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Deliver to Decipher

When it was about time for me to be delivered of my first daughter, my maternal grandmother called me aside into her inner room and told me to sit down. She was looking at me as if she should help me to carry the pregnancy, she shook her head and said "there is no pain as that of child birth, it it is indescribabale, delivery can only be done by God, be at rest with God, put your faith in him and as for the doctors, forget them".

Her words planted deep seated fears in my mind, the pain cannot be described and I should put everything in God's hand. I appreciated her, but as I stepped out of the inner room, I met my mother waiting for us, she was definitely afraid with the look on her face. Has she explained everything to you? She asked, I shook my head in affirmation.

What I could not understand was why both of them had so many children when they were this afraid of childbirth?

True to her words, my pain was indescribable!

The delivery date arrived, it was on the 25th of April 2002, against all my prayers, and fears that it should be postponed by God, it was the most horrific experience of my life. The only warning I never received was that majority of Nigeria health care givers working in our government hospitals are heartless. Due to the fact that we generally believe that these medical practitioners working witht the government are the experts in Nigeria hospitals and above all, their charges is also affordable in comparable to privately owned hospitalss, most women prefer to use these government owned facilities.

The pain was gushing like the flow of a river, as I screamed out in pain, expecting soothing words or any ,medication that can reduce my pain, one of the nurses shouted by at me "shut up, it is time for you to know that a baby's head is bigger than a man's manhood". That was her exact statement; it was strange to me because I have never heard such expression in my thirty years of existence prior to that time.

Immediately, I went back into my shell like a soup dished in a stainless plate. That was the beginning of my journey into the land of the medical practitioners’ wickedness. When the time comes, there was no single doctor, there were nurses and so many women were in labor, there was no bed so we had to use benches, anyone whose baby is at the birth canal would be transferred to the only available bed.

The nurses sternly warned me not to "push" but the baby was pushing her head out at all cost. When I could not take it any further, I screamed and the nurse almost hit me, " I told you not to push, no space for you to deliver" I began to cry and I called my husband aside and gave my own instruction "if I die, ensure that you take me back to my village for burial, do not bury me in Lagos or your town". He responded with a hiss.

When the nurses realized that I could no longer hold it, the woman on the delivery couch was asked to excuse and I was asked to lie down, with serious episiotomy, the baby was delivered but could not breathe. The nurse looked at me straight in the face and said "witch, you have eventually killed your daughter".

She handed the baby to my husband and said "she is a still birth, bury her, she killed her child by herself". I began to cry, this was the first leaf, I ever pluck in the farm of life. My husband used my scarf to wrap the baby and was taking her away for burial of course. Suddenly, I overheard his conversation with a doctor, who had just arrived on time to save the day. Thereafter, the doctor took the baby, and my husband gave him 1 GB pound (250 Naira), in less than 30 minutes, the doctor and my husband returned with the child, he revived her, I do not know how he did it but I know that my baby came back to life.

Oh my God, I woke up after few hours of sleep to discover that I was floating, the doctor came over and said, how do you feel, I could not speak again, he opened me up and screamed "ah, you did not stitch her after delivery!," I was in the pool of my blood, the nurses forgot to stitch my vagina where the epiosoptomy was done, and I do not even understand what was happening, it was my first experience.

I recovered after 8 days of intensive care at the hospital. I never went back to that hospital for any other thing after that horribble incident and experience, it is one of the largest hospitals in Lagos if not the largest.

This is good news to me, it is my testimony, we name the girl-child, Oluwatobiloba, which literary means, God is a Great king. Some women were not this lucky, I kept on wondering if it was my grandmother's decision to place me in the hands of the invisible doctor that saved my life. this is how women are sacrificed to the altars of medical negligence in Nigeria.

Lack of commitment to the profession, brain drain, lack of proper medical training, negligence of duty, and underfunding are some of the challenges faced by the Nigerian health system. It would have been life saving if government is committed to proper funding and staffing of the healthcare system, it will definitely save the nation of the unnecessary potentials planted at the graveyard daily. As far as I am concerned, it is of no use to quote statistics of maternal death because the unofficial death is more than the official.

What is imperative is to address the issue and proffer transformative solutions to these deadly challenges. Once we know our problems, the solution is the direct opposite, not farfetched.

Comments

nifkinz's picture

Hello Olutosin

Your words brought tears to my eyes. Very intense reading. Some things are not pleasant to hear but we need to hear them all the same. You are a beacon of light strong and bright. Thank you for sharing this.

Becky Frary

olutosin's picture

We are the voice

Thanks for reading the post, its my true life experience.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

ikirimat's picture

What a Horrible expirience

Thank you sister Olutosin for sharing,
Your expirience is exactly what goes on in our hospitals too. I had a similar experience in the largest hospital in Uganda (Mulago Hospital) where I was left to labour until it was a still birth. After the nurses realized the baby was dead, they were in a hurry to give me epitosin to expel the baby. I pushed the baby but I did not hear the cry. I asked and they told me the baby was tied and was rushed for resuscitation. But I later on learned that it was a still birth but did not want to tell me. My doctor appeared after 7 hours and asked me the most hurting question in my life " what happened??" Instead I should have been the one to ask her where she had been since I had called her to no avail.

We need to keep advocating for better facilities.
Thank you sister for sharing your touching story.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


olutosin's picture

Its our story

Thansk for reading my sister and sharing your own experience too.

I always share my story so that otehrs can share theirs too, then we come up with solutiosn to our problems.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

nifkinz's picture

the blame?

One of the maddening things in your story for me (among other things) was the nurse blaming you for the potential still birth of your child... does this happen a lot? This just makes the wounds so much deeper I think :(

Becky Frary

olutosin's picture

IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!

She called me a witch, that means, I killed the child, if not for God's intervention, my husband would have buried the child before the doctor saved our daughter.

If you read the comment of my other sister above, you will know that it is the same issue.

The government of Nigeria does not value the lives of its citizens, is it ordinary medical practitioners that will value of lives?

When the President is sick, he runs to Germany, if it is the wife, it is to Switzerland, if the available facilities are in order, will governmetn officials be fleeing aroad for medical services? It is the same at for every Nigerian government parastals in high positions of authority in Nigeria, that is why elderly Nigerian leaders are brought back in body bags from India, Germany, London etc, when they were in power, they stole Nigeria's money and kept some abroad, when they become aged, they have to og back for medical services, because the money supposedly earmarked for social amentities are starched abroad. These developed countries will not keep the stolen loots in banks, they will utilise it judiciously.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

olutosin's picture

That is exactly what happened

She called me a witch, that means, I killed the child, if not for God's intervention, my husband would have buried the child before the doctor saved our daughter.

If you read the comment of my other sister above, you will know that it is the same issue.

The government of Nigeria does not value the lives of its citizens, is it ordinary medical practitioners that will value of lives?

When the President is sick, he runs to Germany, if it is the wife, it is to Switzerland, if the available facilities are in order, will governmetn officials be fleeing aroad for medical services? It is the same at for every Nigerian government parastals in high positions of authority in Nigeria, that is why elderly Nigerian leaders are brought back in body bags from India, Germany, London etc, when they were in power, they stole Nigeria's money and kept some abroad, when they become aged, they have to og back for medical services, because the money supposedly earmarked for social amentities are starched abroad. These developed countries will not keep the stolen loots in banks, they will utilise it judiciously.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Kim Crane's picture

Dear Olutosin, It breaks my

Dear Olutosin,

It breaks my heart to think that someone in a caring profession would treat a woman in labor as a problem rather than a goddess! This story is an eye opener in every sense. I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope that you have healed from the trauma you describe here and that no woman will ever have to go through what you went through.

olutosin's picture

Thanks darling....

I am fine, other women in such deplorable system is my major concern.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Sandika's picture

health CARE facilities

Dear Olutosin

truly sad to read your incident the experience. the Nigerians needs to looks after their own people very before the world. one needs to looks after by their own people first. when the world feels that relevant authorities or the human are not doing their part forget the word 'duty' for a moment how can a woman treat a woman like that. that is my question the women who treated you such a way. the right word for places like Lagos hospitals is not the hospitals ( when you see no hospitality showing to people who comes trusting them for relief ) the right word to use is Health CARE facilities. every minute or second the authorities should remember and read the word 'CARE'. when people start thinking that providing health SERVICES is just a duty then we all people face problems ( Thank GOD that i live in Sri Lanka) they need to remember or should get a especial training on the importance of HUMAN SIDE OF providing health CARE facilities or SERVICES.

good that you share this with us not because that you get support or some friendly networking or encouragement for your braveness in facing all these terrible situations but also these things can do many awareness in the societies including your society and the societies that do not know to treat human in a human way.

Take CARE

love

Sandika .........................

Whaoh, that is soooooooooooooooooooooooo powerful, summarily, it means that all the government hospitals in Nigeria are no hospitals because there is no hospitality in them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRONTO.

Another of my story, there was a day that I took my daughter to a government owned general hospital in Lagos, as usual we were many and this girl was so sick, about a year old, then, thats my daughter, I now went to the doctor where I Discovered that her queue was moving, in a twinkling of an eye, the women are out with their baby, I WAS RELIEVED THAT MY CHILD WILL BE EASILY ATTENDED TO, MY OH MY, on getting there, th eDOCTOR DID NOT ALLOW ME TO TALK, SHE HANDED A PRESCRIPTION TO ME, SHE IS A WOMAN, I SAID MA, LISTEN LET ME TELL YOU WAHT IS HAPPENING. SHE "SAID GO BUY THESE DRUGS FOR HER, IF SHE IS TRULY SICK, SHE WILL NOT BE HEALED WITHE THSES MEDICATIO ADN THEN YOU COME BACK IN 3 DAYS AND WE RUN TESTS, IT MEANS SHE IS GENUINELY SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I collected the prescription and took her to a Private hospital where she wa admitted, test ran, she has THYPHOID FEVER ADN WAS TREATED FOR A WEEK BEFORE DISCHARGE.

THERE IS NO HOSPITAL IN ALL GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN LAGOS.

I am attending a training in Canada now, as one of the emerging Global Change Leaders, one of the participants is also a Nigerian, she founded Borwn Button foundation in memory of her friend that died 2 years ago, the young woman was pregnant and registered in a government hospital, on the delivery date, she needed to be operated upon, the doctor was an imbecile, he cut the ovary, cut the womba and cut the fallopian tube all by mistakes, she died instantly.

So many deaths in nigeria, avoidable death, that is why we have the second highest maternal death rate in World, We will continue to speak out.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Precious M's picture

Our Case is Quite Similar

Olutosin thank you so much for sharing your story! In Cameroon, where I come from, the situation in government hospitals is very similar. In Government hospitals, there are nurses who contribute more in making women depressed rather than helping them give birth. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

Precious

My pen speaks

olutosin's picture

Thanks for your comment...

We must pray and work towards change. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your story too.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

pelamutunzi's picture

no caring profession in africa

gone are the days when people joined nursing because they wanted to help the sick. if you are ill in zimbabwe you dread going to a hospital. the nurses are rude and cruel and do not care about people's lives. its the same in zimbabwe if yu want to die visit a hospital even when you are well. but for those with money they receive the best care available. at the private hospitals mothers are treated with gloved hands and giving bithr is a pleasure as you get all the comfort and timely attention from the doctor as you may need. the nurses are at your bedside 24/7 and the dr is thr\ere on time. it seems those with money deserve life and poor people's lives are not worthy the effort.

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

olutosin's picture

Same same

If you dont want to die you have to travel to Germany and Switzerlan and America and London hospitals, in order to be able to achieve this, you've got to join Nigeria politics.

And the cycle of corruption continues.......
To live in abject poverty in Nigeria is to beg for death everyday, I see why we have suicide bombers all over Nigeria, life is nno longer worth living for the poor and who cares?

We shall continue to raie our concerns.

Thanks my dear for the comment and the experience sharing..

Great ZIM!!!!!! SHALL BE GREAT AGAIN AND WILL BE FOREVER.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Nechesa's picture

Thank you for sharing your story

It brought tears to my eyes, too. I'm speechless but incredibly thankful to have heard your story. More people need to know about this.

olutosin's picture

USE MY VOICE

Thanks, I will continue to speak out.

May women cannot speak out today, because they were not lucky as I was, today, they are 6 feet deep, all because they want to give life, should women continue to lay down their lives for giving life to another being???, its rhethorical.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Bimpe Atofolaki's picture

Thanks for this.

It is so sad to see the level our healthcare facilities has deteriorated to in Nigeria. Let me tell you frankly...even our so-called leaders are aware. The reason they travel overseas with their family members for Medical Care and attention. What about us? Many people die due to lack of funds for medical treatment! God is the only hope of a common Nigerian!

Adebimpe Atofolaki

olutosin's picture

The truth

Thanks for reiterating the truth.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

lemayz's picture

Thank your for sharing your strength

Olutosin,
I can't help but reiterate the comments of the others who have commented; it's heartbreaking and painful to read your words and to even try to imagine the agony that you suffered. At the same time though, as hard as it may be, reading your story is a very necessary reminder......of how cruel we humans can be, of how much the spirit can overcome, and of how important it is for us to keep working on these issues in order to make sure that experiences like yours become less and less frequent.

Your story also reminds me of what my mom told me about her experience giving birth to me in the Ukraine; it was nearly as terrifying as yours. Forget about a decent treatment, anesthesia, mental/emotional support or even a bed! She too was ridiculed, harassed, and forced to suffer. I guess it only goes to show that on different continents, in different countries, and in different towns, women are forced to endure some absolutely horrific situations.

Again, thank you for sharing something so raw and so personal. I hope words like yours will give us strength to keep on fighting and finding solutions, so that every generation is better off than the last.

Leana

olutosin's picture

You are welcome...

It is the same in the developing world.

May we help ourselves .....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Tiffany Purn's picture

Thank you!

Olutosin,

I am struck by your courage to share your story, especially when others, as you point out, are not in a position to do this. I am also struck by your willingness to use your experience and voice to help others and to advocate for change.

I am thinking that perhaps your daughter might have inherited this courageous spirit from you, as well?
You are so right that statistics paint one (sometimes distant-feeling) picture of a situation. And that it is a story – and a personal story - that makes something that we often talk about in the abstract (maternal mortality) very real. Very real.

I can connect deeply with the pain, suffering, strength and power that comes through your story. I am heartened to know that you’re connecting with other Global Change Leaders, and running the Star of Hope Transformation Centre in your own community. I am so inspired by what you are doing to speak up, to use your painful experience to create something positive for others, and to share your challenges so that we might better understand what solutions can be.

As you say…the solutions are not farfetched. But it does take courage to come together and to explore these solutions.

Thank you.

Tiffany

olutosin's picture

Thank you so much...

I appreciate the fact that you appreciate all these :)

Thank you my sister....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

Thank you for telling the

Thank you for telling the truth about childbirth. The dangers don't only exist in non-developed societies. They are real for all of us.

We attempt to deny the truth of what it takes to give birth and nurture new life, which may take all of our lives. My daughter refused to allow me into the hospital as she gave birth because I freely admit to the reality of both parts of parenting. My son, when I required my fourth vaginal-rectal surgery to repair damage caused by his birth 36 years before, became so embarrassed that he has stopped speaking to me or allowing his children to see me.

As long as we are taught that saintly women give birth with intact virginity by some divine miracle, our "civilized" societies will continue to pretend that giving birth is not putting own's own life on the line to bring new life into the world.

Y

It is well with every woman who is struggling to stand up to the society. We have been fed with lies for so long. Its time for the truth and its time for me to be able to choose what is good for my life. that must apply to every woman too, developing or non developing world. Right now, I am in India and I have visited more than 10 remote villages, the story is the same. I cannot stop thinking about the offence of women, that make us go through such AGREED suffering especially in the so called developing world. It is well.

About your son, sometime ago, my mother used to live in Lagos, then it was easy to acquire land and build houses unlike nowadays, where it takes God for a honest person to become rich and build houses in Lagos- Nigeria. I will always ask my mother why it was impossible for her to build a house in Lagos while other were building in the 50's. She is uneducated. Her response was, "it will soon be your turn" I have been in Lagos for more than 20 years, with all the degrees, I have not being able to buy a plot of land.
Your son will soon understand, when it comes to his wife's turn.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

It is so sad to me that our

It is so sad to me that our ancestral pain was so great that our mothers continue to deny that anything can be done to change our futures, and thereby pass their pasts on to us. It is often our attachment to a dead past that keeps us mired in hopelessness. Loving parents let their children go to seek their own fortunes. Many are blessed by the children then returning to help them or sending for them once they have accumulated the resources to support themselves. If you cannot buy land in Lagos, perhaps you need to move to a place that would love to sell you land and start with a clean slate to invent your own future.

Thank you for your kind wishes about my son. He has two children of his own, in whose births he participated. We (even our women) have a double standard about women. We are supposed to appear to be virgins and have undamaged bodies even after giving birth. Many men have mistresses or prostitutes for recreational sex and have no further interest in the mothers of their children once they bear the children.

My son is acting in solidarity with his father in scorning me as simply having been the "egg donor" and "incubator." I may have to wait until his dad is dead for him to again relate to me, but my fear is that he will, by then have turned into a younger version of his dad who always scorned me, except as a trophy for his ego.

It may be better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but it certainly isn't less painful.

Y

olutosin's picture

Hmmmnnn!!

Thanks for the advice . I have decided to start a project in my homeland too, where we can have free land. It is better for me and give me enough opportunity to meet with women in the rural parts of Nigeria.

You are full of wisdom Ma.

Women from the developing must be careful in the way we train our sons, we want them to be strong without any emotions, we teach them not to weep like the girl child, and later, they are able to turn against us too, without any emotions too.

Love your life, if he comes back all well and good, if not, fine. He has followed his father's footsteps except there is a divine intervention. Men are the same all over the world, there fore we must train our girls to be strong too. They have all the extra marital affairs and any wife who dare try such is divorced and everyone looks at her as the bad woman. Whereas women are free to do such. I am happy that I am empowered.

We need solidarity in sisterhood, I am afraid that in the long run, it may be hard for women who stand for their rights to have anyone beside them at their old age. We must come together and think about this, in my family, I am seeing as a bad woman, who can study and leave her kids behind, a good woman is supposed to be a home maker who is expected to sacrifice her life for her family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HMN, I cant understand so many things, I wont either.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

Not all of us are called to

Not all of us are called to sit by bedsides or in rocking chairs to do our parts in the world. We must find fair ways of paying the people who do sit at the bedsides and in the rocking chairs, so that we can all do what we are best at doing. My son may be a better father than I was a mother. He has committed community to help him in his efforts.

If you have a committed, caring community who is nurturing your children while you help to build a better world for their futures, you are indeed blessed.

Y

olutosin's picture

GUILTY FEELING GONE

Thank you so much for these words...You are a God-sent to me. I am moving forward by the Grace of God, I have received more bad messages than good ones, some will even write that I am without a husband and a bad mother, who care less for her children.

There is one succor for me, my children love my work, they will tell me to move ahead, they are with me, the worse is from friends and they will tag it as advise, they will ask me to imagine how I will feel at deathbed when my children will have no positive emptions for me because I was not with them when they were growing up. If I decide to stay with them, looking at their faces with nothing positive to contribute to their lives; will that be a better choice.

I have made my choice, I will not look back, when I look at my picture when I joined WORLDPULSE about 5 years ago, I always smile and thank God for this platform, I am gone forever, no looking back.

Thanks so much for being good to me. In solidarity and respect.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

You are moving forward

You are moving forward through the grace of The Scared Spirit that you call God shared through the people who are supportive of the work The Sacred Spirit has given you. Only in this way does the work of what we call heaven spread over the earth.

I would love to hear more about your work and about your children. I'd also love to hear more about the people who have partnered with you in mothering your children.

Blessings to you, Olutosin, and your committed community of responsibly compassionate spiritual sisters and brothers.
Yvette

Y

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