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Fibroids! “I never want to remember how I cried painfully in the scan room the first time I saw that scary growth. It was dreadful just to think that the baby was not fine…”, narrates Edna Shanyisa. “The first scan showed that I had fibroids competing with my growing foetus.” But that was not the last of challenges – soon she would face severe tooth ache! Will it be safe for her to see a dentist? With all the stories of pregnancy risks associated with dental x-rays and medications? Is it safe to go to the dentist during pregnancy?

Uterine fibroids during pregnancy - Edna ShanyisaRetired Chief Justice, Dr.Willy Mutunga had accepted my petition

My daughter Zuri and I had a pact. I prayed that she would at least wait until I become an advocate before she popped. She listened . You see, Retired Chief Justice, Dr.Willy Mutunga had accepted my petition to be admitted to the Bar at the earliest instance due to my pregnant state. My parents were not for the idea but I was adamant. I promised myself that she would not arrive before or on the Bar Admission day…the 15th of December. I remember that so clearly. My doctor made fun of me that since I was 39 weeks and due anytime, baby girl would pop in during the ceremony at the Supreme Court . She didn’t. She and I were already in sync before she arrived…

When I missed my menses…I immediately suspected pregnancy

I had a regular cycle and so when I missed my menses on the exact day I was expecting them one Saturday in April, I immediately suspected pregnancy. Ooh the trail of thoughts, worry, fear and excitement….I was scared! I am sure all first timers usually are; this journey is not really a walk in the park as I came to conclude after delivery.

Finding out I had uterine fibroids; I cried painfully in the scan room

Things were not always that rosy though, as an issue that tried to define my journey when I was pregnant with Zuri was finding out I had uterine fibroids! My 1st Trimester was sincerely tough. The first scan showed that I had fibroids competing with my growing foetus. I never want to remember how I cried painfully in the scan room the first time I saw that scary growth. Lucky for me, this did not dampen my spirits. I was still full of exictement, grateful and hopeful that all would end up well. It was dreadful just to think that the baby was not fine. And because of that, it took four gynecologists’ opinion to get full re-assure that my pregnancy was safe. Maybe one day I will have courage to put that uterine fibroids experience in writing. Sigh..!

I immediately began my antenatal at Dr. Aswani‘s clinic in Upperhill. God bless his soul, he gave us hope amidst the scary journey. The good thing about dealing with an experienced professional is the assurance that they have handled dozens of such cases which turned out well. My heart was now at ease…I was ready for the rest of the journey to delivery. Bad nausea made it difficult for me to take iron and calcium tablets diligently and I had extreme excitement when the nausea stopped at around 12 weeks. What relief! Boarding public transport vehicles was now possible without the fear of ruining someone’s day. I also preferred Pregnasafe vitamins compared to the individual iron and calcium tablets though I had a difficult time swallowing anything in my first trimester.

I experienced excruciating pain

My 2nd Trimester was a beautiful honeymoon. Aaah I enjoyed this period. At times I would forget I was pregnant and I even slept a lot both day and night since I was not in employment. However, I had no appetite and my doctor had to prescribe appetizer pills to help me eat more for the sake of the baby.

Uterine fibroids during pregnancy - Edna Shanyisa relaxing - home

The honeymoon was unfortunately marred by a bad tooth. I experienced excruciating pain a night before the extraction of the tooth and I remember staying up all night with my hands on my cheek as I waited for daybreak. I could not sleep even a wink! My mother confirmed my fears…that my pregnancy was responsible for the ache. I had not been consistent in taking my calcium tablets as prescribed and my baby decided to forcefully take the calcium from me, mum insisted. Anyway, the tooth had to go notwithstanding the dangers of such extraction during pregnancy. The dentist however only agreed to undertake the exercise due to the fact that I was already in my second trimester which was safe.

My baby was a tiny one and my bump was equally small

At the beginning of my 3rd Trimester, I got a job as a legal assistant at a law firm in Westlands through a referral by a good friend. I was almost seven months pregnant and even though my baby bump had not fully blown out, I proudly volunteered about being pregnant to the unsuspecting Partners. You should have seen them wowing in amazement. They were not ignorant….I hardly showed. My baby was a tiny one and my bump was equally small. Lucky for me, I managed to work all through this tough trimester and only took leave from work at the beginning of December.

Uterine fibroids during pregnancy - Edna Shanyisa newly graduated

Puffy eyes, swollen nose and feet

Apart from the puffy eyes, swollen nose and feet, my waist was sore most times due to the expanding abdomen. I had to sleep with almost three pillows cushioning my back and front body for some comfort. Friends who were mothers reminded me to always raise my body forward before I could turn it to whatever side. I also remember counting to thirty before standing up each time I woke up from sleep. With the final trimester slowly dragging by, I drank a lot of water and walked from the office on Chiromo Road to the CBD every evening – about four kilometers. It was not easy; especially when you also have to go over a fleet of stairs to the fourth floor once you got home – after walking such a distance! ‘‘Walking is the best exercise during pregnancy,’’ my doctor always said. I was ready to have a normal delivery and my partner and I always ensured I walked at any opportunity that came my way.

I fell in love with a being I was yet to meet…

We found out we were having a girl in my seventh month of pregnancy and her dad was more excited than I (dads and their daughters – huh?). I was ready for any gender. Children are a blessing and that’s what i was raised to understand. The thoughts of how I would play dress up with my little girl once she was here and what stuff I would buy to make her more comfortable were full in my mind. Before even meeting this being, i had already fallen in love…I am still in love. I cannot trade my daughter for anything in this world. She is proof that miracles happen.

Edna Shanyisa is an Advocate practising in Kenya. She can be reached via edshanyisa@gmail.com

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1 Comment

  1. Maureen Andanje on November 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Awesome piece Edna. You are such a brave woman!!! Congratulations mummy!!!

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