THE VOICE OF AN UNBORN CHILD
“On your marks!” the referee called out.
My heart skipped as the voice of the middle-aged man thundered into the air. I looked round and froze immediately the enormous number of my competitors dawned on me.
“Can I ever make it?” I muttered under my breath.
“Get set,” he continued. “Go!”
The race began in full force and so, my competitors and I ran with all our might because it was a matter of life and death. I never believed I could make it but fortunately for me, I came first.
Yes, I made it to the destination first out of the multitudes that turned out for the same competition.
My joy knew no bounds as I made my entrance as a foetus into the womb of Iya. I danced and danced throughout that day. After all, I was the best thing that could ever happen to anybody on the face of the earth.
I held on to that notion for a long time until one evening when I eavesdropped through the walls of her womb and I heard the conversation she had with her husband.
Iya: At last honey, the malaria fever is gone.
Husband: Thank God. Have the other kids eaten yet?
Iya: There is no more grain in the house; everything is finished. Honey what shall we do?
Husband: You figure it out yourself; it is your entire fault.
Iya: How do you mean?
Husband: You keep on having babies like pigs and yet you expect our resources to be enough for that.
Iya: Is it not your fault?
Husband: Then you should have protected yourself instead woman, and stop complaining.
Iya: What about this little one in my womb. What are we going to do about it?
Husband: That is your problem, you figure it out yourself.
Iya started crying and so, I felt like crying with her. Then all of a sudden, she brightens up.
Iya: Honey, there is only one way I know out of this problem.
Husband: I just hope that your solution is the same one that I am already thinking about?
Iya: Well, let’s hear yours first.
Husband: Get rid of it!
Iya: Wow! We both have something in common then. I will do just that.
I screamed from where I was and I kicked so hard.
“Oh please give me a chance to live. I promise that I will never let you down. I want to see what the world looks like, having made it to your womb in the first place. Don’t I have the right to live? Please, I am promising you that I will make you proud, only let me live. Don’t terminate me before my time.”
Alas, my voice was like a lone voice in the wilderness. A minute later, she called her doctor.
Iya: Hello, Dr. Zachy.
Dr. Zachy: Hello, how are you doing?
Iya: Very well, thank you. My husband and I have just decided to get rid of it.
Dr. Zachy: No problem, see me when you are ready. I want to personally carry out the task.
I resumed my crying all through the night and also made the heartless lady sleepless. The following day, she left home for the hospital while her husband went about his normal duties. When she eventually got to the hospital, the doctor was not around but the adamant lady waited all the same.
Finally, Dr. Zacky arrived and was beaming all over.
Iya: Good morning Doctor. I had been trying your number since I came here but you weren’t picking it.
Dr. Zachy: I’m sorry madam. Today is children’s day and so, I decided to spend some quality time with my kids. Shall we go to the theatre now?
“Hypocrite!” I roared out as though he could hear me. “How can you treasure children and yet want to terminate me? Don’t I have the right to enjoy children’s day also?”
Iya stood to her feet and was on the verge of going with him when a nurse rushed in to announce an emergency case.
Dr. Zachy: Madam, please wait here. I’m coming.
Immediately the doctor dashed out, I heaved a sigh of relief. How I wish, he never comes back.
Five minutes later, a man and an elderly lady came out of the ward looking very depressed.
Man: I warned her against the dangers but she turned deaf ears.
Elderly woman: Too bad, she never lived to tell the story; too bad Ewa had to die in such a horrible way trying to get rid of one of God’s wonderful treasures…
Iya suddenly became frightened for the first time since she took that awful decision to terminate me. Few minutes later, the doctor came for her.
Dr. Zachy: Madam, shall we?
Iya: Not now Doc. I’m not ready yet.
Dr. Zachy: Why? Are you afraid because of the fate of the patient that just passed on? Never mind madam, you will come out safe and sound. The deceased’s case was handled by a quack from another hospital before she was brought here.
Iya: Doc, I will call you when I’m ready.
Dr. Zachy: Okay. You just make sure that the foetus doesn’t exceed three months before the evacuation; the earlier the better.
Iya: There is no cause for alarm Doc. I will keep in touch soonest.
I was so happy and grateful to God for how I narrowly escaped death on a day where children the world over were celebrated. There couldn’t have been a better gift for me on a children’s day.
What about tomorrow, Is there any hope for me?
Iya picked up her bag and headed for home in a jiffy.
But why on earth would someone want to terminate me? I am the best that could happen to any family. A good number of homes had been torn apart as a result of the absence of the likes of me.
What if I had been destined to be a blessing to my generation? How would anybody ever get to discover me if I’m killed?
As I was still basking in my victory for a while over death, my mind went back to how I made it to the womb in the first place.
I, Tanimola who, against the stiff competition had made it to the womb would definitely make it to the end of the nine months journey. I refused to be terminated.
Iya was so hungry by the time she got home. The intensity of the hunger was so much that in a bid to assuage it, she settled for a big bowl of ‘amala’ with ‘ewedu’ soup which she finished within five minutes.
I had a field day in the process as I gulped down everything she ate. After all, I am also a living being.
“Hello, is anybody home?” Iya’s sister stepped into the living room.
Iya: You are welcome Kofo. How are you?
Kofo: I am fine and you?
Iya: Except for this thing in my womb. I am fine.
Kofo: Don’t tell me you are still bent on terminating it.
Iya: I would love to but I’m afraid; I don’t want to die.
Kofo: then let it stay. I guess the baby might bring you luck.
I leaped for joy at the pleasant remark and as I beheld Kofo’s tummy, I saw a joyful foetus in her womb in a relaxed mood.
I waved at the tiny thing and she turned and smiled at me in return. Her radiance made me probed further.
“May I know you?” I asked.
Ibukun: my name is Ibukun and you?
Tanimola: I’m Tanimola. Why are you so happy?
Ibukun: I am happy because my vessel and her owner are pleased to have me. I am indeed blessed as my name implies. Guess what? They have even opened an account for me in advance.
Tanimola: You are so lucky. In my own case, my vessel and her owner never wanted me in the first place, but for God, I would have been terminated just today when kids the world over are being celebrated. Only God knows what the future holds for me. My name says it all: who knows tomorrow?
Ibukun: I sure sympathize with you; if I were in your shoes, I will never keep quiet I will keep crying until my voice is heard some day.
Tanimola: regrettably, no one can ever hear the voice of a foetus in the womb. We live in a world of our own.
Ibukun: You are right but just keep trying, you never can tell, there could be a miracle. Someone, somewhere might rise up one day to plead your cause; the cause of unborn babies like us. Don’t give up!
Narrator: Yes, you can be that voice that would plead the cause of the voiceless. Arise and help save our unborn babies! Let’s say no to abortion today!