8 Months

I’ve been impatiently waiting for more than eight months for this to end.
That’s been eight months of vomiting, of losing weight, of suffering, then of putting on weight again…always suffering, of course.

Eight months with two lockdowns: you were conceived in one and will be born in the other.
Eight months with a wonderful fiancé who has supported me as the sky has fallen on my head more than ten times.

I’ve dreamed of the end from the start.

Words & Photography by Mother Muse Krissima Poba

I would be lying if I told you that I will miss this pregnancy (being rid of it will be the most beautiful thing of my life), but I admit that feeling you move with all your might when daddy puts on reggae when I hate it, and feeling you hitting on all the tubes of all my damn exams…I might miss that.

When I announced my pregnancy, the first thing I was told was, “But what are you going to do?”

What did I do?

Well, I’ve already carried my son for eight-and-a-half months.

I also completed my scientific mediation diploma with good honours, did civic service as a project manager, followed up with an internship as a scientific communication manager, and exhibited in a collective exhibition. I participated in the credits’ filming of a web series and an episode of it, shot several concerts, put together funding files for projects, built my bare pregnancy project, and then I gave birth to a human being!

Yes, getting pregnant at 21 in the middle of a school year and in the midst of a global pandemic is not a “rosy” situation.

But today, I am a mother at 22 and a graduate with professional experiences and a multitude of projects to my knowledge.

Of course, nothing was easy. Everything will be more complicated in the future, but becoming a mother is not specifically about stopping your life (even having had three hospitalizations during pregnancy and breastfeeding on demand).

In 2020 I understood that I could convey messages through the self-portrait by playing with clichés. I understood that I could deliver testimonials; I also understood that these same testimonies could provide valuable information for some.

Documenting my life is a very special way of looking at photography, but it is mine.

In 2020, thanks to series like “Pregnancy Exposed” or “Working Mom”, I finally understood how to reconcile documentary and self-portrait.

2021 is the year of challenges, the year where I want to bring a new dimension to my projects.

It’s procreating one night of Netflix and Chill and taking a pregnancy test two weeks later without even being late because we know we are pregnant.

It’s waiting for an hour and a half before going to the store, and stressing out because we don’t know if there are any pasta or pregnancy tests left.

It’s messing up the test and not knowing if we can buy another one or not.

It’s going to the pharmacy to buy a second test and getting nasty looks from the pharmacist because knowing if you are pregnant is not an emergency.

It’s finding yourself having to tell your family because you don’t know what to do.

It’s calling all the helplines after one month of pregnancy because you are on the floor vomiting 20 times, having a terrible stomach ache and you do not want to burden the emergency room.

It’s hearing, “don’t go to the hospital, go see your GP; it’s not an emergency” and then “run to the hospital; it’s intestinal COVID.”

It’s going to the emergency room every week because you can’t eat or drink anymore, and getting kicked out like a mess because it’s not an emergency.

It’s ending up having a dementia episode one night caused by undernutrition and dehydration. It’s being hospitalized at home because, yes, it was an emergency.

It’s spending the first ultrasound alone the day the bars reopened.

It means being hospitalized (for the second time) and being afraid of being alone and especially of giving birth alone.

It means waiting in line for two hours in the lab every week with nausea, vomiting, discomfort, fainting, infusions in the hands, back pain, difficulty walking, a big belly, and so on.

And it is getting mixed up with Covid patients that are coughing on you.

It’s the cancellation of all my appointments before the birthdate.

Because you already understood, being pregnant is not an emergency.

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