My name is Drafwa Ellen. I live in Hohoe, Ghana. I come from Legusu and I am Ebe. I am 34 years old and a teacher by profession. I’ve been married to a supportive man for about 10 years now. I suffered from a stillbirth on 21 February 2019.
During the pregnancy, I was very strong. The only problem I had was a cold and cough. It started from about the 16th week. I was treated for about four months until the 32nd week of my pregnancy.
On the 18th of February 2019, I told the midwife that there was no movement in my womb. She asked me to rush to the hospital. When I arrived, I was asked to take an ultra-scan. It was then that it was confirmed that the baby was no longer alive. I was admitted immediately and induced. I was 34 weeks pregnant.
I went through a lot of trauma because I thought about the child in me, yet the nurses kept forcing me to eat so I could have enough energy to push the baby out when the time came. I was also depressed because I was advised not to think too much so as not to raise my blood pressure. The nurses were polite and they kept encouraging me. They told me that in everything, I should give thanks to God because that child might have been sick. I delivered a stillborn baby around 7 a.m. on the 21st of February 2019.
Initially, I started isolating myself. Even when I was in a room and the TV was on, I wouldn’t concentrate on what was happening. I cried a lot, especially after seeing other people’s kids. I started avoiding touching people’s babies. I also cried a lot when I met people and they would ask about the whereabouts of my baby. I already had two kids. I became angry with them, but at the same time, I had a strong affection for them and did not want anything bad to happen to them or hurt them.
A friend who had been through a similar situation spoke to me and told me that I’m fortunate because I have two kids already – a boy and a girl. So why should I grieve? She told me that my situation was better than hers because she didn’t even have a child to call her own. She told me to move on.
I was given three months maternity leave to heal. I also took medication. I had back pain during that time but was told it was an afterbirth pain and gradually, it vanished.
My darkest moment was when I was told by the doctor in charge that the baby was not viable. It was a shocking moment for me. Having the thought of a dead baby in me as if my womb was a grave. It took me six months to become somehow strong.
My strength came from God because the Bible became a storybook to me. Friends who had similar situations I didn’t even know about opened up to me and I thought, “Wow, then I’m not in this alone.”
My medical doctor was supportive. He was always encouraging me to be strong and that it’s normal, it happens and it’s not the end of the road. I can still conceive if I want to. I also learned a lot on how to manage a miscarriage.
Exactly one year later, I conceived again. Instead of me rushing to the hospital because of my medical history, I thought I was well and I just stayed in the house.
During the 11th week, I saw a blood stain on my panties and I decided to go to the hospital. There, I was told that I had miscarried. It was a big blow to me because when you’re pregnant and the next minute you’re not, that’s something else.
The Word of God comforts me. I also have a pastor whose company I enjoy because he would discuss Bible verses with me and it would console me. The Word calms me a lot. Sometimes we discuss the story about Job in the Bible. He even talked to me about how Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin. I realized that even though God did not give me that baby, at least He had given me the chance to live because I could have also died in the process.
My advice to other women out there is you should be prayerful and you should attend antenatal appointments. You should take proper medication and speak openly to the doctor about how you feel. Eat proper food for your blood type and in everything, pray to God.