Mummy moment: 23 and healing

As I noted in my last post, I will be featuring some brave mums who are willing to tell their stories of loss. This young mum, was not only left without her baby, but she also lost the promising future she thought she would be getting as well. She asked to remain anonymous.

I was 19 and life couldn’t be any better. I drank all the drinks and I danced all the dances. I was in my third year of university, studying English. I never had money problems thanks to older cousins that I could raid their rooms and get an entire year worth of clothes shoes and bags, I had worn best dressed girl in my department twice in a row. I got extra cash from ushering jobs, every weekend we would wait on guests at different parties and owanbes and get paid for it.

That’s where I met him. He was every inch a Yoruba demon, the type that sweeps you off your feet with charming words and roguish charms, but he was good too. We went out a couple of times and he returned to Abuja where he worked. It was a classic boy meet girl situation. He came back to visit me and every time it was better. I was over the moon; I finally had my very own whirlwind romance. The distance did not even come between us, I mean we texted back and forth, video calls were made and sweet voice notes were left.

I was in a perfect relationship and life was rosy. Then I went for service year and it was all better. A whole future ahead of me plans to relocate to Abuja after so as to be closer to bae, and all the extra things. It was then I realized I was pregnant, I was barely three months into my service year and I was pregnant. I totally freaked out. I told my best friend who by the way is a total realist, gave me the options I needed. Number one was tell the father, my boyfriend, number two was keep it to myself and have an abortion.

This was a baby I didn’t plan or want, I was scared and I had plans. My parents had plans for me, my parents had planned our lives since before we were born, and it had always followed the plans. Primary school, secondary school, university, service year, masters then get a job and get married. The Yoruba family expectations were always to be met and not messed with but I was messing with it. A baby ruined the well laid plans and I was really considering abortion, but then I told my boyfriend and he was ecstatic. I mean he had all the plans; he was ready to go to my parents and siblings cousins and everything. He was ready to call his parents and arrange it all, but I put it on hold because I wasn’t sure where my life would go from there.

I had lots of questions and doubts, was I ready to be a young mom, could I handle being a wife at almost 22, I was really confused but he was already picking names. He finally convinced me to see this as a thing of joy, a blessing, I was finally on board. My best friend already started planning and made me start looking for apartments in Abuja. It was amazing how quick I went from ‘no I can’t do it to yes let’s get an apartment’.

I was 14 weeks along when my miscarriage happened. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I’m not talking about the pain, I’m talking about the void that losing my child left me. I was devastated. I felt like I had lost it all.  First my boyfriend said it was because I didn’t want the child at first, so the child went back because he/she felt unwanted. I went from almost being married with a child to being single with no child.

My mum didn’t even know what happened, very few people knew about it. I cried a lot, a whole lot. The depression was a hole I couldn’t climb out of or shake off. They tell you a miscarriage is just losing blood but it wasn’t just that, it was the extreme weight loss, hair falling out and hormones. The hormones were terrible, dizzy spells, the sweating and the loss of appetite. It was like I had died a shell of me was all that was left. My boyfriend stopped speaking to me since he believed that I wished our child away and I couldn’t go home least my parents find out. It took a lot time for me to get out of my dark hole.

I’m still not sure I want a child ever again, I know as a Nigerian girl you are not allowed to ‘not have kids’ but I never want to go through that again. My biggest fear is losing another child; I get panic attacks picturing myself pregnant. I didn’t want to talk to a doctor because of the stigma it brought so I soldiered through it, by then I had completed my service year, I picked myself up, getting a job was difficult but I did it, I went back to my writings and it helped bring me further to the light.

Since then I’ve not been in a relationship, I have a lot of baggage and I suffer from depression which I do not take drugs for and I am still afraid of getting pregnant. But on the bright side, I am a 23 year old with a job in writing (I know, not many people get a job in what they love), my hair is growing back (thank God) and I gained my weight.  I read stories of women who have gone through miscarriages and draw strength from it. People don’t come forward to share their experience where I’m from so no one can relate, but I’m getting to a happy place.

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