We fasted, prayed for a child unaware I was already pregnant­­­­ – A­­­­­­­­­deyemo

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A chartered accountant, Mrs. Toyin Adeyemo, shares her motherhood journey with TOPE OMOGBOLAGUN

What is your baby’s name?

My baby’s name is Joyce Asepeoluwa Adeyemo. She was born on May 14, 2018, in Abeokuta, Ogun State. She is my first child.

Can you describe your labour experience?

I gave birth on a Monday. The Friday before the Monday was my expected due date. I went to the hospital for the normal antenatal since I didn’t experience any labour sign. I was already 40 weeks pregnant and I decided to see the doctor. The doctor told me that if I still didn’t see signs, I should come to the hospital; that I was going to be hospitalised.

That Friday night, I started experiencing contractions till Saturday and I managed it till Sunday. But I couldn’t sleep all night and I had to go to the hospital on Monday at 7am. When a test was carried out on me, they said I had dilated to 6cm. When it was 10am, the gynecologists said I would give birth in two hours. I kept checking the time as the contraction began to increase and eventually, I gave birth around 2pm. When it was 15 minutes before the baby came, the pain became unbearable that I was holding the bed and shouting ‘Jesus, have mercy upon me. Let me deliver safely’. When I entered the labour room, within five minutes, I gave birth.

How did you learn about labour pains? 

I read many books during pregnancy and I heard people’s experiences. It made me know that I was already having labour pains. Besides, as a pregnant woman, one would easily expect it at that stage and it was something I had not experienced before; so, I knew that it had to be related with the coming of the baby.

How did you choose your baby’s name?

When I was three months pregnant, I prayed with my husband and God gave us the name. Also due to the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, which I might not be able to disclose to the public, the name Asepeoluwa, meaning God’s perfection, was given to her.

How did you know you were pregnant?

The first thing was that I missed my period but that was not enough sign or symptom. I also discovered that I was feeling weak and my mouth was bitter. I told my mother who told my aunt who is a matron. My aunt told me to come to the hospital and a test was carried out on me which showed that I was pregnant.

How did you feel when you discovered that you were pregnant?

I was very happy because I have been trusting God for it. We got married in 2016 and we haven’t had any child since then. In fact, when we did our first anniversary, my husband and I were still fasting and praying for a child not knowing that I was already pregnant.

What did you enjoy the most about being pregnant?

What I enjoyed the most was the favour that often comes with being pregnant. Anywhere I went, people would always accord me preferences for being pregnant.  Wherever I went for something, I was usually answered because I was pregnant.

What was the most challenging part of being pregnant for you?

Sincerely, pregnancy wasn’t fun for me. Every month, there was one complication or the other. I really didn’t have any difficulty as such apart from the health challenges that I had during pregnancy.

Did you crave any particular meal during pregnancy?

No. I didn’t have any food craving; I ate normal food like every other person. I didn’t have special cravings but there was a time my blood level was very low and I was told to eat food that I wouldn’t have eaten ordinarily. But I had to eat those things because of my blood level, so that I would not undergo transfusion.

Did you engage in exercises during pregnancy?

I really didn’t have time for exercise because I had a very busy schedule even while pregnant. I went to work every day and from there, I would be in church. I also did a lot of walking; my office is a three-storey building; so, I usually go up and down.

How did you cope with mood swings during pregnancy?

I really did not have mood swings safe for tiredness associated with pregnancy.

What has been the most challenging thing as a new mother?

As a first-timer, like they say, experience is the best teacher. I am really learning. I have never lived with anybody taking care of a newborn; so, it is a whole new experience to me. For instance, I don’t eat much but I need to eat well since I am breastfeeding. It was a very tough one for me because I don’t really eat much. Eating once is even a challenge for me and now that I have to eat regularly, it is a very big issue for me. But I am adjusting well now.  Also, I don’t sleep well at night. l would be awake at night and the baby would want me to feed her. I have to stay awake with her and all that. It was very challenging at first to adapt to it.

I stay in Abeokuta but my husband works outside the city; so, after our mothers left, I had issues with coping with the baby and doing the house chores all alone.  Now, I have mastered it.

What are some of the things you have observed in taking care of a baby?

Babies cannot talk; they express themselves through crying. One needs to be attentive and observant.  When my baby cries, there are certain things I watch out for; sometimes, it could be the heat or her diaper is wet or full. She may be hungry. If it’s about her tummy, she squeezes her tummy.

How do you balance work and motherhood?

I am a civil servant and still on maternity leave. I know that when I resume, it won’t be too challenging because she would have grown up a bit.

Are you on exclusive breastfeeding?

Yes, she is almost four months and since we have started, I will continue with her. Although it is not easy, I will just continue because I learnt it is the best for a child.

What do you miss the most about your life before motherhood?

I miss the fact that I can’t do things according to my time any longer. I can’t just make decisions like I used to. I have to put my baby into consideration in anything I am doing. If I have an outing, I have to plan my baby’s time with my normal preparation time.  I also miss my sleep, although it is getting better. As she grows, I get better sleep.

What advice did your mother and other relatives give you about motherhood?

I was advised to eat well and also rest well. As a new mother, I can’t do all the house chores at once. It can’t be done at a time. They told me that when the baby is asleep, I should also use the opportunity to sleep. I do what I can do and whenever my husband is around, he helps out too.

What lessons has motherhood taught you?

Motherhood has taught me patience. For example, when I am breastfeeding her and she uses her gum to bite me, I will almost want to hit her, but I have to restrain myself from doing so because I know that she is an innocent child.  Sometimes, her cry can be so annoying that I will ignore her. Babies cannot express themselves; so, one needs to study them. If one is not careful, one might be tensed up because of the need to manage many things at the same time.

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