Nancy leans over the incubator and watches baby Daniel as he struggles to breathe with the help of a ventilator. He has been born premature. With tears in her eyes, she prays incessantly for her son to keep breathing. It breaks her heart that she can’t hold her baby-that she is not allowed to breastfeed him like she did for his sister when she was born. Nancy is still weak and groggy from the effects of Cesarean Section surgery but she is more concerned for her little baby.

Chioma lost her husband after she had her third baby. She is just 30 years old, she has no job and the only sister she has happened to be as poor. Her husband was sick for more than a year before he finally died from brain cancer at the age of 37. Almost all of his savings were spent on medications, hospital bills and burial expenses. Chioma started a petty trade with the little money people gave her during her husband’s burial. To make sure the business can survive, she makes just enough food for her three kids. She ends up licking the pot and taking some water and she was ready to starve as long as necessary so her kids can eat.

Lucinda is standing at the gate of the city prisons begging the prison guard to let her see her son. This is her third attempt. Tyrone has been put in solitary confinement after he assaulted another inmate. He has been in jail for more than a year and this is his third time in jail. His dad has vowed never to see him again and also warned his mum to stay off. Lucinda tried but could’t. How could she? That is her son and she loves him. She stands there with a lunch box in her hand. She has prepared her son’s favorite meal. Her eyes are all red from crying and puffy from all her sleepless nights.

These three different scenarios all point to one thing-The strength of a mother’s love. This bond of love is formed right at the moment a woman finds out that she is pregnant. Granted, there are a few exceptions to the rule. For example, some women for some reason or another have severe loathing instead of love for their unborn. That will be a discussion for another day. Today, we want to talk about all the sacrifices women make on behalf of their offspring.

From the moment the average woman knows she’s pregnant, everything changes. Her attention shifts from herself to her unborn child. She breathes for him, eats for him and does everything to make her baby comfortable. Some women who smoke stop, others stop drinking and cursing and eating junk. They want the best for their precious unborn baby.

She loves this baby whose eye color, gender or personality she knows nothing about. She is very eager to meet him and  so she prays that everything works out well. She eats when her baby is hungry and sleeps when he’s sleepy. She even works about when her baby becomes restless and changes position in the bed to make him more comfortable.Despite the discomfort and inconvenience of pregnancy, she’s still eager to go on. Then comes the D day. The birth of a child usually comes with some pains-Thanks to Adam and Eve. Whether she has the natural birth and poops the baby through her birth canal or she gets cut in pieces just to get the baby out through a hole on the abdomen. Both of these methods are very painful and discomforting.

Finally, she carries her baby and everything changes again. Grinning from cheek to cheek, she feels something magical, something wonderful-something only a mother can imagine. When her baby cries, she jumps. She lets him rule her world. She is more than eager to do everything he wants and tries very hard to figure out “what it is this time”. Silently, he is in command of her love, attention, her time, care and even affection. He is the king. The baby decides when she will eat or have a shower. She only sleeps when he does. Other times, she tiptoes around the house, making sure not to drop a feather so the king can sleep in peace. Her world revolves around him.

Her prayers are centered on him as she prays that no evil should befall her baby and that anything bad intended for her child should rather come to her. And so she protects him with everything she has- against the elements of cold, heat, insects/bugs and human dangers too. She cuddles him, kisses his forehead and his cheeks and even his smooth belly and bottom. She loves him so intently. She keeps nurturing him and keeps watching him grow. She keeps teaching and raising him. The only problem is that for her, he will always be a baby. Even when he becomes a man and has his own family, he remains her baby.

A mother’s love is so strong and enduring. It is everlasting. She loves selflessly and asks nothing in return except that we appreciate the depth of her sacrifices.She rejoices when you are healthy and doing well but it kills her when you are sick, in pain or in trouble.

This is my tribute to my mother and all the mothers. The mother’s love can only be compared to the love of God. A love that is pure, sincere, selfless, unconditional and always abiding.

To be a mother is to love and care-to cherish and to nourish.

I appreciate my mother and all the mothers in the world.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR MOTHER AND ABOUT BEING A MOTHER?

Your Comments are greatly appreciated.

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