Madina aged 32 is single mother of 4 kids, a Uganda and now a senior teen mother at PTM in Jinja whose first borne came after dropping out of school due the loss her parents at the age of 14.
“Death of my parents caused me to become a teen mother at 14 years; My dad’s death caused a lot of distress to my mother. She developed severe hypertension and died four weeks later. That marked the beginning of my misery. I dropped out of school because no one was taking care of my basic needs. I got a boyfriend who took me to their home and I started staying in his room where he kept me secretly, could bring me food and whatever I needed until it came to the knowledge of His parents. The parents were not rude about it and I started staying comfortably with my boyfriend though he was still schooling. After a few months, I felt change in the size of my stomach and I told my boyfriend how my stomach was sick. He decided to take me to my mother in law who took me to hospital the following morning where I was told by the medical doctor that I had a three months pregnant. I started attending antenatal clinic. “
At 7 months of pregnancy I was retained at the hospital until delivery to reduce the risks of my life and growing foetus that I was still young with little chances of having a normal delivery. Two months later I gave birth to a baby boy and I sustained a painful tear that was sutured leaving me with a lot of pain for three weeks. During the three weeks of pain I hated my baby. I would not allow to breast feed since my first attempt to breast feed my the nipples were very painful. Later the health workers counselled me and started breastfeeding my baby.
At 17years I got a second pregnancy where I didn’t experience a lot of challenges due to the past experience of my first borne. This time I started aging in the face of my boyfriend who had just finished his diploma in engineering. He started undermining me and getting in relationships with young girls who had just graduated too, I was stigmatised by the family members. They wished their son to have a wife who graduated than I school dropout. I was distressed until I could not hold it anymore and decided to leave with my kids to stay with my old friend 70km away. After two years a entered a new relationship. Took my kids to their father to stay alone. I got more two kids where we later got miss understandings leading to a separation that now am here a single mum.
I got a job to start working to support my kids with the little I could to show them how I love them. One day as I was travelling and got an accident that lead to a medical advice of a complete bed rest for two years. I stopped working, had no support and staying at my friends’ home. I got a lot of stress, no mum, no dad, no husband, no brother, no sister, no one to help me then yet my kids kept on calling me asking for some of the things I used to provide to them. I lost sleep for over a year, I had no appetite, of food. I depended on sleeping and appetite pills.
One day I had gone to buy appetite pills at Byamukama medical centre, here I met Steven the founder of provident mothers on duty where he investigated the cause of loss of appetite through interacting with me finding it was stress. He advised me to avoid Isolation with a lot other advice. What I recall most is how he told me that “you can help a lot more teen mothers at provident to gain hope, you can use your experience to change lives of others other than cursing the day you were
borne” provident team prepared me to share my story with teen mothers during the session and mothers shared the lessons they learnt from my story. To my surprise, sharing my story and interacting with teen mums took away my distress, my appetite came back and I started sleeping without taking pills. Since then I started volunteering with provident as a senior teen mother.