If you had asked me how I thought my 2021 was going to be, I would swear by my ancestors that I did not envision myself ending up single and pregnant. In fact, I did not think I would be looking at a set of eyes staring back at me with their mouth sucking hard at my nipples. That was far from what I thought my year would be like, but life is unpredictable and things decided to go a different way than I would ever have imagined.
Now that the pregnancy blues are done, I wanted to share with you my pregnancy tales. Starting from where it all started.
First and foremost, I would like to make it clear that I totally blame Astrazeneca for this fiasco. It is what I chose as a reason why we are all here. Because without it, all this would have probably been a dream and I would have woken up to have a hearty laugh. But that little dose of vaccine made this a reality.
Anyway, to start from the actual beginning!
My start to the year was rough, for the most part, I felt like I was slipping into a dark hole. Somehow, the only person that made me stay afloat and sane was the man with who I now share a child. We both knew we were going through a tough time, but I did cherish every moment I spent with him.
My birthday, 24th February, fell on a Wednesday. It was alright though because I knew it was the weekend that would be a great time for me. Also, my period had just concluded and I knew there was no risk there. Yes, one of those stupid thoughts that makes you think you are immune to pregnancy a week after the period concludes.
The weekend did come and I did have a good time. I did not think much would happen, but obviously, God had other plans. Plans I did not think were possible due to medical reasons.
A month later, during the time my period was meant to show face, I experienced all signs of menstruation. The only thing that was not there was the actual period itself. My boobs were swollen, I had cramps around my abdomen, and had excruciating back pains. However, little aunt flo did not show up for her gig of the month.
I never thought hard about it because I was used to skipping months. Also, I found comfort in thinking that I had engaged in sex during my safe week, so nothing was meant to happen obviously. Damn was I wrong.
The tale of AstraZeneca
When the first doses of AstraZeneca reached Malawi, I knew I wanted one. Knowing fully well the deaths and pain Covid had brought in January, I just wanted to make sure that I was safe. With my friends, we took ourselves to one of the sites and a jab was had.
I remember the illness that came after. I would vomit everything I dared eat, I had a bad fever, and my body aches were just too much to handle. Again, I chose not to think much of it considering everyone was complaining of the same side effects on Twitter and Facebook. Three days passed by and the sickness was nowhere close to being done.
I remember scaring my mum that she started thinking of not taking the vaccine because she was scared she would get sick as I did. Each day, I would complain to my partner about how the sickness was not relenting until one day, he suggested I take a pregnancy test.
This was funny to me because I could remember the one day when I would have gotten pregnant. So, instead of taking the pregnancy test at home, I decided I would see a doctor first about the side effects of the vaccine and hear their thoughts.
The next day, I was in my doctor’s office. Clad in a chair explaining how bad AstraZeneca had affected me. She sat in her chair looking at me with a funny expression on her face until I was done. When I was done, all she asked was
Are you sure you are not pregnant instead?
I denied it vehemently. In my heart, I was sure nothing of that sort was possible again. At least I wanted it not to be true because I was scared of the heartbreak that would follow.
With her instruction, blood was drawn and pee was given for tests. As I waited for the results, I found myself sinking in a tube of thoughts. Mostly about what I would be told if it ended up being positive.
A dark past untold
When the doctor looked me straight in the eye and told me that I was pregnant, you damn well could have heard my heart sink deep in the Indian Ocean. I wanted to be happy, but there was so much that clouded my mind that made me choke on my saliva and think of the worst. Memories of what was my first pregnancy resurfaced.
In 2020 when I shared my fears and one of them being my fear of never being able to conceive, there were a lot of people that asked me to pay it no mind because I had not started actively trying for a baby. I often responded “you’re right” due to the fact that I felt sort of embarrassed to share a piece of my past.
That past was, in 2018 I got pregnant. I did not show any signs of pregnancy until I had some weird bleeding that was definitely not period. A check-in with my doctor confirmed that I had just miscarried. If that was not shocking and painful enough, I was told that my womb was a bit abnormal and carrying a baby would always be worrisome.
Now imagine, three years later, you are being told that you are pregnant? My mind quickly went to that thought and I alerted my doctor about it. A scan was done and indeed, there were abnormalities that were found that needed to be resolved quickly if I was not to lose the baby.
I needed to have progesterone shots to make sure my womb was able to safe-keep the baby and prevent another miscarriage. Without consulting my partner, I decided to take them. My only thought was that this was my chance at motherhood and I was going to take it no matter what.
Single and Pregnant
During the next weeks, I found myself more sad than happy. My hormones were off the ground, one minute I was happy, and the next soapy. I found myself slipping into a sort of depression and communicating with anyone just did not seem like the cup of tea I wanted at that moment. I shut everyone out, including the one man with who I was meant to share everything.
My friends knew little of everything, and those I told were sworn to secrecy mainly because of my fear of another miscarriage. I never wanted to openly share with everyone then later have to explain what happened to my pregnancy if things decided to go south.
Fights erupted in my relationship and after deliberations, we both agreed that it was best to take some time off.
I found myself single and pregnant, and for a while resented the world for all that was happening in my life. My consolation was knowing that there was a little life that was growing inside of me, that’s when I realized that my job was to make sure everything went fine.
I had to always remind myself that my sadness was not only mine anymore, I was sharing it with the little human inside of me. Each waking day, I chose to be happy regardless of how painful some instances would be. I had to learn to sacrifice and not be selfish because there were two of us sharing a body.
I will lie if I say I was not scared about the future. I would lie if I said there were no days when I just needed to be held and told that all would be alright. And, I would be lying heavily if I said that I was happy all the time. Man, this was a painful journey filled with tears.
Each time I’d go to the hospital was filled with groans of pain. There were some days I would question myself and ask why I did not just think of the high road. But then, as my tummy grew and the kicks began, I decided it was all worth it.
Now, looking at the baby in my arms, I am thankful for the journey I have been through. Do I wish things would have happened differently? Yes. However, I cherish the life lessons I have had during the time that have prepared me the most for motherhood.
I will say, it feels liberating to finally share a bit of my past and let it out. However, let me take this time to encourage every lady to check on their body beforehand. I have seen many who are insecure and unsure of their fertility, please take yourself to a doctor. Because honey, it can be depressing.
This also goes out to men, always have yourself checked to make sure you are alright.
Before you are quick to judge, my partner is part of the little one’s life. It is not perfect, but we are learning to find our own perfection in this new life.