In Summary
  • I was quickly ushered into a private room and there was the bride, her dress half soaked in blood.
  • She had pushed out a baby but had the afterbirth retained and was bleeding profusely.

“Come to church urgently, please, this is an emergency,” came the distress call. I did not recognise the number or the voice of the caller, even though they went ahead to give directions to the church.

“What is this about?” I asked sternly. “Can’t the sick person just be brought to hospital?” It was strange to be called to treat someone in church.

But the caller would not listen. She talked on and on about a woman who was bleeding and reporting that she had been seeing me for ante-natal care. I quickly jumped into the car and headed for the church, a collection of first aid equipment and drugs in the back seat.

A WEDDING

The church was awash with expensively decorated vehicles and smartly dressed people. There was a wedding going on. I was quickly ushered into a private room and there was the bride, her dress half soaked in blood.

She had pushed out a baby but had the afterbirth retained and was bleeding profusely. There was no time to talk; I quickly swung into action, positioning her, manually evacuating the afterbirth and administering emergency drugs to stop the bleeding.

“So sorry for this doctor, I just didn’t want to deliver before marrying,” she apologised. I recognised her.

She was Mary, a lady I had seen for a while in the clinic. The first time I saw her and diagnosed her to be pregnant she broke down and cried profusely. She was worried that her family would not understand how she got pregnant outside marriage.

“After spending years serving as a youth leader in the church, people will not understand how I conceived and will never forgive me for being a bad example to the youth,” she had explained. After a number of counselling sessions, she opted to carry on with the pregnancy but arranged to have a wedding before the pregnancy grew too big.

ORGANISING WEDDING TOOK TIME

“It took time to organise the wedding,” she explained after the bleeding was controlled. “I thought I had a week to the date of delivery, little did I know that this baby would pop out just as we exchanged rings in front of the crowd.”

Mary’s story speaks to a common occurrence: people do not plan their sex lives.

Things just happen and sometimes, catastrophic consequences follow. Many people are constantly firefighting when it comes to sexual behaviours.

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