Noni is seated in her living room one evening, sipping coffee as she scrolls through her News Feed. It’s been a while since she was on these social media streets, and she wasn’t planning on walking them today either. She just thought it was time she changed her status from Married to none, seeing as her husband had upped and left, one month after she lost their second pregnancy, and swore on his life that he was never coming back, and she could keep the house. She can still remember how he broke the news of her pregnancy to his friends with so much pride,
“We are pregnant!” His face beaming with joy and pride.
Ha! Funny how life changes, and how human beings quickly forget. Last she heard, he was getting married again, to some woman he got paged, one month after he’d left. It hurts much, to think that the man that once called her the love of his life will be making the same vows he made to her, to another woman. But that kind of pain is nothing, compared to what she feels every morning when she wakes up to see the pink crib across the room, empty.
It has been six months since the miscarriage, but it feels like it was yesterday. She cries herself to sleep every night and wakes up missing the little kicks and hiccups from within her womb, wondering what to do with the cute dresses and berets that are hung in the little pink closet. Her life, just like the crib, feels empty and the only things in it are the ultra-sound photos that were taken during her last visit to the gynae. She looks at them every time, asking God why He could not just be good to her and let her see her baby, even if only for a minute. If only for a minute…
She cannot remember the last time she was out of her estate. She prefers to stay locked up in her house to her grief and sorrow, because she no longer has the heart to listen to ‘concerned’ neighbours and friends telling her that it was God’s will, or that it was for the best. Neither does she have the strength to play host every time her friends come over to console her and try to make her feel better. All that cooking and smiling and talking wears her out terribly and they always seem to forget why they came, or that she is there while they go on and on about who in the circle is engaged or pregnant again, or just gave birth. Such insensitivity! No, she’d rather just be by herself.
She wishes she could talk to someone, but her husband is gone and her friends do not quite get what she is going through. Sad, empty and lonely, she feels like she is at her life’s end. Like she cannot go another day. She’s had it. She goes to Google and slowly types in,
Quick painless ways to die…
There are so many Nonis amongst us today. Women who have had miscarriages or still births. Women who never got to have their names on that birth certificate. They feel alone and often get suicidal, blaming themselves for not doing things right causing the miscarriage. It is a painful experience that you shouldn’t wish for anyone, not even your worst enemy.
The Still A Mum Campaign, founded by Wanjiru Kihusa, seeks to help women like Noni, to cope with their loss. It aims to give support for women who lost their pregnancies one way or the other, and to remind them that they are still mothers all the same. It debunks the myths surrounding miscarriage and still births and seeks to educate women on options for alternative motherhood, like adoption and how to go about it.
Make a difference today, by joining the conversation on social media, under the hash tag #StillAMum and talk about these issues, ask questions and learn as we mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day on the 15th of October.
Remember, there are orphans, widows and widowers, but there is no name for a mother that has lost their child. This is to say that there is no description fit enough to describe the grief and pain felt. Make a difference today.