Read one Kenyan mom’s story on her journey through motherhood – how she had a breech delivery of her first born at 8 months, how she arrived at the painful decision of terminating her second pregnancy after 24 weeks, and the rough patch that was the premature delivery… in the car… of her third pregnancy.
“My name is Jackie, I call my babies miracle babies because I delivered them in very miraculous circumstances.
My first born came at 8 months. It was a normal day and I was scheduled to go for clinic on that day, so after my town rounds I was very active. I went for check up only for the nurse to tell me that I was halfway dilated. It was now an emergency the doctors were called to stop the labour which I was not feeling, but all in vain as my water broke and I gave birth to my baby girl Hope Wanjiku Muriuki. She came legs first (breech) weighing 2.1 kgs and was put in the incubator for two days. We stayed in hospital for one week.
Four and half years later, I conceive my second born in December 2010. I was happy, despite the extreme and excessive spitting. I had to carry a cup everywhere to spit in. My appetite was down but all was well with my first ultra sound at three months. I soldiered on and at 24 weeks during the routine scan, I was shocked to be informed that my baby had hydrocephalus and spina bifida.
The shock was too much for me at first, I didn’t even know where to start. But the doctor advised me to terminate the pregnancy as soon as possible. Because nothing much could be done especially with spina bifida, as it would involve surgery and the baby had already stopped growing. I remember telling the doctor I needed to go and think and consult for a week because I had experienced a lot with this pregnancy. After talking to several medics and nurses, they all advised to terminate the pregnancy. I felt lost because I was wondering if I should terminate what God gave me, because to me it was like refusing a gift.
I was traumatized and the only person who could help me in this was God. Eventually, after a lot of soul searching I decided to terminate the pregnancy. And my walk with God starts there, not that I didn’t know God or pray but I think I kept on asking for help then helping him help me. This time round I told him from here henceforth the battle belongs to him, and as I was seeking him and was a bit lost, I conceived again after a month! I was elated and embraced the pregnancy fully.
It went well and I didn’t have any morning sickness – the only thing that made me remember I was pregnant was the bump. All was well until 28 weeks when I started experiencing pelvic pressure. I visited my gynae and he said everything was ok.
I remember it was 13th December 2011, I had an exam at 11.00 am and was in school by 8.30 am. I started feeling a bit uneasy and after a while I start throwing up. I called my husband to rush me to hospital. While on Thika road – around Pangani, there was a tight jam so we decided to branch to Muthaiga. On reaching Muthaiga shopping centre, I experienced a huge (rupture I guess) and the next thing I felt was a big ball between my legs. I slowly took a big shawl that looked like a blanket which I had with me and folded it nicely and put on the car seat. I squat on it and the next thing I saw was a baby crying on the car seat. I delivered my baby in the car.
By now we were past Aga Khan Hospital, so we drove back and the emergency team on that day did a good job receiving us without even asking for a penny. They stabilized the baby but could not remove the placenta manually as it was stuck. I was taken to the theatre after long time of trying manually (I would prefer to have 50 babies than have a placenta removed it’s very painful). The baby weighed 1.0 kgs but dropped to 900 grams.
The baby stabilized and for the first three days, he could breathe on his own but on the third day he was put in the incubator after having difficulty breathing. We stayed in Aga Khan for 1 month and since we had no cover and the bill was 1.7 million, we were transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital’s private wing where we stayed for another month and were finally discharged on the 10th February 2012 when baby was 2.0kgs.
This experience has made me know that there is a God in heaven and when you call on him faithfully he answers. For the first time in my life I feel at peace knowing God is on my side and he fights our battles – we just have to let him do it. I learnt that in all situations no matter how small or big, let go and let God. The baby Levy Wachira is now 7months growing well. We had a bill of 2.1 million and all was cleared by well wishers. My boss gave me 9 months leave and I’m now back to work. God is able let him sort you and don’t help him. God is faithful and he is happy and proud when we ask him for help.”
NB: This article was originally published in Supamamas, an events and info hub for Kenyan moms.