PLATTE-LAND 012: MATERNITY WARD

Image result for maternity wardThe first EDD had slipped away with nothing much to write home about. There were no unusual feelings or mild pains to trigger any heedful reaction. They called Dr. Angela and she reassured them nothing was amiss. She however, emphasized that they should report to the hospital if the second EDD came by, with no labor symptoms being witnessed. The gap between the two EDDs was one week.

On the eve of the second EDD, Anastasia started experiencing irregular contractions, after midday. Being her first time pregnancy she had vague clues about labor. When the orange-ball was setting on the other side of the city, sinking beyond the horizon and consequently inviting the night as it compelled the bogged city dwellers to retire to their rented apartments, the contractions became a bit regular. Mongoose suggested they time their interval span. They ranged between 30-40 minutes and as the day wore the pains cycle narrowed to 20 minutes. Soon after, it became unbearable.

It was dreadful pain. Pain that came with its extended family and girlfriends. Pain that was a dozen times worse than a toothache. Pain that could make you pee on yourself. Simply put – An agony that makes you wonder, why you became pregnant in the first place. A poor Anastasia wrenched in a biting misery, helplessly. Mongoose couldn’t wait for 8-10 minutes as advised by Dr. Angela, not even 12 minutes would do. He had never watched Anastasia in such kind of twinge. It was inordinate. She had not left her seat for an hour or so. When the wave of contractions would commence, she’d put her arms in between her legs, droop her head and sigh off out of bruising anguish. The pains would crumble her down, and squeeze out any energy left behind.

Mongoose called his main man – Euty, cut from another mother. In no minute, he would pull off at Mongoose’s place. They put the basin and the packed bag right into the car, assisted Anastasia hop inside and sped off to Zion City Nursing Home. Meanwhile, he called Aunty Bobo, who naturally had a heads up of her niece’s fate. She promised to board the first matatu from Kaibaga to the city the next morning. Waithiegeni was on her way to the hospital, never mind it was past 11 pm.

***

She is put in a waiting room next to the maternity block awaiting to be booked for admission. At such an hour, the hospital is busy receiving droves of other expectant women overwhelmed by labor pains. Some are accompanied by their husbands but majority are chaperoned by women – be it their mums, mother in laws, or female friends. Euty whispers to Mongoose that out of strange reasons many deliveries occur at night since that’s when labor contractions worsen. Is it a coincidence or pure fallacy? Euty spoke authoritatively, having been in Mongoose’s situation twice. He is a dad to two high spirited boys – 3 and 1 year respectively.

In my community, they say an ailment worsens in the night.

Two nurses pop up, one be like: “Ehe msaidiwe aje?”

Mongoose jumps in.

“She is in labor.”

“How did you tell?”

“The contractions.”

“What about them?”

“They are a bit regular and quite strong and we’ve timed them for the last 4 hours.”

“And?”

“The span is about 15 minutes.”

“So?”

“Dr.Angela told me to bring her if it nears 10 minutes, but the pain was too much.”

“Any blood spots?”

“No.”

“Is she a first time?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Excuse us.”

Mongoose is ordered out.

Seated at the ice-cold bench along the busy corridor, they stare at helpless would-be husbands moving up and down clinging on their phones if not keeping up with the buzzing phone calls, while some peep at maternity doors to lift their hopes regarding their wives’ fate. They grapple with ridiculous anxiety. The weather is horrible. It’s approaching midnight and the temperatures are below 10 degrees. Aunty Bobo calls as Waithiegeni arrives.

The nurses examine Anastasia. They establish the contractions are genuine labor pains but sadly the cervix dilation is not adequate. They need 10 cm and she is at 3. She is however admitted at the prenatal ward, only to meet other women in different stages of labor. Some lie on the floor while others bite the metallic beds just to trick the grueling pains. Meanwhile, Waithiegeni and the boys remain outside watching over any news from the nurses walking up and down. Most of the them are below 28 years. A sizable number seem passionate on their job. Some pull warm faces and appear receptive while others feel like their work is demeaned and consequently appear very intimidating.

Two hours pass by with no word from the hospital and Mongoose walks to the Admission room demanding to know the fate of his woman. No one is in the mood of listening to his pleas. He calls Dr. Angela but the calls go unanswered. He stops anybody he spots at the corridor be it the cleaners, interns, students on attachment and patients in their oversize gowns. The information he gets is too economical and doesn’t add up. He however learns that Dr. Angela is on off duty. As he ponders for the next move, they get rudely interrupted by women yelling in the labor ward. Could Anastasia be one of them? They wonder, helplessly.

Mongoose is called in after ages of waiting. He meets Dr. Muchemi and he is like;

“Hi, we’ve established the cervix dilation is quite sluggish. She has only managed 3cm more after injecting her with Synthetic Oxycontin to fasten the dilation bringing the total to 6cm. We need 10cm for her to undergo normal child delivery process.”

Moongose sighs off.

“How is the baby?” He asks.

“The baby appears to be in good spirits but he/she might tire soon since the labor is over 10 hours which is not recommended. We were buying time since the infant’s head was at the tip of the pelvic bones, but the progress of the dilation is not very good.”

“What are the dangers?”

“If we prolong the labor pains, Anastasia could be vulnerable to fistula complications in future. But more pertinently, chances of amniotic fluid bursting are high which could end up harming the infant’s skin and the digestive organs. The baby and the mother may also tire out and run out of oxygen.”

So, what are you suggesting Doc?

“You need to make a decision Mr. Ezekiel. The thing is, in as much as Anastasia was set to deliver the baby via the natural method, I’m afraid we’ll have to book her for an Emergency C-section operation. This is the most prudent action at stake if we are to guarantee the safety of both the baby and the mother.”

“Can I see her before I make the decision?”

“Unfortunately, we can’t grant your request at this point in time. But I can assure you she is alright. You are her next of kin. You’ve got to authorize us by filling and signing this form or else you could consider getting a second opinion from a different hospital.”

“Just give me minute.”

Mongoose walks out to brief Waithiegeni and Euty. He also calls Aunt Bobo.

The C-section operation is given a nod by Mongoose. The theater room is prepared and in a short while, Anastasia is wheeled inside. She may or may not come back alive – that was the spirit of the form Mongoose signed.

It’s past 1am with no word from the hospital regarding Anastasia. It’s extremely cold and the winds are blowing rudely. Mongoose and his company are impatiently resting at the waiting room. They’ve been served lukewarm black tea which does little to bail out their freezing bodies. Meanwhile, more patients battling labor continue to arrive at such ungodly hour while in the labor ward, distressful yells and wails seem to curse the heavens. Clearly, nature has a sense of humor.

Mongoose recalls a story told by Anastasia regarding how her biological mum passed on while delivering her. The same complications seem to haunt her. Could it be genetic? A cold sweat runs down his underarms.

2am…

The C-section is successful. Anastasia gains conscious half an hour after. It’s a baby girl. The tag reads Female – Kendy Karimi. She is cleaned by the nurses as she makes her first reaction to the world by crying faintly. She weighs 3.2 kilograms.

Photo credit: Sheknows.com

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Lechery

By the way, do you have a kid of up to 15 years, these folks have something for you Nanyuki Toy World

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