kiloshe e?” (What is wrong with you?)
They both helped me to sit. Then my mum came in asking.
“Ehen! Abi I told you. Eat good food, you won’t eat. Take multivitamins, lailai… Exercise…. You don’t want to do anything. You would rather sit in your room from morning till night…”
My mother won’t stop. My dad had run in to check if there was anything that could help in his medicine compartment. My brother had gone in with my dad to help.
I started to get up.
“Please leave me alone! I don’t even know why I called you. Please leave me in peace. I do not need your help. Thank you.”
I got up and made an effort to walk away. This time I fell down, sprawling all over the floor on which I stood.
“Ahhhh! You better sit down oh. Where are you going now? You are not well. You better lie down. If you listen to me, all these things will not happen to you. You do not like to listen to advice. Iwa baba e lo mu (you took after your father). If we talk now, you will go and lock yourself in the room. Be sulking up and down in the house. Shey you see it now?” …. without trying to help me up.
My father came back with a bag full of drugs…. He saw what my mum had been engaged in while he was gone and said:
“Kuro kuro kuro. Afi ejo shaaaaaa! (Go away, go away, go away. You are always talking!) You talk too much. Please leave here if you know you won’t be useful.”
My mother kept quiet and watched my Daddy and brother administer the drugs they deemed fit.
I was made to sit under the shower while the men in the house came to check if I was fine.
I was also given some nasty tasting herbal mixtures to drink. I had no choice - I did not like visiting the hospital.
The dizziness felt better every time I lay back, so I figured that by the time I woke up the next day, I wouldn’t feel (so) woozy.
Even before I opened my eyes the next morning, my head had started spinning. I got up with the usual assistance from furniture and household figures.
I called my Aunt who was a nurse and told her about the dizziness. She advised me to go to a general hospital so I could be properly diagnosed. She claimed that private hospitals would collect humongous fees without paying attention to some “important details”. A few of my friends had given somewhat the same advice.
I decided to go to a general hospital the next day.
As the Baby of my house, I was never allowed to go to the hospital on my own.
Seeing that I was dizzy this time, both my parents had a wonderful excuse to come along.
From the entrance of the hospital, it was glaring that I was the last child, the Baby.
“Pele Oko mi… rora (sorry my Darling… take it easy)”, said my mother.
My father practically held my hand and let me put my head on his shoulders when we sat. My mother did the running around while my dad sat with me and laughed about my situation. He held my hand all through, the Sweetheart.
When it was time for me to see the Doctor, I went in by myself.
At our usual hospital, it was normal for my White Doctor to engage me in small talk before I recounted how I was feeling health-wise.
I had thought it was the same everywhere so I came in with a wide grin on my face.
The woman in front of me had no time for small talk.
“Good morning. What is wrong with you?”
I wiped the smile off my face immediately.
“I feel dizzy, a little nauseous and generally fatigued.”
“When last did you see your period?”
“Okkkk…” as she wrote down all I had said.
“You will do for me a blood test.”
She handed me a request form for a blood test.
She told me where to go and who to see.
I did the blood test and was asked to come back in the afternoon.
My dad, my mum and I went to see a couple of people, waited, gossiped and laughed in the car before we went back to collect the result.
As I collected the request form now containing a handwritten reply of what had been found, eager me took a peek and saw:
“MP – Negative, PT – Positive”.
Honestly, it had not occurred to me. At all!
My mum asked to see the result. When she saw the “positive” part, she said:
“Kini positive nitori Olohun? Olohun shanu wa o! (What is positive o? Have mercy Lord!)
I hardened my spirit and started to ruminate carefully back on the last time I had had sex…
It was not a good day.
I did not want to be there.
I was not in the mood.
I just wanted to go home.
I remember helping him wear the rubber with a sulk.
I took all his “pounding” without moaning or groaning. I just laid there like an icebox.
I remember he came, into the rubber.
I was sure there was no residue inside me.
And this was three months before…
I entered the Doctor’s office with a hardened look as I wanted to believe they did not think what I thought they thought.
After going through the results and writing a sheet full of stuff I could not read with her terrible handwriting, she finally stated:
“So, you’re pregnant…”
I laughed hard and said:
“Nope. I am not and cannot be pregnant.”
She raised a brow and rested her back on her miserable wooden chair.
“And why can’t you be pregnant?”
“Because I can’t! I haven’t had sex in a very long time and I saw my period this month.”
“This month? But you told me the last time you saw your period was last month?”
Her brow was still raised.
“Wait. What’s today’s date?”
She rolled her eyes and would not answer me. The stupid bitch.
I checked my phone and saw it was the 29th.
“I’m sorry. I thought we had entered a new month. Sorry. You can change that in your little book.”
“Sorry, I entered it and I cannot change it. I wonder why you’re so headstrong about this issue. The test says you are pregnant. I’m not the one that wrote it there.”
“But I’m not pregnant. I can’t be pregnant. I could go do another test for you if you do not believe me.”
“If you’re so sure you’re not pregnant, why didn’t you let your parents come in with you?”
“Excuse me? I am not a child. I do not need them following me around. It is private. It is my business, not theirs.”
I could see she was fuming inside. The stupid bitch.
“Ok. Since you’re so sure you’re not pregnant, you would do pelvic scan, to be totally sure.”
She gave me a request form for a pelvic scan.
She told me where to go and who to see.
I came out smiling, a smile that oozed fear and disbelief.
My mum knew something was wrong from the way I smiled. She asked what was wrong but I replied with a mirthless smile.
“Tell me what she told you. Don’t be afraid.”
My father moved closer at this point.
I wanted to lie and come up with some random illness but I was a terrible liar so I told them:
“They said I am pregnant, but I know I’m not so I was asked to do a pelvic scan”, in a muffled tone.
My father made to go into the doctor’s office, and then he moved back and came towards my mum.
“Let’s go and do the scan.”
My father walked slowly with his head facing downwards, his hands in his pockets.