How does the LUCY mobile service help Ethiopian women during their pregnancy and after delivery? We spoke with one of the 8.500 LUCY service users in Ethiopia, Rahel Abera. Her story highlights how the messages supported her through the tough moments of her pregnancy and how they prepared her for delivery.
My name is Rahel Abera. I am 30 years old sales woman working for a pharmaceutical company. I was born and raised in Dessie but I moved to Addis Ababa 5 years ago for better opportunities. I live with my husband to whom I am married to for more than 1.5 years. On August 2018 I received the news that I was pregnant, I was excited and scared because it was my first pregnancy.
Challenging first time pregnancy
My pregnancy started off really challenging. As a first time pregnant woman it was harder than I had expected. I had a severe morning sickness during the first three months. Gradually I began to feel better, as my vomiting and nausea improved. The 6th and 7th months of my pregnancy were the times I actually enjoyed being pregnant. I had the energy to go to places and relax. My baby was growing inside of me which was wonderful and I would feel her movement which was amazing.
At the same time, my lack of experience made my pregnancy difficult, even though I had family and friends and also my clinicians to tell me what was going to happen. To hear and to actually pass through it were totally different things. I lost my dear friend due to child birth related problems. She blead to death during her delayed C-section. It was until my sister told me about this mobile messaging service, LUCY, for pregnant woman and mothers of newborns when I felt more relaxed. She sent me the number and I registered. I chose the text SMS option because I wanted to have the messages on my phone to read them again and again. I also showed my husband the messages since he was also very eager to learn.
Always one step ahead with LUCY. I am forever grateful for LUCY making my first pregnancy a pleasant experience.
Supporting messages from LUCY
The LUCY messages were very important to me, I usually got messages in the mornings, I would wake up early in the morning, excited to read my messages. The messages were particularly very important in the end of the pregnancy, as there were many supportive, reassuring and comforting messages which had really helped me get through the tough times. I received so much important information about what to expect, what to look for, and what not to do that have improved my pregnancy experience.
One day I received a text preparing me for Cesarean section delivery. When I received the message I was surprised and I began to wonder about this operation, I was terrified because my friend died due to a complicated C-section. But the text message reassured me that the majority of C-sections do not get complicated and are becoming a usual method of delivery. I remember saying I will not deliver by C-section, fearing that I might die. But, at the 40th week of my pregnancy I had a premature rupture of membranes. I went to the clinic and was told that I needed an induction of labor. Later I was told that I needed a Cesarean section. I was terrified but I kept remembering the Lucy text saying that it was okay to deliver by operation and that most of the time complications in this procedure do not happen. I was scared to accept the reality, but being mentally prepared saved me and my family from unnecessary stress and complications. Lucy also advised me to save money. It was a good reminder that helped me save the money I needed for the surgery. The surgery went well and In April 2019 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl!
LUCY transformed my pregnancy
For me LUCY was my constant reminder of what to do and what to expect during my pregnancy, it was also a motivation to take good care of myself. It has reduced stress due to unnecessary aspects of pregnancy, helped me have a relaxed pregnancy, being always one step ahead with Lucy.
I honestly don’t know how my pregnancy would have gone if I didn’t have Lucy. Lucy transformed my pregnancy. I felt better starting from the day I enrolled, Lucy was with me through all the ups and downs. I have been advising all the pregnant women I know to enroll to the service. I am forever thankful for LUCY for making my pregnancy a pleasant experience.
The LUCY mobile service is part of the by Dioraphte funded Health[e]Families project in Ethiopia.