My children often ask me, “Mommy, why are you smiling?” when I’m sitting in front of my computer, and if I fail to answer, the next thing I see are heads popping up in front of my screen, wanting to find out the reason for my smile. My older son doesn’t bother anymore. He’s resigned to the fact that something on my computer screen always makes me smile.
But on the day I got the heart breaking news of a friend, who had suffered an ectopic pregnancy, I didn’t know when the tears started coming but my children noticed. Even my older son, who thinks his mom is a drama queen, paid attention. They all wanted to know why there were tears on my face. I merely told them, “My friend lost her baby.” “Oh sorry oh,” my older son said. My younger son said, “Aha” clutching his arms to his chest, with a stunned look on his face. My older daughter is the curious one, and I could see she had questions but thought better of asking at that moment. And my madam, that’s her sister, couldn’t be bothered. She was looking at my screen, as though she would get some answers there.
Honestly, with the benefit of hindsight, all hope is not lost, but I could feel her despair at that moment. Precious had suffered an ectopic pregnancy before she had her now four year old son. She had moved with her family to a European country and we catch up on social media, where she’d perfected the disappearing act and that was fine, as long as she was fine.
But this time around, she just dropped off the surface of the earth. Even her sister-in-law, who is a mutual friend, couldn’t reach her again. Her social media messages went unanswered, no recent updates from her, just radio silence.
I had prayed and moved on, leaving her and her young family in the hands of God, only for me to wake up recently to an Inbox message from her, in response to a message I had sent over six months ago.
It just read, “Kemine, happy New Year, how’s your family? I’m sure the older twins are all grown now. Say hello to them. Anyways, I lost another pregnancy and my remaining tube this time around. It was an ectopic and ruptured before it could be operated. Do take care dearie, talk to you soon.”
So casually, I had to read it twice, for it to sink in that this woman just lost her sole patent tube, and that’s how she just talks about it? Casually? No, it was either of two things, she had come to a place of acceptance or was too hurt to think straight and was pulling at straws to cover up, but still wanted to share.
It turned out to be the latter, she was still hurting and desperately trying to cover up and get into the cheer of the season, trying to make it a good one for their son and everyone around her, but if anything, it was killing her. The fact that she was without any tube was just too heart breaking, and all she had to show for over 8 years of marriage was a four year old son and no tube.
Precious had gone on her usual sabbatical off social media, and during that time, realised she was pregnant. That was the first in two years, so she really took things pretty easy; enjoying her pregnancy, her husband and life with her talkative son.
The drama did not start until she was almost eight weeks gone. She had started bleeding and her husband had taken her to the emergency unit of their local hospital, where she had been told she was going to be fine and put on bed rest. When she was discharged a day later, there were many reasons given for the bleeding including the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, but she and her husband were assured everything was fine.
So, she went home, only to get a call from her Gynae to pop in at the clinic. On getting there, she was informed that she had suffered a miscarriage. Meanwhile, all these happened in the week they should have been listening to their baby’s first heartbeat. Sometimes, bad news comes in triple doses. Again, the next day, the diagnosis for an ectopic pregnancy was confirmed, as the results from her tests showed that her HCG level was still rising.
That was when panic set in. She cried as expected that she was going to lose this baby too. It was a painful loss.
An injection that would supposedly break up the cells was administered but had no effect, as a week later, she was called while at work and asked to come in for an ultrasound scan.
The drug did not work. The ultrasound scan showed the heartbeat and the baby that was growing in her patent tube. She had to call her husband from the hospital, as she was told, she needed an emergency surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy, before it started to affect her own health.
Right alongside her baby that was removed, she lost her fallopian tube, and right with that, her sole chance of natural conception. That is devastating in itself.
It’s been six weeks since the surgery, but Precious is far from healed and trying to appear cheerful over the holidays put a serious strain on her emotions.
Even though the stitches from her surgery are fading by the day, her heart is still filled with so much pain and ache. Too much pain for a New Year, I tell you.
Sharing helps heal the heart of its burden, but time is the ultimate healer.
Hopefully, the days also come with more hope of a baby for Precious. And it doesn’t matter that, she already has one child. A woman dealing with secondary infertility really can’t help but want what she wants, like Yewande Zaccheus, author of God’s Waiting Room series puts it.
Baby dust to Precious and other TTC moms.
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