Safe Motherhood #4 – My Personal Eventful Birth Experience Prt 2

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).

mumjunction.com

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.

Lessons
• 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)

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12 Success Tips for Project Managers

What you need to manage that project well and achieve a measurable success:

1) write down a clear blueprint for the project – This is where you put down the aim/purpose of the project; what you hope to achieve.

2) Develop the blueprint, aims, and objectives of the project with the organization hiring you as the project manager. It is important that you the project manager is on the same page with the project’s commissioner. This will prevent a misunderstanding while carrying out the project.

3) Identify team members you need to carry out the project successfully.

4) Sell the aim of the project to your team members clearly. Let them have a buy-in and team members should be clear about their roles and expected delivery time.

5) Get team members involved in the planning stage of the step by step processes of execution of the project. This will help them to feel like they own the project. It will also give a clear picture of what is expected on the field while gathering data or fulfilling their part in the project.

6) Write a budget that will cover all expenses such as staff salaries, transportation, accommodation, the cost of field trips, the fee for contractors.

7) As a project manager assess the progress of the project against your timeline for execution by taking note of what isn’t working; what needs to be improved upon; achievement so far and how much work still needs to be done. Ensure that team members have reports for each stage ready and sent to you for preview.

8) Don’t forget to let the hiring organization know their own role in implementing the project such as access to information; key staff needed to provide necessary input to make implementation possible.

9) Draw and sign an agreement stating clearly what area of the project will be covered by you and your team; what area will be handled by the hiring organization; what you will not do. This will prevent incitement of extra cost that may arise from the employer suddenly wanting to saddle you with responsibilities that are not part of the project initially.

10) Be clear that the hiring organization is willing and ready to pay you for the execution of the project. Agree on fees, how and when it will be paid before commencing with the project. Get paid with a responsible mobilization Fee that will help run the project.

11) Have a measurable assessment plan in place: This will help to assess to what extent the project achieved its aims and objectives. This very important to know whether a project was successful. It will also help to determine whether to consolidate on the present achievements.

12) Be honest and pay your team members what you have agreed upon. Do not short change them. Make them happy as they are the ones who will help make a success of the project. This will, in turn, make you look good in the eyes of the hiring organization. Your recommendation score goes up.

Most importantly take on projects that match your skills and you are equipped to execute successfully. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Protect their Innocence : Happy Children’s Day Nigeria

Every child deserves a quality life.
Every child needs a safe place to live in and grow.
Every child should be provided with good and nutritious food.

Every child has a right to education.
Every child deserves to enjoy his/her childhood. Don’t saddle them with responsibilities meant for adults.

Every child is a gift and precious.
Every child is a blessing to our world. You never know who is endowed with the gift that will make our world better.

Protect your child
Nurture him/her well
Train them with the right values

Build a home that is safe and loving for your child to grow in.

My heart goes out to the parents, families and friends of children who were involved in the Manchester bombing. No parent should have to go through that; no child should have their lives snuffed out like that. May you be comforted on all sides. May our world be a safer place.

Happy Children’s Day.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Forgetting to be Grateful, Forgetting to be Happy now – How You can be happy with your Life.

Today is Yesterday’s Answered prayer.

Many times we are focused on things we desire to have and haven’t been able to get/acquire.
Many times we focus on our dreams and goals and forget to be happy with the little/big successes we have had.

I find myself complaining about my workplace and desire to have something better. And so instead of being grateful I whine and whine and lose my joy. I forgot that yesterday I prayed to have this job and I got it. Today is yesterday’s answered prayer.

Sometimes we compare ourselves to what others have and forget that some other people wish to have what you have. Be happy with what you have and where you are as you hope and Trust God to give you a better tomorrow.

So you are single and feeling lonely? Worse still all your friends and nieces you took care of while growing up have gotten married. You are even helping to nurse their babies and sometimes tears drop and you wish you had yours; look around you there is so much to your life that you can be grateful for.

Your child is physically challenged and you struggle daily to take care of him/her. You wish yours was a “normal” child who can fend for himself. God knows about your struggles and He has been standing right there helping you by bringing people and resources to help that child. Be grateful, be happy and celebrate what you have for then you will see hope rising. There is always a higher and better purpose.

So your marriage is turbulent and possibly didn’t work out. Painful I know but be grateful; be happy for everything works out for good to them that believe even if it was your fault. Be happy, be grateful for a better tomorrow will happen for you.

How can I say it? I simply am grateful and choose to be joyful and I want you too, reading this to be.

Your happiness is not in getting that new dream job
Your happiness and joy are not in that relationship you so much crave.

Your happiness is not tomorrow
It is today, be Happy now.

Enjoy your everyday life (Joyce Meyer)

If you can’t enjoy your today; you might still not be happy tomorrow when your desires come true. It is about seeing today’s blessings even if they are small. Choose to celebrate today and all your blessings.

Change is coming and there will never be an end to what you want to achieve.

Today is Yesterday’s answered prayer.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman to Woman Talk #3 – If it is not a Diamond Ring then Nothing….

A girl graduates from college and sets her heart on settling down with the man of her dream. One should be clear about the kind of man one would like to marry. There is nothing wrong with writing down a few things about what you will like to see in the man you want to spend the rest of your life with. A typical list- A tall, handsome, six packs guy….hmmmn nice look! Then he has to have a Cadillac car, own his own business, and have a yacht and an airplane to fly you around the world in. Fantastic! Some girls are lucky to marry a prince or rich tycoon and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a good dream …money will not be a problem! A friend said he prefers six digits to six packs… 😀 Lol

However, girl, there are other indices to consider when considering the kind of man you will like to settle down with. I met a few ladies who say that their man has to be rich before they can wear his ring. What happens if he spoils you with all the money in the world but does that to many other women in his life…you are only wearing the ring plus he is always never around flying across the world doing business.

I am wondering …who says you can’t be rich as a woman. Is there a law against that…certainly no? Do not measure the comfort you can have in life by what a man can offer you.

In the name of looking for a rich guy some ladies have passed off would be billionaires just because they are not looking like it right now.

What you need is an honest, God-fearing and Kind man whether he has money or not.

Work hard, have big dreams and you can be successful too. The right man who will appreciate, love and respect you will come your way.

Don’t sell yourself, short woman. A man’s character is not defined by the money in his pocket. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Safe Motherhood #3: My Personal Eventful Birth Story Prt 1 – Before You Get pregnant

Lending my voice to creating awareness about Safe motherhood I will be doing a few posts on my personal eventful birth story and also share how women can have a safe journey through pregnancy and delivery by preparing ahead even while a single.

The beginning of my own story:

Whenever a couple decides to tie the knot or make a lifetime commitment in Marriage their families say prayers of fruitfulness for them. In Nigeria, you will hear parents and even their pastor offer prayers of twins and triplets if possible.

Often people prepare you for other aspects of marriage but no one talks to the couple about what to do when they are expecting a baby. No one would tell them how to manage the period of pregnancy. As a lady, my eating habits left much to be desired. Often I will only eat a little meal and then of course loads of junk food was the order of the day. I had no idea what this would later mean to my health.

When I got married to my beloved husband or Boo as is the trend now I was excited and happy. We were contented even though we both earned a meager salary. Our mothers will often call and ask how we were doing. By that, they meant, “are you pregnant yet?” My husband and I will laugh and tell them to keep praying and hopefully, soon they would be grandmas.

One day I started to feel dizzy and my stomach won’t just settle and the first thing I wanted to do was confirm if I was pregnant. We were advised thankfully not to take any drugs until we confirm with our doctor. You know newlyweds don’t know sometimes that when the woman is not feeling too good she might be pregnant. And so such a woman will assume it is a case of malaria or other mild illness and begin to take drugs that will end up harming her baby and herself.

The funny thing was that I went for a scan and didn’t go for the usual urine or blood test. There I saw my active baby swimming all around. I became excited and then the doctor conducting the scan said madam there is a little problem.

My heart sank. My doctor said my baby was growing with multiple fibroids around my uterus. I was scared but she allayed my fears that since it didn’t prevent me from getting pregnant my baby can still grow normally and be delivered safely.

And so the journey through pregnancy began. My first three months was unexpectedly not turbulent as I went about my normal business going to work and doing every other thing. Still, I wasn’t eating well neither did I register for antenatal care where I could have gotten the necessary information about kinds of rich foods for an expectant mother. Instead, I was eating things like cereal, cornflakes and no serious meals.

When my pregnancy clocked four months the battle began. I became very ill and couldn’t retain any food. You would expect that we would immediately go to the hospital but we were managing the whole situation at home. Our excuse was that we did not have money to go to a private hospital and the general government hospital was on strike.

I was barely eating for three months so it was not until 7 months into the pregnancy that I was able to feel well but my baby had not received the needed nutrition for his development in the womb. Finally, I was able to register for antenatal but rather late.

Wait until you hear about my traumatic delivery experience that almost cost the life of my baby and me in the next post about safe motherhood.

Lessons from My Story

  • Develop a good healthy eating habit now.
  • If you experience distress or fall ill during pregnancy do not stay at home, get to the hospital to see a doctor. A simple drip to help return body fluid I had lost while vomiting continuously could have helped to stabilize me. Also, my doctor would have prescribed something to stop the vomit.
  • Get medical help at a Primary Health center if you cannot afford the secondary or Tertiary government hospital. They are cheaper and almost free.

 

Before You Get Pregnant:

Now is the time to eat right as a single lady or as a couple who plans to have a baby. Your body needs to have all the necessary nutrients because in pregnancy you and your baby will need a double dose to be healthy.

Junk foods and sweets look juicy and feel tasty but they provide nothing useful to your body. Avoid them as they can increase your blood sugar level.

What to eat now that you are not pregnant:

  • Lots of fruits and vegetable – Carrots, Apple, Pineapple, Pawpaw, Water Melon, Ugwu leaf, Green(Efo tete) (Vegetables)
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt are rich in calcium
  • Foods rich in protein such as beans, fish, meat, egg. For Nigerians, if you do not really like beans, make akara and moimoi. These will still provide you with the much-needed protein.

Eat healthy to have a healthy baby. And seriously you need to be healthy yourself as a mother.

Know your health status before getting pregnant so that your health care provider can know how to properly manage you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

 

12 Factors that makes a Woman Susceptible to Obstetric Fistula, Prevention & Care (Safe Motherhood #2)

Mama sat at the bedside of her daughter looking dejected at the hospital. She prays hard that God will save her daughter from this affliction that left them all in open disgrace and embarrassment. Her daughter had just put to bed but her vagina was leaking with urine. The young lady had sustained an injury during a mismanaged childbirth and was later brought to the hospital. Mama is burdened with caring for her daughter and newborn as the girl’s husband had abandoned them. He couldn’t cope with the mess as he referred to it. Mama believed that somebody had bewitched her daughter but at the hospital, she finds out that there is hope for her daughter. She prays hard that the surgery to the injury will work but also worry about raising enough money to pay for it.
This young lady has what is known as Obstetrics Fistula which occurred during childbirth with unskilled birth attendants: A sad story but hopeful.

The international Fistula awareness day comes up every 23rd May and this year’s theme is tagged: Hope, Healing & Dignity to us All.

Obstetrics Fistula is an abnormal hole in the bladder or rectum as a result of a traumatic birth experience. Urine drains uncontrollably through that hole to the vagina. It can also be termed to mean injury sustained in difficult childbirth or a birth not properly attended to.
Fistula occurs mostly in younger people (under 18 years) not old enough to give birth.

Factors that makes someone susceptible to Obstetrics Fistula:
1. Children below age 18 getting pregnant are a risk as their birth canal is not big enough for a baby. The injury is usually sustained during childbirth.
2.  Labor that is not managed properly especially when there is an obstruction. This is a situation a baby is too big to pass through the birth canal.
3. When a woman presents a breech baby she can sustain an injury during delivery or in the process of trying to assist her.
4.  During the operation of a woman to remove her womb probably because of fibroid mistakes can occur and she sustains an injury.
5.  Unskilled birth attendants in the rural or urban area can put a pregnant woman at risk of Fistula injury.
6. Quacks carrying out a caesarean section can injure the bladder or vagina of a woman.
7. Cancer of the neck of the womb can also erode into the bladder leading to Fistula.
8.  Female Genital Mutilation (Female Circumcision) could cause injury to the bladder. Also, infections may occur in patients not given any antibiotic after FGM. This infection can erode into the bladder and vagina.
9. Women who in an attempt to treat Fibroid or abort through herbal means take caustic materials are at risk of sustaining an injury in their vagina and bladder leading to Fistula.
10.  In some cultural or family practices where women are not allowed to go to the hospital to give birth but instead are required to give birth at home with spiritual chants, when there is an obstruction such women are at risk of Fistula injury.
11.  Lack of funds/poverty prevents people from going to safe hospitals to give birth. Stillbirth may occur and in an attempt to deliver the mother of the baby an injury can occur.
12. In remote villages/places distance to the hospital denies women access to proper care and therefore are exposed to quacks to monitor their labor. This is dangerous.

Prevention of Fistula:
Integration of family planning to reduce the number of abortion by quacks helps to reduce fistula cases.
Training and updating midwives to be able to detect when there is going to be a problem with a pregnant woman’s delivery. Such women are referred on time to a hospital equipped to care for them.
Provision of Maternity Health centers in remote areas will enable women to have access to proper maternal care.
Preventing underage marriage
Sex and health education of teenage girls to keep them from engaging the services of quacks to do abortion.
Health education on the importance of pregnant women registering with hospitals for proper care.
Government making maternal care cheaper or even free.

Why Fistula should be eradicated
A leak of urine or faeces through the vagina leaves the woman psychological traumatized and physically incapacitated. She cannot go to work or go about her business for fear of the smell and stigmatization. Therefore she is economically handicapped. This will also affect the income of her family and her wellbeing.
Some women have been abandoned by their husbands because he could not cope with the trouble of his wife wetting the bed and smell. This further affects her well-being and that of the family.

The Good news is that Fistula is repairable. Many do not know that this is possible. Share with a woman with a Fistula today that her case is treatable.
Right now the University Teaching College Hospital and Adeoyo in Ibadan are offering free Fistula treatment. It is from 22nd May – 26th May 2017.

Fistula is Preventable; It is treatable

Apart from the opening story and conclusion, this article was drawn from points on an interview with a team from the Engendered Health (NGO) and members from Ministry of Health in Oyo state on the radio station Premier F.M 93.5 in Ibadan on the 23rd May 2017.


The team includes:
Prof. Oladosu Ojengbede – Chief Surgeon Obstetrics & gynecologist UCH.
Dr. Doyin Bello (Gynaecologist)
Mrs. Olajumoke Adekogba (Rep. Engendered Health – Fistula Care Plus (USAID)
Mrs. Oluwakemi Olawoyin( Rep. Commissioner for Health)

Adebisi Adetunji (C)