“Jolomi don born, she born boy” were the words that greeted me this morning as I arrived work. We weren’t expecting her to give birth till later in the month so I was so shocked/elated/happy that I didn’t know when I threw my bag into the office, jumped in the air and screamed for joy. “Guy, hope all is well? Why you dey shout?” were the words that brought me back to Earth. “Oga you never hear? Jolomi just born”, I replied the CSO (Chief Security Officer) of the company.
Jolomi might just be a colleague at work but she was my favorite colleague married to one of my favorite guys working in a partner company.
I had just joined the company when I became endeared to her because of her feisty nature. She is like the lion in a sheep’s costume. You don’t want to be caught in her web when she gets angry. The customers know her for that. She got married last December and I was there as her unofficial photographer (I had a good camera so decided to form busy body taking pictures). Fast forward a few months after the wedding and Jolomi don get belle. Her name in the office changed to “shooting essential” which was a loose name acknowledging her and her husband’s speedy transition from newly wedded to future parents.
I don’t think I have ever followed a pregnant mother’s progress during pregnancy like I did hers. It was from her I learnt about the pressure of “carrying belle” for the first time. From back aches, to constant urination to frequent favors (the can’t-you-see-she’s-pregnant kinda favors).
We used to tease her occasionally, calling her Mama Ibeji or Mama Ejima (twins) and she would reply with a stern look on her face “I have gone for scan and its just one baby, I don’t want twins o. I never finish with one, na two you wan dash me. I no want. One is enough”. That didn’t stop us from teasing her with the news of her upcoming “twins” or “triplets”, if you want to provoke her.
Pregnancy seems to make a family see life differently. The man prepares for a life with an extra mouth to feed or should I say a diaper to change. He also prepares for life without the sole attention of his wife (she has to give small baby more attention than big baby). He prepares for extra bills, naming ceremony, day care bills etc. The woman on the other hand prepares for the upcoming and ultimate test of her femininity, the test that Eve (Adam’s wife) brought upon all mothers. She prepares for a pampered vacation (leave) usually 3 months for working class ladies.
So back to the when I heard she had just put to bed. I dropped my bag even before entering the office, asked for directions to the hospital which luckily was just 5 minutes walk from the office. I wasn’t the type to stroll taking my time to the hospital. I jogged/ran with such vigor that you would have thought something was chasing me. I arrived at the hospital almost out of breathe and saw a few women gathered around a new born baby. “Where is the new mother though?”, I thought to myself. Looking around in hot anticipation, I sighted the new mother casually seated like one of the women that came to see her. I hugged her and kissed baby while standing in awe of God’s faithfulness.
I was in the midst of mothers (the new mother, her mum and her mother friends) so I was out of my depth so decided to shut up and bask in the motherly euphoria that enveloped the maternity ward of the hospital. Then the when-I-was-pregnant tales began with the mother describing how she gave birth way before schedule.
She commenced, “….so three different tests run by 3 different hospitals told me that my delivery date would be sometime late this month or early December so I wasn’t expecting to go into labor anytime soon. I came to see my mum and slept over but at night I just felt the baby kicking more than usual. Why is this baby disturbing me this night like this, I thought to myself. I didn’t take it serious until the punches and kicks became more intense and I knew something was up. I decided to stand and see if the pain would subside when all of a sudden, the much anticipated and talked about ” water breaking” moment happened. I screamed for my sister and next thing I knew I was at the hospital.
All I remember was being on my wrapper with the mindset that I would deliver my baby with decency but when the pain held my waist, I didn’t know when I threw the wrapper away and was totally nude begging the mid wife to take this baby out asap. I heard her say “PUSH”. I tried pushing but the pain persisted like my whole waist was about pulling off so I closed my legs in defiance. After a little while, baby came out of me and my composure was restored and just like Adam and Eve did in the Bible, I realized I was naked and covered myself. The amazing part is that it’s less than 6 hours since I put to bed and I feel very fine without any pains. Thank God for safe and painless delivery”.
Marriage is wonderful but parenthood is a different experience entirely. I will experience both one day but while I wait, let me use this opportunity those that have gone before me. Congratulations to the Mr. Bamidele Odusi, Mrs Jolomi Odusi and the entire Odusi and Oruwigho families.