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10 personal lessons 5 years of marriage have taught me (4)

I have received a lot of feedback from readers about my last three posts and I am glad that my experiences are not isolated and that more importantly I have been able to give some insight to those currently walking or about to walk in the marriage shoes…thank you!

Here is the 4th and perhaps the most important thing I learned about marriage:

4. Every marriage has its own peculiar challenges.

Your challenges may seem like the absolute worst but be rest assured that every marriage has its own peculiar challenges and even when two cases seem similar, the contributing factor would be very unalike. 

I have been married for five years and I’m yet to have a child. Is this the worst thing that can happen to a marriage? Maybe and maybe not. I have shed tears, been angry, disappointed, prayed and fasted and done all manner of tests and my medical colleagues keep saying the same thing, that there’s nothing apparently wrong with my hubby and I. Sometimes I think the challenge is more difficult because everyone seems to have something to say about it. I have had people ask me why my hubby and I can still be so happy when we don’t have children, I have had someone close to me call me up recommending a guy who helps with blocked tubes, thereby assuming that I have blocked tubes without asking me for the details of my problem and of course automatically inferring that the problem lies with me. I have had people disrespect me because I don’t have children or say flippant, hurtful and very insensitive things to me. I have had people say to my face that I’m a great wife only because I need to compensate for my inability to have children or that hubby and I only have a great marriage because it’s just the two of us. I have had someone who used to be close to me jokingly talk about calling a family meeting  to discuss my problem. I have had someone ask my husband if he became less outgoing because of this problem. Yes I never in my wildest dreams thought we’d go through this but that’s life and I know countless people who have gone through similar ordeals and many have come out victorious. My mantra is what doesn’t break you makes you stronger and I am determined not to be broken.

The thing about problems in marriage is that even when you have a similar problem with another couple, the fine details may be so very different. I have been blessed with a great husband and very supportive friends, family and in-laws (God bless them) who offer strength on days that I feel really low but I know others that have been less fortunate in that area however they have had victories in other areas. I know marriages that have broken up because of lack of children and yet I also know marriages that have become stronger and more intimate because of that same problem. 

As a couple, you decide whether a problem makes you stronger or tears you apart. 

No one else has the power to determine how a problem will affect your marriage and the first thing I learned about dealing with my challenges was how to curb outside influences. There are so many couples whose marriages have been complicated by the advice and influence of a third party even when it seemingly came from a good place. 

Every couple I’ve interacted with has had their own challenges however subtle or obvious they may be. People tend to feel sorry for couples with obvious problems but I’ve learned in five years that the couples with subtle problems who seemingly appear perfect because of the covert nature of their problems are the ones who many times end up permanently fractured by their issues. In medicine, we take triaging very seriously because we have learned over the years that the patient with an obvious problem may not be as serious a casualty as a patient who seems apparently fine. Everyone loves to highlight the problems of others because it seems to diminish their own problems but if you find yourself so preoccupied with another’s issues it may just be because you haven’t been honest with yourself about yours and hence have left it to fester like an open sore concealed in your undergarments. 

Some couples deal with infidelity, others with financial difficulties, others with in-law issues, others with medical issues, others with disharmony…the list is endless and each couple erroneously believes some other couple has it easier. I have learned that God will never give you more than you can handle, you just need to look within you and find inner strength and you should never ever wish for another’s problems in exchange for yours or assume that a couple has no problems. I guess that’s why they say marriage is not a bed of roses. Don’t ever assume that a couple is facing a problem because of some unknown sin or because they deserved it or get angry because they are not handling the problem the way you would because you DO NOT know the whole story just snippets. You cannot offer solution when you are not privy to the full picture. Pray for them, offer assistance if it’s in your power, offer empathy and encouragement but limit advice unless you are an authority in that area because no one knows more about a problem than the person experiencing it. 

In a nutshell, I learned that on the day you say ‘I do’, a new chapter is written with its own highs and lows and unexpected curve balls. Pray for grace to go through these challenges together and believe that ultimately this too shall pass…

Have a lovely Sunday chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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Baby Dust…

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Everybody loves a cute, cuddly baby. Most people would not consider a marriage complete without children. Many times a lot of pressure is put on new couples to procreate especially in this part of the world. Couples who choose not to in the first one to two years of marriage are considered odd even if the reasons for not bearing children are because they cannot yet afford the added expenses. Then there are those whose parents and in-laws begin to dream of grand children from the day the couple says “I do” and call periodically to ask “How far?” Their omugwo bags already packed! All in all, when the baby making process is delayed even for a year it makes the couple a little agitated and sometimes they lose focus of what’s important, they forget the love they share, the vows they took and the magic that made them choose to be together till death.

Here are 5 strange but true things women have done to force a stork to land on their doorstep with their very own bundle of joy:

1. Juju-baby: Under the mango tree Mama Calabar chants slowly as she crushes the herbs together her next customer awaits. She inserts the herbs into the woman’s secret place and forces her to drink the bitter concoction. She deftly massages the woman’s abdomen commenting from time to time “Ah your womb dey hot oh and e no dey the correct position”. She guarantees a pregnancy in 3 months for a fee that she points out is quite affordable and asks for your preference just as money changes hands. “Na boy or na girl you want? Abi na triplets?”. And every once in a while the stork lands and news of Mama Calabar’s j-babies is spread about!

2. Chemical conception: Clomid, Evening Primrose Oil, Fertility Pills…you name it, she’s chewed it! Injections, insertions and pills upon pills, over the counter and under it too, a mad scientist she becomes, combining poisons and antidotes, searching for the secret formula that makes babies appear… her body, her very own guinea pig…sigh…

3. Phantom pregancy: She wants it so bad her mind just lets her have it. Full breasts -oh so sore, potruding belly and the more than welcome nausea. All the signs she anticipated, finally she is a member of the club but her belly doesn’t look like any of the others, it doesn’t kick like it should, just a churning every once in a while and those infuriating doctors are being so negative they and their faulty equipment. But alas, there’s a thin line between faith and phantom…

4. Baby Factory Home Delivery: “Have a baby for me, baby, be a millionaire…” Transactions, Theft or Deception, one way or the other she’s gonna have a baby, someone else’s baby but it’s all the same innit? Why bother your head about the teenage girl who would most certainly have abandoned her child? She has been relieved of her burden and you paid good money for it too. Where’s the crime?

5. Deliverance: Your grandmother’s cousin’s aunty keeps eating all your unborn children, die by fire, by fire by fireeeeee!!! Prayer becomes a non-stop incantation beseeching the sovereign Lord to have mercy upon you and destroy the enemies whose power your fear has profoundly magnified.

Sometimes when the Lord says hold on my child, He isn’t busy, forgetful or partial. Everybody has a different destiny, we run a different race from the next guy. Your marriage won’t be perfect after that child is born, life won’t be complete because you have procreated. I feel the need to write this because so many women and men are under intense pressure and are falling apart because they can’t have kids. I know women who have been chased out of their matrimonial homes and others who are sadly living a lie, knowing their marriage is only a sham and their husbands have gone out to have kids with strange women. Here are 5 more facts you should ponder on before you throw in the towel.

1. Infertility in a marriage could be attributed to the man, the woman, both parties or neither of them all in equal proportions. I have had scenarios at work where a female patient came in to do tests totally distraught because she couldn’t have kids and her husband was maltreating her and after doing the tests we find out she’s fine and that the husband is sterile. What happens next? Don’t maltreat your partner, you promised to love and protect each other and it wasn’t on the condition that she have kids. Imagine how you would feel if the tables were turned?

2. God’s time is truly the best time. This isn’t cliche, neither is it a catch phrase. When you do have that baby in your arms, you’ll look back and realise the baby couldn’t have come at a better time, trust me! And while you are waiting, enjoy your marriage! Have sex in every corner of the house as loudly as you dare, go on exciting vacations. Imagine you and your husband are still dating and have all the fun in the world before the kids come.

3. Get Tested. Many couples sit at home trying all sorts of methods to conceive without actually finding out what the problem is. Getting a diagnosis means you can look at treatment options which makes you a step closer to resolving the problem and it doesn’t take away from your faith it only directs your prayers to a more specific problem.

4. Sponsor a child. Adoption is not as common as it should be in these parts of the world. Partly because of the administrative bottlenecks and also because tradition largely hasn’t embraced the principle of adoption but it doesn’t mean your hands are tied. Nothing brings baby dust like helping children. You could visit an orphanage from time to time or help out a poor family around you who can’t provide adequately for their kids or sponsor a child anywhere around the world via Compassion International http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm

5. Get a support group. So many couples suffer alone in silence till it tears them apart. Find other couples who don’t have kids and support each other. Many times it helps when you know you are not the only one passing through this phase.
Remember that in His time, He makes all things beautiful. Trust Him to do the best for you whether it means making you the best mother on the planet or the most fabulous god-mother in the universe! Never lose your joy or sleep over something not within your control, life is too short! There are women who died during childbirth and left a kid behind without a mother. You are alive and kicking and I daresay your significant other would choose you alive and with him over ten children any day!

Sleep well chutzpah fam and lots of baby dust on all of you…xxx

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Inspirational

 

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