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Fibroids couldn’t stop me from having my lovely baby

Anne Mugo always hoped to have a baby as soon as she got married. After wedding her husband Bob Maina in 2012, the future looked bright.

Things however did not turn out as expected because within a year of their marriage, she had not conceived.

“The doctors I went to scoffed at me that it was too early and I was too eager for a child. They told me to be patient and let time pass. It was disheartening as they did not even perform any tests on me,” said Anne.

Sensing that something was amiss and having sought medical help as far as Kajiado where she initially lived, the couple never gave up on their quest. She said she had never been on contraceptives. 

It was at Rescue Mission Health Rehabilitation Programme, a mobile clinic run by Dr John Mutiso that she was diagnosed with fibroids. 

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow from the muscle layers of the womb and vary in size.

 

Generally, women would never know that they have them as they show no signs or symptoms as was the case with Anne but in other cases, the symptoms tend to be heavy periods that are painful and can cause lower back pain.

Hormonal imbalance

According to the doctor, the causes of fibroids are unknown but they are believed to be triggered by genetic predispositions and prenatal hormonal balance.

He said Anne had suffered from hormonal imbalance and he put her on medication. 

“This was the best way as opposed to surgery because fibroids are known to cause serious complications like infertility and problems during pregnancy. I aimed at increasing her chances of conceiving using the safest way possible,” he added.

In February last year, Anne conceived but this was not the end of her problems as the pregnancy turned out to be a high risk one. 

“I was confined in the house and banned from doing extraneous work. My husband took over all the expenses. He stood by me throughout the pregnancy, always being there at every medical checkup and this was one of the things that kept me going,” said Anne.

At four months, the complications started; she had stomachaches akin to labour pains and sleepless nights and the pain killers she took were of no help. 

“The doctor told me that the fibroids were feeding on the hormones and nutrients that should have gone to the foetus and they had started growing. The medicine he gave me worked but not fast enough and soon, we feared that they would affect the foetus,” she added. 

Dr Mutiso then referred them to a specialist for an ultrasound scan and they were relieved of their worry that the fibroids were not pressing on the foetus’ head and brain. 

At the same clinical visit, they were informed that their baby was not in a normal birthing position. He was upside down with his feet facing the birth canal.

“We were dealing with something new at every step and the financial implications weighed heavily on us but thankfully, we managed to pull through,” said Maina.

At six months however, the pains caused by the fibroids returned and were severe. At seven months, she was told that she did not have enough amniotic fluid and was then admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital for a week. 

The foetus’ lungs were not developing well and so she was put on a regimen that could only be administered through an injection. 

“Suddenly, the fibroids were no longer an issue. It dumbfounded us because we had been fighting it aggressively on selected medication, but here she was, with great hopes of carrying a pregnancy to full term. This is not common for most women as the pregnancies end up as stillbirth,” said Dr Mutiso. 

Anne had a breach pregnancy and underwent a Caesarean section where she delivered a 3.4kg baby boy in October 2013 whom the couple named Emmanuel.

She advises other women who suffer from fibroids to seek immediate medical help.