After marriage, the best news one can hear is that the couple are about to become parents. Given the number of couples who have had to wait for so many months or years to have this joy; or those who are yet to have this kind of joy after many months or years of marriage, one can imagine the amount of joy and excitement that usually greets the news that the woman is pregnant. The excitement is heightened when the pregnancy is actually the first. In some cases, a party is thrown and testimonies are made in the church.
As the pregnancy grows into weeks and then months, the excitement multiplies. Prayers, anti natal visits and all sorts of advice come from all sorts of people. The excitement reaches its peak when the pregnancy reaches the seventh month or thereabout when the sex of the baby is known and is probably what the couples had hoped for. At this time, it is expected that the baby’s (or babies’) needs would have been bought.
And then the moment finally comes when the baby is ready to come into the world !!!
It was Thursday, 24th July 2008, I had my first encounter with the real life version of what I used to watch in films – when a man has to wait outside the labour ward and await the outcome of the nine months journey which he had escorted his wife all along – an outcome which no one except GOD could say exactly how it would turn out to be. The labour pain started at exactly 10.15p.m., apparently an answered prayer, as I had asked GOD to please make it happen at a time I can find help. I have never been as confused all my life. I was vibrating all over when my wife told me that it seems the moment has finally come.
By the amazing grace and mercies of GOD, my wife delivered safely, a ‘’beautiful’’ boy, after ten ‘’gruesome’’ hours of waiting. It was the longest ten hours I have ever had in all of my life. In fact, my wife said she had almost concluded delivery before the mid wives came to finish the job. Praise the LORD. Three months later, again by the amazing grace and mercies of GOD, my younger sister put to bed. Wao !!!
With these testimonies and many before it, pregnancy meant: go to the hospital when the labour pain comes; deliver and then jubilation follows. Even though I have heard of complications that ended up with sorrow, I still saw pregnancy the way GOD planned it – a means of procreation. Simple!!!
However, this confidence suffered a serious setback on Tuesday, 8th May, 2012 (a day to my birthday). At about 10a.m., I got the worst phone call I have ever (and would ever) received, from my younger brother. The news? My younger sister had died during child birth earlier in the morning. I did not know when I dropped the call and threw the phone on the table. It was like a dream to me. I felt like removing all my clothes and throw them away. I had a feeling which only a Physiatrist could describe properly. Like I said earlier, pregnancy meant go to the hospital when the labour pain comes; deliver and let the jubilation begin.
As I got to know later, my sister bled to death!!! Help could not come immediately. She was taken to a maternity home with little or no medical facility and personnel to handle complications. She had to be rushed to a hospital, which was not even nearby, for help. Imagine a woman in pain losing blood over a long distance. My sweet sister and her baby who was fully delivered could not be saved!!! And so I lost my dearly beloved sister.
Perhaps, just perhaps, my sister and her baby could have been saved if the right personnel and facilities were on ground to attend to them when every second mattered.
At this time, my wife was about seven months pregnant. I have never been as fearful as I was in my entire life. I prayed the way I have never done before. My sister’s death made me to now see pregnancy differently. Pregnancy was not supposed to be a source of death. I was so afraid. Not even my prayers and prayer requests and other safe deliveries could rebuild my positive perception of pregnancy.
On Wednesday, 11th July, 2012, the day and moment came. Against all fears, GOD in His infinite grace and mercy granted my wife safe “arrival.” However, it was not without a ‘’fight.’’ My wife had a tear and started bleeding. Two different actions were taken to stop the bleeding to no avail. It was the third, and GOD’s amazing mercies that stopped the bleeding. What could have happened if the doctors did not know of the third technique?
Are you pregnant or perhaps a friend or relation is? Or perhaps your wife is pregnant? Please allow me to share a few tips or human efforts that can be taken as preventive measures against having problematic pregnancies/deliveries:-
*A very good hospital is a MUST. If possible, opt for a near-by hospital. Labour pains can become fatal if urgent attention is not given to the woman. Some women have died in the course of delivering on the way to the hospital or at home. Avoid a penny-wise-pound-foolish mistakes.
*Ante natal appointments MUST be kept religiously.
*Regular scans should be conducted to ascertain the position of the baby and the placenta.
*Do not wait until the next ante natal appointment before you complain of headaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, foul odour from the vagina and other unusual feelings.
*Ante natal check up is NOT complete without checking the heart beat/health of the baby in the womb. This could save the life of a woman if the growing baby had died in the womb without the woman knowing.
*Avoid taking things that are injurious to the unborn baby such as cigarettes, alcohol, native concoctions and foods that are capable of making the baby too big for easy passage from the vagina.
*NEVER agree to a caesarian section where you are not sure of the reputation of the hospital for such operations.
*Men should endeavor to follow their wives to ante natal checkups. They can help remind their wives of what the Doctor said, and insist on some things which the woman would have treated with levity.
*Finally, and above all, be very prayerful. It is no hidden secret that the best of hospitals in the world today have lost countless women during child birth. However, it will be very foolish of anyone to say that because he/she is praying, then no human effort is important.
I doff my hat for every mother out there. I hold you all in high esteem. I have been to the labour ward twice and have ‘’helped my wife carry her pregnancy’’ twice and would therefore not need anyone to tell me what pregnancy and child delivery is all about. For the expectant mothers, I wish you the grace and mercies of God. But please you and your husband MUST do everything humanly possible to have a safe delivery and leave the rest to GOD for perfection.
To my dearly beloved sister, in whose memory this blog post is dedicated, I want to say it’s still too hard to believe that you are no more. It is insane to question GOD. But sweet memories lingers forever in the hearts of those you left behind, especially your son, Simi.
May your sweet soul rest in perfect peace, in Jesus name, amen.