This post is the second in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana.
I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. I recently met Nozema Pul, 41, in the GPHC maternity ward. Nozema was days, or possibly hours, away from giving birth. But being the shero that she is, she agreed to share with me her thoughts on motherhood, her dreams for her children, and advice for young girls.
What does being a mother mean to you?
A: Happiness. It means happiness.
How has your mother influenced your life?
A: My mother was a loving, caring and thoughtful mom. She taught me all about the good things in life. She raised me the right way, as a mother should. She gave me everything that she could afford in order to make me happy.
What do you wish for your children?
A: I wish for lots of happiness. I wish that they follow Christ and to have faith. I want them to be a good person and treat others as they want to be treated, not to be rude. I hope they are thoughtful and dedicated. But most of all, I want them to make the most out of life.
How did you first learn about reproductive and sexual health?
A: I was about 10 years old and I read about it in school.
Did you have easy access to family planning? What were the challenges?
A: No, access to family planning was not easy. I learned it from friends, family members, teachers, and others. I learned about contraception, condoms, and protecting oneself from sexually transmitted diseases, and not to have many children – especially one right after another. I learned that I needed to wait 6 to 7 weeks before planning the next pregnancy. It was challenging because I had to learn much about family planning by myself. I had to learn how to find doctors by myself and what family planning and pregnancy entailed. I was scared.
What are the challenges you have faced as mother?
“I love making my children happy. I want to give them everything they deserve as my mother did for me.”
A: I had my first child at 17. It was very hard. I didn’t know how to raise a child, but I was living with my mother and she taught me how to be a good mom. I learned from her and how she brought me up.
How can we make sure all babies and mothers survive and thrive?
A: Mothers and pregnant women should go out and talk to the right people to get the correct advice for their children so they know how to love and care for their child when the time comes.
What is your favorite part of being a mother?
A: I love making my children happy. I want to give them everything they deserve as my mother did for me. I want to teach them kindness, how to treat people, and not to be rude.
What advice can you give to young girls about pregnancy?
A: Do not get pregnant early. Get educated, stay in school, and get a good job. Get your own home and everything you want. Get a degree so you can stand up for yourself. Don’t be a single parent because it is very hard.
No photos were permitted inside the maternity ward.