Pregnancy - joy of every woman
Any woman who does not conceive in an African setting is seen as cursed. The ultimate power of every woman in my society is to be able to reproduce and show her femininity. It is the beginning and end of every woman, parents, friends and relative of every woman who has reached the reproduction age. If not, you will be tagged barren and will become the laughing stock of other women and your folks and of course your mother-in-law and sisters-in-law will make your life a living hell. Other sisters who are eyeing your husband will do everything possible to replace you. That is the crux of this issue. And when the person is pregnant or eventually gets pregnant what happens?
Pregnancy in the true sense of it is a thing of joy for in the Holy Bible after God has created man and breathe into him, he gave them an injunction GO YE INTO THE WORLD AND MULITPLY” and since then men and women has known no peace. Every woman and men want to show off their fertility on the number of children they have. Parents want grand children to continue their lineage especially in our African context. No one wants his name wiped out the history of his community and environs.
These mentalities have ruled us humans especially those of us in Africa. You cant imagine what women go through in search of children when the woman do not get pregnant after the first year of getting married. As the year passes by, pressures come from all over – her mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, her parents, peers and the entire community as she is called names (witch – that she has eaten all the children in her womb) and pointed at anytime she passes any group. The mental, emotional and psychological torture is better imagined than experienced.
Eventually when she gets pregnant – from the 1st trimester to delivery time is left in the hands of the Almighty. Is it supposed to be a cause rather a blessing? A lot of things come to play, from inexperience, illiteracy to pure stupidity. Spiritism also goes a long way in maiming and killing pregnant women. So many attach spiritual attack to every circumstance or negative experience, pains and sickness in their and especially during these period. They go to all sorts of prayer houses and churches seeking spiritual help and assistance instead of going to hospitals at least to eliminate the fact that their problems cannot be medically handled.
So many literate and educated men and women falls prey to this spiritual dogma and has contributed a lot in the rate of maternal and child mortality. Why would a woman who has gone through thick and thin to get pregnant go to a quack prayer house or church to deliver instead of a hospital / health facility or a trained traditional birth attendant? A woman recently died from child bearing after 5 years of searching for a child. She is educated and had to go to an unknown place for her delivery. One version of the story said, she went to a traditional birth attendant that combines her job with church ministration, while others said she went to a prayer house when her husband kept telling her to go the hospital she attended her ante-natal sessions.
It pains me so much to see women die in droves because of their own carelessness especially those that are well informed about the dangers associated with child bearing especially without a well trained medical attendant. Some take after their friends, because it worked for your friend or relative did not make it right and may not work for you.