Despite a morally upright upbringing by her parents, a renowned bishop in Kuria district and mother who is a teacher, Dorcas Marwa, 26, charted a different path from the truths and values her parents instilled in her. At 18, she became a mother and a cloud from hell seemed to embrace her entire life before reaching the turning point in 2012. She shares with FAITH MURIGU the insights she has picked from her heartbreaking experiences.
“I grew up Nairobi before my family relocated to Kuria district during my formative years. My father, now a retired accountant and a bishop, and my mother, a teacher, brought up my siblings and I in love and understanding. They encouraged us to excel in our studies and live upright lives. Part of that bore fruits because one of my brothers is a medical doctor; another is an accountant, while I am a lawyer. Our youngest sister is in high school. We always attended church as a family and this drew us close to each other. My father also adopted three other children from my late aunt.
While in high school, I got into a relationship which my parents were opposed to. The more they were against the relationship, the deeper the bond of my relationship grew. By the time I graduated from high school, I discovered that I was expectant. I didn’t tell the father of my child about the pregnancy but he later heard from rumours flying around. Although he was willing to take responsibility, I would hear none of it. How could the sweet love we shared with him turn this resentful? I was having fun but didn’t expect to get pregnant and so I became angry with him.
Back at home, people were hostile to girls who got children out of wedlock and I was not spared. My parents became the talk of town about their failure to bring up morally upright children despite the fact that I was a pastor’s daughter. The pregnancy was very problematic but I gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Shirley, who is now seven.
My parents bore the responsibility of caring for my daughter and I joined Moi University, Eldoret, to pursue a degree in Law. Low self-esteem and bitterness marred my life.
From the frying pan into the fire…
In a bid to revenge, I got into a relationship with a close friend of Shirley’s father. Things moved so fast that before long I realised I was pregnant again! I hated myself for this newfound revelation and purposed to get rid of the child. A lady friend who was a nurse in Nairobi and had got a baby at a young age encouraged me to have an abortion. She gave me the contacts of a clinic in Nairobi and some money to procure the abortion and I did. I had no sense of guilt.
My boyfriend, who didn’t know about the abortion, kept visiting me as usual but I developed a strong resentment towards him. I developed complications after the abortion due to a serious infection in my urinary tract, which cost me a lot of money to treat. Despite this, I continued with my reckless lifestyle of partying and having sexual relations with several men. While in my last semester at the university, I conceived again. I could not tell who was responsible for the pregnancy due to my wild lifestyle.
I went home for the December holidays torn between keeping the baby and procuring an abortion. Scared due to the previous complications I had, I saved up some money to seek the services of a more qualified doctor. On returning to campus, I sought details of a specialised doctor by pretending I was doing it for a friend and booked an appointment in a private hospital.
Abortion was illegal in the hospital but the doctor who was on night shift took me to an isolation ward for the secret procedure. He gave me some drugs and left me under lock and key. I was in exasperating pain as the foetus came out under my watch and then I started bleeding profusely.
I hated the doctor for abandoning me but he was doing me a favour. He later came back gave me some drugs, water to clean myself up and a bucket and a mop to clean up the mess I had caused. He then wrapped the foetus and showed me where to dispose it. With that done, I returned to campus and continued with my life. Four months after this horrific incidence, I was pregnant again, after being in a serious relationship where we both envisaged marriage after graduation.
I was sick from the onset of the pregnancy and sought a doctor’s advice. The pregnancy was rendered abnormal and I needed to undergo a minor surgery to have it removed. Meanwhile, I graduated and secured a job with a bank in Kuria. I travelled to a clinic in Nairobi for advice on the way forward. Although I wanted to abort again, I was warned against the consequences since I was fast loosing weight and was anaemic.
One Saturday, I travelled from Kuria to Nairobi to attend a friend’s wedding and had a doctor’s appointment later that evening. I requested the doctor to have the procedure done after two weeks since I felt sickly. Just before I left the clinic, I visited the washroom and to my horror and shock, was bleeding. I knew danger was looming. The doctor gave me some painkillers and asked me to come back after a few days. I lost consciousness in the matatu on my way to Kuria and some good Samaritans hired a taxi to take me to Kijabe hospital. I learnt from the doctors later that I had suffered a miscarriage.
Although they contacted my parents, they did not disclose to them the details. Gladly it was impossible for them to travel to Kijabe and so they asked some relatives to check up on me. Thankfully my relatives were very tied up and could not make it. I did not want anyone to know my fate. I lied that I had a bout of malaria. Two days Later, I was discharged from hospital. My parents helped clear the bill.
At this point I was angry with God and was convinced that He didn’t care about me. I became suicidal. I reported back to work but after a few months felt the need to be away from my parents. I did not acknowledge their love. I relocated to Nairobi, got a job with the ministry of foreign affairs and moved in with one of my uncles. I developed an addiction for movies at night to cover my insomniac tendencies.
The turning point…
The demons were not over yet. Six months after the miscarriage, I got pregnant after an affair with a man I had known for only two months. This time I carried the pregnancy longer hoping that my heart would be convinced to keep the baby, but at six months I aborted. The experience was horrific. In my moments of shame and pain, I listened to a Christian radio station and heard a lady narrating her experiences of abortion and how she came out of self-blame, guilt and pain. Moved by the story, I got in touch with the radio station.
That is how I landed at Pearls and Treasures, a support group for post-abortive women. I was relieved to find other women who had gone through similar experiences. My cords of secrecy were broken and I freely shared my life with them. The more I opened up about my life, the faster I got my healing.
The support group teaches one to look at their sins and be sorry for them. They also teach about God’s great love and mercy and his power to forgive all sins. I have learnt to embrace God and am getting intimate with Him daily. I have let go off bitterness, unforgiveness and the suicidal thoughts that constantly followed me. I have forgiven myself and today I view God as a friend.
A word of caution…
Abortion doesn’t solve one’s problems; it actually ruins your life. If you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy, carry the baby to term. It is better to give the baby up for adoption after birth.”
Published on March 2013