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This is the post excerpt.

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Am looking at me in the mirror, days have gone so fast. Those wrinkles are adding a number each dawning day. Am still upright, though not as energetic as I was. It’s a great day am looking forward to. My children, 9 of them, five girls and four boys shall be gathering tomorrow, with their children. It has grown to a huge family. The last time we gathered like this was three years ago, when laying my dear late wife to rest. It looks like yesterday. I was 85 then. Life hasn’t been the same without her. She succumbed to breast cancer. Having battled with the monster for 3 years. It was the most difficult of times. We have had difficult ones before, but this was unbearably trying. When I watched her in pain on that hospital bed, I knew am loosing a friend, a confidant, a sister I never had.

The day she slept to no awaking, she held my hand, prayed for me and the children, little did I know it was her goodbye. She prayed that I would find peace in her absence, that I will be a unifying factor to the children and that in my old age I’d find the strength to carry on. I left the hospital during the final visiting ours of the day, 1800hours, hoping to find her smilling through pain the following day. But I found an empty bed. Nothing on that bed.

I knew she was gone, gone for good. I’d not see her again in this life. No more. I collapsed on the seat by that bed. Men shouldn’t cry, so it is in our community. How I wished I could change things, my heart ached, it bled blood, till it bled water. Pain, pain, pain.

Life had to get going, we planned for the burial. The solemn ceremony was conducted. I drew hope, I drew hope in the sermon Fr. Kariuki preached; dear ones, as we gather today, to bid farewell to our fallen fellow soildier, let us be reminded, we shall all fall asleep someday. It is a painful and sad experience that we’ll have to endure someday. May we find strength in this, that though we sleep, we shall awake someday. In new glory and life. As Christ was gloried, so shall we all be crowned in eternity if we die in Christ Jesus. Amen.

I knew, my day would come too. It would be a glorious day, for I shall be put to rest from all hadles of this world. So we laid her to rest. Gathered in the evening to comfort one another and pray. Life has rolled on. My children have been my light, they have lit my most darkest moments. For in their smiles, in their eyes, I have seen the unbeatable strength that was in their mother, my late wife. The Lord rest her soul peacifully.

As I look through the mirror, all my days seem like yesterday, flown so fast. Am all grey, can hardly do a thing for myself. Oh if youthfull days would listen and give my strength back. But I delight in the wisdom that comes with age. As for her prayer on that bed, I have found strength, peace and have been a source of unity for my family, our family.

Tomorrow, I look forward to the gathering. As we celebrate her 3rd anniversary, I so much desire to join her, does she miss me like I do? Has she been crowned and clothed in angelic righteousness? How is her life in that other world? If I could be taken home today, or in my sleep, sleep to no awake, I’d join her in worship, just like in those days we sang in the choir in our thirties, how beautiful it could be!

My children, our children would celebrate our lives in a single day and ceremony, it would keep them together, unified, strengthened, loving each other, desiring to live like Mummy and Daddy.

I see flowers, beautiful flowers, gathered by the river, flowering more beautifully, oh what beauty awaits me.

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Handling An Early Pregnancy Episode 5

He acted surprised. “Hey, how are you doing? Wow. You still around?” I didn’t know which to answer first. I shook his hand and that of the elderly man he had at the back.

Baby jumped up, rolled and kicked heavily. God! Does she know this is whoever he should be because not father? I mean its him, yeah. The hormones worked well. Funny enough I was excited. “Yes. I am.” He must have hoped that I was back to school since it was early May. Thank God for the early strike. It was working for my good. I was eight months old then. My baby bump was awesome. I look back then and I wish I enjoyed my pregnancy more.

We didn’t exchange much pleasantries. We parted shortly but not without a soft light warning, “were it not for my father here..” Referring to the man he carried. Honestly I don’t know what I’d have done to him. Pinched his nose, told him to carry the baby, kissed him, stolen his bike keys. I do not know. A part of me missed him though. It is stupid to feel so after such negligence but I felt so. Had it been in the dark or in privacy I think I’d have considered having a really good time. God forbid!

Hardly had he ignited his old engine, than I broke down in tears. They flowed heavily down my cheeks. I let them flow. It hurt. It did hurt that he acted like we were just ‘hello’ friends. It did hurt that he didn’t act more warmly. It hurt. I missed him. I missed to hear him say that he loved me, us. That he cared. That he still thinks about us. That he’d come through for us, at least for emotional support if not for anything else. I cried myself dry on my way home. The least I could do is hold my tummy and talk to my baby. Tell her that She’ll be okey. That I love her and would allow no one hurt her. I held her and she hardened. She must have sensed the emotional tension. As I walked home I hoped that he’d call me later in the evening. To say he was glad to see us, find out how we’re doing. He didn’t dare. It was a difficult time.

That evening I tried hard to act fine. Engaged everyone in a simple chat about baby naming. They gave their suggestions but I had already settled on a name immediately I sensed I could be carrying a baby. I had two in mind. That of a boy and a girl.

The last month dragged heavily. I was so tired by then. Oh pregnancy. Oh motherhood. I was worried about labour. Depending on how tired I felt, I wondered if I had enough strength to push baby out. At eight months I had not done any baby shopping! Yes. I didn’t know where to start, what to buy or what not to. I didn’t have the money anyway. Mummy did the shopping for her grandchild! It was a relief. Mummy took care if me and my child! While Mr was probably busy making another girl pregnant. I don’t expect he was abstaining. No.

Let’s talk about another exciting moment. My ultrasound scan at 36 weeks. I was determined I would not ask the doctor what gender my baby was. I would open my Christmas gift box once its Christmas day! Haha You don’t celebrate new year before 0000hrs on 1st of January. Do you?

I laid on the bed and pulled up my dress. The doctor was a He. A father figure. He was friendly. We chatted tirelessly, about school, home, pregnancy and many other things. Aawwwee the cold thick liquid on my belly. Huh He scanned all over checking baby’s heartbeat, positioning, head and the usual stuff.

“What are you expecting?”

“Mmh am not very sure but I think it’s a girl.”

“Then that means you are not ready for the news.’

“Not really. I had purposed to wait till she’s born.”

“Oh. I see. But there is no harm in having an idea, right?” He aroused my curiosity and I wanted to know now.

“Oh can I see her?” He turned the screen and I saw her. My baby. Smiling. And he showed me the genitals.

“What can you see?”

“Aaahh looks like two lips opening…”

He broke into a soft loud laughter. “Naughty girl! Yeah. She is her!”

Wow. I was so happy. I was glad. Ooh Wanjiku is on the way. It was one of the few happiest days I experienced. He queried about her paternity but I avoided it. It saddened my face and when he noticed so he changed the topic.

 

Handling An Early Pregnancy Episode 4

I did suit myself. Trust me I did. I went through my attachment period and finished successfully. Am grateful to God that I did well although not my best. I immediately left home for Christmas holidays. I was afraid, tense. I didn’t know how I’d be received. Would Mama embrace like before. Would she cheer me up? Would she quarrel me? How about Daddy, would he stomach that? Do I have the courage to face him? I didn’t know. I postponed going home about four times till my siblings tired. They stopped asking anymore.

I took to travel anyway and arrived home shortly before darkness fell. Mummy wasn’t home. Daddy wasn’t home. We had supper and Mum came quite late. They had gone for a baby shower somewhere. I purposed not to go to bed before her arrival. It was on Saturday. She came, hugged me and didn’t ask anything. Simply gave me a warm welcome. Prayed and went to sleep.

On Sunday morning I woke up quite late. They were all outside. Daddy and I hugged warmly. He didn’t give me any suspicious look. I was 16 weeks then. We prepared for church.

On our way Mummy and I talked.

“How was work?”

“Not bad. Does Daddy know?”

“Yes.”

“What! And what did he say?”

“Was there anything to say? He just got a little shocked and relaxed.”

“Mmmh okey. And he didn’t behave like he knows anything when he greeted me today.” I relaxed. The discussion went on however. From Mr, to his response, to many things till we arrived in church. She had asked me whether my tummy isn’t visible. I was reluctant but never thought so. Am glad awkward suggestive behaviours had ceased. My face however said it. It had turned baby-like, smooth, supper brown. Oh baby hormones. I miss that face.

We were now on long holiday. I was hoping to get back here and try do some one, two, three things and at least get some cash. The conditions curtailed me from that. Christmas passed, January passed. I was called somewhere to teach. At first I agreed then I said no.

My tummy is now bulging day by day. Nothing changed between daddy and I. We related as before. He has never asked me a thing till today! My siblings didn’t seem to notice anything. They only complained that am not doing chores nor joining them to the farm. I lazied at home for a month. Then this particular morning, I sent my sister to pic something for me from my handbag. She saw a folded booklet. Pink in cover. She must have taken sometime because she delayed and I followed her. I found the booklet in her hands and I literally froze.

“What is this book for?”

“What do you think it is for?”

“Hosi.”

“Yeah.”

“Kwani wewe ni mgonjwa?”- are you ill?

“In a way.” I responded and snatched the book from her.

“Mercy uko na ball”? – Are you pregnant?

“Ikiwa imetoka wapi?”- Where from? I was becoming overly defensive and I was failing. She sat on a stool and I sat on the bed.

“I know that book. Wanawake wajawazito huenda nayo hosi!”

“Yes. Am pregnant. Are you satisfied?”

The silence that followed was extremely Scarry. I was being too harsh on her and she didn’t deserve it. She was only being concerned. She was so inquisitive and I told her the story. She’s an adult anyway so there was no point in hiding.  No sooner had I opened the door to leave than my other sister stormed the room. I ignored her and walked out. I overheard her query, “kwani mlikuwa mnafanya nini?”

“Hakuna.” And she followed me out.

Mr has completely shut me off by now. Still attending my clinical visits. My belly is growing daily. Am loving her every move. She’s now soma salting. Playing football and doing rope jumps. Those were the happiest and satisfying times.

I bumped into Mr in town this particular day when going home after my prenatal checkup. He was riding his bike and was carrying an elderly man. I stood on the road and dared him to pass me by my look. He stepped on the breaks and halted. I have to admit that what transpired was one of those encounters I find so difficult to erase from my mind.

 

Handling An Early Pregnancy Episode 3

“Hello, Mum, are you at a place we can talk?”

“Yes. Is there a problem?” She queried.

“Well, not really but something isn’t right.”

“Okey. What?”

“There is something I want to tell you. It is not praiseworthy but I hope you’ll understand.” I was beginning to get emotional now. I didn’t know how exactly to put the words. Which word was supposed to come after which. “Eeem…”

“What?” She was beginning to loose her patience.

“I am heavy,” That is from my local dialect.

“What! How? Why have you struck yourself this way? Huh?”

Silence.

“Where did you say that guy is from?”

“Murang’a.”

That was the first lie among many. Oh God.

We didn’t have a lengthy talk that moment. She told me she’d call me later in the evening.

Trust me things got a little tricky. I requested her not to let Daddy know that soon. I had purposed to break the news to him myself. I wanted to assure him that I’d still be his pride. That I’d still pull through successfully. I was not sure about that though. I doubt I had the courage to tell him that. Even in writing. I feared I’d break down irreparably.

Things got tough. Mama and I went silent for a week. I could not handle the pressure. I was determined to fight for my little star. I remember Daddy and I lost touch too. Either my conscious betrayed me, or mummy had told him already. He continuously sent me upkeep funds throughout, but we hardly communicated. This particular Sunday I gave him a call, to at least cross over and pretend all was well.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey”

“Tumetupana sana”

“Kidogo.”

“Mmmmh Oh okey, in salamu tu.” Me.

“Sawa.”

It is as fresh in my memory as I can remember. Our talks with my Dad are always hearty, filled with jokes and laughter. This however, was the exact opposite. It is either he was stressed or he was absorbing the shock of the news. The latter is the most probable.

I litteraly broke down after that conversation. How could I? Paulo’s first born do this? How shall I be a good example to my siblings. I wished there could be something I could do to undo the done. I wished I had at least used protection. Taken an emergency pill or just abstained. It wouldn’t have killed. Would it?

Mr does not pick my calls now. He doesn’t reply my messages. A week after my bed rest break, at about 12 weeks I requested him we talk. He had told me earlier to seriously think about this matter. The wisdom of bringing up this child.

“Mercy,”

“Yes.”

“Time is really flying. The more we delay, the more it is getting dangerous.”

“Meaning?”

“Why can’t we solve this matter once and for all. Are you ready to be a mother? At your age? Consider you have more studying to do. This isn’t a good timing for this. I am not ready for this yet. Am asking you, to kindly think about this matter again.” Of course he sounded as romantic as before. In a very calm and composed sexy voice. I love his voice. I do. At some point I thought he was making sense.

“Am sorry. I already purposed. Am keeping the baby.”

“Oh! You are? Wow. Suit yourself then.” The line went dead.

Handling An Early Pregnancy Episode 2

I was 22 years old and about three months or so. I had just completed my third year. In a weeks time I was supposed to begin my industrial attachment. I still didn’t have a place to be attached. Am through with exams and its when am writing my application letters and CV. I did find a place anyway, about two weeks later. After my exams we had met, Mr and I, and you know what.

Two weeks into my industrial attachment I missed my moon. I didn’t see her. It didn’t worry me much since sometimes the cycle misbehaves with a day or two. I carried out the pregnancy test and it turned out negative. A false negative, for hardly three days later it turned out positive. I was tense, glad yet worried. We had been in touch so I gave him a call.

“Hey?” I

“Hello? How was work today?” Mr

“It was good. Fitting into the system slowly.”

“Oh that’s good. By the way, has she showed up yet?” He asked.

“No. That’s why I called. She’s actually fertilized!” I heard him sigh deeply.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Holy sure.”

“Alright. Mmmh, let me think it through. I’ll get back to you.”

“Alright. Have a good night.”

“Good night baby.”

Oh! I didn’t know what to expect. He didn’t sound upset or angry so I felt optimistic. I had my attachment to handle, the travels of about an hour to and fro daily. The expenses, the fatigue, the needs of the baby. I was so determined. I became more prayerful than before. I prayed for strength. I prayed for my baby. I was so zealous to protect her. I didn’t have a second thought. She had to be supported. The first eight weeks were not troublesome. Although, I really slept at work! Frequent hunger, oh God. My colleagues didn’t bother much anyway.

I talked to my manager secretly. I requested her to at least allow me leave a bit early. She agreed and actually allowed me to be leaving everyday at 4 or 3.30 depending on the activities of the day. I was doing some small hawking back at school in the evenings to sustain myself. It got so tiring and my body refused to cope. I was straining a lot and baby got tired too. She started loosing herself and I was ordered by the doctor to take a total bed rest, till the bleeding ceased. I had to ask for some money from a friend for the medication. Mr sent an eighth of my bill later in the night. I was already at home and had sorted the bill. There are some tablets I didn’t buy actually. Huh

Am 12 weeks old now. Mine wasn’t morning sickness. It shifted to evening sickness. I could throw up heavily in the evenings. She refused food! Especially greens. I took milk, yoghurt and roasted maize. She loved bitter and sour things. I can literally count the days I went to work. God help me!

I have to inform my parents now. I couldn’t call my dad. It could be easy talking to mum first. So I thought to myself. We are now knocking heads with Mr. He says that I meant to trap him. Oh it was intentional. I believe in my anger and agitation I must have made some demands that may have suggested so. Whatever! So he locked up. No calls, no texts no nothing! Yeah.

Charity, was there too. Encouraged me, prayed with me, checked on me and God bless her.

I talked to my cousin Joyce first. She screamed her head off. “Have I not told you before? Couldn’t you have used protection…..” For five minutes then she stopped. “Anyway, what do we say now?” She was of good support. I celebrate you darling.

Hope FM and Radio Maisha became my friends during those two weeks I was on bed rest. I heard a Lady call and say she’s been trusting God for a child for fifteen years into her marriage. That she was still waiting upon the Lord. And I was there, three months pregnant having not asked God for one. Then I thought, that is the irony of life. You are not asking for something it comes. You are waiting for it, it doesn’t come. The two FMs became my companions until they became part of my sickness.

You won’t believe when I came back to school and tuned to Hope FM, I could feel my pregnancy symptoms. I could remember my pains, my discomfort, my tears and they felt like they were the cause of it. I could switch off immediately. 15months down the line! Haha

 

I gave my mother a call on a Saturday evening. Find out tomorrow how the conversion went.

Handling An Early Pregnancy

When am walking along the corridors of the University with a difference, Moi University, I rejoice expectantly with hope. My smiles broaden more when I meet a young woman, expectant and walking confidently. Some feeling of gratitude overwhelm my being. Am left with a longing to just commend them for their confidence, for their determination. Then I remember, a few months down the road, a few steps, a few days they shall receive their bundle of joy.

A single encounter with one each day leaves me rejoicing, with the understanding of what level of zeal has brought them this far. Having faced numerous challenges, numerous disappointments, uncountable morning sicknesses. Oh dear, God bless you for swallowing your little pride for that young life. For purposing to mult-task all around. Studies, motherhood, at a young age. It shall pay.

I do not know the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy. I don’t even know the kind of memories it brings. I do not know, what pressure you are going through right now. Especially now that cats are flowing one after another. Exams are just a week a way. You are worried about what your baby boy/girl  shall eat, drink, dress or even lay on. You are worried about the state of things in the delivery room. You are worried that things could unfold unexpectedly. It is your first baby and you don’t know what labour is like. You are worried that your parents or guardians shall not be there, to hold your hand and just tell you it shall be okey. To just tell you that they still care for you. The worry that you do not know what your baby’s father is thinking about, whether they think of you or not. Whether they even feel guilty that they abandoned you.

Darling, hold on. Hold on for the future of the joy you carry. Hold on to the promising tomorrow of the fruit of your womb.

I say this because I have been there. Neglected yet loved. Abandoned yet assured. Angry and vengeful yet forgiving. Sad yet rejoicing.I know how it must feel to have this kind of conversion:

Rita; Joe, hey?

Joe; (two days later) Sema- yeah, tell me

Rita; (tears) what do you want now? It has been five Months now, you are not even concerned that I was ill and hospitalized. Where is the love that you sang all along? Am at the clinic today, baby isn’t fine. Could you at least see us?

Joe; am bust at work. I’ll talk to you later.( And he won’t call or talk to you later.)

I know how crushing it must be. How heartbreaking. How thoughts of taking revenge could take you through.

Not all instances are unsupported though. There are those supportive. They will calm you and tell you that you’ll be fine. He will bring you fruits and you’ll throw up hardly a minute before they are swallowed. He’ll be angry yes, because he is not pregnant. He doesn’t know that you didn’t intend to. He will be mad because he thinks you are an insensitive woman, because he does not have a job. He doesn’t know how it will be like once the baby is born. There are countless experiences.

I’ll take you through my own experience. I hope it will encourage you, to hold on, to withhold those tears when emotions overwhelm. The crown of it all is, you shall be glad that you held on. See you tomorrow.

Regards.

A Visit to the Devil’s

Dear Young Woman,

See if a man has this sense too…. They shouldn’t feel left out.

I want to tell you about a particular strength within you. There is a power God has put into you. A sixth Sense. A light that unconsciously warns you about an impending danger based on an occurrence about to happen, about someone evil, or something good too. Have you found yourself saying something without paying attention consciously and it turned out it was the truth? Or the first move that comes to your mind in a situation and it is ignored while the second thought is what often you follow? Or after something happens you are like, ‘ahh, no wonder I felt this way…’ Mmmh

Let me take you to class a little. There are times you find yourself in situations that demand emergency turns. If the first thought is to turn right, don’t turn left. You’ll end up in a ditch. Do you see at the back of your mind the consistent urge to turn away from something? The strong feeling that you need to disconnect from someone or something? That urge to flee for your dear life? Honey, flee! Do not ignore that red light that keeps replaying. Run for your life!

It is human to be doubtful, especially about someone or something in these times. Those first instant momental encounters with the culprit. However, it is not a good sign when you find that the subject matter is hard to trust even 0.00101%. It is not just normal that that red light at the back of your mind keeps replaying. Darling, flee!

I’ll give you a true experience. I was somewhere for a mission. I landed there three days after others had arrived and started winning souls for Christ. I arrived a bit late. At around 10 in the night. Other missionaries had gone to bed. When I stepped into the house that the city dwellers fellowshipped in, it was a big one. It was stone built about one and a half metres, or about two, and from there to the roof top glass panes all round. I felt some fear creep in and something in me said, ‘God, this looks like devil’s dwelling’, but unconsciously I ignored it. We had supper and went to sleep.

On Friday and Saturday we carried out our daily activities. I remember on Friday as we took breakfast, it was my first morning in that place. I was seated in the church and looked at the front, the ‘altar’ place. Something about those altar clothes didn’t feel right. It felt extremely weired and my stomach made a series of folds. Then my eyes met the pastor’s chair and his wife’s at the far left aligned to the ‘altar’, I don’t know how, but it looked to me like the devil’s and his wife’s.Again, unconsciously. The assistant pastor’s chair was there too.

On Sunday morning, being the last day of missionary work on that ground, we headed for the church service. The usher at the door was a tall, dark, not as handsome man in a white suit, a red shirt and a red tie, a black shoe! My spirit said “No! Something ain’t just right!” I actually didn’t shake his hand! The moment we entered the church’s huge door I felt like I would collapse, the ‘pastor’ was on the pulpit in a similar attire as the usher at the door! He was finalising on the sermon for the first service. Well, sorry to say but unconsciously it looked like a devil’s party. I wouldn’t have walked back so we soldiered on and our bottoms settled on seats. I was with a sister I made friends with on that ground. (Darling I miss you. We need to catch up).

I can not put everything on paper right now about all the proceedings during the service. But I will briefly brief you on the praise session during the service. There was a very plump man and a tall lady who were on the lead. Goodness! I love singing with feelings, I do. I jump I dance my head off, I do crazy things when it comes to making joyful noises to the Lord. However, the way those people jumped and danced said there was something wrong about the ‘god’ they were singing to. Honey, it just didn’t add up! I remember I only stood gazing, clasped my hands together, I could not even move my body in the simplest rhythmical manner. Don’t ask me if I prayed, I got confused, it’s about two years and eight months gone now.

To cut the long story short, as the ‘pastor’ in a white suite and a red shirt and tie ‘ministered’ to his ‘god’ during the second service, -oh you surprised that he is the speaker of the two services? Oh yes he is darling- he dramatically spilled the beans. Am convinced Godly men and women intensely interceded.

Are you still confused? It is then that I learnt that devil worshipers will not have horns on their heads so you can recognise them. They are in our midst. On that last crusade things happened! Hah Thank God. When all this drama unfolded is when I recalled; ‘oh, no wonder the weired feeling about the church, the seats and the curtains, about the whole place generally’.

Hope you got my point. It’s not about the spiritual matters only, even when you are carnal, those red lights still light about something. This is because it is how God has created us. I don’t know if men operate in a similar manner when it’s not about testing every spirit. They should let us know.

Is It Worth A C-Section?

A Tight V_____

I want us to talk about child bearing briefly. About some myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

Well I do not know where we should begin from but we shall begin anyway. Eeenhe

I have heard some complaints about giving birth naturally. That the vaginal walls grow loose and some women fear that the man will walk away in search of tighter walls. Thus, so many women are running for CS as an alternative to keep their men. I need you to understand a few things.

CS is a major surgery. It takes at least two years to heal completely especially for the inner tissues. It is highly recommended in cases where there are complications during child labour, go for the natural means of bringing forth a life. A tight reproductive entrance to the garden of Eden is not the only thing to keep a man, so many other things does.

Currently, there are so many deaths as a result of C-section. Not because of complications. A few out of overlooking some factors. So long ago, the mention of CS would make one shiver. Today, it is an every day experience. Do you know what happens when a chef cooks a new meal two to three times consecutively? Are you getting what I mean?

Darling, if you are okey and the baby is fine, agree to PUSH! Go to the delivery stool. There will be tears and tears. It will take five days to heal the vaginal stitches compared to the two years of healing a CS wound. The excuse of maintaining a tight gate is not enough to take you to the theatre.

The vaginal walls have been formed to do that. To push out that head, shoulders, that 4kg baby. Did you know it’s not every birth that tears your entrance? Only for first time moms and it is not every birth! Did you also know that a woman’s sexual life gets exciting as she continues to give birth? Mmmh Are you asking how I know that? Haha I don’t know that! Wink…

What is my point? The vaginal walls are made to relax and contract that way! There is nothing like growing a loose p***y as a result of having a child. God does not add sorrow to a blessing! Never. Such complaints come from ignorant men who have in mind a big gate and don’t pay attention to the land they are entering into at the moment.

Darling, that is no enough reason for a cesarean section!