The Volcano Part 1

I am seated here wondering what to write about, then I remembered something  that happened years ago. Do not let the title confuse you, it is not a Geography class trust me. Anyway, I was so poor in Geography I honestly do not understand why I chose it as a subject in my third form. Maybe, just maybe because it was the  subject combination of my dream career in Journalism and Mass Communication which I never even got a chance to pursue. I was so terrible in this subject I tell you. My answer sheets had remarks like “use Geographical terms to explain your point”, poor me used pure English to explain and drive a point home. Maybe I should have done Literature instead to utilise the English. I do not regret though as I learnt some terms that I can use as a symbol to elaborate my story.

The year was 2008 in August, I had three more months to sit for my final Knec exams in Personnel Management. A few days into September I was so worried. My periods were late, something that had never happened. I knew my body so well to know that something was indeed amiss. I gathered courage and talked to my sister Debra. We are so free with each other I did not find it unusual to share with her my worries. She agreed to accompany me to a labaratory in Mega plaza to take a pregnancy test. I was sitted there waiting for results that would completely change my life. I was conversing with the demons in my head that were so adamant I did not need a baby at that time. Abortion was out of the question. By then I was so sure the results would be positive. The results took eternity to arrive. The laboratory technician handed me a white envelope. My hands were fidgety, Debra was watching me as I deliberated whether to open it there or somewhere else. I mastered the courage and opened the envelope that had my fate sealed in it. It was confirmed I  was a few weeks gone! At 22, still in college and an orphan I depended on my aunt to pay my fees, the world stood still. I showed Debra the results and she asked me what plans I had, I told her I would cross that bridge when I reached there. What I was sure about was no matter what, I was keeping the baby.

We went back home, I was so engrossed in thought wondering what would become of me. I had plans to join University the following year. I saw my dreams shutter before me. I felt I had failed everyone. After losing  our mom the previous year to breast cancer, I assumed the role of a mother to my little brother who was still in Secondary School. Debra was just visiting she lived in Ruiru while my elder sister was in College in Nairobi. I was responsible for the overall well being of my brother and took care of the house. I had done it diligently for a year and here I was expecting my own kid. While growing up as a teenager, kids never crossed my mind. I did not have plans of having my own kids. It sounds selfish but I had my fears. It is from there that I made up my mind I would protect my unborn and see to it that I did not cut her life short, something that I contributed to. My baby was innocent, it was time to face my actions. I had a mission, to carry the baby to term. The future was so bleak sometimes I was afraid and thought of placing her for adoption once she arrived.

The first trimester was not so smooth, the term was a busy one preparing for exams. Once we finished the syllabus it was thorough revision. I felt overwhelmed many atimes, I would attend class today and the next day I would not even get out of bed. That became the routine. I was not in a position to study late at night or wake up in the morning to prepare for my exams. I was a zombie sort of. I remember I did not manage to do clearance as some departments were in storeyed buildings and whenever I tried to reach there, I would loose my breath and feel sick. I postponed that until the next year.  Exam times came and I tried my best to attend the sessions.  I knew my results would not be favorable as I could not even make time for revision. That aside, exams were over and I felt relived. I had time to relax. At one point I was anaemic I passed out in the house just from college. After exams my bedroom became my safe haven. I rarely left the house and avoided people. I was in my own world.

I made plans to leave home before my pregnancy would show and before my elder sister came back home. I did not know how she would react if she knew I was with child. She had just graduated from Theology School and I was so afraid of her reaction. I talked to a friend and asked her if I would stay with her and would chip in in the expenses. She agreed but later changed her mind. I thought of plan B to leave town and go to  a friend in Malindi, this plan never worked either. I was certain God had different plans for me. My sister came back and did not know I was pregnant. What sold me out was that I would lie down in a specific chair the whole day lazying around. It was unlike me so one day she asked me if I was fine. I feigned ignorance and told her that I was indeed fine. She went ahead to point out that I had changed alot, I never left the house, kept to myself and would lie.down the whole day.  To make it worse my suitcases were packed. She asked me if I had plans to leave the house. Sincerely I had nowhere to go. I felt cornered and started crying. I opened up to her and told her everything. She comforted me and told me to stay. I had my siblings support. It was a relief somehow as I got better and ready to face the world.

I started my antenatal clinics and was given a clean bill of health. I looked forward to the visits. At exactly sixteen weeks, everyone had gone to Church for the new years eve service. I was alone in the house. It is at this time when I first felt my baby move. It was a memorable moment to me and it made me happier. The bond grew and I looked forward to talking to her. In no time she mastered my voice and would kick vigorously when I talked to her. I knew I was ready to be a mother. No one would seperate us. Around twenty weeks plus my belle started showing. At first I was bothered by the hush tones I heard whenever I passed, in no time I learnt to live with them. I was not bothered. Baby was doing fine. I had some cravings here and there which were manageable. Sometimes I would get emotional, I guess it was the hormones working against me. I would get suicidal and even plan on how I would end my life and to stop the misery I was in. I was going to be a single mum and the thought of raising a child single handedly scared me. I did not have the strength to face the future. Rejection is real and it stung like death. I suffered from insomnia throughout the second and third trimester and it was during such long nights that I harbored the thoughts of suicide. Since I am here narrating to you this story, it means my plans bore no fruit. I am still alive and I am glad to have lived to talk about this.

I was a born again Christian and I fell along the way. The guilt that consumed me all those years was pure torture. I was unable to pray though I knew our God is a merciful God. He held my hand despite my walking away from His presence. God is faithful. I have seen His hand in my life and that of my daughter. Life was not smooth, sometimes we had no food to eat but we survived. From the eight month my belly had erupted like a volcano! I was big! You could actually know I was approaching when my belly became visible from a corner before you would see me. My belly would announce my arrival. It is not funny anyway, it made sleeping a nightmare. By the time I was nine months I had gained a total of fourteen kilograms. I got great advice from my aunt who was a retired nurse on what to expect, the signs
of labor and how I should carry myself out once baby arrived. Baby was to arrive on nineteenth of May,2009 but she did not. I was advised to be walking which I obliged to. Within two weeks she finally dropped and I was ready to have her. I woke up one Saturday morning of thirtieth to a bloody show…..

Emma Henrys
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I am a HR enthusiast, a wife, mother of three who has a keen interest in writing.

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