The Story of My Misfortunes Part 1
The Passing Away of My First Born Son
Associate: Nyamwea, S.
My wife Helen, (who has since departed and may her soul rest in eternal abode) was due for delivery. Her labor pains started at a night and I had to take her to a nearby hospital. By that time, we were living in Mukuru slums in the outskirts of Nairobi. When the morning came, I left for work as usual since I knew that I had placed her in safe hands. I came back from work at around 6.00 pm and found that she had delivered at home. I was indeed overwhelmed.
How Hellen delivered in the house considering that I had left her in the hospital was one question that still lingered on my mind. I was told that she was assisted by a group of some women from the neighborhood. What astonished me was that the women had actually struggled very hard and used crude means to get the baby out, since they were inexperienced. In fact they messed up causing severe injuries to the baby and to the mother. Naive as the women were, they could do absolutely nothing but wait for their ‘wages’ for the ‘hard work’ they had done! Since we were living from hand to mouth, I had to seek for some financial assistance from my friends to settle the midwives.’
The reality of their damage had not yet downed to me. I was excited to be a ‘new’ father. But was this to last? The new born soon developed some complications and we had to rush him to a nearby medical clinic. The clinical officer examined him and realized that the poor boy urgently needed further medical attention. The next destination was a hospital located 5 km away. The journey of saving a life began. Mother at home, nursing her after-birth-complications and a young father on his feet seeking medical intervention for the helpless newly born son. “I knew too well that it was not going to be easy.”
We started trekking at around I0 pm. We reached the hospital called Huruma nursing home in Embakasi, Nairobi at around II.30 pm. Upon arriving, looking at the boy, I wept. The boy gave his last breath and he was pronounced ‘no more’ I was confused; I did not know what to do next.
My cousin and I decided that we leave the body at the hospital and return home. We also resolved that we should not tell the mother straight away since she could panic and may be worsen her condition. We therefore changed the story to mean that the baby had not died but in hospital though in a serious condition. We had planned to reveal the matter the following day as we were going to the hospital together with the mother.
The following day we proceeded to our places of work to seek permission. Upon returning home at around I2.00 noon, ready to tell my wife the true story, I was puzzled to see a ‘market’ in my house ready to smash me and my cousin into pieces, reason? They were claiming that my cousin and I had taken the baby, chopped off the head, hands and legs and thrown it into the nearby bush! The exhibit was even placed right before my eyes! What an association of happenings? It was like a dream. I could not believe that this was happening. Chopped body of a baby? From where? Who did it? Me? Oh no! I was puzzled and loss of words! When asked to explain exactly what I knew regarding the matter, everything just evaporated; I could not explain anything. This marked beginning of the beginning.