Well, he came.
Our son came.
I am writing this from my bed, my back propped against pillows on the headboard. He breaths in steady and deep in his bassinet next to me, I can tell he is dreaming. I spent copious amounts of my afternoon moisturizing him with copious amounts of olive oil. I am especially proud of how I moisturized his three strands of hair. It is now slicked down the sides of his head, he looks like a mafia don.
He always has something hilarious going on with his lips. The way he purses them right now reminds me of Donald Trump, the way he would after firing someone on his reality show, ‘The Apprentice’. ‘You’re fired!’ [cue pursing of the lips]
Anyway, it rained on the weekend our son was born in September 2020. It had been sunny for all of the week until that Friday. By the time he was experiencing his first sunset on Earth, the skies hang low and the grey clouds huddled like an ominous affair. Our little boy snored away in my arms oblivious to whatever the universe was telling him.
He was still pink at the time, pink, puffy and puffed out from his birth at dawn.
I had secretly asked God for two things. One, that our son looks like me. Two, that motherhood be more fun with this second baby.
But God, ha-ha, you know God. God has a twisted sense of humour. (Dear God, I know you are reading this from your throne in the sky. I know you are slapping your thigh and stifling a chuckle because you know how you did me. You and I had made a gentleman’s agreement that this boy would be more of a Bett and less of a Kinyatti. What became of our agreement, huh?)
Get this: I suffered through a nasty first trimester with nausea, heartburn and needles from hormonal therapy. Second trimester had my belly swell up like an inflated balloon – I woke up one morning and couldn’t see anything below my belly button. Third trimester compounded the best and the worst of the first two trimesters.
His labour and birth were dramatic.
Never mind the 12-month hiatus I took from my career (the readers on my blog must believe I play them like a nyatiti).
I expected God to reward me for muscling through all that with a child that looks like me. Did He? Nope. The young boy came out looking like GB. He has their signature box head and that nose. A fleshy mound of a nose with generous nostrils. A nose that has a personality of its own. A nose that can smell trouble from all the way in Kaplong. A nose so African that… OK, you catch my drift. No more nose jokes, I promise.
Nonetheless it’s an adorable nose on his little face.
The only thing I can identify as mine is his fingernails. Long fingers with a lengthy nailbed. Beautiful hands. Soft and feminine. Hands that will give more than they will take.
What they didn’t give me with his looks they made up for with the experience of being a new mum. It is easier this second time. Much easier. I have hacked this baby. I can troubleshoot his cries. I have a plan. Mothering with Muna was about winging it. We came home from hospital and she looked at me as if to ask, ‘So, what’s the plan, Mummy?’ And I said to her, ‘You tell me, baby girl. What is the plan?’
Somewhere down the road she figured that I didn’t know what I was doing with her. And to be quite honest, I didn’t. No first-time mum knows what she is doing with her baby. What makes it the worse is that the baby picks up on this ineptitude, and they frustrate the hell out of each other. A crying baby and its crying mother, ha-ha.
Now I am calm and confident. Smart. Intuitive. I have read books. I have experience from round one. I have a personalised manual. And I am acing motherhood, my friend. Acing it!
Best thing is, my mind is still as sharp as a samurai’s sword. I mean, it has only been a month and I am already beating old deadlines with renewed vigour. With Muna my head was buried in motherhood for nine months after she was born. I lost all sense of self. My mind was stuffed with cotton balls. By the time I came up for air the world around me had changed so much that it had to reintroduce itself to me.
Our son’s name is Njeeh.
Welcome to the world, Njeeh. My kinsmen will hear your story and crown you the ultimate cheluget, the long awaited berurto and a chepkuinobor in our sky – a warrior, a blessing, a rainbow.28