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Blood Wednesday 3: Pains of pregnancy loss as seen through the eyes of the child

Dr. Lala .A.

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…continued from episode 2

Dad had told us mum was hypertensive which did not make a lot of sense then. I don’t have hypertension, so, why would something similar happen to me? ”Or does this ‘abruptio’ run in families?” I pondered. I don’t want the same thing to happen to my female children.

I was unable to sleep the night after the delivery of my twin babies, and I was so scared to tell Mide, my husband, about my worries as he’ll dismiss them as paranoia.
At about sunrise the following day, I called Mimi, my eldest sister. Mimi was training to become a specialist in women’s health. I thought to myself she was the best person to confide in. Over the phone, she seemed to smell my fear as she tried to allay my fears.
”Abruptio placenta is due to partial or complete separation of the placenta from its attachment in the womb before the baby is delivered,” she retorted. ‘Why would this happen?’ I wondered. As if she read my mind, she continued, ”women with hypertension, twin or higher order pregnancy, those who smoke or drink, women greater than thirty five years or less than twenty years of age during pregnancy. It could also happen if the woman is involved in traumatic event like road traffic accident or she falls down.” she continued in her serious tone. ”Sometimes, the cause is unknown.” I stopped her suddenly. ‘How do you mean the cause of a disease is unknown?’ I asked.
”Sometimes, the placenta detaches on its own without any provocation or identifiable cause. When abruptio placenta occurs, there’s usually vaginal bleeding and severe abdominal pain and if the woman does not go to the hospital immediately, she may lose the baby. At the hospital, the doctor may decide if the woman can deliver the baby herself or if she will need Caeserean section.” Mimi rapped off like it was an interview section.
”Sis, I have to go now. I have a call on the other line.” I was caught off from my trance. I had started day dreaming about what happened to mum again. Just at that moment Mide came in, I explained all Mimi had said to me. In his usual playful attitude, he laughed it off.
”Abruptio placenta, abruptio placenta, abruptio placenta, mom, mom…” I kept repeating in my dreams that night. Mide woke up in fright at the tone of my voice and found me in cold sweat. He was so scared that the next morning, he went in search of the doctor to explain what abruptio placenta is.
…. You see, It is necessary for every woman to go for antenatal care so that these risk factors can be identified early enough and abruptio placenta be prevented.” the doctor concluded. I felt very relieved on hearing that abruptio can be prevented, hopefully the abruptio dream will stop.

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.