Deciding to have a baby 211
I spent many sleepless nights, and felt sad and afraid all the time. First,
I could not stand the idea of not having a child in my life. Second, abortions
were dangerous and I had known a number of young women who had lost
their lives from having an unsafe abortion. Third, I am a Christian and believe
that abortion is a sin. And finally, I was not married and pregnancy outside
marriage is not culturally accepted. So you can imagine how troubled I was.
Well, life had to go on. I gathered courage and prepared for the
abortion. When the day arrived, I went to the hospital and sat outside the
doctor’s office waiting to be called in. This was the most trying moment of
my life. Courage failed me, and I found myself worrying again about what
was going to happen to me. I was sure I was going to die. I started praying
for forgiveness and courage.
Suddenly I remembered the doctor saying that I was going to lose the
pregnancy anyway at 3 months. This excited me, and I realized there was
no need for me to have an abortion. It would be safer, cheaper, and there
would be no stigma if I had a miscarriage instead of an abortion. So
I went back home to wait for the baby to come out. However, I was not
quite sure I had made the right decision.
My first 4 months of pregnancy were horrible. I lost a lot of weight,
I had no appetite, and I vomited all the time. Above all, I lived in fear and
expected the worst to happen at any time. When I first felt the baby move,
I was scared. I thought the time had come for the baby to come out.
For quite some time I was afraid of going for a medical checkup, even
though I knew it was necessary. But one day I decided to go to the nearest
health center, where I met a doctor who examined me and assured me I was
going to carry the pregnancy to full term and that I was going to deliver the
baby normally. He did advise me, however, to give birth in hospital.
I felt confident and started going for frequent checkups at the antenatal
clinic. The staff told me that all was going well. The nurses also gave me books
to read on pregnancy, delivery, and taking care of a newborn baby. These gave
me good information and helped give me strength to carry on. All I wanted
was to have a baby, see how it would look, see if it was going to be disabled,
and above all be called a mother, just like my friends.
To everyone’s surprise, I carried the pregnancy to full term—9
months—and delivered normally a healthy, non-disabled beautiful baby
girl after 36 hours of labor. My ‘baby,’ Ann, is now 18 years old, a very
healthy girl, and doing well in her studies in form 4 in secondary school.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007