I cannot believe that today is the last day of 2016. This year had been good. If I thought I knew the extent of God’s love, mercy and faithfulness, 2016 taught me that I have not yet known even the beginning of His love. As a family, we cannot thank God enough for His faithfulness. The testimonies are plenty but I want to share one that has opened my eyes to the perfect timing of God.
It all started in October 2014. I was on one of my business trips so I thought to visit a doctor in the US whom I was familiar with to complain about a lack of menses. After her detailed tests, she said my ovaries had shrunk and from my hormone profile I was premenopausal (entering menopause before the right age for menopause). She said if my husband and I were interested in having another child, it will be very difficult for me to get pregnant naturally but she will give me some drugs to help. If after 3 months I did not get pregnant, she advised that we should consider more advanced fertility treatments.
I think I was more devastated to hear that I was premenopausal. When I discussed it with Mr. Rita, he brushed it off and said God has the final say. So I told him, “You are a seasoned engineer. If you make a diagnosis and give a recommendation, don’t you expect people to take your word and act on it? How much more a seasoned doctor?” He did not respond, but that was what I held on to.
At about the same period, my older daughter (3 going on 4) started talking about a baby brother. This baby brother was so real to her that she named him Kelechi. She talked about him every day that it became bothersome to me. I was working on my 2nd novel (Morning Does Come) and every morning she would come to my study to talk about this baby brother, and even draw pictures about him. I called my mother one day and told her I was being “traumatized” by this baby brother, when the doctor had pronounced me premenopausal. My mother said next time my daughter mentioned it, instead of trying to explain why it may not happen, I should agree with her.
In March 2015 when the drugs had not worked, I went in search for an OBGYN in Pau, France where we were residing. I was told that the earliest appointment I could get was in July. I was leaving Pau in July so I could not take the appointment.
In April 2015, I had a dream. One lady visited me and gave me a word about my children. I told her “how can it be when all through my marriage I have struggled to have children?” and her response was “The Lord will do it. As a sign, He will give you a son and his name will be called Jude”. I woke up that morning thinking I would be pregnant, only to see a period a few days later. I was so disappointed and lost hope.
We got back to Nigeria in July and I quickly went to see my doctor who knew my history. When he did a scan, he said he was not seeing one ovary (from shrinking to disappearance???) and that we would have to schedule a HSG to understand what had happened to my organ. This was too scary to imagine. I told the doctor that once I return from one of my business trips, I would schedule the HSG.
I returned from my trip, and I was supposed to resume work in Nigeria immediately. On the day I went to the office in Nigeria, I was told the position was not available and hence I would have to go on a one-year leave of absence. The drop in oil price had impacted a lot of things. I was very very disappointed but I had no choice. I told myself that once I clear my desk, I would go and schedule the HSG. Maybe it was God giving me time to do the advanced fertility treatment if it called for it.
September 9, after I submitted my signed letter accepting the Leave of Absence, I went to the clinic to schedule the HSG. As part of routine practice, they performed a pregnancy test since I was 2 weeks late in my period. To my greatest surprise, it came out positive. I was in shock.
Please take a moment to pause here and feel the shock with me.
I told the doctor he did not know what he was saying. It seemed he did not understand that I had been struggling with infertility all through my marriage so getting pregnant out of the blues was close to impossible. The doctor said since he trusts the results of the lab test, he will treat me as a pregnant woman.
That was how God gave me a surprise during my one-year leave of absence. Many people thought I planned it but did not know it came as a surprise to me. During the one year, I enjoyed my pregnancy – no work pressures at all and I had enough time for my other kids. Then when my baby was 6 months old, I was called back to office, for a similar role as I was to take before the leave of absence.
And before I forget, the baby is called Kelechi Jude, named by his sister and in fulfillment of the dream I was given in April 2015 (exactly 1 year before he was born).
Wishing you a miracle-filled 2017.