I was 21 years old and had been in a relationship with my boyfriend since we were 17 years old, we experimented a lot and did some things which we would be punished if caught and all our sexual liaisons were done in private. I felt bad because I was raised in an environment where pre-marital sex was frowned upon and a man was supposed to marry you first before you let him in. So many women I know were single mothers and that was seen as an indication that one should wait for a guy to truly commit before having sex with him so that no illegitimate children growing up without fathers were born.
Every sexual encounter felt like a betrayal, a betrayal of my honour, my parents’ trust, of the confidence my siblings and younger relatives had for me. I felt like I was, we were doing something so taboo and so wrong.
So imagine how scared I was when I discovered I was pregnant, I found out as a matter of fact when I was 3 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend and I went to see a female doctor who took my blood to confirm her positive result after a physical exam. She informed me that she was very disappointed and spoke to me like I was a piece of nothing and an evil thing. She was disgusted, her eyes and expressions said it all.
I was not scared after that consultation, in fact I became proud of the fact I was going to be a new mother. Although, I was a University student he had just started working and I felt that we would manage and find a way.
Imagine my shock when he declared that we had to get an abortion, I could not connect between the man I had considered my first love and the words coming out of his mouth. How, could he possibly suggest such a thing? I was adamant that I was keeping this baby and that I would never consider an abortion. He told me he was scared, scared of what our parents would say – how angry they would be and what the community would say. I told him I did not care and I was going to keep my baby. I told him I was going to lie about the paternity and raise the child alone if needs be. He finally relented after that because it was very clear I would not be dissuaded.
I was 6 weeks pregnant, my child would be born on the 3rd of June and I was ecstatic, the day we decided to tell my mother is the day it happened. The night before, we were attending a poetry session and then I noticed blood in my urine at the toilet. I was shaken and informed my boyfriend who suggested we see a doctor. I was escorted to a doctor by campus security at a private clinic. The nurses asked me what was wrong and I told them I was bleeding and I knew that that was unusual because I was pregnant and not supposed to be bleeding. The nurses took my blood and urine samples for tests to confirm my pregnancy and asked how old I was. I am 21 I said, they laughed and sighed and asked why I was stupid enough to fall pregnant, what I would do with a baby at my age. I felt judged and ashamed and scared. The doctor explained that I was still pregnant but had to be monitored because I might be going through a spontaneous abortion where your body rejects a pregnancy in its early stage. That night when I went to bed, I felt that the whole world was coming in judgment against me and having pre-marital sex. I prayed for forgiveness and my unborn baby’s survival. When I woke up the next morning, the bleeding had stopped, I was relived.
Later that day, I went home and decided to tell my mother about our situation. She was distraught and said some things I have forgotten. I was given pain killers and decided to get some sleep to protect my pregnancy. I woke up as a result of intense pain, I was bleeding heavier and the paid was worse. I knew immediately I had lost my unborn baby. I was grief stricken. My sister accompanied me to the nearest clinic as my boyfriend was at work that Sunday. I was booked in for a D&C procedure. The nurses were sure to comment about my foolishness and disobedience. I was devastated. I coincidently shared a hospital room with a relation of my boyfriend who was quick to tell me I had lost the baby because I was stressed too much and scared about being a mother. She never judged me.
I was bleeding and felt ashamed and miserable, my boyfriend send me a message asking if I was fine, I told him the doctor confirmed I had a miscarriage and was schedules for a D&C procedure the next day. He called and was distraught. He later came to visit and was kind of in denial about the whole event and refused to accept the baby would be no more. He said it was his fault because he had wished the baby away more than once.
The next day I was made to wait for close to an hour in theatre covered in a blanket feeling like an outlaw, feeling like I was worthless. It was like the hospital itself was punishing me. When I was finally taken to the theatre room, the anaesthesiologist, was talking on his cellular phone and treated me like I was a piece of offensiveness. I thought he was trained to make people feel safe and comfortable before life earth moving experiences. I hated him and the clinic and everyone that made me feel like a terrible person.