Catch up on my previous post, Safe Motherhood #3 – My Eventful Birth Story part 1
I woke up in the early hours of the day I would eventually deliver my baby to go to the toilet. I discovered that I was already wet, wet with a lot of blood. It was kind of scary but I thought it was the blood show that sometimes occurs as a prelude to labor pains in some pregnant women. How naïve I was if only I had known what that meant but not knowing kept me from panicking. I had to change my sanitary towel like twice before day break. When we saw how heavy the blood flow was, my husband and I knelt down beside our bed and prayed not knowing what lay ahead. We simply had faith that God will take control beyond our understanding of what was happening. I didn’t get much sleep so I had my bath and as soon as it was 6 am off we went to the home of a family friend who was a doctor and lived in our neighborhood.
When we shared what had been happening with him he simply said he would immediately take me to the hospital in a very unsuspecting doctor’s way of treating an emergency in a not alarming way. We had no idea that it was a serious thing. It was only after a series of scan tests and then my consultant was called to attend to me on a Sunday that I realize something serious was up. He came in right from attending church service.
I was still puzzled by all the back and forth going from the hospital ward to the scan room severally. Finally, my consultant said, “Madam we are going to do a caesarean section in order to save the life of you and your baby”. I took a heavy breath and became really afraid of going to the theater to deliver my baby that in the given circumstance I had no choice.
I was wheeled into the theater and I woke up two weeks after delivery of my baby. I do remember trying to wake up from the anesthesia effect but that was all I can remember. Much of what happened afterward was narrated to me by my husband.
The surgery was successful and my baby was alive only he was underweight. And because I couldn’t breastfeed him since I was really sick myself, he was admitted to the special baby care unit.
Why did I need a caesarean section? What was the cause of the bleeding? I was told that I had Placenta Previa (When the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and bleeding occurs).
After delivery of my baby, I had eclampsia (Pregnancy induced high blood pressure that leads to seizure). Usually, a woman can experience preeclampsia during pregnancy which later leads to eclampsia. This characterized by swollen feet, high blood pressure. However, these signs did not present itself in the last trimester of my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my B.P went up after the CS that resulted in a seizure. All these I didn’t know and do not have a memory of. My husband prayed hard that I would survive and my doctors did their best to stabilize me.
After coming around two weeks after delivery, I still was very weak and needed some time to recuperate. Mostly my body had been starved of proper nutrition through pregnancy and I didn’t have enough stamina to even breastfeed. I was not to be discharged for another week and a half. My baby’s naming ceremony held one month after delivery!!
The two major birth complications that occurred (Placenta Previa & Pre-eclampsia) during the delivery of my baby are factors that have been the cause of many maternal deaths. I do not take lightly the blessing and mercy of been alive to tell my story and possibly help as many women from being endangered in such a way.
What Saved Me:
• Registering for antenatal and delivering at an equipped hospital with trained health personnel went a long way in prompt attendance to my emergency. Imagine if I had gone to give birth at a mission house or with a local mid – wife where they are ill equipped to manage my kind of emergency. It would have been a different story.
• My body was severely malnourished and starved of the required nutrient needed to carry a baby. Therefore the after effect of my falling ill after delivery. Even after being discharged from the hospital I needed to really feed and rest well before I regained my strength and weight again (Though I am naturally a slim person).
Ignorance is no excuse to dare consequences of not knowing what you should know. Please get registered for antenatal quickly as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
Read books on what expectant mothers should do in order to have a healthy baby and be healthy themselves.
Measures that helped me relax in between births
Managing after effects of my birth complication and Resting Well
I was advised to go for family planning in order to prevent me from getting pregnant too soon. My body was not ready for another pressure of carrying a baby.
It also afforded me the time needed to heal properly.
Three years down the line I became pregnant and this time I was ready. I even began to take folic acid and B-complex to boost my multivitamin level. I had learned my lessons and today I can sing this song:
I’m Alive today because God kept me…
Thanks to all my doctors and nurses who took care of me at that very trying period in my life and that of my family.
Photo Credit: mumjunction.com
Adebisi Adetunji (C)