“I lost him, but I still have our daugh­ter”

Glamour (South Africa) - - Life -

Lizzie, 34, widow and mother of one “I hadn’t given thought to whether I wanted chil­dren when I ac­ci­den­tally fell preg­nant at 23. I was liv­ing with my boyfriend in a tiny flat, work­ing 14-hour days and par­ty­ing hard. I was em­bar­rassed to tell peo­ple at first. But Jaye was born and we fell in love with her and it was per­fect. Then life took a hor­ri­ble turn: when she was 13 months old, her dad fell ill and died sud­denly. We found out he’d had AIDS and that I was now HIV pos­i­tive. Thank­fully, Jaye isn’t – I would never have for­given my­self if she was. I felt a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity – we’d gone into par­ent­hood as a team, and now I had to do it alone. Ten years on, I’m healthy and happy. I see glimpses of Jaye’s father in ex­pres­sions she has, so he lives on. I’m glad I had her when I did – if I’d found out about the HIV ear­lier, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have wanted a child, and I’d never have ex­pe­ri­enced moth­er­hood.”

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