“I went to the doctor who confirmed that I was two months pregnant. It was so difficult to eat food, I felt sick the entire time. When the labor started, I spent all day and night in pain before they transferred me to the hospital. They had to cut me to make more room for the baby to come. I was there for a very long time afterward. My wish for her is to weigh more. I want her to keep growing.”
I remember what it was like when I realized this young mother and I were the same age. Partima held her little daughter close, shifting to breastfeed her when she became a little too restless. She blushed and turned her head when I mentioned we shared the same birth year.
It was a revealing moment for me – in a different timeline, this young woman and I could have grown up together. We could have known each other our whole lives. Yet we share such different stories.
Every element of our lives is separate from each other; our languages, our cultures, our childhoods, our futures. At twenty-one, Partima has lived a story that I couldn’t begin to imagine myself living. She’s endured an incredibly painful childbirth. She’s had to drop out of school to take care of her little one. She’s married much younger than she anticipated. She’s had to let go of some of her dreams for her future.
And she absolutely adores her young daughter. The love that this mama has for the little one on her lap is something that I don’t have the experience to describe. Though her own life was turned upside down when she discovered she was pregnant, Partima made it clear that she was going to let nothing hurt or hinder her little girl.
Partima’s story is one that I hold close to me. When I left her village that evening, I carried her words at the front of my mind, and have ever since.
Her story is important. Her story is painful. Her story has hope.
Her story is why I’m doing what I’m doing.
You’ll be able to read the whole thing once Mama comes out!
P.S! Don’t forget to follow my @humans.of.ottawa for some additional sneak peeks to my stories.