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Motherhood in Kenya: I Lost my Baby at 37 Weeks Pregnant. This is What Happened” –June Mbithe Muli’s Story

Mbithe giving her presentation to former US President Barrack Obama during his Kenya visit in 2015 :)

One evening, when 38-year-old June Mbithe Muli was working on her laptop at home, she suddenly felt a sweeping cold rush through her body. She froze, puzzled.

At that time, Mbithe was 37 weeks pregnant with her third child.

Earlier that day, she had engaged in regular activities at work and after getting home at 6pm, she’d taken a shower and spent the evening with her two older children -8 year-old Victor and 3 year-old Makena.

As was routine, she had helped them with their homework, ensured they had bathed, had their dinner, and had read them bedtime stories before tucking them into bed. After that, she’d sat down to finish some work on her laptop before calling it a day. That was when she felt the sudden cold rush sweep through her body…

At State House Girls

…Today, I’ll share Mbithe’s story with you but before then, let me tell you how I know her. Mbithe and I met in Form One donkey years ago. We were classmates the entire four years of high school -Stato. She was good in Math, geography, sciences and basically all other subjects; me I was good in writing compositions and telling tales 🙂

Mbithe and I have always had a special bond –it could be because we were actually born in the same year, in same month, on the same day. We’ve always called each other ‘twin sisters’. It’s been over 20 years since high school, and twin sis and I have always been in touch.

Beautiful Mbithe

Mbithe currently works in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, overseeing operations as Deputy GM. I was so proud of her when I saw photos of her giving a presentation to former US President Barrack Obama two years ago when he’d come over.

Six months ago, Mbithe went through quite a heart-breaking experience. She lost her baby. We met for coffee the other day at Java Adams and today I share her story with you, as she narrated it to me, amid tears from both me and her.

Diabetes in Pregnancy

“I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008 and since then, I’ve been managing it well. I must inject myself twice a day with insulin for purposes of regulating my blood sugars.

As a diabetic woman, my pregnancies are delicate and I have to be well-managed by my doctor. When pregnant, I’ve always had to increase my regular insulin intake. I am also always keen on ensuring I have a vaginal birth, since diabetics and wounds don’t go well. With that in mind, I’ve always watched what I eat, and engaged in safe pregnancy activity –including lots of walking to increase my chances of a vaginal birth as opposed to undergoing a caesarean section.

Read more: Diabetes and Pregnancy

My first-born Victor was born healthy at 38 weeks, weighing 3.9kgs in 2009. My daughter Makena also came in healthy at 38 weeks, weighing 3.3kgs. That was in 2013.

My third pregnancy was similarly without incident, as I was on my regular medication and remained as active as possible. At 37 weeks, I began the process of handing over my work duties because of my impending maternity leave. Since both Victor and Makena had arrived at 38 weeks, I figured I would deliver my third baby at the same time, and so I needed to clear my desk and hand over before then.

A happy Mbithe takes a selfie during her third pregnancy with Ethan.

The Mysterious Cold Rush Feeling

And that’s exactly what I was doing that Monday evening –at 37 weeks pregnant, when I felt the sudden cold rush sweep through my body after putting my kids to bed. It was strange, because while the weather in Dar es Salaam was hot, I started shivering, enough to make me put on a cardigan –something I’d never done for the over two years I’d been in Dar.

My husband was similarly concerned, but after about 10 minutes, the cold I was feeling went away as suddenly as it had come. I decided to sleep immediately after that. I had attended my regular antenatal clinic just three days before, where I’d been given a clean bill of health so I figured maybe I was just anxious about the birth and becoming a new mom again.

Related Article: Maternity Leave in Kenya: 90 Working Days or 90 Calendar Days?

The following day was equally busy at work, what with my handover issues. I was back home as usual by 6pm. But as I was bonding with my children, I started touching my belly and asking myself –how many times had baby kicked that day?

I couldn’t exactly remember because it had been a really busy day at the office, walking around, attending different meetings and making necessary arrangements for my maternity leave absence. I decided I would call my doctor the following day, just in case.

No Foetal Hearbeat

When I called my doctor the following day, she asked when I had last felt the baby kick. But the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that I was actually drawing a blank.

I held my tummy as I tried to remember, but I was just couldn’t. It had been a crazy time at the office and I’d been engaged in so many activities, and the more I thought about it, the more I started panicking. I just couldn’t remember when I’d last heard baby kick. The doctor asked me to go see her at the hospital immediately.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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