Nurses have been in and out of room 405. Crushing into each other sometimes. The cold, starry night made it difficult to concentrate. A lot of people had jackets on. The rain had stopped for a bit. Occasionally coming down and it added to the anxiety Ibrahim was feeling at that moment. His child had refused to come out even after an hour of pushing. His frets could not stay still every time he heard a scream from Mimi.
“I think you should go inside and be with her, son,” Kadi voiced out to him. That is exactly what he’d planned to do. At least to calm his nerves.
“Can I come and be with my wife?” Ibrahim asked a nurse who’d been giving them updates of what was going on inside the ward.
It took a lot of courage to be able to walk into that room. Full of nurses and a girl lay feebly on the bed. Black under her eyes as she hadn’t been able to rest ever since she started pushing.
“It’s good you’re here, Mr Ibrahim. I was about calling you in,” the doctor in charge of her delivery says to him the moment he steps in.
“Mimi, be strong, okay?” Was all he could say as he held her hands and gave her a peg on her sweaty forehead.
Mimi nodded. Happy he was able to come to her.
“Let’s try again. This time, be extremely strong okay?” the doctor directed.
“Okay. Let’s go again. I think I see something.”
Mimi started crying. She was so tired yet she had to push else she or the baby might die.
“Hey, baby. Be strong I’m here alright? Remember that.” Someone might think he was the one pushing as he was sweating too. His shirt was soaked wet, from top to bottom.
“Mimi alright? Let’s do this okay, please. Be strong.”
His words seemed to have given her strength.
This time she pushed hard. Holding unto Ibrahim’s hand. The pain was too much that she almost passed out.
“I see the head.”
With several other pushes, the baby finally came out.
“Congratulations. It’s a boy!” the smiling doctor told them while another nurse wrapped the baby in a silky blanket and handed him to the mother.
“No. Please take him.” Ibrahim took the initiative of taking his son in his arms.
“Kindly hold him this way,” the nurse instructed, finally giving him the baby.
He took a look at him and he’d never felt the feeling he was feeling inside now. The baby’s eyes were closed. His whole face, a replica of Ibrahim that he felt he was looking at himself when he was a baby. His heart swelled with pride. And for the first time, he felt like a father. And he started having thoughts about what they will do together when he grows up but that thought will have to wait for now. Mimi looked anywhere but on him and their son. She’d had a difficult night and wanted to just rest as she was tired.
“He has to take his bath Mr Ibrahim. He will be brought back to you soon”.
“Alright”. And he gave the female nurse back the child.
“I’m proud of you, baby!”Leaning in, he sat down on a chair next to her bed, holding her hands in his.
“What is it, Mimi?”
“C.mon talk to me. I want to know what you’re thinking.”
Taking a deep breath, she looked at him. Tears already in her eyes.
“Ibrahim…he doesn’t deserve what I’m about to do,” a tear escaped her eyes.
“What do you mean he doesn’t deserve what you’re about to do? And why are you crying, baby?”
Her soft sobs filled his ears.
Before she could say anything else, people rushed inside the ward. The whole family was there to congratulate them.
Quickly wiping away her tears, she forced a smile for all who had come. Occasionally saying something so it wouldn’t feel as if she were moody.
Ibrahim sensing her frustration, kindly led them to believe she needed rest. In a short while, the same nurse brought the child.
“Here’s your baby.”
Mimi took the child from her and held him in his arms. She hadn’t seen him before he was taken away but now as she looked at him, her whole being felt alive again. She felt the strong need to protect him. To love him. Everything about the child screamed love.
A smile formed on her face which Ibrahim saw as a good thing.
“Madam, it’s time to feed him. It’s your first but you needn’t worry. Just set him up in your arms like this,” the nurse helped her in the right position with the child.
“Yes, that’s right.”
Before Mimi realized, the baby had latched onto her nipples, sucking hungrily.
A fascinated Ibrahim kept looking at the two, his family. Mimi has come to give her love and so much more, his son.
“I know,” and then he bent and kissed both of them.
“What are you saying, Mimi? Mimi, c.mon look at me. Did I do something wrong?”
The frustrated lady sat on the bed with her arms folded. Looking into the eyes of the man standing in front of her.
“No no. It’s really not about you at all. It’s something I want to do for myself. It’s always been what I do to please you and you know it. Now, Ibrahim, I really want to do something for myself.”
He knelt down in front of her.
“Who will be a mother to Enoch, huh? He’s only 3 months. Still can’t eat on his own. How will this be fixed, Mimi? Tell me.”
Sighing heavily, she knelt down in front of him, pressed her forehead to his that their lips were already touching.
“I know. I have thought about all of that. Your mum can look after him till I’m back.”
“Mimi,” his gentle voice filled her ears. Lurking around to tear her apart.
“Will you not at least consider any university here in Ghana? And be near our son.”
“Hey, why do I have the feeling it’s you who wants me to stay because the last time I checked Enoch isn’t capable of speaking.”
He pulled her up. Sat next to her on the bed and took her hand in his.
“It’s simple. He’s just a baby. That’s how you know he needs help. I’m not trying to be selfish…our son will need his mother.”
It seemed to him like an unending situation thus, he decided to reason with her even though he was the most hurt from her decision.
“How long did you say you will be gone for?”
“What the…! Mimi!”
“It’s a three-year program in banking.”
“Damn. How will I do this?” his voice was that of sadness and anger. She couldn’t tell right away.
“Hey…Enoch will be here with you.”
“Right. Without a mother.”
“Please don’t remind me. I feel shitty about it too. Cried many nights just because I’m going to leave you two behind.”
“I guess your mind is made up on leaving in a month?”
“Yes and I’m sorry. Really sorry. Will you at least be kind enough to tell him about his mother?”
He gave her a bone-crushing hug.
“What kind of father will I be if I don’t do that?. Hopefully, you will be back right in time for another baby.”
He strokes her now flat tummy.
It stifled a giggle from her.
“Of course, I will be ready. But is that all I will be to you. A baby-making machine?”.
“Hey, c’mon. I was kidding okay? I love you. So much,” he said and planted a kiss on her lips.
“Just three years and I will be back.”
“Three years is long.”
“I know. I need space right now and if I stay here, you know what will happen.”
“Get pregnant obviously.”
He wanted to protest but one glare at him had him quiet.
“Fine…It’s possible. I won’t protest or anything. Come give me a hug, baby.”
They ended up hugging and kissing and more kisses.
The month Enoch was brought home from the hospital, everything changed. Ibrahim took some months off to help Mimi with the baby. It was hard but Kadi, with a few maids from her mansion came to assist with the baby that the only thing she will have to do was to breastfeed the baby. The rest was left to Ibrahim’s mum and the two maids. Ibrahim spent time with the child mostly at night. He would sing to him, rock him on his chest or make funny faces to get a reaction from the baby. It was a sight to see.
It continued till when Enoch turned three months old. Kadi and the maids had to go. To give them privacy. Mimi wanted time alone with her son and husband without someone interfering.
While Ibrahim was okay having Adisa around, it disturbed Mimi. Now, she was about leaving for a foreign country and having Adisa around him all the time did not sit well with her so she sent her away with enough money to start on her own. It was Kadi’s idea. It had happened to her before. A long time ago. Caleb was the result of her husband affair with a maid. And because she liked Mimi a lot, she helped her get rid of Adisa. In return that she will not sway after the three years.
“So it’s tomorrow, huh?”
His sad face got her sitting up on the bed.
“Heyy,” her soft voice called out as her soft palm pressed against his cheek. Savouring the moment, he let himself relax under her warm palm.
“I’m really going to miss you, you know. Your son and I.”
A sigh escaped his lip.
“You will wait for me?”
He furrowed his brow and pushed her hand down gently.
“I’m the one who’s worried about you forgetting about us. See, even though I’ve marked you it still doesn’t mean I can’t lose you.”
A smile escaped her lips before he could continue.
“You’ve used words like mark? C.mon we’re humans, alright?”
“Fine, fine. Whatever you say but I’m serious about what I’m saying, baby. The boy is barely 5 months and his mother is already thinking of leaving tomorrow.”
“I know how you feel love. But school starts soon over there and I’ve got tons of things to do like settling down.”
“Fine fine. I see that nothing will change your mind.”
Her lips brushed his cheek, teasing him and pulling herself back away from him.
“I promise. I will be back before you know it.”
Somehow, he calmed down.
“One last thing, baby” Ibrahim came and stand behind her without batting an eye, with his large palms on her tummy.
Startled, she wanted to move away from him.
“Not today, Mimi.”
Her eyes were wet with tears that she couldn’t almost stop it.
“Even after having our first child, you’re still the most pretty lady on this planet, baby. Whispering into both ears he told her.
“I still love your body, Mimi…and I will not stop because it’s mine. You should never forget that.”
It’s wasn’t the first or the second or even the third that Mimi has tried covering up every time Ibrahim comes into the room. Unknowingly, she would stare at herself in the mirror observing the changes with her body after having Enoch and Ibrahim having realized went silent about it. Not being able to touch what’s his without making her feel uncomfortable was killing him and to him, it was all his fault but he’d stopped blaming himself and started thanking God for the lady He’s put in his life.
“Hey, hey…” still speaking softly into her ears, he wiped her tears and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek and forehead.
That got to her. The smile on her face deepened.
“Damn, baby! I can’t believe I won a smile. You better not show them to any other man.”
“Can you set me free now? I have a long day tomorrow,” she complained.
Even if the only reaction he’s got from her was a smile, that was quite enough for him. He sincerely loved her, and her whole being, her attitude and how well she responded to him emotionally.
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