Image for post
Image for post
Image by Getty

Labor and delivery is a most powerful path of surrender. No matter how the baby eventually arrives. *Angela’s first experience of surrender was in 2017 when her husband *Bob pushed her through the glass doors of a private hospital. She sat somewhat slumped on the wheelchair, a hissing sound spilling out of her, uncontrolled. The more she hissed, the more he found himself running along the corridors, bags on his shoulder, with the screeching sound of his sneakers accompanying every turn.

Two hours prior, she had been fast asleep when she felt a distinct pop deep in between her legs. …


Image for post
Image for post

Life is not random. We are still here because we are supposed to be here. That realisation came to life for me, on the 14th of November this year when I received a call that constipated my mind.

I wish there was an app that could screen calls based on the kind of conversation the caller wanted to have. A sort of preamble to invite you to take a seat if it was bad news or remain standing if it wasn’t.

So when my husband called me that afternoon and said, “Susan I am coming for you. They found something on your scan,” a chill washed over me. It started at the back of my neck and crept down my body like an invisible hand. I was alone in the house and the first thought that came to mind was, ‘What was the last thing I said to my children this morning?’ I couldn’t remember. …


Image for post
Image for post

*Amani sought death; it rejected her. Now death pursues her, and she wants to live.

Earlier this year in May, she was at a party that had turned from sweet to sour as the evening wore on. While under the influence of alcohol, she had fought with her boyfriend and suffered degrading looks from her friends. After this incident, the party began to stifle her and the walls seemed to close in on her. She needed to leave. Outside, she tried to take in deep breaths to calm down but there was no amount of fresh air that could clear her head. ‘I have had it. I am done,’ she thought to herself. So she went home. Back at her apartment, she felt cloaked by every negative emotion and with the weight of these feelings she stumbled to the store and grabbed a bottle of Jik and another of Roberts antiseptic. …


Image for post
Image for post

NOW

You are groggy after the procedure which was as short as the life of a fly. Back in the general ward, you feel empty. Like they scraped away pieces of your soul in addition to evacuating the products of conception. That was the term you heard them use for what was left inside you. Aunty is by your side as promised, “I got a hold of Kim finally. He told me he forgot his phone at home when he went to his friends place for a function.”

The function lasted the whole night? You wonder. Before you could complete that thought, a hand pulled the curtains causing you and Aunty to look up. It was Kim. He charged into the room and took your hand. You felt your face twist in agony as you started to sob again. He leaned over you, his head on your abdomen and he sobbed with you. …


Image for post
Image for post

NOW

The doctor walks back in with a smaller speculum. You swivel your head to look at him and immediately tense up. The thought of going through that process again makes you squirm.

“Angela, you need to position yourself again. It will be less painful if you relax.”

No it won’t, you think. He is assuming your pain is tangible, something that can be seen or measured. But what you really feel is damaged. There is a searing burn in your soul that’s so deep to reach. As he prepares his tools again, you pull up your legs and try to breathe. …


Image for post
Image for post

NOW

You lie curled in a fetal position at the back of the car. The only thing louder than your groan is the screech of the tires as your aunt tries to get you to the ER. As she turns a corner, you almost drop to the floor as there is nothing to hold on to except your sanity. Then you feel it. A soundless pop in between your legs and with it a warm wetness. “Aunty, I think I am bleeding.” Your voice lacks it’s usual colour. …


Image for post
Image for post

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the sons born in ones youth. Mzee Mameti had seven such arrows and three lasses among them. His humble home in the village of Mbande felt like a small school with no recess. The spaces in between the walls were constantly filled with good natured banter; sometimes so loud it was hard to focus on anything else.

Theirs was not like present times, where we live in our quaint apartments and fight for ‘personal space.’ A house with ten children, plus a few relatives in transition, did not thrive on personal space. First, all chores were distributed equally regardless of gender; food was sourced from the farm where they spent time chasing squirrels, climbing trees and hiding amongst plants. Bath time was a spectacle. Buckets of water were placed in the sun to gain heat and everyone bathed communally beneath the sky; and dried in the sun too. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by RosaPark flowers

A lily never pretends. It’s beauty is that it is what it is. It blooms in the mud and shines in the darkness to remind you that no matter how bad things are, they will get better.

*******

You don’t see death coming when you are forced to lie on your belly. So you resist the position even if you know what’s good for you. You toss and turn; hoping no one will find you in your default setting — on your side. You have a sense of foreboding that on your belly, death might sneak up on you and catch you unaware and you want to see it coming. …


Image for post
Image for post

In 2004, Facebook was launched, Friends aired its final episode, President Ronald Reagan died, The Tsunami occurred, Nelson Mandela retired from retirement, The Africa cup of Nations was held in Tunisia, Wangari Maathai won the Nobel prize, Ezekiel Kemboi won a gold medal and Mercy was a caterpillar.

***********

16 year old Mercy climbed the stairs to the headmistress’s office, the weight of her breasts causing her back to ache.

“I need to see a gynecologist.”

Miss *Tira looked up in undisguised shock, “Who told you what a gynecologist is. Are you pregnant?”

“No.”

“You know we will find out one way or the other.” …


Image for post
Image for post

She told me this is the first time she is telling her story. It made me feel like I was the first person to arrive at a crime scene. You don’t want to touch or move anything unnecessarily so that anyone else who comes after you, will see what you have seen; feel what you have felt.

**

Mum’s prayer for dinner that day, was long. She droned on and on. I half listened as the whiff of stew tickled my senses. ‘Finish already,’ I thought. But she was far from done. I almost fell off my seat when her voice tapered off, “And God we pray for the plans we have for *Bobi.” I gawked at her forgetting prayer etiquette. When she said ‘Amen,’ everyone had a puzzled look on their face. But nothing could beat the expression that had drawn itself on dad’s face. “What do you mean Bobi’s plans? Am I missing something?” he asked as he started to pass the soup. I gave my mum the look and she threw it right back. “Go ahead Bobi, tell him.” I looked at my brothers — their chests were still; and then at dad as his eyes settled on me, expectant. I stalled. ‘Where would I begin? The shower? The ultrasound? The biopsy? Or the CT scan? Should I take a bite first then speak or just let my story become the first course?’ …

About

MedRoomeyes

Medical doctor; specialist in obgyn; focus on real stories that educate and entertain.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store