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Preeclampsia in Kenya: I Was Scared of Getting Pregnant Again because of my Previous Preeclampsia Experience” -Lucy Morangi

Lucy Morangi with her daughter.

Mummy Tales endeavors to create awareness on issues of maternal health, and I have over the last two months been raising awareness on a pregnancy-related condition called preeclampsia -a condition that can be fatal for both mother and baby. It is indeed important for all of us to be knowledgeable about this condition, as we can help save the lives of our sisters, aunts, moms, cousins, granddaughters, colleagues and friends. Today, 37 year-old Lucy Morangi shares her brush with preeclampsia. Read on…

“I am blessed to have three children; two boys and a little girl. But my story will focus on the first and third child. Not because my second delivery was boring, but because the first and third births gave me first-hand experiences with preeclampsia.

My first pregnancy was 2007 and at that time I was working in the sales department of an internet service provider. It was a difficult time for my husband and I as we found ourselves expecting our first born while we were both economically unprepared. Our finances were not good –we were really hustling. Nevertheless, we were happy for the blessing of a baby. The pregnancy went well –until I got to the seventh month.

During my ante-natal clinic visit for that month, I noticed that my feet had started showing signs of swelling.  The other regular checks; my blood pressure and urine tests were fine, since there was no notable rise in my pressure nor traces of increased protein in my urine according to the doctor. However, there are times I would hear something like a pressing, singing noise in my ears, followed by the rhythmic beat of my heart in a heavy, slow, deep way.  I never really took deep concern about this, though I now realize that it was a mistake, since I should have paid more attention.

Also Read: “The Day I Almost Lost my Life” -Caroline Gachii

As the pregnancy progressed, my feet gradually became oversized and could not fit into my shoes anymore. That was when I really got concerned. However, experienced mothers around me told me that the swelling was normal, that it was just the normal pressure down the pelvic area due to gravity from my descending baby. I was advised to ease up on my office work –sales work that would see me walk up and down all day long looking for clients.

I remember around that time my husband urging me to see the doctor again, even though I was not due for another ante-natal visit. We had no money for this at the time but I yielded to his demand and reluctantly visited the clinic believing they would carry out simple, inexpensive tests. I went to a clinic in the middle of Nairobi’s town center. The doctor took a quick look at my swollen feet and told me that the baby’s head was the cause of the swelling, but that if I wanted, she could take my blood pressure. Taking my blood pressure would cost me money -money that I didn’t have at the time, so I declined her offer to have my blood pressure taken and went home.

A few weeks later and walking on feet three size bigger, I was one day woken up by a throbbing headache. It was about three in the morning so I sat up and watched television to pass time. I was also vomiting and had slight cramps. This did not worry me much since I still had three weeks to my due date. As the morning sun shone brighter, so did the cramps and my headache. We decided to go to hospital before I went to work. If only I knew the events of the day that would follow…

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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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