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Woman fears banishment following still birth

A heartbroken woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby in early December fears her husband’s family will banish her because of her inability to bear children.

Agnes Ndiambani arrived at Guyuni clinic, about 160 kms east of Makhado, at about 2:30 am in early December. Although she felt no pain, she had begun bleeding at home.

Two hours after being admitted into the clinic’s labour ward, her screams brought clinic nurses running.

“I took him and held him in my arms praying for him to wake up but he did not. I cried so much with a deepest pain in my heart.”

What followed was a difficult delivery, according to Guyuni clinic professional nurse Takalani Thavhanyedza.

“She became tired, but we managed to keep her strong and awake,” Thavhanyedza told OurHealth. “After a long time of struggling and when we were about to call an emergency ambulance for her, she delivered a baby boy.”

“Unfortunately, he was dead,” said Thavhanyedza, who added that the death also shook clinic staff. “The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and his head was blue.”

Ndiambani remembered being surprised when she did not hear her baby cry and almost fainted when nurses told her that the child was dead.

“I took him and held him in my arms praying for him to wake up but he did not,” she said. “I cried so much with a deepest pain in my heart.”

“It was even harder when I thought of how my husband’s family will react when they hear that I have lost another baby, ” she told OurHealth.

The baby is the third child Ndiambani has lost in the past two years. Her husband’s relatives think that she was not meant to have children and want her to pack her things and leave.

“It really is hard for me to accept what has happened,” Ndiambani said. “I feel like the world has turned against me.”

Still births can occur due to a number of reasons including infection, haemorrhages and problems with the umbilical cord such as those experienced by Ndiambani and her baby. In many cases, the exact cause of a still birth is not known. [http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stillbirth/Pages/causes.aspx]

Nationally, about 23 babies out of every 1000 babies born in South Africa are still born.

Susan Mudua, Ndiambani’s older sister said she hoped her sister’s husband’s family would not blame her.

“It is not something she has chosen for herself,” Mudua said. “It is the will of God.”

“I pray that the Lord will perform his miracles so that she can have a child, wipe away her sorrows and have a family like so many other people.”

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