Jos – For married couples in Africa, children are seen as necessity and most marriages are not complete without children. In fact, women take pride in the number of children they have while most men feel inadequate without children. However, in our society, women are generally the first suspect in the event of childless marriages.
They are subjected to various forms of insults and inhuman treatments if they are unable to bear children for their husbands. In many cultures, even the women who have only female children are persecuted as if it was their making and such women are denied inheritance of their husband’s property not withstanding if they contributed in acquiring such property.
The issue of childlessness has put so much pressure on many marriages and bring sadness such that hitherto happy homes have become battle fields and the wives who are always the first to be blamed have had to endure much pains and humiliation hoping that someday they would become mothers.
There are some women however who remained childless for several years but are saved from such humiliation until they are able to have their own children because they have the support of their husband.
MRS. DAVOU AND HER BABY
Such was the fate of 63-year-old Mrs Margaret Davou of Zawan in Jos South local government area of Plateau State who endured childlessness for the 38 years of her marriage until she had her heart desire met with the arrival of a baby girl last Monday.
The couple’s prayers were answered through a successful assisted reproduction technology popularly known as IVF treatment given to the woman by a team of doctors at GynaeVille Specialist Hospital, Jos where she delivered her baby through a Caesarean section.
Narrating her ordeal in the 38 years of childlessness, Mrs. Margaret Davou attributed the peace in her home to the support she got from her husband, prayers as well as favour from God.
According to her, “I have been married for 38 years without a child but at 63 years, having looked for this baby for many years, God decided to answer my prayer, I am very happy having her. I give all glory to God because He is the one who did it.
“My husband and I have been praying, trusting God, and I have gone through many types of operations, all in the quest to get pregnant and at last, I thank God that He did not disappoint us, God helped my husband and I because we did not stop trusting Him”.
Advising families who are going through such travails, she said, “It is a pity that some families get into a lot of problems because of childlessness but I appeal to husbands to be patient. I thank God for my husband because he has the fear of God. Throughout the period of waiting, he did not threaten me, he did not give me ultimatum, and he was not talking about another wife but was always supporting me.
“He was praying with me, believing God and because we were always staying at his various stations, there was no much pressure from extended family. I want to advice people going through the challenge to give their lives to Jesus, trust and serve God, depend on prayer and medical treatment. I am not talking about native doctors or prayer houses because throughout the years, I did not visit those places, only hospitals, my trust in God and prayer worked.
“Families and friends of such women should support them in prayer not adding burden or stress to them. If you give your life to Christ with your spouse, you will pray together and God will answer you. Doctors did theirs but all glory goes to God.”
Also, the Medical Director, GynaeVille Specialist Hospital, Jos, Dr. Kenneth Egwuda, a consultant gynaecologist and IVF specialist told Saturday Vanguard, “This woman in question visited this facility sometime last year, around June or July which was a month or two to the official opening of the facility. At that time we were giving skeletal services but the facility was inaugurated on August 12, 2016.
“She visited us with a desire to achieve conception, her age was 62 at that time so we started the treatment. Initially the age was not very striking to me, maybe it was an oversight because physically, she looked very strong for her age and was okay, she did not have any metabolic disease or any ageing illness apart from the hypertension which also affects any other person either young or old.
“When we did investigations, we discovered that she was fairly in a good health condition to attempt this modalities of treatment. She’s been married for 38 years without an issue, not even a miscarriage, she has had a lot of surgeries all in an attempt to improve her lot of getting pregnant but to no avail, and she has had tubal and fibroid surgeries.
The Doctor added, “She has had this IVF procedure, three other times in different hospitals before coming to us. Two were done Abuja and one in Markudi, this is the fourth time. While I was working and training in London, we had this debate about the age of people who should be permitted to have this treatment and the debate cut-off was 50, 52 years because at that age, you are supposed to look at a woman with great caution. Although it is not a standard across the globe.
“So we commenced the treatment for this woman and the only attempt she had with us, she was favoured by God and she was conceived a few months later through assisted reproduction technology. IVF is a game of chance, there is no guarantee that you will get pregnant whenever you have it but of course, the quality of care you have in a place improves your chance of being pregnant.
“When she got pregnant, it wasn’t very striking to me that something fundamental or significant has happened or a milestone is on its way to be announced in Africa until a friend of mine who was part of the team who gave the treatment called my attention to it that the oldest reported woman to have conceived through this procedure is here because she was 63 years, three months and one day at the time the delivery occurred so the world of assisted reproduction technology should know about it. She was delivered through a caesarean section on Monday.”
Expressing his feelings, he stated, “I feel happy that this couple’s desire to have a child all these years has been achieved not just anywhere but in Jos and Jos is going to be known for assisted reproduction technology. I am happy that something like this can be done in Nigeria because before now, the oldest woman was in India which was reported by CNN, there is a feeling of satisfaction that yes, people can achieve what they set up to achieve, it makes me feel that all investment I had made on training is not in vain.
“Though we have been successful in the past but she stands out based on her age as the supposed dichotomy that treatment should be restricted to women of 50 to 52 years has been broken.”
At the time of this report, mother and baby were doing well awaiting being discharged from the hospital.
Culled from Vanguard.