Tales from the clinic


The campus environment as usual was burstling with activities and the three friends couldn’t wait for the day’s activities to draw it’s curtains so they could go for their usual Friday night hang out. Jenny and her two friends, Miriam and Nenye had been friends since their first year in the university. You could best describe them as a clique of the unrelated sisters. They were always together but no one could ever describe them with one adjective.  Jenny and Miriam were more of the reserved type while Nenye was the life of the party. There was rarely any social gathering around town that you wouldn’t see her in.

Nenye’s nature attracted a lot of people their way, they soon became popular. Nenye somehow always had men around, showering her with gifts. She had a boyfriend in school, one she had dated for one year and counting yet, still got all the attention from men. Even when she didn’t want to date these other men, she would always hang out with them, make out with them and collect loads of gifts in return. She had even at a point acted as though she was pregnant. Jenny suspected and still suspects that she was pregnant but the symptoms dwindled away almost as soon as it had come, making her doubt her intuition.

As long as Jenny could remember, the only issues they have had as friends and roommates revolved around the wide Gap in their choice of lifestyle. Nenye had tried countless times to recruit them into her so called “sure way of living life yet getting loads  of cash to throw about” but each stunt she pulled always ended the same way as the others before it. She had even threatened to stop them from ever using her numerous belongings but still wasn’t able to get them on their knees as she had expected.

Even with everything going on, Jenny was glad for the friendship they shared. Besides her family at home, they were the closest thing to a family she had. They had shared a lot together and had been each other’s backbone the entire time they had been in school. Jenny’s encounter with her mum the last time she was home was still fresh in her memory. It was one she didn’t think she could ever forget. The mum she had known all her life treated her like a stranger.

The first time she had raised the marriage talk, Jenny had thought it was a joke and waved it aside. She was in her final year  and didn’t see why her mum should be bothering her with talks like that when she had infact gone home for the single purpose of getting the money she needed for her project. Even Nenye was slowing down on her frequent outings. She had even ditched everyother man that came around, concentrating only on her boyfriend, her project and their forth coming final exams. Why would mum be so insensitive to the extent of bringing up this topic at this time? She was embittered but consoled by the thought that her mum wasn’t serious.

The encounter she had with her mum when she got home after her exams to wait for their convocation and NYSC posting proved her wrong. Her mum wasn’t just serious but determined to get what she wanted.  She had refused Jenny entrance to their house on the grounds that her ticket for entrance was a man. That she should go back to wherever she was coming from and never step her foot into her own husband’s house except she had come to introduce her soon to be husband to the family.

Also Read https://derasstories.com/2021/01/11/in-all-shades-of-gorgeousness-a-short-story/

At first, Jenny had laughed, thinking it was all a prank to note her reaction before a proper welcome. She was only able to read the handwriting on the wall when her mum shut the door on her. She begged, cried and wailed, yet nothing. Being the last born and only daughter, her elder brother’s weren’t at home while her dad was late. After much deliberation on what to do, she settled for Miriam’s place. Even though Nenye’s was closer, she didn’t want to go there, she wasn’t ready to add more drama to the one she already had.

The next day was a rather long one for Jenny. Maybe because there was nothing to engage herself in as usual. Miriam had tried to entertain her with movies and gists without success as she soon relapsed to her usual mood. She was depressed. She felt like her whole life had suddenly turned upside down. As she laid down on one of the settees in the sitting room refusing to join Miriam in the movie she was watching, Miraiam concentrated on her movie, intermittently laughing out loud to draw Jenny’s interest. The door was opened abruptly, drawing their attention to its direction. Nenye majestically strolled in, holding her handbag in a way that displayed her left hand.

The duo weren’t surprised to see her as they had earlier explained Jenny’s situation to her over the phone. “What’s up girlfriend?” Miriam asked Nenye who paused infront of them like a model in a contest. She simply smiled and brought her left hand towards her face to display the shinny diamond ring in her middle finger. “Is it what am thinking?” Miriam asked, rushing closer to her friend. Jenny was alerted and she soon rushed to Nenye’s side as well to take a look. “It’s a lie! How did it happen?” She asked while Miriam was busy admiring the ring. ” So Jide has finally proposed! But come to think of it, he is yet to serve and to the best of my knowledge, he isn’t from an elite home. How could he afford a diamond ring?” Miriam asked, confused.

“Nenye laughed. And who told you it’s Jide? That broke ass! I was only managing him back in school while waiting for the main man to come. It didn’t take me a minute to recognize him the moment I laid my eyes on him and trust me, I used my charm to steal my way into his heart.” She was now waving the diamond ring as though to give them a clearer view. Jenny and Miriam were speechless. “So, this your new catch, how long have you known him?” Jenny managed to ask. Well, babe, that’s not important. All you need know is that my guy is in money! She was screaming. “Hope you guys at least checked your genotype, to avoid giving birth to sickle cell children o” Miriam said, rolling her eyes. “Of course we did. I’m not a fool you know.” She smirked.

The moment Nenye left to break the news to her family, Jenny began to shout. “This world no balance at all o! How exactly does the bad girls get married while the good ones don’t? Just take a look at Nenye, the typical runs girl we all know and look at me, now squatting with a friend simply because I have no fiance to introduce to my people!” She was really bitter but what could she do. Miriam on her own side was in too much shock to as much as comment on Jenny’s laments.

Fast forward to a few months and Nenye was married and living happily with her husband. She was soon gravid and her husband pampered her like she never expected. He even made plans to fly her abroad to be delivered of the baby. He never let her do any work in the house. All she did was take her bath and look beautiful for  him.  Five months into the pregnancy, she miscarried. She cried and cried that even Jenny and Miriam who weren’t initially happy with her began to feel for her. Jenny was suddenly wondering if all marriages were like that. Somehow, the whole obsession to get married died down for a while.

At five years of marriage, Nenye had miscarried five times. She was wailing. After several days of drinking her own tears, she decided to go see a gynaecologist. “Doctor, in 5 years of marriage, I have miscarried 5 times, who did I offend?” She cried. The tears couldn’t just stop coming and Dr. Israel had to pause his consultation, giving her a few minutes to express her tears. “At what gestation of the pregnancies did you miscarry?” He asked after a few minutes. “At about 5 or 6months” Nenye replied. Dr. Israel nodded, his mind going somewhere…he still needed a few questions to confirm. “What is your blood group?” He asked. “O neg”, she said still wondering what her blood group had to do with the issue at hand. “And your husband?”

“O positive” she was getting more confused.

“Did you ever abort a baby before getting married to your husband?” The doctor asked. He was getting closer to confirming his suspicion but Nenye wasn’t finding the new swift in the pattern of questions funny. She was obviously uncomfortable, readjusting herself in her seat all of a sudden. “I’m still waiting for your answer” Dr. Israel reminded her.

“I might have aborted a baby while in school” she said, avoiding his gaze. “Might have or have?” Dr. Israel was set on getting a clear information. “Ok. I had two abortions done for my boyfriend back in school. He wasn’t ready to father a child” she admitted. “Do you know his blood group?” He asked, his interest obvious. “Well, I don’t. We never really discussed it” Nenye said with a shrug. “Well, call him and find out” he said, to the surprise of Nenye. “Call my ex? That’s ridiculous! I’m not doing it” she maintained. “You have to. I need that information to really know what is wrong with you” he persuaded her.

“What do you want? You have the guts to call me after leaving me for that guy, you want to kill me this time!” Came the voice from the other end of the phone. “I just wanted to find out your blood group, nothing else.” Nenye said and the guy fled: you mean to tell me that the whole time we were together you never knew my blood group? Dr. Israel immediately sensed what was going to happen and opted to speak to the young man himself. The moment he heard the word “O positive”, he was sure. All he needed now was a test, an evidence to support his diagnosis.

Mrs Nenye, I know what is wrong with you but you will  have to do one test so I can confirm it. The test is called: indirect coolomb’s test. Come see me with the result whenever it is ready so we can discuss some more alright. Nenye thanked him immensely and left. A few weeks later, she was back with the result and just as expected, it was positive. Dr. Israel went ahead to explain to her that as a woman with O negative blood group, whenever she got pregnant by a partner who is O positive that the baby will be more likely to pick up the father’s blood group. As a result, the blood group of the baby and that of the mother ought not to meet, if they do, the mother’s blood will build antibodies that will fight off every future baby from an O positive father.

Medically, we manage the situation by giving a drug called Rogham after every contact with the blood of such babies with their mother’s. That way, the antibodies won’t form. This is exactly what happened to you. The blood of your baby mixed with yours when you had your first abortion and no medical move was made to stop the antibodies from forming. That’s exactly why you have miscarried every single pregnancy you have had ever since. Nenye was now in tears, she couldn’t believe “blood group” could prevent her from having a baby. It was the first time she heard of the words “rhesus D+ and rhesus D-“. The popular one had been genotype to prevent sickle cell anaemia. How she wished she had lived a better life back in school, she would have at least had one child or even more…the doctors would have known and prevented this whole thing. The tears just kept coming…