Go around town any day, any time, lots of expectant mothers around. Legend even has it that it gets worse soon after winter.
Last week an old friend-we lost contact a couple of years ago when she packed her bags and abruptly went abroad- asked me a very candid question. We are almost the same age and back in the days, we were very close even at tertiary.
But now my old friend is home after more than a decade of self-imposed exile. I call it exile because she keeps calling and asking for directions every time she is lost in town. As is the norm with people who leave for greener pastures only to later return, by the time they do, life as they knew it in this country, is not what they envisioned at all.
No matter what you do or how long you have been gone for, when you return to the country, you just never catch up. For starters, things are not as cheap as they were in the 90’s.
Whereas you could easily rock up at a bank and buy a house back then, nowadays everybody sell their houses for over a Million pula’s. We must have missed the memo, because even run down low cost houses are insanely prized in the millions, and no, as I keep telling her, the Pula hasn’t depreciated in the last 10 years.
Economic issues aside, now my friend tells me she wants to have a baby. Like so many ladies, especially those above thirty, she tells me that her biological clock is ticking loudly and wildly now, whatever she even means by that. All the time she was abroad, she tells me, she never once considered having a baby and as fate would have it; her husband was also opposed to the whole baby idea. Theirs was decade of honeymoon.
For some reason, now that they are back, they are now unanimous in that a baby is now long overdue.
Knowing how our people are, I would bet my last thebe’s that they are simply giving in to the barrage of questions and snide comments from family and friends, even from total strangers, where the baby issue is concerned. Batswana are like that, we love sticking our noses where they don’t belong, we like other people’s businesses, and we don’t even try. A stranger would have no qualms walking to you in the mall, caressing your tummy and asking when you are going to ‘make’ a baby. Once you get them off your back and have that baby, they then want to know when you are losing all the post pregnancy fat. You lose the pregnancy fat (after a struggle), they then ask about the next another baby. You just never win with them.
So my friend approached me with this particular subject. She already knows how babies are ‘made’, she even knows how new born babies look and smell like and she assures me that she has looked after her nephews and nieces before. The only thing she doesn’t know and wants to know, is what a pregnancy feels like.
I promised her I will answer her here, together with a thousand of other females who may have the same question, just so I never have to repeat this to anyone else. I will tell them all what no baby and mother magazine or book will ever tell them, because some of those books are even written by men! The only ‘joyful’ thing about pregnancies, and I am not kidding, is that you have something to look forward to, after nine months.
Other than that, it’s mostly just pure torture and pain. If your idea of ‘fun’ is waking up every morning for three to four consecutive months with a violent hangover, though you don’t even drink alcohol, where you hug the cistern like your life depends on it every morning, then you may just be in luck with a pregnancy!
A repeat offender myself, I never want to be reminded of the experience. It doesn’t matter how many times you have gone through the experience, it only gets worse each time!
When you think the senseless hangover is finally over, then your body slowly starts getting deformed. Then you know you are really in trouble, when none of your clothes fit anymore and going for shopping, a favourite pastime for all ladies big and small, turns into a total nightmare!
Then the weird food cravings. This one isn’t much of a big deal, well unless you are one of the unlucky ones, who suddenly then develop beetle tendencies and start obsessing with mud. Beetles are lucky, they only get to roll and play with the mud, not eat it!
..to be continued.