It’s the end of another week and boy has it been an eventful one. Since I shared my Unmasked story the responses have been overwhelming. I am so thankful that God gave me the courage to share this story because I believe it has began conversations that will start the process to healing and restoration for many. I promise to reply as best as I can to all the Facebook messages as soon as I can.
In the meantime I thought it would be a good idea for my husband to share his side of the story. Many people forget that although a woman goes through pregnancy the whole process affects the man as well. And when that pregnancy ends in loss there are two people mourning not just one. His name is George Kagwe, my biggest cheerleader, friend and life companion. You may have watched his hilarious videos on youtube if not watch them HERE
So here is my first guest blogger, my beloved husband. 🙂
Karimi and I were very happy to receive the news that we were pregnant. The doctor gave us the good news May of 2014. As a dude many thoughts run through your head. Questions linger, “ Am I ready for this?” “Shall I be a great father… or is it daddy?” “What does this mean in regard to our sex life?” “Crap! No more walking nude in the house!” and so on. But it was exciting. We began planning and talking more about this bundle of joy that we were going to receive in 37 weeks or so. We selected the room that we shall prepare. We prayed for the baby, the development of every organ and limb that was happening during that stage. I even saw ahead and pictured a pretty girl walking in between us and having laughs with her!
The doctors visits were quite frequent. But I did not mind them. The doctor himself was awesome. He is like our dad. Jokes with us and is always keen to listen to us as well. There was one thing though! Caution to men: The doctor/ gyna shall touch your woman’s lady parts more frequently during the early stages of pregnancy or whenever you visit him/her for some check ups. I believe its different when your doctor is a lady right? Anyway, yes that was weird! At first I was boiling hot with rage but then I remembered its his job! What a job, right?!
Anyway, as you can see I am that guy who drifts away, I am not such a great writer like my wife Karimi. But, Moving on, the visits to the doctor became harder and harder. Karimi was complaining of more pains due to her fibroids and the doctor was worried about the size of our baby. It was not matching with the size of the uterus. We however prayed more and chose to worry less.
One morning my wife mentioned to me that she was spotting (sp). I had read that this was normal, however we could not take chances and we called the doctor who advised us to monitor it for at least one day. The spotting ended and we got back to normal life.
The spotting continued on and off. Until one afternoon in July I had just gotten out of a meeting in Upper hill with a client and I received a call from Karimi. I picked it up and she was crying. She mentioned that she was bleeding. I calmed her down and told her to call the doctor and ask one of her work mates to take her to hospital immediately and I shall find her there.
Together with a friend, Yafesi, we rushed to hospital. Karimi kept updating me what was happening in hospital. She had to access the insurance clinic as our doctor was in theatre. When we got there I walked up to her and hugged her. We both knew something was wrong. All I could do was hold her and whisper into her ear how much I loved her and sometimes sing into her ear.
We were sent by the doctor immediately for a scan to confirm what was going on, or in our books if the baby was alive. The normal heart beat we were used to hearing was no more. It was drop dead silence. It hit me like a tidal wave. Karimi lay there tears streaming down her face. I then accompanied her to the changing room where she completely broke down. The cry of a mother in pain and agony after losing a child pierces right through your heart. All I could tell her was it shall all be ok. But she refuted that statement and replied, “No it wont! No it Wont! Why us? What did we do? What did I do wrong?”
In a way I was glad she broke down at that point and did not choose to stomach it all in. It meant she was dealing with it and I had to find a way of dealing with it as well. We broke the news to the doctor who then requested us to go home and come back the next day for an evacuation procedure. We did not sleep that night, we stayed up talking and sharing what we were feeling. Eventually we said goodbye to our baby and prayed for her/him.
The next day the theatre was over booked so we had to go back home and return the next day. That night was a long night. Karimi kept bleeding and bleeding as she lay there in pain. I could not do anything at that point as nature was taking its course. It was hard, very hard!
The following morning we were up and early at the hospital. Friends and family had even joined us. Irene, david and Chero, Mums all came to be with us. Karimi went in for surgery that took about an hour. She got out, it was done but she was more sad for us! The presence of friends and even her work mates and her boss gave her comfort and good cheer! But that was it! Our child was gone!
Death is something we shall ALL have to go through, well, unless you experience the rapture :). But you do get what I mean. As much as Death is real and we shall interact with it at some point, I shall forever be baffled by the concept of it. I guess when I get to meet God someday I shall ask Him why that concept, why couldn’t we just vanish in the air, or evaporate or something less painful!
But I digress! I have interacted with death before. I lost my father to cancer, I watched life get out of him as he took his last breathe. But this one, this one was different. This was our child. Our source of joy. The emotions I felt through this loss of life was different. Words cannot describe.
Yes, many will argue that the baby was never born. In fact the baby was just 10 weeks. But this was our child, not a neighbours or a friends, it was our child but now was no more! We were pregnant before but now we were not!
We look back and recognize that we were going through a difficult season. We thank God for being with us and for bringing angels who gave good cheer and happy moments at that sad time. We thank God for health insurance; not many are able to access this and we were able to get good health care which is hard to find here in Kenya.
The word of God says in :
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose.
I pray that this blog and articles give a word of encouragement, a word of hope, a word of healing and a word of restoration and assurance for you as a mother, mother to be, father and father to be. Nothing is impossible WITH GOD! Amen.
So where were we..
My eyes were closed as I lay there waiting to hear what the radiologist would say. I waited to hear the sound of our baby’s heartbeat. But all I heard was silence. I opened my eyes and looked at her and her eyes were full of pity and sadness. I looked at the screen and there was a flat line where the heart beat should be. She asked me a few questions, I was supposed to be 10 weeks pregnant on that day, but according to the scan the baby had stopped growing at around 7-8 weeks.
That meant our baby had been dead for two weeks. The nurse said ‘pole (sorry), you will get another child’. I didn’t want to hear it, I was helped off the bed and went to the changing room with my husband and friend and I cried. I don’t remember what they said to me as I changed. Everything was a blur after that; we walked out of the hospital as my husband called our doctor to update him about the ultrasound results. He asked us to see him first thing the next day to discuss the way forward.
I honestly don’t know what happened that night. I don’t remember what my husband and I talked about, whether we had dinner if I even slept. I only remember feeling like my world had come to a standstill. I was numb I felt indescribable grief. I didn’t want the world to continue moving like nothing had happened. This was our first child, we already loved this child (boy /girl only God knows I have to refer to the baby as them) .Every morning my husband and I would lay hands on my belly and pray over our baby.
We were excited, nervous at the prospect of being first time parents but we were already having conversations about all the plans we would have to make in the coming months. We had prayed, our friends had prayed, our family had prayed and yet the baby died. How was I supposed to make peace with that? Why? Had I done something wrong? Was I paying for the sins from my past? I had so many questions; so many morbid thoughts of wanting to die as well ran through my head.
Anyway the next day we say our doctor and we made plans to have a D&C (Dilation and curettage). This is a procedure conducted under anaesthesia to clean out the womb of the baby tissue. I still don’t remember how or when those plans were made; my husband took care of everything. Bless him, he was mourning too but had to be strong for the both of us. It wasn’t possible to have the procedure that same day as the hospital theatre was booked. So we went home ready to come back the next day. That night was the longest night of my life. I bled a lot. This was expected as the body was beginning to expel our child. I had cramps and I bled. It wasn’t enough that we were in emotional pain now I had to go through the physical pain as well.
By the time the morning came and we headed to the hospital I couldn’t wait to have the D& C done. I was relieved this nightmare would finally be over. I said goodbye to our baby and waited for the anaesthesia to put my body under so that this would be over. I welcomed it; I wanted to be dead to my emotions, dead to my pain. I enjoyed the feeling of the drug flowing into my veins and putting me out of my misery, I slept.
I woke up later in recovery and the first thing I heard was a baby crying. I remember thinking and asking what manner of sadism is this God? Aren’t you going to protect me from even this? I felt him say to me that this was his promise to me that I would hear the cry of our child someday. That word from God didn’t comfort me, I was too angry I didn’t want to trust or believe or hope again. I just wanted to wait for the hours to pass until it was time to go home.
People visited me in hospital that went by like a dream. People visited us at home; I was on medication and on bed rest as I was still in pain. Our friends and family came, they cooked they cleaned, they fed us. They prayed with us, they were there. That helped a lot I will be forever thankful, because we would never have gotten through that period if we were just the two of us in our home, drowned in a heavy cloud of sorrow.
The next few months were difficult, we saw a therapist. It helped. We just threw ourselves back into normal life. The possibility of trying to conceive again was far from our minds. We were both afraid that history would repeat itself and so shelved that idea of having children and went on with our lives. We grew closer than ever before. We had been through a traumatic experience our first year into our young marriage and had somehow gotten through it.
So 2015 came along, we had put that chapter of July 2014 behind us and lo and behold I conceived again. We were both scared but here we are 6 and half months later. Our baby is still, healthy, alive and kicking, I believe that this child will make it into this world as a testimony of God’s healing and restoration. Hope has truly visited our marriage again and we cannot wait for the birth of our first born child.
Allow me to share these verses that encouraged me during this season.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Thinking of what to post about next always takes me on a journey. Its easy for me to write about pregnancy because that is what I am going through right now. Sometimes you have to tell the story behind the story so that you who is reading this can understand just how far I have come. This is a difficult story to share but I believe in sharing my past pain. This may help somebody else. So here is UNMASKED.
I got married two years ago, we weren’t in a hurry to start having children and agreed from the beginning that we would wait at least a year before thinking of starting a family. We wanted to enjoy each other, get used to being married, sharing a home and all that good stuff. So a year went by and at that time I had already stopped taking contraception as the pill I was taking was causing serious side effects. By the time we decided to try conceiving I had been off the pill for four months. Nothing happened for sometime . I was beginning to worry, and was driving myself crazy buying at least two home pregnancy tests every month. Every time my monthly period would come I would cry. It was an emotional roller coaster for both of us .
I realised I had to give up this madness and just allow nature to take its course. I made a conscious decision to focus on making my marriage work, enjoy life and in God’s time I would conceive.
So I forgot about it and in May 2014 I did conceive. It was an exciting time for both of us. We began to visit our ob/gyn who I had started seeing after I got married. Important note for women choose a doctor that your husband likes. They clicked from day one and involved him in every examination every discussion and explained every change that was happening to me as the pregnancy developed. I feel like this helped our marriage a lot and made me feel like I wasnt alone on this journey.
Where was I.. okay back to the doctor’s visits. During our first ultrasound my doctor was honest enough to tell us that the foetus was too small and was not growing as well as they should. He didnt want to cause us any alarm but wanted us to understand that this was something he wanted to keep a close eye on.
So the weekly ultrasounds began, and his concerns continued to grow. This was a season of turmoil for my husband and I. We didn’t understand why or what was happening. It was way beyond our control and all we could do was pray. And we did pray,our immediate family prayed and we believed that some form of miracle would happen and the baby would begin to grow as expected and the heart beat would be heard.
When I was about 8 weeks pregnant we went for our usual ultrasound and there was the strong heart beat that we had longed and prayed for. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard, like the sound of a thousand beating drums. Our doctor was happy and sent us home although he insisted that we come back in two weeks time for another ultra sound just to be cautious.
I remember sharing with our family members that all was well and thanked them for their support and prayers.
So the days passed,and then one day after going for a short call I began to see brownish spots that I hadn’t seen before . I immediately called my doctor who asked me to describe how I was feeling and what I had seen. After our discussion he asked me to keep an eye out and If i continued spotting to go see him immediately. The day ended with no further spotting and so I relaxed and put my worries to rest.
The next day after a whole day of work, I went to the bathroom before leaving the office and there was blood. I panicked and began to cry. Then I calmed myself down and went to speak to a colleague who had experienced a miscarriage before and I told her what was happening and she prayed and hugged me and told me to go to the hospital immediately. I called my husband George but he was stuck all the way across town at a meeting .I told him I would call a cab and he promised to do his best to fly through traffic and meet me at the doctors. I then called my friend Jules, on that day i was to meet her for coffee across from my office after work. I told her what had happened and she immediately offered to take me to hospital. She picked me up and we drove to Aga Khan. I am so thankful she was there that day because I was a mess. I couldn’t think straight ,I couldn’t pray I couldn’t cry anymore. It felt like a nightmare.
We got to the hospital in ten minutes and we rushed to my doctor’s office. His receptionist informed me that he was in theatre and had no idea what time he would be done. I then decided to go the Jubilee clinic and see the doctors there. I remember getting there and I had to fill in the insurance claim form . I was such a mess I couldn’t remember my date of birth ,or my last names. I filled in two forms wrong before Jules took over and completed the registration process for me, I saw a lady doctor immediately after we told them I was bleeding. She examined me and immediately sent me for an ultra sound. We walked across to the radiology department and were fast tracked inside for examination, my husband who I had been talking to throughout met us there. And he was there as I lay my body down and the radiologist began the ultrasound. I remember closing my eyes and feeling the tears flowing down my face. Because right then I knew that there was going to be no heart beat, I knew right then that our baby was gone.
To be continued…
Oh wow! The response to my previous post has been overwhelming. Thank you all for taking time to read , comment and share your own experiences. Its encouraging to know that there are others like me who have walked this path before .That means I can do it too! Game face on.
I missed out on work today , not feeling well the fibroids were doing their usual and my feet are swollen but my spirits are up. So as I get some rest i will share with you the remaining ‘symptoms ‘ that I have experienced.
1. Food Cravings
Sometimes I wake up and I want , NAY , NEED to eat a combination of different things. I will have a craving for Fanta Passion, boiled maize, Tropical ice lollies (Specifically the Igloo ones, SPECIFICALLY) ,fried eggs, Mc Frys chips and chicken, mangoes and nduma. Yes my brain cells assail me with all those cravings all, at once! Hilarious really ,crazy even. Of course most of the things i crave aren’t always healthy so my husband and i have an agreement that he needs to ensure that when i become that crazy person demanding for junk food ,he gives me a banana or grapes or an apple instead. Healthy options are the only ones around the house good for me and for baby too. I get to cheat at least once a week, and on that day CHIPS are always my food of choice .
2. Hunger pangs
You have no idea how difficult it is to be pregnant and hungry. I kid you not when that woman is hungry, stop what you are doing and get her something to eat NOW! When I am hungry it feels like an ache ,like the world is ending, i even get a little dizzy .It is no joke. Some great advice i got from my sisters who are both mothers is to ALWAYS have snacks in the car . Add a bottle of water in that bag and you will always be safe even in those mind numbing traffic jams.
3. Sense of smell
Since I got pregnant sniffer dogs have nothing on me, my husband is always joking I should be hired by a security company to sniff for illegal items at the airport. HA! good one George.
This doesn’t always work to my advantage if I am around people with strong colognes or if someone is eating smelly food. Dont take it personally if I gag around you okay? Hormones are to blame .
4. Mood swings
In my last post I talked about the never ending tears, I didn’t talk about the mood swings. This part isn’t fun. One minute I am happy ,next hour I am sad and cranky. For the people around me its difficult for them to understand. I expected that my husband should just understand , I am pregnant after all. Poor guy , we had plenty of nasty arguments in the early months of pregnancy .I had to be reminded that he is not God, he cannot read my mind, Communication is key (did i just say that?) cliché I know but it is a life saver for any marriage. So all I have to do is say , “Babe today I am sad please be extra sensitive with me today” . Works for us.
As the EDD draws closer I have experienced moments of anxiety because .. I have not started shopping yet. I get these questions everyday, have you bought a bed? Have you shopped for clothes? Have you hired a house help yet? The questions are endless! I know they mean well but the answer to those questions is no. I had began to think there was something wrong with me that maybe I wasn’t fit to be a mother because I don’t have it all planned out yet. Of course we dont expect all those baby necessities to drop like manna from heaven. We have a plan, team Kagwe is on it so don’t worry the baby won’t sleep on the floor. The list has been written and I am confident that all will be ready by that day. So anxiety is not welcome in this home, BYE!
6. Baby movements
Lastly, my most favorite thing in this journey so far. Feeling the baby move, kick and even hiccup. There is life inside of me, what a miracle. I will be honest that the first time I felt the baby move it wasn’t as magical as I had expected. I was dead asleep and was awakened by strange sharp movements in my belly. I panicked and sat upright in bed , my mind was racing. Am I dying? What was that? What did I eat! Oh my God!
It took me a couple of minutes for me to realise what was happening. You are pregnant dummy thats your baby. hahahaha. I am used to it now and every time the baby moves I thank God for this this beautiful miracle of life.
25 weeks and some days today..
I have just been awakened from a yummy nap on the sofa by my sweetheart of a husband because I needed to blog.. I am tired ,my brain feels like it has been replaced by cotton wool .I am doing this because I made a promise to myself and to him that I was going to blog as much as I possibly can.
So here we are, the first topic that popped into my head as I looked up to the heavens for inspiration was the roller coaster symptoms that I have experienced in the last six months of pregnancy.
I will be the first to say pregnancy is not what I expected, its hard. I am now convinced that God strikes women with amnesia , we completely forget how difficult the last pregnancy was and that is why we continue to bear children. True story
So let me begin my list.
1. BUCKET LOAD OF TEARS
Where do they come from? Seriously? Hormones they say. Your whole body is out of whack and your tear ducts will repeatedly release tears for the silliest of reasons. I cry everyday, Hubby sorry its not you honestly its ME!
I have pregnancy apps on my phone that help to keep track of my progress and in the earlier weeks of my second trimester I got a reminder that hair would begin to grow everywhere. I laughed it off.; and then One day I had hair on my chin. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Just one long curly strand seemed to pop up from nowhere. My husband couldn’t stop laughing eventually he plucked it off for me (fun for him) and I spent the rest of the week using every mirror I came across to glance at my face to see if there were hairs sprouting .
Thankfully it never grew back . The hair on my head is thicker (I’m happy about that), and my legs are hairier too but who cares ..All part of the process, right?
I have been lucky not to experience a lot of this, and when I do it comes in waves. I chew gum or suck on a sweet and I am good to go
Normally, i love milk suddenly, I cant stand it anymore it goes right through me. I love spicy foods and I remember once having a craving for Ethiopian food. I had some one sunny afternoon and later that night at 3am woke up to throw up uncontrollably. Yap this baby decides what I eat and don’t eat. Bossy little one !
5. FIBROID PAINS
I found out after I got pregnant that I had a fibroid, after a couple of ultrasounds it was discovered that I had four. Those little monsters make it hard to enjoy my pregnancy and have caused me to experience painful cramps and back pain.
My doctor says that the pain will increase as the baby continues to grow but I am remaining positive and hoping and praying for less of that. Only treatment I have received during pregnancy is to stay on bed-rest and take mild painkillers. I have missed days of work but I am thankful I have gotten this far. This too shall pass.
6.BIG FOOT ALERT
I have heard that most women experience swelling of their feet towards the end of their pregnancy. Well, everyone is different. Mine have recently began swelling and so most of my shoes don’t fit anymore. What has worked for me so far to ease the discomfort to elevate my feet as I sit at the office and also to wear open shoes that allow my feet to breathe. The upside to this is that I get to receive regular foot rubs from the Mr.
So far thats all I can think of. I will continue to talk about my experiences as the EDD approaches.
Yes ! I finished my second post!
PS: How could i forget this symptom . There are different terms for it , baby brain, pregnancy brain etc. I have become extremely forgetful and slow and find it hard to even do simple tasks that came easily to me before.
Wow. You see creating a human is no easy task. Much respect to all the mothers out there!
22 weeks and Counting.
Let me start off by saying, I am starting this blog kicking and screaming. My dearest husband has been nudging me, no urging me, I meant NAGGING me to start one to chronicle my journey as we await the arrival of our first baby. I know he means well because after all I do consider myself an aspiring writer and he wants me to plug into my passions and fulfil my God-given purpose ( yeah it sounds nice and heavenly doesn’t it ) but I’d like to do it at my pace, ( like maybe, never ha-ha) .
I mean does he understand how tiring it is to have a little human growing inside your tummy? Does he understand that most days I can barely keep my eyes open at work and I have to take numerous water breaks to keep my eyes open because I can’t have any coffee? (I MISS COFFEE *wails*). There are days where I don’t want to speak to people , I don’t want to be asked questions about how im doing because guess what I was pregnant yesterday , I am pregnant today and will be pregnant for the next four months, Leave me alone. I just want to sleep and get daily massages ,and not have to deal with wifely duties like shopping for groceries or answering my favourite question ‘ Babe, what are we having for dinner ? “UUUUUUUUUUURGH! So no I don’t want to delve into overwhelmed brain to figure out how to start a blog but here we are. Anything to stop the nudging, I mean urging, I mean NAGGING! ..Hahahaha I sound like a hormonal maniac whose emotions are all over the place. Well that’s because I am, welcome to my world. Sorry hubby. There will a little cute bundle of joy that will make up for your wife’s insanity. I promise. I love you .Now sit down and massage my swelling feet.
So it begins, join me. I really love to write so this will be good for me.
PS: I wrote this post two weeks ago..i am now 24 weeks and counting. More to follow