Amanda’s 937 days

The story you are about to read is one I will recommend for any young person, for every mother who is so worried for her daughter and for anyone who loves well written work. Authors do not come any better than this. Kate, my baby, is putting pen to paper again. Enjoy the work.

On the afternoon of 4th June 2009, I quit my job. Yeah, I was barely 20 and told my overbearing boss where he could go.

24 hours later, I found out that maybe my decision to quit without a plan of action was not very smart. On 5th June, at around 4pm, I found out that I was going to have a baby. Yes. I was some 3 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Needless to say, my hands got cold and clammy, my knees got weak, my eyes got glazed over, my heartbeat went wild, my brain stopped functioning and the butterflies in my belly turned into a baby!!!!

Shock. And terror.

There were many available options, but to me there was only one; get murdered by my parents, resurrect and then get my baby girl. Oh yes, I was obsessed with the idea of a baby girl.

And 3 days later, I bought the first thing that caught my heart. Two pairs of teeny tiny socks. And my long, long journey started.

Got another job, worked up until December…. And by then it was hard to differentiate between me and the buildings in the cold town of Limuru. I was huuuuuge!

My parents??  Hhhmmm. Yes. Them. That.   I am not very proud of what I did, but I hid for five months. My mama sees me as a model on my birthday in June, and the next time she saw me, November 12, I could barely stand. No, she did not attempt to murder me. Quite on the contrary, she made me cry. She was so very good to me I couldn’t believe it. She even told my dad. Who, of course, wanted to murder someone.

December 5, the day before my sister turned 3, I went home. And that was it. My mama wouldn’t hear of me leaving to go be alone. So, girls, bow down to me. I had to endure one of the hardest things known to any girl. I had to live in the same house with my father, while very, very pregnant.

By January, I was so huge I could not even sit down. But I don’t blame the weight. I used to eat like a dozen horses. And my obsession was fries… and rocks. Yup. Obsidian and oolite faced the danger of extinction.

I hated carrots. And meat. And dresses. And my dad. *Speak not*….. and everyone who said I would get a boy.

My legs got so swollen it made me want to cry. I had to buy new shoes!!!!

All this time, my baby had been a very good girl, (except when she stood on my bladder)…. I got several episodes of malaria… and survived. And no, I did not have morning sickness for the first three months. I had it from the first day to the very last.

According to my doctor, this crazy baby was supposed to pop on 15 January (to share a birthday with the very special  Annette Mate)

However, by the end of January, there was still no sign of any ‘popment’. By this time, people were even terrified of being in the same county as me…. I was abnormally big. And believe me, that is not very good news to a girl.

On Tuesday, the 2nd day of February, I woke up yelping in pain. And I knew. It was time. May I state the obvious?? I was so terrified I couldn’t stop sweating. And I had been listening to bad people who’d scared me into believing that I’d go MAD because of the pain. As in insane.  Bananas. So I had written a letter to my mum thanking her for being such an angel to me and telling her what I’d like my baby to be called- in whichever case, boy or girl. I fished for that letter on this Tuesday and gave it to her, in my pain.

Then we called a dear friend, who helped me to no end…. She warned me against the danger of going to hospital at too early a stage. So they talked to me and kept me busy all day… and fed me, of course. Pain was not going to come between me and my appetite.

Next day, things weren’t any better, but I winced and sweated it out. And the day ended.

2.37 am Thursday night, I was jolted awake by a wave of indescribable pain. Five minutes later, it was back. And for the next four hours, I would ‘semi-die’ every five minutes. I refused to throw the household to a panic and waited till 6am. Then we left. All through the way, I would dread every passage of 5 minutes…. I hated 6.32….6.37…..6.42……6.47…..


I have neither the heart nor the inclination to speak of the things that I felt and went through that whole day,, but suffice to say, I’m surprised I’m alive.

At around 7pm, having begged my pretty doctor to perform the dreaded C-section, hidden under the bed, cried for my mummy, begged my baby to come out already and almost killed a nurse I hated, I was in that other world but was snapped out of it when my doctor announced that it was about time they induced labour…. Well well well well well well well well…… I could say a billion ‘wells’, but that would still not cover an iota of what that means. So I was put on the ‘DEATH DRIP’…  A whole bottle and couple of hours later, the little terrorist was still comfortably tucked in ‘Taiyey’s tummy’. Guess what that means? Yup. You guessed right. A second bottle. I can honestly say that I still believe pain can kill you. Having your bones and muscles being forced to hinge and unhinge is one word away from being murder. And that one word is MIRACLE. Halfway through the second bottle, I yanked the whole drip thing from my arm and had blood bubbling from my veins… I didn’t care. Not one bit… but the nurse I hated did. She found me, reported me and they put in a fresh bottle. Dearly beloved, I value your respect for me, so I will skip the part where I entertained the entire medical fraternity as well as  other (normal) patients….

By 1a.m, I was so very exhausted and 99% blind. Don’t ask me why. I just know I was blind. But the good doctors were not done. They decided that  I more than deserved a third IV bottle.

By this time, I had given up praying, crying, begging (I don’t know who), insisting that the baby was coming,,, and I just resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die. Four days of excruciating pain can do that to a girl’s hope….

I passed out and came to, at around 4am, and the looks on the doctors’ faces were not very encouraging. I know I looked like hell. I certainly felt like it. The fact that I was three weeks overdue and had been ‘half dead’ from the beginning of the week was not a good sign. So they decided to finally do what I’d been asking them to do all this while. Theater.

I asked for my phone and called my mum and told her that we were on our way to the theater. She told me that was not going to happen. Apparently, she made a pact with God after my surgery in form 4 just before my mocks that that was the last I ever saw of a theater. Of course, I did not have the heart or the energy to argue… so I hung up and she got to praying even more fervently.

The nurse was filing the forms some three minutes later when the king of all pains hit my abdomen and I was sure that’s how people die. And the whole room broke into action. Apparently, the baby had finally ‘engaged’…..  so, in all my fatigue, sweat and near lifelessness, I had to start a new activity…; help my baby pop. And boy, did I try…. In between the fruitless attempts, a nurse would give me some sort of energy drink because I was so very exhausted they feared I might just zoom out.:D

After an hour and a half of being cajoled, begged, bullied, sweet talked, threatened and almost shot, my baby and I had had it.

So, at 5.25a.m., on the very, very rainy Saturday of 6th February 2010, I heard the best sound I have ever heard in all my twenty-very-many years. The cry of my baby. And the relaxation of my abdomen.

The nurse asked me what time it was… you know… just to gauge if I had gone bananas. And then she brought a yelping, light-skinned and gorgeous baby in my face….”See? you did it. And you have yourself a…….??” and I saw. “A girl.” And my first words…. “Thank you Jesus.”

Everything else was surreal as I looked at my baby on my left…. And barely noticed the doctors who were working in a frenzy of blurred motion because apparently a complication had arisen and I was bleeding internally.

And as I looked at the beautiful bundle that I had brought to this world, with tears in my eyes (for the very FIRST time since the hellish episode began), I passed out.

It did not get any easier, nor did my system get over that for at least three months, but every day I woke up in the middle of the night and saw my little angel, who never cried, It made my trauma worthwhile. I had a ‘post-traumatic gift.’ Amanda J my wonder, my marvel and my sunshine.

Some two and a half years later, she is still the star of my world. And I would go to hell and back for her. Just like I did that week.:))

And  my Sweet and beautiful angel is about to get assimilated into the 8-4-4 system.

In less than a week. All the best my super brilliant cherub. I’m praying that you’ll get that mathematical miracle that I never quite got.


All my love, Kayray.:))


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