“Grow up”, my husband shouted. I was inhaling air continuously sniffing and it irritated my husband Randy.
We had just walked out of the doctors’ office together and I had run alone, crying all the way home. Why did I even have a home and a husband when I had no child? I felt like a stranger at home and the house felt so dull. My stomach was always the object of my friends and workmates' stares. Some would stroke it, wondering when it would grow. Tears gashed out of my eyes like torrential rains as I complained to God and myself. I had been married for ten years and the only thing I had was an increase in furniture. I talked to my furniture.
“I am home, alone again”.
I dug my face in my precious sofa and I ate and drank tears.
The doctor informed me that my tests showed that my Fallopian tubes were blocked. I needed surgery to remove some fluid that had filled up the tubes preventing the much needed sperms to fertilize my eggs. The bad news he had given me was that the operation could not be done in ZedAfrica or any other African Country. If I was to do it, I needed to travel to a European or Asian country and it came at a great cost. Where would we get that kind of money? My mind started racing, moving through my savings, my payslip, leave days doing a quick calculation of the total amount I had.
A knock at the door distracted my thoughts, it was Randy.
“What’s wrong dear, you look unwell”?
Just hearing that statement made me cry loudly. He stroked my back continuously and apologized for arriving late. The doctor got up.
“Let me give you space to discuss the options”.
Randy gave me his love language, a kiss on the neck. It made me giggle like a child.
“It’s bad news, I can’t conceive. The doctor said he will provide me with an invoice for an operation in Europe or Asia so I will pick them up tomorrow. Will you escort me again tomorrow”?
“I have an urgent meeting tomorrow but I will try and make time to escort you”.
Insomniac is what I called myself that night. I kept tossing and turning until I got up and started pacing and irritating Randy. I was up early and I dressed in colored attire to try and cheer my sour character.
The hospital was empty and I was ushered into Dr Kalwanda’s office. I literally pulled the invoices out of his hands due to excitement. I even had a short dream about the invoices but all I saw were strings of figures that were dear. My eyes started scrolling the invoices but Randy walked in and disturbed my concentration. The doctor’s eyes brightened up.
“Randy, what a pleasant surprise. You know it is difficult for women to see doctors about such issues alone”.
I felt so proud of Randy and we huddled together in unison. It was so sweet of him to see the doctor with me and it lifted the darkness I was feeling inside of me and gave me confidence.
“I have given her three invoices one for Europe, Asia and Australia and the towns are London, Calcutta and Wagga Wagga. Please note that the prices just include hospital visits and do not include accommodation. Study them and let me know as soon as possible which invoice we can implement”.
At home, we concentrated all our energies on only the invoices. The prices were so high 16,000 Pounds for London, 20,000 Rupees for India and 10,000 Australian Dollars for Wagga Wagga.
“Why should we spend so much money when pregnancy comes naturally”?
“You can say that because you haven’t been disrespected like I have. You know your family has treated me so bad because I am barren”.
Randy touched my hands
“No it’s not like that”.
I reminded Randy the derogatory nickname I was given of “ngumba” meaning barren woman. I heard whispers of "ngumba" at family functions and I stayed outside every time we visited Randy's family members home as per the ZedAfrica culture. I had written a book in my mind about how I had been treated. One time when we visited Randy's mother it rained and they asked their neighbour if I could sit and wait in their house. They even explained that it was because I was barren.
“Don’t be too much in a hurry, you maybe disappointed and start crying again”.
“Are you God”, I yelled? “Okay forget about the invoices and do what you like”!
I walked out seething with anger. Randy followed me.
“I have looked at the invoices and we will be leaving for Australia. I will speak to the doctor and make payments for two air tickets”.
I kissed Randy. There was hope for me.
Dr Peter Robertson was a tall slender man and he talked very slowly. I think he thought we were not very familiar with the English language. He presented a model of a woman to us and for the first time I understood what Dr Kalwanda had labored to explain to us. We listened intently as Dr Robertson took us on a tour of the female reproductive system. We were in Australia after all, where doctors had made breakthroughs on Menopause, saved premature babies and cured diabetics completely. Therefore I was in very capable hands.
I was booked for tests and by fourteen hours results were on Dr Robertson’s desk.
“There is nothing that we can do to help you have a baby, Julie”.
I fainted twice and the medical staff had to revive me. Tears dropped from my eyes and Randy soothed me.
“Julie, I hear that you have suffered from terrible bleeding and period pains. Is that correct”?
I felt extremely disappointed and disgusted. I had traveled all this way to listen to another fake voice. Dr Robertson though had a special gift and this was his ability to turn words into an illuminating beam of light which hit me and convinced me to have a surgical procedure which was termed hysterectomy to save me from bleeding to death. On 29th June 1998, Randy waited for six agonizing hours for the miracle Dr Robertson had talked about.
Six months later I was a different woman, my life had been repaired. I walked into Doctor Kalwanda‘s clinic full of energy clad in a yellow and black dress matched with a yellow and black bag and shoes. Dr Kalwanda was in shock at the transformation.
“Wow, Julie is that you?”
“Australian medical history has done it again. I am living the time of my life”.
“What about babies?”, Dr Kalwanda smiled cheekily.
“You know Zedafrica Doctors also have solutions for everything”.
I told him how we had visited Dr Kalimwana a Psychiatrist and he coined the word “adoption” to us. We wasted no time.
“We now have three children, two females and one male aged six months, four and ten respectively. I am healthy enough to look after my family thanks to you and Dr Robertson”.
At home, I lifted baby Janet up in the air and span her around, I reminisced, “who said motherhood was all about giving birth in the maternity ward”. Many had become mothers just by touching the life of children.
I had grown into the mother of Maluba, Mutinta and Moonga. I had no more tears for I had a family and no one could ridicule me.