No one can fill the gap (2)


After visits to so many hospitals, my husband said we should not bother ourselves again, that God would give us our own children at the right time. In fairness to his people, they never disturbed me, though I had thought that, because he was the eldest child, and in his late 40s, the pressure would be on him to have a child. His sisters, even those from the other wives, kept praying for me. But I didn’t let this get into my head because I knew that, at some point, they could change their song.
I stayed in that state, waiting on the Lord for five years. On the day my husband clocked 53 years, we decided to host some friends in our new house. Our pastor, some members of the church and close relatives were also there. The pastor was declaring the small event open when I fell and the next thing I could recollect was that I found myself in the hospital. When I opened my eyes, the doctor was smiling at me, without saying anything. Before I could ask to see my husband, he was at the door, also smiling.
I asked him to tell me what brought me to the hospital and he said, “our baby”. I just started crying because I knew there and then that he meant I was carrying our baby after all the years of waiting. I looked at him and said “Congrats”, and he replied: “to both of us.” But the doctor on duty said I could not still go home because they needed to be sure I was fit to be discharged. I went home after one week and my mother-in-law and her last child were at home to receive me. It was as if no one had been pregnant before in their whole family. They treated me like a queen and would not allow me to touch anything in the house.
My younger sister was also not far from us. She usually came every weekend to be sure I was alright. I was all they had, so they had my back all the time. She was always happy and thankful to God for giving us another true family after the demise of our parents. As the pregnancy grew older, my husband’s love for me grew with it. He started treating me as if we had just met, taking me out to watch movies at short notice, and to eat out even when our house was like a rich restaurant with his mother around.
When I was three months gone, he put me on one of his official trips to the United States, though he, and not his company, paid for it. He only added me on the list as his wife, who was accompanying him, to facilitate the issuance of a visa to me since it would be my first time of travelling outside Nigeria. We spent only one week on that trip, but I soon realised that he did that to pave the way for me to have our first child in the US.
I renewed the three months Visa when it expired and left at seven months to have my baby. I stayed with my husband’s bosom friend in Atlanta and felt really at home with his caring wife, who is still a very close friend till now. She made life easy for me without the usual pampering that I got from my in-laws and my siblings back home. As my Expected Date of Delivery drew nearer, we planned that my husband would be by my side in the labour room. I had always dreamt of that. My husband also planned for it by arranging his annual leave to fall within the period so he would be able to leave office for at least two weeks.
So the D-Day came. I fell into labour eight days before my EDD. Coincidentally, it was the day my husband commenced his leave. Since he had booked his ticket for three days after, his friend in the US had to look for agents to help him get another flight for the evening of that day. At that point, I was in pains, so I could not partake in their discussions. But the doctor said it was still in the very early stage and it could take another 13 hours for me to fall into the real labour. I was crying, calling my husband’s name and begging my late parents to pray for me. Unlike what I expected, the actual delivery was not as painful. The baby came without stress, a bouncing baby boy. At The Point of delivery, which was about eight hours before the estimated time, I had forgotten all about my desire to have my husband beside me in the labour room; all I wanted was to give him a child that I had begged God to give me as compensation for my husband’s love and care for me. After setting my eyes on the bundle of joy, I asked my husband’s friend if my husband had not arrived and he said that their flight was delayed and he had to reschedule for another day. So I made for the phone, to call him and let him hear the cry of his baby. That was when I knew something terrible had happened to me. So many things transpired between that time and when I finally found out the truth. But I’ll cut the story short.
My beloved husband died exactly two minutes after I gave birth to our baby. His friend had called to break the news to him, but it was a sympathiser who picked the call. He had a fatal accident on his way to the airport and died along with the cab driver. Six years after, I’m still in shock. I have been blaming myself for wanting to have a child by all means. Perhaps, if the child had not come at the time, my husband would still be alive. But God knows best. I want to seize this opportunity to thank my in-laws for adopting me as their own. It was a big loss for everyone, but they see our baby as their consolation. Continue to rest in perfect peace my love.