I am lying on my belly on the bed and my laptop is open right in front of me. Suddenly a cacophony of thoughts flood my head.
Barren, what’s that word? I quickly type the letters. My fingers strike the keys while my eyes stare at the computer screen. “Hmmm…without fruit, not fruitful” I read aloud. I pause and stare at the word again and type ‘Fertile’ and I read again “to reproduce, to be fruitful… now that’s more like it, yes, that’s who I am! I am fruitful, productive and fertile. Oh! how I love the sound of that!
In the cause of my life, I’ve seen women being referred to as ‘Barren!’ People say this word with so much conviction that you wonder sometimes, if they are God. I remember a time when one of my aunts used to be called ‘unfruitful’ till she shocked the world and bore fruit.
A lot of women pass through the fear of being barren, if not all women. Most women start panicking once they see their cycles some months after their wedding. Somehow, the ‘lovers spice’ is gone and they pressurize themselves to seeking solutions to getting pregnant as soon as possible. Who would blame them? Is it not the society we live in that mounts such pressure on the female folk? Immediately after the wedding, everyone is waiting like the hawk and watching to see the belly protrude. I was watched too, after the first nine months of my marriage and soon, people started asking, ‘when are we seeing it? Are you pregnant yet? Where is our baby?’ I guess I bore their questions till one day, a friend suggested, ‘there’s this doctor I know who helps barren women conceive’, at that point I snapped.
“Who did you just call barren?” I screamed. My veins almost popping from my neck.
“Oh no…no…that’s not what I meant dear…” she said already terrified of my dual personality.
“Don’t you ever utter that word to me, ever!” I had screamed.
And that was where it ended, or maybe it didn’t, but I was never called that name again.
You see, the problem was with my husband, but it’s a private issue between us. He was dealing with low sperm count and we had known about it even while we were dating. We have been in and out of the hospital for a while and as the private couple that we are (not everyone loves to share their problems), we didn’t make our ‘marriage’ a public affair. We didn’t involve mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends, it was just about us. The two of us and no one else.
I have a firm belief that no woman should be called Barren! If you have been associated with that term or have overlooked being referred to as the ugly word, then make sure it stops fast!
Picture this, we are named by our parents for different reasons, most of which are good and a few of which are not so good. However bear in mind that whatever future names we are given by friends, foes or even the society due to our personalities or even circumstances beyond our control, they are brought to life through acceptance. This means that we consciously decide to accept whatever name we are called, either willingly or unwillingly. This must stop! You are what you call yourself! Choose today what name best suits you and what name you want to bear. Don’t not let the world ‘tag’ you but ‘tag’ the world along instead.
Still lying on my belly and scrolling through the screen, I hear my children’s laughter from the sitting room and I smile.
We were never indeed born to be called Barren!
Writer – Adaeze Ibechukwu is a lady with a passion for God and life. She’s a script-writer, novelist, talker and a creative journalist. She enjoys spinning stories and has a blog-site where she writes stories series, she’s also interviewed some A-list Nigerian celebrities.
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