We started this journey about four years ago. It meant a lot to us to have a child at the early stages of our marriage so we started trying for a baby on the very first night of our marriage. Three months later, no show. She asked me, “I thought this thing was as easy as doing shuperu so what is wrong with us? Why haven’t I conceived after everything that we’ve been doing?” I answered, “It takes one shot for others but for some people, it takes a lot of effort before it happens so let’s keep going.” We tried for a year and got no results. She got worried. I wasn’t perturbed because I knew it would happen when the time is right.
We tried for another year and nothing happened. I said, “Don’t worry. It takes time but one day it will happen. Where are we rushing to? Don’t we believe in God again?” Another year came to pass without a show. She swung into nagging mode. She kept nagging. She expressed fear instead of hope; “What if it doesn’t happen at all?” “What if there’s something wrong with us?” What if it’s written in our stars that we’ll have no children?”
To have all these questions answered, we went to see a specialist. After going through a series of tests he told us, “Go home and do it every day for one month. You should be able to conceive at the end of the month.” “But how can we do it every day? For a man, it would be difficult.” He answered, “The day you decide not to do it might be the day she would have conceived. Since you want it that much, don’t miss a day. Medically, you two are in very good shape to conceive. Just don’t worry about anything. Live your life as if pregnancy doesn’t exist. It usually happens when you’re not thinking of it. Just be free and it will happen one day.”
When my wife heard that doing it every day would increase our chances, this girl didn’t allow me to sleep. She didn’t allow me to live my life on days when we were both home. She wanted me to live inside of her. She demanded it. Even when my thing wasn’t in the mood to stand, she would nag it to stand so she could use it for all day. It was stressful for me but for the sake of peace and calm in the house, I had to obey and do as she wished.
Just two months after returning from the doctor, she conceived. You should have been there to see how she expressed her joy. I don’t have the words to tell you her joy the day we tested and it was positive. She jumped here and there. She took a day off work just to celebrate. She laughed for no reason and did a lot of goodness in the house just because she could.
Two months later, my wife stopped doing anything in the house. If it’s cleaning she has to do, she would say, “I can’t do it because of the dust. You know pregnancy and dust don’t go well.” If it’s the food she has to prepare, there was a reason why a pregnant woman can’t prepare food. She stopped doing laundry because the scent of the soap made her feel like throwing up. I didn’t complain. Whatever she left undone, I did it. I was cooking for her, cleaning the house, doing the laundry and even going to the market to buy foodstuff. When the pregnancy was six months old, she didn’t touch anything in the house. From work to the sofa, from the sofa to the bedroom. All she did was watch TV and press her phone because pregnant women can’t be stressed.
She was healthy through it all. One evening her water broke and I sent her to the hospital. She gave birth that evening and we came home the next day I think. Her mother came that very day to help her take care of the child. When her mother was around, she left everything to this old woman and me. The woman was not comfortable seeing me do certain things so she would take them from me. She would see me sweeping and she would stop everything and take the broom from me. She would see me cleaning the bathhouse and she would go like, “Bɛrma ɛna, just leave it for me, I will do it when I’m done with what I’m doing.” Sometimes I don’t listen. I will go ahead and do it while she takes care of other things.
The baby was three months old when her mom left us. There’s a woman we send the baby to when we are going to work. She lives close by. She had been my mother’s childhood friend and she does a great job with the baby when we are at work. My wife closes early and goes for the baby. Now here comes the issues I don’t understand.
Immediately my wife gets home with the baby, she doesn’t do anything else. The baby would be on her lap and she would sit in the hall, sending me on errands. “Get me the feeding bottle.” I left my phone in my bag, pick it up for me.” “Oh, you just bring the bag. There’s something else I will like to pick.” There’s no bread, buy bread and prepare small tea for me.”
All night this girl would be sending me around as if I were her junior brother. At dawn when the baby wakes up and she’s crying, she would tap me, “Wake up and pick her up. She wants to be walked around.” When the baby is on her lap during the day, she doesn’t do anything. At dawn when there’s nothing to do, the baby becomes my responsibility. There’s a point we get tired and begin to complain. I told her, “This your attitude started when you were two months pregnant. I put up with it because of your situation. For all the times that you were pregnant, you didn’t touch a pin in this house. There’s a baby and now you want to leave everything to me? No, it won’t work. Snap out of your holiday mood and be responsible for what you ought to be responsible for.”
She was lying in bed when I said that. She got up and sat in a way she could match my height. She said, “Are you complaining? Do you know how it feels like to carry a baby for nine months? Have you experienced it before? Do you know the pain and stress one goes through for nine months before the baby arrives? I’ve gone through all that and you still want me to add domestic chores to it?” What do you do around here?”
Instead of a conversation, it turned into an exchange of words. She was not ready to listen to me and I was not ready to take what she was trying to put across. We slept without resolving anything. The next morning, I bathed and left the house.
She was in the house when I returned from work. Used diapers were spread around the hall and the baby was sleeping in the cot. I asked, “Is that where you would like to keep the used diapers?” She answered, “If it bothers you, you can gather them and take them to the dustbin.” I did. It’s not in my nature to watch things go wrong. The baby would be crying at night and I would ask her, “Haven’t you heard the baby crying?” She would tell me, “If it bothers you, you can make her keep quiet.” She doesn’t cook in the house and doesn’t clean. Her answer is, “If it bothers you then you have to do it.”
She would be hanging the baby around her neck all day even when the baby is sleeping. On weekends when I’m washing, she would throw her things in and ask me to wash them for her. The annoying thing is that the baby is her excuse only when she’s not crying. Immediately she starts to cry, her solution is to give her food. If the food doesn’t make her stop, she will stop attending to her. When I complain, the baby becomes my responsibility. We’ve talked about it. We’ve fought about it. I’ve complained to her parents and they’ve spoken to her about it. Her mom had to come back and spend two months with us but nothing has changed.
I’m thinking of leaving the house for her but I can’t go with the baby. It’s the reason I’m still here with her. Is there a way around this? Is that how all new parents behave? Is there something I’m not doing right? Please help.