Let’s play a game, if you are a mother, take a look at your baby, imagine raising him or her to this fine age and all that love you have for him or her. Ok, now let’s do this, if you have no child, take a look at your sibling, or your parents for that matter…you love these people to death I suppose and there is not a thing you would not do for them right? Now imagine, being told that the baby you would die for is not yours or the parents you thought were yours kidnapped you as a baby or your brothers and sisters are not yours there was some kind of mistake! Sigh! Close your eyes and picture it please… I pause! When you are done whatever emotion you have amplify it by a million times to have an idea of what I was going through at this moment. These are stories you see on the news. This shit doesn’t happen to people like you and me. This kind of stuff gets you see on the Daily Sun and I didn’t want to end up there. In the darkest pits of my brains I was trying to picture life without Amo and that just didn’t exist. It’s impossible to envisage. As a mom though and this is the most difficult part, you can only blame yourself!
“I am calling mum!”
I heard my sister saying in the distance but I was not sure if it was part of the nightmare or what.
“I don’t understand doctor please explain!”
Mudenda was asking when I came to. We were now siting by the hopsital reception. I am sure I looed dazed and confused as I sat up. Turns out I didn’t pass out for a long time ah, even my ancestors wouldn’t spare me the pain of this moment.
“Are you ok there?”
The doctor asked me when he saw that I was awake. I just nodded my head but I still felt very weak.
“Don’t scare us like that!”
My sister came and held me up. I think she assumed I was going to pass out again.
“Doctor please talk to us!”
Mudenda insisted. I think me waking up had distracted the doctor. Mudenda didn’t even ask if I was ok. He seemed more angry than anything else which I will be honest I needed from him right now. I could not fight this alone. The doctor didn’t change his tone however when he spoke to us,
“Sir, maam I don’t know what’s going on but this baby is not yours. I have to call the police and social workers to get to the bottom of this!”
He said. He looked at me with that look you only give to a criminal. I bet you anything he thought we had stolen the baby. How could he even think that though? People who steal babies don’t go to private hospitals? I am not being a snob, I am telling the truth. When last were you robbed by someone wearing Timberlands? Now compare that with someone wearing All Stars? How then could we steal a baby? He had the wrong couple in mind! Mudenda wasn’t even there when I conceived so it doesn’t even count as a couple. I am the one who was there at the hospital and I was there when I was given that baby. I knew my child or did i?
“He is my baby! The nurses gave me at the hospital and said here is your baby! Someone is making a joke of us?”
I cried. These people were wrong? This was some joke probably by Meladi and her sadistic father.
“I would never joke like this. When you were passed out your husband gave me his blood donor card and he is right about his blood type. There is no mistake about what he said!”
Angry as I was I wanted to snap and say he was not my husband but some creep who made me pregnant and ran away but that was just so petty at the moment.
“I am sorry but I can’t let you near the baby now!”
He said to me and my mother as she too had come to see what the commotion was about. Maybe I had not been dreaming after all when I heard my sister.
“Mum do you hear what they are saying? You were there when Amo was born, tell them please that something is wrong!”
I pleaded with her of which she did. She knew I was not lying. What gave him the right to say that my child was not my own?
“Doctor surely you can’t just say that without social workers present! You can kill a person with shock! I was there when my grandchild was born. I saw them hand him to her and the rest! Are you sure about this?”
My mother said very angry at him at that moment but also cautious enough to try and get answers.
“Nurse, I needed a donor. It just came out. I did not mean to blurt it out like that but the bigger concern right now is the baby. I was not doing it out of a bad place.”
“I can’t believe you were that unprofessional!”
My mother said with tears running down her eyes. The doctor was not done though because he went on to say,
“We will run all the tests again. Sister you know that these things happen a lot especially in the bigger hospitals. Please explain to your daughter as you know the procedure from here!”
He said and he walked away. He literally was running away from further arguing with us.
“O shit it’s actually happening!”
I said out loud in disbelief. I cried. I cried as though someone as died. I cried so much that people stared but no one had the strength to console me. My sister was in shock and she stared into space. She more than anyone else felt my pain because she had raised my son for me. She loved Amo like he was hers. I could see she could not understand. This was Karma, this was for the hurt and pain I had brought Meladi. This was God punishing me for having a vengeful heart. I saw Aurelia through my tears and she had her hand covering her mouth and tears running down her cheeks. I don’t think anyone can believe what was happening.
“Faith come here my child!”
My mother said finally calling me over. Was it not better that Amo had died without me knowing. Was it not better that way? If he survived and someone else took him away it would be more painful than death. I will rather kill myself! This is not the story of Solomon the wise were I would want to give my child to someone else. What if that family said I could never see my child again?
I asked her if I could go outside to get some fresh air. That was I needed. I needed to clear my thoughts because something had been taken from me which I was fighting so hard to keep… my sanity.
“I will be fine mum I just need to be alone for a moment!”
I said after she protested that I should stay here with them. As I walked out everything look blurry. It was as though someone else had borrowed my body the way it felt. I was not in control. I needed to sit down. I wanted to vomit. I had so many thoughts on who could be the person raising my real baby whilst at the same time I was telling myself to block it out as that was a mistake. I had a picture of Amo in my purse and I took it out to look at it.
“Amo looks like Mudenda!”
I whispered to myself. Looking at that picture I was 100% sure of what I saw.
“Amo looks like Mudenda!”
I repeated because it makes sense. When all kids are born we often try and make them resemble someone familiar. How many times have you heard that you have someone’s ears or someone’s nose like what the fuck does that even mean? Had I done that when Mudenda was born? Had I made it up that he looked like his father? I look at this child everyday, he was just as ugly as his father that much I did not nor could not doubt. He was a stark reminder of him.
I wished I was a smoker because at least at this moment that could have calmed my nerves but I had always been the wise one of the bunch. I love my lungs and health too much but with this pain I needed something.
I saw Mudenda walk towards me. I needed him funny enough because this was our baby in question. Je came and he stood in front of me and for a good five minutes he had his hands on his hips and paced around very angry indeed.
“Faith what’s going on?”
He finally said to me. The confusion in him was even evident in his eyes I just could not face him.
“How could you not know that the child you were breastfeeding for so long was not your own fucken child?”
He screamed at me. I felt like I deserved that. I had earned it. He was right. How could I not have known than this was not my child? I really am a bad mother. Mudenda was trying hard not to hold back his tears but they were coming out. I did not understand this guy at all. He had never cared for him but now he was shedding as much tears as mine.
“You think you are his father? What qualifies you for that title? What do you care? Where were you when I needed you? Where were you dad when he woke up with colic every night for months? You did not even give a shit about him? Now you care!”
I screamed at him. He was taken aback because the fucken bastard had no right to put this on me! He had no right!
“How dare you ask me that Mudenda? Who do you think you are?”
I asked him and matched towards him as though I was about to go and punch him. He had a way of making me so mad but right about now he was being unfair. Every woman believes that the baby handed to them in hospital is theirs and I was no exception.
“But you are telling me that you couldn’t tell that the baby was not yours?”
He asked defiantly. He was there when his parents even acknowledged the resemblance between the two of them so how could he expect me to have doubted. It’s always the woman’s fault though so how could I expect more from him.
“Whoevers fault it is we need to fix this!”
He said like I did not already know. That it needed to be done. Who was this guy really waltzing in and acting as though he was here to save the day. I wanted to punch him so badly but sanity prevailed.
I heard from behind me. Finally a voice I wanted to hear. It was Thulare. He hugged me and he held me. See, your man knows how to calm down a situation. He knows how to bring a smile back to your face even though now this was not what he would be getting.
“Shhhh, your sister called me about an hour ago. How is Amo?”
He asked me.
He hadn’t heard.
“They are saying Amo is not my baby!”
I told him with tears choking me. He did not immediately respond then he said,
“I don’t understand what you mean?”
Ok I get him, I wouldn’t understand either.
“Didn’t you hear me. The doctor did some rests and they are saying that we might have gotten the wrong baby at th hospital!”
Even saying it the words did not sound right.
“You got to be kidding me!”
He said and I don’t blame him either because I had been here from the beginning of this misunderstanding and I still didn’t get it. I didn’t even get a chance to respond as my mother called me and said they had arrived and I was sure who they was until I saw them.
It was the police. A male and a female I had never met before. I walked towards them with Mudenda behind me.
“You need to come with us madam so we can take your statement!”
The lady said without looking me in the eye. Maybe she felt sorry for me I don’t know.
“I am not leaving the hospital without my baby so we must do the statement here!”
I said defiantly.
“No one said anything about leaving the baby alone so it will be done here!”
She said and I saw this time she had managed a smile.
“Ma’am until this is cleared, if you attempt to take the baby anywhere you will be charged with kidnapping!”
“How can you charge me with kidnapping my own son?”
I asked her angrily but she stood her ground.
Kidnapping? She had given me an idea though, a very good one!
I needed to get my son and run away!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hi Mike & Team
Hope I find you all well.
I need your advice, I am in a relationship with a guy who has a baby with this other lady, I was not the reason they broke up since I met him three years after their break up. This lady lives 39 minutes away from us yet we only get to see the child once in two or three months, whenever he ask her for the child she always has excuses even though he the father supports his child financially in all ways.
My question is should I take it upon myself and confront her via phone call women to women because I want that child to be a part of our lives. I feel that she is punishing him because he left her and she knows that he loves his daughter and wants her in his life.
Should we go to a family court we’re we could be advised about how to go about getting fair custody of the child?
If there is a social worker here please leave your contact details and I will be in contact with my partner as he does not know what to do as this is hurting him.