Reading at night, not in the comfort of my room but in a dimly lit commercial vehicle cannot be fun. And for a man yet to say I do, a book about the pain women go through giving birth will definitely be the last subject to read about in a ‘troski’ during the Christmas festivities. And don’t get me wrong or judge me. I love my women and the babies too. But only a few men in my situation will read about childbirth in Christmas when City have opened a 15-point gap in the Premiership with lots of parties to attend and church activities to attend to.
But in the womb of time anything can happen. And it happened on the 28th of December 2017. On two occasions I was dropped two stops away from where I was originally expected to drop. Notwithstanding the many friendly distractions in the troski from the ‘mates’ and their passengers, I was too engrossed reading a book on childbirth, and the pain of a young woman and her family, that I barely noticed I had reached my bus stop.
Instantly I knew this was a book I could finish, and beat my chest proudly for having ended 2017 on a high. For many were the books I started reading in the year but gave up on them midway with no hope of ever returning to them.
Even with a google map and directions to the venue of the book launch, my taxi driver and I combed through town for a while in search of the venue. It was a long interesting journey from Joy to Dome, to Pillar 2 and a complete turnaround to Hospitality Avenue right on the westlands road. But I got there nonetheless, partially on time, notwithstanding the tour around town.
All I had in mind was the title of the book- In the womb of time- with a vague presumption that the book was about childbirth. I was there because I gave my word to the writer of the book, Baaba Cofie, that I would come. I sat patiently listening to some great song selections and picking on Janice Osei, a friend I always love to torment. Soon the programme started. Baaba was called to give a little preview of the book and when she was done I felt I was in a trance. Many of the things she said, hit me and left me dazed on my seat wondering how and why many women with glee make childbirth their biggest priority soon after marriage.
I had always known that childbirth is a journey of life and death with the woman counting on hope and grace to make it back to her family with a prize. But Baaba’s account inflicted on me a rude awakening that the journey was even more dangerous than I initially thought- death was even more likely.
I was still in a trance and needed affirmation for the ‘stories’ I just heard from Baaba. But when the Calabash Farm told the story in drama, I was left in no doubt that women are a stronger breed, prone to taking a far more deadly risk in life than the dangerous investment decisions any man can take in business.
I was deeply touched by the stories I heard and knew I would never have the courage to speak to Baaba after the programme for clarifications and or explanations. So I had to sneak out after picking one of the auctioned books.
In the womb of time, Baaba tells her story of life with a close shave with death and the many indignities women go through just so the family will be dignified in the eyes of the society.
She lost her first child after going through the most difficult childbearing procedures, ‘imprisoned’ for six months during her second pregnancy before giving birth to two children in two years.
In all these she was pursuing scholarship, a master’s in communications at the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Ghana. She was into the business of writing, consulting and doing any other thing a career woman would do.
So how did she combine all these tasks with the dangerous risk of childbirth?
In my search for answers to this question, I flipped one page after another in a troski, on one long bumpy ride first from Westlands to Achimota, then to Circle and then to the Manna Mission area in Teshie.
My return from Westlands to the house was more a journey into the maternity wards, an interaction with gynecologists and nurses than an interaction with passengers, drivers and mates.
With simplicity, Baaba broke down her pain, picked every spilled grain in a topsy-turvy life of no-pain-no-gain and packaged them in the womb of time.
And while some women hardly give credit to men beyond what they describe as ‘sperm donors,’ Baaba spoke highly of her husband Pee, a man who hardly showed pain in public even though he was hurting inside. Those are symptoms of an Arsenal supporter, and he definitely, unashamedly is one.
That should be enough for now! Get your own copy of “In the womb of time” and stop snitching from the little knowledge I have acquired on a subject I have so easily fallen in love with for now.