Test of Faith by Tolulope Adedeji
However, I will not focus much on this pregnancy as I want to share in details how one’s faith can be shaken despite experiencing God’s blessings above. Faith is easier to have when things are moving smoothly I must say. With my daughter’s pregnancy and delivery, my faith level was high; I was excited, soaring on eagles’ winds and extremely confident that God has indeed ordained all women to experience such a wonderful and joyful process. With this faith and high confidence, my husband and myself started trying for a second child about sixteen months after our daughter was born. In fact this time around, we felt it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a baby boy so we were trying to use all available practical knowledge we could read about to influence having a male baby. We read about how chances of having a male child was higher if sex is abstained for a certain period of time and done at certain times, certain positions. We also read about certain types of food that increased chances of having male children. Of course, I don’t know if any of these ideas worked. I got pregnant about eighteen months after our daughter’s birth and we were confident again that God was at work in our lives.
Again, I was strong and coping well till a faithful day in December 2009. I noticed that I was “spotting” at about eleven weeks into the pregnancy and I decided to go the hospital to have a scan. I experienced “spotting” for about three days in my 1st pregnancy and I was fine afterwards so I assumed this was exactly a similar scenario and there was no cause for alarm but I was so wrong. I drove my self to the hospital and got the scan done but the result I got made the world crumple right before my face. I was told I had a blighted ovum. At first the shock I experienced made me numb and I could not even cry but afterwards it dawned on me that I was going to lose the pregnancy. I informed my husband with a phone call and I immediately went back to the office to pack my things and went home.
Why me syndrome
My husband came to join me at home and we immediately went to two other hospitals and we were given the same diagnosis. Of course, by this time, the spotting had changed to slight bleeding and I had to be taken to the hospital the next day for the evacuation process. Words cannot express how disappointed, sad and painful this was. My faith was shaken, I searched my self and I kept asking my husband “WHY ME?” I didn’t do anything wrong, why me? I had a stress free, joyful 1st pregnancy so WHY THIS? I have been prayerful and have kept my faith in God so WHY NOW? I had these endless questions and I remember vividly how I was weeping and insulting the doctor and nurses while recovering and waking up from the deep sleep I was while the evacuation procedure was done.
I kept on with this moody emotion till my husband asked me several days afterwards “WHY NOT YOU?”. He jolted me back to my senses emphasizing how God has blessed us with a lovely daughter, how he had given us the 2nd pregnancy with ease and how I was alive and well. He counted God’s blessings and likened me to the Israelites who lost their faith while on the journey out of Egypt despite seeing God’s miracles, inclusive of God parting the red sea for them. I felt angry; I felt he could never understand how I felt, as he didn’t physically go through the pain. However, in my quiet moments I knew he was speaking the truth. Truth hurts they say but reality is that truth heals. This kicked off my healing process, I began to apologize to God for how ungrateful and grouchy I had become with the experience and I prayed to him daily to heal me and help me recover my dying faith.
With my faith being restored, my healing process being perfected and the love and support of my husband and family I regained my bounce, my smiles and my happiness. I was done with crying and I was taking my life back into my hands and even believing and praying to God for twins to compensate for the lost one. On a faithful day, my hubby and myself went to redemption camp and we held hands and prayed with faith for double blessings. We prayed for 2 healthy happy babies and we left camp knowing by faith that God had answered our prayers. My live went on a triangular structure (Work, Life and church) and I was happy. In church, I was part of a dance ministry and was one of the foundation members. I immersed myself into dance rehearsals for our annual convention among others and within three months; I was fully recovered and believing God for the manifestation of his promise. I can’t forget a certain day when one of my dance members made a prophecy. In her words while we were praying and worshipping God, she said “I see God moving amongst us, I see him releasing many babies and blessing this group”. Of course, Gods words never drop to the ground; it always gets fulfilled so I wasn’t surprised when one of us in the team got pregnant just few weeks after this prophesies. Of course, this strengthened my faith.
Four months after I lost that pregnancy, I woke up on a fateful night unable to sleep. I had severe stomach pain and I could not contain it. Typically, I have a high pain threshold but on this day, I just couldn’t contain the pain and I was rolling all over the floor. It was 2am and this lasted for about 1 hour before subsiding. This continued the next day and it became apparent that I had to see a doctor. I took some time off work for a day and I went for an abdominal scan. I was a little apprehensive and the doctor’s report did not make it any better. He told me that the scan showed that I had some fluid collections and it seemed like I had a fibroid. However, he wasn’t sure and he referred me to a renowned scan center. Of course, I was quite surprised about this; my previous doctors never mentioned anything relating to this during my first pregnancy (which was just 2years ago).
I slept with an eye open throughout the night. At daybreak, I dashed to the scan center for another scan. The scan was conducted and the doctors told me that it was potentially an ectopic pregnancy since there was fluid collection being reflected in the scan. Ectopic pregnancy is pregnancy outside the uterus and typically results in a surgical operation where the fetus is evacuated and the affected fallopian tube removed. Again Fear came upon me but at this point, I decided I was going to cast all my burdens upon Christ as he commanded us. Immediately I went for a pregnancy test as recommended and test reflected I was pregnant. This was just few days away from my upcoming monthly cycle hence I had not discovered that I was pregnant. I went back to God in prayers and rejected every negative thought, report and believed firmly in my double dose blessing as I had prayed for. I continued to hope for twin babies’ conception whilst following other medical advises. As time passed, the stomach pain stopped and I started exhibiting pregnancy symptoms and the pregnancy progressed. Of course, that was the end of the confusion- end of fibroid diagnosis, end of ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, end of pain. Halleluyah!
Learn from the Israelites
One day, I was discussing with a friend about all the challenges so far and she shared a story that really shot my faith level up. She shared with me a story that is very familiar to many which is the story of the Israelites in the land of Egypt. Their freedom story is a story that should boost the faith of anyone regardless of the challenges, the pain and life challenges. Recall that the Israelites witnessed God’s miracles ten times when God afflicted the Egyptians with ten plagues. Yet they kept grumbling. God parted the whole of the red sea and they passed through it, still they grumbled! The almighty surprised them by sending food down, rained manna from heaven so that they would not hunger- Again, they grumbled.
She told me that we are worse than the Israelites and I said- “NO WAY. Those people are ingrates, there is no way I would have grumbled if I was in the shoes of the Israelites”. She went on to tell me that I’ve done worse. This is so because, I have read the story of the Israelites and many other miracles that Christ has performed yet I doubt his ability to give me a second child! Then it dawned on me that this is true. I decided I was truly and solely going to put all my trust in God. At this point in my life, I had to take count of my blessings. I had many things to be thankful for. For starters, I was in good health. My husband and I still have jobs despite the depressing economy, we have a roof over our heads, and we have the love of Christ in a wonderful daughter, a supportive family, lots and us more.
With this in mind, I bounced back to myself, focused on my family and work and I put my all in all my activities. At work, I was having quite good reviews and was even hoping for a promotion in about twelve months. This made me to work extra hard and smart to keep both home and work in top shape. I was able to keep up with these for about ten weeks into the pregnancy. Then, the devil tried to bring my faith down. I woke up with a wet feeling on a fateful morning. I rushed to the bathroom and within those few seconds I thought of nothing but the worst! Behold, I discovered that the worst was yet to happen and I was still in the “spotting” phase. I rushed down to the hospital and I was taken to the emergency unit. After this, I did a scan - the doctor told me that everything was okay but I had to take things easy and was placed on bed rest for 3 days immediately.
Of course, I had to take time off work for this time to be completely bed rested. At this stage in my career, I had invested a lot of efforts into work in the past 2 years and just when I could almost smell a major reward, I had to take things easy! I had to be on bed rest! I was not happy about this and I whined about it throughout the week. Few days after I resumed back to work, my manager called me for a discussion and told me that I was being given an extra assignment driven by the strong results I was delivering on my current brand. This was like being in the middle of the red sea because the doctor just advised I stayed rested as much as possible while I was being given extra responsibilities at work. What a conflict! At this point, I knew I needed to build a supportive system on the home front to be able to cope at work so we hired a driver to help take away the stress of driving and I delegated more chores to my home assistant at home. My husband also helped as much as he could.
Despite all these, the pregnancy symptoms got exaggerated. I had severe nausea and vomited every time after meals. Fatigue became a next day neighbor but I kept up at work. God gave me the grace to weather the storm. I recall a particular occasion where the whole office was going for an offsite meeting. As expected, we left in a convoy of vehicles. I decided to join one of my colleague’s private cars and not the big rented vehicles provided by the office. I had chosen to stay in the private car to make myself more comfortable. Just ten minutes into the drive, I knew I had to get out of the car for some fresh air and of course a place to vomit! I told my colleague and she had to stop the vehicle. Of course the entire official convoy of about ten vehicles also had to wait for the pregnant lady! I felt a little embarrassed by the scene as quite a number of my colleagues were all over me asking the famous questions “Are you okay?, do you want to go back home?” I stood my grounds, insisted I was fine and moved on for the meeting. The meeting turned out to be an exciting one as my promotion was announced at this meeting! I had been promoted at work when I thought no one would have confidence to do so given my pregnancy state. I was promoted to the role of brand manager in just two years! This was yet another miracle as average timing for this promotion is three to four years! This was yet another sign from God that he truly loves me and a call for me to fully cast all my burdens on him. When Christ is the captain of any ship, the passengers can go to bed as you can be sure that peace will be still. I was overjoyed, excited and purposed more in my heart to give my best to God and at work so as not to disappoint my managers. With the promotion came more financial remuneration, an official jeep, and more business exposure so I knew I had to learn how to manage home, work and the pregnancy. God has a plan for every one of us. He knows what we need and he definitely is a provider.
Yet another test of faith
Finally, I was about twelve weeks pregnant! I say finally because the twelve weeks had seemed like forever! This was the time for yet another scan, which I went for as, booked at the hospital. I was excited about this scan because I knew that this is when I get to meet my “baby” for the first time. As we were doing the scan, I noticed that the doctor had a puzzled look on his face and again fear set in. He then disclosed to me that the pregnancy was a multiple gestation. I was excited because this is what I had prayed for! I prayed for twins and here it seemed like I was going to get it! I expressed this joy and the doctor said, “Actually madam, I’m not sure but it seems as if you are expected more than two babies” Of course, I laughed out loud in disbelief! I knew I had prayed for twins but truth be told, I really didn’t have 100% faith that I was going to get it. I knew there had to be a mix up. I’m about 5 feet 4 inches tall, with a relatively small body size frame. How will I possibly carry and sustain more than 2 babies at a time? The doctor gave me an appointment for yet another scan with the scan expert.
I called my husband and gave him the good news which is “We are going to have what we prayed for- twins” I also informed him about the joke that the doctor shared which is a possibility of a triplet gestation and we laughed over this. I went back to the hospital based on my appointment and the scan was repeated. This time, it was confirmed that I was expecting triplets! Not twins! I freaked out and was literarily screaming on the bed where I laid for the scan. All I could think of was “Thank you God but really I asked for twins, you didn’t really have to bother with a third baby”. After I calmed down, I called my husband on the phone and told him the “good news”. His initial reaction was similar to mine! By the time we got home from work, we had digested the news and we were able to calm our frayed nerves and actually celebrate the news. We intensified prayers, I kept taking things easy at work and at home and I tried to take my prescribed medications.
Few days afterwards, I went online to search for as much information as I could get and I must say there wasn’t a lot of positive information on triplet pregnancy. The information I got was quite scary and discouraging as most the things I saw was related to “ premature delivery, caesarian section, expensive babies list, bed rest, incubators and the list goes on” The point is this is the fact. Triplet’s pregnancy needs a lot more rest, has higher potential of abortion, and needs more medical attentions. The fact hurts. I knew I had to really slow down but how could I do that when I had just been promoted! The responsibilities at work had increased, my older daughter needed more attention with school work and I still had a home to run and a husband to make happy! I could not do this on my own and I went solely to God for support. I also tried to establish a support system for myself with my trusted friends and family members. I cut down on other activities I was engaged in and narrowed myself to just bare and essential activities. I built myself up with positive thoughts, positive people and people words. There is power in the tongue so I put my tongue into use. I confessed positive words .These positive confessions helped me tremendously in moments of doubts and I recommend to everyone out there to confess positively at all times.
Planning for the big day
As I grew bigger, the thoughts in my head grew more random and I started thinking about many things. Key amongst them was financial planning, work planning, home planning, and mental preparation for the delivery, spiritual planning and emotional support. As this point, my husband and I disclosed the “big secret” to my parents, his parents, our house fellowship pastor and a close colleague of mine at work. This was our emotional support group with each person playing a key role. Our parents played the big role of praying along with us, shopping in bulk for some local foodstuff and sending down to us and providing counsel when needed, the pastor prayed along with us and bared with us when we could not attend key church programs, and my close colleague at work was my confidant that I could share all the work stress with! This was a complete circle of support. At challenging times such as this, it is crucial to build a network of support to share the burden to minimize mental stress. At many moments, when I felt low, I easily could talk to my friend at work, my mum and my husband. During intense spiritual moments, we could easily engage the pastor to pray along with us. This made the doubts, fear and worries less painful. A burden half shared with the right person is half solved.
At work, I kept this a secret from every other person but people were beginning to suspect, as my tummy grew at a geometric rate daily. Comments such as “Tolu, are you sure you don’t need to see a doctor again” “Tolu, whaow… you are sooooooo pregnant” “When are you going on maternity leave, is it next week?” Of course, I was determined to keep this my big secret to prevent people from scaring me the more or giving me all sorts of confusing advice. I had my eyes set on only GOD to see me through the pregnancy, delivery and aftercare periods. I continued with my hospital appointments, continued to take as much rest as possible. My husband hired a person to drive me to work to also enable me get more rest. I slept as early as possible and did as little as possible as home to get all the rest I could get and save some energy for official duties. God enabled me at work and I continued to deliver on the job with my promotion.
I recall a certain night I wanted to go to the toilet and I discovered that my right leg was hurting so bad and I could hardly move it. My husband had to help me whilst walking to the loo. By morning, the pain was so bad but I knew I had to go to work as I had a very important presentation. On doctor’s recommendation, I took a pain relief drug and it relieved the pain but it was still hurting. Yet, I went to the office, made my presentation and worked for the day. The doctor later explained to me that it was the weight/pressure of the babies that affected the leg. After about 3 days, I was okay again. There were so many exaggerated pregnancy symptoms- the nausea continued, extreme fatigue especially in the evenings and lots more but I held on to my faith and kept up the positive confessions and a cheerful dispositions. No one could know, I was determined to keep the secret to myself and my circle of support. Of course, we had begun to save to prepare financially for the delivery and the purchase of babies items.
At about 20 weeks, the doctor told me that I had to be on bed rest from about 28 weeks to prevent the babies from coming too early. Medically, single babies stay in the womb for about 40 weeks and multiple babies can stay up to 34-36 weeks if adequate rest is observed. However, multiple gestations are at a higher risk of premature contractions and delivery. At this point, I had to tell my manager at work to enable proper planning for my back up/replacement. I had initially told her I was going to start maternity in January 2011 but based on doctors’ report, I had to be gone by November 8th, 2010. This was about 2 months earlier than plan but I had no other options. I had to place my health and that of the babies above every other thing. In life, there comes moments that we have to make that crucial choice especially as working mums. Examples;
“Do you choose to attend a colleague’s wedding or to keep up your baby’s immunization appointment?”
“Do you choose to attend a get together party or to pick your baby early from school?”
“ Do you decide to fly 1st class for a friend’s wedding overseas or to send your child for that summer camp abroad?”
Would you rather eat lunch with a friend or go watch your child’s 1st stage performance?
The choice is ours and we have to make the right ones. I decided I was not going to take chances with the lovely gifts God had placed in my womb. Of course, this may have some impact on my performance for that year but I had just been promoted so that was okay. My manager immediately swung into action, got a replacement for my role and I began onboarding and training her. I also had completed the teams’ action plans, my direct reports’ work plan and I had basically done my best to ensure a smooth transition. All was set now; I was fast approaching the 28th week. I had done planning on every front I could - financial planning, work planning, home planning, support circle, hiring of home-helpers. I had done my bit and I was happy. It was the 27th week now. I’ll like to say that as human beings, we can only do our bit but eventually the almighty God is the ultimate planner who knows tomorrow and can control the whole earth. However, there are some things I had not planned for that kicked in at about this time.
What I didn’t plan for
Life is not a straight-line graph. I was about to experience this in a surprising manner. At about 27 weeks, I woke up on a Friday morning with a cough. I knew I couldn’t do self-medication so I planned to go to the hospital on Saturday morning since the weekend was just around the corner. I went to office with the cough and took some throat drop relief candies to sooth a bit. However, the cough got worse. By night, the cough got really bad and I coughed at about 15mins to 30 minutes interval throughout the night. It was terrible. Hard cough that sent shivers down my spine, made my tummy jump up and drove sleep away from my eyes. I survived the night and went to the hospital as soon as I could on Saturday morning. I saw my doctor who gave me some medication which I took but the cough persisted through out the day. By Sunday morning, I experienced a little relief but I was already very tired and my voiced had waned from the 2 days severe coughing. By morning, I dragged my body out of bed and practically crawled into the car for yet another week in the office. By this time, I was quite heavy, I had gained about 17kg and my tummy did look intimidating. This was going to be my last week in the office as I had planned to commence my bed rest from Nov 8th i.e. 28th week of pregnancy. I was happy that throughout the pregnancy, God had enabled me to keep up at work and was only sick and off work for 3 days.
I kept up the “strong pregnant girl” image but on this fateful day, I knew I was really tired. In fact, I had to go to the car in the car park to rest from backache for about one hour during lunch hour. When I got home, I told my husband that I wasn’t going to work the next day. Instead, I planned to visit the hospital to see my gynecologist. He was perplexed because it isn’t like me to miss work unnecessarily. I insisted and I must say in retrospect that this was simply the Holy Spirit at work because I didn’t have any major complaints aside from the fatigue and cough, which was already subsiding. I woke up on Tuesday November 2nd exactly 27 weeks and 4 days gone and I noticed a very slight trace of blood. Almost like a dot. This immediately sealed my decision to go to the hospital and I called my husband who drove me there.
We saw the gynecologist and he suggested that he examined my cervix. I immediately told him this wasn’t needed as I was just about 27 weeks pregnant and it was too early for me to be dilating. He insisted and we agreed. Lo and behold, I was already 6cm dilated! I was just 4cm away from full dilation and baby’s delivery! I did not even get the chance to use the “bed rest approval” I got from the office. I had not done the nursery, I was not prepared! This was too early and scary. The doctor immediately put me on bed rest, and gave me steroid injection to help the babies lungs mature faster, gave me some other drugs to regulate my blood pressure and lots more. He called for the ambulance and told me I had to be transferred to the head office where there are more facilities to handle premature delivery. He told me the drugs were going to help me gain a day or two more at the maximum. This extra 2 days will help the babies to mature better with the drugs and the injections I was being given.
It was as if the whole world was collapsing before my face, as if the earth was being taken away beneath my feet and as if air was being sucked out of me. This is it! I was scared. The devil tried to put fear in me but after a few hours I got a hold of my faith again. As I was being wheeled into the ambulance, I looked at the husband and we prayed together. Of course, he was with me in the ambulance all the way as we drove about 1 hour to the hospital. As we got into the hospital, my husband had to dash back home to pack a few things and buy other things that were still missing. Immediately, my support circle swung into action. I called my mum who came over to take care of the house and my older daughter. Both parents and the pastor prayed along with us. My colleague at work still kept the secret and also prayed along. In hospital, I was placed on 100% bed rest and no movement. The nurses attended to all my needs both personal and otherwise. I was bathed on the bed, ate on the bed, lived on the bed practically.
Daily, I continued my drugs and injections. Miraculously, I stayed longer than the 2 days the doctor forecasted. I was there on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and even Friday! God had given me and the babies 4 extra days to work with. Within this period, my mum and husband were my solid rocks. They gave me their shoulders to lean on. They maintained the home, took care of my daughter, took her to school, and came to visit me everyday. It takes about 1hour 30mins to get to the hospital from my house yet they ensured they saw me daily, prayed for me and brought my needs. By Friday evening, I was so sure God was in full control but it was quite tiring staying on the bed all through. At about 9pm, my mum being a medical person knew I didn’t have much time to hold on so we requested for a hospital staff to be stationed permanently by the bed side whilst they left for home. I slept peacefully not knowing, this was the last night of pregnancy. I was 28 weeks and 1 day gone.
The time is here- unexpected
At about 3:30am, I felt the urge to wee. I woke up and informed the auxiliary nurse that was sitting near me. She brought the bed pan for me and after a few minutes I didn’t wee. I asked her to kindly remove the bed pan as I was okay. She consented and wanted to clean me up when she discovered that the membrane was already popping out. Immediately she rushed to call the doctor on duty and they were asking me why I did not inform them I was labor already. I sincerely didn’t know, as I typically don’t feel so much pain just as I witnessed during my first daughter’s delivery. The doctor immediately informed the labor team. I was moved to the labor room, my legs were raised up and I was given some injections to slow down the contractions and the delivery process. They had planned to give a caesarian section to prevent complications and pressure on the small babies.
Time flew by like bullets and I knew the babies were coming out any moment onwards. I called my husband and told him in local language “E maa bo, asiko ti to o, e ma fimisile nikan”. It means- “Please, start coming, the time is here, don’t leave me alone here” That was all I could muster and I cut off the phone. I started praying and worshipping God, challenging God to protect me and the babies”. At about 5am, I was given the surgical operation consent form, which I filled. At about 6am, the surgeons, the doctors and the nurses were ready to take the delivery. As I was being wheeled from the labor room to the theatre, I husband and mum came in. They prayed along with me and the count down began. I wont forget the experience in a long time. There were about 6 people in the theater. A female gynecologist consultant, the anesthetist, a pediatric doctor, a pediatric nurse, a general ward doctor and a general ward nurse. These 6 people were destined to bring out my 3 babies and resuscitate them.
At about 6:45am, the anesthetist gave me the epidural process. I was asked to sit up straight and an injection was given to me at my central back area. After a few minutes, I no longer hard control of my lower area and lower limbs. The gynecologist doctor then started the surgical operation. Throughout the period, I was awake and confessing all the positive words I had filled myself with. Each time, a baby was brought out the doctor would say “Mrs Adedeji, Baby 1 is out” and so forth. The operation took about 40mins and all the three babies were out. They started sewing me back up and about this time, I slept off. I’m not sure if I was given a little sedative or it was just the sweet relief that overwhelmed me. All that mattered to me was that my babies were alive, out and kicking. After about one hour of the procedure, I was wheeled out of the theater. I was asleep but I kept waking up intermittently and praying when I could for the babies. Also, I could hear my first daughter crying “Give me my mummy, mummy- wake up” yet I didn’t have the strength to reach out to her. I was later told that, she saw me being wheeled into the theater and this must have scared her a bit too.
Lets meet the babies
Finally, I woke up about 3pm. I immediately asked of my babies and was told they were doing okay and were in the nursery/intensive care baby unit. As I had an operation, I could not walk yet so I was in my room and could not see the babies on that day and the next. As we stayed in the hospital, we were incurring huge bills. The doctors had informed us that for every night the babies spent, we were being charged over N100, 000 and that they were likely to spend about 8 weeks. We were flabbergasted about the huge bill but we had no choice. We had decided we were going to give all the 3 babies the best we could. We had saved up about one million naira but the doctors estimated almost eight million naira including my own cost of delivery. This became a source of worry and fear again. I wondered if the doctors were going to stop treatment if they judged we couldn’t pay the bills. We made the deposit with the money we had and we started to hustle and brainstorm on how to raise the balance.
By Monday, I was restless and wanted to see the babies. As at this time, I could walk slowly with the support of my husband. I went to the baby unit and I was not prepared for what I saw. I was told the birth weight of the babies so I knew they were small but never knew they could be this tiny. At birth, the biggest weighed 1.19kg and the smallest was at 1.04kg. By the 3rd day when I saw them, they had lost weight so much as they were unable to feed properly and were solely on drip. The sound of the incubator units, the beeps, the lights, the coldness of the room sent chills down my spine. I had not prepared mentally for this and was in shock but I managed to go to their units and prayed for each of them. I walked back to my room- shaken. I had thought, I was going to feel excited seeing the babies but I felt the opposite. I felt scared and my husband knew this. He encouraged me and told me the babies were all going to survive. I knew I could not lean on my husband’s faith this time but I had to build up mine. I picked up a very nice inspirational book and started reading it. It shared a story of healing of a renowned Nigerian pastor’s wife and I stuck on some words from the book. Words like “God is too faithful to fail”, “Great is God’s faithfulness and he has never failed before”. If God never fails, he is definitely not going to start that with me. I held on to God’s work in Luke 10:19. It says “ Behold, I give you the power to thread on serpents and scorpions: and all over the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you” As from that day, I went to the babies room to pray and confess these words by their side.
Despite all these, sleep eluded me daily. I could not sleep and would stay awake all day and night just imagining how the babies would survive and praying for them. In parallel, we had begun the race for the money. At this point, our circle of support members gave some cash, some of our siblings and a wonderful family- our landlord and lady gave some cash too. But all these did not pay week 1 one so we had to apply for loan both at work and in the bank. By the 4th day, I started lactating and my breasts were full but no baby was there to suck it for me. My babies were still in the incubators which mean that cannot suckle yet. I had to express daily and take to the nursery for them to feed the babies with. The babies were being fed intranasal via a tube. They were also still on oxygen as they needed assistance with breathing. They had 2 tubes attached to their bodies each- one for feeding and the other for breathing. Each time I went there I continued praying for them. On the 5th night, I remembered the power in pledging and I pledged to God that I was going to testify to his Glory if he kept the babies and more importantly, I was going to look for an orphanage in need and sew into their lives. I was not going to do a party/naming ceremony. Rather, I would give to the needy. I agreed this with my husband and we kept praying for God’s miracle.
By the 6th day, I had regained my strength and could walk comfortably without support and had minimal pain so I was discharged. The babies were still in the hospital so it meant I was going home without my babies. However, God already began his miracles as 2 of the babies were off oxygen and were breathing by themselves. On the day of discharge, I remember vividly entering the vehicle and feeling so alone. I felt like part of my heart was left in the baby unit upstairs. I was sad.
The emotional rollercoaster just began I must say. When I got home, we decided not to announce to people yet that we had delivered the babies as they were still in intensive care. We knew that we would start having visitors and they would give all sorts of counsel out of love. This would become confusing so we decided to keep the information to as few people as possible and we focused on getting the hospital bills, praying, fasting and visiting the babies. By the 7th day, we took yet another step of faith as we informed our pastor to come give the babies their names. We named them in local language with meanings as these “God is worthy to have as support” “God is almighty” “God is awesome- he is God”.
Everyday, I went to the hospital to see the babies, pray for them and drop expressed breast milk for them. By the 8th day, the third baby also went off oxygen and they had just one tube, which was for their feeding. Financially, all the hopes we had were being dashed but God continued to raise help in places, which we did not expect. We finally learnt our lesson- God is the only source of hope. He will raise help for you where you least expect it. By this time, by husband has lost so much weight from the continuous fasting and people in church and fellowship were asking of me as they had not seen me for quite long. I recall a certain day that some fellowship members came visiting unexpectedly. I hid in our room and my husband told them I was too tired to come out as I had just taken my drugs. They prayed for us and left. I was so overwhelmed, as I was tired of the hide and seek game. Yet we could not afford to let people know yet as they would ask to see the babies and we would have to explain all the challenges.
After about 2 weeks, the babies were getting more stable and had stopped losing weight. They were also eating more and the breast milk I was expressing was no longer enough to support them through the day. They were introduced to a premature baby formulae and the hospital used to supply it for them. On a particular day, I was home and about to go to bed when I received a call. Behold, it was the hospital number displayed on my screen. Fear set in and I was wondering why the hospital would be calling me at 11:30pm! I received the call and was told that they could not get the supply of the baby formulae and I was to come with as much breast milk as possible by 7am the next morning as the formula on ground would be exhausted by 6am. The babies were fed every 2 hours so I had to be there before their next meal. Of course I got there in time and dropped the milk I had expressed all night. I was only able to get milk for about 3 meals so I had to go looking for the premature baby formula. This day was also a hectic day. I went to about 7 big supermarkets and shops and I could not get it. I had spent about three hours searching in vain and was getting worried when one person referred me to a particular shop. I tried locating the place and the process my car got hit slightly. I did not give up; I kept searching because I knew devil was trying to discourage me from getting the place. This is what happens when you are getting close to your destination! Eventually, I got the store and saw the food. What a sweet relief! I dashed back to the hospital feeling excited- nothing was going to stop my joy!
Several days later, I got to the hospital and met Baby 3 being treated for jaundice. This was definitely a set back for him as his appetite reduced and even started losing weight again. Yet I held on to Christ and confessed positive words by his bedside. By this time, my faith level was so high that not even jaundice could shake it. The following day, I got to the hospital and met baby 2 back on oxygen- he was diagnosed with GERD/reflux. In lay man terms, its main symptom is constant food regurgitation. He was being given some drugs and injections too. Again, I resolved not to panic and kept confessing God’s faithfulness. Baby 3’s jaundice treatment still continued. The next day was the breaking point as I got to the hospital and was informed that baby 1 was de-saturating. This means her oxygen level in her body system was fluctuating. She was placed back on oxygen and needed a blood transfusion. I signed the blood transfusion form and immediately informed my husband via a phone call. I got back home and went into serious praise and worship – thanking God for complete healing of the 3 babies. As my husband got back home from work, he headed for the hospital at about 9pm with anointing oil and also went to pray for them.
Suddenly, the devil was trying to paint a picture of doom but I refused to buy his story. I remembered the story of Jesus’ temptation in the bible and I recalled that God will never give us more temptation than we can bear. I remember singing great his thy faithfulness, oh Lord my father…
Power of prayer
Great is the Lord’s faithfulness indeed as this point in the baby’s lives was their final healing moment. At about 4 weeks, all premature related complications were going off. They were finally weaned off oxygen again, they were eating better and more frequently, they were eating with their mouth and no longer with the tubes, no more jaundice, no more drip, no more blood transfusion. They were stable. Isn’t God Awesome? Gradually, I was beginning to see the manifestation of his works and it was marvelous in our sight. Daily the babies improved and at the end of the 4th week, they were being brought out of the incubators for kangaroo care with me. Daily, I would carry them and place them on my chest and cover them with my shirt. This triggered bonding. Also, they started to suck and breast feed directly. After about one week of this, they were moved permanently into the cots and we started giving them their baths.
At about this time, the loans we applied for had been granted so we could settle the balance hospital bills due. Gradually but surely, all the mountains that seemed immovable were being brought down. Our confidence soared and we announced to our family, friends and colleagues that we had delivered our bundles of joy- our golden triplets. A lot of water had passed under the bridge but God gives perfect gifts, he heals all wounds and gives the courage to move on like nothing had happened. At this time, my husband’s work also picked up and everyone was more cheerful at home. God had done it. What no one can do, he had sustained our 3 babies. The doctor told us that we would be discharge earlier than they had planned and earlier than anyone in our situation that they’ve ever had. Our babies would be discharged at 6 weeks post delivery. It was indeed a miracle. At this time, we fulfilled our pledge to God. We did redeem our pledge of blessing children in an orphanage. We also did testify of God’s Glory.
Victory at last
I won’t forget Saturday December 18th. I walked into the hospital on that day feeling triumphant. It was exactly 6 weeks and 6 hours that I delivered and for the 1st time, my babies would be stepping out of the intensive care unit. They were going to meet their grand parents and their elder sister. They were going to meet the world. I must acknowledge the nurses, doctors and the rest of the medical team for being angels – God nurtured my babies through them and I’ll always remember their smiles and words of reassurance. The babies were handed over to with the entire medical advise we could get. As we stepped out of the unit, my older daughter eventually got to meet her siblings and it was a special moment. She was so excited and shouted “Mummy, are these my babies?, mummy –look at 3 babies, 3 babies, mummy, daddy, grandma….” She laughed so hard and we had a special happy moment. The drive home was a quiet one. We were all happily sober and reflecting all we had gone through in the past 6 weeks. It’s been a rollercoaster ride - I felt true joy, true love for the babies, relief from financial worries and gratitude to God. On that day, we further announced to other friends and colleagues and church members.
From this point, we began to receive visitors. We had so many visitors and for about 4 weeks, we entertained visitors daily in our house. The visitors also blessed us in cash and material gifts. We had so much support from people we least expected. This is how God works- he raises help from north, south, east and west. We had decided not to do a naming party for many reasons. We simply did their church dedication on the 1st Sunday of the New Year 2011. What a lovely way to the start the year! We had a few family members and we rejoiced together over God’s mercies, faithfulness and unending love. I am happy to share this testimony, I am happy to discourse faith, hope and positivity. I have been declared a mother of many nations. My seeds shall be fruitful and I shall reap the fruit of my labor. To every woman out there, we are indeed mother of nations; we have the obligation to raise these children in the way of the Lord and to make the world a better place. We are tools for the future. We are building up generations to come; we are paving the way for excellence.
God bless all mothers.
Written by: Tolulope Adedeji.
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