#PregnancyTales by #BaabaCofie is a series of fertility and pregnancy – related true life stories of Ghanaian families.
4 years ago
I never thought I would get to a point where I will walk myself into real danger but I did. My husband’s friend encouraged him to seek deeper spiritual help if the pastors were not helpful. Uncle T, as we all call him, recommended a spiritualist whose huge billboard I had seen at the outskirts of town.
Hanging at the entrance of his shrine was some dead animal’s carcass which emanated the foulest smell I had ever experienced. We walked into what seemed to be a clay bread oven with only one window and a grey coloured pot seen at one corner of the room.
I had no idea what was in store for me. We were ushered in by a young lady of possibly 12 years who barely wore clothes but had green leaves in her mouth. We sat in front of Mallam Akom whose front row teeth protruded unusually from his mouth. Mallam spoke gently, asked my name, what the issue was and promised to help.
He took out 6 pieces of carpenter nails; from the pot and placed them in a cushion-like material. He then asked me to chew the nails and the material. He them took two more nails, ground them in a local grinding pot and asked me to drink. Although I was terrified, I quickly drank the grounded nails and placed the other in my mouth and started chewing. The rusted nails tasted terrible; 20 minutes later, he asked me to take the nails out one by one and place them back in the pot. This procedure was repeated 3 times. I went home that day with a terrible stomach ache and a headache. I was so scared. We tried getting pregnant after that for several months but nothing happened.
I woke up with the usual anxiety and fear of “when will I have a baby?” My husband had started talking about getting another woman pregnant as the pressure from his family was mounting fast. As I went out to catch a bus, Naaki, my neighbor, started her insults again. “Someone will snatch your husband from you. Instead of praying for a baby, it’s lipstick you like”. I had heard that before but that morning I couldn’t take it, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went back to the room, took a kitchen knife and stabbed myself. I immediately started screaming and people came around, took me to the hospital and I survived. “Why did I do that”, I asked myself repeatedly. I wondered if I was going crazy.
After my suicide attempt, I had become persona non grata in my neighborhood. Parents warned their kids not to come near me; I loved kids and would always buy sweets for those in my neighborhood but I had to stop. I also quit attending church because I felt I had become a laughing stock in society. I completely lost hope.
3 months ago
I chanced on an interview about infertility on TV and decided to pick the number and call. Following up on the call, I was asked to come in and see a doctor. I was reluctant; I had seen all this before. However, my first appointment changed my mind. The doctor was extremely professional. He asked me to run a test of my eggs. I took my results 3 months later.
He explained to me; “Auntie, your egg quality is very bad. It seems your eggs have been overstimulated and now are not strong enough”. The doctor explained. I started shaking and wanted to pass out. I just needed to vanish in thin air. He then asked me “have you drunk any strange substances; it seems your womb has been damaged quite extensively”, he said. Then he gave me his final blow “you need another woman’s eggs to be able to have a baby; it’s the only way out”, I quickly thanked him, stood up and rushed out. I walked for a long time not knowing where I was going till I got to a trotro station and sat in a bus. How do I tell my husband? My marriage is over, years of toil had been wasted. “God has disappointed me”, was all I could say…
Picture: courtesy crosswalk.com