She had known it was going to be a girl! What Lolade did not know was that she was going to die in utero. Perhaps if she had, she would not have bonded with the growing life within her, perhaps, she would not have told her mom and her mother-in-law they were expecting, after several years of putting a stop to childbearing. Perhaps she wouldn’t have encouraged the older kids to talk to their baby sister. So many ‘perhaps’, but it did not lessen the impact of the story of how she got pregnant unexpectedly at 38 years old.
A situation she, Lolade, was ridiculously happy about, even though her husband was less than ecstatic about it, although there was nothing he could do about it.
She is already a mommy of twins and one singleton. You see, the fact that she was able to have babies at all was a miracle in itself, as she had been told as young as 21 years old that having children was going to be a challenge for her, if it was possible at all.
So, she lived her 20s searching and seeking for a steady relationship. As though the universe knew what she wanted, a sensible relationship eluded her, instead she fell into the hands of one stringer after the other, until one day, she fell into the hands of God. Before then, she had believed she was a child of God, but you know how it is possible to confess one thing and act differently. That was the exact situation with Lolade. She confessed she was a child of God but failed to act the part, so the storms of life kept tossing her thro and fro.
As a church goer, every time an altar call was made for those with challenges to come unburden themselves, she stepped out, her heart crying for a steady relationship that would lead to a marriage and, soon after, babies. Well, she steps out, drops her burden on the altar and right after the prayer, she picks it up and continues with her worrying about when Mr. Right would show up.
One day, she had a dream. Something she rarely did. In the dream, she had seen her life play out before her eyes. She saw herself with a burden, with so many hands offering to help, but she refused to let go, telling them, “It’s heavy, you can’t carry it”, until someone yanked it off her hands and threw it away, with the admonition to stop carrying that “Yeye load.”
She said she woke up feeling physically relieved but her mind was churning to find out what the burden she had been carrying in her dream. It was easy to pinpoint; it was her need for a man to call her own. She gave it so much thought and realised that all her attempts to get a man had failed, perhaps it was time to indeed let go. She did. She started on a journey to self-love and caring for her herself, body and mind. That did not mean she did not have moments when she thought, she needed to be some place she could meet the right man, or ask a friend about that friend’s friend of theirs they had mentioned. Those moments came but she was more self-conscious and did not give in to the temptation.
Six months, no relationship. One year, still nothing. It was until she was almost one year and a half into her self-imposed no-burden lifestyle that a man showed up. He was nothing like she imagined she wanted. He was 10 times better than her imagination could have conjured. It was as if Gerald had been built to fit her. Another fear surfaced, “He was too good for her and might want to use her and dump her.” But no, that was not the case. He was a man who was also searching and had been waiting for a while.
From their first conversation to their first date, it was obvious that neither of them was going anywhere. Six months later, they were planning their wedding, which held a month to her 29th birthday.
With the doomsday diagnosis of the doctor at the back of their minds (she had told him about it, of course), there was no need for any waiting. They went right ahead to try for a baby and guess what, they got favoured. After three cycles, which had seen aunt flo show up, it had been joyous news to see two pink lines, five days after the witch was to have shown up.
So, you can imagine their joy when she found out they were having twins. It was as though they won a jackpot. Right there and then, Gerald said, there was no need to try again, as their family was complete. They agreed oh…technically.
The twins came, a boy and a girl. Perfect! New parenthood did all sorts of magic to them, more so as they had to deal with twins. The gist of the matter wa, Lolade got pregnant again, and she did not know, until her husband pointed it out to her.
She had suffered several dizzy spells in the mornings and she had put it down to having to breastfeed through the night. After the fourth consecutive morning, Gerald had said, “Love, are you sure you are not pregnant? You haven’t done any family planning right? When last did you see your period?”
Three questions to which she had only one answer; one, she was not sure what was going on with her, she felt out of sorts and it had nothing to do with the twins. Two, she had not done any family planning, and three, she had not seen her period since she gave birth to the twins.
She managed to get the twins and herself ready, and headed for the hospital, where they ran a blood test, which came back positive. Lolade was 8 weeks pregnant. She was surprised and wondered how come, as she hadn’t seen her period, and then it dawned on her that in the next seven months, she would be mom to three babies under two. She got weak in the knees and worried how she was going to cope.
Gerald comforted her as much as he could before heading to work. Seven months later, they welcomed a baby boy, and six weeks later, Lolade got an IUD. It was not easy, but as the babies grew, it became easier and she began to have some free time for herself and husband.
It was no longer a case of technical agreement that they had reached the final bus stop where child bearing was concerned. They had a discussion and agreed…no more babies.
It was the night of Lolade’s 38th birthday celebration that the dizziness came back with vengeance. She literally had to sit still, otherwise she would have fallen down, her hubby brought water, juice, nothing worked, except she laid down and shut her eyes. The next morning, after getting the kids ready, Gerald drove his wife to the hospital, where tests were ran on her and again, it was discovered, she was pregnant. Gerald was not happy at the news, as he kept asking, “How did you do it nau? Did you miss the injection? (she had moved onto injectable birth control method).
Meanwhile, Lolade was delirious with happiness! She who had been told would not have a baby, ended up pregnant, two years shy of 40. God is great!
For the first time, she truly savoured the experience of being pregnant but that joy was cut short. At 15 weeks and 6 days, her water broke. She knew it was her aminiotic fluid, she knew just as she knew it was a girl, she was carrying.
On getting to the hospital and a ultrasound scan done. It was confirmed that the fluid was almost gone and the baby would soon follow. It was the most painful news Lolade had had to bear in her 38 years of existence. It touched her where it mattered most. Even worse was the fact, that she would have to go through an evacuation, because she couldn’t face the trauma of actually pushing the baby out, if she was induced.
Later on the hospital bill, the term D&C had been written and till today, stands a testimony of how she had lost her precious baby.
At least to her mind, D&C had been a word you use to describe how you get rid of a baby you did not want, so it’s a bit hard to deal with the fact that she wanted this baby, but did a D&C to get rid of it. Her mind refused to deal with the real factor of the baby’s death, which necessitated the D&C.
It has been two years since the incident, but when she gave a testimony, during her 40th birthday thanksgiving service, it was a point that came up and caused some wet eyes.
Some might say she’s being ungrateful and wonder what the TTC mom with no child yet should do, but I will say, we all have a right to have what we want and deal with our pain in whatever healthy way, that is possible for us.
So, baby dust to all TTC moms and may God heal all aching hearts.
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