Sometime last year, I was at an event and got talking to a group of ladies. As the conversation trailed on, I and one of the ladies in the group clicked and drifted apart from the group. She told me about her newly launched business and she had heard of Bella Naija so it was quite an engaging conversation. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch over the months…Last week, we finally had a chance to catch up for drinks. She had told me over the phone that she wanted to discuss something relating to BN and I had assumed that she wanted us to work on a piece on her business venture but I was wrong. It was something much more personal and she wanted to share it with BN. Please read on and offer your advice and prayers – The ‘Aunty Bella’ story is Mrs. WOTL’s story as related to Bella Naija.
Dear Aunty Bella,
I have been a fan of this column for a while. It was actually what attracted me to Bella Naija, a friend of mine sent me a link to one of the Aunty Bella features because she thought it was her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend who sent it in. We had a great time trying to decipher if it was her story or not and from then got hooked on the site.
I am in my twenties and am married to a great guy. My husband and I are one of the lucky few who met each other early and maintained the relationship all through the years. We met in secondary school (he was my prom date!), dated all through uni and finally got married about 3 years ago. You can say that I have led a blessed life. Graduated on time, got married on time (yeah yeah, there is no perfect time to get married but you know Nigerian standards now). Well, it has been a great ride so far. My parents are supportive, my husband and I have a very good relationship and I have a newly launched promising business. Now to the issue, as you probably guessed from my ‘name’, I am waiting patiently on the Lord. When I got married, I swear I didn’t even give a second thought to the possibility of not getting pregnant immediately. I didn’t even think about it! I just assumed it would happen. Hubby and I were so excited that we will finally ‘shed the rubbers’ LOL. See us strategizing our honeymoon and things! Well, honeymoon was lots of fun and I was convinced that I was carrying my honeymoon baby. Afterall, I had that glow when we got back to Nigeria. Imagine my shock when I saw ‘red’ that month! I still did not fret though. Hubby and I just carried along our business as usual and each month, ‘red’. After a couple of months, I finally confided in my mom. She just said I should relax and that it would come. That I was simply overthinking things. Once, my marriage clocked one year, my mom just called me one afternoon and told me to meet up with her. One of our close family friends is a renowned gyno and she had booked an appointment for me with him. We both went to see him and we had a chat as well as some tests. Test results came back and they were fine. Therefore, I had to have that very difficult discussion with hubby. We had never discussed the fact that I hadn’t conceived all through this while so it was kind of difficult bringing it up. We talked and he was ok with doing the tests. He got tests done and all was fine. The doctor just told us to relax, improve our diet and exercise regime and also gave us some practical tips (it was cringeworthy listening to my old family friend giving me intimate tips but the man was just doing his job)! We put all that into practice but months later. Nothing! All through this time, you know the deal, others got married then pregnant, many more got unexpectedly pregnant, then all the questions and comments from people around us. Finally decided to get try assisted conception. Most of the doctors told us to be patient as we were both young, had no medical issues and had ‘only’ been trying for about 2 years. I understood their point but I was the one going through the pain. We got a good doctor decided to go with the IVF option. You know people throw terms like IVF around and you think since its commonplace, it is painless and seamless. It is not o. The whole process is painful and invasive even for the man, it is mentally tasking. During the IVF journey, I became closer to God and met so many women both in person and online. Some of these women had been trying for over 10 years! I even felt guilty because I had been married for a short while.
Well the IVF didn’t take and I was still not pregnant. The whole thing exhausted me mentally and previously jolly me found myself being eying pregnant women and turning down baby shower invites. I tried to be cool about it but I couldn’t help it. For the first time in my life, I just felt like a failure. After the first IVF, the doctor just told us to relax and keep trying naturally. He said that as a young couple with no proven fertility problems, we should be able to conceive naturally soon. At that point, I quit my job, dragged hubby on a holiday and when we got back, I just decided to let be and let God. That is the point I am at now, I am just praying and waiting on the Lord while pursuing my passion and growing as a person. For anyone on this journey with me, please keep the faith! You will not believe the rotten advice (e.g. to go to one ‘prayer house’ or the other!) and comments that I have received from the most unlikely quarters. Ignore! Yewande Zaccheus’ books ‘God’s Waiting Room I & II’ have been invaluable and open communication with hubby has helped us. For any young ladies out there, I will just advice that you take your reproductive health very seriously. Use protection, go for regular pap & STI tests and report any oddities to your doctor. You know your body better than anyone! Through my journey, I have met so many women carrying huge amounts of guilt. Please do not blame yourself for any perceived ‘wrongs’ that might be causing infertility! Even if it is true, being depressed about the past wont change the present. For me, my mom thinks I should try another round of IVF and sometimes I do get panicky and scared but I know God is in control. I will still love to hear feedback from women, any advice and stories of hope and trying.