My birth story, a motivation for my devotion to reproductive and maternal Health Education in Africa!
“Come innnnn she said. See me and the child before I die. If you truly believe she is your daughter, come in and see us both. If I die, please, remarry but take good care of her”
These were the words of my mom to my dad upon my birth! As I relate this story, my heart bleeds and I imagine what she went through and how she felt. I wonder what life would have meant and been for me without her. Oh!!!!, and how is it for such orphans?
On this afternoon of Sunday the 25th of July, Cameroon, she was in labour in the rural neighbourhood where she hails. My dad rushed her to the lone private clinic where I suddenly popped out at 19:17pm.
The placenta remained in her. As the nurses were struggling to deliver it, she kept bleeding and the situation became an emergency. Unfortunately as is the case for most rural neighbourhood, this clinic did not and does not still have a doctor. So, after the first two hours of this delay, my dad became worried and rushed hatter scatter for help. While in his quest for help, some elders and traditional leaders of the neighbourhood came and said:
“Do not go by her nor see her. If you do she will die. She was unfaithful in her marital commitment to you. That entire delayed placenta is because she took things from you and ate while pregnant but was unfaithful. Go home; all will be ok with her."
As they discoursed and insisted for my Dad to go home, my mom, “in this pain and, in that room” overheard the discussion and shouted “Come innnnn, see me and the child before I die. If you...”
She insisted on the nurses to bring him in. As he came in, she looked into his eyes and said “If I die I die, but the baby is yours.” After these words, she became speechless as the placenta remained in her. My puzzled dad, then rushed to get a car to help transfer her to the nearest semi- urban health centre but this late night, none was available.
The chief offered his own and my dad fuelled it and rushed me, a nurse and my mom to a hospital in his own home town. It was already 1.00 am the next day and she was helpless. Three doctors came and did their best when this placenta was delivered at 4:30 am the next day. After this, she went on a coma for three day.
The senior Nurse Madam Veronique Ndogmo took excellent care of me while encouraging my father that all will be well. On the fourth day, she began to come out of the coma but fell sick and was again hospitalised for five weeks with 80 injections and more. Madam Vero continued to nurse me until the second month when she could touch and play with me. When she saw my face bright in the second month, she named me Glory meaning victory over the battle between life and death in 'that room'.
My dad stood with her, he cared for her, he gave a deaf ear to traditional beliefs, she fed well during the pregnancy and also sought prenatal care so... they made it.