After groceries were delivered to Sofie’s family on Monday, Lin’s turn came on Tuesday. This time I chose to send the groceries in the morning as I knew Lin would definitely be home and I wanted to take a rest and just stay home in the afternoon.
Tuesday morning by 10 am I was already at the minimarket. It was rather cloudy, and I was praying that it wouldn’t suddenly rain like it did the day before that got me all drenched. Thank God it didn’t.
The drive to Lin’s house was smooth… although I didn’t quite like this particular scene…
Well, there was a better scene on the way back…
Anyway, when I got home, after lunch I thought I’d just take a short nap. I thought I deserved that nap after the hectic past few days. But suddenly my hand phone rang, with the Mission Impossible ringtone. That’s the assigned ringtone for my PLHIV clients (used to be the Bond theme, but after a while I decided to change to MI).
The call was from Razif. Remember Razif? He called me about a month ago to seek my advise when he and his wife, both HIV+, found out that the wife was pregnant. At that time they had not gone to any clinics, they just did a home pregnancy test. I told him necessary precautions could be taken to avoid transmission of HIV from mother to child; and that many of my other clients safely gave birth to babies who were later confirmed negative. I also advised him to get an earlier appointment at the ID clinic for his wife as it was important for the doctor to know about the wife’s pregnancy. After about 2 weeks when I sent him a text message if he had arranged for the appointment, Razif replied saying that he did not arrange for the appointment as both he and his wife had decided for an abortion.
I thought then that the abortion had already been done… until early last week when he called to say that despite the abortion methods they used (I’m not sure how they went about… maybe some traditional methods), they decided to go to a private clinic for scanning and the scan showed that the foetus was well and fine… and was already more than 3 months. Again I advised him to arrange for an earlier appointment at the ID clinic.
But apparently Razif and his wife were both still undecided. They still believed that the baby is sure to be born with the virus if they decided to go on with the pregnancy. So yesterday, again they went to a private clinic, had another scan, and asked the doctor’s advice on abortion. The private doctor didn’t know about their HIV status of course, was wondering why they wanted the abortion in the first place when the foetus was doing just fine, and told them it would be a pity if they didn’t keep the baby, but if they still decided to go for an abortion, then the charge would be RM1,500. Razif, a clerk, couldn’t afford it.
That was when he decided to call me. This time he wanted to meet up. So yeah, forget my nap, I figured it was best if I met them face to face. This time at least, both the husband and wife would be there and so I would be able to talk to the wife as well instead of talking only to Razif all the while.
True enough, just like I thought, they both didn’t quite believe what I said earlier about babies born to HIV+ mothers being confirmed negative. I had to give them examples of my other clients (they have met some of my other clients during our annual Family Day) who safely gave birth to HIV negative babies. After the heart to heart talk (Razif’s wife shed some tears), they finally decided to keep the baby. I told them to immediately go to the ID clinic, see the nurse there and arrange for an earlier appointment for the wife. They both looked a bit more cheerful and agreed to go immediately. I told them to call me anytime if they needed to talk to me.
After they left, I immediately called the nurse at the ID clinic to tell her about the problem and that Razif and wife were on their way to see her. It would make it easier for the couple with the nurse already in the know about their problem… not much explanation needed to be done by the couple.
I take extra care when it comes to pregnant PLHIVs. I just want to be sure they take the necessary precautions to safeguard the baby from infection. So far, the babies born to HIV positive mothers that I know of personally, have all been confirmed negative. The only HIV+ children I know are those who were born much earlier, when the mothers themselves had not known of their HIV status.
I sure hope all will go well for Razif and his wife.