I still remember that day vividly as though it were yesterday. I tried to take a step but the pains in the pit of my tummy hindered me from moving a muscle. The only muscles I could move were those on my face that worked together to portray anguish. I tried yet again but I was stuck. I bent my back involuntarily and moaned lightly. My younger sister got perturbed and in the split of a second, I saw her move from exhilaration to exasperation.
“Aunty, what is happening to you?” she asked with a shaky voice. (For some reason, my younger sisters call me Aunty).
I had no answer for her because I was asking myself the exact question. She turned to my mom,
“Mummy, what is happening to Aunty Pre?”
My mom quickly cooked up an answer for her:
“Don’t worry, Mum. These things happen to women who have children. Don’t worry she will be fine.”
The answer my mom quickly cooked didn’t feed our little “Mum’s” curiosity. As I kept on in my futile attempts to walk, I could see the tears welling up in my sisi’s eyes. My tummy was in turmoil. It was like five invisible scissors were being used to make horizontal cuts across my belly. After the drama caused by pain during my first birth experience
, this was the second time that pain was causing me to stage a play un-willfully. Worse still, this time around I had a bigger audience. My audience consisted of friends and family members like us who had come to spend time with students at the Presbyterian Secondary School, Mankon.
It was the official visiting Sunday at the boarding secondary school located in Bamenda, the capital city of Cameroon’s North West region. I cheerfully went visiting with my Mom, Dad, younger sister and girl number one who was a 9 month old baby at the time. Little did I know that my cheers will quickly turn into tears.
That morning, I had noticed I had an unusual menstrual flow as I took my bath in preparation for church service. Sorry if I get a bit graphic here… the blood from my lady parts had very dark clots in them. I had never seen anything like that since I hit puberty. Though I didn’t feel even the slightest pain, I was distraught. So instead of heading first to church, I went to a mission hospital- the same hospital where I had my first baby
I was greeted at the hospital by some light-mooded Reverend Sisters who suggested that I got admitted. I told them I had an issue that needed urgent attention. They told me since it was a Sunday, there was no doctor on duty. They asked me to register at the hospital and get admitted as an in-patient to be seen on Monday. I felt their suggestion was senseless. What was the use of lying on a hospital bed for several hours with no doctor to see you? Was I supposed to depend on the air in the hospital wards for answers/healing?
I probed them further and discovered that the hospital pharmacy was closed and there was no hope of getting any treatment if needed on that day. I advised myself and hurriedly gallivanted from the hospital premises and boarded a taxi to church for service. I was strong, sassy and sanguine and I was not going to let any misguided hospital staff put me down. I entered the church, clad in an old-fashioned pink skirt paired with something in the form of a blouse and found my way to the back pew where I sat with other mami pikins (nursing mothers). I was upset that I had missed my favourite part of the service, which was Praise and Worship yet I sat hoping to enjoy what was in store from me.
From service, I went to my parents’ home where I lodged at the time. Mr N. was at his work station in a neighbouring country, Equatorial Guinea. In his absence I lived with my parents to evade loneliness. I narrated my strange blood flow to my Mom and she didn’t consider it anything serious. I took a nap that afternoon in preparation to visit my sister, Faith, fondly called “Mum” at her school. When I woke up from the nap, I felt blood gush out of me. Still, I felt no pain. So I cleaned up, put on a pair of trousers (pants in American English) and a glittering blouse and off I went to see little sis.
I had not foreseen that my visit will lead to this session of agonising. There was I at the school campus flanked by fellow visitors, struggling to do a simple thing, struggling to take a step. As I saw the tears in my sister’s eyes, I knew my situation didn’t look good. The pains were excruciating and I was determined to go somewhere and see a doctor. I staggered to my Dad’s car where I managed to find comfort in the back seat.
We drove off and made the first stop at a nearby private hospital with a huge building that stood out on the street where it lay. The nurse on duty asked me to sit and she struggled to take my temperature and do the regular things they did to patients. By this time, I was shaking, twisting my body and turning and the bleeding was getting heavier and heavier. My uncontrollable shaking caused the thermometer that was put in my armpit to fall to the ground and broke into pieces. Ooops! The nurse was enraged and she didn’t hide it. I had more pressing issues to deal with than sooth an angered nurse over a broken thermometer. My bleeding had thoroughly soaked the pad I was wearing and had begun to soak my trousers. A quick inquiry revealed that there was no doctor on-duty. I had to leave for another hospital.
We zoomed to a nearby clinic. This time, the building was not outstanding but lost in the array of buildings on that street. As I staggered into the house with pale-looking walls, I was hopeful that my solution lied within those walls. Hope stared at me in the face when the nurse at the inquiry desk announced that the Doctor who doubled as a Gynecologist was present. I queued up to see him. This time, blood was permeating my trousers and painting the hospital bench. It was a sore sight.
As I switched to a bench closer to the doctor’s office door, drizzles of blood followed me. Does embarrassment come any worse than this? Finally, I got into the doctor’s office and after he asked me a few questions and got some answers, he unquivocally announced, “You are having an inevitable abortion.” Those words… I lack words to describe how those words entered my ears then my heart and my whole being.
He took me to another room and had me lie down on an examination bed where quick check into my uterus took the maddening pain away. He told me I needed to have a D & C
to properly remove the remains of the foetus in me. He said he was not going to do that until I brought a deposit of 30,000 CFA Frs ( about $60). We left and in a few minutes, we were back with the required deposit.
For the first time in my life, I went into a theatre. I saw the doctor introduce strange instruments into me. I let out loud screams. At the end of the day, I went home with the knowledge that I had lost a pregnancy I never even knew existed. I was shell-shocked and utterly devastated.
Moreover, I was mortified to have been found pregnant when my first baby was just 9 months and still feeding on breast milk. How could I have been doing “that thing” when my baby was still so young? I felt guilty about thinking that my pregnancy was too early. I blamed myself for the miscarriage. Maybe I worked too hard. Maybe I was too stressed at the time. Maybe I could do something to prevent it. Maybe, just maybe!
Till date, the thought of having lost a baby via a miscarriage lingers with me. No, it wasn’t just a foetus- it was life, a real person, my baby, my seed. I wonder if that human being was a boy or a girl. I wonder what he/she could have looked like. I miss my baby. We never had a chance to play and laugh together. The years pass and I think of how old my baby would have been. We never got to celebrate milestones together. If it is true that all babies lost via miscarriages go to Heaven then God please take care of my baby. Tell he/she that I love him/her.
In my last two pregnancies, I have had the constant fear of having another miscarriage. Each time I felt an unusual pain, I shivered. Carrying a pregnancy till the end is a huge reason to be thankful. One too many women don’t carry their pregnancies to the end. And when that happens, they are deeply hurt. If you loose a baby, please take time to grieve so you can heal. I found these words that could provide some comfort:
Babies lost in the womb were NEVER touched by fear… They were NEVER cold…NEVER hungry… NEVER alone and importantly ALWAYS knew LOVE – sayinggoodbye.org
If you have lost a baby before, please share your experience in the comments below. You could be anonymous if you wish but please don’t be silent. Someone out there needs to know that they are not alone. Someone needs to hear your story, our story. Thank you for reading.
Thank God you had the chance to be pregnant again I just wished it was the same in my case .I was pregnant 4 times and lost 3 Babys on this road because of Pre eclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in my urin) Each time at 25 weeks the pregancy was terminated at the clinic
The last time it happened it was 2006 since then I kept trying to be pregnant again with no success
I’ve lost faith in life ,my body and God
I feel so sad when one of my friends or collegues is welcoming a new life
I can’t even look when couples are walking in front of me with their kids
Am I a monster ??? My miracle isn’t coming and each day passing I’m getting older
Hi Decasy, I just said a prayer for you dear. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for you all these years. May God give you all the love and comfort you need. I pray He blesses you with your own babies. Please choose joy always. Don’t let this steal your joy. Your life can be beautiful, you can enjoy a vibrant relationship with God, you can enjoy life in spite of your situation. God is faithful. May the God who did it for Sarah do it for you.
waoh what an interesting story. This is my own experience i would love to share. In September 2015 i also lost a pregnancy i never knew i had. I was sick i had malaria. i went to a pharmacy and bought drugs. When i got home i took this drugs for a couple of days but no improvement. so a satuday i got up with the idea of going to the hospital. But i realised i was feeling better. i decided to do all my house chorses. I remember my husband kept on reminding me about the trip to the hospital and i kept telling him once am done with work i will go. (we were newly wedded that is some 6 weeks old inside marriage). At about 5pm i was done with my work. I prepared myself for the hospital. When we got to the hospital, after the usual parameters taken by the nurses and the lab. I was informed i had malaria and i was pregnant. I was surprise about the pregnancy. I was advice to stop taking the drugs i have been taking already for days and that the next day i should come and see the doctor in person (for there was no Doctor on seat when we got to the hospital). We went back home. In the night i realised i was bleeding at about 11pm. it was painless. so i didnt take it serious. So the next day we went back to the hospital. when we got there my temperature was more than 40 degree. The doctors were all worrried. They struggled to in vain to search for my vain to put drips. But the search was not an easy one. This is because i was OBESE. i was weighing more than 140kg. Finanly the got the vain. I had drips the temperature droped BUT THE BLEEDING WAS STILL THERE. The doctors tried in vain for close to two weeks to stop the bleeding. But no way. finally after an ecography i was decided a D and C be performed. For the bleeding was coming out now in lumps. After the D and C the doctor adviced me to drop weight before i concieve again. For it was very dangerous to conceive with that kind of weight… Some months after that i began my WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY at 160kg. journey was not an easy one. Many times i stubbled and fell BUT JUS THE TAUGHT OF ME HAVING A HITCH FREE AND HEALTHY PREGNANCY will make me RAISE UP AND CONTINUE THE JOURNEY. Today i have loss more than 70kg. AND am so proud of myself. In December 2017 while in Bamenda for my annual leave, i went to the market one early morning. When i got to food market, one guy was opening a new bail of OKRICA dresses for new borns. I was moved to buy and i bought so many of them. Almost a box ful. When i got to my base in Ngaoundere (for that is were i work) i kept them at a friends house. I didnt want my husband to see them. i wanted to use them to annonce to him am pregnant when the time comes. From January 2018 to May 2018 i kept buying baby stuffs BY FAITH. And FAITH DID SMILE ON ME. In June i conceive. i was so happy. i informed my husband he was so happy about it. Our joy was SHORT LIFT. By July ending i started bleedding again i went to the hospital another D and C was performed again. I asked so many questions in TEARS that day. The doctors adviced me to do a proper medical check up. So am still planing to do it………..I STILL BELIEVE GOD WILL VISIT ME ONE DAY WITH CHILDREN FOR I STILL HAVE HOPE IN GOD……….
Hi Rita, thanks for blessing me with your story, dear. I pray God blessed you with more children. He is able!
I went to my last doctor’s visit to schedule an enducement date for the following week since I was full term. The words “Oh my God, I can’t find a heart beat” will never leave my head. I haven’t been able to get pregnant since then but hopeful that I will one day.
It is incredibly hard to lose a child. I pray you find healing, dear. Sending hugs and prayers your way. God’s got you.
Shuu I was so excited about my pregnancy (4th one though mom to 2 trusting God to conceive again) First appointment with the OBGYN he did the scan so the baby was still tiny couldn’t determine how far we were. He told us to come in a month’s time. Two days before our appointment I started bleeding not too much I didnt think too much of it ,the next day just droplets , then the day of our appointment came, we went to the examination room we were chatting with the Doctor you know small talk ,he did the scan then suddenly he was silent the silence was worrying he was pressing this pressing that not saying a word , Im thinking please say something then he said he needs to do a pelvic exam he stepped out into his office whilst I got ready for the pelvic exam , he did the exam and found that I had a huge fibroid and the positioning of it was not good it was not giving the baby enough room to grow and preventing oxygen and nutrients , worse part he could not detect the heartbeat the baby was 7 weeks and 4 days . He sent me to the lab for a test to confirm if the weeks on the scan corresponds with the blood test results. He told us to come back next week to see if the heartbeat would be detected . We went home, the next day I started bleeding and was woken up by sharp pains went to the loo was bleeding more , the pains were getting intense like contractions they would come and go , when the pains came it felt like my abdomen was about to explode I’ve never in my entire life felt such pain , I cried and woke hubby told him we needed to go to the hospital , they attended to me whilst on the bed I bled so much my pants were soaking wet the sheets were soaked with blood and I could feel something coming out , and I knew that I dont want to see what came out it would have been traumatic . It was confirmed that I miscarried and needed to go to theater for D&C as well as Myomectomy . No one knew how much I cried , oooh my baby how I longed for you, how I wished for you, how I prayed for you , how I wanted you . I didnt think it would end in tears of sadness .