Regina Wanjiru offered to raise a child belonging to her husband and his ex. Four years later, she shares why she took the bold step
Wangari Njuguna @PeopleDailyKe
When Regina Wanjiru got married to John Irungu in 2013, she was aware he had been in a relationship that didn’t work. What she didn’t know was his ex girlfriend was expecting his child.
A child Wanjiru would bring home and breastfeed alongside her child. “Many people were left in utter shock when I extended my motherly love to the then four-months-old baby.
Some thought I was just acting to attract attention or for sideshows. But at the back of my mind, I meant well for the baby,” she says. The two girls, now aged four years have developed a strong bond, one would think they are twins. What is more interesting is if one falls sick the other one also becomes sick.
“My husband, then boyfriend, had informed me he was from a turbulent relationship. He later learnt she was pregnant for him. When the baby mama was seven months pregnant, it is alleged she tried to procure an abortion, but failed. She was admitted to hospital and the doctors saved both the mother and the child,” she says.
After being discharged from the hospital, the mother abandoned the baby and went into hiding for close to two weeks. The child, having been born prematurely was underweight and thus needed extra care, which only the mother would offer, and my husband had to look for the baby mama,” Wanjiru recalls.
The two then went to the chief’s office and an agreement was drawn on how the two would take responsibility in raising the child. But the woman remained defiant even blatantly refusing to breastfeed the baby. Irungu got a short reprieve after an officer from New Life Home Trust based in Nyeri offered to take the baby until the family dispute was solved.
However, the little girl got sick and was admitted at Nyeri Provincial general hospital where she stayed for two months forcing the father to make trips everyday, which was tedious.
By this time Wanjiru had delivered her baby and after seeing the struggle that her husband was going through, she told him to bring the baby home as she was willing to take care of her. It was not an easy decision, she admits, but her passion for children made her take such a bold step.
“I felt pity for the little girl. She was just an innocent baby. She didn’t deserve to suffer for her parents’ mistake. What hurt me most was to see her being taken to a children’s home,” she says. Wanjiru says a lot of people discouraged her from nursing the baby, but she chose to ignore them. “I love her like my biological daughter.
I breastfed them for two years and I treat both of them as twins,” she adds. From her childhood, she says she loved and adored babies and this one was no exception. She feels better to have saved her life and nurtured her to this age.
“I would not let anyone separate the two of us under whatever circumstances. I am her mother,” she adds. On his part, Irungu says he was startled when Wanjiru asked him to bring the baby home. At first he thought she wanted to harm her, but she has proved otherwise. He says even if the four-year relationship with his baby mama ended, he saved their baby.
According to Irungu, his ex had shown all indication that she was not ready to settle down with him. “I opted to get another woman because I wanted to settle down in marriage and have children,” he says.
He lauded Wanjiru’s efforts in raising the child without discrimination, which has strengthened ties between them. “I must admit she has a big heart to be able to accommodate a child she did not give birth to,” he concludes.