I stayed in an enclosed space for a good number of months, no one came around to disturb my peace and my mother ensured all the necessary nutrients needed for me to thrive was available.
From month to month, I got bigger and healthier in there and a growing consciousness made me understand I’d be leaving that enclosed space in no time. I liked it there, but I also couldn’t wait to see my mother and all that the world had to offer little me.
The ninth month came and everything for my departure was put in place. I got into position and bid everything that kept me company farewell. On Wednesday, the fluid that enclosed me went ahead to announce my arrival and my excitement took the better of me. I followed right after and within minutes, I was out and in the world.
It wasn’t everything I imagined, it was everything and more; this realization made me burst into tears, it was the only way I could express my disbelief and shock.
Everything felt so big and colourful, I found myself in the arms of a woman who kept smiling down at me while she cleaned my body thoroughly. Within minutes, she made me feel comfortable and warm in some clothes, I felt so special and important!
The instant I was placed on my mother’s chest, I knew. Her warm tears of sincere love, gratitude, and joy warmed my heart more than anything I could imagine. It was all bliss for me and I didn’t want anything or anyone taking me away from her.
However, my joy was cut short when the kind woman who cleaned me up took me away from my mother and placed me in a smaller bed. It was perfect but couldn’t be compared to the emotions I felt while I was close to my mother.
More persons came into the room, some looking worried while the others were alert. They seemed to discuss a lot about my mother and me with the kind woman, mentioning something that sounded like Post-Partum Haemorrhage before they all left the room. When someone said the car was ready, I smiled in my heart because we were about to leave and meet other members of my family.
Two ladies helped my mother out of her bed and into a car, another carried me in her arms but didn’t take me into the car where my mother was. After minutes that felt like an eternity, she placed me back into my cot and walked away.
A lot of kind persons have come to see me since the afternoon my mother was referred to the hospital, but none could provide the kind of special warmth and connection I shared with mummy. While the beautiful ladies in uniform fed me, I silently prayed my mother would walk in, hold me close to her heart and feed me with something tastier.
There was no sign of her all through the night, and though a lot of women were trying their best to make me feel loved, something was missing.
The next morning, a lot of women gathered outside for something they referred to as “antenatal”. I heard someone talk to them about my mother, about me and about the fact that all I’ve had since I came here was glucose water. From my cot, I could feel pity mixed with love that radiated from the women outside, they wanted to help out in any way and they did.
Someone passed a tray and they all contributed money to get me baby milk, little me received such love and affection from women who didn’t even get to see me. If I had my way, I would have given each of them a hug and a sweet prayer from my heart, they truly behaved like the mothers they are.
A woman carried me in her arms later in the day and called me Chimbuchi, a name that lauds and confirms the supremacy of God. Another jokingly said I should be called Chimbuchi Burke, seeing that I was born and still residing in the Julia Burke Maternity Centre. Something tells me one of the names will stick and tell the world my story someday; of how I found hope, love and care in the arms of people who didn’t know enough about me.
My mother will be strong enough to be reunited with me in no time, I hope. Until then, all the love and affection showered on me by the antenatal women, the GEANCO Foundation and people who have decided to take interest in me should keep me going.