First I would like to thank the Almighty God for giving me the strength to share my experience as well as appreciate you, Maryanne for giving me the platform to share my story for the first time since it happened in 2014.
My name is Jane Minoo. I am 29 years old and a Public Relations practitioner, based in Nairobi. In 2014, I got pregnant and being a first-time mom, the first thing I thought to do was to get a good hospital or gynecologist. My husband and I settled for the one who had a private clinic in town, and who we believed was the best (or so we thought).
The first three months of my pregnancy were smooth. I regularly saw my gynaecologist who assured me all was well. However, things started changing in the fourth month. I’d wake up in the morning with my face and feet considerably swollen. Interestingly, by 10.00am, the swelling would have gone away. When I mentioned this to my doctor, he checked me and assured me that I was fine.
I admit though that other issues were troubling me at the same time. I was a 4th year university student, and my job involved lots of travel. Balancing the two was not easy. In addition, my relationship with my in-laws at that time was not the best, plus there was also my husband to take care of. Add on to that a pregnancy that was becoming difficult. I would tell God to remember me because I felt I was losing it. It was tough.
Meanwhile, the swelling persisted, particularly in my feet. One day, my sister, a nurse, told me to ask my doctor if all was really well. She had become very concerned. I did so, and as usual he said I was fine. My colleagues also had their misgivings, telling me it was too early in the pregnancy to be experiencing that amount of swelling but I would assure them I was fine because my doctor had said so. I added a lot of weight due to the swelling, and my blood pressure also went up. My husband and I ignored all the warning from family and friends simply because our gynaecologist said I was okay. We didn’t know who to listen to so we chose to stick to what he said.
One day, at 26 weeks pregnant, I woke up as usual with swelling on my feet and face. My husband noticed that the swelling had increased, but we brushed it aside knowing that it would be gone by 10.00 am. We then both left for work. I lived far from work and had to connect three vehicles to get there. I remember being so tired with a severe headache that had been disturbing me for several days, but I nevertheless had to get to work (I was on contract basis).
When I got to bus stop, I noticed people (especially women) were staring at me. I felt weird. I kept checking my face on my wallet mirror and realized that the swelling had not gone down yet. I became alarmed. I experienced the stares and gazes from strangers all through my commute to work. When I got there, the receptionist saw me and shrieked, asking: “Jane….is this you? Are you okay?” Her (very shocked) reaction attracted everyone’s attention and they all looked at me. I started crying, as colleagues came to comfort me. They suggested that I see a doctor immediately.
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