by Nana Agboado
(Founder & Chief Executive Officer)
You know that feeling you get when you attend a function where you will meet familiar people, you start to wonder how many are going to approach you again and ask “if you are pregnant?” And when you tell them you're not pregnant, they respond with encouraging words like, "Oh, I am praying for you okay. You will conceive” and this is not because you shared your story with them.
You could be getting yourself a drink or food from the buffet cue and someone turns to you out of the blue and says: “Oh my gosh! That’s really something you’ve got there. Is there something small coming soon?” Your world stops. You stiffen, immediately. You want those words to be true more than anything. Instead, you need to reply. Do you pretend you didn’t hear them?or find a way to hide?
When this happened to me, I laughed and affirmed it even though I knew I wasn’t pregnant. Sometimes, I smile and said “time will tell because I couldn’t bare to reply. I couldn’t bare to answer “no.” I knew they were only trying to be nice; after all, we’d gotten married only a few months earlier, so it seemed a natural next step. Of all the statements that I heard over the years of childlessness one that stuck with me till date was when someone said to me at a wedding “we thank God because as for this your stomach, you will be due soon.” In fact, this person followed it up with a phone call a few months later to check if I had given birth. I instantly came up with a story of miscarriage and they happily spoke to me about it. One day, I just said to my husband, “enough I need to loose weight as people are now using my weight to shame my childlessness.”
Although the desire to have a baby had taken over my world at that point, five and a half years, it wasn’t easy to speak to my family, friends, or colleagues for that matter. I didn’t want to have the pressure of the issue hanging over our conversations every time I saw them. Since I have been through this journey, I know what it’s like. I don’t want others to experience a silent struggle. Since sharing my story, so many people have come to me to ask me for advice. It’s only when you open up that you realize how many people have actually been through it or know someone who has. Shared experiences are so incredibly powerful, and I really hope that through this foundation, people read my story and see that there’s nothing to feel shy about or ashamed of. I also want to educate others who aren’t directly affected about how it really feels to go through this.