I was having a rather uneventful day till Ama chose to pass by around midday. Ama and I have been friends since our university days, and we have not seen each other in a while so of course, I was happy to catch up with her. We talked about life and everything and then she said “I heard you lost your baby. I am praying for you to conceive again and in the meantime, you should stay off Instagram oo”
I took a big breath and bit my tongue hard, I almost drew blood in the bid to prevent myself from saying something I will regret. This stigma called still birth; everyone thinks they have earned the right to advise you because you lost a baby!
I love social media, I love Instagram, I change my Whatsapp profile picture and status not less than five times a day. The only time I didnât post any new pictures on social media was the months I carried my angel in my body. This was because you know Africans and anyway, I really wanted my privacy to enjoy my pregnancy.
Why do we always think social media must be the demon? Ama is not the first person to tell me to stay off social media and I bet she will not be the last. I follow other moms to be on social media and some post their pregnancy announcement as early as six weeks, yet go ahead to have the most perfect pregnancies and babies.
I know Africans and this our ‘bad belle’ theory. Every bad thing that happens to us must be as a result of someone who hates us. To be frank, I find that theory very annoying. Let me get this right, so apparently, I lost my baby because someone saw that I was too happy. Interestingly, that person is sophisticated enough to be on social media.
I remember somewhere last year when a Nigerian actress lost her baby to stillbirth, the comments on the blog post about her subsequent pregnancy scared me. People were mean to say the least. Some even wondered why she looked too happy in the pictures when she should be hiding that pregnancy from the ‘demons in her home’.
Letâs say I buy into this theory of someone wishing me evil. Canât that someone be the person I laugh with every day? Must social media be blamed?
I know social media has its own drama. Of late, I cringe each time I change my Whatsapp dp because someone will ask if that is not a bump they see. Or someone will send me a message about how my face looks puffy and that they âsuspectâ me. In fact, now I have apps to reshape my face before I post pictures. Donât blame me, I really donât want to deal with unnecessary comments and I can’t seem to shake my love for pictures and social media.
Before I digress, the main point behind this post is why one should go into hibernation when one is pregnant or is trying to conceive or just had a baby. Heck, Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy is all over the news; we listened to news about Princess Kate’s morning sickness whilst sipping our morning coffee. Yet, nothing seems to go wrong with their pregnancies. I dare ask, are the African demons more social media savvy than that of the whites?
Losing a child is hard enough without having to give up on the little pleasures of life. Like I told my friend, Ama, you never know, maybe social media is what is helping that mother of an angel baby, or that woman trying to conceive, to keep her head above the waters. I don’t know how I would have coped without the blogs and Instagram pages I follow. I was a mess till I found out that I don’t have to go through this alone.
Losing a child changes you in ways you wish you would not be changed but it doesn’t mean you should stop living. If you are a party person, or a social media lover or you just love to curl up and read a good book, do so! Don’t let anyone talk you out of doing what it takes to keep you going.
Don’t apologise for how you choose to survive. Grief is hard. But you have to survive it any way you know how to.
Naa Kaay is a Ghanaian writer, who has been blogging for years, but recently started blogging about issues closer to her heart. Her blog mantra is ‘Holding on to faith, Meditating on the WORD, and reaching for the rainbow after the storm!’ (http://www.herecomesrainbow.blogspot.com)
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