In the last post I shared how we started to plan for our wedding, and seemed to have healed from the heartbreak of the last miscarriage. We got married on the 30th of May 2003. It was a small wedding by Zimbabwean standards (One hundred people) It was a simple affair because we could not afford anything extravagant, and we were so happy and everything else did not seem to matter as long as we were together and finally married. We had our honeymoon at the beautiful Victoria Falls. I remember feeling extremely exhausted throughout our trip to Victoria Falls. I just wanted to sleep and not explore any of it. I dragged myself daily and I can only imagine what my husband thought. Needless to say, as soon as I went back home, we confirmed that I was pregnant again! Finally, we were going to be parents!
I don’t know if it was faith or denial, but somehow with this pregnancy, I never worried about miscarrying again. I just thought all would go well. I had no fear, I was confident that the first one had been a once off. I was now based out of town in Gwanda again with lots of travelling between my hometown of Bulawayo and Gwanda, but had regular doctor visits and everything seemed fine. The scan confirmed that it was a girl and the joy that we felt was immeasurable.
One day towards the end of November 2003, I travelled from Bulawayo to Gwanda. That night I experienced the most severe running tummy I had ever experienced. I believed that something I had eaten must have triggered it. The following morning I woke up with cramps. I immediately went into panic mode and decided to go back to Bulawayo and see a doctor. After my first experience with the first miscarriage, I shied away from the Gwanda doctors and hospital. It held such painful memories which I was not ready to face. The gentleman I was working with tried to convince me to delay my trip by a day, but I insisted that I had to see the doctor on that very day.
We travelled back to Bulawayo, and went straight to the doctor’s office without going home. My elder sister, Similo, was with me. My regular doctor was not in, and her colleague who was also her husband attended to me. The doctor started asking me what time I had last felt the baby kick, and I knew something was wrong. I could not hear the heartbeat on the machine. The doctor said he would take me to hospital himself as he did not want to waste any time. Everything seemed to be happening fast. My sister rushed to our parent’s house to get my dad. My mum was at our rural home. My husband was more than 300kms away. When I got to the hospital I was taken to the labour ward, and a few tests later was informed that there was no heartbeat. My baby had died. My dad arrived. I have always been a daddy’s girl, and when I saw him I cried my heart out. A few moments later, my sister walked in. She still did not realise that the baby was dead. She thought I had gone into early labour, and so she came carrying baby clothes. My dad took the baby clothes and flung them away, I guess it was his way of dealing with everything. My heart broke for my sister, we clung to each other. We cried so hard. I don’t even remember when the labour ended. I remember waking up the following day and I was not pregnant anymore. My beautiful baby girl was dead.
The doctors kept me sedated, and at some point I woke up and found my friends, family and colleagues surrounding me. I still see their faces. They were in pain, they looked crushed. They had walked this journey with me. We had gone shopping for baby clothes. They had listened to my never ending tales on the experiences of my pregnancy. I was the first one in the group to get married and be pregnant, so this was their baby too. Loveness was there. Buhla was there. There was Chipo, and Mbiko. And a few others. I failed to speak to them, I never said a word, I just cried. Buhla stood to my left and kept passing the tissue to me. It was surreal. It was like I was watching it happening to someone else and not me. The pain…the pain. Just how much pain can one take? And how did that pain not kill me?
I look forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you over the next couple of months. Look out for the next post soon, and in the meantime, feel free to leave a comment, and also check out the other posts on the blog….God Bless, Zwi