"What have I done wrong," she pondered. " I did everything right and ate well. Double checked my routines every day. How is this my fault, she moaned silently? Samantha could hear her heart race loudly, as she cried."
If you've ever lost a tot, you would comprehend these feelings. It's something you can't rationalize. The pains wash you out every day, leaving you desensitized and lost. Child mortality has become a challenge to many, and a lot of people are battling to curtail it in various countries.
Child mortality is the most dreaded illness for all expectant, and nursing, mothers. Amongst fighting against malaria, the susceptibility of the body, morning nausea, gaining extra pounds, sleepless nights, irritations, vomiting, they also have to worry over the possibility of losing their children.
In Nigeria, a higher rate of child mortality can be a result of poor access to medical facilities, financial unstableness, poverty, impoverished delivery services, religious and traditional beliefs, poor health conditions of the mothers, and carelessness.
The UNICEF Chief of Health, Stefan Peterson, said though the lives of 50 million children under-five have been saved since 2000 through a heightened level of commitment by governments and growth partners to fight preventable child deaths, more still needs to be done to stop babies from dying the day they are born, or days after their birth."
One of the enormous miracles of my life is becoming a mother. The birth of my daughters was perfect and when the doctor brought them in, all I could say was, "perfect". I'm often prudent about every period and events in my life, and so has been welcoming my daughters to this world. As I warmed up to my precious little girls in the birth room, I knew there was no better place I want to be than right there with them. The love that streamed from me to them was so strong that I forgot the pains of labour almost immediately.
But, when I hear of mothers who lose their babies at childbirth or after childbirth, I want to rush out, hold their hands, and tell them everything is going to be alright, even though their lives will never remain the same again. I want to reassure them that they are not alone and there are others like them out there.
Losing a child can be overwhelming. It's never easy accepting that life moves on when it takes place, even if you try to get your body up, your heart and mind would not easily be levelled up. Grieving the loss of a child is truly an erratic experience that no mother equips themselves for. Starting from; conception, early morning sicknesses, the unending back pains, enlargement of waistlines and feet, weird cravings, often loss of appetite, labour pains, to the birth room, no mother ever prepare for child loss.
Grieving the loss of a child is painful. It's one of the toughest things to do. Without prior notice, your life changes when you lose a child. It's likened to waking up every day without your heart beating in your chest. The pain doesn't go away. It heightens as each day goes by.
Over the weekend, I visited a friend who lost her baby at childbirth. She looked at me with teary eyes and said, "Margarita, she's dead! I waited so long for her. She's not here," she cried. The pain in my stomach twisted and, I could imagine the shock she was passing through. She felt regretful for losing her child. Why do we mothers have to feel guilty when we lose our little ones even though we did everything right?
Labour pain is excruciating and often lasts too long. The joy of it is that you get to see and hold your little bundle of joy, but on the other side, when you know your baby isn't breathing, the pain becomes unimaginable. It takes the patience of Job to deal with the psychological and emotional trauma that follows. No matter what anyone says, nothing ever feels right for a long time. Saddled with these, we still have to add guilt to the list.
To watch your child die at any age isn't normal. It's painful and profoundly difficult to handle. A part of you dies with them because they are supposed to outlive you. As much as we would like to put an end to the high rate of child mortality in our world, it won't be so easy. But, we mothers must find a way to support each other. We must be compassionate, and courageous towards mothers who have lost their babies.
As mothers, all we need and have is each other. Our children are our world, and we must do all we can to protect them ❤️.
Image Credit: Google Pics
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