encouraged by the stories of mamita mala
& vera drake
i was twenty one years, eight months & one day old, when i stopped being a mami. it was a beautiful, bright blue skied monday. a day that did not reflect the reverberations of shock at the death of our princess
. i , on the other hand, was nursing an even greater shock. a shock too great and intimate to be uttered. for six weeks, my hips had began to widen, my breasts tender & i could smell everything within a one mile radius. my body with no consent of mine was preparing to birth a child. my boyfriend at that time, had simply abdicated our responsibility. & i was left as so many wo/men have, to figure out the next step.
i was in my first semister of college. i had discovered psychology two years back and now was in a program that would quench my interest in humanities and eventually feminism. i swear i don't know where the strength come to pretend to be normal while inside my world was literally expanding. academically, this turned out to be my best semister ever! i was in the deans list and bless my mothers' heart..she had visions of me graduating cumme laude..
i borrowed money from a friend of mine. ( bless her heart) until it happened to me, i had no idea what other girls and women who had this experience ever did. i was so naive. truly. naive. with $30 (Ksh.2,400) i was able to recieve the most unjudgemental and loving care ever at this clinic off ambassandor. marie stopes clinic
has been offering subsidized reproductive health services for women in many parts of the world.
i had come alone. i will never forget how alone i felt. never. there is no experience that can articulate, for me, how alone i felt laying across the very cold table, with my legs raised and waiting for the docter to come in. i tried to be brave. i really did. surrounded by the equipment & wrapped around by shame & fear. yet, knowing in ways, i can not explain to another, that this was the right thing for me.
that first pericing and suction. oh goddess.. how my body arched with suddeness and pain. i had not requested for aesthetizia, because i had no money. the docter was stern in a kind way. i suppose he had seen everything there really was to see. the d&c was not a long procedure & its aftermarth, a lifetime upon lifetimes. i went home. & after a day or two bleed to kingdom come.
two or three months later, i become extremly suicidal. i suppose with the mixing of shame, hormonal changes and silence can do that to you. eventually i seeked counselling and that began my love-hate relationship with anti-depressants and psycholotherapists..but thats another story all together.
inshallah, i turn thirty next year. i have matured in ways that continue to unfold. i am appreciative of that opportunity to have experienced a safe & caring abortion. not many wo/men are that fortunate. whether in the developed west or the village back home in africa. with what is now happening to the rights of women
to seek correct and safe procedures is scaring to say the least. lets not even forget about the gag order
for me, mothers' day is for remembering not only this experience..laying on the table.etc etc. it's mainly more about what it means to be a woman in a world that is predominately structed along patriarchal lines. mothers' day, for me is being grateful of where i've come and, how responsible i am in regards to how i live my life. by each experience & by example.
i've struggled as to whever or not im emotionally ready to be a mother. i know i don't have to birth a child in my womb to be a mother, yet, i keep for 2 years now, to toy with this strong desire to be a mother to someone. from this experience, i learnt the need to mother myself first. to really, really be tender with myself. as one would to a new born infant.
& so for this mothers day. to mothers who are, & those who would have been, like myself. i'd like to wish you a sense of renewal of spirit, fortitude and courage. i admire the tenacity and ferociousness of the girl-woman who laid across the table and staring at her fate. i really do.