Miracle Baby


Wednesday, 18th April, 2018 at 10:22 pm
It’s less than 2 hours to my birthday!!! This morning, my mother called to remind me that it all started on 18th April. Mine, is a rather dramatic birth story. For some reason, when I was only 3 months in-utero, I got impatient and decided to make my way out to experience this amazing world. This translated into contractions for my mother. Her Doctor therefore put her on partial bedrest to prevent me from coming out before my time. But I was determined. Even then, I didn’t give up easily. So my mother continued to have contractions – poor woman! At this point, the Doctor took a decision to admit my mother at the hospital. He told her, “No baby, no home”. She would stay in the hospital for the next six months. Six long months!
I cannot even imagine how boring it must have been. She was on the 6th floor of the KBTH. No, she wasn’t in a private ward. She shared a ward with 5 other expectant mothers. The 6 of them shared a common living room with a TV for entertainment.  My mother doesn’t talk much. She is an introvert who prefers moments of silence and meditation to long conversations. She tells me that she spent the greater part of the 6 months at the hospital reading. My father made sure that she always had enough books to keep her entertained. She read in the morning. She read in the afternoon. And in the evening, just before bed, she read some more. It is no wonder that I also love reading.
When I think about the duration of time that my mother had to spend in the hospital because of me, I think of my sister – then only 3 years old. I wonder what it felt for her to have her mother away for such a long time. I wonder if she even understood why mother was at the hospital and not at home with her family. And my father, too. It must have been tough making all those trips to the hospital while caring for a toddler and working full-time.
Because of her age, my sister was not allowed into the maternity wing where my mum was on admission. My mum narrates that one day, she had missed my sister so much that she begged my father to bring her along to visit. Once they got to the hospital, my mum sneaked out of the ward and took the elevator downstairs to see my sister. I imagined that she showered her with hugs and kisses and a thousand and one questions about how she was feeling. Satisfied, they said their goodbyes and my Dad took my sister back home. My mum made her way to the elevator only to find that it was out of service. The elevator she had used barely an hour before  was out of order. How was she going to get back to the 6th floor without being noticed? She trudged up the stairs slowly, one step at a time. Thankfully, she made it to the sixth floor in one piece.
Finally, after six long months in hospital, the D-day arrived. On Friday, 18th April, 1986 at approximately 4:00 pm my mum went into labour. After several hours, labour was not progressing fast enough. My mum explained to the nurse on duty that she felt that I was coming with the widest part of my head. Too wide to go through the vaginal canal. But the nurse ignored her, she called her Patient-Nurse. My mum is a mid-wife so the nurse probably felt that she was just being “too-known”. My mum labored throughout the night – bless her! Thankfully, on Saturday, 19th April another nurse came on duty. She recognized my mother. She was at the hospital when my mum lost her twin boys on 20th May, 1985 because there was no oxygen at the hospital (that’s a story for another day). She knew that this was a special case so acted very quickly. This time, my mother HAD to go home with a live baby. She alerted the doctor.
Since labour was still not progressing well enough, the Doctor decided to perform a caesarean section. It was almost two o’clock in the afternoon. My mum recalls thumb-printing the consent form while on the stretcher en-route to the theatre. During the surgery, the Doctor was in such hurry that he inadvertently cut my forehead. Thank goodness it missed my eye! Still, I was alive and that was all that mattered. I can only imagine the anguish of my father as he waited outside the operation theatre – pacing up and down while praying in tongues.
After what may have seemed like hours to him, my mother was wheeled out of the theatre into the recovery ward and I was handed over to him. 
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I made my dramatic entrance into this world. 

PS.
I am sure that secretly my father had prayed for a boy. So I am his daughter-son. Growing up, we did all the father-son activities: watching football together, polishing his shoes, ironing his shirts (I never learnt how to iron his trousers, though as I always managed to put in a double line!).
PPS.
As for my mother, it did not matter to her whether I was a boy or a girl. She only prayed to go home with a baby in her arms.
I remember the day she told me about my twin ‘brothers’. She even showed me their ante-natal book. But she also said that I would not have been born if they had survived. Indeed, it was a painful loss and she still tears up when she talks about them. They are irreplaceable.
So you can imagine how I felt when when one day, after a particularly emotionally-draining and grief-filled day after transferring my beloved Uncle from the morgue to the funeral home, my mum told me that, “You have the strength of two ‘boys’”. I cherish that statement in the innermost part of my heart. I think about those words every now and then. 
My mother sacrificed a lot to keep me alive. I pray that when she looks at me today, almost 32 years old, that she is proud of the woman I am becoming.

Comments

  1. INdeed she is proud of the woman you are becoming. You sweet, and have a heart of two boys aMa, God bless you and have a blessed birthday with all you wish for.

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  2. Aaaawwww, this made me teary, Awura! God bless Mummy over and over again for birthing you. You're such a gift to this world! I wish you an awesome birthday. May this 32nd birthday bring bigger and better things to you and yours! I love you😘

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  3. Awwwwwww Awura.....you are such a blessing to big sis n the whole family. Was teary eye after reading, Happy, happy birthday little sis n God bless u bountifully this day. See u in the evening. Hugs...xoxoxo

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  4. Aaaawwwww, God has a special purpose for you. Happy birthday.

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  5. Wow, this story blew me away. It massaged my emotions enough to melt me the whole day. Women, Women, Women! And those who do not appreciate them lack knowledge about life, for a woman is a world and cummulauively, Women are our universe. They continue to change the world as the many other forces metamorphose humanity in a progress of mixed blessings endlessly.

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