Tag Archives: babies

Childless

A newly married thirty year old woman hanged herself because other women were taunting her for her inability to conceive. That was the headline of a story I heard on the radio. The story had me wondering why people choose to be so heartless at times. So the woman couldn’t conceive; how was that her fault? Maybe it was her husband who’s sterile. Or maybe God just had decided she wouldn’t have babies for His own sacred reasons.

Sometimes in life women find themselves faced with great obstacles that deny them the chance to ever give life to their own newborns, and in most cases it’s never deliberate. It’s usually a painful experience. Say a woman conceived and later realizes she can’t carry on with the pregnancy for whatever reasons, so she decides to get an abortion. I’ve said it before; I’m anti-abortion, but that doesn’t change the fact that this things happen. In the process, something goes wrong and the unfortunate woman has to undergo a hysterectomy.

How does one suppose that woman would feel when the doctor breaks it to them that they will lose their womb-the one thing that enables us to give life to young ones? A mistake they made drove them to that tragic culmination, and that means they will probably beat themselves up about it for the rest of their lives.

There are many reasons that prevent a woman from conceiving their own children, but one can bet that whatever it is, it hurts when a woman wants a baby and can’t get pregnant. It’s frustrating; it’s painful; it tops the list of women’s worst nightmares.

Last I checked, many women want to become mothers at a certain point in their lives, unless of course they are nuns and that automatically denies them that privilege. I bet that woman felt bad enough she couldn’t give her husband any children without anyone reminding her she couldn’t conceive.

“Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you.” That’s a phrase I learned in high school. We called it ‘the golden rule’. That brings me to the callous women who drove the poor thirty year old to suicide. How would they feel if they were the barren ones or couldn’t conceive and others kept throwing that in their face, ruthlessly? I imagine they would be none too pleased about it.

A great lesson I’ve learned in life is to never wait to experience something so I can understand how it feels. Life’s too short to experience everything; one should learn to feel others’ pain without necessary living through it. That said, we should embrace the gift of empathy. We should learn to walk miles in people’s shoes; then we’d realize if situations were reversed and we were the ones going through that same thing, it would be a heavier cross than we had imagined it to be. Empathy. That’s what we need to embrace; for the sake of humanity. If those women had been empathetic, a life would have been saved. If the thirty year old opted to take her own life because she couldn’t give life, then one sought of gets the impression that the issue really weighed heavily on her.

Instead of mocking her, the said women should have told her there were other options like IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization), surrogacy, adoption, etc… depending on the cause of her childlessness. They might have their own implications but they are options regardless, and the way I see it, they would have been better than her feeling desperate enough to hang herself.

‘Choir girl’ pregnancies

This past Sunday in church I saw this girl who had been M.I.A for a few Sundays because she’d taken a maternity break. She came back with a baby swaddled in pink, so I’m assuming she got herself a lovely baby girl. She’s an active member of the choir.

I’ve never talked to her really, but seeing her got me all excited. I guess it’s because I knew her as a young petite girl and now I was seeing her with her very own child. I guess part of me couldn’t believe it yet. Funny thing is I saw her throughout the period she was expectant.

In my excitement I shared the news with my family after church. I don’t know her name, so I call her ‘choir girl’. So I said, “Guess who showed up in church today with a baby.” My small sister was quick to say my cousin’s name. I said, “No, the choir girl.”

My sister was thrilled. “Wow,” she exclaimed.

Mom asked, “Is she married?” And seeing as I don’t know the first thing about the girl I just replied honestly, “I don’t know if she’s married, but I doubt it.”

“That’s a very bad example they are giving,” mom complained.

“Why? Because she’s a choir girl?” I asked.

“They make it seem okay. Kids will start getting the wrong impression.” Mom didn’t really expound on her statement, because in a way it was self-explanatory. The said girl got pregnant and still showed up in church, regardless of there being high chances that she wasn’t married. In a way, that would be like validating premarital sex.

“But don’t you see mom, she still came back to church,” my big sister argued.

“She took the baby to the priest to have her blessed,” I added.

“See mom?” my big sister said.

“She did?” Mom asked, apparently awed. Her earlier stance on the matter seemed to soften.

I’m thinking, from mom’s and many parents’ perspective, young kids would translate that as a green light to engaging in premarital sex. I don’t support the whole idea of kids ‘playing house’ with each other but nowadays with all the digital evolution where any porn material is just a click away, it would be foolish to ignore the serious fact that babies are having sex, and many girls are ending up pregnant.

It might not be possible to prevent young kids from having sex, but one thing I know is that we can act responsibly when babies are conceived in the process. For starters, I don’t support abortion one bit. Naturally this is a very controversial issue but the principal reason I take that stand is because life is precious and sacred. Any life, be it a day old embryo or a fully grown human being deserves to be treated as such.

That brings me back to the choir girl. When young girls end up pregnant, whether their parents are church leaders or not, whether the girls themselves hold important positions in the church, I feel that no one should be ostracized from the church and other social gatherings or even treated like sinners simply because they conceived out of wedlock. I’d love to believe those days are long gone.

Sometimes I feel the society is responsible for many wrong things that happen. If we can’t prevent young unmarried girls from getting pregnant, we can atleast point them to the right directions. Help them make the right decisions post-conception. Personally, I admired the ‘choir girl’ for  her bold step to find her way back into the church when there was a high possibility many people would be looking at her situation from mom’s perspective; judging and all.

I didn’t say this to mom, lest she started thinking that’s what I was contemplating; but I imagined, maybe the girl wanted a baby but she still wasn’t ready to get tied down to anyone. We can’t pretend that’s not happening nowadays. In the wake of many failed marriages, it would appear people are not so enthusiastic about getting hitched.

Speaking from a Christian’s perspective, I feel condemning people because of the choices they make is just unChristlike. A Christian’s work is not to watch from the sidelines, judging people, but to do what Jesus would have done; embracing all. He never turned anyone away; it didn’t matter to Him if one had a litany of transgressions. So really, who are we to judge?

HOW FAST BABIES GROW…

baby boy 1

I’ve found a new admiration for babies. A few months ago, a friend visited with her baby. The last time I’d seen them, her adorable son was still learning how to walk; he had just realized the joy of standing on his own two feet as opposed to crawling. He had grown up so fast.

When they had visited previously, he couldn’t stay in a room if his mom wasn’t in it; he was always looking around to see if he could spot his mom anywhere; if he did he would go on with his business, playing without the slightest care in the world; however, if he didn’t, he would become tremendously restless, and would start wailing uncontrollably.

At one time during their previous short visit, his mom left him in our –me and my sisters’- care as she went out on a date with a guy she’d met recently. when she left her seventeen months old baby boy was deep in slumber, so he remained oblivious to his mom’s absence; I watched admirably as he lay on the bed peacefully, away in a land of his own… I wonder if babies dream…

It was all rainbows and unicorns, until he suddenly woke up from his short nap, wailing, calling out, “Mama, mama…”

I panicked; his mom had already left. I didn’t know what to do. I had hoped he would sleep, atleast until she got back… well, shock on me.

I remembered what my big sis always tells me; to always take a moment to breathe in deep; take a long  inhale, then exhale slowly… to calm down, when I find myself in a panicky situation, like the one I was in at the moment. I did just that. When I was certain I was feeling collected, I picked him up. Funny thing I noticed with babies is that they could cry for long and only shed countable tear drops. He cried, cried, then paused; I thought he was all cried out…and when I was about to start thanking my lucky stars that he had finally realized his mom wasn’t showing up, he started crying again, this time louder than before.

Apparently he had just paused to revitalize his healthy lungs… I tried everything from feeding him milk, to rubbing his back gently, hoping it would calm him down; but it was all for naught.

Then luckily, his eyelids started closing; he was falling asleep. I started feeling relieved. “Thank God,” I sighed. His eyes finally closed. After a while I put him down on the bed, but as I pulled my arm from underneath him, he woke up, crying…

My sisters came to my rescue, but nothing we did could calm him down; he was just asking for a teensy weensy thing- his mom. “Is that too much to ask?” I could almost hear his distressed thoughts amid that noisy wail… I pitied him…

When we had run out of baby soothing options, we resulted to ‘mommy 911’. I rang his mom… telling her to come back soonest she could, because her baby wouldn’t stop crying. She, obviously, was none too pleased about it-we had cut her date short- but we had given it our best shot, all to no avail.

An hour later the baby was still crying, and his mom was nowhere in sight. It was frustrating.

When she showed up later, I couldn’t believe the instant change when his mom picked him up… the baby, who had cried for a duration possibly longer than all my crying moments summed up, stopped crying and a wide grin plastered across his face, as contentedly he called, “Mama…”

It was undoubtedly a happy reunion; for him atleast. His mom took him on her laps and she nursed him. He even looked playful as he suckled. I could not comprehend how it had all happened. He was happy, had I not witnessed it happening, I would have thought all the wailing had just been a bad dream.

That’s the memory I had of him, until they visited again a week after valentine’s this year. He was all grown up. At thirty months old he was walking on his own two feet… running even… The idea of moving from place to place like ‘flash’-think crawling- enthralled him. He was all over the place… turning anything he could lift into a play thing; if it was big but movable, like the foot stools, he would roll them on the floor like a tyre.

He wasn’t suckling anymore, so it didn’t bug him if he wasn’t in the same room as his mom. After lunch we moved from the dining to the living room, where we did our nails as we relived our valentine’s day. He came where I was, asking me to do his nails too. I thought it was fun, so I painted his finger nails in baby blue nail lacquer.

Evidently he loved it, because right after, he placed his legs on my laps so I could paint his toe nails too. I did. He then went and squeezed on the couch my big sis was sitted on. They were a lovely pair; I took pictures of them making faces, sticking their tongues out…

At one time I accidentally left the door open and he ran out… I had trouble catching him as he was too fast for me. If he saw me drawing close to him, he would will his tiny legs would propel him further away. I just waited for him to surrender, when he was out of breath from all the running.

If you ask me, he had really grown up fast; later that day, at sundown, I realized we’d run fresh out of milk, so I went to the shop to get some more. He stood there at the door and shouted, “I love you”… I grinned all the way to the shop and back.

He said it again when I got back… I was awed. “You really are teaching him well, “I smiled at his mom, who was loving how fascinated we were by her son. I know in her heart she felt proud. I would have been proud too, had that been my son.

That night, I was the one who went to bed last, as usual… I went to check if they were comfortable.  His mom was sound asleep, but he was just sitted on the bed, wide awake… I didn’t know how to get him to sleep without waking his mom up; but then I got a brilliant idea; if I switched the lights off he would slip under the covers on reflex, afraid of the dark… I went on to carry out my plan, which I soon realized was so half baked…

I had expected to see him make some rapid movement triggered by fear but shock on me; he was left seating on the bed, unperturbed. He didn’t squeal; he didn’t flinch. It’s as if he couldn’t tell light from dark.

Even when he saw my silhouette in the dark, he didn’t move a muscle…

Then it hit me, normally our fears are conceived in our minds: we relate them to some experience in our lives or just some horrifying movie we watched. He was only thirty months old, so basically he hadn’t been exposed to scary stuff.

I admired him; he wasn’t afraid of the dark… when I was small I watched horrifying movies that worked my imagination everytime I went to bed. Then I realized, what we watch impacts our lives tremendously… we are what we watch after all.

The thing he’s so afraid of- I noticed- is being spanked by his mom when he errs… other than that, everything is just bliss…