If you haven’t already done so please read extract 1 here
Week 23 + 2 days
“Alhassan my water has broken!!”
“Ohh shoot,” he replied with panic in his voice. “Call the ambulance as I can’t get to you.”
My sister-in-law got on the phone, and we got shipped off to the hospital. On getting there the turn of events was like something out of a movie, except this time I was the one starring in it.
Doctors: Madam you are in labour and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Unfortunately a 23 week pregnancy is not considered viable in this hospital.
Me: I don’t get you. You need to be a bit clearer on what exactly you mean.
Doctor: I mean when the babies arrive we will give them to you, and you will hold on to them until they pass away, as we don’t intervene on any child born short of 26 weeks.
Me: God, I’m in awe of how You do things! Did you give me a miracle twin pregnancy only that I might watch them die????? What exactly is the grand plan here? Why are You quiet??? Where are You??? What do You plan to do?????
These babies must not be born now. I couldn’t control the overwhelming feeling of hysteria not just coming over, but taking over me.
But they were born at 24+ 2 days.
My God sent an angel. A total stranger who stood by me, and rallied in an army of gynaechologists, and said, “these kids MUST not die”. “This woman was never meant to have kids and this miracle must not end in tragedy.”
Dr. Howard, Mrs. Kollipara, Ms Hargreaves, all King George Hospital (KGH) Obs and Gynae powers that be, gathered round me and raced against time to see that those babies didn’t arrive at KGH.
Search for a bed
Madam: Your babies must not arrive on these premises, but there are only 8 neonatal units in the UK, and none of them can take 2 babies.
Me: So what does that mean?
Doctor: We found a bed in Portsmouth, and one in London. We can split the babies, but it’s unlikely the one who goes off to Portsmouth makes the journey.
Me: So who decides which child gets a chance to live, and which one dies?
God really?? Why are you so silent? Where are You? Speak to me!!!!
I still chose to believe there was a grand plan. I chose to hold on to that.
We found beds!!
Good news from Dr. Opemuyi. “I found two beds in Homerton!” So off we went, blue lightning all the way to Hackney.
I thank God for Pastor Atinuke Adesanya…. another rock He placed in my life. My shoulder, my confidant, my best friend, my prayer partner, my surrogate mum. As I arrived at Homerton she was there. Holding my hands, stroking my head, standing in the gap and in as much pain as I was, as she fully understood what was at stake, and the fight we had fought.
I push and push and push, and Jesutomipe arrived.
Doctor: Mum, your son is still birth. Do you understand? He was born dead, and seems to have been dead a while.
Doctor: Do you not get it?
Me: WHAT THE HECK DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?? There is still one inside that I have to push out!! Why are you so intent on breaking me?
Doctor: Just making sure we are clear.
I get busy with pushing Jesutomisin. Al is being peeled off the floor, pastor Adesanya is in a mad prayer battle.
Doctor: Mum, mum.
Me: WHAT IS IT NOW??
Doctor: We got your little boy’s heart beating again, but please don’t be too hopeful as he is likely to be dead by evening.
And there your miracle began Jesutomipe.
The worst times of our lives
Hours later, the nurse says, “Mum your twin 2 is here. He weighs only 620 grams, but he is fighting fit, and on his way to NICU.”
I am helped up from my labour bed. I gott into the shower and I fell like I was in a daze. Floating and not quite feeling. I am just relieved that they are out of me and I feel peace. I am not thinking about them. I am not thinking or feeling, or focusing or processing. I am just a zombie at that point. I did wonder why Al cried so much during the birth, and why he collapsed on the floor.
The doctors asked to see both of us, and then proceeded to prepare us for the “worst times of our lives”. Yes he said that, and he was right. He said, “Guys, your babies lives will hang in the balance for a while, and it will be a painful journey for you both. At the end of the day, it is likely they both die, or end up with lifelong disabilities, especially twin one (Jesutomipe). 60% of 24 weekers don’t live.”
Wake me from this daze
I grew a deep deep hatred for this doctor, that seemed to lack basic sympathy or feeling. Yet, I still had zero emotion or feeling. I was in a daze. He laid out the statistics, the possible eventualities, the fact that twin one already started a bit disadvantaged.
I called the grandparents and a handful of friends to share the news. The not so good news. We ask that they keep the birth of the twins confidential for a minute, as it was still all touch and go. I went to bed tired, disillusioned, unsure, hurting, and in despair. I had started to feel at this point.
Read Extract 3 here.
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