“My baby developed infant jaundice. The results revealed that the baby’s infant jaundice was caused by poor feeding. A week after birth is when we finally took the baby to hospital… The pediatrician was constantly on my neck asking why it took so long for us to bring the baby to hospital…”
Looking back, I remember Monday the 4th April 2016 like it was yesterday. I was in the office, working as usual, my full belly touching my desk. Treasured movements that I was already used to were happening in my belly, they reminded me of the great phase of life that awaited me. It had been a long journey, one that I hadn’t prepared for but one that I learnt to embrace from day one.
I noticed some streak of blood
On that day, during my very frequent trips to the ladies, I noticed some streak of blood. I was alarmed, shocked and very disturbed to say the least. Was I about to miscarry? Had I strained too much during the weekend (you see, I had spent my weekend baby shopping and running other small errands).
I called my sister and she advised me to immediately see my doctor. So I called my taxi guy who rushed me to hospital just near my work place. On arrival, I was sent to the maternity ward for a check up. They wanted to find out if I had dilated. To my shock the doctor told me that I was already 2cm dilated!
About to give birth at 37 weeks
Well, how can I begin to explain my my disbelief; two centimeters already? So I asked again, just to confirm. And yes, I was 2cm dilated and about to give birth to my baby at 37 weeks.
Actually I wasn’t sure of how to react; I cried and laughed in disbelief. It was too soon; that’s how I felt. And I was not mentally ready for my baby’s birth. I kept asking the doctor so many questions – like, why was I not in any pain, why my waters hadn’t broken, if indeed I was about to give birth.
These are the unusual stories we hear every day about child birth, I thought. Then I called my mum who was equally shocked. She was in the village, I was in Nairobi. If there was an airport at Nyeri, am sure she would have taken the first flight here. Unfortunately not!
Doctor advised me head straight to Kenyatta National Hospital
Anyway, after calming down and calling almost everyone in my family all of whom were far away, I asked the doctor for the way forward. She advised me to go back home, get my clothes and those of my baby plus any other requirements and head straight to Kenyatta National Hospital. ‘Ati Kenyatta?’, I asked her not sure I had heard right. ‘Why should I go to Kenyatta and this is the hospital I had booked for baby’s birth?’
Now, it turned out that my preferred hospital did not have enough facilities in case there should be an emergency during or after birth!!! And since mine was a premature birth, they didn’t want to take chances!
So I did exactly that. I remember the taxi guy asking me several times, ‘When we go to Kenyatta I will wait for you so that I can bring you back home, right?’ Laughing, I would answer him, ‘I will not be going home today, may be in the next few days. I will just give you a call.’ Then he would respond, ‘Si you are just going for check up, you don’t look like you are going to have a baby?’ He was a mature man, his wife had already given birth to three kids and am sure he was wondering why I was not writhing in pain; since I had no sign of labour in me, no one could guess that I was going to give birth that very day.
I even managed to go to my bank to get some cash and go shopping for some few items that I hadn’t purchased! It was just my normal self doing my errands, all by myself.
I was put on a drip
On arrival, I went straight to the maternity admission area, carrying my two bags with me. As I walked and turned on corners, I could tell that all eyes were on me. I was sure their biggest question was how a heavily pregnant lady was carrying 2 somewhat heavy bags and going to admit herself for delivery. I too wondered the same. Heavily pregnant women are brought for delivery by their spouses or relatives, but that didn’t deter me one bit. I walked on.
I was at 4cm dilated when I finally got admitted to the labor ward. Then my two friends appeared; turns out my sister had contacted them already. They assisted me in settling down, all the while questioning my lack of pain and how come I was still laughing at their jokes. Some of my work colleagues came too, brought me dinner and an extra phone. I was now settled for the night to be.
At around 7 p.m. that night, I was put on drip. The nurse then told me that my baby would be delivered by midnight. I waited and waited for pain in vain. I even started wishing for it.
They broke my waters and put me on the second drip
I walked up and down the maternity rump as advised. Nothing yet.
So they broke my waters and put me on the second drip. This was around 11 p.m. maybe. Half-way the bottle, some pain came. All this while my roommate had pain written all over her face. I couldn’t imagine that kind of pain was what awaited me.