“The Fruit of the Womb”

Bimpe, 27

The cramps are here again. My most dreaded time of the month.
That time when I feel the tightening of my lower belly.
My uterus reminding me every month that it is without a fruit

I only get enough sanitary pads to last me a month.
I call it my act of faith. Me telling God I need a break from the bleeding.
I need a 9-month break.
I need a baby.

I met my husband Sola in church.
I knew he was the one for me.
I was convinced. I prayed about it.
I talked to my pastors and mentors.
We went about our relationship the right way.
The God way.

Now that I look back, I wonder if maybe we missed something along the way.
Maybe we didn’t pray enough.
Maybe our emotions influenced our convictions.
Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. 
There are a lot of maybes in this journey.

Our wedding was beautiful.
We were a testimony that godly relationships existed in this generation.
Our Pastors were proud. Our parents were happy.
They were lots of twins and triplets’ prayers. 
I rolled my eyes at a few of them. I hesitated before saying amen to some.
Twins and triplets felt like too much.
How I would kill for “too much” right now. 
Was that what I did wrong??

Should I have said “Amen” more enthusiastically?
I often wonder

The month after the wedding, my period came.
I didn’t think too much of it.
Yes, maybe somewhere in my mind I had expected things to happen really fast.
I got married as a virgin. Shouldn’t that count for something?

I saw my period the next month again, and then the next, and then the next, and before I knew it, it had been a year and I wasn’t pregnant.

I couldn’t bring myself to celebrate our first anniversary.
Sola tried to make me feel better about it.
He prepared a romantic dinner for us.
Candles, roses, champagne…all of it!
But I cried the whole night.
In all my thoughts, all my imaginations, I had never imagined fertility was something I would struggle with.


By year 2, there was no hiding.
In-laws were getting desperate. Pastors were getting concerned. I was getting cranky.
Having a child became a priority.
I learnt everything about my cycle. I became obsessed.
Lovemaking became sex. It became tedious. Not something to be enjoyed but a means to an end.

I prayed.
Oh I pray.
Every opportunity I get. Even during sex
Prayers for forgiveness. Prayers for mercy. Thanksgiving prayers. Any and every kind of prayer.
Anything to make me a fruitful woman.
I pray until I become too tired to pray.
Until my prayers become groanings. Wailings.
The painful cries of a desperate woman.

Sola and I fought more too.
He was frustrated by my desperation.
But how could he understand?
He was not the one getting daily prayer messages about being blessed with the fruit of the womb.

It wasn’t his stomach that people double checked every week at church to see if there was swelling somewhere.
He didn’t get half as many comments as I did.
He didn’t have the awkward conversations with aunties where they offer weird tips like what sex positions to try, or what foods to eat.

He didn’t have to deal with the womb watchers.

He couldn’t understand.
No matter how hard he tried.

The burden is on me.
It is my womb that is fruitless.

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