Hope and Fear

10 Weeks – All is going well
20 Weeks – Green light (it was around this time that I lost my second child Thayu, so I was holding my breath)

From there I relax and take it easy. I even continue with short walks and stretches afterwards; to the great displeasure of my friend Nana who could watch me stretch outside our fourplex from her kitchen window.
28 Weeks – ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

I am literally thrown back to 2011 when I lost my second child, my son Thayu Kiheo.
The contractions.
The pain
We are now in full blown preterm labour.
I am rushed to the nearby hospital and there is a flurry of activities leading to an admission.
Same hospital I lost my son Thayu Kiheo.
I am determined to come out holding life this time not empty handed like 3 years before.

Memory Floods

I remember the pain of the two child loses before.
I remember being in this ward. This bed.
And I am flooded with fear.
Fear that I will lose this baby as well.
Fear that the end of this baby will be the same.
Steroid injections in my body are more than I can count, to help mature baby’s lungs.
Then Baby’s heartbeat begins to act up just as we are being transferred to another hospital which has a more equipped Neonatal Unit.

First Ambulance Ride
We are quickly taken into an ambulance for the transfer. No taking chances. It is life we are preserving.
My sister is with me and my unborn child.
In less than 10 minutes we arrive at the next hospital.
(Now you know why I could drive into a ditch when I hear an ambulance siren)
The transfer is swift. We get a room. No ward bed for me.
I know why. Everyone is afraid. Even I am afraid. What if baby doesn’t make it.
Ward space not the best for such a scenario . . .
I am hooked onto the monitoring machines . . .
And the long wait begins.
The injections. ( I am so afraid of injections. Each injection is a screaming event)
The PAIN!!!!!

What If?

I am scared. Very scared.
I have been here before.
Did everything the doctors said and still left empty handed.
So I am not in the best of mental and emotional states.
I keep requesting, scratch that, demanding for a scan.
I cannot remember how many I got but every time I felt (or maybe imagined) that the baby was not moving I called out for one.

I am so so scared.
Not surprisingly the attending doctor goes behind my back and the next thing we see is the hospital counselor in our room.
I quickly dismissed her with a lot of Christianese. Told her God is my counselor and I am ok.

Life

We leave after a week.
Still pregnant.
There is hope.
Lots of bed rest and monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat from home.
Lots of PRAYERS and MORAL support from my VILLAGE – I am eternally grateful to the love they showed me.
We get admitted to hospital one more time. Doctor says if we go back, they will evacuate.
We get admitted again and they evacuate.
Baby girl is alive and well. Weighs a whooping 2.55kgs at 34 Weeks.
 
And last month she turned 5!
 

Perinatal Mood Disorders

Perinatal mood disorders include a combination of depression and anxiety symptoms associated with changes to brain chemistry that take place after the birth of a new baby. … Essentially, perinatal mood disorders are specific conditions that occur during pregnancy or up to one year after the birth of the child (www.lagunatreatment.com)
In recent days, thank God, there has been increasing awareness on Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD is just one of the many categories of Perinatal Disorders. As the name suggests it occurs after a pregnancy. Depression and anxiety can and does also occur during pregnancy.
Many women however are not aware of what is happening to them through and after pregnancy and blame their feelings on the pregnancy or baby or even hormones.
However it is important to note that pregnancy in and of itself while being a good thing can result in immense pressure on a woman’s mental and emotional state and do not get me started on the physical state! It is therefore important to continue to raise awareness of the presence of various perinatal mood disorders and to encourage pregnant women and new mothers to seek for help when they need.
Demystification of anything is the first step towards dealing with it. Same applies to perinatal mood disorders. Hitherto described as ‘madness’, ‘pride’, ‘foolishness’, ‘witchcraft’ and many others; it is important to call each of these perinatal disorders by name. To name and deal with the root cause not just symptoms is the only way to effectively help pregnant women through difficult pregnancies as well as new mothers through those first hard months of their baby’s life.
Silence is not treatment.
Ignorance causes more harm than good.

1 Comment

  • Victoria Okumu Posted April 12, 2019 3:38 am

    Silence is indeed not an option. Thanks for this Joyce. It is am encouragement that our God is the giver of Life.

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