The bible says we should give thanks to God and testify of His good deeds. The bible also says we go through trials so we can encourage others one day. As my baby is about to turn two, I am compelled to share my journey of one of the most painful times of my life, when unprepared, I found myself pregnant and alone. I want to encourage any pregnant single mother out there who has been abandoned by her boyfriend/husband , that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Keep your baby, it has been given to you by God for a reason.
My baby Fadzai will be two in exactly 2 weeks time. Every morning she comes onto my bed and jumps on me which normally hurts. She is a very strong little girl. But it’s difficult to be angry with her because she is so adorable. Everyone who sees her cannot help but fall in love with her. She is funny, clever, mischievous and incredibly intelligent. There is never a dull moment with Fadzai. And as I was saying, she doesn’t like to see me sleeping. Yesterday when she woke me up, she looked so grown up. I was taken back to when I was pregnant with her and the day I gave birth to her. She is the only child I have ever carried alone, without a husband or partner by my side. She is the only child I carried during a time where I cried almost everyday. How she came out a healthy baby is always a mystery to me. I guess she was a fighter from the day she was conceived.
I remember tears just streaming down my cheeks during a midwife visit. I was already a mother to three children who had just lost their father, not through death but through the father’s choosing. I was facing a painful child custody where my ex husband was fighting me for my children to be taken into care as he claimed I was going to kill myself pretty soon. Unbelievable but true. He had just made me homeless by making sure I was evicted from my own home. On top of that, I had an ongoing abuse case with an entire church and their pastor. My life at that time seemed like hell on earth. I was still in shock that my marriage had ended, and that the man who had promised me the moon was now the man who hated me so much that he wanted me dead. He would constantly prophecy falsely to the courts that I was about to commit suicide. And he would tell them they would all read about me in the papers one day after I had killed myself. Nothing made sense to me, it seemed all the evil in the world had been unleashed on me. And here I was pregnant with my fourth baby.
“Nothing last forever Jean”. My midwife tried to comfort me.” It may seem like you are at your worst, but it can only get better. Maybe this will be your best child, this child will love you like no one has ever loved you.”
She took out her bible and read some verses to me. Yes she was my midwife, but at the time she became like an angel to me. I will never forget her and the words she said to me during a time when I was at my lowest point of life.
Four weeks before, I had found myself in an abortion clinic. I know, shocking right. When I was a married woman, I was an advocate against abortion. I called the women murderers. There was never an excuse for abortion, I preached. Yet here I was, now a single mother, sitting painfully and confused in an abortion clinic. Yes I still loved God. Yes I knew abortion was a sin. But I felt so trapped, I felt I had no way out. I was confused as to where God was in all of this. Surely if He cared about me, He would understand why I was having this abortion. I was a woman despised and abandoned. How could I possibly look after this baby? As I sat in the clinic, I saw many young women, most of them were teenagers and most of them were black. It confused and puzzled me to see the abortion clinic filled with so many black women when they are the minority in the UK. Anyway, that is another topic for another day.
The doctor called me. He asked me why I was having the abortion. I told him my situation. He asked me if I believed abortion was right and I told him I didn’t, but I had no choice. He told me it was going to be difficult to perform an abortion on a woman who believed she was doing the wrong thing. I had also filled in the paperwork where I wrote that abortion was wrong and it was murder. He was now trying to convince me that it was not wrong. He told me I had to put myself first, and I had three other children to look after. This baby would complicate my life and it would worsen my situation. “I’m sorry, but I cant lie. I still believe abortion is wrong and its murder though I will go ahead with it because I have no choice.” I told him quietly. He seemed frustrated with me.
He went on to do the scan to see how far I had gone. He asked me something I never expected. “Do you want to see it?” I hesitated. Then I knew in my heart I loved this baby so much, so yes I wanted to see it. “Yes I do”. I replied. He turned the scan towards me, and there she was kicking and swimming inside me. I had never seen a baby so active. My heart was filled with overwhelming love for her. I saw her head, legs, arms and it felt as though I saw her soul too. She was saying to me ” Mummy you will not take this away from me. I want my right to live. You are not my creator”
Fadzai spoke inside that abortion clinic. She refused to be killed. That day I knew whoever I was carrying inside me, she was a real fighter. The doctor told me I was far gone, so I had to go to London to a special hospital for the abortion because the baby was now too big. Before I left the clinic, I asked the doctor if the baby was a boy or girl. He told me that he could not disclose that information because if I chose to abort the baby based on gender then that would be a criminal offence and I could be charged. That was the moment the doctor confirmed to me that abortion was murder. He said it with his own mouth.
I went home and I wept, the thought that I had tried to do this upset me more than anything. I touched my tummy and I spoke to my baby for the first time, that was the day I named her. “Please forgive me Fadzai. Yes Fadzai will be your name. You will give me joy. You will not die but live to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. We will pull through this together. I will protect you.”
After this it did not get any better. As I progressed in my pregnancy, the more harder my life became. I was looking after three children, or rather fighting so hard not to lose them. For my sanity, I chose to get baptized a month before Fadzai was born. I needed to get right with God and I felt I needed some cleansing from all the evil I had suffered in the hands of my previous Pastor and ex husband. As I was about to go home after the baptism, the pastor called me and I told him my story. I told him I was praying for my ex husband to come back to me despite all he had done to me.
“But he is not your husband”. The pastor told me.”If he was your husband, he would not have put you away. He doesn’t love you.”
I found it very painful to digest these words. “But God hates divorce”. I told him. But he continued. “Jean, in the eyes of God, you are a divorced woman. Your ex husband has blood on his hands. The fact that God has opened your womb during such a time as this means He is still with you. This baby is a blessing. Please take this from me Jean. Forget your ex husband. God is going to give you a husband who will not put you away…” He then took some olive oil and anointed me. He prayed a prayer for me I had never heard before. That day God delivered me from the curse of my ex husband.
A month later as I was giving birth, it was the most horrendous birthing experience I had ever encountered. Even during her birth, the midwives who were supposed to protect her and save her, fought her. As a single pregnant woman, I saw another side in the UK hospitals I never knew existed. It is not easy to be pregnant without a partner when you are giving birth. With all my previous births I had always had my ex husband as a birthing partner. This time I was alone, giving birth, terrified and praying that God would save me.
Having fought for her own survival for nine months, even as she was being born, she came into the world with a light so bright it almost blinded me. Suddenly my dark world lit up at her sight. My three older children could not stop smothering her with love and kisses. My older daughter could not stop thanking me for two whole weeks everyday. “Thank you mum for having Fadzi” she would say to me. The children would take turns to hold her. They would fight to change her nappy or to push her buggy. I had to do a rota and time them, literally. The children had had a dark year, losing their home, their father, their lives. But the day Fadzi was born, it seemed all the sorrow was miraculously turned into joy. She lived up to her name, and joy she brought to our house.
Exactly three weeks after Fadzai was born, I was invited to an award show where a beautiful man was singing an opera song opening the ceremony. His performance was so touching it moved me to tears. Today that beautiful opera singer puts Fadzai to bed. He teaches her new things everyday. He put her on her first swing. He taught her how to climb the stairs. She is his biggest fan, every time he’s rehearsing, she’s always the first to clap when he finishes singing. She normally calls him Nino, or Nono, but one day when he was playing with her, she looked at him and called him, “Daddy.”