Our Baby Didn't Survive!

Emily Miki
Posted June 3, 2016 from Cameroon
Rich and I

"This is the baby in the womb and since I started this exam the baby hasn't moved. Here is the heart but there is no heart beat. This means the baby is no longer living". Was what the doctor said, 48 hours ago on Wednesday 1st June, 2016 at 7pm GMT+1.

My fiance and I had gone to the hospital earlier that morning to consult for the lower abdominal pain and bleeding I had in the first trimester of my pregnancies. And I had to do an echography and since the private consulting with the Gynaecologist was at his private clinic at 4pm we returned home and went for an echography at 4pm.

When it was time for the doctor to receive us, we entered and the procedure commenced. In the course of the exam, the doctor said, "This is the baby in the womb and since I started this exam the baby hasn't moved. Here is the heart but there is no heart beat. This means the baby is no longer living".

What followed after was the machine sounds as he pressed the buttons. After the exam he explained to us that that was why I had the pain and bleeding, because my womb was trying to expel the dead fetus. That the pregnancy was 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days old at the time of the exam. That there were two ways to manage the case;

1. Wait for days or weeks for the womb to expel the dead fetus or

2. Do a D&C (Dilatation and Curatage) but that since the baby was already formed they won't do just a simple D&C but induce labor so I deliver the fetus before he continues the process.

Rich then asked; " what could have caused the baby's death?" The doctor said it could be malaria since I had previously had malaria and if it wasn't properly managed then it could have been the cause or maybe an infection but then I had ran all necessary lab tests a month ago when I registered for Antenatal Clinic.

The next morning was the rendezvous and the pains after inducing the abortion wasn't an easy one. It was as painful as the pain before delivery I had experienced while having my daughter 2 years ago. But then it was a different kind of pain cause I wasn't going to go home with a little angel in my arms or have a smallie to grow and laugh with me and to cater and care for. Then it got me thinking of many things that could have been the cause, given I begun ANC early, and followed treatments. Then I remembered that there were several stressful moments in this first trimester of my pregnancy.

Like me many women lose either their babies or their lives due to a lot of stress during the time of pregnancy. Some of the causes of this stress could be from;

1. Immediate family members like was my case with a lot of family stress at this very moment.

2. Health challenges which comes as a result of the stress at home, or lack of finance to get proper health care and create a phycological challenge for them

3. Financial difficulties at the time of pregnancy, which sometimes can not just be explained. Myth says some children come with poverty and others come with good luck. Can't vote on that but there is a force during pregnancy that affects the happenings around the expectant parents at the time of pregnancy that causes a lot of financial stress to the expectant mother.

4. Work stress, keeping with the demanding schedule for a career woman or business woman, it wasn't easy for me and I believe is the same for many other women out there. It made me consider not keeping the baby earlier on when I saw that my work plan for the year was so tight and a baby wasn't a job I wanted to take on. But later with my partner we decided to keep the baby.

These and many more other stressful conditions affect the status of both mother and child, during and after pregnancy. Reason why a lot of medical assistance has been put up to support poor women during pregnancy and child-birth like free malaria treatments, mosquito nets, and many more. But there is still little or no follow up or community health care at the level of the care offered at home. Most women with hypertension in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) is as a result of domestic stress but since must reports, statistics n research has not been done on this as in the case of domestic violence it is still yet a thought.

Family support plays a lot in avoiding and managing domestic stress. There could be one amongst the many reasons why the baby didn't survive but the pain can only be managed with the support of family and friends and without this it is not an easy thing for a grieving woman/mother. My fiance's support as I held onto his hands at the hospital in the pains of induced labour is the kind of support every husband, brother, sister and friend should offer to an expectant mother during pregnancy for it will greatly contribute in reducing the stress during childbirth.

This story was submitted in response to Putting the Spotlight on Maternal & Reproductive Health.

Comments 15

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Maya Muñoz-Tobón
Jun 03, 2016
Jun 03, 2016

Dear Emily,

I am so very sorry to hear about your baby. It is such an incredible and courageous action to share your story here with us. I hope you and your family have a lot of support and love during this time of grieving.

I admire your compassion when speaking about how unfortunately this situation is so common to so many women and that there are so many challenges to overcome, such as making sure every woman has the appropriate health care system and network around her to prevent and support her, in order to avoid added stressors in life. I know you are a Leader working in making these changes happen in your communities. Sending love and light.

Maya

 

Emily Miki
Jun 05, 2016
Jun 05, 2016

Hi Maya, Thanks a lot for the love and light, it is very much needed at this time.

Once am on my feet I will try launching a Health Sensitisation Campaign for expectant mums. Talking with my pastor yesterday when he called to encourage me, he said this cases are very common now; either the baby dying in the womb, or a CS at delivery and either the mother or baby dies or both. So while I do my best to reach out to other women, I will continually remember us all in my prayers.

Thanks again for the love and light, it did work wonders in comforting me.

Best wishes

helen.ng
Jun 05, 2016
Jun 05, 2016

Hello Emily,

I am so sorry for your loss. You are so strong and brave to be standing where you are and voicing your story. Your story was heartbreaking to read and I wish you so much love. Thank you for sharing vital information that all mothers and potential mothers and individuals should be aware of. I wish you all the best on your journey.

With kindest regards,

Helen Ng

Emily Miki
Jun 09, 2016
Jun 09, 2016

Hi Helen,

Thanks for the encouraging words, I appreciate having you here to support me at this moment. Your words are kind and gives me courage. Thanks for being there!

Best regards,

Okuman16
Jun 15, 2016
Jun 15, 2016

It’s really a pity and sad story as you are not the only one who have pass through that very sympathetic situation. It happens in the sub Saharan Africa where malaria is a very deadly desease especially with babies. But your condition really calls for concern as the baby did not see the light of the world he stop breading before delivery. Still, the fact that you have the courage to share with us in this forum a sad story like this one will brings more courage and zeal to share same experience to and enlighten other women. The stress you went through is just a characteristic of our African society and the support of the family member (fiancé) is just something we should practice by us to show love, support and concern for the strength of a woman. And women are advice to for anti natal clinic and situation of the child followed very carefully by an expert. Experience is the best teacher from this i am sure you will come up with the best method of family care fo expecting mothers and i will be there to help you out with other women.

my regards.

Emily Miki
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Hi Okuman, Thanks for the comforting words and most especially for the call once you heard of my predicament yesterday. Hearing and reading from you makes me understand the more that I am not alone in all this. Thanks so much for having my back dear and thanks for all the concern.

echo demitrez
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Hi Emily, 

Its so sad to know about what happened with you! More importantly its something that can happen to any woman anytime. Proper care ought to be taken during pregnancy but as always there is destiny, may God grant you the patience that you need to have at this time.

May you get blessed another child and no problem arises this time!

Love & peace!

Echo Demitrez prays for you!

Emily Miki
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Hi Demitrez,

Thanks for the kind words and I receive the blessing IJN. Thanks for the love.

Best wishes

leila Kigha
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Hello Emily

so sorry for your loss. it takes courage to share such a painful experience but bravo for sharing your story with us!

Pre-natal care has been subject to a lot of debate of late in cameroon because of a recent incident that shocked the world. A lady practicing surgery on her dead sister to remove babies from her womb because  apparently the medical services could not attend to them.

i agree with you there are somany stressful factors that can lead to the loss of a baby but above all every pregnant woman needs medical attention through out her pregnancy.

even if you have had children before, each pregnancy is unique and mothers must get pre-natal care and our governments need to facilitate access to such services for this group. In Cameroon they tell us its very cheap, but i will say for those who cannot afford the "cheap" it should be free! we need to protect the lives of our Mothers and unborn babies.

They need to be educated more and more

We need to use platforms like this to share with them

we need to use technology to grant access to women every where to medical assistance.

i pray your voice is heard and your experience transformed to a platform to bring about change. 

looking forward to hearing from you more

cheers!

Emily Miki
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Hi Kariz,

Thanks o my sis, for the comforting words. I do appreciate.

Indeed I will support your point on the health care fee for expectant mothers. Like for instance at my first ANC in April which was at 2 months of pregnancy I spent approximately 20,000 FCFA which many women don't have and this causes many of them to not attend ANCs. I once had a discussion with a colleague, a Medical Doctor about financial difficulties been one of the causes of many maternal and child deaths, and even the dumping of new-born babies in trash cans and toilets and he refused saying there was a care plan for pregnant women that cost 8000 FCFA for everything. I didn't agree with him because in the short while I did clinical practice and hearing from other expectant mothers, health care during pregnancy has never been lesser than 50000 FCFA.

There are several subventions done but they still aren't enough to bring down the death rates during and after pregnancy.

As the leaders we are it is up to us to bring about the change we want.

Thanks for been there dear.

Best wishes,

bridggyella
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 16, 2016

Dear Emily,

My deepest condolence. I must say you are a very strong woman to have gone through these pains and still come out to tell your story. It was nice to have your partner by your side holding your hands. We all need support from people around us in difficult situations.

It is sad that many a women go through same in our society. to loose a baby is one of the most painful ordeal any woman/mother should go through.

I wish you more babies and  luck in the future.

Best regards.

Bridget.

Emily Miki
Jul 12, 2016
Jul 12, 2016

Hi Bridggyella,

Thanks for the encouraging words and you got me smiling with, "wishing more babies".

Thanks sis. Best wishes

Jessica Foumena
Jul 11, 2016
Jul 11, 2016

Dear Emily,

Somehow, you managed to write your story with dignity. Yet, I want you to know I'm sorry for your lost. You pointed out some important problems we've at home. This is why maternal health is an issue dear to my heart. We need to do something about this. Take care. 

Emily Miki
Jul 12, 2016
Jul 12, 2016

Hi Jess, Thanks a lot for the encouraging words and I do appreciate it sweetie. We really need to work for outstanding changes and results. Can't wait for our Skype session.

Sophie Ngassa
Jul 21, 2016
Jul 21, 2016

Dear Emily,

Your experience was really bitter.Thank God you are so brave.This kind of situation is on the rise in Cameroon nowadays.Thanks for sharing your pathetic story ,that provokes a call to action.

Best,

Sophie

Executive Director , CYEED