I stretched out of bed. Emeka had kept me up all night making sweet love to me, he mumbled something in his sleep which brought a smile to my lips. I felt the usual queasiness that comes with each morning, i ran into the bathroom and heaved into the toilet bowl. I saw my husband ‘ s reflection in the mirror on the wall, he looked worried.
” I think you are coming down with something, i will make you some grubs and we will go to the hospital afterwards.”
I poured some cold water on my face, gaggle some and spat it out. I knew what was going on with me because i was there during Ebere’ s own. I gave him a pleasant smile.
” Don’t worry about me, i will drive down to the hospital later.”
” No i won’t have you driving in your condition please”
” Oh Emeka Come on! ”
” Alright let’s make a deal, i drive you to the hospital but you will see the doctor alone. Deal?”
I pretended like i was mulling over it.” Okay love.”
Emeka waited at the reception while i followed a kind matron into her office after i had done a test in the lab. She was also at my wedding, she asked me to sit down, she was so nice to me and i felt at ease.
” Ifeoma i must be frank with you” she said looking me directly in the eye. ” You are hypertensive, you know that right?”
I nodded. The AIDS had opened doors for other opportunist diseases.
” You are still so young and you have your whole life ahead of you. Please listen carefully to what I’ m about to say. The pregnancy result is positive”
I laughed happily.” I knew it!” I placed my hand on my very flat tummy.
” Ifeoma, I want you to promise to think about what I’ m about to say carefully.”
” I will ma.”
” Good. You can’t carry the baby because you are hypertensive, you don’t need anything to raise up your already high blood pressure. It ……..”
” What are you saying?!” My heart was palpitating.
” Listen to me please. You could lose your life, the risk is very high and ……”
I stood up and ran out of her office. The front of my blouse was soaked with tears. What did i ever do to God! why must i keep suffering like this?
” Ify what’s wrong? ”
” Let’s go please”
Emeka kept asking what went wrong during the drive home.
” I am pregnant” i blurted out.
He swerved the car just in time not to hit the car in front of us. ” Oh S*hit! Ify you were on the pills!”
I blinked and avoided his eyes. Doctor Debola had taken time to educate us on some of the risk involved in the marriage of an HIV_positive couple. We both knew the light in one of us could be extinguished anytime, we both knew our lives would revolve around hospitals and medications. He had even lectured us on the risk of pregnancy since i was hypertensive, Emeka had insisted on birth control pills but i must have missed some days. Later that night, Doctor came to see us. He knocked severally on my door before he entered when i didn’t respond.
” I won’t get rid of my baby ”
” The choice is yours, you could either choose to have the baby but it is our job to warn you of the risk involved and you could lose your life. On the other hand you could abort the pregnancy and move on with life. Ify please whatever choice you make think of Emeka’ s happiness too. He has been through a lot too. ”
He walked out. I could hear him conversing with Emeka, minutes later my husband came in and drew me into his arms.
” Ify i dont want to lose you. How would i survive without you?”
” I can’t give up on my baby without a fight! God has given him to us and am not letting him go!”
” Can you sleep over it baby? i love you and we don’t need a baby to make our lives complete. Hell! we could even adopt one of Racheal’ s little girls, how about that?”
” Shhh….baby. I will go make us dinner, let’s sleep over this.”
The next morning, i received messages from the matron, Doctor also called to check up on me,Emeka too was on their side. I felt alone. Ebere. She would understand. She rushed in some hours after i called her, i was so relieved to see her and i lurched into her arms. I couldn’t stop the tears drifting down my cheeks, it was like an invisible hand had pricked the balloon which was my world.
” Ify I’ m not a Doctor but i do know you have been advised to avoid any unnecessary excitement or anything that will raise your BP. You were on the pills right? what happened?”
” I must have missed some days.”
” Ify you know how delicate your health is now….”
” What are you saying? Please not you too!”
” Baby girl we all love you and we don’t want to lose you. Think about me, Emeka and your dad.”
” How about my baby……i have to think of him too.”
” No. Sometimes you have to be selfish and think of yourself first. I would say you don’t even think of it just do it. Life is about making hard choices sometimes. ”
” Okay. ”
She kissed me softly on my cheek before leaving the room. I don’t want to be my mother’ s daughter, i dont want to think of myself first but now i have no choice.
To be continued..