“DOCTOR I CANNOT BE PREGNANT…I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THIS BABY ON SCAN FROM…

Dr Adesida Adewumi (Area of specialization: Family medicine)

2 YEARS AGO…. I was inside my consulting room when a young woman opened my door, beaming with smiles, as she said ”good afternoon doctor”. I returned the greeting with a smile too, wondering what would make a young woman full of so much happiness. From her dressing, she looked like a Christian from one of the pentecostal churches. She covered her head with turban. She was not wearing earings. I asked her to come inside. “what is your name and how can I help you? ” She answered “my name is Helen ( not the real name). I was directed to your office by one of your clinical attendants. I came to scan my womb to make sure my womb is okay because I am getting married soon”. I could see that joy that usually engulfed young men and women as they were about to get married to the love of their life. I experienced the same joy too when I was about to marry my wife so I could relate to her. I congratulated her in advance not knowing that the day was going to be full of so much sadness for Helen.

She gave me her scan request form. I told her to lie down while I called in one of my assistants to stay with us in the consulting room because this is the right thing to do as a medical doctor especially when you are dealing with opposite sex and what you want to do for them required some privacy So she lay down and opened her tummy. I began to scan her tummy. Lo and behold; what was looking at us was a heart beat of a bouncing baby. I said ” You are pregnant” She laughed and said “doctor, stop joking with me please”. I replied her “I am not joking you are truly pregnant.” Immediately her broad smile stopped abruptly. I asked her to look at the baby herself. I showed her the heart beat of the baby. She sat up a little confused, sad and depressed.

She reacted in tears “NO DOCTOR I CAN’T BE PREGNANT..I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THIS BABY ON SCAN FROM. I AM A SINGLE CHRISTIAN SISTER…IT IS NOT POSSIBLE”. She continued to panic and lament seriously. “Doctor are you serious? Please can you do the scan again and very well? Please I can’t be pregnant. Next week is my marriage introduction” I said “okay when was your last menstrual period and when did you have any intimacy with a man?”. She answered “doctor I usually have irregular menstruation and this has been like that for the past one year now. Sometimes I don’t see my menses for 4 months and it will come again”. I asked her how old she was. She answered “24 years old .” When was the last time you had any intimacy with any man?” I asked again. She answered me in obvious frustration and devastation “doctor I am a Christian,a worker in our church. I have never done anything like that since I became a Christian 4 years ago”.

I said ” so where did the baby come from? another historical virgin birth of another Jesus?.” She stood her ground that she had nothing to do with any man for the past 4 years. I had to call one of the senior doctors to help me re-check her womb. The senior doctor came, repeated the scan and it was still showing a baby’s heartbeat as Helen could see it herself. At this junction she stopped arguing. She started looking at the ceiling of my office as she lay down there on the bed helplessly and tears began to roll down her cheeks. There was a loud palpable silence inside the consulting room. She quietly opened her mouth and said ” doctor can I talk to you alone ? Can others go out ? ” I said “sure” . I told others to go out of the consulting room.

She said doctor “can one minute intimacy with a man turn to pregnancy? and this happened just once? and that was 4 months ago? I meant just one minute o like you got carried away and you quickly stopped it.” My answers to all her questions were yes. She sobbed uncontrollably and shouted loudly with her two hands on her head “doctorrrrr I have destroyed my life” . I told her to calm down,gave her handkerchief to clean her tears and told her to narrate what happened to her.

She began “doctor I gained admission to the university at age of 17 years old. I was a virgin until I met this boy called Gbenga (not the real name) in my second year in the university. He was the first and only man I had intimacy with through out my university until my final year when I became a born again christian. I had to tell him I couldn’t continue with the immorality but was not bulging. Everytime he saw me, he would pester me to continue but I kept a long distance from him till I graduated and cut off all communication with him. This was how I was able to overcome the temptation.

She continued “I graduated three years ago, went for my one year mandatory NYSC and came back. For the past two years, I was at home job hunting until 4 months ago when I was invited for an interview in one organisation. Doctor guess who I met working in the organization?” I answered quietly “Gbenga” she nodded her head with more tears and sobbings in affirmation as she tried to clean her tears and nose with the handkerchief.

“Gbenga was not the boss in the organisation doctor but he promised to help me follow up the job and inform me if there was any news. He collected my phone number. This was how we resumed communicating again after three years. Weeks passed. We virtually talked every day. Then one day he called congratulating me that my appointment letter was with him as he was talking to me. I ran to his office in joy doctor. He gave me the appointment letter. I started jubilating. He hugged me as i was jubilating. Doctor that was the last thing I could really remember. One thing led to another before I could regain my emotional strength and push him away from me, a repeat of the past had already started happening behind the closed door in his office.I got angry, threw the appointment letter at him and stormed out of his office. I cut off all communications with him and cried bitterly to God in repentance when I got back home but I did not tell a single soul. I kept it to myself.

One month ago,I noticed my tummy was always aching which made me to decide to come for the scan meanwhile for the past one year my fiance in United states of America had communicated to my parents and pastor of his intention to come for our marriage introduction. He will be coming home this week for our marriage introduction and here I am doctor, with a 4 months old inside me” She wailed bitterly again with her eyes becoming seriously red and bulging and mucus running out of her nose. Seriously I was speechless because I didnt even know how to start consoling her. I could feel her agony.

The next thing she requested from me was “doctor please can you help me remove the baby? Nobody can hear this. This is everlasting shame on my parents, the church and my family. My introduction is a week time”. I told her “I understand what you are going through but I am under an oath, both to God and to humanity, not to take an innocent life. So I am sorry I can’t do it.” I encouraged her to talk to her parents, pastor and fiance about the whole thing and the circumstances surrounding the whole event just as she had explained to me. That was the last day I saw her two years ago.

I saw her last week with a one year old son. I asked her what happened after that day. She told me she followed my advice, told her parents, pastor and fiance. The marriage introduction was called off by the church. The parents and pastor told her not to add sin of murder to the mistake she had made already. She should have her baby. Gbenga refused to accept responsibility for the child. For the past one year,she has been a single mother, working and taking care of her only child by herself but thank God she has reconciled with God.

As I was on my way home after meeting Helen, thinking about what happened to her, three major lessons came to my mind which I will like to share with you:

LESSON NUMBER 1:

This is to the young ladies looking for admission to leave the house and go to higher institution. Entering higher institution is not a freedom or a licence to freedom for you to start immoral activities. Your parents have confidence in you that you will do the right thing and take care of yourself in their absence, that is why they release you to the wider and wilder world of campus.

LESSON NUMBER 2:

If you say you have given your life to God then run far away from your past. Beware of exes… They are the easiest vessels in the hands of the devil to put you in trouble.

LESSON NUMBER 3:

Don’t allow desperation to get something make you compromise your faith or make you put yourself in a position that your faith can be easily compromised.

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