When I gave birth in January 2020, I came home but I had lost all appetite to eat. I am from a Ghanaian background and my mum was cooking all of our native cuisines as per our culture to help me lactate and be healthy as a new mum, but I just could not eat. This meant that I also struggled to breastfeed my baby as it was like I was not producing enough milk. I had pains in my stomach too. I thought it was nothing as I had an emergency caesarean. I didn’t really think anything of it and I didn’t want to complain as I am the youngest of my mum's children (who all have kids) and didn’t want to look like the drama queen, so I kept it to myself. 

On the 17th March, as the pandemic was getting really serious in the UK, my mum left to go to work and I started feeling pains again in my stomach. I put my son to bed and went to the toilet but nothing was happening. Then out of nowhere, I was on the floor and could not breathe. I was just in so much pain and stayed like this until my husband and family returned in the evening. The next minute, my husband and sister took me to the hospital where I was rushed to the emergency room with a burst appendix, and I didn’t know. I was projectile vomiting and the only thing I had been eating was biscuits for the past eight weeks. It didn’t cross my mind that my appendix had burst because I had had a caesarean and assumed that my pain was due to this. I was rushed into emergency theatre and cut in four places. For some reason as soon as they took the appendix out I was able to breastfeed properly and my son will not stop feeding, and I am eating like normal.

The reason I am speaking up about this is because I didn’t say anything to anyone at the time. In my head I didn’t want to be extra and inconvenience anyone, and now thinking about it, that’s where the problem lies. We are often scared to speak up because of how society will perceive us and that is very dangerous. 

Desire Danso, British Ghanian 32, East London