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3 Pregnancies in Zambia

September 06, 2022 By Tina Nkandu

3 Pregnancies in Zambia

I am writing from my home in Zambia a little information about myself and experience with severe preeclampsia Syndrome.  While I am a mother of one child, I have had preeclampsia twice. In my first pregnancy, I had just a little bit of information. I was a 3rd year student at the time; I didn't know more information about the condition and never thought it could affect me. It was when I was 34 weeks when my blood pressure was elevated and I had protein in my urine. I was admitted to the hospital that day and that's how my blood pressure was controlled. The Doctor who was reviewing me said we needed to just buy time since the baby was still small. I tried to dispute it a little but I thought the Doctor knew what was best for me. I stayed in the hospital for 3 more days, because I still had protein in my urine, swollen legs, and epigastric pain. Suddenly I felt this sharp pain- I started crying and called the midwife but she advised that it was labor and I needed to be strong. I later started vomiting and bleeding. I required blood transfusions, the second of which sent my body into shock. By the time the doctor came to review me, sadly I had placenta abruption. I was induced and had a stillborn baby boy. This was at a government hospital, but for my second baby I went to a private hospital and they managed the pregnancy with good service and care from the start of pregnancy which I appreciated. I developed severe preeclampsia again; however my baby girl was delivered at 34 weeks with an emergency C-section, and she is healthy today.

 

I am currently pregnant, expecting my third and last baby and being followed up at hospital. My estimated due date is March 3rd 2023, but I will likely have an elective C-section in February. 

 

I should mention that indeed loss of a baby is the worst experience one can wish for on anyone and there is no psychological therapy offered in these Zambian hospitals after this traumatic experience. I sort my healing through church, family members, and friends. There is much I feel needs to be done especially through foundations like this.

 

I have been put on hypertensive drugs because the blood pressure had been fluctuating on being elevated which persisted after the two experiences of preeclampsia. I had a loss in April 2016, and because of feeling very emotionally empty I conceived again in August. My little girl was born in March 2017. She's an adorable 5-year-old. 

 

I have so much passion wanting to help women in my country, Zambia. I have seen from my medical experience that a lot of women don't have information or knowledge about this condition and most women are not sensitized about it. Hence I joined the Preeclampsia Foundation community to learn more and get experience helping women out there. My aspiration has been to help a lot of women out there as much as possible. A lot of women die from this condition in our government hospitals- people of all walks of life, from townships and villages, due to poor management and follow-up. This is why I want to also place a hand of help and awareness, and am glad and grateful to begin the journey volunteering with your team.

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