Johannesburg - Sibusisiwe Jili has opened up about her pregnancy journey to help other women.
The actress is pregnant with her second child and has decided to be vocal about the issues she has faced in trying to carry a baby to full term.
“I felt like this was a miracle that needed to be spoken about because someone else could be going through a lot more miscarriages and stillbirths, or even terminal illnesses.
“People don’t talk about female sexuality and it is always just taboo to talk about women being pregnant and losing their children. They are always made to seem like bad people,” she said.
Jili said being able to talk about this journey has been exciting for her, as she has now come to a place where she understands herself fully.
“I needed to be okay with myself. I was also on a spiritual journey for myself. That’s why I came out and decided to share,” she added.
Jili has a condition where her womb stops growing after five months, resulting in the umbilical cord being unable to send oxygen and food to the growing baby. She said that the doctors were still trying to understand the condition better.
“You won’t know that from just sitting at home and watching your stomach grow. Next thing, you go to get an ultrasound and your baby has passed away. We don’t have X-ray eyes unfortunately, so we can’t see the problems inside. The psychology behind that is insane because you start to think about what could be wrong with you and how you could let this happen. But we don’t have control over this condition while the child is still in the womb.”
Jili said it was important to normalise difficult pregnancies. This condition, in particular, was something she believed ran in the family, as two of her cousins also went through the same thing, with one of them giving birth at six months. Neither of them showed any symptoms of trouble during their pregnancies. The problem lay inside their wombs.
“Our parents don’t sit us down and tell us how everything is going to play out. You experience it for yourself and that is the only time you learn what is going on with you,” she said.
Jili has a 5-year-old son Onke, who she gave birth to when she was just seven months pregnant. She said she was happy to have the support she has with this second pregnancy, after she lost her first baby before Onke.
“I didn’t share my first pregnancy because it was a scary time in my life. He was actually my second-born child because my first one passed away,” said the actress.
Her pregnancy shoot was all about her coming out of her shell, using the theme of a queen and her little prince. It was also a moment for her to appreciate how far she had come on this journey. She is now 32 weeks pregnant.
“This was more of something I needed to do because I knew it would help someone else in a similar situation or someone who just doesn’t understand their journey. Both my sons have brought a sense of peace in my heart.
“My son Onke, Nkazimulo is his second name, I named him because he brought back that joy into my life.
“This baby is bringing the light again. I was trying to bring that light back inside me. When I found out that I was pregnant, it was so overwhelming. Everything just started to fall into place,” said Jili.
She hopes opening up about her condition will help other women seek their own help and speak out about their difficulties with pregnancy.