While Suba North Member of Parliament (MP) Millie Odhiambo has never been shy about her inability to conceive naturally, she hardly ever speaks about the time she wished she had a child.
In a tell-all interview with The Star recently, the outspoken legislator revealed that in 2011, after her mother passed on, she felt a deep emptiness inside her and wanted so badly to have a child in order to fill the void.
She narrated that around the time, during her campaigns to vie for the then Mbita Constituency seat, the amount of mudslinging she got from her male counterparts for being barren might have led to the death of her mother.
The 52-year-old stated that her mother was so much affected by the slander and even advised her to drop out of the race.
"I knew my mum was very affected by the abuse of childlessness and she expressed as much. I even told my colleagues here at the time that some of the senior leaders abusing me as a barren woman would stress my mother to death," she disclosed.
"In fact, this remains the biggest setback in my life. I felt that if I had a child, the hollowness could have been filled. I, however, overcame it," she divulged.
She added that she doesn't consider childbearing as a big issue but appreciated the crippling stigma that countless women and men are battling for not being able to bear children of their own.
"I do not want to take the pain that childless women go through and trash it. But for me, childbearing is not really an issue I give a serious premium. It does not define me and women should rise above it; it should not define who they are," the University of Nairobi Law Graduate maintained.
Nonetheless, the avid Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporter considers herself highly favoured to be a voice of the childless in the National Assembly. She is currently the Executive Director of the Cradle, a child rights lobby.
According to Millie, she was diagnosed with fibroids late in 2001 in New York, USA, but only got surgically removed in 2006.
Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these tumours become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy menses.
The cause of fibroids is unknown, however, researchers claim that the condition might portend infertility in women, especially if not dealt with in time.
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