I requested for some days off from my boss, which she gave without hesitation. At a nearby hospital, my blood pressure reading was high (210/110), with the doctor advising that I had to be admitted immediately. But I told her that I needed to talk to my gynaecologist first, which I did. She called my gynaecologist and all he said to her was: “give her something and let her go home. I will see her tomorrow”. He then switched off his phone.

I called my husband, and we agreed that I take the medication as per the gynaecologist’s directive and go home. As the hospital doctor gave me the prescribed medication, she kept insisting that I shouldn’t leave the hospital. She nevertheless requested that once I got near home, I pass by a chemist first to get my blood pressured checked again, and if it was still high, I return to the hospital immediately. I agreed and left the hospital.

Jane Minoo, a preeclampsia survivor.
Jane Minoo, a preeclampsia survivor.

The journey home was not easy. The headache was unbearable. I followed the doctor’s instructions and together with my husband, we got my pressure reading at a chemist near home. The pharmacist was not pleased with the results. My blood pressure was high. He urged me to see a doctor. We went home and I sat on the couch as my husband prepared something for us to eat.

Suddenly, I felt like I was on fire. I started vomiting nonstop. My head was burning. We got a taxi and returned to the hospital. I was admitted, but had to wait for the doctor on call who apparently was in another hospital at that time. Meanwhile, I was put on a drip which reduced the pain I was feeling in my stomach. We waited for 6 hours before he finally showed up. By that time, my head was exploding.

The doctor checked on me and requested for a scan the following morning, which showed the baby was okay. Following the scan, I didn’t see the doctor again until 9.00pm at night, where he instructed I continue with the medication. This was the second day in the hospital and my head was still throbbing. My headache would just not go away. I remember my husband would place a wet “kitambaa” on my forehead and it would dry up so fast. Family, friends, workmates kept wondering why I wasn’t being attended to well and at some point, my family suggested I be transferred to another hospital, but the doctor, who as usual came at 9.00pm, turned down their request.

One week went by. I was sitting for my final exams at the same time, and so I would leave the hospital, do my exams and return to the hospital. The doctor had instructed the hospital to give me the permission to do so. One Saturday, I woke up feeling much better. I was sitting for the final paper that morning so I left as usual. I was upbeat, and we were hopeful that I’d be discharged that day. I finished my exams and got back to the hospital at around noon. The nurses came to listen to the baby’s heartbeat but they couldn’t hear it. I was sent for a scan.

Related: “I Spent Almost Half of my Pregnancy in Tears!” -Mary Naanyu

During the scan, my husband and I both remember hearing baby’s heartbeat. But as we returned to the ward, something felt amiss. We kept asking for the results, but the nurses were very evasive. I became very uneasy and started suspecting that something was wrong. My fears were confirmed when at 6.00pm, my husband and I were called to a room and told that our baby’s heartbeat could not be detected, and that my blood pressure had gone down. Things weren’t looking good.

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