#PregnancyTales by #BaabaCofie is a series of fertility and pregnancy – related true life stories of Ghanaian families.

Last week Sunday…

The leader of the women’s fellowship, lady Rita stood at the door as usual to greet people and usher them into the neatly arranged pews of the chapel. It had been almost two years since i came to church and I was hoping i didn’t have to encounter her. I was hoping she had fallen ill, i was hoping she had traveled, i was hoping she was dead…

7 years ago
It was our first day in church since my husband and i moved to the neighbourhood. We had been married for two years and had lost two babies; the first was an early miscarriage and the second was at 6 months. We felt the need to move because there was possibly some evil atmosphere in the vicinity killing our babies.

Lady Rita welcomed us warmly to the church, especially my husband and thanked him for coming before ushering us to our seats. We felt thankful to come to a new environment where no one knew our story; an environment that we could ‘start over’ in. I almost got the impression that Lady Rita was flirting with my husband but i rebuked my thoughts when i saw a ring on her finger. I settled in and enjoyed the service totally.

“There you are”, Lady Rita walked up to us immediately after church. “Here it is our tradition to know the homes of our first time visitors so i will inform Deacon Brown so we go with you home”. I was not enthused about it so i quickly attempted to decline the offer when my husband stepped in “Sandy”, as he usually calls me, “we should be coming to church more often if we are going to be hosting such dignified persons”. They laughed at his joke; i smiled irritated by the entire scene. My prejudice was about to be set loose as i discovered that Lady Rita lived 4 blocks from our apartment. She sounded like a thorn and i didn’t need her in my flesh.

2 years ago
It had been a tough morning for me because my period had showed up and that time of the month had become a perpetual mourning day. All the same i had to go to church, i needed to pray. I was losing my faith and hope in God. I had wept for an hour in the bathroom before heading to church. Throughout the service, i cried and cried and cried, wiping my tears hard to avoid the stares.

“Sandra the Mrs, Sandra the Mrs.”, She called my name from afar, drawing attention to me. That was Lady Rita’s name for me. It was after church and my husband had traveled so i came to church alone. As she approached me, i saw her pull along another lady from the women’s fellowship. “Sister Adobea, kindly advice Sandra the Mrs. on how to conceive ooo. She has been in this church for 5 years and rumours have it that you have been married for 7 years or?” She turned to look at me as she spoke those words. Sister Adobea bowed her head and said she had to attend to something and quickly run off. I stood there in awe of Lady Rita.

This was not the first time she was doing this. She would usually ask me what the problem is, why i can’t conceive, and tell every new young woman in the church to be careful about associating with me since i could have a curse that is destroying my eggs. I had heard the rumours but my husband had firmly told me not to bother about rumours since there had no basis. This time, i was heartbroken. I turned to go and she stopped me in my tracks.”I only want to help Sister Sandra. You know, with men like your husband, other women are looking for a way to get him ooo so you have to work hard and give him a baby. I don’t want your marriage to end like some other ladies i know in different churches. Some of us have a godly duty to provide godly advice”. I wanted to weep. I felt helpless; hopeless and weak. “I am not coming back to this church”, I told myself.

Let me continue from Last week Sunday…
As soon as i saw her at the door, my heart started beating so fast i could hardly breathe well. I held on to my husband for support. It had taken him two years to convince me about going to church again. I had no confidence in the church; the people; the prayer. I was a hopeless case. Lady Rita shouted when she saw us. “Eiiiiii you have put on weight. You went to have our babies eh? We thank God oooo. But where are they”. I don’t know where i gathered the strength and anger but in front of the church, i slapped her six times till her gums started bleeding and the 3 men were able to restrain me. I felt nothing…
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Written by Baaba Cofie