While seeking medical help for painful cramps, Mwanamisi Bakari Suleiman was told she couldn’t bear children. However, after having reservations about marriage due to her condition, Mwanamisi got married and conceived on the same month she said I do.
She shared her story on Life & Style:
“It was in 2017 and at 24 years when I started experiencing very painful cramps and being sickly during my menstruation period. The excruciating pain started during and after my periods. I realised there was a problem with my menstruation cycle and my hormones were not balanced. I sought medical help.
I visited many hospitals in Mombasa where I live and even traveled to Nairobi to get some scans and medical opinion. For almost two years I kept moving from one doctor to another. In a major hospital in Mombasa, I found out that my reproductive system had an issue, and I was told that I would not be able to bear children. I was informed that one of my ovaries was big and non-functional while the second one was too tiny.
After going through treatment for a year with no progress, my mother advised me to start taking herbal medicine. There was still no evidence of healing.
Meeting future husband
I was afraid of getting into a relationship. I told myself that if I got someone and we got serious, he will definitely want us to get children and I couldn’t bear any. This ate at me. So I focused on getting better and working – I was working for an NGO, Greenstring Network. In one of our workshops for counselors on Trauma healing, I met one Abdalla Rama Gatana. I was unaware of my attraction to him then, considering I was not in that frame of mind. However, I noted his intelligence and his passion for community counseling in the 12 days of training.
Two weeks after the training we paid Abdalla’s organisation a working visit and I met him once again. Yet again, it didn’t cross my mind that there was some chemistry between us. Two months later we met at another workshop and we finally talked about personal matters. The dynamics of our relationship changed.
Due to my health and a previous five-year relationship, it was difficult for me to accept Abdallah. However, after five months of talking and random dates he proposed. I was shocked by the proposal—I actually thought or maybe hoped he was joking— and worried about how to tell him that I will never have children due to my condition. I agreed to let him visit my family. My parents loved him. This convinced me to look past my fears.
Fear of coming out
So I explained my health condition to him. It didn’t bother him at all; he said that he was not in a hurry to have a family, he was okay with my condition, and that he just loves me the way I am. Although I was worried he might change his mind in the future, I chose to believe in him and in our love. Hence on 4th May 2019, we got married.
Surprisingly, the same May I got pregnant.
After our nuptials, I had to travel to Nairobi for work. When I traveled back to Mombasa, I fell sick. My family thought I had contracted something and I thought it was that time of the month because I was experiencing the ‘usual’ symptoms— headache, dizziness, fever, and pain all over my body. When I went for a checkup I was informed I was pregnant.
We couldn’t believe it. We had the doctors re-do the test. My gynecologist was also shocked. How was it possible, she asked?
I couldn’t bring myself to accept the news until my bump grew.
My pregnancy was okay for the first four months, but from the fifth month, I became very ill. I was even hospitalised for a week. My pressure was very high. I failed to understand why because I was very happy. On my sixth month, my husband got worried; I was growing huge (swollen) everywhere and my eyes were too pale. I was taken to the hospital the next day. This is when I was admitted for a week. I stayed for only one week after I left the hospital before I was rushed back again. I had become worse; I couldn’t chew food because my mouth was very heavy, my legs were swollen and I was now partially deaf. I was in a very bad state.
After I was rushed back to the hospital, they ran a scan on me immediately to check the baby. Although the baby’s heart was okay, the umbilical cord was strangling him. I was at high risk and so was my baby. So I was taken for an emergency operation. Consequently, at six months, my baby was born. A tiny premature baby.
After a week, I left the hospital with my tiny Becker boy. Only me or my mum could handle my fragile baby. It was only after six months my husband could enjoy holding his child. The doctors were astonished by the steady progress of the baby.
And now my baby is will turn one year on 20th December. I am truly in awe of this miracle in my life.