Infertility, a silent killer

Vivian Emesowum
Posted March 6, 2018 from Nigeria
Reflecting

If my heart was divided into three parts, am certain you will find a part that is joyful, sober and expectant. I know very well that the sober part will be larger because it is present. The joyful has been as a result of those beautiful days of being a beautiful and energetic young girl who believes she is going to make her generation proud. At graduating from the university, a friend said to me "may you die empty", initially I was very angry with him for such wish or prayer but when I asked for explanations, he said "you have so much in you and I pray you will give them all out", then I gave a smile.

I have lost interest in writing for sometimes now not because I do not want to write but the sober part of me is larger at this time due to women life challenges. Each time i receive email from World Pulse to share my story as i silence breaker, i knew this was  an opportunity  for me to speak but yet the sober part of kept delaying and dragging me down. But i have resolved to break my silence especially on this very special occasion we celebrate Women to celebrate all women who experience what i experience, women feel the type of bitterness and pain i experience. Some experience rejection from partners and family members but not so for me.

The joyful part of me is my girlhood, being the 6 child out of 8 children. Papa and mama was great in providing and sharing what they have with us equally. I did not have to sell before I feed or go to school. My friends were defendant on me as a leader, they come to wait for me every morning, join in my breakfast and then we walk down to school together.  As a girl, I was not troubled of my reproductive health, my rags was there for my monthly periods until when mama understand that i now need a pad and not rags. I enjoyed the honour from my friends, I was everything to them- a good friend, a counselor, an adviser and a guide. We still enjoy our union till date but distance has really torn us apart. We only hear our voices now on phone, I continue to play my role.

The sober part of me is my present, It's taking a greater part of me gradually. I try hard everyday to do away with this challenge before me and continue my normal life. When I try to move 3 steps to carry on, it brings me back 5 steps, i feel so bad but still move a little.  I lay on my bed all night long weeping and praying because I have to proof my womanhood. Yes, to proof it is what the world expects of me as a woman and to do that, I have to conceive and have children. Being in marriage for several years without a child is not a child play especially in Africa and Nigeria. It depressing, humiliating and traumatized. Seeking medical care is even more embarrassing and expensive. Alternative options like adoption sounds like a taboo in my family and the cost of IVF in Nigeria is over millions in Nigeria currency.

Women with fertility challenges has a lot of experience to share. You spend money, visit various obscure places just to carry a child. The first thing those traditional health provider does is to insert a finger into the vagina for examination before treatment. I can't even count how many fingers have entered mine. It's traumatize. Women take all such of concoction believing they will conceive. I could remember one that almost send me to my early grave, when the man was called that am dying, he laughed and said, don't worry it only pain, it will stop." I did not know what the mixture was but to give to a woman to insert in the vagina is ill-human. I was in very severe heat like pepper in my vagina. Pastors financially exploit and sometime sexually abuse women for the gift of a child. The cost of orthodox medicine is very high, while we still do our best to run all required test. When a woman's heart is weak, the mind think less and the body produce little but when the heart speaks it relax and find succor.

My expectant part may be smaller but I believe it will flourish someday. I will nourish it was the experience of my sober state and it will blossom with much years of experience to deliver on task ahead of me which is to continue to support women proof their womanhood through our Reproductive health programme, and gender focus engagement. 

When i look back to my little work with women and girls in my community, my leadership in various women groups, i know i will get there, to empty what is in me. No cause never fought for girls and women is a waste rather it is profit upon profit. My experience will give me a better opportunity to know the challenges of other women especially when I met them at treatment centers.

My expectant part will one day overtake the sober part because experience is the best teacher. I am in my experience class with the best teacher and I know that when I graduate, I will be on top.

I stand with women today because she is a destiny changer, if given an enabling environment and the opportunity. She fight for justice because she is justice her, no wonder she is the symbol of justice with her sword and scale and her eye closed. she stands with everyone.

 

 

This post was submitted in response to You Are a Silence Breaker..

Comments 36

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  • jlanghus
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Hi Vivian. Thanks for sharing your important story and for breaking your silence on the pains, mental and physical of infertility. I know this pain quite personally. But, let me ask you this, do you want a child, or do you just think you need to? It is always a choice? Also, has your fertility been checked? Perhaps you don't have infertility challenges; perhaps it is your husband. Either way, I hope you find peace and that you are able to find joy elsewhere, rather than focusing on this challenge. Like I said, I know from personal experience when focusing on this, it only brings more heartbreak; whereas when I focus on things that bring me joy, not only am I more likely to conceive, I'm actually enjoying and living my life, on purpose!

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Thank you Jill for reading my post and for your encouraging words. like you asked, i really want a child but if i conception is difficult i would love to adopt a child but it is not acceptable to my husband's family and also the cost of adoption if am able to win my husband over, is very high. The doctor, after going through our several test, advice we go for IVF instead of waiting.

    thank you again

  • jlanghus
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    You're welcome:) But isn't what you want more important than what your in-laws want? Plus, isn't IVF expensive, too? I would dig deep, be brave and go after what YOU want, hon:) Let us know how it goes. One way or the other, you will have a lovely baby to love and cherish!

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    Thank you dear for being there. I appreciate.

  • jlanghus
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    You're welcome:-) And, good luck to you pursuing your dreams on having a child!

  • MagiOriah
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Hello Vivian,
    I so value your sharing this personal story on infertility. I see that continuing to give to others knowing that thru giving you will be blessed is a powerful and productive stance. Blessings!

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    I feel better after sharing this story cos keeping it makes me heavy and stop. I was able to facilitate a training session yesterday after sharing cos my mind was at peace.

    thank you again for reading

  • JulieG
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Dear Vivian,

    Thank you for sharing these three beautiful parts of yourself with us. I'm glad you broke your silence! I especially love "she fights for justice because she is justice!" Embrace your joyful, sober and expectant self, she is radiant and loved!

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    I feel better after sharing this story cos keeping it makes me feel heavy. I was able to facilitate a training session yesterday after sharing cos my mind was at peace.

    thank you again for reading

  • Tamarack Verrall
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Dear Vivian,

    By writing so openly from your heart about such a pressured situation, the assumption that every woman can and must have children to be accepted, you will surely be helpful to many others who have gone through or might go through the same as you have been experiencing. It is especially cruel when there are very strict attitudes, such as adoption not being acceptable, and not bearing a child so unaccepted. I trust we are working together toward a world which respects and honours women for many acts beyond having children. I loved Jill's response to you, and echo her hope that you find peace and joy in wherever your life takes you.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 07
    Mar 07

    Dear Tama,

    I appreciate your response to my post. The courage to share this story bring me great peace and encouraging words like this keeps me going.

    Thank you for reading

  • I love how you share your vulnerability, Vivian. I could truly picture out your story because it is the same in our country. Couples here get married to start a family. So there is that constant question of when will you have a child, when will you have your second, third son/daughter. For those couple who have been married for years and still without a child, there is some pressure for them.

    I once was told that I could not bear a child when I was single. It was due to the complications and curvatures of my spinal cord and the implications that comes with it. A doctor told me that no man will want to marry me if he knew I cannot bear a child. Probably it was to scare me so I could get treated immediately.

    I kept it to myself for so long I believe that doctor, crying too in silence. There is a psychological pain that comes with it. I could not grasp your pain, Vivian. But I pray that your heart will find its peace.

    You are not less of a woman IF you are infertile. I know a lot of married women who mothered different children. They are the best mothers I know.

    I believe you are a good mother, too.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    Thank you dear for reading. Being here and sharing will bring me some peace I know.

  • Wendy Stebbins
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    Yay, Vivian. You arw amazing.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    Thank you a lot

  • Anne McCaw
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    Vivian: I wish I could embrace you right now, tell you how wonderful and fertile you are, because you are giving the world so much, with your story, with everything you do in any given day to give love. Thatʻs a legacy alone. I know you will find a way to have children in your life, that you will show them what strength is. If you donʻt feel this hope now, I will hold it for you.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    Your word encourage me a lot. Thank you so much.

  • Leina
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    Dear Vivian, thanks for breaking the silence on this very important topic.This shows your bravery because not many African women who are in this situation are able to speak up.l admire your leadership and tenacity.l see you starting a big campaign to reach out to millions of women who are hiding under their blankets due to the stigma imposed on them by ignorant communities.l love and celebrate you my sister.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    Hahahaha, it takes courage to speak out over salient issues like this and many women are truly afraid to speak and taking all the blames. That's the second side of it that will be discussed later.

    Thanks for your encouraging words

  • Aunty Quack
    Mar 08
    Mar 08

    I couldn’t have children either. When I finally gave up the idea, I cried for 20 minutes about not being ‘a real woman’, then I thought - too bad, If I can’t have children I’ll find something else to do with my life! 20 years later, I still don’t care that I didn’t have children, because every child is my child to care about. I am also glad that I have not contributed to global over population by bringing more children into this world. We are killing this planet with too many humans and that is a MUCH bigger problem for everyone than my own infertility. I’m sending you lots of love and I hope that you find a deep purpose for your life (with or without children that come from your body or with adoption papers). As for what everyone else thinks of you, that’s their problem to worry about, not yours.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    It great to find someone who understands the pain and plights of the subject matter. Thank you for responding

  • francisca okwulehie

    Be strong Sis, your wishes will come true. Lots of love and hope.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    Amen, thank you for being there.

  • Adanna
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    Dear Vivian,

    Thank you for your courage and for sharing your story.

    I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure being put on you but sister you have to stay strong.

    Do not let what people say get to you. Anytime you feel depressed, please channel the energy to something positive.

    You are brave and I am proud of what you are doing with girls and women in your community.

    Love,
    Adanna

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 12
    Mar 12

    It takes courage to overcome depression but God is my strength with encouraging words from people like you here. I appreciate

  • MaNnenna
    Mar 13
    Mar 13

    Dear Vivan
    It takes courage to share a topic frowned in our culture. I admire your strength and courage because you are not alone. You are worth more than any infertility issues. Unfournately our culture has made people to believe a woman's worth is based on motherhood. People makes the culture not the other way round. Dont be ashamed/ afraid of adoption;There are thousands of children who needs your love and support. You don't need permission to be happy and if they don't like it, that's their problem, NOT YOURS. BE BRAVE!!!!!

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 17
    Mar 17

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and for reminding me again that I don't need permission to be happy. I like that

  • Mujidah
    Mar 14
    Mar 14

    Being a woman in Africa and Nigeria in particular is a huge challenge. From spinsterhood, you are pressured into marriage. In marriage, extended family and society dictate even the most private of issues.

    My opinion is for you to find joy in whatever gives you joy, encourage your husband to seek medical attention (if he hasn't) and discuss what you both want to do without external interference. I pray God grants your heart desires soon.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 17
    Mar 17

    Thank you for being there and for you prayer.

  • Bim Adegbite
    Mar 16
    Mar 16

    Dear Vivian,
    Powerful thoughts!

    I cried as I read your story. I could only think of someone dear to me as I share in her pain & understand yours. As you speak on this issue I hope you continue to find strength and peace. As you speak on this issue I hope light prevails over the darkness of infertility.

    Know in your heart of hearts that you are already a woman, know you are already a mother. You already nurture, you already care and you already protect. Know you are enough!

    I pray you find joy and God continues to show up significantly in your life daily. I also pray you bear a child of you own and in the meantime I pray you are able to convince your husband (the only one that I believe has a reasonable level of say in this) on the adoption issue if you so desire.

    Stories like yours are necessary, stories like yours are relevant, stories like yours illuminate and dispel the myth surrounding infertility and adoption in communities that frown upon both. You are amplifying the voice of many & together we can. I stand with you!

    May all your moments, joyful, sober & expectant come together to bring you peace that goes beyond understanding regardless.

    Thank you for sharing your story...hugs, hugs & plenty more hugs.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 17
    Mar 17

    Reading your comment put a gentle smile on me. I appreciate your prayers and good wishes for me and truly hope that one day God will bless me with my heart desire.
    Thank you for being there for me

  • payal_4
    Mar 27
    Mar 27

    Hi Vivian, thank you so much for sharing your story. I definitely feel like so many cultures require women to become mothers after marriage. And if we decide not to or we have fertility issues, they think we are not “woman enough”. My husband and I have been married for 3 years now and have had so many people pestering us as to when we will have a child or comments like “ you guys should have a baby now”. Someone in our family even told me that I have to have a baby next year and it MUST be a boy.

    These ideas that some people hold onto are so archaic. Women can and should decide what they want for themselves. No one has any right to tell us what to do because of our gender.

    I’m so happy and proud that you shared this. I know that I am not alone because of you and you are not alone because we all support you! Lots of love,

    Payal.

  • Vivian Emesowum
    Mar 29
    Mar 29

    Thank you dear, I feel good knowing that am not alone in this plight and to have wonderful encouraging words from friends like you here. I appreciate you for being here.

  • Mauwa Brigitte
    Mar 30
    Mar 30

    Hi!
    Let's break the silence when we have a problem that gnaws the heart, speak in others for the solution, it is the only way to find total healing with God who will think your inner wound. The opportunity offered by Worldpulse is crucial for us to run off our burden so distressing; to exchange our pain; if we hide them, how will they find solutions? Let's break the silence!

  • Feka
    Apr 11
    Apr 11

    Hello Vivian,
    I understand the peace you get when you speak out and I know you are experiencing it immediately you posted this. I pray that peace is permanent and may God grant you wisdom and strength to continue the good work you are doing.

  • Ese Ajuyah
    Jun 16
    Jun 16

    Hi Vivian, your story is real heart touching. I believe soon you will have some great news to share. Pray your desire is granted soonest. Best wishes.
    Ese