17
Wed, Jan

7 Childless Years, 7 Surgeries; Behold Our Baby

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My husband and I are medical doctors. My husband also has a postgraduate degree in Assisted Reproductive Technology. I dare say we were challenged in an area where we were most knowledgeable. That can work two ways: it can typically make it difficult to trust God for a miracle because you can reason out the outcome, or you use the information at your disposal to pray intelligibly. We chose to do the latter. Our case was peculiar; we did not just believe God for children, there were medical issues every step of the way.


We got married in June 2004. I did not think getting pregnant was going to be a roller-coaster ride. We were nomadic in the early years of our marriage so I did not worry much about the fact that the kids were not coming. But sometimes it bothered me that without ever being on contraceptives, I never got pregnant.
I want to appreciate Pastor Taiwo for his love, support and prayers. He stood by us every step of the way! He was always following up on us—calling before, during and after surgeries. He was constantly praying along with us.
In March 2004, it was discovered I had huge fibroids; the size of a five-month pregnancy. That was the beginning of a long arduous journey for us. The fibroids were embedded in the muscle of my uterus (womb), so surgery was a nightmare for any doctor. After cutting my uterus in nine different places, they took the decision to leave remaining seedlings of fibroids. This was to prevent uterine rupture in future when I get pregnant.
I was placed on fertility pills and injection. Rather than get pregnant, I got fat! So I decided to stop the drugs and all hospital visits by the end of 2009. Up to this point, we never sought a second opinion. In March 2010, the gynaecologist we had been using invited us to his office to discuss the option of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). As we sat across the table from him, the Holy Spirit whispered to me never to return once we leave.
So, we began our search for a new gynaecologist and God ordered our steps to one of the finest in the field. When he learnt of my previous surgeries, he decided to leave the fibroids in place and attempt an IVF first. If that failed, we would have to take out the fibroids before repeating the IVF.
I commenced my first IVF protocol in March 2010. By the time I was due for egg collection in May, I had developed a life-threatening complication as a result of hyper stimulation. This caused my blood vessels to leak fluid and blood into my tummy and my abdominal girth rose from 32cm to 104cm in less than 12 hours. I was admitted for observation, as there was no treatment other than to replace the fluids and electrolytes I was losing.
My gynaecologist went ahead to transfer the fertilized embryos. By the third day, I was in respiratory distress and could not breathe. He had to drain the collection under ultrasound guidance and three litres of blood and fluid was drained. This re-collected within two hours. Eventually I was discharged with my distended abdomen and spent six weeks away from work.
I remember the anointing service of May 2010. It was Our Month of Laughter. The scripture for that month was Psalm 2:4 (“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall hold them in derision.”) Pastor called me out and whispered into my ears three times: ‘It is not as difficult as you think, so laugh.’ That scripture and prophecy saw me through the darkest days of my life.
We resumed our hospital visits in August. My gynaecologist told us we needed to take out the fibroids as earlier advised. My husband refused vehemently saying I had been through enough. He said he would only consider a minimally invasive surgery. The problem with that was we had attempted it in 2009. A gynecologist was flown in from the UK for the procedure. After the conventional approach failed, he tried something else. He then aborted the procedure warning that any attempt to remove fibroids using that method would be catastrophic. This was because he discovered my Fallopian tube and left ovary were sitting on top of my uterus as a result of adhesions from previous surgeries.
I was able to convince my husband to consent to surgery. I knew God would see us through. We picked a date in September, after which I went on a five-week retreat. I sought the face of God in prayers. A few days to my return anxiety set in.
We went to see Pastor Taiwo when I got home and he prayed with us. My doctor told me he was going to use a spinal block and epidural rather than putting me to sleep. I was so relieved; but that was short-lived. I got into theatre and the battle started. They needed to ‘deliver’ my uterus and ligate (tie) the bottom to minimize bleeding during surgery. An hour into the surgery they had not succeeded in doing that. Then a call came through from the laboratory scientist who had been on standby at the blood bank. He wanted to know if I needed blood. The doctor told him it was not a question of needing blood but how many pints. My PCV (blood level) had dropped from the usual 42% to 33% even before surgery started. I lay there knowing it was only the blood of Jesus that would avail for me; I began to plead the blood of Jesus and speak in tongues. All of a sudden, peace flooded my soul.
The doctors had an ordeal communicating because I was awake. I soon realized that could pose a problem, so I requested to be put to sleep. That turned out to be the wisest decision as I was on the operating table over seven hours. By the end of the surgery, my PCV had dropped further to 15%.
I had prayed and told God no transfusions. That in itself was a miracle. With a PCV that low, heart failure was imminent but I never showed signs of decompensation. Doctors kept repeating my PCV check because they said the results did not tally with my clinical state. They sent me home four days after the surgery!
My doctor decided we should repeat IVF in December, but my husband asked that we delay till January so my body could recover.
My promise for 2011 was II Chronicle 7:14-15 (“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer made in this place”). I did not understand or like it but I confessed it daily.
So, January 2011 came with injections and hospital visits. Because I had over-stimulated the first time, my doctor reduced the dosage of injections which meant I had to take them for longer and go for frequent ultrasound scans to detect any fluid collection on time. The process was hitch-free.
The two-week wait before getting a pregnancy test were the longest two weeks of my life. We went in for our test in March and I was confirmed pregnant. My husband reached for my hand and gave a gentle squeeze. I gave God praise silently in tongues.
The doctor had to comment that he was expecting I would somersault out of my chair. We went for antenatal visits more frequently than the regular schedules. This did not go without problems. Scans showed the second baby was growing into my Fallopian tube and there was a risk of an ectopic pregnancy. This meant both babies and I were at a risk. We just prayed this one prayer: “Lord, only thy will be done. We want the best outcome.” Then the baby stopped growing and vanished. At 24, 28 and 32 weeks my baby was almost delivered prematurely because of blood pressure scare.
God saw me through over seven years of childlessness, seven surgeries and on Thursday, November 10, 2011, Oluwalani EriifeOluwa Othniel arrived. My, he was joy to behold!
Today, I am a joyful mother; all the years of pain forgotten as I hold my son. Through it all, God constantly reminded us of His love and promises. I knew deep down in my heart I would be a mother, it was only a question of when. My God cut a covenant of fruitfulness with me and I knew He was not about to fail.
For every woman holding on to God and His Word for this kind of miracle, He will surprise you sooner than later! God sent us amazing people along the way. We knew a few people who were praying along, but we also sensed deep down that many more we did not know were praying.
I want to thank God for His loving kindness and for Pastor Taiwo. He is indeed a father. Right from the first time I walked through the doors of Fountain 17 years ago through medical school and our sojourn in Abuja and the UK, he was always there for us. We love and appreciate you, sir! We bless God for indeed it was not as difficult as we thought. Praise Jesus!!!
—Toyin ‘Bode-Abass

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