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, 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 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 so 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. Woww !!!
With these testimonies and many before it, pregnancy meant: go to the hospital when the labour time is ripe; 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 threw my 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 Psychiatrist could describe properly. Like I said earlier, pregnancy meant go to the hospital when the labour pain comes; deliver and let the jubilation begin; and not go to the hospital when the labour pain comes and pass away.
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 and the baby.
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. My only comforter was God. How could I turn my back on Him at a time I needed Him badly. Badly is/was actually an understatement !
One cool morning in July, 2012, moment came. As I was preparing to go to work, my wife told me that she had the feelings that the “moment” had come. As a human being, thoughts of my late sister came. I quoted so many Bible verses to put God to remembrance. I reminded Him of all the great things He had done for me and my family. I begged Him to have mercy upon my wife and unborn daughter. I begged Him to ignore all my sins….
Against all fears, GOD in His infinite grace, mercy and magnanimity, granted my wife and daughter 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.
After this last experience, I now see mothers as special beings created by God and who should be treated as such. They carry the responsibility which cannot be delegated and which sometimes ended in fatality. My sister is gone, but the husband is still alive. What a sacrifice? Obviously, he will remarry. Life goes on. She died, like so many other mothers, while carrying a ‘’cross’’ that was meant to bring joy to the family, if she arrives safely. Where they don’t, they bear ALL the pain and sometimes never live to tell how much pain they had gone through. What a responsibility!
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 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.
*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.
*Pregnant women should 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 and personnel 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 unwise 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.
PASSIONATE PLEA : If you share in my thoughts about mothers – including yourself, sister, friend, mother or wife – then please share this post as much as you can on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, StumbleUpon and much more. Tanks a lot 🙂
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