Hello. My name is ITORO UGORJI. I run @thebabylounge. I got married 17 years ago and like every excited new bride (ready to have babies), nothing prepared me for the years of waiting that were to unfold. 1 year, 2 years, 3….we realized we may need help to conceive…so the myriad of tests and doctors’ visits started. 4 years, 5, 6….and a failed IVF treatment, that almost claimed my life. I had to give myself shots every day for weeks, as part of the treatment (with my husband who always sat beside me rubbing my back, while I took those injections. He was later to tell me that during those moments, for each shot, he felt a thousand jabs). As a result of overstimulation (too many eggs produced), I was hospitalized and managed for a condition called OHSS.
I carried a catather for weeks, yet I was hopeful…the visions of that cute, chubby, angelic face kept me. Then the day for the pregnancy test came, the doctor said, “Ma’am, I’m so sorry. It’s NEGATIVE”. And I responded very quietly, with a wry smile “No, Doctor. I think you got the wrong folder. Check again.” I turn to my husband beside me who at this time had reached out and locked me in a protective embrace. And I say, “Honey, please tell her to get my own folder”. I didn’t know what to feel. I was numb and the tears wouldn’t come.
I stopped tracking my cycles. I prayed for at least ONE miscarriage, the “silence” was deafening 7TH YEAR. I’m scheduled for another IVF treatment. On my way home from work, to pick my bags up and head for the airport, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up some meds, and my eyes fell on the array of pregnancy test kits, then I realised I hadn’t seen a period in a while but of course I had lost count. And besides, I was on some treatment for endometriosis (story for another day) that was supposed to suppress my period. Anyway, I bought the kit, took it home, had an unbelievable mind battle deciding to use it.
When I finally braved it, and the double lines appeared, I screamed and wailed so hard, my husband rushed to the bathroom terrified I had slipped in the bath tub. I just showed him the kit, the words had left me. Confused for a few minutes, he sought an explanation. Then almost all at the same time, he said “You are not going on the trip again. Yo shouldn’t fly. Can you sit? No, don’t stand. Let me carry you. No, don’t move so sharply” 😁I managed to convince him I’d be fine and caught my flight. While in transit, I bled profusely. Got to my destination, saw a doctor. Scan results revealed it was a multiple conception and we were expecting triplets! Pregnancy progressed, we lost two. Our son was born in our 7th year of marriage. We named him CHIGAEMEZUNKWAYA (meaning God will fulfill all his promises).
2 years after, our daughter, URECHI was born 3years after, a second son and we named him CHIEMEKARIA (meaning God has done over & above, beyond our expectations 3 years after 3 miscarriages. And it was time to sit with a doctor to look at contraceptive plans (Be careful what you pray for and pronounce during your journey). So people would often ask, “How many kids do you have?” And I would respond, “53.” And they go, “I mean you real kids.” And I say, “I heard you right the first time. They are my REAL kids”. The kids I have been priviledged (to partner with their birth parents) to nurture. The vision of @thebabylounge was born way before my first conception and moms entrusted me with their precious little ones, even before they knew I had one of my own. It is a privilege I do not take for granted and a responsibility I do not trifle with.
For all the mums-in-waiting, be encouraged; you are closer to your miracle than when you first believed. Your HOPE of having a baby is ONLY deferred (i.e. delayed for just a period of time); don’t be weary, don’t stagger at God’s promises. Your DESIRE will come and your precious little one will be a WELLSPRING of life indeed, to you. This path can be very lonely, dark, dreary and winding…please support the mums-in-waiting around you, the best way you can.