She embarks on a long journey. For nine solid months she is not herself. She cannot eat her favourite foods nor enjoy her delicacies. Her body plays funny tricks on her. She feels hungry this moment and the next minute she is vomiting.
She has troubled sleep. Her favourite sleeping posture is on her belly but she cannot do that anymore. Sleeping on her back too gives her backache. She however manages through the nine months journey. I have not mentioned the swollen feet and the rising blood pressure and increased body weight.
How she prays hard that the days will move faster and that her long journey will finally come to an end. However while they approach, she dreads what lies ahead of her—the unimaginable pain, the possibility of losing her own life.
Finally the stranger she has been nurturing all along arrives through a huge cut, one that has to take another three months to completely heal to enable her do her normal lifting.
She sits on a plastic chair in the children’s ward looking into the incubator. Her stranger’s weight is too low; he has to be observed and put on medication for a while. She is allowed to breastfeed him from time to time.
She has to weigh him before and after breast feeding in order to know how much milk he has fed on. She has to note all the figures down and plot a graph to help track his development. He is on a drip so she carries him with one hand and pushes the drip stand with the other hand.
At night she has no bed to sleep on in the children’s ward. She is not the one on admission but her little stranger. Finding no bed to sleep on, she sits up in the night to watch her little stranger. She dozes off once in a while. She has her own surgery pains to battle with and the sitting up makes it worse.
She misses home and she prays silently for the day when she will finally leave the hospital. The day arrives.
“You can go home today; your baby is better now. He has picked up weight over the past days,” the doctor on duty tells her. “Thank you Lord!” she smiles and says.
Little does she know what awaits her. A fat bill! What! How on earth is she going to take care of this and why such a huge bill? Well, the Caesarean section alone cost so much aside from her own medication and that of her baby.
Her savings together with that of her husband are gone by the time she leaves the hospital. What happens to the little stranger’s upkeep–his feeding, his diapers, his clothing and other hospital bills? Family and friends step in to help.
Dear friend, I will leave it for you to judge the sacrifice, efforts, sweat, wealth that would have gone into this life (boy) by the time he is five years old, ten years old, twenty years old, thirty, fourth and fifty.
Yet a lot of us treat human beings as if they are a piece of paper or trash? We insult, mock and disrespect people. I have not yet talked about God’s efforts and plans as far as a single individual life is concerned. Let us repent today and learn the true value of human life including ours.
The narrative I have given are the experiences of three different women—myself and two others I shared space with in a hospital ward. This is not fiction at all. I know that other women go through worse things during pregnancy and child birth.
I wondered whether there could not be any easy way out of creating human life. But no, there is no other way or easy way because of the value of human life.
Until these experiences, I saw other people and myself as just some other human being. I had little knowledge of my own value and the productive hours, efforts and wealth that had been expended in my life.
My Pregnancy, childbirth and keen observation of other women’s lives have altogether moulded my view and perception of the value of human life which is enormous, and most valuable of all things that exist on earth.
Value your life! Value other people’s lives. They are too precious to be taken for granted.