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I looked up the heavens and said a little prayer, “Lord Jesus, I know I am not always right and what I did and is about to do is wrong , but please take away this pain. Forgive me and let me live? Amen.” I held my tummy as the pains of motherhood increased by each approaching minute.
The night was bright with the shinning September moon. The night was quite as though I was the only being in that part of the world. The only noise getting to my ears was the sound of the singing night birds from top of the trees. I looked around the area again , it was a good spot. About 3 kilometres away from the main round and township. For a second l wondered how in the world I got here.
People in my state, that is 9 months full term pregnant where in the hospital or clinic giving birth. But here I was , a 17 year old grade 12 girl experiencing labour in the thick bushes alone. “What in God’s name was I thinking?” I asked myself.
I was almost making up my mind to go back home tell my hidden secret to my guardians and live a normal life once again. The past 9 months had been hell, suddenly the sharp pain pricked again making me kneel down in pain. The baby inside me was quite as compared to the past few months when I could feel her move and kick. The pain got stronger, holding my back bone and making me mourn in pain. I couldn’t move , each passing second was unbearable. I made little sounds as I felt the pain increase.
“God help me” l said aloud,
” Please I can’t do this anymore , please.”
The next hour I spent it Moarning and pulling the dry grass in excruciating pain.
Finally when I was almost giving up thinking I was going to die I felt the urge to release like when you go to answer the call of nature. Before I knew it I felt a warm thing coming out of me. I pushed hard and done , my baby girl was out of my body. I held her as I felt something else come out. All pain ceased when she cried out. I spent a few seconds looking at my baby who was still connected to me. I kissed her tiny head and I felt it , the love of a mother. It was so powerful.
Everything stood still as I admired the product of my Labour. Quickly I pulled my small bag got a scissors and cut the cord. I then got a cord clamp from the bag and tied it on my baby’s ambilical cord. I wiped her as fast as I could and dressed her up in a small pink dress. Wrapped her in a towel nappy and covered her up with a showel. I liked the look on her tiny face she looked comfortable.
layin her down besides me, I got to clean myself , lots of blood was still coming out. After changing into clean clothes from my bag and putting on cotton wool down there I felt better.
I summarized everything by wrapping up the things which came out in a plastic bag and dug a small hole to burry them.
When I was satisfied all was ok I got my baby and walked back a little before sitting down under a big masuku tree.
“Thank you Jesus” I prayed again , “thank you.”
“I shall call you Grace my little Angel.. I love you so much, I loved you since the day I conceived you. Forgive me that l will give you away. I have no choice this life is hard to understand. I hope one day you will forgive me and accept me as your mother. I promise to work extra hard and be a capable mother worth of looking after you as you deserve.” I said tears streaming down my face.
I wished things were different. I put my tit in her tiny mouth and felt her suck gently. Holding her tight, I cried the more. I really loved her and letting go was hard. I held her neck and felt a round spot. it was a small dark pimple like Mark below her hair in the back of her neck , l had a similar Mark under my right breast. I touched it a bit longer as she sucked. After about an hour , she fell asleep.
I looked at my watch it was 45 minutes passed 21 hours. I had to get back home , but first drop Grace at her new parents.
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I walked to the Mwapes residents. Mr and Mrs Mwape lived on a farm a few meters away from the bushes I gave birth from. I spent time observing them. They seemed to be good people , they looked happy together though they had been married for 20 years without having any children. I remember my aunty who were friends with Mrs Mwape gossip with our neighbour Bana Juniour how she couldn’t bare children despite living a good life.
I Had Shaken my head in disbelief, the time I overhead them.
Life isn’t fair indeed. Those two were snakes , they looked at others with so much jealousy and treated their dependants like dogs but they had children. On the other hand, Mrs Mwape was a good woman , she smilled at everyone and even raised two boys they barely knew. She just helped two orphans from the streets.
I got a stone and knocked hard on the gate , putting my baby down with tears still running down my face. I hid a few steps away behind the tree and waited for someone to show up.
The worker opened the gate and I could see him flinch and jump back when he saw Grace wrapped up. He picked the note I left on top. After reading it, I saw him ran back into the yard shouting.
” Boss! come and see there is a baby outside the gate!”
Mr Mwape Came trotting to the gate his wife running behind him whilst tieing her chitenge around her waist. They looked on the baby in awe and the worker walked down the road to check if there was someone.
He came back and told them,
“boss there’s no one”.
“Give me that paper,” Mr Mwape extented his and read through the note aloud.
“To the Mwape’s,
sorry for leaving my baby here with you. You are the only people l can trust that you will raise her well. You can’t understand me but know that l love her and l want what’s best for her. I can’t give her a life she deserves but I know you are good people so you can take good care of her. Her name is Grace.”
“my God who could have done this.? Why would someone just leave their new born baby out in the night like this?” Lamented Mr Mwape.
“Honey let’s take her inside we will go to the police and report this tomorrow. I can’t stand seeing this innocent baby outside like this” his wife said as she picked Grace and held her close.
“You are home my little Angel”
I whispered to myself after the Mwape’s went in and the worker closed the gate.
I sat down and hugged myself feeling so empty. A big piece of me was gone and the pain was so big , my heart swelled up.
With pain I walked slowly down the road. I cared less what my aunty would do to me when she realises I wasn’t in the house , after all, A week after l was going back to school , a boarding school..
How did I get here…..?