As I sat in the waiting room, I tried to clear my mind with a game I love playing. You see, the woman I love with all my life was in Ward G07 pushing out our baby from inside her and I was told to sit here and be calm. The female nurse, who did not look like she even knew what a church was had pulled me aside and whispered (frankly in a flirtatious way), ‘Sir, you can just stay in the waiting room and be praying. She’s in the best hands but God’s hands are better.’ I spent about 5 minutes thinking about whether she meant something else before I remembered that my wife was probably screaming her guts out in the waiting room.
I would have stayed in the room with her but she had insisted that I don’t. In her words, ‘You are saddled with the burden of providing for our baby for a good part of his growing up. I’ll excuse you from the burden of watching him come out. Savor the 1 hour or so.’ Then she had done her evil laughter. I swear I really love my wife, but sometimes, I’m more creeped out by her.
So, I was sitting with 4 other men in the waiting room and I decided to guess who was the luckiest man in the room.
The first man. Let’s call him Dewe. Dewe was in all white. He looked so effortlessly rich and cultured. This was probably his second child. He looked like he had all the time to get ready for the event of labor. He had probably checked in his wife since the week began because they could afford it. So Dewe has money, definitely had a beautiful wife, already has a 2 year-old child and will probably stop at this one. He is handsome and well-mannered. He is not lucky. He is hardworking. He has worked to be rich, and so he can get any woman he wants, he can travel the world and learn to behave civilized. He is not the luckiest in the room.
The second man. Let’s call him Olumide. Olumide is frankly not the type of person you would see in a hospital like this. But his wife’s parents are rich and they cannot think of their daughter pushing out their grandchild in any hospital but the best. He is hardworking and a little frustrated but he really does love his wife. He will do anything for her and he believes that it’s not her fault that he feels this incapability to truly be a man in his own home. He is not lucky. Obviously. My guess is that with the arrival of the baby, there will be a lot of complicated arguments in their home.
The third man. Let’s call him Yusuf. He is obviously moslem. This is the first time he is around when his wife gives birth and this is their 4th child. He is only around for the birth of this one because him and his wife got into a terrible argument hours before the labor kicked it. It was even an induced labour. He is getting a new wife because he is rich enough to and his religion allows him to. He does not understand why his wife is fighting him about it; it’s their religion. He shouts at her and asks what else she wants from him. He vows he will still take care of her and her children. She cries and says, ‘Oh, they are my children now. You’ve not even married the woman and you’re already throwing away your children? You cannot even wait for me to deliver this one. Is that how your body is scratching you? Because Allah has blessed you, you want to desert the wife of your youth. I suffered with you. I slaved with my young body with you. This young body you’re treating like menstruation cloth now. You can’t look again at the only thing you used to want to look at before? Keep blaming your wickedness on Sura 4, Ayah 3. Ehn Yusuf?’ He is not lucky. He is in deep shit. Because the young girl he is marrying is already pregnant for him.
The fourth man. He is like me. Let’s call him Dele. Dele earns fairly like I do but as this is his first child, he cannot risk it. In his mind, he’s philosophizing on the need for children and why humans have to go through so much pain and tension for another human who may come out and never appreciate all these sacrifices. But he is lucky. He is lucky because his wife is really awesome. She has always been the rock in their relationship; voicing out his fears and countering them with assurances. She will be strong for them even for this one; she knows and she does not mind.
While I am still thinking of the men in the room, the flirtatious nurse comes into the room and smiles at me. Again, my mind wanders for a while and I think of what could possibly be in her mind. Then she says, ‘Mr Obafemi. congrats. Your wife just delivered a beautiful girl. Please follow me.’
I followed her to the delivery room after she made me wear those weird scrubs. The place smelled sterile and bloody. I looked as my wife as she held our baby. I can neither confirm nor deny that I began to shed tears. All I can say right now is that I felt (and still feel) like I’m the luckiest man in the world.
I do not deserve two beautiful women in my life.