They Say Lightening Never Strikes the Same Place Twice – It Did for Me

It was early Sunday morning when I felt a shooting pain rip through my abdomen. It was June 3, 2018.  My day was planned down to the hour. I had done quite a bit of travelling in the weeks prior to this day, so I was glad to finally have the time to catch up on writing stories. It was supposed to be a productive day…

I rolled out of my bed and made it to the bathroom, but the pain wouldn’t cease. I recognized the pain. I had felt it nearly two years earlier.

My two children were in my bed, sleeping soundly. It’s so interesting how the world around you can be so tranquil while a storm brews within you.

I knew I needed to get to the nearest hospital because I was losing another baby. Five days earlier I had discovered I was pregnant again. We were elated.

Since our last pregnancy loss in September 2016, we had been trying to conceive again. That pregnancy had been a surprise. But at six weeks, I’d been rushed to the hospital in excruciating pain and the ultrasound showed it was an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic or tubal pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition where the embryo begins to grow outside the uterus. The most common ectopic implantation site is in the fallopian tube. It is quite a rare condition and accounts for 1-2 percent of all pregnancies.

By the time the medical staff diagnosed my condition, my right fallopian tube had ruptured and blood had begun to pool in my abdomen. I needed emergency surgery to save my life. As midnight approached, the surgical team was called back to the hospital. They had left for the night after performing their last surgery.  

“We have an ectopic!” they were told.

I needed time. Just a couple of nights ago we were discussing names and now this…

Were they sure they had gotten it right?

“Isn’t there anything you can do to save my baby?” I asked desperately.

There wasn’t.

The doctor told me there was no time to waste, but I needed time – time to understand what was happening, time to plead with God, time to say goodbye to the life growing inside me, time to tell my job I wouldn’t be able to finish my last few assignments, time to think about whether I would make it, time to think about what I was signing on the consent forms, time to call my mother…I needed to hear her tell me everything would be OK.

I. Just. Needed. Time. But there was none.

I was whisked into the operating room and the surgeon explained the procedure, but I heard nothing. My mind couldn’t or wouldn’t process her words. She would do everything she could to preserve my fallopian tube, she said.

In recovery, I was told the damage to my right fallopian tube was too severe to save it. The dressings over the three small incisions in my abdomen, groin and bellybutton were so tiny. Insignificant compared to the catastrophe that had happened within my body and mind.

The weeks and months following the loss were hard. Feelings of guilt overwhelmed me because I hadn’t wanted more children when I conceived. I was content with my two kids and couldn’t fathom how I would take care of three. But as the days rolled by, I warmed up to the idea and grew excited. Is that why God took this child away? Was it punishment for not being over the moon at first? The feelings of guilt morphed into anger. Why did you disturb me, God? Why would you give me something I didn’t want at the time, and then when I embrace it, snatch it away so harshly? It seemed cruel.

But you have two beautiful children…” people pointed out.  God bless them. I tried to tell myself the same thing. Those words were meant to encourage me, but I felt like it dismissed the life I had just lost.

The loss created a desire to have another child to replace the one I’d lost. With one good tube left, my OB-GYN told me all we had to do was wait one menstrual cycle before we could start trying again. And since I was 38, she encouraged us not to wait too long. We tried, but nothing happened.

Life as I knew it fell apart completely. But by late May 2018, I was surprised to find out we were expecting again. With my parents scheduled to visit in a couple of weeks, it would be a perfect time to break the news to them.

Then, June 3 came…

The pain was back. I called my kids’ father but couldn’t reach him. I woke up my kids and managed to toast and butter some bagels for them. It’s remarkable how a mother can muster up the strength to care for her children. As they began to eat, I slowly made my way back upstairs doubled over in pain. Once I got to my bedroom, I closed the door and lowered myself to the floor. How could this be happening again? Who could I call for help? It was so early in the morning I didn’t want to disrupt anyone’s day.

I felt defeated. The last two years had proven to be the most difficult for me emotionally, financially and spiritually, and I was completely spent. I had experienced blow after blow I couldn’t go on living this way.

The pain in my abdomen intensified and I groaned in pain. I made up my mind not to seek medical help. If God was going to take another baby from me, He would have to take my life, too. This was my out.

My kids would be fine without me. Their mommy was broken; what good was I to them anyway? They had a father; he would take care of them. They had grandparents. Surely someone in my family would raise them.

As I sat on the floor with my back against my bed, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs.

“Mommy, are you OK?”

I snapped out of it and reasoning returned. I had to live for my children. I was the one raising them; they needed ME. I struggled to my feet and called for an ambulance. I packed the kids’ tablets so they could be entertained at the hospital. The kids were excited. It was an adventure to be able to ride in an ambulance. Their father finally called back and said he would meet us at the hospital.

I knew before the doctor told me that it was another ectopic pregnancy. This time it was a cornual ectopic pregnancy – a rare form that is found in 2-4 percent of ectopic pregnancies. The doctor said the embryo was implanted right where the fallopian tube meets the opening of the uterine wall. She even drew me a picture to illustrate. It almost made it. But everybody knows, almost doesn’t count.

The doctor explained to me that despite having a previous ectopic pregnancy, my chances of having a subsequent ectopic pregnancy had not increased because the damaged fallopian tube had been removed, and my remaining tube was perfectly functional.

In that moment I felt so unloved by God. I wanted more children. Why had a loving God created a desire in me if He had no intentions of fulfilling it?

The doctor was talking again…

I knew the drill, “Sign here, here and here. We’ll try to save….” I wanted her to stop talking. What were the chances of this happening twice, with the second time being even rarer? The first time my case fell within 1-2 percent of all pregnancies, and this time it was 2-4 percent of that 1-2 percent?? How could this be so? And now, I wouldn’t be able to have more children.

Like before, the procedure was quick and “successful.” I was discharged and sent home by that evening. No instructions, just a number to call if I became ill. Nobody really tells you how to pick up the pieces.

I didn’t really want to talk about it. What was the use. No one had answers for me. Google told me all was not lost. I could still conceive through IVF or some other fertility treatment. But I wasn’t willing to get my hopes up. Besides, with my luck, it wouldn’t work out anyway.

It was a blow but I pushed through the disappointment. I continued to interview women and publish their stories on The Weight She Carries. I had to keep the stories flowing because I needed them like air. Women would send me emails and messages thanking me for providing a platform to share their stories, not knowing that God was using their stories to strengthen me and keep me sane. He drew me close, comforted me, and in His goodness, began to reveal some of the reasons why things happened the way they did.

I thank Him now because He preserved my life and protected me from things I was oblivious to at the time.

I am learning to look at disappointment differently because there is always something greater at work behind the scenes.

As I begin to share layers of my own story with you –  how at 39, I found myself back in my parents’ home and starting over completely; how everything I tried to hold on to for dear life crumbled before my eyes; and how I’m trying to figure out who I am now, not as a mother, not as the wife I once was, but as a woman  – I hope my story can be a reminder that you don’t have to have it all together to be a blessing to others. In fact, it’s often because you are broken that God can use you to help others.

17 Comments

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  1. 1
    Cynthia Kunze

    Dearest Vimbai,
    Thank you for shining your light to others in the dark out there. Keep on shinning sister, HE has got you 💕

    • 2
      Vimbai E.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Cynthia! I remember your story well and all you have been through. It’s women like you who have held me up unknowingly. God bless you! By sharing our stories, we free the next woman and give her courage to tell her own story.

  2. 3
    Jackline Nakitto

    Thank you for sharing this, I can only imagine the pain and emotional and spiritual growth you had to go through after the loss of your babies coupled with your ability to have more babies naturally, but I must say, the last paragraph really got me, it’s changed my today.thank you.

    • 4
      Vimbai E.

      Hi Jackline, you’re welcome! And thank you for reading my story. I’m glad God is using my pain to encourage someone else. I had a hard time looking at the bigger picture, but I can now see God’s favour!

      I think we often struggle to find ourselves when life changes because our identity is wrapped up in the roles we play. But I’m excited to continue discovering who I am today!

  3. 5
    Faith Gor

    “…. you don’t have to have it all together to be a blessing to others.”
    This is encouraging Vimbai and sorry for what you went through. I like how GOD has kept you and given you strength to even share your story, to inspire us to push forward and to rethink who and what defines us… May The GOOD LORD keep holding you as you peel off the layers of your experiences.

    Thank you for choosing to be an inspiration.
    💕

    • 6
      Vimbai E.

      Thank you so much, Faith! Your courage to share your story helped me share mine. You told it so gracefully and I’m forever grateful that our paths crossed. God bless you as you continue to uplift countless others!

  4. 7
    Liz Augustine

    Vimbai. I am so humbled to hear your truth, your story and to understand your journey. Thank you for sharing such a special part of you! I was so touched as I read your story. It brought back so many memories and emotions in me. I yet still have my story to share. But you’re a warrior & God has raised you up for a time like this! please continue to be a blessing to others.

  5. 8
    Desrine Sandy

    Thanks for sharing Vimbai, sometimes it helps to know we are not alone as women, mother’s and or wife’s. I felt your pain and been through something similar, where I thought I must have messed up so bad that God would give me something I didn’t want then waited until I fell it love with it to take it away. Deep down o know it’s not so put our faith was meant to makes us stronger. Thanks again for sharing with us and letting us know we are not alone.

  6. 10
    Anne

    I wasn’t really ready for a baby when I discovered I was pregnant but with time I bonded with the foetus and then came the baby I was super excited to have a bit of me in a little being but when she was a day to 16 week she came down with a fever and cold took her to see the paediatrician and she was nublised and her blood samples was taken for some tests we were asked to come in the evening for the results only for my baby to start grasping for air at 4pm we rushed her back to the hospital they tried all they could but she didn’t make it . I was shattered and felt guilty cause I was preparing to resume work and taking her to a day care center l, I felt she thought work was more important to me than she was I suffered depression for so long,

    • 11
      Vimbai E.

      Anne, my heart aches for what you have been through. I’m so sorry you experienced such a devastating loss of your child. We often blame ourselves when tragedy strikes. Working outside the home is a reality for many mothers, so don’t feel guilty for doing what you needed to to provide for your family. I would love to hear more about your experience and your healing journey. Feel free to email us at info@theweightshecarries.com.

  7. 12
    Wankio

    Looking forward to the next posts about your story. I find solace in reading other people’s stories. I’m currently writing mine.Yours give me courage. Keep strong. Keep the courage.

  8. 14
    Thembi Masiyamhuru

    Thanks for sharing your story, I very recently came across “the weight she carries” ive been both inspired and encouraged by all the stories I’ve read, I relate so much to yours and many others, but mostly I’m so proud of the strength God has given women, Vimbai, you’ve no idea how deep and full your well is, keep going sis, you’ve more fight in you than you’ll ever know, best wishes 💕

    • 15
      Vimbai E. Chikomo

      Hi Thembi, thank you so much for your kind words!! Your comment touched me deeply. I’m so happy to hear the stories have been a source of encouragement to you. Sharing personal experiences is never easy, but God uses our pain to help others and heals us in the process. God bless you, and thank you for reading our stories.

  9. 16
    Glorious

    Hi Vimbai, this is so encouraging, right now I am on bed sob in tears, I didn’t know what to do, at I’ve lost all five pregnancies and its stressful, I was once in a situation of no hope but little by little I picked up myself. Nothing is left for me, no kids, no husband and my family judge me and call me names. I hate life coz I can’t find peace of mind.

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