Surmounting the scourge of infertility… One woman’s story

Infertility is a serious problem, especially in Nigeria, where the wife easily becomes the victim and is subjected to social stigma. Seeing Through the Haze (published by Creation House, Florida, U.S.; 2016) is, indeed, an intense read, steeped in heavy dose of religious fervour. It is a narrative about the struggles of one woman, who was pronounced infertile and who suffers the usual stigma associated with such affliction an African society.

In Seeing Through the Haze, the author, Nneka Kyari, combines a rare personal narrative with motivational flair that makes the book undoubtedly one of a kind. The book is a guide into the battle against infertility and the proverbial ‘happily ever after’ at the end, with lots of life enduring lessons for the reader.

Through the 10 chapters that make up the book, the reader is made to accompany the author on a journey of faith, healing and miracles. The book begins with the discovery of infertility. Kyari and her husband, Zachary, go through a lot of hospitals and medical experts and medical tests just to find a cure after marriage that fail to result in pregnancy. The problem was declared to be imbalanced hormones. The cure, however, was not in the multitude of medications recommended by different doctors to a woman desperately in need of a cure. The visits to various hospitals eventually culminate into an emotional breakdown on a drab, dreary Friday in her car. She ends up “crying so hard I was almost hyperventilating’. Simply put, the author experiences irregular menstruation that stops eventually altogether to worsen her desire to be pregnant and have children.

Kyari eventually ceases taking her medications due to a discouraging lack of success. She recalls her various attempts at healing, involving a visit to a church for ‘exorcism’, which she opines to be pathetic. From her experience, the reader is one with the author. She, however, goes ahead to draw courage from her past challenges, which include severe childhood illness, enduring the taunt of bullies, a drug addict roommate in the university, a ‘squatter,’ whose aim was to make her life as miserable as possible.

The author then undergoes a period of spiritual resonance, where she renews herself spiritually and recognises the importance of prayers. She decides to arm herself with knowledge on her situation and stumbles across an article by Kent Rieske, which turns out to be very informative. The article advises that the problem and the cure lie within the dietary intake. This stuns the author to the reality of her own dietary habit, which she sees to be appalling and falling far short of the normal.

The author, as a young girl, was enamored with the pictures of models and regularly starved herself because ‘I wanted my stomach to be as flat as my back’. To correct the problem, she goes ahead to draft a new diet plan. She faces her challenges in adapting to a new diet and eventually prevails. Her drive to ‘get involved’ in bringing about her own miracle eventually paves the way for her. She goes ahead to take a huge leap of faith. Charged with this awareness, she goes shopping for baby items and even begins praying over the names of the twins with her husband. Her faith pays off eventually and on January 22, 2013, Elizabeth and Eric were delivered through an Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) procedure, which marks an end to a soul-burdening journey and the beginning of a new life.

The book, which is an emotional rollercoaster, has a lot of life lessons packed into it. The book provides a floodlight to a crucial dark corner in many women’s lives, who find it hard to get pregnant. The author’s faith in her God paves the way for her. Also, her desire to learn about her problem through various means, including journals and the Internet yield result that eventually gladdens her heart. Through Nneka Kyari’s story, the reader is made to see the importance of faith and prayers to both individual conditions and national aspirations. Perhaps, the cure to Nigeria’s current problems might just be found in Kyari’s story – how she applied herself in a seemingly hopeless situation!

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