‘Our joy knows no bounds…’
THE joy of the Ozimede-Etsemobor family in Lagos knew no bounds last week when their 23-year-old marriage was blessed with a boy and a girl.
Christened Emmanuel and Emmanuella Ozimede-Etsemobor, the twins are indeed a bundle of joy to behold. But to their parents, they are the end-product of 23 years of trials and tears, prayers and faith, and sometimes, pangs of frustration against deep-seated perseverance.
Dressed in a yellow dry lace, Charity Ozimede-Etsemobor, the mother, had a facial glow that lit up the hospital room.
Written all over her was a huge relief; she not only has a boy and a girl, but very healthy babies. The family of four were leaving the Medical Art Centre, Maryland, Lagos, barely three days after childbirth, going into the world that will greet them differently.
All that accompanied the couple to the Medical Art Centre five years ago was their tears of infertility and faith, says the husband, Gentle Ozimede-Etsemobor, a native of Aghenebode, Edo State.
Gentle, a trado-medical practitioner recalled that they married February 20, 1992. He was 23 years old and his wife was just 17.
Looking at the past 23 years now, he said: “I have passed through a lot of trials, difficulties and pains, I must say.”
“But I always call on God to be with me and give me the mind to overcome all the trials that were coming our way. And God giving the grace, we overcame them all,” he said.
For the Ozimede-Etsemobors, part of the trial are their extended families. In African culture, children are the essence of marriages and to delay is a recipe for family pressure. In their case, the pressure came, throwing up options of divorce or polygamy. But behind Charity was a Gentle that never blinked.
“Temptations were there from my family and my wife’s family to separate us. But each time, I will tell my wife “no.” ‘I married you with love and so are you to me, and the Bible says, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’ That way, I console her and she consoles me.”
“Each time she asks ‘do you think I’m going to have a child?’ I’d say definitely, because I know that my hands are clean. We never lost hope and that kept the love going. Our marriage is from God and she has been behind my successes.”
In 2010, they came to Medical Art Centre for the assisted reproduction option, called Invitro Fertilization (IVF). Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, a renowned IVF expert in the country, assured them God would take control.
“We kept coming but it seems nothing was working (because of recurrent implantation failure). He (Ashiru) said we should be patient and God will do it for us. And God sent him to do it for us. Today, I’m a father of children.”
One of the Obstetrics and Gynecologist at the centre, Dr Moses, noted that the couple went through an array of medical services that Medical Art Centre (MAC) offers, which included fibroid removal and detoxification.
Clinical Coordinator at the Centre, Abiola Adewusi, remarked that the couple were “quite courageous”, and she (Charity) was luck to have such a man on her side.
Adewusi reckoned that the journey was indeed very rough for the couple, with some other problems calling for attention.
After the sixth trial failed, they were getting tired. According to Adewusi: “They didn’t want to do this (IVF) again because they had done just everything possible.”
“I said ‘let us do it one more time (2013) and this time around, we will be the one to take care of everything, just bring yourselves in. We did the procedure again, and here we are.”
; she got pregnant and they have babies. We are all happy. Twenty-three years of waiting is not a joke,” she said.
Looking at the father, all-smiles, Adewusi said: “He is the happiest father right now and he deserves to be. He is very simple and good. He takes very good care of his wife.”
“He is the very rare one that would follow his wife here every visit day. It is not very common. His wife is a very lucky woman,” she said.
Gentle, advised families seeking the fruit of the womb to also be patient and continue living in love.
“It is not a matter of divorce or quarreling with one another. Families will come and try to separate you. It is yours to stay strong,” he said.
He told The Guardian of his plans to have another try at the Centre by July this year.