Over the weekend, I travelled to Ibadan for my best friend’s child’s christening and I must say it opened me up to a new world of revelations.
As she hugged me, I looked at her and I couldn’t stop staring. My friend used to be light skinned , with an even skin tone and always managed to look so innocent and like a baby.
The person who looked back at me with laughter in her eyes was no baby. Damn! but she had grown.
The first thing I noticed was that she was considerably darker. I had heard stories of women who got darker in pregnancy but you know what they say about seeing making you believe more’.
When I saw her stomach, I was even more shocked. My friend who had the most lovely skin before child birth with no stretch mark in sight now had her stomach region covered with dark angry stretch marks which she laughingly told me she didn’t know if they would ever completely clear off.
It was like a mystery to me. The sanitary pads which had to be doubled, the breast pads that prevented her clothes from being stained by breast milk, the careful way she had to sit and stand because of the stitches in her vagina, the way she winced in pain anytime her baby’s lips touched her nipples, her swollen feet which had grown larger than any of the shoes she owned.
It was a big mystery.
It did not end there. The baby had to be taken care of: bathed, breastfed, burped, petted, trained and all of that. Sure, she had relatives who had come to help but as she told me, one day, she will be all alone so she had better get used to doing her chores herself.
As I lay in bed that night, I tossed and turned asking myself if I really wanted this. I knew I was at that stage in my life where a lot of relatives were giving me the side eye and asking casually when I was bringing ‘brother’ home. Aren’t babies expected to be next?
Again, I asked myself if I was just being vain. What does physical appearance matter when you have a beautiful and healthy baby, a contented husband and a peaceful home?
I remembered how happy her husband was during the christening, taking centre stage as the man of the house and laughing as the pastors cracked jokes.
He had no extra fat, no tears, no pain! But my friend had changed. She loves her child, she loves her husband but she still misses her old self.
I have never been the mushy type but seeing her that day as I walked into her room, I asked myself if I could find a husband who would agree for us to adopt rather than having children naturally. Because, If this is what womanhood is – the eagerness to have a family and birth a child, maybe I am not a complete woman.
Written by Ayo Al for DiaryofaNaijaGirl.ng