"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.