Her message to me reads, “I had a baby recently. It’s our fourth child. And a girl like the others. This is supposed to be a joyous moment for us but our home has been anything but joyous. The atmosphere is rather tense, especially between me and my husband. Do you know that my husband refused to come to see me and the baby at the hospital when he learned that I had another girl? He called my mum to enquire if I have been delivered of a baby and as soon as she said, ‘’yes, it’s a girl,’’ his response was “Jesus Christ…another girl?.’. And then, he disconnected the line. Because the baby came before full term, she was placed in an incubator for further observation. All that emotional stress was borne by me alone. My husband became distant. When he was called upon to make some expenses at the hospital, he snapped, saying, “I am tired of all this nonsense. Let them do what they want with her.
“On the day that we were discharged from the hospital, I was the one that drove myself home. He didn’t come for us. For close to two weeks that we were discharged from the hospital, he neither touched the baby nor carried her. As the time for the baby’s christening approached, I went to him for us to put heads together and come up with a name for the child. He bluntly told me that he didn’t plan to name a female child again. Do you know that it was at that small ceremony that my husband carried the baby for the first time?
“And it happened because the pastor (who is aware of everything) insisted he carry the baby, after the prayers. A baby is a source of joy in a home but my husband’s disposition has been a source of unhappiness to me. Before our baby came, there was a day when I stumbled on conversations in my husband’s whatsApp forum and he was asking members how a man can make male babies. These days, I look for a quite spot in the house to just cry and wipe my tears, before emerging with a brave face again. Please talk to me.’’
- My marriage…With Eben
- Good marriage can live through mid-life crisis
- My marriage… With Adetutu Oshofowora
Your husband is grappling with a FAILED EXPECTATION, tinged with some ignorance. Sadly, most (especially Igbo) men will feel the same way, even if they don’t wear their emotions on their sleeves. Take the attention off your husband’s idiosyncrasies (he will come around) and focus it completely on the BUNDLE OF JOY that life has placed in your hands.
Here’s what you should understand, though. If male children will play more important roles in your life in the future, life would have given them to you. But if all you have are females, know that it is female children that you will NEED in your life. It’s okay if you are grappling with failed expectations right now but it’s IMPORTANT you understand that God knows what He is doing. And “what He is doing’’ is something that only the fullness of time makes us realise.
Sometimes, look up from your circumstances and look around you. There’s always someone, whom life is using to tell you that “you are lucky.’’ Is there really a day that we don’t learn about people’s struggles with childlessness and delayed (over a decade and more) of fertility?
It took my parents’ old age for me to understand this Igbo adage ‘’nwanyi bu ife’’ (a daughter is worth it). At a point in a parent’s life, it won’t matter which child is male or female. What will matter is which child CARES. So, the child that life has given to you is exactly WHO you will need in your life. ,
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