You can’t go to school anymore! You have to sit at home and nurse your baby. That’s the life you chose!
You go head bowed in shame because you really deserved it. You know that you have always been stupid and never made the right decisions. You know you can never be composed as your other primary school classmate. So, you go head bowed.
By the sixth month you can’t hide it anymore. All the neighbors know – even the four year old girl knows. Some treat you with pity, others with contempt. But you don’t care again. You know you deserve it all. So, you bury your head on your pillow and cry most days.
It is the ninth month and your mom manages to talk to you since she got to know. She cannot even hide her bitterness. But, does it matter now? You know you have always been a disappointment. There is no money for baby wears and all the things – you don’t even know the name of the baby things. She says that you have to go call that boy now. What can you do? Which of the boys? You can’t cry enough.
How you survived that nightmare, you cannot even tell. How did I push out that little thing? – Oh they say it is a girl. All you can remember is the peak of that sharp pain and the voice of the matron shouting ‘push harder’! But you are done now; at least no bulged stomach. Or so you think; because mum comes talking about hospital bills. And ehem, you have not had anything to eat. Who is bringing the food?
Which is worse now? The nine months of walking about with the bulged stomach and having little to eat, or these days of breastfeeding this little thing while having nothing to eat. You are so sure that you are really an idiot! How did you get yourself into this?
You can better understand the joy you had when the pretty soft spoken lady met you and how she treated you differently. You can recall the gifts she brought with her and the words of hope. She says you can heal – that you indeed are not an idiot. You could have your life back. Paschaline became the reason you could walk again; the very reason you can hope for a better tomorrow.
Paschaline works for GEANCO on the Maternal Health Care Program. She helps teenage mothers find their lives back, and guides hundreds of others from following that path. Paschaline’s work is made possible by generous people like you who support GEANCO’s mission in Nigeria. She is indeed thankful to and encouraged by your generosity.