MULTIPLE BIRTH: THE JOY, THE TEARS AND THE HOPE...
Babies are an heritage from God and the birth of twins should be a thing of happiness, quite a number of couples here in Nigeria look forward to having babies 9 months after the wedding as if it’s a simple formula in mathematics where 1+ 1 always amounts to 2 and they are often disappointed when it doesn’t happen that way.
The story of Daniel and Cecilia Edeba is one that brings tears to the eyes, people cry for various reasons, for some couple with fertility problems, they cry all night and day worrying and asking their makers WHY but for these 2, the birth of triplets, (3 boys) in times like this in Nigeria without a means of livelihood is not an easy burden to bear. I got introduced to them through someone who I had been communicating with on Facebook and he requested that I helped in any way I could so I asked them to come over with the kids so I can have them on my radio programme. This beautiful Wednesday Daniel and Cecilia joined me bright and early and we hit it off on air. My interaction with these 2 really cast my mind to what it used to be in the past, the burden that came with attempting to keep twins alive.
In Nigeria where I come from the birth of twins used to be a taboo, I remember the tales I heard from older relatives about Arochukwu in Abia State, the Eastern part of Nigeria which was known to many as the igbo heartland, it also had the reputation of inflicting pain and sorrow on parents and families of those who gave birth to twins and refused to give them up to be killed. It was believed then that the “supreme god” abhorred twins. This was the practice until a Scottish missionary Mary Slessor who came to Nigeria in the 1870’s worked tirelessly to put a stop to the brutal killing of twins in Nigeria and i just wonder what it would have been like with triplets in those days!
Cecilia recalled how difficult it was to manage to feed her 2 other children even before she got pregnant again with the triplets. She was managing to do menial jobs here and their earned pittance doing the chores but had to stick to it because her family needed to feed, Daniel was working as an attendant in one of the small guest houses in lagos, at some point they both realized they were out of jobs. Life got harder to get by and for 2 persons who know little or nothing about family planning or protected sex, she became pregnant and realized triplets were on their way. It was a heart touching story and I shared with people with the help of web 2.0 which helped me reach a good number of people who responded to the cry for help.
Daniel just waved me bye now after sharing with me how an 80 year old woman called him after listening to their story and made a donation to help them get on in this bittersweet journey of life. I sit and wonder when the government here will wake up to its responsibility of catering to the needs of the less privileged especially women and children. I am also hoping Daniel and Cecilia will have to look at family planning options so that they can be there to take care of their 5 children. Its so ironic that one thing which brings laughter and joy to others means a different thing entirely for this couple! With these boys come JOY...TEARS....and HOPE for tomorrow!