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Woman shares her story on Twitter after being abandoned while pregnant

By Winfrey Owino | November 11th 2021

Shirleen Mukami started a group to support young mothers like her. [Courtesy]

A 20-year-old mother of one has taken to her social media platform (Twitter) to share her experience as a single mother and the struggles she has been through.

Shirleen Mukami decided to share her story, which has inspired her to start a group of young mothers after her lover abandoned her with the pregnancy.

This is her story.

Hello Twitter. I'm Shirleen Mukami, a 20-year old single mother of one boy whom I was blessed with on June 15th 2021. He'll be turning 5 months in the next few days. But what's there to celebrate!? It's been a ride of hell and unbearable heartbreaks and pain. Still, I press on.

My entire pregnancy was a journey of unforgettable pain, sorrow and regrets. I had thought otherwise about keeping this baby but eventually, I decided to keep it and raise him. I shared the news of my pregnancy to the man I was in love with. The man I knew was responsible.

I had already anticipated his reaction and had told my girls that he would deny responsibility. And he did. I was not surprised. But what hurt me most is that I didn't even tell him about it to try and 'trap' him into raising the baby with me. I had decided I would still keep it.

After endless days of trying to reason with him, I gave up and decided to focus on me and the human being growing in me. It hurt that he would deny something so obvious. And then when he now decided that we terminate it, I felt even stupider. Still, I soldiered on with my pregnancy.

Suddenly, my whole world collapsed around me. I dropped out of college, strained my relationship with my parents, lost friends, lost my social life, lost the man I loved, lost it all. I wasn't prepared 4 the emotional strain a pregnancy can impact on a woman. My life went black.

The months that followed were pure hell. I never felt so alone. I regretted everything. Regretted meeting that man. Regretted loving him. Regretted the baby I was carrying. I was so mad at so many things. I didn't feel proud of myself. And didn't look forward to meeting my baby.

In the past, I had seen pregnant women 'glowing'. I had seen society celebrating pregnant women. But my case was different. No one seemed to care about me. I didn't feel the love. I didn't glow. I didn't see the world applaud me. I felt a numbness that no woman deserves to feel.

The months went by and my mental health got worse. A lot ran through my mind. A lot. No amount of tears could heal the brokenness I was undergoing. I dreamed of a baby shower. I even hoped for a baby bump photo shoot. I got none of that. It drained me. It ate up my soul and tore me.

I didn't even bother with the normal clinic trips. I skipped them all. I honestly didn't care anyway. Somehow, I managed to figure out my due date. And looked forward to it with both fear and anxiety. Tired, angry and torn, I gave birth to a boy after 12 intense hours of labour.

I didn't have a phone then. And didn't even bother telling anyone I have given birth. Mom was with me anyway and that's all that mattered. Luckily, it was a normal delivery and I knew I would soon feel physically better. I looked at my son and thought, ' You have no damn idea boy'

And now, the actual stress kicked even harder. I thought I was going crazy. I looked terrible and felt even worse. I didn't feel pretty anymore. I felt used and dumped. A lot crossed my mind. I would breastfeed while crying. This was just terrible. A mother shouldn't feel this bad.

I thought of all the young moms like me. In their early twenties. With no jobs, absent baby daddies, unsupportive families, little friends and no cash. I couldn't imagine how many we are. And wished our salaried 'men' knew what it meant to run away from their young pregnant lover.

I've painstakingly raised this boy alone. With zero cash and endless prayers. He's only five months and I'm losing my mind. I can't imagine how tough the following months and years can be. My idleness disturbed my mind and I needed to occupy myself. And then I called up a friend.

Together, we decided to do something to occupy our minds and spread our love and support to young mothers like us. My friend's baby is five months too. We called a few other friends. Shared our story. Reached out to relatives and launched the 'Baby Shower Sisters'.

This is basically a support group where and three more young mothers visit other young mothers like us. Mothers whose baby daddies disappeared. Mothers who didn't experience the love of pregnancy. Mothers who didn't experience a baby shower. Broken mothers just like us.

We've visited five mothers so far. Some as young as 19. We carry along with us some stuff - diapers, Wipes, Vaseline, potty, tissue, Earbuds and a lot of love. We sit and talk and share. Exchange contacts. And it has been the healing I have been looking for. Very therapeutic.

A friend suggested that we go big and make this an even bigger movement. We've been sourcing for donations from a few friends and relatives. And we decided to talk to the whole Country 4 more support. And that's how we set up an ‘m-changa’ account and got online to share our story.

Kenyans, kindly support our little 'Baby Shower Sisters' initiative. We've been doing little and can't mind doing much. Going out more. Meeting more mothers and healing our minds. I don't even have much myself. But it's by giving that I have been receiving a diaper or two myself.

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