My first trip to the bustling city of London and I’m a nervous wreck. Most people would have the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels on their mind. But, all I could think about was finding the doctor’s office and drinking some tea to calm my nerves.
I remember standing in line at the cash machine, trying to act like everything was normal. Just a regular day, doing a normal task, getting money. If anyone took a closer look, they would see the shaking of my hands and the swaying back and forth of my body, trying to hold itself in a casual and collected stance on black suede stiletto boots. My mind was anywhere and everywhere except in the moment of needing cash for the taxi.
When I arrived at the office, I felt like I’d been teleported into another dimension. I was the only person in the waiting room. The lighting was dim and the decor modern. Fears that the Embassy nurse gave me the address of a cooky and mysterious place didn’t alleviate once I entered the exam room.
Lights still dim, I placed my back firmly to the cushioned steel bed. A TV screen floated above my head and the nurse approached me and told me to relax and not worry. As if waiting for someone to speak those words had been the moment I’d been needing most, I found myself hypnotized by her magnetic force of cheer. Almost instantly, I felt relieved. The anxiety of the prior 36 hours was about to be confirmed or denied. I would have my answers, and life would continue.
What felt like an eternity of time and numerous amounts of tests, it was time to hear the diagnosis. My hands pushed the tears away from my eyes as I gladly listened to the doctor explain my baby GIRL was healthy and in perfect condition. A baby girl! She looks great; she is healthy and she is strong. My own little warrior princess!
As I’ve learned through my lifetime, there is good that comes with the bad. While they incorrectly interpreted my blood tests in Ghana, it is fortunate there was a mess up to send me to London. Had that not happened, the following information may not have been found until it was too late.
The doctor told me that at my 22 weeks of gestation, I was showing clear signs of placenta previa. While many cases correct themselves and the mother has no complications during childbirth, it didn’t look positive for me. He was very adamant that I leave Ghana and either stay in London under his care or go home to the United States for the remainder of my pregnancy. He expected me to deliver my daughter between 28-32 weeks.
Instant scrambling of Embassy bureaucracy between London, Accra and main State in Washington, DC. They decided it was best I leave London and go straight to the USA. However, I couldn’t leave my son in Accra for the next several months. Not only did that make me uncomfortable for personal reasons, but the case had to be made he wasn’t safe staying under the care of our housekeeper for long periods of time. He needed to be with me, even if I was on partial bedrest.
After a period of deliberation, I was ‘allowed’ to return to Ghana, get my son, gather some of our things and take a flight to the States. My husband took his annual leave to accompany me and help me and my son get situated and comfortable until he could return for the delivery. His absence at work those two weeks was frowned upon by the front office. They didn’t understand the necessity or the urgency of the situation and lacked the empathy to try to care.
Meanwhile, I was in throes of finding an agreeable doctor to care for a high-risk pregnancy out of Africa, due to deliver in 2-3 months. The challenges were piling on me at a time when stress was dangerous to my health.
Looks like this is turning into a mini-series. I hope you will stay with me and journey through my past challenges. Continue to Chapter 3.
Until tomorrow –
photo credit: pixabay.com