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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic



Binta was startled awake by the sensation she felt on her body, right from
her chest region to the whole of her lower limbs. It was as if worms were
crawling all over her, she felt like she was lying in a pool of water.

She tried raising her legs but they felt like lead, as if someone has used
a rope to tie her down. She was totally confused. Where could she be? She
asked herself. All around her was pitch dark, so dark that she could feel
the darkness swallowing her up. She made to shout; to call on someone to
come to her rescue. But when she opened her mouth, she could not utter a
word. Her throat was so dry that any attempt to shout gave her so much pain.

Where could she be? She asked again. Fear crept into her; maybe she was
dead and had been buried, waiting for her turn to be judged by the
Almighty. That should be the reason why she could not raise her legs or
utter any word. That should be the excuse for the darkness and silence
around her. Why not try your hands? Something whispered to her. She obeyed
instantly and moved the right one, but it was like it was tied to
something. She left that and alone and moved the left; it was free.
She was able to lift it, and she used her fingers to trace the shape
of what she was lying on, it felt like a bed.

 She moved her hand to her belly, to check the huge bulge that had
been with her for close to nine months.The bulge was gone; in place of
it was a stomach that was as flat as the
road that led to her house from the stream. ‘The devil has eaten my
baby,she whispered.
 “My baby…my baby…, she shouted then stopped. A miracle has
happened; she realized she could use her voice now, even though every shout
she gave was like putting pepper on a large wound in her throat.

Someone rushed to her bedside, with a hurricane lamp dangling from her
right hand.
She was dressed in white, and Binta saw her as a good angel that has come to
return her baby to her.

It did not take long for her to realize that, the person was not an angel,
neither was she in the land of the dead. She was indeed ‘Hajiya’ the half
trained,village midwife. Realization came and hit her so
hard; like the strong pellets of hail on an exposed body. She was in a

She had been unconscious for a whole week. She had fallen into labour and
had had a difficult time, bringing forth her baby. Her memory was merciful
in letting her into what happened before then.

When she had felt the first sign of labour pain, she had begged her
husband, Aminu to allow her go to the hospital for delivery. But he had
refused blatantly, maintaining that it was against the culture of the land.
So she had lost consciousness at a point. Ironically, the hospital had been
there last resort.

But going to the hospital was like medicine after death. Apart from the
fact that the village hospital had no capacity to cater for an eclamptic
teenager with obstructed labour, the heavy rain that had fallen incessantly
for three whole days non-stop, had made the untarred road with precarious
bridge; which led to the village, unpassable. So Binta’s life hanged in
the balance, with only the half-trained village Auxiliary midwife, to care
for her.

She survived; although her baby had died three days before she was
taken to the hospital. The midwife had resulted to manipulations, before
she could deliver the macerated mass her foetus had become.

Binta sat on the hospital bed and thought of what might have been. If only
her husband had agreed to take her to the hospital at the first sign of
labour, three full days before the terrible rain. If the government had
equipped the village hospital with equipments and if there had been well
trained staff on ground. If the road had been good and passable, despite
any form of adverse weather condition?

Maybe she would have had her baby to hold and to behold now. She would have
been at home, receiving all the attentions deserved by a new mother, rather
than be in this filthy environment, lying in a pool of urine; her own
urine. The wetness she had felt yesterday was real; real to life. Several
times has she heard with her ears, of girls giving birth and developing
this shameful condition? But now, it has happen to her. The wetness was
her own urine, because she has develop a fistula. Not only was she
leaking urine, but also feaces through the vagina.





Submitted: July 19, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Bosede. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Kelly Marino

Wow, my heart is breaking. I've heard a lot about the plight of women in countries without modern and accessable health care (and husbands who treat their wives--who often were circumcised very young--worse than animals when things go wrong).
This story is all-too-common, and it made me want to cry.
Great story, Bosede. Sad, but great. Not many people write stuff like this, and I applaud you.

Thu, July 19th, 2012 7:25pm


Thanks for the response. I am passionate about the downtroden. I have worked as a v.v.f. Nurse for many years, those women are suffering. I'm championing a course geared at making a legislation against early marriage, child abuse and bad cultural practises. Thank you.

Thu, July 19th, 2012 1:39pm

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