I strongly agree with anyone who says a child is born with its own plate (mtoto huzaliwa na sahani yake). It is very true, sometimes as parents we worry so much about our kids, we worry about their future, their education, their medical insurance; in short we want our kids to have the best in life. Some even refuse to have babies because they are afraid of failing to adequately provide for their needs. While it’s good to be prepared when having a baby and to be completely aware that bringing up a child is a big task that is a lifetime journey and commitment, it’s also good to know that a child is not just another mouth to feed, sometimes babies come into our lives as Angels in disguise to ground some of us who are on our way to self-destruction, sometimes babies come as keys to unlock a new world of endless possibilities and blessings that could only come to us in our parenthood. Sometimes these little Angels can knock on our doors at the most unexpected and unwanted moments of our lives and we often view them as threats and major blocks to our future success, but they often turn out to be a great story to the parent. Others may come as the most beautiful long awaited miracle. Either way a baby is a blessing.
The purpose of this article is not in any way to encourage teenagers to get pregnant Willy-nilly, this is written to encourage anyone who is or will at any given time find themselves with an unexpected/unplanned pregnancy. It could be a young teenage girl, a single mother or even a married couple, yes even married people find themselves in this situation, sometimes due to a failed contraceptive or just an accident. When this happens don’t be all sad and gloomy, try to focus on the brighter side of the situation, you are alive and healthy, any other situation that comes your way is possible through determination. Carry this encouraging thought with you in mind that once this baby is born you will look at its little face and all your worries will fade away and be replaced with sheer determination to take care of him/her the best way you can.
I became pregnant at a young age and I had no idea what to do with a baby. I felt I had let my parents down in the worst way possible, I had become another statistic, instead of becoming a phenomenal woman to reckon with I had gone down as a mere statistic of teenage pregnancy even before my life had barely started! I felt life had dealt me a bad hand. Deep inside I felt I was destined for greatness and this early pregnancy had not featured anywhere in those thoughts. So I contemplated about it, the first thing that comes to a person with this kind of pregnancy is to get rid of it, you are very sure that’s what you want to do. Then the fear sets in, questions, uncertainties of that decision. A lot of what ifs rush back and forth in your brain…what if this baby is the only baby I was meant to have in this life? What if this baby am carrying is destined for greatness and I am the hand-picked person to bring it forth? You think of all the women wailing and begging God to give them babies and here you are, blessed with a fruitful womb and a baby but at a time when you are not ready for it. You remember all those adorable babies you have seen and thought one day you will have, well the time has come even though unexpected. Eventually you will make the decision to keep the baby and you will have made the right decision because who knows? You could be carrying an Obama, or even the next Trump 🙂
Let’s back up a bit, when I was still in school I had this weird desire to be wild, to party like an animal and YOLO my life away. Yes I wanted to be a phenomenal woman who doesn’t? Every girl child has this dream but I also had this wild side of me that was restrained and was waiting to burst alive when the moment came. I guess that is a general feeling that happens to most teenagers after completing high school and are just becoming adults. Whenever I look back at my younger self and think of the wild life I had wanted to live, I always thank God for that unexpected pregnancy because it saved me, wiped those thoughts and banished them from my mind forever. Who knows? If I had followed through I probably would be a wasted person or even dead by now.
I digress, 5 months into the pregnancy good things started happening. I was then in college and was wondering how long I will continue with the charade of pretending like everything was fine and throwing up while hiding. Then one day my friend approached me and asked me if I would be interested in a job as she was relocating abroad and her boss had asked her to recommend a nice girl who can do the job. Knowing that I will need every coin I could lay my hands on for the baby, I quickly accepted the invitation and convinced my parents that it was a good decision to take up the opportunity and I would study later. They agreed and that’s how I started my first job – 5 months pregnant, no experience and no qualifications. I had just finished high school, there were so many graduates ahead of me who were more suitable and unpregnant but she came to me. That right there was the first blessing that my baby came along with, most employers don’t employ 5 months pregnant young girls, but there I was, when I had thought my life had come to an end, when people and neighbors had laughed and written me off as another failed youth, things did a complete turn around and out of nowhere I had just landed my baby’s first plate (kasahani ya kwanza). I created a good rapport with my employer and when I needed a maternity leave four months later she had no problem, I just looked for a friend to hold the fort until I returned. I worked for that company for 8 years and learned so many things that have brought me to where I am now. Despite falling pregnant at a time when one starts cultivating for a better future, my baby did not derail me from that path in fact I can proudly say she kicked my life on to the right direction, I became mature and she jump-started my career.
If you ever find yourself in the same position I was in 13 years ago, please do not lose hope in life, every baby that is born in this world is born with a purpose. It may not be a worldly purpose like being filthy rich or famous, a baby could come into this world as a bond to unite a broken family, he could be that son or daughter that will mediate between broken family ties, that child could be born to save your life when one day you fall unconscious in the shower and they will call for help. They could be the next authentic Man of God, who will guide people to His Grace. The baby will open doors and take you to places you may have never dreamt of, they will bring lovely and good people to you that could change your lives that you would never have met before. So give that baby a chance. Don’t be angry with it please, don’t punish it for coming into your life unexpected. My heart bleeds when I see some videos on social media where mothers beat and punish a tiny baby for no reason, they transfer their anger and bitterness to an innocent helpless child. If you are one of those parents please it’s time for you to change, stop looking on the negative side of things. Give that baby a chance to live like the way you were given that chance. A baby should not put an end to your business or career, it may derail it for a few months or years, but with determination you will get back on track. Maybe the derailment could be because it is not even the right time for that job or business. Let that baby be happy and thankful that you are his/her parent. Be their guardian and protector, it is your obligation and God will bless you in His own ways.
By me – Eunice Kamau