I thought that the year my baby was born will be an eventful year for just us, boy was I wrong. It has been an eventful year for the entire country. And it has affected us directly in one way or another.
The year my baby was born was marked with a 100 day doctors’ strike. Thank God they had gone back to work by the time she was born. The longest nurses’ strike, which lasted a whopping 150 days followed soon after her birth.
She almost missed getting her six weeks vaccinations on time because the initial hospital I took her to did not have all the drugs. I was advised to take her to a government facility that would definitely have them. I did just that. And surely the drugs were there, just as promised. The only problem was that there was no one around to administer them. The nurses were not there.
The country had not one but two elections that year. My colleagues were envious that I would be on maternity leave when the laborious task of keeping up with politicians during their campaigns and the culmination of the process by keeping vigil at polling stations to report who the new leaders of our country will be.
Little did they know that I would resume work the week to the second elections.
BIRTH OF OUR DAUGHTER
The repeat election brought with them a resistance movement, post-election violence and new vocabulary. To Akombe is to run away from something. Bae is the new pronunciation of the letter B, which became every Nairobi girls’ favourite letter of the alphabet. Withdrawal became the go-to family planning method of the time.
My dear daughter is lucky enough not to know what plastic bags are and the devastating effect they have on the environment. She would also only hear about a time when people ate only boiled food, took ‘milkless’ tea and washed their clothes with plain water as a mass boycott of washing detergent, cooking oil and milk took effect.
The year I finally became a mother would be the year that I finally left the country and travelled to exotic lands far away. 2017 is the year that the coast decided that they did not want to be a part of Kenya and for us to travel there on holiday we would need a passport and a Visa allowing us in. Maybe this is the way to keep the hoi polloi from dirtying and crowding the beaches and keeping tourists at bay.
This year, when my husband celebrated his first Father’s Day, Team Mafisi became a real thing. Up till then, the group was just a joke, but they decided to make it official, the way they have never done with their girlfriends. Team Mafisi became a registered foundation, to help with the fight against HIV and AIDS, no less.
The year is yet to end and I cannot honestly predict what will happen in the days or weeks remaining. But of all the earth shaking events that our country has experienced this 2017, the birth of our daughter will remain tops for me.