A pregnant woman from Baraka village in Tana River County, Kenya surprised her relatives by choosing to swim across a river in order to give birth at a hospital.
Sadia Mahamud, the new mother, hurried to a nearby health facility when she realized her baby was about to be born.
“I had made it nearly halfway across when a man on the other side of the river noticed me and leaped into the water to assist. The water was up to my chest and was becoming turbulent,” she explained.
Despite believing that her delivery date was still a week away, she started experiencing unusual pains.
She sought relief from her midwife through a massage, which initially helped. However, when it began raining later that night, the pain intensified.
Sadia said: “While I was sitting in the tent with my aunt, sharing stories and laughter, I suddenly felt a sharp cramp that made me stand. I’m not sure how I managed to leave the tent, but I realised it was crucial for me to seek medical care.”
Without hesitation, Sadia rushed to the hospital, leaving her companions behind.
As she crossed the river, the cramps subsided, leading her to decide to stay in the water a little longer to minimize the pain.
“The pain was too much, and the water seemed to be a relief, so I thought it would be better to stay inside until it went away, but that was not going to work with the women who were accompanying me”.
Eshah Ismail, Sadia’s midwife who witnessed the entire event, expressed concern for Sadia due to the strong current of the river and its history of accidents.
“The area has a tragic past with fatalities from people being swept away. We were fortunate to have God’s divine protection on that day,” Ismail said.
The midwife revealed that women caught up with Sadia, and with the help of other men, they lifted her out of the raging water.
She delivered a bouncing baby boy, Mohammed Bilal, not long after reaching the health facility.