I Almost Lost Myself After Knowing My Friend Died At Childbirth

While a woman dying at birth might be news in developed countries because it rarely happens, here in Nigeria it happens often and it’s just so scary for other women who are pregnant. When my pregnancy was 29 weeks old, my close friend Tinuke went into labour and died. It was certainly a mistake by the medical team, and I was traumatized, I saw her two days before she went to labour, thinking about how someone can leave this world just like that while giving birth shook me to the core, I became scared and dreaded my delivery.

When my husband noticed the change in me, he became scared for me too, he promptly called his mother who didn’t make matters any better.

“This is my first grandchild and if anything happens to that pregnancy, I swear to God Lola you are leaving my son’s house that day” She threatened angrily on phone.

Maybe she was hoping her threat would snap me out of the ocean of sadness that I’m buried in, instead I became even more scared, I can’t help feeling the way I’m feeling, what if I don’t die but my child is born dead or something.

My thinking was in a total state of darkness and I had no one to talk to, if only I could talk to Tinuke (she had a child already) about this, remembering that she’s gone, I burst into tears again. My husband who didn’t hear what his mom told me on phone heard my cry from where he was and rushed into the room

“Stop doing this to yourself, in fact, that’s it!” He immediately called our pastor’s wife, it wasn’t just the emotional issue that was scaring him, but I was getting lean by the day and he was scared I might lose the baby.

I tried helping myself to stop thinking about it, but every time I touch my belly all I see is Tinuke waddling around in her maternity gown as we talked and laughed until she peed her pants,

“Oops! I just peed my pant” she said and we laughed even harder, then she’s gone, just like an extinguished lantern”

How can I trust these doctors with my life, how do I know if they are competent or not? These are the questions that kept going on in my mind. During the meeting with our pastor’s wife, she advised me and when she saw me staring into space, she called my husband aside and told him I have to go into therapy.

“Her delivery date is near, and she can’t go into labour in this state of mind”

I heard her saying to my husband. After we left her, my husband, worried to death went online in search of positive birth stories, found titles of different books and bought them all for me.

And they were my saving grace, one of them was “supernatural delivery”, a book that I read from page to page and digested everything, by the time I was done with these books, my thinking had changed. I realised that no two birth stories are exactly the same, that my friend died at childbirth doesn’t mean the same will happen to me.

Learning how to have a natural childbirth also gave me confidence and when I fell into labour during the 38th week of my pregnancy, I did with confidence believing God to grant me safe delivery and short labour.

I laboured for 5 hours, after which my sweet Bunny came home to mama, head full of black curly hair, balled fist squealing, wriggling and already rooting for breast. And I wept.

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4 Things You Can Blame On Pregnancy

Tell me, did you ever use pregnancy as an excuse to get out of a situation you don’t want to be in? Well I did! But seriously, it’s the only reward you get during pregnancy that is, until you give birth to your baby. One look at your bump and people will let you off. I didn’t have to queue to enter BRT bus, even in banks, men take one look at me and allow me get to the front and do my transaction like fast fast.

It makes all the pains and sores of pregnancy a little more bearable, and here are some of the things we blame on pregnancy;

Pregnancy brain

This is the short form for forgetfulness. If you’re pregnant and you forgot to do something or how to do it, don’t worry people won’t blame you, they’d blame it on pregnancy brain. My MIL heard my husband blaming me for forgetting to put his packed lunch in the car, you can’t believe she berated him, “don’t you know she’s pregnant? Pregnant women have a tendency to forget” Since then, I made forgetfulness my excuse, and he was quick to let things go, funky yeah?

Weird food combinations and cravings

Trust me, every unhealthy food that I wouldn’t eat on a normal day without being questioned is what I eat when I’m pregnant, I especially loved “nzu (chalk)” and cold water, garri and groundnut and no one can take them from me. Some women hate eating the foods cooked by their hand during pregnancy, they’d rather they eat their neighbour’s food or one cooked by someone else but them. Did I tell you about how I loved eating rice and okro? Which I would normally not eat.


Not engaging in any strenous activity

If you don’t want to wahala yourself, pregnancy is your best excuse, “Eh! Can you please help me sweep the floor, I can’t bend” Even strangers become generous when they see you are pregnant, “let me help you carry that bag” they’ll offer to help because it looks heavy”. Even though you might be overwhelmed by the attention and everyone being at your beck and call, don’t get used to it, because it’s not healthy. To be strong you need to move around and work.

Body aches

Your ribs may hurt, your body may ache and you may constantly need a pain relief medication. For me, my legs were always swollen, so I’d beg hubby for a massage, with my leg stretched on the table I’ll relax and have dear hubby minister to my needs, after all it’s our baby. If I’m good, I get a body massage too.

But pregnancy can do mean things to someone, your back will hurt, your legs may ache and your feet will be all swollen, there will be times when you’d need help standing up from the chair and you may be waddling like a whale instead of walking.

At the end when you sight and hold your wriggling baby in your hands, your joy will know no bound, and all the pains will be forgotten. Meanwhile, use pregnancy to get some pampering, but don’t be lazy!

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