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The pregnant virgin 3

Updated: 3 days ago




NOW You are groggy after the procedure which was as short as the life of a fly. Back in the general ward, you feel empty. Like they scraped away pieces of your soul in addition to evacuating the products of conception. That was the term you heard them use for what was left inside you. Aunty is by your side as promised, “I got a hold of Kim finally. He told me he forgot his phone at home when he went to his friends place for a function.”

The function lasted the whole night? You wonder. Before you could complete that thought, a hand pulled the curtains causing you and Aunty to look up. It was Kim. He charged into the room and took your hand. You felt your face twist in agony as you started to sob again. He leaned over you, his head on your abdomen and he sobbed with you. You heard the chair beside you move and you figured Aunty left to give you privacy. Your voices both blended and clashed together as you both emitted sounds of despair. Then as suddenly as it started it ceased. “Where were you Kim? We have been trying to reach you the whole night!”

“I am so sorry Angela. Remember I mentioned I was at a friend’s place for a function. I forgot my phone and got home really late, I just slept.”

His explanation seemed as porous as a sieve but you had no energy for an inquisition. “What happened my dear? How did you end up here?” He asks. You lay out the events for him from the past evening until now. And when you are done, he says the words that sound ominous to you. “Don’t worry dear. We will figure this out.”

Aunty walks back in. “The nurse is here to see you Angela. Your mom has also arrived.” You stiffen because mom cannot play poker. It’s no secret that she can’t stand Kim. And it shows. The nurse comes in first with her BP machine and a step behind her is, mom. She smiles at you lightly and then regards Kim, her lips in a tight straight line. He doesn’t seem intimidated by her and stands up to greet her. Thank God for the nurse and her machines. Her presence dissipates the tension in the room but she is done so quickly the tension seeps right back in when she leaves. The doctor comes by after a few minutes and asks them to excuse you. “Angela. We managed to evacuate everything that was left in your womb. There wasn’t much bleeding and from your vital signs, you are stable enough to go home.” “Is it possible to know what caused this?” “First trimester abortions are very common.” You wish he wouldn’t use the word ‘abortion’. Why are medical terms so harsh, you wonder. “The underlying cause is often unknown. For now though you are good to go home.”

You have more questions. You want him to say more. You want to ask him how you got pregnant in the first place. You want him to tell you, you are still worthy despite what has happened. You desperately want someone to make you feel like you are not a castaway. But he turns away and leaves and it’s time to leave the hospital as well. After you are cleared, you are wheeled to the exit where you walk to Aunty’s car to go home. You think you have left your pain and heartbreak behind but you carry it with you, alongside your bloody clothes.

THEN

After Kim leaves, Aunty calls you up to her room. “Angela, the meeting didn’t go well. Kim said he is not ready for fatherhood. When I broached the subject of marriage, he said that you are not wife material.” “What!” So that’s what he thought of you. “My dear niece. You have gotten yourself into a hot mess but now that we know where he stands, I can now tell your mum. I was hoping he would agree to take responsibility. The blow would have been soft.” You don’t respond. What do you say after such pronouncements on your life? “Aunty can I go to my room. I am too overwhelmed.” You don’t even wait for her to agree or not. You leave and go to bed. You want to pray but you are not sure God will hear. You have sinned so He probably won’t. You stay awake late into the night wondering what wife material looks like. Is it something that you are born with? Is there a short course for it? A crash course that you can do to increase your points. You eventually fall asleep, holding those thoughts close to your heart, turning them over and over in your mind.

Aunty wakes you up before the sun rises and asks you to go to her room. You splash water on your face and for the first time in a long while you stare at yourself in the mirror. You still look the same, but your eyes appear hollow. There is a dull ache in your heart and you realise that you are experiencing your first heartbreak. You walk to Aunty’s room still in a fog but when you push her door open, you freeze. The fog lifts, your mind reboots, your heartbeat sprints. In your line of sight is your mother, staring at you. Disappointment has a face. Hers.

“Sit down Angela.” You stand. Too afraid to sit. You want to be upright when the current hits. She leans forward, her hands beneath her chin, her eyes burning holes into you and ignores your subservience. “Your aunt has told me about our problem. Or it isn’t a problem?” “It…it is.” You have so many problems, you are not sure which one she is addressing. And you don’t dare ask. “Good.” “What do you intend to do about the pregnancy and school?” “I want to keep the pregnancy and still continue with school.” She gives you a look that says she is not pleased with this answer. “You can’t fly a plane as a passenger Angela. I am told the person responsible has abandoned you.” You glance at Aunty without turning your head. She is seated on her bed observing this onslaught. You are a girl on trial. “This is what is going to happen young girl.” That didn’t take long. “We will take you Dr X and he will perform a procedure on you. Then you will resume classes and focus on your studies. Are we together?” “Yes ma’am.” You turn and leave the room, pack a bag and when they are still talking in Aunty’s room, you ran away.

They don’t discover you are missing until later that afternoon. They contact your close friends and despite your ardent protests, the friend you ran to, sells you out. ‘I won’t go back home' you tell her amidst tears. ‘They cannot force me to have an abortion.’ Your friend feels caught up in between a rock and your family. She is just as inexperienced as you are in this situation. Because you seem so volatile, they don’t push you further. On Monday however, when you get to college, you spot your mom’s car in the parking lot. Your first instinct is flight but for how long will you run? You move towards the car as you watch her. She is in the driver’s seat, slouched forward like someone saying a prayer. You are afraid to be alone with her without the buffering presence of your aunt. You knock on the window and she unlocks the door. The first thing you notice are her blood shot eyes. The look of anger seems to have melted away. Her face is now layered with sadness. “Angela. We have been so worried about you. Why did you run away?” “Because I don’t want to have an abortion. I am not gagging to be a mother either but I won’t have an abortion.” She regards you quietly. You keep your head down afraid of what she will say next. “I have been taking loans to pay your fees. I still have your siblings to take care of. This is such a big blow to me. I don’t know how I will manage.” She exhales as if she is trying to get rid of bad air in her lungs then says, “If you promise to stay in school and work hard, then I will support you until you deliver. But on one condition. You are not to see Kim again.” You take the olive branch, nod in agreement as your lips make a slight upward curve. There is hope for you.

After this, life resumes it’s normal curve. You even begin to enjoy the pregnancy and give your unborn baby a nickname. You continue to live with Aunty and she too begins to fall in love with the idea of a grandchild. One evening while resting at home your phone rings. You see Kim’s name on the screen. You haven’t heard from him since the day he marched out of Aunty’s house — the second time. You have been trying to forget about him but seeing his name on your screen brings back all the surpressed emotions. To answer or not to answer. “Hello.” “Angela. How are you?” His voice sounds tender. “I am ok.” You say. But what you really want to say is, ‘How do you think I am after you left me and said I am not wife material?’ “Angela I have been doing some soul searching. I prayed about our situation and I have changed my mind.” “Really?” You jump out of bed betraying yourself. “Yes. I would like to see you and even talk to Aunty again. We did not end things on a good note.” And you begin to talk as if you never stopped. You tell him about the pregnancy and about morning sickness and the constant headaches. He tells you about his agony over leaving things the way they were.

In a few days, he comes back to the house to apologize to aunty and even suggests that you two should start the process of getting married. Aunty is not as enthusiastic as you are. But she obliges him. Mom was suspicious. Something didn’t add up. To prove himself, he comes around every other day to see you. Takes you for outings, brings you gifts. It was as if the past 10 weeks had never happened. And if he was willing to marry you, it meant that you had somehow become wife material right? You went ahead and planned an introduction for both families at your home. The families meet and the event goes well until a few days later when you see a spot of blood on your underwear.

THEN MEETS NOW

When you notice the blood spot you go to the amoebiasis doctor. “Spotting happens commonly in pregnancy Angela. You just need to take it easy and go on bed rest.” He doesn’t seem alarmed and writes a prescription for progesterone. When Dr Ameobiasis speaks of bed rest however, you assume it means you should not leave the house. Your birthday is in a few days. You are excited because you are going into your second decade even if you already feel like you have lived a lifetime in these few months. Your click of friends come to see you and you all hang out in the pool. “OMG Angela you will soon be married. How do you feel?” One friend asks. “Not only married. She will be a mother too.” “Yeah. Go ahead and prepare the way for the rest of us.” You all went on and on and as you waded in and out of the water you begin to feel a stitch like sensation in your lower abdomen. “Guys. I am feeling a bit off. Thanks for making my birthday worthwhile. Let me go up and rest.” You bid them farewell and go up to your room to rest but instead you toss and turn. Kim sends you birthday wishes on text and says he will see you the following day to celebrate.

In an hour the stitch like pain has gone a notch higher. It feels as if something is pushing against your lower abdomen and it is coming in waves; increasing in intensity each time it hits. When Aunty comes home, she finds you rolling side by side in bed. She gives you some buscopan that merely acts as placebo.

The pain is on a crescendo. You are unable to stay in bed. You choose to sit half naked on the bathroom floor to feel the coolness of the ceramic tiles on your bottom. It doesn’t help. You pace, pray and even start to cry. Aunty asks whether there are other symptoms. No, it’s just the pain. It is so excruciating you feel like blades are being twisted in your lower abdomen. You pick your phone to dial Kim. No response. You text him, ‘something is wrong Kim’. No reply. By now you are screaming in agony. Aunty, unable to watch you any longer dresses you up, carries you to her car and rushes you to hospital.

NOW

After the loss, most people who knew, feel you should be grateful but you are not. You feel damaged. You are still mentally stuck at valentine’s day. You feel like a puppet in a play, just moving at everyone else’s whim. You don’t know who you are anymore. At least you still have Kim, you think, and you hold on to him maybe to redeem yourself. You feel the pending marriage will redeem you. It will right your wrongs. But then he gets a desire to relocate and study abroad. And when he leaves it is still with promises of love on his tongue. Until one day, a year later you find out from a friend that he met someone else and was engaged to be married. You send him an email asking whether what you were heard was true. He does not deny it.

That is how you were left to pick up the pieces.

As narrated to me by *Angela who wishes to remain anonymous


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Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem.

Approximately 12 million girls aged 15-19 years give birth each year in developing countries. (WHO)

At least 10 million unintended pregnancies occur each year among adolescent girls.

Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause for death for 15-19 year olds globally. Factors that contribute to adolescent pregnancies:

  • Low socioeconomic status

  • Knowledge gap/ misconceptions about contraception

  • Health worker bias to adolescent sexual needs

  • Sexual violence

  • Lack of parental care, communication or supervision

  • Peer pressure

  • Forced marriage


Tips for parents to help their children prevent adolescent pregnancies

  • Be clear about your own sexual values

  • Talk with your children early and often about sex and love

  • Supervision of your child’s activities

  • Know your child’s friends etc etc


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