There is a popular adage that says “whatever that does not break us will end up only making us stronger.” Mr. Abiodun Orebela and his wife, Lola, from Ogun State, stand today as living examples of the adage. This is because the couple who reside at No. 88 Maruwa Road, Satellite Town, Lagos, just had a baby after waiting for 10 years.
There is no doubt that the painful experiences they passed through during the waiting period was meant to break them and strain their relationship built on mutual love and respect, but instead it ended up making their union stronger.
How the problem began
After their well-celebrated wedding in July 2007, the two had their first baby in the same year. It was when Lola became pregnant with the second baby that the problem began. Her bodily feelings and signs showed that she was pregnant but gynaecological tests at both public and private hospitals posted negative and, sometimes, inconclusive results. And the confusion that ensued within the intervening years was to cost them not only their possessions, but also the honour and respect of people they love and the ones that love them.
But ten years down the line, God wiped away their tears by making it possible for Lola to be delivered of the 10-year -old pregnancy. They named the baby Miraculous. In a chat with Saturday Sun, they narrated how it happened.
Abiodun’s story: “We got married in July 2007 and had our first baby in October 2007. But after our first child, my wife took in about a year later. She registered for antenatal care and it went on for a year. When the test kept posting inconclusive results at Ajeromi General Hospital, Ajegunle, we decided to try a private hospital. Yet the issue remained unresolved.
“In fact, it went on for three years. In all the hospitals we attended, doctors and nurses told us to go and flush the womb because there was nothing there but my wife kept telling me that she could feel the baby moving within her. We started going from church to church. We started with Synagogue, then MFM and lastly we ended up in a native doctor/herbalist house at Ajangbadi. Rather than raise up my hope, the herbalist told me that my wife was going to die.”
The mystery intensified when they got to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and after going through scan, they were told that there was no sign of any baby in Lola’s womb, contrary to her insistence. Nobody could explain what was amiss. Who does one believe: the woman whose menses has suddenly ceased after she supposedly took in or the hospital tests that continue to post results that seem to contradict that fact? Confusion had never come to the couple in such manner and measure before!
“When we went to LUTH, we were told that there was nothing in the scan,” Abiodun recalled. “The situation almost divided the family. They told her that she should leave me because I was impotent, that I cannot impregnate a woman. There was pressure from my side too, especially from my mother, to look for another wife.”
Battling with a nightmare
Lola who once lived at Oke Aregba in Ita-Osin, Abeokuta, but also sold clothes at Balogun Market, Lagos, said: “If not for God and my husband, I would have died. My sister had prepared another man for me to marry. I was a cloth merchant in Balogun. I also frequent Ghana to buy clothes. My big sister gave me the option of leaving my husband. But I refused because she was not married. The first scan was inconclusive but the blood test showed that I was pregnant. I had stopped menstruating. My tummy was fluctuating. Sometimes it would grow big, other times it would become small. We went to see an Alfa in Ajegunle.”
The search for the solution to this mystery, from one place to another, from the church to native doctors’ homes, from there to hospitals, public and private, rendered the fairly well-to-do family poor. Abiodun added. “We have a car that was given to me but when the problem started, we sold it . In the course of seeking for solution the unorthodox way, I was told to buy a lot of things. We bought a cow, a lot of rams, fowls and hens. I sold all the things we had in my parlour. We were sleeping on the bare floor. There was a half plot of land somewhere. We had to sell it.”
His wife, Lola, remembered that “there were days he would come home and say that he needed to buy goats and fowls and we would sell our wares. There was a day he sold his best outing clothes to raise money to buy a goat for the herbalist.”
The search for the solution to the pregnancy mystery, in the course of time, became demanding and financially sapping that it alienated Abiodun from many political engagements and friends and loved ones.
He recalled the scorn their situation attracted to them from far and wide. “Friends betrayed me,” he sighed. “I was very shy to narrate the story to people. The few who noticed avoided us like a plague. My wife was always in the house. I was the one going to the market. It got to a point that a lady who we owed in our former house started insulting us. The woman said I could not take care of one child that God has given me. Every day my wife was in pain. She cried because of the insults she received and for the constant pain in her tummy.”
Divine solution, at last, to a seemingly intractable problem
It was while they were going through the harrowing experience that they were introduced to Prophet Favour Ugochukwu, the founder of Jesus Resurrection Prayer Ministry, Lagos. It is inexplicable, both the pregnancy thing and what followed after the contact! Through prayers, he and his fellow pastors eventually got Lola delivered of the baby after 10 years of pregnancy. Today, the couple has become members of his ministry.
As Lola sat besides her husband, during the chat with Saturday Sun, she was all smiles as she cuddled in her arms Baby Miraculous. And on her lap, sat the results of some of the scans she had over they years to prove the points she made during the chat. Today, they are nothing but relics of the past and the pains they went through all the years.
Recalling what happened on the day of the delivery, long after everybody had given up hope that she was truly pregnant, she said it was the presence of her neighbours and husband that saved her life when the labour suddenly started without prior warning. “There was a neighbour who was a matron, Mrs Tijani and one Mama Chioma that helped me with the child before I was rushed to a local hospital,” she said. “My husband also played a big role. He was with me throughout.”
“When they started attending the church a year and two weeks ago, I saw their challenges and I had the hope there was going to be a solution,” Prophet Ugochukwu said when contacted for his comment. “We kept praying and thanked God that their prayers have been answered. The only condition I gave them was that they should keep attending the church programmes.”