Writers

Andikan Inyang: On Miscarriages, Empathy And The Irony Of Life

   

It was 7.22 am, one Monday morning, when my phone rang loudly in our room, disturbing our sleep.

I stirred slightly as I turned to wake my husband, but his side of the bed was empty. I was startled for a minute, and then I remembered his jogging routine.

I was his “partner in exercise” and on my way to size 8 until I fell pregnant. So, I was resting a lot.

Since I started working remotely, I sleep in every day till almost 8 am. It sometimes feels like I am trying to recover all the “sleep” I had lost over the past 2 years due to Lagos traffic.

The persistent ringing of my phone was beginning to irritate me.

I got up slowly from the bed, trying hard not to wake my little one, who abandoned her cot since she was a baby.

It stopped ringing right before I could get to it.

I was praying silently that the call was not from my folks back home. Since my dad fell ill months ago, I get slight panic attacks whenever I see calls from home. I am grateful to God that he is much better.

Glancing at my phone, I realized the missed call was from an unknown number. I was even more irritated.

I hit the dial button to return the call. A male voice answered.

“Good morning Ma. My name is Edet, and I work in the same department as you. Please, I need your assistance. I follow your posts on Facebook and would like you to speak to my wife, who just had a miscarriage and has been crying. This is her first pregnancy”, he said in a rush.

In an instant, the request brought back a flood of memories. I had been through three miscarriages.

The third miscarriage broke me completely. I blamed God, myself, and some imaginary village people.

In my search for healing, I explored therapy and wrote about how I felt. This helped me.

It became my mission. To create awareness. Drive empathy. Encourage women to speak up and find healing.

I was eager to call his wife immediately but needed to allow her to grieve alone for a while.

As I went about my chores, I was preparing myself mentally for what I was going to say.

Few minutes to 5 pm, I called her. At the last ring, she answered.

“Hello, Mary. My name is Andikan, and I work with your husband”, I said gently.

“Oh! Good evening Andikan”, she responded very calmly. I guess her husband had told her to expect my call.

We talked at length about everything. I shared my experiences with her and told her it was okay to cry or feel sad, to speak to her partner or a trusted friend. I told her it was not okay to blame herself since this was not her fault.

Just before I ended the call, I advised her to go for a complete check-up at the hospital and encouraged her with a phrase I share with moms who have lost pregnancies, “the one that will stay, will come”.

She sounded relieved towards the end of our conversation, and I was happy. We said our goodbyes.

I stood up from my bed, feeling pleased with myself.

I looked at the drugs my gynaecologist had prescribed for me.

A pain reliever. Blood supplements. Antibiotics. Two smaller tablets placed under my tongue.

I swallowed them and waited patiently for what was to come next.

Cramps. Pain. Blood. Lots of blood.

I just had my 4th miscarriage the previous day….

 

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About The Writer

My name is Andikan. I am a banker by profession, also a storyteller, writer and mother of one.

I recently published my first book titled ‘Twice The Pain’ – sharing my struggles with miscarriages, to create awareness and empathy, and also to dispel stigmas and myths surrounding miscarriages.

Facebook: Andikan Chimamanda Oraekwuotu 
Instagram: @andikanchimamanda
Get Book: andikaninyang.disha.page
Email: andikan.oraekwuotu@gmail.com

 

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