To begin with, I take off my face cap in respect for those young gentlemen who stood up boldly to tell the world that they are the father of the new born baby rather than deny and leave the young mother to wallow in initial regrets mixed with hope.
Demi, a young girl of twenty-five, the only girl of her mom was about to put a smile on her mother’s lips. Demi’s mom had waited everyday for this year to come. Being a single mom hadn’t been easy at all, the stress of running around to make ends meet as a mother of three was tiring. The stress had worn her out but she always consoled herself with the thought that her children would one day graduate from the university. Bolu and Femi, Demi’s younger brothers graduated two years ago and were doing fine to a reasonable extent. Bolu’s graduation, likewise Femi’s were few of the testimonies of their mom, however, Demi’s graduation was going to be the greatest testimony ever. Although Demi was the oldest among the three, the number of years of study had made her younger siblings graduate before her. Demi was studying medicine and was few months away from being a doctor.
Everything was going fine for Demi or “dokita”. Dokita was the name her mom gave her, the Yoruba translation for “Doctor”. Demi is smart, intelligent and level headed, a sign that her final exam was going to be a walkover for her. Demi’s social life wasn’t bad, according to her colleagues; she related well with her peers, although mostly females and attended social functions whenever she was free. Her life was an example of perfect.
One aspect of life however that Demi found hard was the issue of keeping a steady relationship. She envied her friends that had boyfriends, and wished she had her a boyfriend of her own. She wanted a boyfriend too, but wasn’t going to force herself on any man. Her friends advised her to give university guys a chance, the reason was that she might not have the time to bond with friends of the opposite sex if she didn’t start from the university. Some of her friends felt she was too much of the classy type and as such would scare away young men. Even her brothers once teased her by saying she might end up as a life spinster. In the midst of all these, she decided to be a bit free around her male friends rather than being the uptight young dokita.
The new Demi was a bit different. She was not flirty in any way nor wayward but she now had more talk time with guys. She met Kayode in the process, one of her colleagues in medical school. She was first careful around Kayode for some months and after a while, she became free around Kayode, soon they began to date. She still maintained what she wanted from the relationship and was not carried away.
The whole thing was now coming to an end, and in the jolly mood the students decided to organise a party, “seven years for school no be beans”, as her friend, Sola usually chanted.
The party was the night that led to chain of events in Demi’s life.
Today, Demi is a successful young doctor, living in her flat on the island and according to her, she is fine with her kind of lifestyle. In her flat, mostly on the weekends, one lively voice comes alive; the voice belongs to Ayo. Ayo was the product of the sexual intercourse she had with Kayode at the party the students organised eight years ago.
I hear people talk about unwanted pregnancy here and there, but as a realist that I call myself, I believe it is shocking to refer to such pregnancy as unwanted. This is the way I see it – a matured man goes on to have unprotected sex with a woman who hasn’t hit the menopause stage. How can that be referred to as unwanted pregnancy? The chances of producing a baby from having sex with no form of protection whatsoever is a “fifty-fifty” thing, sometimes, it may even be an eighty-twenty probability, there are many factors behind it that will determine the chances. All I’m saying is if two adults choose to come together to have sexual intercourse then the two of them should be ready to face any of the consequences rather than the man in the story denying his responsibilities, acting all irritated and all sorts perhaps because he isn’t the carrier of the baby.
Being careful not to take sides nor play saint, I sometimes wish the men responsible for the so called “unwanted pregnancy” would share in the swell in the stomach so as to understand that carrying the baby is enough responsibility, therefore it would be too much load for the woman to be denied in such times or to be left alone to bear the burden all by herself – it can be likened to raising a child as a single mom.
In the end, I think people confuse unwanted pregnancy with unwanted child. Once the stomach of the woman is swollen with a child or more, the pregnancy may be as a result of a mistake, the child becomes wanted and not unwanted for it was formed out of intention, whether deliberate or not. Even an unwanted child must be accepted.
Demi was still her mom’s testimony but the story of the testimony had to change when it was being told. Kayode’s disappointment and denial plus nonchalant attitude made the story, also did Ayo’s unexpected arrival. Kayode is married to another woman, while Demi is loving the status of a single mom.
To cap it up, what a child thinks he has joined together might not be joined after all.