Like a flash of bright light, it suddenly occurred to Rita to find him. It was not only by jumping that people killed themselves. What if he had used a rope?
“Obi! di m!” she shouted as she picked herself and rushed out of the crowd towards the building. “Madam, take it easy.” A few people tried to restrain her, thinking she was shouting because it was Obi who had killed himself. She managed to pull herself out of their grasp and rushed to the staircase, her heart pounding. The elevator would have been too slow for her.
On the third floor staircase landing, she paused, leaning heavily against the rail and panting. The pain in her belly had returned with more vehemence. Her sides hurt too. After five miscarriages, the doctor had advised that she remain on bed rest in the hospital. They had even put some stitches in her womb to hold this baby in place. Tears flowed freely. And she wondered when the bleeding would start too.
“She went up this way.” She heard a voice say from the bottom of the stairs. “Okay,” another replied and commenced climbing with heavy steps, like Obi’s. She slid slowly to the floor clutching her belly. He was coming for her. He was alive.
Turning to her side, she felt something cool and soft beneath her. She ran her hand gently along the coolness. “Rita,” a very familiar voice said to her. When she opened her eyes, Obi was standing at the window, his eyes sunken in deep worry. “What were you thinking?”
“I was afraid, what did you expect?” she replied with a frown.
His question was annoying but she was thankful it was not Obi who had jumped. “Who was it?”
“Eh? Why?” Rita sat up too quickly the blood rushed away from her head leaving her breathless. She lay back down slowly.
“He failed his final exams.”
“Wow! Who would have thought it?” Her eyes were like huge saucers.
The boy had lived with his parents and two siblings in the apartment directly above theirs. His parents were so proud that he was studying civil engineering at the university of Lagos. It was a terrible thing. Rita shook her head wondering how the bereaved family would survive the pain and neighbourhood gossip that was sure to follow such a remarkable death.
A flutter deep in her lower belly made her break into a very wide smile. She reached down and rubbed the area with bliss.
P.S.: A miscarriage can be triggered by intense emotion, congenital abnormalities in the baby, domestic violence, accidents, infection, certain diseases in the mother, hormone problems or simply because the mother is older than 35 years. It more commonly happens before the fifth month of pregnancy, before the baby can survive outside its mother’s womb.
It may or may not be painful but there will be bleeding if it happens. It can be prevented by seeking professional help first of all. Bed rest can be prescribed, a surgical procedure know as cervical cerclage can also be done to keep the mouth of the womb closed.
The major question after experiencing a possible miscarriage is this: ‘Is the baby still in there?’ The answer to this question guides the choice of treatment. If the baby is still intact, supportive treatment like bed rest, is provided in order to maintain the pregnancy. If bits of the pregnancy are still present in the womb but the baby has been expelled, a procedure to remove it would be done. Tests are done to find the cause of the miscarriage especially if it happens again and again.
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