Back in September, CK’s wife had a baby. She was about 3 weeks past her due date, and I would ask him every day, “Did she have the baby yet? No? Tell her she needs to go to the hospital!” He had so much pride in his voice when he called to tell me the baby finally came, and it was a boy. “But Mam B,” he said, “I wanted it to be a girl, so I could name it after you.” I told him I was honored, and I was just glad the baby was healthy. “Is Baily a boy’s name?” He asked me. I thought about it for a minute, and realized I did know of some boys named Baily. I told him it could be, but it was also sometimes a girl’s name. “Then I know what to do,” he told me.
About a week later, I was in Accra and had to call CK to tell him I was going to Morocco to have doctor’s look at my eye. He was very concerned about this, but also concerned about another pressing issue. “The baby only has one name right now: Baily. I want you to pick the other name or names so I can get his birth certificate made.” I told him I was again very honored to be given this opportunity, and that I would call him by the end of the night with my answer. After some deliberation and help from Sarah and my friend Taylor, I chose Benjamin. When my mom was pregnant, my parents chose to find out the sex of one of the babies and have the other one be a surprise. I was the unknown baby, and two names were chosen. If I had been a boy, they would have called me Benjamin. Here in the village, I am called Beatrice, another long “B” name, so I thought Benjamin was fitting. I called CK, and he said he liked the name very much. So now we have Baily Benjamin, sometimes called Baily, sometimes called Ben, sometimes called “BB”. I am also sometimes called “BB,” and I like that we share this nickname. He is now 4.5 months old, fat and happy as can be. Yesterday his mom brought him to my house and left him with me for the afternoon. We played, danced, had a photo shoot and took a nap. He eventually woke up and was hungry, so I tied him to my back and carried him to his parent’s house. “You gave birth?!” many people cried out, laughing, as I walked to CK’s house. They loved seeing me carry a baby the way Ghanaians do.
While I was in Tanzania, Hawa FINALLY had her baby. I could tell Hawa was pregnant before she hardly started to show. I just knew; she seemed different, but her slightly swollen belly could have been due to fufu or a baby, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to ask for a few weeks, in case she wasn’t actually pregnant, so I was overjoyed when I found out she really was going to have another baby. The loss of Kennet was still fairly fresh at that point. I’ve watched her belly grow for the majority of this year, and I was desperately hoping the baby would come before I left for my vacation. He came the day I flew out to Tanzania. The second I got off the plane, I called Kofi to find out if the baby had arrived. He told me it did come, two weeks ago, and it was a boy. I was so relieved, for Hawa’s sake. I knew she wanted a boy, almost needed one, to fill the space that Kennet had left. Kofi told me they had not yet named him because they wanted to name it after me, but it was a boy, so they decided to name it after my father. They had gone to CK and Agya, asking my father’s name, but neither knew. I told him the name over the phone, but he couldn’t hear it very well, so as soon as I arrived they showed me the baby and asked what his name was. He was big for a newborn, and had tons of hair. His face instantly reminded me of Sandra’s. He is four weeks old today, and he cries a lot. Just now, he started to cry and Hawa called out, “Mam B, your father is crying!” I followed her into her room, and she said, “Here, take your son,” as she handed me the baby. Hawa likes practicing saying “Baily Scott” and Kofi has taken to just calling him Scott. He’s pretty great, and it’s so nice to see Hawa happy again.
Pictures will come of both babies as soon as I have decent internet!