MR Lexx's declaration that “Pickney nah hold man again” reflects the sentiments of many women and men alike, as there are countless single mothers who have proven that a child (or many children) cannot guarantee that a man will stay with them. Some even propose that it's actually the woman who is 'held' in a relationship by children, because more often than not, she is the one who would be responsible for them on her own if she leaves the man.
For some women, however, the “I'm pregnant” card is still a valuable one in the deck. Whether it be to keep the men by their sides, test the waters, kickstart a man's lazy paternal genes, or to add more love to the home, these women used carefully crafted pregnancies to their advantage.
Geena, 23, content creator:
My mother used pregnancy as a way to keep my father from migrating on an employment programme back in the 90s. That's how I was born. She says at the time when she told him she wasn't even pregnant yet, but she faked it and got pregnant by him shortly after. She ended up confessing to him later in the pregnancy but by that time the damage was already done. They are still together and had two more children.
Kiana, 27, pharmacy assistant:
Well I don't think a man can be tricked into getting a woman pregnant, because he knows that if he doesn't protect himself it's a possibility. But I did come off the pill and not tell my husband until I felt pretty sure that I was pregnant. We were married for nearly a year and he was hesitant to start a family just yet. But I was ready and we were financially stable enough, and all my friends' kids were getting old, so I said what the hell.
Yanique, 23, store clerk:
I told my ex boyfriend that I was pregnant just to see what he would do, and he left and said I was trying to trap him. First of all he was the one not using any other contraceptive, so I don't understand how he could say that, and secondly, he showed his true colours when he got upset. So I let him go. I'm glad I was actually on birth control.
Kerry-Ann, 35, teacher:
My children's father thinks the second child was an accident, but I really just wanted a daughter. I wouldn't say I tricked him into getting me pregnant, but I specifically remember the day I got pregnant. We were using the withdrawal method and he told me when he needed to stop, and I pretended as if I didn't hear, and then I didn't get the morning after pill. Sad to say, though, it was another boy. I'm not trying again though.
Suzie, 26, customer service rep:
I'm not proud of it, but I deliberately missed my injection appointment because I wanted a baby. I thought it would help my boyfriend at the time to commit to me more. To be fair, he knew that I missed the appointment, but I still feel responsible for it because I knew he was impulsive and didn't like to use condoms. It didn't go as planned, though, because I am now a single mom.
Petrina, 38, paralegal:
My now husband and I had a fight when we were dating and living together, and I told him to leave my home, and was surprised that he actually packed up to leave. I got desperate — I loved him wholeheartedly — so that same evening I called him and told him I was pregnant, and that I would only keep the baby if we got married, because I didn't want to have a child out of wedlock. He consented and we got married about a month later, while I tried and tried to time my ovulation dates so I could actually get pregnant. I had to manipulate the dates because it was about three months later that I actually got pregnant, but lucky for me he didn't understand how to actually calculate the dates to know that he had been tricked. We're now happily married, and wonderful parents.