I removed the wedding ring because things were getting bigger….
When I got pregnant with my first son, everything about me started getting bigger. My nose, my cheeks, the flesh underneath my chin, my breast, my waist, my feet, and then my fingers—everything about me kept growing and growing. At some point, the ring started chocking my finger to death so I removed them. I’d worn them for about three years and I’d not taken them off once. That day, I felt like I was naked. It felt like some portion of my skin was lost. Every now and then, I would unconsciously try to fidget with my ring using my left thumb only to realize that the ring wasn’t there.
One Sunday afternoon, I was returning from church when this old woman called me;
Old woman: Young lady, what’s your name?
Me: I’m Abena
Old woman: Abena, you make pregnancy look beautiful and you remind me so much of my youth but it saddens my heart that a pretty woman like you will get pregnant out of wedlock…”
I was about to tell her that I’m married but she caught me off and kept talking;
“A pretty woman like you deserve to be walking hand in hand with your husband but don’t let this mistake weigh you down and I’m glad you’re taking God seriously. Keep praying and keep going to church. God will come through for you ok?”
I told her calmly, “Mom, please I’m married. My husband is on duty this Sunday that’s why he didn’t go to church with me.” She started blinking incessantly and asked, “Then where is your ring?” I told her, “My rings are off because I’ve grown bigger than them. She screamed, “Then get bigger rings to replace!” She then laughed and said, “Sorry I judged you wrongly. It’s because you remind me of my own self. I was like you when I got pregnant with my first kid without a husband. I didn’t learn, I went ahead and had two more with different men until I found God and he gave me a husband who stayed with me through thick and thin. He was sixty-seven when he died. When I saw your finger without a ring, I thought I should motivate you so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did.”
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I was angry when she wrongly judged me but listening to her story thawed my heart. I smiled and said thank you. She smiled and said, “Get big rings until you can wear the old ones again. It’s very important for people not to pass the wrong judgment on your character.”
My pregnancy was close to five months then.
Not too long afterward, a guy walked up to me in a shop and asked if he could talk to me for a second. I gave him the audience and he said, “I might sound crazy with what I’m going to tell you but be lenient on me. You look so good and giving the chance, I won’t hesitate to make you my wife anytime soon. I will understand if you ask me to give you some time but I’m ready. I want to marry you.”
I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say or do. I asked him, “Do you realize I’m pregnant?” He said, “Yes I do. I don’t want to judge the man who got you pregnant without marrying you but we can right his wrongs. This baby will be mine. I will treat it even better than the father would…just give me a chance and see.”
Honestly, I thought he was mad. I looked him up and down—he was wearing a nice shoe and pretty watch. He had his car keys in the left hand and pouch in the right. He looked too clean to be mad but then again, many are mad but few are roaming so I still thought of him as mad. When he realized I wasn’t saying anything he asked me, “I hope I’m not scaring you? I may sound a little bit in a rush but kindly give me your number so I call you later.”
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I didn’t bat an eye when I started mentioning my husband’s number to him. He handed his complimentary card to me and asked that I save his number. I checked what was written on the card; “Executive director of blah blah GH.” My shock got intense; “What is running through this man’s head? You’re in love with a pregnant woman? Or he’s barren and looking for a child?”
I bought what I had to buy and left without looking back. I felt he was looking at me when I was leaving but I never looked back to confirm my suspicion. When I got home, my husband said, “A man called, he said he wanted to talk to you.” “So what did you tell him?” I asked. He answered, “I told him you’ve gone out but will tell you when you return, and he asked who he was talking to and I said I’m the husband. He said thank you and cut the line.”
I explained the whole incidence to my husband and he couldn’t believe it. He asked, “Ah, didn’t he notice that you are pregnant?” I answered, “That is what I can’t understand.” My husband picked his phone and started calling him. We called him a million times and he didn’t pick the call.”
How weird could some men be?
I’m not in the position to know the intentions of his heart but if what he told me was true, then he’s quite a strange man because all of my life, I’ve never heard a man proposed to a pregnant woman. Then I remembered what the old woman told me. The very next day, I got myself a ring that was loose enough for my finger to fit in. I wore it until the very day I was going to the labor room.
I gave birth and it was a boy. A boy who could have been the stepson to a stranger I met had things turned out differently.