I am a 34 year old woman, married and a mother of two amazing girls aged 3 & 5 and I have the sickle cell disease.
In Ghana, there’s a huge misconception when it comes to sickle cell disease. I was told by many health professionals that I could never have kids because of it. I was devastated because I have always wanted kids and I didn’t choose to be born this way.
I got married in 2012 and I had three miscarriages before I was blessed in 2014 with a baby girl. My baby was born at exactly 30weeks of pregnancy due to Sickle Cell complications but she survived.
I was living in the US then and I got a doctor (a haematologist ) and that was what saved my life. He helped me with my diet, activities, my daily medication etc. I got pregnant again five months after my first baby. In 2015, I travelled to Ghana from Texas with my baby to visit family. Three days before we travelled back to Texas, I felt funny and I didn’t feel my baby kick that day which was unusual. I was 26weeks gone. A few hours later, I felt immense pain in my feet when I stood. I quickly drove to a hospital around Haatso to get checked because it was unusual. A gynaecologist saw me and had me lay down for a scan. After a few minutes of checking he broke the horrifying news. He couldn’t detect my baby’s heartbeat and strongly believed I HAD LOST THE BABY! He told me the baby’s weight had significantly reduced and seemed like that of a 15 week old and not 26.
I was numb.
He advised me to go back home with some antibiotics, and also asked me to observe and see, if I saw a spot of blood in my underwear I could return immediately or else I would have to wait till Monday so I come back to see the OBG. It was my worst day ever. Here I was holding my baby girl while being told this. My husband far away in Texas. How I got up from the consulting room with my daughter to my car and drove home was a miracle.
I couldn’t sleep that night, neither could I sit. The pain was unbearable around my abdomen. I could not handle it anymore especially with the thought of having my dead baby still in my womb. I packed up at dawn and went back to the hospital to check myself in even though i didn’t see spot of blood. I requested to see the head of the OBG to know my fate. They came to my room and informed me of their decision to do CS on me with reason being that
1. My sickling status (SS) It is highly risky to induce labor so they couldn’t allow me to push.
2. My first baby was done via CS.
3. My pregnancy was high risk.
Imagine having a CS done on you and not being able to take your baby home alive. Then to top it off, I had pain in my boobs because my body had the natural inclination to nurse. Nevertheless, the surgery was scheduled the next day. I was weak and scared. Scared of what will happen to me on the operating table.
On the day of surgery, the nurses came in and got me ready. They wheeled me to OR ward to wait for my turn. The Anaesthetist came in to look for my vein and could not find it. She tried several times with no luck. She got frustrated and told me in twi:
“What kind of woman are you? I have tried to get your vein to no avail. I will leave you here and go home!”
I looked at her and started to cry. I asked myself if it was my fault that my veins were refusing to show? I was broken into pieces. She looked so heartless and with no iota of pity for me laying there powerless with a dead baby still in my womb.
A few minutes later, a nurse came from a different ward and asked me
“Do you believe in God?”
I nodded and she requested to pray with me. After praying, she gave it a try and got my vein. I was immediately rushed into the OR. I delievered a baby boy but unfortunately he was not alive. Everything I experienced topped with the behaviour of the Anaesthetist stayed fresh in my memory till recently when I finally decided to let go of that pain.
8 months later, I got pregnant again and delivered my baby girl at 22 weeks due to sickle cell complications. I was put on life support before she was taken out via CS but that’s another story for another day.
Today, she’s alive and well and just turned 3.
They are both doing very well and I’ve never been better. I’m strong and haven’t had a crisis in years. I eat properly, drink lots of fluids especially water and take very good care of myself, after all my family needs me alive. I look back at what I’ve gone through to have them and I can’t believe I survived it all. I pray for anyone out there in a similar situation or struggling to have a baby. I hope this story inspires you never to lose hope.