There are a couple of creepy things that every woman will experience when they are pregnant, most of these are normalized even. However, there are some experiences that leave you scared to death. You notice every red flag your medic warns you about, and sometimes get so sure that you could be losing your baby.
I want to share with you a short story about the scariest day of my pregnancy. On that day, I was so sure something bad was going to happen to my baby. Every close person in my life has heard me narrate this story in a funny tone, it is only now that I’ve realized that I used humor to cover up the pain and fear I went through during the time.
So here goes a little story lovies…
The scariest thing that happened while I was pregnant
It was a sunny day in September, I had woken up in one of the best moods ever. During this time, I was at the end of my second trimester and always felt like I was on cloud nine. At this time, I was still not feeling the heaviness of the bulging bump I was carrying around.
I had just gotten confident in myself again, and how I looked. I was getting out of my shell and always had the urge to walk around. I always had an energy that needed to be burned.
On this particular day, my mind had made up that I needed to walk to Limbe market for some required thrift shopping. For my audience that is not Malawian, the Limbe market is a free market, and probably the most chaotic in the southern region of the country.
I decided to go there with a friend of mine. My aim was to get myself some gowns and other baby clothes that looked almost new.
We started off around 12 and walked our way to Limbe Health Centre to get my friend vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As we were walking from the health center and entering the market, I was telling my friend what I specifically wanted. That way, we both were on the same page.
We entered the market and started our thrift shopping. My job was to look for beautiful things that caught my attention, my friend would then kneel and pick them up for me to properly inspect. My little grown tummy could not allow me to continuously kneel and stand.
Sidenote, I figured on this day that it is so easy to negotiate when you are pregnant. I loved seeing the sellers just have a spark of compassion for my pregnant self. Made me feel good.
We did our shopping for about an hour, we were able to get good deals on a lot of clothes. Made me happy that I had gotten my money’s worth, for some quality materials too.
When we were done with the last seller, we decided that it was time to go back to work. I asked my friend that we exit the market from one of the side exits, that way I could buy myself some street food (chiwaya) because I was craving the chips and eggs from there.
Also, another thing I loved doing when I was pregnant was to go to street food vendors and just allow myself to take in the smoke. That alone would calm me down and put me at ease. Almost the same as those that ask their partners to take them to fill stations just so they can take in the smell of diesel.
We started to walk towards one of the many narrow exits, as we neared it, I saw two men coming from the opposite end. We were to meet on a little stream, the bridge for it is made from a concrete slab that was just laid to allow people to step on it.
The tricky thing is, it is impossible for two people to pass at the same time. You give each other turns to cross. My friend who was in front of me passed me, while the two men waited on the other end. As I was about to step on the slab, I was pushed by one of the men.
The little push made me lose my balance and instantly started going down. At that moment, I knew that I was bound to fall flat on my tummy. Acting quickly, I twisted myself a little, making me fall on my legs. My left knee landed on the concrete slab, while the right leg went straight in the muddy stream.
A hand fell to the slab, in an attempt to keep my mid-section from getting any impact. However, regardless of my attempts, a little of my tummy still hit the concrete slab.
At that moment, I felt a sharp pain close to my abdomen. In one instance, my friend was there helping me up, with the help of the man who I had collided with. He never fell from it, I was the one who got the impact of it.
As I stood, I cared less about the cuts on my knees that were gushing blood. Mine was worried about the pain that I felt.
I saw the worry that was painted on the man’s face. He kept shifting his eyes from my face to my belly. He asked me if I was okay, but I could not give him an answer. He started apologizing profusely, but my mind was still on the sharp pain that was digging its way into my abdomen.
All I could give him was a nod.
One of the street food vendors who had seen everything rushed to my side with a bucket of water. Immediately, he and a friend went to work to wash the blood and mud that had engulfed my legs. That too was painful, but I felt that it was a pain I could deal with.
My friend encouraged me to take the rest of the day off, but I went back to work. I needed to take my mind off of the sharp pain that was still lingering.
When the time for me to knock off clocked, I could not stand up. The pain had grown in my abdomen, and so had the pain from the cuts on my legs.
There was one thing that my mind was drawn to, another thought, I had not felt my baby kick that whole noon.
I started my way home, trying hard to walk normally, but failing miserably. I took a minibus home and found my mom waiting for me on the stage. She was worried for me, her sight immediately made me have the urge to cry.
We walked home, her arm around my waist to try to take off a bit of my weight. It was a silent walk home, I think she knew that she had to wait before asking me to narrate what exactly had happened. Or maybe it was because she saw the tears lined in my eyes. Either way, that was the most silent she and I have ever been around each other.
When we got home, I explained what had happened as tears dripped my face. Hormones. She had started tending to my wounds at that point. She worried as to whether the baby was fine, which I assured her that he was. regardless of the fact that deep down in my heart, that was also my growing worry.
Then there were the spots of blood that I had found on my undies as I went for a bath.
I never told her that I had not felt the baby kick that whole afternoon, or about the blood. Something within was scared that if I said it out loud, it would be the start of bad luck.
Again, that whole night passed and I never felt a single kick.
The next day, I woke up with tear marks on my face. I had been crying in my sleep apparently. I cleaned up and forced myself to go to work, just to get my mind off. By 11 am, I still had not felt the baby kick, that is when I knew I needed to see a doctor.
I called my mum to meet me at the hospital, which she did. When she got there, I was already laid on the bed about to have an ultrasound done. The doctor started, for a good two minutes, we all could see the baby but there was no sound. No heartbeat, just silence.
I kept holding back tears. Then like a miracle, we all watched as this boy spread his hands, then kicked. The relief that swept through me is hard to explain. But I remember crying again. Hormones when pregnant!
The doctor then checked if everything else was fine, which it was.
After that was done, I was taken to have my wounds properly cleaned and dressed. Then I was asked to stay home for a couple of days just to let go of the stress that had engulfed me.
Thinking about this story now, I remember how worried my mom and best friend were when this happened. I remember how I would tell them I was fine when actually, I was so scared. I had been so scared that the impact had been too much to cause
This was the scariest thing that happened while I was pregnant, and I thank God every day that nothing bad happened to my baby.