TO ABORT OR NOT TO ABORT
“Abortion is a pretty simple procedure with minimal risks these days. We, as a country have advanced to the point where it’s relatively safe if it is carried out in a sterile environment with a professional and not in one of those back-water clinics. If the pregnancy is still in the first trimester, it will take less than thirty minutes for the procedure but if farther along, then you’ll be given an injection of prostaglandin to induce contractions and expel the tissue.”
Dr. Bello paused and looked at me. He smiled, trying to reassure me. “The risk is minimal. You’ll remain in recovery for about thirty minutes then you are good to go.”
“What about later?” I asked.
“Yes, sir. Later in life when I’m ready to start a family, will there be complications?”
“I see you have been misinformed. There are mostly no complications, at least not because of the abortion, maybe another reason that was not discovered and treated in time. I don’t want you to worry about anything, Bella. It’s not as difficult as you’ve probably heard.”
I couldn’t help but wonder how my mum got to know this doctor. He is not our family doctor and I wonder how they knew each other. Could she have had an abortion before?
“If you however decide to have the baby, you’ll be monitored closely and given the best medical care. You just have to be ready to face the challenge of having a baby.” He continued.
“The adoption culture in Africa and particularly in Nigeria is practically non- existent or that would have been another avenue to pursue. As it is though, I can’t advise that. You either abort or have the baby and take responsibility for its care.”
“Okay, doctor. Thank you very much for your time. Whatever decision she makes, I’ll inform you.”
“That’s alright.” He turned to address me. “Just know that whatever decision you make, as long as you have a good support system around you, you’ll be okay.”
“Thank you, sir.” I said, appreciatively.
We left then and headed back home. I needed some time to think and process all the information that I had been bombarded with for the past days. I needed a down time, time to sit, sift through my brain; process and digest, then from it all, find a way through the jumbled mess.
I switched on the DVD in my room and put in Tuface Idibia’s album, Grass to Grace. I needed his soothing voice and soft lyrics to help me relax enough to think.
Few hours later, my mind was made up. I knew my decision would change my life irrevocably but my mind was made-I would have the baby. I’d rather keep the fruit of the love between Chris and me than discard it. I’d rather I have something to show from our time together than not. Besides, I saw the baby as part of me already and I didn’t want to kill my child. That might sound naive and I might regret the decision in the next few months but at that moment, I wanted the baby.
I called my mum and told her about my decision. I want her to reassure me that everything would be alright. Part of what gave me the courage to keep the baby was my dad’s promise to support me through it all. Through to form, my mum didn’t disappoint. She reaffirmed his earlier promises.
“We’ll get through this together, honey. Your dad and I love you very much. We’ll help you. We understand these mistakes can happen and it’s not the end of the world. If I must be sincere with you, having two girls, we already discussed what we will do if something like this happens to anyone of you.
“Although no parent wants their girl child to get pregnant at an early age and out of wedlock, but we do not bury our heads in the sand and pretend it can never happen to us – I think this realization helped us to prepare ahead and is helping us to handle the crisis in a constructive way now.
Unlike other parents who will beat and scold the child, we believe your experiences now will teach you a lesson you will not forget soon or even in a lifetime. Since you’ve decided to keep this baby despite the circumstances, we’ll do everything we can, to make it easy for you. But you have to understand that hard times will come and you’ll want to give up, just know that no matter what, we are here for you.
“However, I wouldn’t be fair to you if I don’t tell you that raising a child goes beyond the cuteness and beauty that is seen on the outside. You have to be prepared and ready for the challenge. I’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you through.”
I started to cry; deep, wrenching sobs of relief. Just to hear these words from my mum meant the world to me. I have never tested the boundaries of their love and to know then that there is no boundary is a profound relief. I heard the scrape of my mum’s chair and felt her arms firm around me – she cried with me and kept saying over and over that everything would be alright.
Culled from #BeyondNow.
Can you relate to this? Did her parents deal with the situation properly? What would you have done if in their shoes?