Nthwesane, of Tloung village in Mahikeng, North West, had always wished and prayed for a boy, but she allegedly carried the corpse of her baby in her womb for months before delivery.
It would have been her second child.
During her pregnancy Nthwesane would visit a local clinic in neighbouring Montshioa-Stadt for antenatal care. But after months of checkups failed to detect any baby movements in her belly she asked to be referred to a hospital for a scan.
In January, when she arrived at North West Hospital in Mahikeng for the scan, she was devastated to learn her child had long died in her womb.
“I heard him (the doctor) saying my baby died when I was four months pregnant. At that moment it was like time had stopped. I felt dizzy and went back to my bed,” she said.
Nthwesane said she had be4en repeatedly assured by nurses at her local clinic that her baby was fine despite initial concerns over the lack of movement.
She said nurses would often use a foetus scope to listen to the baby’s heart rate.
When she asked why her belly was not growing, she said the clinic nurses advised her to buy pills that would assist with relaxing the foetus muscles.
Nthwesane said she was ecstatic when she learnt in July that she was pregnant again as she had been hoping to add a baby boy to her family. Still, she did not want to know the gender of the baby until birth.
She said after giving birth she asked to see the baby.
“I could not see my baby because the nurse told me that the foetus has decomposed rotten,” she said.
But her ordeal did not end there. Since her discharge from hospital in January, Nthwesane has been experiencing excruciating pains every week and has yet to stop bleeding.
She has been visiting her local clinic again to seek help but has been told the bleeding will naturally stop at some point.
North West MEC for health Magome Masike blamed the nurses at Nthwesane’s local clinic for her ordeal.
“What I can tell you is that I need competent people, otherwise it means I must go and do it myself because I believe I’m competent and I believe I can do a good job,” he said.
Masike, a medical doctor for 32 years, said during pregnancy a foetus grows inside the womb and the mother gets measured weekly.
“If we measure and find out that it is still at the same weeks as the last time, then there is definitely a problem.
“It’s not about the equipment. It’s the ability to understand what a professional is doing, you don’t need a scan.
“I cannot understand how a professional can miss that.”
He said he needed to talk to whoever had attended to
Nthwesane at the clinic.
Masike said his department would organise counselling for Nthwesane to help her deal with her ordeal.