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Part 2 |

It was 3rd July 2017 at 12:00 pm, Gina was born and a new chapter of my life began.

The first days were difficult. No breast milk yet and the baby cried so much we opted to give her glucose. I should have given her formula but didn’t know better.

I was discharged 3 days later and I got to go home with a baby all this time thinking to myself, if only I had walked to theatre back then, I would have gone home with my son. Dr. Patrick, I trusted you with my son’s life and you let me down. You were a great gynaecologist but not on that day.

At home I got to experience a lot of first times. The baby had colic and continued to cry.

But my mother, ooh mother, would wake up in the night to comfort the baby. She could stand for hours in a row so I could rest because I was recovering from the c/ section again. With a lot of remedies the breast milk started to flow and things got better.

I know these sounds off, but on some days I felt sad, depressed even, but I couldn’t let this get in the way.

It had been six weeks already, I had healed, the baby was better, had gained weight even. She cried less and it was time to return to my own home.

I had six more weeks before my maternity leave would end and I would have to go back to work.

I worked in a different town from where my spouse lived about three hours away using public transport.

These six weeks were happy. So many gifts and visits from my spouse’s workmates and friends. In a blick of an eye, six weeks had passed and I reported back for work

My mother found me some one to stay with the baby while I went to work. At three months, I started leaving her with a nanny. I worked six hours a day during this period.

At this point of my life I decided to start a business. I always loved wine. I enjoyed mentioning names of wines and so I started a business which I called GINA WINES AND SPIRITS. It took off with in just two months. I remember counting my blessings at this time. I was twenty-five years old…

1. Done with school

2. Had a husband

3. Had a daughter

4. Had a well paying job

5. and had a business

Little did I know I would lose all of them one by one.

Something changed at work, I now had to work twelve hours instead of six. I found my self going home at 3 aam. In the following months I had no time for my daughter at all, spending just two hours with her. Her father lived three hours away, only visiting twice a month and we didn’t seem like a family at all.

I made the decision to sell the business and ask for a transfer so I would live with my husband in the same town. This is the decision that I regret the most as it later lead to me losing my job. It was a question of being in the wrong place

I sold the business and with the help of my cousin Emma, I bought a piece of land. The transfer happened towards the end of 2018.

I moved back in with my husband we lived in one of his brothers properties. I was able to reunite my family, we now lived in the same house

I made so many mistakes though,  I got a loan from the bank to finish a house to just create more space. 4 million spent on a house that didn’t belong to me or my husband, but it was beautiful and I liked living in it.

In this same year, I invited my father to discuss dowry with my husband’s family.

I took advantage of the fact that they were in town to attend a ceremony ( up until now, I don’t know if this was a mistake or not). My husband and his family thought my father asked for too much. This is the first crack in my relationship. From this point I started to feel as though my husband’s family didn’t like me that much, but I thought my husband understood. I mean what my father was asking for was my one year’s income, we had been together for three.

We went on about our business. We spent a lot of time together as family, ate together, watched TV together, and we were happy

In this year I decided to go back to school.

Once my aunty had told me to always prioritise three things

1. The family where you come from.

I had been paying my siblings’ tuition all this while, and helping out whenever any of my family needed financial help.

2. The family you create. 

I had finished the house in which I lived spending 4 million shillings and I was paying my daughter’s fees and contributing to the house hold in general. I paid the nanny, bought groceries, and stuff like that.

3. Your self.

So this was my way of prioritising myself, I stated school.

Now between work and school and family, the world was spinning.

In early 2020, it must have been Feb, I received a bonus. I bought a TV as our TV had been stolen earlier, and paid tuition waiting to resume school

I don’t know whether it’s fortunately or unfortunately, my husband got a transfer to the city.

After every thing I had done to reunite us to get us to living under the same roof, he was leaving, but it was a career advancement for him and I was happy for him. Heck, I had prayed for him to get a new opportunity, he had been unhappy in his role at his job. I must have said the wrong prayer, I don’t know. It seemed like my luck shifted to him. It will soon come into perspective.

So he gets transferred to the city, I even join him there for valentine’s in his hotel room. We are coping with the transfer for as long as I have his commitment and communication in the relationship. Long distance, no big deal, I am good.

He comes to check on us the following weekend and while in town he’s involved in a motorcycle accident and his jaw breaks. So he’s home, can’t eat. The first lockdown is announced.

I am a nurse so I keep working. He’s home recovering but we are together throughout the lockdown. He recovers and goes back to work.

At this time, I am contemplating resigning my job to join him cause it was practically impossible to get a transfer again.

But I know it’s bad to depend on a man and I could regret it.

How I wish I resigned, I should have listened to my intuition. I shall forever regret it cause bang, an audit happens in June of the same year and I ultimately loose my job by August. My case was called ‘falsification of client records’. I tried to fight it, couldn’t win. Honestly I will never come to terms with this, I didn’t see it coming. As I write this, it has been four years and my life is in shambles, I have never recovered.

I move to the city to live with my husband and our daughter and the lockdown is lifted for higher institutions of learning. It’s time to go back to school, except I have to be in boarding and I can no longer afford a nanny. I resort to leaving my daughter with her aunt, BIG MISTAKE on my part.

I go to school. I cash out my insurance policy but I don’t have as much money cause my money was being deducted every year instead of increasing. So with my husband’s help, I clear the school dues. I am eternally grateful. I need six months to complete my diploma. From October, I was done by March of 2021.

I come home and it’s time for my daughter to come home and her aunty is not very happy about this. She actually brings her home but later quarrels about it. Up until now I have never understood what it was all about.

We are together again, I find a job in the neighborhood. It’s during the pandemic so I even get paid risk allowance.

My daughter is now three and half, she goes to daycare, she’s almost four, all is good.

We discuss having a second child as our daughter is lonely so I take out the IUCD and prepare to have another child…

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Written by Janet Nandutu (1)

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