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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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By Paul Yeenie Harry

While driving from Duport to town the day before yesterday – that is, on Wednesday, May 22 – something interestingly memorable happened.

From the Duport Road side, as soon as I crossed the main road and got on AB Tolbert Road, I stopped on the right after the parking spot to buy short bread from a lady whose daughter sells variety of pastries right on the arm of the road.

Although my eyes were somehow transfixed on the box containing the bread, I saw two quite young women standing not too far from the booth containing the box of bread and not too far from the front right side of my car.

One of the women was pregnant, and the other was not. It appeared to me, and rightly so, that the non-pregnant woman was serving as an escort to the pregnant woman.

The pregnant one was basically biting her lips, squeezing her teeth together, and rubbing her stomach in a kind of this-darn-thing-hurting-me way. She was having on a single lappa and a short-sleeved blouse.

Before long, she came almost close to my car and peeped in and went back to her original position next to her escort who, too, was busy using a phone to call someone who was not answering. I learned later that it was the pregnant woman’s husband who was being called.

The seller brought my short bread, and I strategically placed it beside me before telling the pregnant woman, “Yor like doing sweet-sweet, bad-bad thing too much. Ehn you see how you na get pregnant and the belly is soaking you on the road this morning like that?”

She forced some kind of laughter that didn’t last, as she bit her lips again and stepped here and there in anguish and trepidation. I instantly realized what the problem was – she was experiencing strong labor pain.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

Quickly, the pregnant woman answered, “I am going to John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital. It na easy on me this morning.”

“Come in let me drop you there,” I assured her. She and her escort came in, she sitting at the back and the escort sitting at the front with me, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Thank you so much! God will bless you,” she continued, laying back on the backseat as if it were her delivery-room bed.

From my inside view mirror, I could still see the pregnant woman biting her lips, holding her stomach, stretching her eyes, breathing deep intermittently, and making sounds with her mouth as if she had just eaten some hot peppery food, and the sensation was manifesting itself in her mouth like fire.

When we reached the Tubman Boulevard by way of Twelve Houses Road, I switched on the emergency lights and to JFK Hospital we sped.

I looked at her via the view mirror again and asked, “Considering that there are lots of health facilities in the Paynesville area, why have you decided to go to JFK Hospital?”

“That’s where I have been taking my treatment,” she clarified. I nodded to indicate that I understood her point.

I looked back at her through the view mirror and said, “Please don’t give birth in my car-o.”

She laughed and laughed and said, “No, I will not,” biting her lower lip again.

The pain was increasing. I thought I could uplift her by interspersing the trip with funny talks.

When we reached the police around the Ministerial Complex, the officers stopped me, thinking that I was one of those tricky drivers who like to bulldoze the traffic in all sorts of illegal ways. Two of them approached me from both sides of the car.

Before they could have the chance to ask me the first question, I said: “There is a pregnant woman in labor pain at the back. We are rushing to JFK Hospital.”

The officers allowed us to pass without delay, and I continued my speeding, I sped until I reached the Nigeria House where another batch of traffic police officers were regulating the flow of traffic.

“When those officers come to the car, please open your legs wide like you coming to deliver, bite your lower lip harder, and increase your pepper-burning-me sound so they can let us pass quick, quick-o,” I told her.

The woman and her escort laughed and laughed. The pregnant woman laughed and laughed as if she were not going through pain.

Sometime later, she said, “You are making me laugh too much in your car, and you are increasing the pain on me.”

“Sorry, ma! The belly is really big-o,” I threw in.

“Yeah, da twins, one boy and one girl. That’s what the ultra sound showed, both at JFK and at James E. Davies,” she revealed to me.

“Wow! Then da na small pain you will feel-o,” I told her, making her laugh again.

We passed Nigeria House and sped to 20th Street to enter JFK from the Payne Avenue side. The JFK security officers at the gate opened it to allow me to drive the woman to the emergency entrance at the maternity center. We reached safely.

Before getting down from my car, she instructed her escort to take my number, which I gladly gave.

The escort called me yesterday, Thursday, to inform me that the woman had given birth to a single, but huge baby boy, instead of the twins talked about, frustratingly stated that the ultra sound machine lied to them.

I visited the hospital yesterday to see the woman and her baby. They are both healthy by the grace and mercy of God Almighty. I met her husband, Mr. Kanrgar, there, too. He thanked me profoundly for helping his wife.

It was when I learned that the pregnant woman whom I helped is Mother Remember Karngar, a Woman of God in the Parker Paint area.

The child’s name is Benjamin. I held the child and said, “Welcome, Benjamin!”

I am glad and also grateful to God that He used me that morning to be of help to a woman in strong labor pain, a child wanting to enter this world, and a father that looked forward to a healthy mother and a child.

All the glory belongs to you, Jehovah Nissi!

Note: The man wearing yellow shirt is Mr. Karngar.

 

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