When my wife got pregnant, she told me she wanted to go home and stay with her parents until she delivers. She talked about it every day but I didn’t give her any response. She took my silence to mean consent but deep down, I was looking for a perfect reason to say no. When the pregnancy was four months old she said, “When it’s six, I would like to travel to my parents. Mom has the experience and I will be better off with her.” I said, “You’re going to stay with your parents for three months before delivery? What happens to your work?” She answered, “I’ll leave everything in the hands of Mavis. She’s capable.”
My wife is a fashion designer with three ladies who are undergoing training. Mavis is the senior. She trusts her so much that she had appointed her as her deputy. I didn’t have a problem with Mavis taking over. My problem has to do with how long she wanted to be with her parents. So that day I told her, “You don’t need to leave your work there to go and stay with your parents. I understand this is your first but so far so good, we are doing great with it. You won’t go to your mother. We’ll manage until the baby arrives.”
She didn’t like my answer. She asked, “You and who will manage? Are you the one pregnant? What do you know about pregnancy that you’re going to manage with me? I didn’t have any answers but I was not ready to let her go. When the pregnancy was seven she wanted to go. She packed all her things, getting ready to leave but I stopped her. I remember that day it turned into a fight. She screamed, “Why don’t you want me to go? I need help and I will get it when I’m with my mother.” I said, “You’ve been pregnant for seven months already and you haven’t needed any help that I couldn’t give. You’re not going anywhere.”
She looked at me indignantly, shook her head, and went back to the bedroom. That night, I was asleep when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I didn’t take it seriously so I continued sleeping. Another tap came. I continued sleeping. The next one was a heavy slap on my face. I woke up suddenly. “What? What’s wrong with you?” She said, “I’ve been trying to wake you up…I need boiled water.” I thought she was going to bathe so I said, “But you bathed before coming to sleep?” She said, “I’m not bathing with it. Hurry up and boil water for me. I feel like drinking boiled water.”
I checked the time. It was around 1:15am. I shuffled to the kitchen and warmed water for her. She said, “I said hot water. This isn’t hot enough.” I asked, “Are you not drinking it? Can you drink it any hotter than this?” She said, “Just do it.” I went inside there, put the water on the fire until I saw it boiling hot. I poured it in a mug and sent it to her.” She collected it, put it on the side table, and said, “Thank you. I’ll drink it when it gets a little colder. I miss that taste.” I went back to bed and for the rest of the night, I couldn’t sleep again. I was angry that she woke me up late at that hour just for something she could have done for herself. I tossed and turned in bed while she snored the rest of the night away.
One day I was returning from work when she called; “Please buy pizza for me errn, I feel for pizza today.” We’ve been married for three years. We dated for three years and if there’s one thing I know, I know my wife didn’t like pizza. She said she didn’t understand the hype about pizza but that day, all she wanted was pizza. I had to get down from the trotro I was in to get a taxi to where they sell the pizza and also get a taxi back home. I gave her the pizza and went inside the room to change.
When I came back to the hall, she had scrapped the toppings of the pizza and feeding it to the cats. I said, “Glady’s are you ok?” She said, “The pizza is not fresh. The toppings smell some way. I can’t eat it.” I snatched the rest from her hands and put it in the fridge. At dawn, she woke me up. “Please heat the pizza for me.” I said, “Glady’s you are sick, we’ll go to the hospital tomorrow.” It turned into a mini-war. She said, “I don’t like the way you get angry when I ask you to do something small for me. You see why I wanted to go to my mom?” I said, “Please tomorrow morning, pack your things and go. I’m tired already.”
After the fight, I went in there and warmed it up for her. Guess what, she ate everything in the box, drank water, and belched on top. I shook my head in disbelief. Minutes later, she was in bed snoring. While I laid awake, struggling to get my sleep back. Somedays she’ll just slap my thighs to wake me up in the middle of the night. I’ll ask what the matter was and she’ll say, “We need to talk.” “Ok, Glady’s I’m here, let’s talk.” She’ll be quiet for some seconds then say, “I can’t sleep so I want us to talk.”
“Talk about what?”
“Talk about anything.”
“Anything like what?”
“Just bring something for us to talk about.”
I will get angry. She’ll chuckle and fall on her side to sleep. Minutes later she’ll be gone. I’ll be lying in bed counting sheep and wondering why the ceiling fan makes kɛkɛ sound as it spins.
Her pregnancy is a little over eight months now. A week ago, I was sleeping when she tapped me. I didn’t mind her. She held my shoulder and shook me to wake up. I didn’t mind her. She started talking on top of her voice; “Ebo, the baby is coming.” That got my attention. I woke up and saw her holding her tummy. She said, “It’s coming. I can feel it in my waist. Everything hurts. Let’s go to the hospital.” I said, “But it’s not nine months yet?” She said, “Are you the one to tell me how many months it is? It’s coming. Help me.” Her face didn’t look like she was joking so I called our taxi driver friend to come. It was around 2:45am. When the taxi came, she said she couldn’t walk. I had to help her up, put her hand around my shoulder and move slowly with her to the taxi. From our house to the hospital is like twenty minutes’ drive. I was scared she was going to give birth in the car the way she was whining out of pain.
Ten minutes into the drive, I heard her snoring gently on my lap. I shook her slightly, “Hey Glady’s are you sleeping?” She said softly, “The pain is gone. I think it’s a false alarm.” I asked, “So we should not go to the hospital?” She said, “You decide but I don’t think the baby is coming.” I told the driver to turn around and take us home. The driver couldn’t stop laughing. He said, “Pregnant women and drama.” She responded, “Don’t say that. If it wasn’t coming, would I ask him to take me to the hospital? I’m suffering and you’re there calling it drama.”
The driver received over ten minutes of lectures on how it feels to be pregnant. When we got home I asked her, “You still want to go to your parents?” She said, “It’s almost due. I can’t risk the travel. My mom should be here instead.” Three days later, her mom came. Since then, there had been no drama. I believe any moment from now she can be in labor but she’s calm, going about her business without any drama. She doesn’t wake me up again at dawn. She hasn’t asked for the eye of the tiger yet.
All these make me feel it was an agenda. An agenda to punish me for stopping her from going to her parents. I’m quiet about the whole thing. I’m waiting for her to deliver peacefully, then we can have a conversation. She has to explain all the antics because eii.