The Portal to Satan's Lair

The atmosphere is condensed with cries of women in agony.  The angels of mercy scurry along narrow, dimly lit corridors. You can almost feel the gentle caress of Hades on the soul. The asylum of horrors. Satan’s playground. The reapers harvest.
The cramps were incessant, so I popped some painkillers to subside the pain. I snuck into bed writhing in agony waiting for the pain killers to kick in. The corners of my mouth cracked slightly to the flutters of his movements in my uterus. His kicks gave me joy, the little kicks of life that struck my maternal strings. I closed my eyes for a fleeting moment before a new pang of pain drew me out of my naive ignorance. The alarm bells rang with resounding cymbals of panic. LABOUR. But how can this be? I am only 24 weeks!
I struggled to get out of bed, I had to reach for my phone which I inconveniently left on the dresser. The cramps were unbearable and so intense that I was on the brink of insanity. I crawled to the dresser grabbed my phone and called my husband. When i looked back and saw a trail of blood it dawned the doom into reality. I waited, on the floor in a fetal position, rocking back and forth, eyeball to eyeball with my greatest fear. Bawling my eyes out and screaming “no, no, no! Please no!”
The man was there in ten minutes, with the composure of a priest in a confession box. In less than 15minutes I was all cleaned up, bag packed and enroute to the hospital. He is my uncapped hero. We arrived at the hospital and the contractions had subsided. We were ushered to the maternity ward and sat on the benches in the corridors. We waited for 4 hours. 4 long torturous hours without a single person to attend to us. The contractions would come and go at 15mins intervals. The only attention we received was a nurse who insensitively told me to shut it when I was howling during a very strong contraction.  My husband constantly reminded the nurse in charge of our dire predicament and was rudely told to go back to the benches and wait. The contractions eventually died down completely so we just sat there confused and scared shitless while being ignored by these demons.
After what seemed like an eternity they finally gave me a bed. At this point we were fed up, we had no idea that this was only the beginning of a series of despicable horrors. A buff and rather stoic nurse arrived with a sonogram, shortly afterwards we were listening to an erratic heart beat of the fetus. Is he okay?” I asked desperately unable to hold back tears. She nodded
and abruptly left without a single word. 3 am in the morning my doctor finally arrived. Things were looking up, to our amazement he announced that I had dilated to 4cm and the cervix opened due to high blood pressure. Okay but is my baby going to be alright I asked him earnestly. He could not look at me, ” hopefully” that’s all he said. He left us in the care of the hospital and signed us off to another doctor who he highly recommended. He left us flapping in the breeze. Flipty flap flap. Flipty flap flap.
5 am the contractions resumed. There was no end to this hell. Hubby had gone back home to fetch more night gowns, so I was alone, no visitors allowed everybody was somehow too busy to attend to me. I caught the attention of a certain nurse, she later confessed that I reminded of her daughter. The only friendly face in the hell hole, she lit up the room with her smile. She was my angel. The contractions were coming strong well after 2pm, so she did me a favour and hit me with promethazine so I could rest with a little slumber(a very strong sedative). The highly recommended doctor did not show up. No one had attended to me all day. I had not bathed (despite that I was a trickling hosepipe of blood the entire time) the hospital had no water and nobody gave a damn. I can not even begin to describe the bathroom facilities. The grime, scum beneath the shit, the stench and gore. I can still smell it. This was my first experience with the atrocities of a third world country.
A bunch of student doctors surrounded my bed with inquisitive eyes. ” So this patient is in labour at 24 weeks and so far her cervical dilation is at…” The leader of the group paused and tried to insert his fingers in my vagina. (There was no formal greetings, introduction or question of consent) I clamped my thighs together and as calmly as I could I whispered “fuck off” I had just had it with this circus, to them I was just a lab rat, never mind the pain I bore or the emotional and psychological trauma. He looked at me briefly before deciding I wasn’t worth it and continued to address the students. ” The patient has refused to co-operate, but like any other miscarriage..” I didn’t hear anything else. Miscarriage? Did he say I am having a miscarriage.  That was the first time I heard this piece of news. All along I thought I was going to have my baby, maybe stay in an incubator for 2-3months while feeding him through a pipe or something. Then eventually go home with him. I was mentally prepared for this. “Miscarriage?!” I heard my self scream. The leader looked back at me his eyes dancing with laughter. “You were not told?” He mocked me “My dear your fetus is 24 weeks that is an automatic miscarriage” he said sounding pleased with himself. “How can that be, his heart was beating this morning?!” I retorted in denial. “It is still a miscarriage” he said intentionally putting emphasis on the word miscarriage.
I thought I was strong, I thought I had it together. I was wrong. I have never been so heartbroken in my life. I wept, even my hubby could not console me. Google diagnosis had told me that my baby could live under extra intensive care! Google told me… The pain I felt emotionally out matched the contractions. I cried for hours upon hours until hubby felt helpless and just sat by the bedside staring at nothing..For the first time I looked at the man. He looked like hell, still wearing the same clothes from previous day, I realised he had hardly eaten and he had been there by my side unwavering with no time out. “Bae go home, bath, eat and rest. I will see you tomorrow morning” I told him. He wanted to refuse but I told him one of us had to replenish for what was to come. He left the hospital at midnight after I fell asleep from another dose of promethazine from my angel  nurse.
I woke up after 2 hours, the highly recommended doctor finally arrived and decided that the labour had to be fast paced by oxytocin. So they put up the drip with oxytocin. I can not describe the pain that ensued. I could not decipher fiction from reality. Blinding unbelievable agony. I started sweating like a pig, and something like an epileptic fit (I have no history of epilepsy). I was alone in that room screaming and screaming for an hour. Nobody bothered. I felt him coming. So I yelled at the top of my voice “The baby is coming! Help me” and not a singly body cared. My waters ruptured so I kept screaming “help me please, heeeelp!!” Crickets. They downright ignored me. I felt my baby coming and naturally I pushed, my right hand held his tiny head while I continued to push. Out he came and I placed him on my stomach. He was kicking his tiny legs as if riding a bicycle. He didn’t cry. I yelled “The baby is out! Help me!” 5 minutes later a nurse showed up all panicky. She cut the umbilical cord and put him in a cotton wrapper.
I held him in my arms and gorged into the fragility of life. So tiny. So frail. “Is he going to be okay” I asked the nurse. She shook her head. I was told to say my goodbyes. I was confused. He is alive, are you saying you are not even going to try and save him? She just shook her head. I had no time to probe or get clarification because at that moment I felt another contraction strong and unbearable as before one after the other. How is this even possible?? The placenta didn’t come out so the body will continue contracting even after birth. She took my baby and left. She never came back!
At 24 weeks the placenta doesn’t come out as smoothly as it should. Another hour of screaming and unbelievable pain. Until some student doctor peeked into my room. He tried to get the placenta out, asked me to cough and tugged it but to no avail. I was about to pass out from the pain that is when he shoved his hand and manually peeled it off from the uterus with his fingers. It is truly a miracle that I am alive to tell this story. I passed out. It was more than I could take.
I felt extremely cold and that’s when I woke up around 5am. In a reverie I noticed the placenta, umbilical cord hanging from the bed, blood, a lot of blood dripped from the bed slowly forming a pool on the floor. This young doctor ripped out the placenta, ran away and left me for dead. I tried to sit, I was too weak, I had lost too much blood. I rolled over from the bed to the floor. I knew in my mind that if I kept laying in that bed, I was going to die. I had to get out of that room, I rolled to the door which was slightly ajar and kicked it open with my right leg. I rolled into the corridors and passed out. I regained consciousness 6 hours later. Hubby was by my bedside. He smiled at me “we are getting you the hell out of here to a Private facility so you can recover under proper care”
I don’t know whether I had a miscarriage or the hospital could not be bothered to save my baby. The nurse walked out with a living breathing baby. We were told later that he didn’t make it and was incinerated. No explanation. Nothing.
This reckons this blog title. Parirenyatwa maternity ward is the portal to Satan’s lair. Some horrors were not recorded in this blog because writing it meant reliving it. I thank God because 10 months later I gave birth to my wonderful son Malik. Only now that i can tell my story.

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  1. What a heartbreaking experience Maka. Thank God you made it out. So many people are going through unspeakables in public hospitals. It’s just sad

  2. I couldnt help but shed tears as I read this. I’m so sorry you had to go through all this, thank God you came out of this mess alive! Stay blessed

    1. Thanks babes, I have healed now that’s why I can talk about it. And I am happy right now. Jus this country that needs Jesus! Thanks for reading.

  3. Hi what a horrible experience, sorry you went through that! Writing about it must be therapeutic, I hope.When did this happen? Why did you not go to a private hospital? Where was your Obgyn?

    1. It was absolutely therapeutic. It happened in 2014, my medical aid had not matured for maternity cover, it was left with one month. I didn’t anticipate to be admitted in the hospital at 24weeks. He came later and he gave us up to the hospital.

  4. They do this in Zimbabwe too? There are some nurses who try to redeem the image of those who have destroyed the profession. However, most nurses are just Satan’s agents doing the work of their father. Thank God you’re still alive, how would we have met, eh?

    1. If I allowed myself to die there would be no us lol. Its sad that these nurses don’t understand the fundamentals of their profession which is kindness.

  5. Who cares abt public health today in Zim. The honourable ones attend private institutions there or in SA or in Malasia! Suffer the children. It’s a butcher by the regime

  6. Good Lord! This is heart wrenching…thank you for being brave enough to re-live the experience and share. We really have a lot of work to do to get this country going right again.

    1. We have a long way to go! This country is a mess the people who are supposed to help don’t even care even if it life and death. Its horrendous

  7. My heart is sore. Noone should go through this. I always tell people that even though my 2 premature babies made it, I wouldnt wish that experience on my worst enemy. Gosh, i am so sorry you went through this in a hospital of all the places, where we run to for help. God help our nation. I am glad you shared and you have another baby now. You are strong. I salute you…

    1. Thank you Beverly. It was very difficult to open up and put myself out there. But how many horrors shall continue to happen without batting an eye lid? I did this for all the women who can’t tell the world. In solidarity this is our story.

  8. Thank you for sharing. This is so true, happening in every single one of our public hospitals. Horror stories I tell you.Nurses really are not joining the profession because they have a calling or want to heal, they doing it to survive only.

    1. Nurses are supposed to be the carers of these hospitals but they are the leading perpetrators of these horrors. Its such a shame.

  9. Am so sorry for the loss of your baby. I had a similar horror 21years ago at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity. Scarred me for a long time but two years later I was blessed with a son and thank God was living in the neighbouring country South Africa.

    1. Thank you. I always say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Its sad that some never lived to tell their story. This system is rotten and something should be done

  10. This was absolutely horrifying to read. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, no one should ever be put through such, especially at the hands of those who have taken an oath to save lives no matter what the cost. God will deal with them, just you wait and see. Im glad you got your miracle baby, and i’ll be praying for you and your family tonight. Be blessed.

  11. Currently studying medicine. Read your blog and i can’t help but wonder whether I’ll be prepared emotionally for that kind of trauma.
    What you went through is what I believe no woman should go through. I pray that in the years to come, i don’t end up anything like the health care professionals you mentioned above.
    Thankful to God that you are still alive and in good shape to mother a son :). I hope you find closure Maka and may God continue to bless your womb and never shall this happen to you again or anyone else.

  12. I’m terribly sorry for your loss and that the medical practitioners didn’t do their job. I’m a med student at the moment and I honestly hope there’s something I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen.
    I’m so happy that you have Malik, I bet he’s such a treasure and your wonderful husband.
    Thank you enlightening the world.

  13. My heart goes out to you. I don’t think saying I am sorry can be enough consolation..thank you for sharing,you have touched a lot of us with your experience and I hope others will also speak out because of your piece, so that maybe we can hope for and experience change in our health care system…. I am glad you have been blessed with a son and that motherhood is something you also experience. xx

  14. I had to put the phone away, raise my hands and cry out Jesus. This ordeal sounds like its from a movie . I am so sorry for your loss. As a first time mum I can’t even begin to imagine. Everything I went through in my natural labor (in a first world country) fades in comparison to your experience. I have never complained and I will not complain. Thanks for your article. May there be justice in our country and may light shine again. May no one else ever have to go theough this. Kudos to your hubby!

    1. Thank you Mel. It is truly heart wrenching but I am a survivor. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s the motto. Thank you for reading!

  15. I’m sorry to read this. May your wounded soul rise from the pain that was caused. The pain is heartbreaking, but consider it a rebirth of your soul. You are stronger for it and will heal. God bless you. -SonofGuruve

    1. Thank you sonofGuruve. Telling this story shows that I heals although the scab of the wound threatened to come off. My comfort is in my wonderful son Malik. We thank God!

  16. Am lost of words, had you not mentioned the hospital i would have thought this was from a movie. Shame on all those who proudly wear the angel’s uniform #allwhite and yet are the devil’s advocates. There are so many horrifying moments and with what you went through, you are a strong woman. I salute you

  17. What a horrific ordeal, so sorry about that Mai Malik. Thank God you lived to tell the tale. Thanks for sharing , we can learn from this.
    People let’s speak out and expose such. Its not on!

    1. If all the people who experienced such horrors could find a platform to tell their stories. How many untold horrors out there? Myriads and this is sad, and sadder because it is even happening not to mention,its very common. This country. Sigh.

  18. The sins that hve been commited on our persons by systems that should protect us is terrible…its stories like these that make me want to fight for better nomatter what personal cost. Telling your story you did your part. We as collective readers should fight for Maka you n i are Makas!

  19. I can agree more with you on this experience! I am glad you’ve a son now. The experience in our public hospitals is just horrific to say the least. Your experience is just a tip of the iceberg, that’s the daily experience in our public hospitals. I am not based in Zim at the moment but am a frequent visitor. I remember my sister-in-law (Maiguru) had almost a similar experience in 2008 at the same hospital. By the grace of God I arrived when she was in that anguish, and I had to call a Dr close friend of mine who was practicing at the hospital to personally take care of her. That’s how my nephew came to be alive. Tears ran down my cheeks as I was reading your ordeal.

  20. Is this even legal, this was pure negligence. They need to be sued. So sorry for your experience

    1. We even want to sue but is not worth the emotional drain and probably futile efforts. The system would have dragged this! Exposing them like this is the only way I guess.

  21. Eish. I’m lost for words. Nursing used to be calling but these days mmmmmm. Only the rich enjoy better health care

  22. Oh my God, this sounds horrific!!! How could people who took an oath to do no harm treat you so horribly? It’s outrageous. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. How truly tragic. I’m glad you have your current ray of sunshine to help soothe that ache. ?

    1. Thank you. It was a horrific experience. The health system is in shambles and these people don’t care. They are in it for the money. No passion there. And baby Malik took away the pain. I am happy hey. And thank you for reading!

  23. You have torn out my heart and left it dying on the floor. Is this such a common experience where you are that medical staff have no heart left to care? Do they even take the Hippocratic Oath? Were you in a different hospital for Malik?

    1. Unfortunately this is happening on a daily basis in public hospitals. They took the oath and they don’t care. These are the horrors of a third world country. For Malik I booked at a private facility. Received world class treatment. I actually enjoyed it. Phew! Malik is EVERYTHING that’s why I can look back and tell thus story without a single ache 🙂 Now pick your heart from the floor dearie lol

  24. I don’t have enough words to simply say, that sounds horrific. I’m glad you survived to tell the story and also to birth a healthy baby.

      1. I worked hangu in Bulawayo, and the system was a mess, a real mess. But my boss would always say, “Never, ever lose your humanity.” The worst news is telling a woman she is miscarrying, and there is nothing we can do about it. A lady broke down when I was telling her, and all I could do was sit with her until her husband came. It sucks… and someone being glib about that is unacceptable. Freaking unacceptable!!!

        1. Soo true, the system might be a mess but you uphold your individual morality. Just be human. It’s a wicked world but let us not let it change us!

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