By Shella Sanda
Patty Mcwizu stood before her long mirror and stared at her reflection . She touched her face and winced at the pain. The blood patches on her face had not cleared despite everything she did. She smiled bitterly . It had been twelve years and she was still  being  battered. Such a long time for her to remain childless.

What had she not taken? What concoction had she not taken to enhance her chances of becoming pregnant. She had lost count of the number of herbalists she visited. She had also lost count of the prayer houses she went to for prayers. All had been in vain.

Nothing had happened. The doctors had said nothing was wrong with her and her husband; that their children would come at God’s time. But when was God’s time? If she was waiting for God’s time, definitely, her husband was not. He had battered her at the slightest provocation, calling her all manner of names. The blood patches on her face was from a beating her husband gave her recently.

He had pummeled her; calling her a witch and blaming her for their childlessness. Patty Mcwizu decided she would not take it anymore. She loved her husband and would do anything to keep her man.

Dim lee, a bu m oyoyo
Dim lee, a bu m oyoyo

O bughi mu kere nwa
Obu Chukwu kere nwa
Ezigbo dim ewela iwe

A ga mu amuru gi nwa
Chineke kere nwa nuru olu mu o
Uko nwa a kona mu, a kona mu a konu mu.

My husband, I am beautiful
My husband, I am beautiful
It’s not me that gives babies
It’s God that gives babies

My good husband, don’t be   offended, I will give you a child
Oh God, the creator of the world , don’t let me be childless.
Patty danced to her own song, clapping and swinging her waist.

“What noise is this about,” asked her husband emerging from the inner room.
“I am happy,” replied Patty, “because I am going to give you a child.”
“When?,” asked Igwe, her husband.
“Very soon,” she replied.

Igwe  hissed, pushed her out of  the way and walked out.
Patty Mcwizu felt defeated. She got up from where she fell on a heap from her husband’s push and sat on a chair.
She made a decision. She and her friend Nkoli would visit the nurse at Port Harcourt. Nkoli had told her it was a guarantee and Patty believed her because Nkoli had been childless for fifteen years but when she met the nurse at Port Harcourt, all her problems were solved. She had two sets of twins within two years and her sorrowful story became a joyful one.

Nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity home was situated along Rumola Road, Port Harcourt. It was always a beehive of activities both at day and at night. Childless couples, politicians and other people who needed children thronged her place.

Very prominent people visited her by night and transacted bizzare businesses under the cover of darkness. Women searching for children got answers to their problems on first visits if they met the required conditions. Nurse Theresa never left anything to chance. She always ensured  she got the money for the required treatment she gave the women.

The required condition for getting the babies were always spelt out. An aspiring mother would drink the juice of covenant prepared by nurse Theresa and would never reveal what happened or how she got babies. She must also agree to part with a huge sum of money , between N150,000 – N300,000 depending on the sex of the baby required.
Nurse Theresa’s juice was an aphrodisiac of sort. A woman would become automatically pregnant afterward and would start having symptoms of pregnancy.

Patty Mcwizu and her friend Nkoli got to Port Harcourt at  night to the warm embrace of nurse Theresa.After introductions, nurse Theresa waxed spiritual, revealing to Patty that God would use her to do a world of good to humanity. Patty Wcwizu was very happy at nurse Theresa’s prophecy. She had often wondered if God required her to work in His vineyard and now, she had a conviction that was what was missing in her life. Her father had an uncompleted building somewhere in Enugu. Patty Mcwizu decided to convert it into a church since the prophecy revealed she was going to have ten miracle children.

Somewhere in Aba, Apostle Damian was worried about the  pregnant girls brought to his church. He felt funny about the gossip making the rounds that he was harbouring  prostitutes and that could damage the image of the church. Or was it  now a sin to provide a home to the homeless. All the young girls in his custody had a story to tell.

Some were driven away by their parents and guardians after becoming pregnant. He found some of them inside the church premises roaming about, hopeless and defeated. He was sure God wanted him to do something. He was excited when nurse Theresa mentioned Patty Mcwizu. That was the channel they needed to realise the dream. The woman needed children.

He had been wondering how to dispose of the babies when the girls finally put to bed. He never in his wildest imagination thought fifteen girls would become pregnant at the same time. He had been wondering how to handle them until he learnt about nurse Theresa who advised him to register an NGO taking care of the pregnant girls. But some of them were too young and were aged between twelve and fourteen.

Apostle Damian had registered “Daughters of Hope’, an NGO that took care of young girls who ran away from home on becoming unlawfully pregnant. He had about twenty-five in-mates in his home located at his village in Imo State.
As a man of God, he didn’t want controversies and tried to ensure the girls never wanted the babies. He made them swear an oath before taking them in and taking care of them until they put to bed. Something encouraged him to think those young girls could become the answered prayers to  hundreds of childless couples in the society.

Perhaps, that was the divine direction that he had been asking God for; to become a succour to the childless couples. And suddenly  Apostle Damian began to have another idea. Those fertile young girls could get pregnant over and over again and put a smile on the faces of many women. Nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity home could become both a source and a destination point. She could become the middle woman who took care of the deliveries of these babies. Pregnant girls in Apostle Damian’s home were pushed to nurse Theresa’s traditional maternity home for delivery.

Igwe, Patty Mcwizu’s husband was over-joyed when his wife became pregnant the first time. Her changing features appealed to him and he had no problem doing the house chores, taking care of his wife and petting her throughout her pregnancy even though she seemed to be bloating and increasing in size instead of her pregnancy shooting out. Nurse Theresa explained that the baby lodged itself somewhere in her waist. Exactly nine months after, the baby came. It was a girl. Igwe was overjoyed.

But his joy was short-lived. Six months after, patty his wife continued to have pregnancy symptoms and labour pains. When they returned to Port Harcourt to find out what it was, he was shocked to learn another baby was on the way. Six months after ! Igwe was told there were more babies coming and it bothered him. Fourteen months after his first child was born, his home was flooded with babies. Worried by this new trend in child-bearing, Igwe ran away from home, leaving his wife and their eight children.

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