“Hush little baby, don’t you cry,
Mama’s gonna give you an awesome life.
So happy that I can call you my own,
Mama will take care of you until you’re grown”.
Oh my baby, look at how beautiful you are.
You’re perfect in every way.
Your tiny feet are so soft, and your little fists are balled up in the cutest way.
You don’t realize how much joy you’ve brought into my life and into the family. We’ve been waiting for you for such a long time, and finally you’re here.
I’m sure you and your siblings had a great time in Heaven, playing together, laughing and having no care about normal human stuff like colic, which I’m not looking forward to because you’ll keep me up all night, and worrying about the future.
I loved your brother and sister, but I didn’t get a chance to live with them on this earth. Your brother left me after before he got a chance to leave the womb, and your sister, my second child, was caught by the umbilical cord at birth. I can’t explain to you the great sadness I feel when their birthdays come every year and they’re not here, or when I think about what could have been of their lives.
It breaks my heart even more when everybody blames me for their loss of life. Your father is still angry with me, saying that I wasted in his time and dowry payment because I can’t give him children. You won’t believe this, but a child is very valuable in our community. A major part of my womanhood is based on my ability to bear children, who are the wealth and status of the family, especially if they’re boys.
That’s why your father was so angry with me when I lost your brother. He was the firstborn son, highly esteemed in the family for he was a symbol of your dad’s wealth as well as that of the family.
You are a girl my baby, and the first of my children to make it into the world.
I’m going to try my hardest to give you a good life and to protect you. Female lives aren’t highly esteemed in our community as they’re often seen as a burden or as a way to make money. I’m very sure that your father will love you with all of his heart once he lays his eyes on you. He will do all in his power to care for you and protect you. Love has a way of superseding culture and traditions if people allow it.
And because I have you my baby, my marriage is safe. Your father will change his mind about leaving me for another wife.
But my baby, in order to keep our family safe, you have to promise to keep this secret between us.
Don’t tell anyone that I paid the nurse to give you to me after your second sister was declared dead at birth. No family or friends were with me when I was giving birth to my third child, so only you, me and the nurse know that I didn’t give birth to you.
No family member will ever find out about our secret, I promise. We’re all going to be one big happy family.
*image from Pexels.