The first time I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited. It was my first pregnancy at 30 years of age. My antenatal visits were great until I was 24 weeks. My blood pressure was extremely high and I was admitted to hospital that day, 11 June 2021, so they could monitor my blood pressure. I thought the next day I was going home but that never happened.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into a month. I was told that I would stay there on bed rest until I delivered the baby at 34 weeks. It was a horrible stay. Things were not looking good for my baby. The baby stopped growing and stopped moving frequently. I had to put my hands on my tummy for him to move. The things my ears were hearing about my condition were horrible but I had so much faith in God.

On Thursday, 8th of July, I was rushed to theatre for an emergency C-section due to fetal distress. I was crying that morning because I knew my baby was only 28 weeks, 1 day. It was too early for him to come into this world but there was nothing I could do. Time of birth was 14h00 and it was a boy.

I was so excited and nervous at the same time because he was so tiny and fragile. They rushed him to high care and I saw him the following day. I was so traumatised to see my baby in those machines, as little as he was, but I had to be strong for my little man.

On the third day of his life I was called by his doctors, telling me that my baby’s stomach was inflating like a balloon. They told me they were going to drain whatever that was and I agreed. After that my baby looked healthy and his skin was also developing. I was happy about that. Then, a few days later, I was called again and they told me my baby had a leak in his bowels and it would cause infection, so surgery was the next step for my tiny fragile baby son. I was deeply hurt but my faith was still there.

On the seventh day of his life he went for surgery and came back to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). His body was swollen and his breathing was on and off. That was very horrible for me to see but I had no choice but to be there for my son. His eyes were closed since that day until he took his last breath.

I was told that it would take at least three days for the swelling to fade away but he was getting worse. I was then told that he had infection and they treated but my son was not responding to it. They put him on an oscillator machine to assist his heartbeat but he was not responding. On the 19th July, a Monday, when I went to check my baby at 09h00, his heart rate was very low and the doctors were by him. I was told that they would withdraw care because it was not helping him.

I was numb but still believed God for my baby’s health. They took out all the things that were connected to my baby and gave him to me. He was still breathing. I didn’t say goodbye because I was in disbelief. I didn’t even know what to do with him. I was just looking at him and that was it. It was a moment in my arms. My baby son passed away a few minutes later. He’s forever in my heart.

Tell us: What words of encouragement can you give a young mother who has lost a baby?