Sangay Choden

“I married at the age of 18 and gave birth to my son at 19. My husband and I are both 25 now. My husband studied till class 5, but I never even went to school. Our families couldn’t afford it. In my case, my father was injured and couldn’t work so I had to take over. I have 5 younger siblings. 3 of them are in school, 1 is a monk and the sister immediately younger than me works at a retired police officer’s home in Thimphu. She helps send money home and has helped me a lot with the responsibilities.

I had a tough pregnancy. I was nauseated throughout my pregnancy, had no appetite, and had trouble sleeping. I had to visit the BHU a lot. Walking there took half a day so I had to reserve a car for Nu.1500. That was too expensive for us. I got good services from the BHU but they advised that I deliver at the Lhuntse Hospital. It was a 3-hour drive from where I lived. My family had always had financial problems, but these challenges intensified when I got married and pregnant. I’d have to borrow money from friends and relatives, who sometimes refused to. After my son was born, I could no longer work as I had to look after him. He goes to school now but I’m still unable to work full time. My husband is the only one who works now but I make every effort to help him when I find the time.

I may not have known much before but with the help of health workers, I’ve learnt a lot about my reproductive health and general health. During and after my pregnancy, I ate a lot of fruits, drank milk, and had nutritious supplements. My husband and I are doing family planning too. In the future, I’d like to have one more child. Along with that, I want to improve my farming skills and do better; I do not have any other ambitions because I never went to school.

As a mother, I live every day worrying about my son. But that is just the nature of a mother. I am grateful for my family and my child. I’ve learnt so much from becoming a mother and I continue to learn from him and my family every day.”

Humans of Thimphu with YPEER Asia Pacific Center -Ypeer AP celebrates this young mother and her journey of learning about her reproductive health through a tough everyday life.



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