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‘Take deep breaths…’

‘That’s good, just breathe…’

It is funny (but not funny) that these same words I heard during my labour are the same I hear every night since the day my baby turned 5 days old. 

I gave birth to Iyanu; I did. On the 7th day of January, I suddenly felt my water break and all my research on labour and labour composure couldn’t prepare me for the panic I went into. I knew she’d come, but it just got real when she did. 

The hospital. The hospital is full of crying people, mad people, angry people, sad people, laughing people, all sorts of people. But I don’t remember a single face from my delivery day. I was rushed in by my dad and taken to the emergency delivery ward. The doctor was saying some things. He told me to focus on his voice and just do what he asks. 


‘Take deep breaths…’

‘That’s good, just breathe…’

And I did it. She came out of me. My expectation for 9 months became my reality. There is no greater joy in life, I assure you. I held her in my arms as they tried to detach the umbilical cord. I looked into her soft brown eyes and wept. She was a beauty! And it was just me and her in the world; no one else. See, in that moment, I didn’t think of Charles or the girls at school, or money or my future, I had my world in my arms. I don’t know how some mothers do evil to their children. I cannot comprehend it. This is the best gift  in this world; that you can hold your whole world in the comfort of your arms.  It was amazing. 

Shifty eyes. The nurses and the doctors had shifty eyes; I noticed. So I broke the suspense and awkwardness and told them that she’ll be bearing my surname and that the only man who would come in to see me would be my father. They didn’t seem like they understood. 

5 days. 12th of January: I was sleeping when I suddenly gasped out of my sleep. I woke up to see the doctor in my room. I looked at the gray clock on the wall; it wasn’t time for the rounds. He was looking sympathetic. I asked him how he was and whether he could help me tell the nurse to bring Iyanu so I’d feed her. ‘I am to leave today’, I said. ‘I am excited to go back home’. The doctor held my hand as my parents walked into the room. ‘Iyanu… Did not make it. She is… gone’ 

That’s all I have been able to say. 
It’s the last day in January but I feel like it’s the beginning of a most terrible life. 


How did my baby die 5 days after she truly lived? How did she live only for the number of fingers on one of my hands, the same hands that carried her?

What was her purpose on earth? To destroy my life? What was the whole purpose of my 9 months journey. All the hurt and pain and rejection and depression; everything I had to go through. Does one weather a storm only to come into a hurricane? Did I do something wrong to cause this?
At what point does Charles regret that he left me to go through the pregnancy alone? Didn’t he get the better end of the bargain by butting out and getting on with his life already? 

What did I do to deserve a neonatal death? Can I ever have a normal life? 

Why did it begin to storm when I finally held my  rainbow? 
I have nightmares everynight and so I now sleep in my parents room. 

Every nightmare is a variation of the same thing: I am about to be killed but Iyanu suddenly appears in my place and gets herself killed; but as she slowly dies, I find life leaving me as well – like I am falling down a cliff. And I wake up screaming. 

My mother holds my hand and rubs my back. 


‘Take deep breaths…’
‘That’s good, just breathe…’

13 Discussions on
  • Noooo…I expected a very happy ending…its so sad, am sad sef…y would she have to go tru dis after d rejection and her fantasies of being a good mother….boro, y dd u have to end it dis way *sobs*…very sad! Arrgh!

  • It is 8/9, is it not? I expect the final of the series which is 9/9. 8/9 is probably just a bad dream since actual and normal delivery of babies take place in the third trimester. But if I’m wrong, which I hope I’m not, and you gave birth to Iyanu on the 7th if January, please tell me why that number ‘7’. Thanks Boro!

    • Hey Koko. So she started writing in the second month of her pregnancy. So her entries are like one month late. It’s actually her 9th month. And I chose 7th just off the top of my head…nothing too special. But they are several ways it can be tweaked to be significant; I see what you see. :)

      • Oh, so much for seeing. It’s beautiful…it kept me stalking my inbox all the while the series ran. I love the way it ended though, but it’s not like I expected it to end the way it did. My heart missed a bit when the doctor said, ‘Iyanu… Did not make it. She is… gone’, that was the climax. Thanks Boro!

  • I literally screamed “what?” when I got to the how part. I was already like hmmmmm boro coming through with them plot twists of early birth. But “the death of the baby” Thanks Boro,Thanks.
    I’m never getting attached to any of your series again, NEVER!

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