This is a story of pain, hope, and triumph. In honour of Mother's Day, Kemisola penned a lengthy narrative for mylighthouse.com.ng, chronicling her journey through infertility to child birth - with the hopes of encouraging someone in a similar situation. Continue after the cut.
"I got married in December, 2009 and soon after, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. In the 5 years following the birth of my daughter, I have suffered an ectopic pregnancy and over 7 late miscarriages, after a while, I simply lost count. By “late” miscarriages I mean I lost all babies during the second trimester and had to have a dilation and curettage (d&c) in every instance. All procedures were very traumatic for me, and in most instances were classified as a life or death situation; but God always gave me victory! I cannot go through the details of each and every miscarriage I had, but I will touch on the last one, which occurred in September 2014, as it was probably the toughest one of them all for me.
"I found out early summer that I was pregnant with twins, after all the previous miscarriages I was so pleased; as far as I was concerned God was granting me double for my trouble because I don't come from a lineage of twins, and neither does my husband, so this pregnancy was truly of God. We tried to keep the pregnancy quiet, but as with every other pregnancy I’ve had, at around 5 weeks I was already showing. Unlike the past miscarriages, being a twin pregnancy this one was categorized as high risk. What that meant was that I had to inject myself daily; had to have daily suppositories and daily medications to prevent or reduce the risk of another miscarriage. At the time, I had a full time job that I had to wake up to every morning, so for me it was no simple walk in the park but still, I was hopeful and trusted that God who had blessed me with twins will surely see me through it all! At about 9 weeks into the pregnancy I started spotting. I remember freaking-out and rushing to the hospital, but was told to go back home and relax; that everything was fine, and in order.
"I continued to pray—hard; and though the spotting did not stop, every time I would spot I would just say to myself that this could only be the blood of Jesus, and nothing more. I held onto my faith; held onto God, but when I think back to it, deep down inside I was still very frightened. Every trip to the toilet was a nightmare; I would be scared to go to the toilet for fear of bleeding out and loosing the babies.
"Weeks passed, and every week we went to the hospital for a scan and got good reports. I finally hit and passed the 14-week mark (which I had never done with my previous pregnancies). To put it in perspective for you, with all my other miscarriages before this, I had lost the babies between 12 and 14 weeks. It was always bang-on, as soon as I reached the second trimester the devil always seemed to come just at that time to take my babies away. So imagine my joy when, at 14 weeks, my babies were still in tact, and growing very well with no issues. Then came the dreaded week. I was 19 weeks pregnant and had just come back from work, I was resting in the parlor when all of a sudden I felt a leak, or rather I thought I had peed myself.
"I went quickly to the loo and found that there was no blood, but only some clear fluid. I ignored it, because to me as long as it wasn't blood it was all good. Besides, I had passed the first trimester and was well into my second trimester, so as far as I was concerned nothing could possibly go wrong. At this stage I don't even think I told my husband, as I assumed nothing was wrong. I calmly went to bed without a worry in the world. The next morning, I arose to find that the whole bed was wet—but it wasn't wet with blood (and it obviously was not pee); so we rushed to Reddington Hospital.Upon getting there and seeing the doctor, he advised that we needed to do a scan, and that from what I was telling him, it seemed like one of the amniotic sacs had burst. We eventually did the scan, and to my dismay I was reliving my worst nightmare once again.
"How could this be happening? I had already passed my first trimester and was well into my second trimester, and I had just had a scan last week and everything was ok. I could hear both heartbeats clearly, so what did the doctor really mean? The scan confirmed what the doctor had said earlier, one of the sacs had split and the baby would not and could not survive; it was only a matter of time before the same would happen to the other baby and again I would have to undergo a d&c as I could have an infection, and my life would be at risk. You can only imagine my reaction to this news, it wasn’t pretty and looking back I thank God that my husband was with me. My husband immediately called my doctor in London and he said I should take the next flight to see him.
"I left Reddington with a heavy heart, and alone I boarded a plane to London that night. My husband could not come with me, as he had to be with our daughter as we did not want to displace her from school and I personally did not want anyone around me. It was the longest flight ever. The following morning, as I got into London, I went straight to the hospital from the airport and my doctor having undertaken some tests and scans confirmed what I had been told in Nigeria, but he also told me that I should be hopeful, that it's very rare but that there are circumstances in which babies have actually survived such situations, and that if we could just make it to the 24-week mark they could deliver the babies and could keep them in ICU. I was admitted to the hospital that very day, and was there for 3 days under observation. My husband and daughter joined me a couple of days later. I held on, I prayed and prayed—God would not bring me this far and allow my fruit to cast before its time.
"A week went by and everything seemed to be ok, I was discharged from the hospital. I had to come into the hospital on a daily basis for a scan (ideally the doctor wanted me to remain in hospital until I was 24 weeks, but the costs were unsurmountable).
"We came in daily for our scan; and to the glory of God the baby with no amniotic fluid continued to have a strong heart beat and was growing well. The doctor told me the dangers of having the babies at 24 weeks (brain damage, disabilities, deformity) but I just wanted my babies and I knew that God in his own infinite mercies would sort it out. I had asked God for a huge testimony and this, to me, was just part and parcel of that testimony; we were going to have our babies. I held on to the promises of God. At about 21 weeks of pregnancy, which is basically 5 months, we went in for the scan and the twin with no sac (the boy) was doing fine, he had a strong heart beat and was growing well. I was extremely excited and hopeful. The following day after the scan I was home with my husband and all of a sudden I started having contractions. At this point I wasn't aware it was the onset of Labor, as I didn't experience this with my daughter (With her I was induced and had a Csection). We rushed to the hospital, as I started sweating and shivering uncontrollably.
"As I got to the hospital I don't even remember what happened all I know is that I was admitted and I was told that the worst seemed to be happening—that I had an infection or the baby had an infection. Long story short my body was rejecting the babies. Imagine being told that your body is rejecting your own flesh and blood. I was readmitted that day, and at about 10pm that night my husband had just left me to take our daughter home. Not up to twenty minutes after he leftIstarted having the worst contractions ever, I went into Labor and I delivered both my babies.
"I delivered both babies: My handsome prince came first, and within the space of about 10 minutes my little princess followed—they didn’t make it. I caught a glimpse of them but could not bring myself to look at them or hold them. In all of this, after delivering the twins, one of the baby’s placentas was too high up so I couldn't push it all out.
"That very night I had to be rushed into theatre for yet another d&c to remove the placenta. I went through hell on earth! I was told I needed a blood transfusion but I refused it as honestly at that stage I was just in a confused emotional state. I couldn't understand it. I cried, I screamed, I couldn't pray. The pain wouldn’t stop. No one could understand. How did I get here? What did I do wrong? What sin had I committed that was so grave to warrant this sort of punishment? The tears wouldn't stop.
"How would I explain to my mum that once again my babies were dead, how would I explain this to my daughter? My daughter: she came to see me the following day in hospital and said to me, “Mummy where are my brother and my sister? Are they coming out? Are they here already?” I said to her, “No, Sweetie They are in heaven, God has taken them to heaven.” She started crying and she said, “But Mummy how come Aunty B [that’s my older sister] had a baby in her stomach and she came out and your baby never comes out?”
"I had failed her as far as I was concerned, I had failed everyone; my daughter, my mum, brother, husband, everyone. A week after this I was dealt another heavy blow; a betrayal from someone really close. It seemed all too much, and I felt that there was no way I could come back from this one.
"Through it all I couldn't pray, but I had my praise and worship albums on my phone on repeat. William McDowell and Donnie McCLurkin were my best friends, as I listened to them back to back. It wasn't easy, especially with doctors and midwives coming in asking me to arrange for the funeral for my babies, giving me drugs to stop be producing breast milk not to mention the fact that I still looked pregnant. But Jehovah had mercy on me and saw me through it all. I stayed in London for a couple of months after that, as I was not ready to go back home and face my reality —having to explain to people that once again there is no baby.
"I finally came home after 4 months and it sure wasn’t easy. It just seemed to never stop. I would run into the bathroom at work and cry; I would go to Church and see my peers pregnant, doing baby dedication; I would be sat in church and just start crying. In this space of time, about 5 of my friends got pregnant. I was happy for them, but it was just all in my face. After a while I stopped explaining or trying to explain to people and when they asked how the baby was I would just reply fine, baby is at home.
"The pain was real and very deep, but God never left me he stayed with me, I stayed in worship as I couldn’t pray. My husband always reminded me to just be thankful, at least we have one beautiful, healthy talented princess and I agreed and even concluded that God’s plan for me was to only have one child. My husband and I had agreed that no more babies, we would be more careful and would adopt if we felt the need to later in the future. It is important to say that my husband and I were not really pressed to have another child, I just happened to get pregnant every time it was never ever planned just carelessness on both our parts or God’s will I have grown to learn. We attended cross over service on the 31st of December 2014 and Pastor Paul Adefarasin preached about 2015 being a year of testimony, he said, ‘there is no testimony without a battle’. God will make an ocean in Egypt.
"We are toughened by the same spirit that raised Christ form the dead’. I held on to every word and Isaiah 3v10 (which Pastor Paul gave as a reference) ‘reassure the righteous that their good living will pay off.. Say to the righteous it shall be well his soul’. This was it for me after that service which I believe was solely for me, I knew without a doubt that it will work together. I was still adamant that no more babies but I had inner peace and I twirled into 2015 with my spirit lifted pouring my all into being a better mother, wife, rebuilding my career and getting my life back and right with Christ."
PART 2: 2015 – MY YEAR OF TESTIMONY
"I got myself back to work, I was so blessed to have such an understanding boss who after 5 months of being absent from work offered me my job back and with a pay rise as well. The year had already started on the right part. About February a close friend of mine invited me to a women’s fellowship in Lagos, I was very reluctant to go but my friend insisted and bullied me into coming and as soon as I stepped in my prayer life was never the same. I attended prayer meetings regularly and whole heartedly, for me it was all part and parcel of my healing process. A month or so later I was at work and started feeling very sick, so I called my husband and we put it down to my diet and left it at that. I cut back on exercise. A week passed and I was still feeling the same so I secretly went and bought a pregnancy test, I took the test and it tested negative. A couple of days passed and there was no improvement in my condition so my husband and I decided that I go to the doctors to check if I had malaria.
"On my way to the doctors I was led by the spirit to do another test so I stopped at the pharmacy and bought another kit and the results read “2 weeks pregnant”. I had mixed feelings so I kept the news to myself as I did not know how to break it to anyone, not even my husband— how will they receive this after all the trauma? A week passed and I eventually told my husband; he was elated. I had a nonchalant attitude at this stage because of my past experiences. I informed the Pastor at the fellowship I attended and she encouraged me, she told to me to speak what I wanted into existence, to stand on the promises of God and most importantly to not let fear in. I did just this.
"I asked God for 3 things during this pregnancy. The first was that I would not during the course of this pregnancy have any reason to visit any hospital in Nigeria (reason being with all past miscarriages I felt I had trusted to much in doctors instead of focusing on God); the second was that this pregnancy will be to full term duration; and the third was that I would have a super natural child birthing experience. I had episodes during the first trimester that would have normally led me to rush to the hospital but I refused. There was one incident that stands out: I was at my daughter’s school ballet recital, as I was standing watching her perform my neck started to swell, my back and sides started to hurt. I rushed to the car barely able to walk, when I got to the car I was in so much pain that I was crouching and screaming.
"My driver immediately said: "madam we are going to the hospital." He wasn’t even asking me he was telling me. I refused, I called my husband or he did, I can’t even remember who called who, but of course he said we should head to the hospital but I told the driver to take me home. I got home called my mum she prayed with me, I slept. I woke up and my neck was so swollen I could barely talk; meaning I couldn’t pray. I called my mum again she prayed. I sent a message to my fellowship Pastor she said she will call me at 10pm. She called me, told me to take communion and open that mouth and pray. I did just that through all the pain I cried out to God and went to sleep. The following day I woke up and the swelling had gone; the pain had gone.
"I flew into London at about 22 weeks into my pregnancy and I had my first scan and ante natal appointment. At this stage, my doctor wasn’t happy that I had not undertaken earlier scans but I told him not to worry that everything was in order. I put this pregnancy in Gods hand one hundred percent and was leaving it all to him. My pregnancy went on very well; I was fortunate to find another prayer group to attend in London which was awesome as it enabled me to stay in prayer. As it grew closer to my due date, my doctor advised that I have another C section (I had an emergency CS with my first daughter) because of all the trauma my body had been through over the last 5 years. I wasn’t happy with this at all because one of the things I had asked God for and was truly believing for was a supernatural child birthing experience and also my insurance didn’t cover me for an elective C-section.
"I prayed about it, spoke to my husband and my mum, and they both said I should do as the doctor said, that everything will work out. So we booked in for an elective section. I was secretly hoping and praying that I would go into labor before this and have my super-natural birthing experience. Well that did not happen. As it drew closer to my delivery date my whole family rallied around me and stood with me in prayer. My due date was the 24th of December so I booked in a week earlier to have the C-section. The morning of the C-section as I was about to leave for the hospital I felt led to pray a prayer that I had been taught in fellowship, I prayed that the spirit of vengeance will not visit me, that I would not weep after conquering. I checked in to the hospital, my husband scrubbed in, my doctor assured me that it would be a simple procedure and should not take more than an hour. Long story short, I was in there for over 2 hours.
"It seemed like forever, the baby according to the doctor would not detach, I could feel the doctor tugging and tugging, my doctor was sweating and struggling trying to get the baby out. I was so confused during the whole process, but my husband, who was standing over me, kept reassuring me that everything was ok. The doctor finally got my baby boy out after what seemed like forever. He then informed me as soon as my boy was out and had been checked that we were very lucky that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck twice and that it wasn’t an easy procedure. He also mentioned that I had burst some membranes in the process but I paid no mind to him, all that one was grammar, my baby was here. My spoil had finally come; the devil had tried it but God had given me victory!
"I was so happy, baby was well and huge and I was doing ok. I was taken to my room and we were all so elated and thankful. My boy was here, he was healthy and weighed about 3.9kg, and I seemed to be doing well. I had my son around 1pm, my mum and brother stayed with me and left the hospital at about 10pm. My husband stayed behind with me. At about 11pm I had just fed my son and sent him off to the nursery, the midwife had done her routine check up on me for the night, I had just gotten of the phone with my mum and I suddenly felt like a gush of blood rush out from within me (please note at this point I was not mobile because I hadn’t gained full use of my legs after the C-section). I called out to my husband who was in the room with me and told him that I felt like I was bleeding excessively, he asked me if he should come have a look and I said no it’s probably normal for this to happen. He switched off the lights and we said our good nights but about five minutes later I felt another gush; this time it was incredibly intense.
"I called out to my husband like 3 times, he was so engrossed with his phone that he did not hear me and the television was on as well. I had an object around me (can’t remember what exactly it was) so I reached for it and threw it across the room to get his attention. He immediately came to me, I told him to put on the lights and lift up the blankets, he did this and the whole bed was soaked in blood. He pressed the call button and the midwife came in, she looked so confused she ran out of the room and came back with 2 other midwives, they all looked confused trying to ascertain what was going on. As God will have it, the head midwife who always for some reason was always around at times like this (she was around with the delivery of my twins and held my hands through that trauma) was passing through and saw the chaos in my room she came in and she inspected me she put her hands on my stomach and immediately she did that I started bleeding again uncontrollably; it wouldn’t stop. She immediately ran across the room and hit the emergency button for the hospital and in less than 2 minutes my hospital room was like a scene out of Grey’s Anatomy.
"I had no less than 10 doctors in my room attending to me and I could see fear in their faces. All manners of needles were being inserted into me, blood being drawn, oxygen being pumped. I was wheeled off to theatre, literally the doctors were running helter-skelter. I could hear the hospital alarm going off so loud as I was being carted off to theatre; I couldn’t believe this was all because of me. I saw the fear and pain in my husband’s face as they told him he couldn’t come with me as this was an emergency. All I could think was, ‘So wait, I have come this far now and I am going to die just like that?’ What will happen to my children, my mother, husband, brother? I got to theatre and so many doctors were working on me at the same time, I was told through all the manic that I was haemorrhaging and they couldn’t figure out where the blood was coming from; that they might have to open me up again, if they couldn’t figure it out or contain it.
"I couldn’t pray all I could say was “Blood of Jesus” I kept chanting this through it all. I was loosing so much blood and I had to stay awake so the midwife and the anaesthetist kept talking to me, when it would seem like I was drifting off they would start talking again asking me questions just to keep me from drifting off. I could see the fear and look of pity in their eyes. As God will have it they didn’t need to cut me open, they were able to contain the bleeding, I had to have a blood transfusion because I lost over 4 litres of blood, I was in the theatre for over 2 hours. As I was being wheeled out of theatre after the blood transfusion and after the doctors thought everything was contained, I started itching and developed hives all over my body the bleeding started again profusely. I could see fear and frustration once again; I was apparently reacting to the blood components.
"The devil tried it, he kept trying, it was warfare. He tried to take my son's life during the C-section; not once but twice, but he failed. He then faced me; he tried, tried so hard to take my life but he failed, even when I was being wheeled out he tried again but my prayers; my mother’s prayers; my pastor’s prayers went ahead of me. God gave me victory!
"All my petitions to Jehovah were answered. I didn’t have any reason to visit the hospital throughout my pregnancy. Every visit I made was voluntarily and not involuntary, my pregnancy was till full term duration and, God gave me my super natural birthing experience. I did not know it then, but the fact that I went through what I went through and I and my son, came out alive and healthy, is in itself a super natural birthing experience. All this time I thought a super natural birthing experience meant a swift pain free natural birth, but going through what I did and coming out Victorious is in itself Super Natural. I had asked God for a testimony, I never expected it to be this huge!
"I hope this testimony and this experience encourages somebody, to not give up on God, if he has promised it, it will surely come to pass. Every condition has an expiry date. My miscarriage and inability to birth again had an expiry date. Prayer really does work, as long as you have a good and sincere heart, God will always come through and when he comes through he comes through BIG TIME. Yes, there will be hard times, there will be days, in some instances years of waiting and crying but KNOW this, if he has promised it, it will happen just hold on. The harder the test, the bigger the testimony. Yes, I have suffered great loss and pain, but God has given me ‘Beauty’ for Ashes. I am a proud Mum to a gorgeous blessed KING, my miracle baby, he is called URIAH (THE LIGHT OF GOD/FLAME OF GOD) RERELOLUWA (THAT OF THE LORD IS GREAT) OWORITSEWARAMI (THE HAND OF GOD IS UPON ME) ORISTEMISAN (GOD IS FAITHFUL) and ANUOLUWALOJU (GODS MERCY IS THE GREATEST). His names say it all. I will continually testify of the Lords goodness and mercy.
"I pray that as you have read this testimony you are encouraged to seek God and seek him diligently and whole heartedly. No one leg in and one leg out relationship with God, seek him with all your heart, he is a miracle working God. I have friends who have have been on this journey with me say to me “Kemi, you are so strong, you are a strong woman”. I am not, it is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the strengthener living within us all.
"Lest I forget, to top it up, as if God had not done enough, my insurance company covered 95% of my hospital bills, remember I stated earlier that my insurance didn’t cover an elective C-section well they ended up paying for it. God is indeed a good God!"