Couples get thrown into a dark place whenever they fail to conceive a child. The desperation and anxiety takes a toll on their mental health, causing a relationship to struggle and sometimes to break.
Often, individuals and couples struggle in silence as society sends waves of questions to them, sometimes marginalizing them.
Regardless, infertility levels continue to increase each year. According to the World Health Organization, over 48 million couples globally are living with infertility problems caused by abnormalities within the male and female reproductive systems.
Inspired by experiences of her own and that of others, Sheila Ajok Lubangakene authored the book Still A Mum, a fictional novel about infertility in marriage and its challenges.
At first, Sheila was writing about infertility on her blog, email@example.com based on the experiences of friends that suffered different infertility problems and the treatments they would undergo, such as In vitro fertilization (IVF). Later, she used the same platform, to provide therapeutic advice and encourage people suffering from challenges resulting from infertility.
“I had a lived experience with about two repeated miscarriages. I could tell the impact it takes on people. And when I got the opportunity to write, I needed to have deep conversations with people known to me who had walked this kind of journey. I remember some conversations would take about an hour with some people,” Sheilla recounted.
She wrote the book while pursuing her leadership course at the Harvest Institute Naalya. In the book, she expresses the grief and depression that many infertile couples go through and most of the time avoid talking about.
“About the time I started writing, I had a friend that had just lost a five-day-old baby. She had been in a childless marriage for five years. When she conceived, it was a difficult pregnancy with complications. She was told the child had some deformities and when it came through, it didn’t live for long. It was so emotional that she had gone through that and also lost the child when she badly needed one,” she narrated.
Upon this experience, Sheila decided to write her first book ‘Still A Mum’ which has since drawn the attention of many people facing the same challenges, giving them a platform to speak out and seek help.
It has been shortlisted for the African Christian Author’s Award 2022 and adapted as a play to be staged at National Theater on August 14, 2022, at 2:00 pm.
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