Shock, acceptance and disappointment
For five long years, I am yet to come to terms with why my triplets turned to twins even though the last ultra sound I had five days to my caesarean section confirmed the vibrant activities of three beautiful lives.
Is it true that some healthcare practitioners condone and connive to separate some newborns from their biological families? If really this is the case, how can such evil be curbed?
MTN’s investment at Tema General Hospital will allow people to have deliveries in well-equipped centres where loved ones can be present to prevent such situations.
The title of my story says it all. I delivered a girl in 2007, a boy in 2009 and thought I was done making babies. Certainly, with measures taken against conception.
It then came to me as a great shock when my ultrasound on April 16 , 2013 confirmed the beginning of not just one but three lives in me.
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Within a split of a second, I had screamed, laughed and cried. With mixed emotions, I went home to relay the ‘fantastic’ news to my husband who reassured me of his support.
Coming to terms with the situation brought about a lot of adjustments in our lives.
There was everything ‘triplets’ about this pregnancy. My employers were generous enough to have granted me close to eight months’ maternity leave to deal with all the challenges that came with it.
I was also privileged to a special loan to prepare a nursery for Manie, Mana and Mia as they had been affectionately named even before they were born.
The excitement around the preparation minimised the discomfort until all was set.
At week 34, we were ready to welcome our triplets home. The weight in front of me had become unbearable.
I was unable to move around with ease and so I checked into the hospital hoping for my caesarean section to be done sooner than planned.
My doctor prescribed some steroid injections and managed to keep me in for another week.
On November 7, 2013, I had my last ultrasound which showed baby one to be breeched.
Baby two and three were, however, in a normal presentation.
Five days after, on November 12, 2013, my caesarean was done only for the doctor to tell me there were only two babies.
His words hit me hard like a rock.
Why only two?
What happened to the third baby? The number of babies I was carrying had never been disputed in any of the ultrasounds I had throughout my pregnancy.
Was that a ploy to steal one of my babies?
I was helpless and felt robbed in that defenceless state.
In a lot of anguish, I passed out.
When I regained consciousness, my husband was by my bed in the ward. I burst out crying, I got hysterical and no amount of words could comfort me.
I felt so disappointed.
I had bonded with three lives and could not take anything short of that.
To cut a long story short, that pain, provoked by the news of twins instead of triplets, the associated grief and episodes of depression, has been with me even up to this day.
Five years on, the dilemma persists; whether to believe the ultrasound reports or the doctor’s pronouncement.
I still look forward though to reuniting with my baby Mia - now a beautiful five-year old - someday.
In fact, she has been and continues to be part of our family.
I am not alone in this state of denial.
Hearing such distressing news from ‘total strangers’, when no family member is around, elicits a lot of doubt and pain in what can be considered, one of the most special but also lonely and vulnerable moments in a woman’s life.
A lot of mothers experience bouts of depression after their babies are delivered due to one reason or the other.
With modern maternal facilities, however, pregnant women who are expecting multiple babies need not be exposed to my ordeal.
This is because, relatives can be permitted to be close to their loved ones during delivery to offer some comfort.
These family members can also help to confirm or deny what the doctors say which may bring solace to a depressed mother.
Oh, how I wish my husband had been allowed in the theatre that fateful November day. His confirmation alone could have taken away all these years of doubt and worry.
Ayeekoo to MTN for taking up this great feat.
It is my desire that you continue the good work to make such facilities available to all expectant women nationwide.