Monday, 1 October 2012

Supporting My grieving Neighbour

The last two weeks since the resumption of school children to their various schools has seen mothers being up with their games, joggling all from waking up early to get the household ready and get herself off to work or business as the case may be.

For every busy Lagosian, its no news. This brings me to how much Mrs Edafe must be going through right now. She is yet to heal from the emotional trauma of lossing her 2 days old baby as well as coping with the normal school runs since schools resumed.

She has no house help nor nanny. Her hubby tries as I have noticed that he has been going very late to work. I suspect he must be the one preparing the children for school. Madam's mother came to be with them for a few days but what could the old woman possibly do? Her other siblings came and stayed a few days but have all returned to their base. Now she is all alone.

I did go visit her again to know if she needed any help. The pains people bottle inside even when the outside is looking all flashy and tushed!  She particularly asked me to help her look for any househelp that will be living with them as she needs to rest well so as to enable her wound heal fast enough.

How about the kids, I had asked her.  She surprised me by informing me how she has had no choice but to drive them to school herself! What?  Wonderful.  I was shocked.

Where can one get a househelp for this woman?  The stress is just too much. As she was narrating her predicaments, I just pity this woman.  I am almost making up my mind to remain a one child single mother! Haba! See tears flowing freely down her cheeks.

I am going to take this seriously and help my friendly neighbour. She needs help and urgently too

NB:  As I think about this, I am curious to ask this inner voice on the inside of my head a very troubling question.  I mean, as I reflect on how Madam Edafe was going about flaunting her preganacy and screaming on top of her voice for whoever cares to listen that she is pregnant, what is the assurance that some "men /women in BLACK" alias witches didnt take the time to make it ther business to teach her some lessons?

I know, I know, why would I even go there, abi? Well, I am just asking , its still in my head.

I came across this write up and I must say it has helped me to understand what Mrs Edafe is going through right now and also help me to give a few tips or two during my visits to her flat.

Coping with the loss of a newborn baby

Sadly, about one in 300 babies die during their first 28 days of life. This article explains some of the reasons why "neonatal" death happens. It has suggestions for what to do and how to cope if you have lost a baby. It may also be helpful if you are supporting a friend or family member who has suffered a loss.

What are my choices when my baby dies?

Your choices about what to do when your baby dies are very personal, there is no right or wrong. You and your partner may think differently, or you may need time to decide what you want. The hospital should respect your wishes, whatever you ultimately decide.

Research has shown that many parents find touching and holding their baby at this time extremely helpful. This is especially the case if a baby has spent days in an incubator attached to tubes in a special care baby unit.

The heartbreaking moments when their baby is dying or shortly after death may be the first time that parents have been able to hold their baby properly. Some parents also choose to wash and dress their baby themselves or take photographs.

Will I be able to find out what went wrong?

The reason why a baby died can sometimes be determined by conducting a post mortem examination ("autopsy").

A post mortem can:

• identify a cause or causes of death

• provide information about the baby’s development

• provide information about any health problems which will help your doctor to care for you in a future pregnancy.

However, a post mortem does not always provide a specific reason for what happened and this can be very frustrating. You do not have to agree to a post mortem. Some parents decide against it because of personal, religious or cultural reasons.

To help you make the decision, the hospital staff should give you as much information as you need. No investigations or tests will be done without your consent, and your views and wishes should be respected. You may need a little time to think about your decision. However, the sooner the post mortem is done, the better the information is likely to be.

If you decide to go ahead with a post mortem examination, you will be asked to give written consent before it is carried out. It may be possible for you to see your baby again after the post mortem. The staff should tell you in advance if this will be feasible and, if so, what your baby might look like. If staff advise you against seeing her after the post mortem, you may want to say your goodbyes beforehand. You should also be told when the post mortem results are likely to be available, and given an appointment to discuss them with the doctor.

What causes neonatal death?

Most babies who die in their first month of life are either born prematurely or have a low birth weight.

However, many babies are born before their systems can cope with life outside the womb.

Breathing (respiratory) problems are the most common cause of serious illness and death in premature babies. Premature babies are particularly at risk from complications such as:

• respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or pneumonia

• bleeding in the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage)

• infections acquired in the womb, or during or after delivery

• inflammation of the large and small intestine (necrotising enterocolitis).

The second major cause of neonatal death is congenital abnormalities such as heart or lung defects.

I can't seem to get over the loss of my baby. Where can I find help?

While some people want to get "back to normal" as quickly as possible, others need time to recover. You are coping with the trauma of loss and you need time to mourn. , or talk to people who have been through a similar experience.

How will my body recover?

During the first few weeks you will have some vaginal bleeding ("lochia") and intermittent period-like pain. If the bleeding or pain gets worse or you have a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, contact your GP straight away.

You may find that your breasts produce milk. This can be uncomfortable and very distressing, as a constant physical reminder of your loss. There is medication that can stop lactation. However, research shows that the discomfort can return for a short time after the course of medication is finished. Some women prefer to avoid medication and let their milk dry up naturally. If you decide to let nature take its course, your midwife should be able to suggest ways to keep you as comfortable as possible.

You will be offered a check-up after six weeks, either at the hospital or with your GP. This is good chance to ask questions about the possible causes of the pregnancy loss and the implications for any future pregnancy.

It may take a little time for your body to get back to its pre-pregnancy state.
You will be entitled to all your maternity rights, so don't feel pressured to return to work before you're ready.

What are the implications for a future pregnancy?

This depends on the cause of the baby's death. If the reason was a congenital abnormality, you may be referred for genetic counselling to assess the risks and discuss your options for a future pregnancy.

If your baby was born prematurely, there is a slightly higher risk of your next baby being premature - about a one in six (15 per cent) chance, according to the baby charity, Tommy's. However, this means that 85 per cent of women in this situation go on to have a normal, full-term pregnancy.

There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of premature birth in future. For example, women who smoke during their pregnancy have been found to be at higher risk. This is because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream, which in turn deprives the growing baby of oxygen.

You should take the necessary precautions to avoid infection from listeriosis, salmonella and toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, and try to keep yourself as healthy as possible. It is important that you attend all your antenatal appointments. As your pregnancy progresses, you will be closely monitored by your obstetrician and midwife for any warning signs of early labour.

The decision to try for another baby can be difficult. It may be the last thing on your mind, or it may be all you can think about. Some women have an overwhelming urge to be pregnant again as soon as possible. Any subsequent pregnancy is likely to be very stressful.



Hege Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your neighbors loss. It's probably one of the post painful experiences a woman can go through to loose a baby.

Since I lost my babies I've read stories about women from all over the world, and it fascinates me how similar the stories are despite the cultural and religious backgrounds.

I hope your neighbor will find peace in her heart and heal with time, but I also want to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog - so that I could find you and read yours.

Sykik said...

God bless you for lending a shoulder. kindly give her a hug for me. God will wipe her tears, make her strong and give her a reason to smile again.

abeg, abeg, this is Naija, the likelihood of "awon aye" is a possibility.

God protect us all.

Anonymous said...

GOD will give her the strength to overcome. words cannot describe what she is going through.
Househelp?..hmm..let her be cautious....none can be trusted nowadays.

Ritty said...

@ Mare, Its such a pleasure reading from you. I am so torched. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. I am sure a lot of women out there have a thing or two to learn from each other.

I had a terribe experience too when I was pregnant with my baby and almost lost her 3 times. Oh yes. I was told it was threaten abortion. A lot of primate mothers have this issue and most of them till date have not been able to conceive.

I have been there and I know the pain. I hope to help a few more women heal becos, quiet frankly, when a woman hurts, its so deep inside and it takes a lot of trusting to come and want to be helped.

I will want to ask for your permission to share yor story on my blog so a few who are hurting can learn from ur recovery tips too.

Love to hear from u soon. Big hugs.

Ritty said...

@ Simply Mee, wonders will never end. Madam Edafe went to the ends of the earth so to say literally to get a small girl as house help! I can guess her age to be about 13years.

I don't want to go there but for now, i rest my case.

Ritty said...

@Sykik, as much as I no wan gree say "awon aye" fit get hand for her matter, I will also want to say she sef too do and over expose herself to these forces, human and spiritual.

Which woman when pregnant goes screaming down people's neck that cant they see she is pregnant? She too do o, i may say so.

She bin dey bed rest from her 7th month of pregnancy and still had the child by CS. The baby boy dies after two days.

I don close my mouth. It is well