I am a mother of four; three angels and one living baby girl. Every time I lost a baby, a slice of me died. My marriage suffered too. Today, through a support group, I have been able to overcome. This is my story.
"Darling, two lines. Yeeee!" I shouted to my husband David.
Twenty weeks later, we chose to do a scan. The sonographer who took donkey's time referred us to her senior.
"This is an IUFD", the senior said.
Hubby being a nurse understood that term. He became pale as we headed to see the doctor.
"Ann, you know babies need to grow, right? I am sorry, there is no heartbeat. We need to evacuate the baby".
Wait. Is this wide flat-faced doc insane? Is he talking about my baby? I fumed.
I found myself in a counselling room, yelling and crying all I could. Not my honeymoon baby. Not at all! I had not experienced any pain. Neither had I done any weird acrobats to warrant such a report.
We got married in August 2015 and we enjoyed it tremendously. This was January 2016 and our honeymoon baby was 20 weeks old.
Then came induction, followed by vomiting. The cleaner did his work and threw that trash in a nearby waste bin. Hold on to that; you will see why I vividly remember this bin.
I delivered a baby size of a palm at midnight. The tall skinny dark nurse showed me, "See? It was a girl. Her cord has a knot". Unapologetically and inhumanely, he threw her into the bin. That dirty bin.
The placenta did not come out. I was left in the room bleeding. My girl in the bin. Hubby came and asked if I had delivered.
"That bin right there,'' I replied, dangling helplessly on the edge of the bloody wet bed. I saw him rummaging through the bin trying to find her. It was a scary view.
I bled gallons from 1am to 8am; I felt my life slip away from the snare of death.
Nightmares followed me after the discharge. I would have visions of the nurse throwing my baby in the bin. I was traumatised.
Second pregnancy. I successfully carried her to term. She is a three year bubbly girl. Our lives now revolve around this princess. Her name is Shanice.
Hurray! Third pregnancy. At 24weeks we do the scan and huh! A boy. We get excited, BUT, he has an issue; his head.
I go to a specialist at Aga Khan. This one was kind, gentle and yet very detailed.
"I do not sugar-coat. My dear, your baby has delayed growth. The head and the heart has an abnormality. It is not pleasing ".Another journey began. I formed a prayer group for baby Gift. I had not trusted God more before.
I would go for a scan every Saturday. At one point, I was told the baby will most likely not survive after delivery and we had to terminate at 32weeks. I refused. Whose report are you gonna believe Ann? God's or doctors? I chose the former.
Every time Gift kicked, I remembered he might live or not. I wondered if I was carrying a real human being from what I saw on the scans. They were horrifying.
I thought they were describing a stone-like cabbage or gorilla in my womb. I mean, how can my baby have all those abnormalities. I travailed for this boy. I rode on my prayer group's faith.
At 40 weeks, I got induced and delivered a healthy looking handsome baby boy. He cried a little, I was excited and fearful.
I saw him cry. I saw him keep quiet. I prayed. This boy I had laboured for. God you cannot allow this. I have trusted you. I have chosen to disregard the doctor’s report. Please let him live. And God was silent. The boy on my chest kept quiet.
The nurses wrapped and gave him to me knowing his status too well. I felt him change from warm to cold. He became stiff.
I wished I could share my breath with him, to make him live. He did not even suckle. I cried. I felt hopeless.
I cuddled and kissed him hoping the motherly touch would resurrect him. My Gift was gone.
People came to see us. I gave them the cold baby. They cried and comforted us.
I was discharged with my bag of clothes, basin and slippers. I wished nothing but death. My baby, whom I carried for 40weeks, was gone forever.
I hated God, stopped praying and reading His Word. I just wanted to stay in my dark room with undrawn curtains.
I would walk like a zombie and wear torn baggy trousers. I lost touch with the realities of life.
Few months later, I conceived again. At seven weeks, I started bleeding. My third loss came like lightning. My life felt broken.
The first time I went back to church, I just wept. I could not utter a word. I cried wondering if God truly loved me. Why was He failing me?
Then came Still a Mum Trust who took me through counselling. I found mums who had gone through loss and we cried together. An urge to support others going through similar losses was born.
Slowly, I started coming up. I learned to live a day at a time. I got to learn that it is okay not to be okay.
I embraced life and now I live as a beacon of hope, pursuing my passions and purpose.