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A married woman’s long journey of hope and courage

Oct. 8, 2019 2 min read

2 min read

When in 1989 ‘Mapakiso Makhema married the man of her dreams, all she pined for was a baby to seal a union she believed was God-send.

She reviled the thought of delaying motherhood until her old age, which most professional working women opt for to create space for the realisation of their dreams in the corporate world; a housewife, she wanted to have a child at the most earliest convenience.


But not being able to get pregnant within the first six months of her marriage was frustrating, but not alarming, according to the now 54 years old woman. She made peace with her reality, knowing that most couples conceive even after the first year of trying.


“When the one year mark passed and went, I was concerned but did not take any concrete steps towards finding answers from medical doctors why I could not conceive; I was young and healthy,” says Mrs Makhema.


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Despite this, since she was a young recently married woman, she said she had haunted by family and societal expectations; at this time already having to fend off village gossip and coated personal attacks hurled at her – but was still convinced from certain quarters that it was fine to postpone childbearing.


Everywhere she looked, though, culture determined that she should have had a baby by now. She says she was troubled by images of older women cradling their babies brought reality closer to home , and then thought she could too.  


At the age 0f 27 was told infertile, married at 24…..after that husband went and found he was fine


According to Mrs Makhema, communal pressures intensified the pain of infertility.


Her husband had done all the tests; he was fine, then found out later that the problem was with her ovaries.


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