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How I Buried Quadruplets Within 20 Days – Father Of Newborn Twins Tells His Story

Posted by Samuel on Sat 18th May, 2024 - tori.ng

Emetu, who is currently studying in the United States, talks about how hope smiled on them in 2023 when they welcomed a set of twins after five years of waiting.

Ezera Emetu

Following the loss of a set of quadruplets in 2022, Mr. and Mrs. Ezera Emetu were devastated as they had to lay their first set of children to rest one by one.

In this interview, 37-year-old Emetu, who is currently studying in the United States, tells GODFREY GEORGE how hope smiled on them in 2023 when they welcomed a set of twins after five years of waiting

Where are you from?

I am Mr Ezera Emetu. I am 37 years old. I am from Ohafia in Abia State.

However, I was born and raised in Kaduna, where I spent my formative years. I just completed a Master’s degree in Social Work from East Tennessee University in the United States of America. I also recently got a job as a therapist in the United States.

What kind of childhood did you have?

I grew up among four sisters, and my parents were elders in the church. So, I grew up as a church boy. We were all born in Kaduna. My dad was into oil and gas. My mum used to work with the Ministry of Water Resources. It was a regular Christian family who were just going by.

Growing up was fun until the Sharia riots started happening in Kaduna. That made us relocate to the East but we are scattered around the world. I have sisters in the United Kingdom, in Kaduna, and Abuja.

When did you decide it was time for you to get married?

I grew up as the only son so there has always been the question and the pressure of when I was going to get married. So, I did my traditional marriage in 2018 and I was around 31 or 32 years old. I just woke up one day and said I was done with all the questions and decided that it was time for me to take the bull by the horn and do the honourable thing.

How did you meet your wife?

I met my wife through a mutual friend. Then, I was working in Lagos. I used to work on TV and radio. I used to work with one of the leading stations in Lagos State where I hosted a radio programme. When I decided it was time to get married, I looked inward but did not find anybody. So, I spoke to a mutual friend who told me she had a friend who was from Ohafia like me, and he connected us. I reached out to the lady (my wife) and we got talking and we got married within a year. So, she was in Abuja and I was in Lagos, so Facebook was like a melting pot for us. We met in Lagos at that time, and the rest, they say, is history.

How were you sure she was right for you?

I had this peace with my decision. I prayed about it. I looked out for certain qualities. She was a career woman. I had always liked career women in terms of dating. She is a lawyer. She ticked the right boxes. She was nice and kind. She was also well-spoken. We just hit it off immediately. I had already asked God to give me a woman that he would have married if he were to be a human being. That really helped me. I just let it out of my heart and it happened to me. It was pretty fast. Everyone kept asking me if she was pregnant. She was not pregnant but I knew there was no need to waste time. She ticked all the boxes, so I knew we had to get married.

The first time I had a conversation with her on the phone, I told her, “Do you know what? I am going to get married to you.” She laughed it off but I stressed it. I had not met her physically but I knew we would get married. Looking back now, I think it was really a crazy thing to tell anyone for the first time.

How old was she?

We were pretty much the same age.

Were there any fertility issues you found out during your pre-marriage medical examinations?

There was no fertility issue of any sort from both ends. Waiting to have our kids was never part of the plan. One of the reasons I chose to get married was to raise a family.

How long did you have to wait for her to conceive?

Interestingly, there was no waiting period. When we got married, she became pregnant a few months later. So, we were expectant and happy, but she was sick and took an anti-malaria medication. She went to the hospital and the doctor said he couldn’t detect the baby’s heartbeat. We were asked to go to another hospital to do an ultrasound. We went and checked and they said the baby’s heartbeat was not detected. So, our joy was cut short. We came back home devastated and she had to do the first evacuation.

We went to the hospital and the feotus was removed. That was when our problem started. She did it in one of the hospitals in Abuja, and they did a shabby job. Her tubes were blocked. We didn’t know that the tubes were blocked so we kept trying and trying but it was not working. We went to different hospitals and explored different options but nothing happened. We took pills that were supposed to help with fertilisation and ovulation but all that didn’t work out. We ran all the fertility tests and it came out well. My sperm count was fine; her eggs were okay. We kept trying but nothing worked.

It went on like this till 2021. We had our church wedding in June 2019 and kept trying till 2021. When we eventually knew her tubes were blocked, we were advised to try IVF (in vitro fertilisation). We raised the money and she did her first IVF and it worked.

Our lives were back to normal and we were grateful to God. We knew God would come through for us.

How did you both receive the suggestion of an IVF?

My first encounter with IVF was when we had a fertility clinic always come on the show I produced when I worked on radio in Lagos. It was more or less a fertility show. I listened to all this, and I think it prepared me, opened my mind, and increased my knowledge about IVF.

So, when we had the option of an IVF, it was easier for us to talk about it because I was already was educated about the topic. It was not a problem for either of us but my family was skeptical about it. We didn’t tell them about the procedure. We just prayed and went ahead with it. It was a crazy period because, after the eggs are harvested and transferred, there is a waiting period. And in that period, things can either fail or succeed. It was a 50-50 procedure. As God will have it, the first trial worked. I used one of the top hospitals in Abuja. I wanted her to give birth abroad but the visa failed last-minute. So, we settled to have the children in Nigeria.

One morning, around 3 am, she noticed the bed was wet. She thought she had wet the bed. It was her water that had broken and it was just 24 weeks (six months) at that time.

We got into a panic, and I could see the water dripping. We drove to our healthcare provider and they said they’d have to admit her and try and save the babies by retaining as much water as possible. She was admitted. When they tried and tried, the doctors said it was hard to retain the water as it was draining really fast.

She stayed for three days and the doctors said she had to be booked for a caesarian operation. The doctors clearly told us that the kids may not survive because they were too young. No facility would take the chance of trying to save those babies.

So, what did you do?

I told the doctors to go on with the caesarian operation. I had to do everything in my power to save the child. I had to take the chance than not take it at all. She was operated upon and we had two boys and two girls. We were not happy because we were scared. This is because the doctors kept telling us we were taking a risk, but we decided to take it. I remember depositing N1m for them to carry out the operation. The next day, I deposited another N1m. The next day, I was summoned to the Intensive Care Unit and a doctor casually told me that one of the quads had died.

I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I almost lost my mind. I was a first-time father and I expected the doctor would have been more empathetic. It was one of the two boys. He advised that we didn’t tell my wife yet because she was still in pain from the CS. I was in the theatre during the surgery so I knew the amount the pain she’d be in.

It was really traumatic for me when the doctor asked me to get a carton where he’d put the baby in and dispose of the baby. I told him to give me the baby. That was one of the worst and hardest things I ever had to do in my life.

It must have been traumatic for you…

(cuts in)  Yes, it was really really traumatic. I had to call my dad and he asked me to call some persons to come help me bury the child. When they say babies’ coffins are always the heaviest, they were right about it. It was really a hard one. I came back and had to pretend like nothing happened. She asked after the kids and I told them they were doing fine. She asked to see them and I told her that she couldn’t do so at the time because she was still under observation.

The next day, the same doctor called me to say we lost another one. I also did the same routine. We drove to the cemetery and buried the second one. I couldn’t put myself together. I told my wife about it and she almost collapsed.

The next day, one of the girls also died. That was the third child to die. This was in a space of three days. I also buried the child in the same cemetery. I told my wife that, maybe, we weren’t getting the best care in that hospital so we moved to another hospital.

We had spent millions yet the kids were dying one after another. We called another hospital and we took the last girl there.

What did the doctors in this new hospital say?

They told me that it was a gamble and nothing was guaranteed. However, they promised to try their best. The child needed plasma. Hospitals in Abuja at that time were on some form of strike so they couldn’t get plasma. The last baby stayed for about two weeks or thereabouts but eventually died. When the doctors told us, I remembered I slumped and felt a really sharp pain. For the first time, I had to let out all the emotions I had bottled up.

We kept begging God to spare her, so we’d have something to go back home with to show our people. Neighbours saw us go to the hospital. They also heard we had given birth but didn’t know what was happening.

For the tiniest moment, did this shake your faith in God?

As a human, I felt let down by God. I felt disappointed. I felt God had let us down by not coming through for us. My mother taught me to always trust God and to pray. I made a prayer to God and asked for his will to be done. I remembered the biblical Job and David. I just let God’s will supersede mine. I knew that my love for God was bigger than any condition. I told myself that whether or not I had a child, I would still love and trust his will for my life. I was strong up until I traveled to the United States of America.

At what point did it become necessary for you and your wife to go for therapy?

When the kids died, we didn’t have the time to grieve. We had tons of friends from church. We didn’t have the time to cry on each other’s shoulders and ruminate on what we had lost. When you don’t let out all those emotions, it is called ‘stored trauma’. The quads’ deaths happened in June and I came to the States in August. It was when I was in the US I knew I had a problem and needed to see a therapist before I lost it.

When did your wife get pregnant with the twins?

Before I left for the States, she said we should try out another IVF. So, I dropped my sperm sample before leaving for the States. Despite it being less than a year since we lost those babies, she was ready to put her body on the line again. Before all this, we were almost on the brink of having a divorce. Things were so difficult for us. This is because, after those kids died, there was a blame game. It was a bitter experience that I even involved a lawyer to file for a divorce.

The IVF failed. It failed because we were not on the same page. When I got to the States, for some weeks, we would not talk. Sometimes, we would only speak once or twice in two weeks. My wife was worried and I remember her saying, “Babe, you know this IVF cannot work without you. We have to do it together.”

After some months, we made up and mended things, prayed about it and she went for the third IVF again with my samples. That was when we had those twins.

How did you feel when you found out she was pregnant?

When she told me she was pregnant, I was really happy. And she said something that sounded really doubtful, “Hopefully, this pregnancy would stay.” She was also worried that my mind as a husband was no longer with her especially since I was in the US. I didn’t stay because of the pregnancy; I did because of what we had been through as a couple. I stayed because I still loved her even when I was still having those issues.

There was still love and respect there, and I was still under the covenant of God which was the covenant of marriage. So, I had so many reasons to stay. I knew I would have still stayed with or without the kids. Even though I was happy when she told me, I was scared. She, too, was scared because she always told me, “What if we lose these kids again? What if? What if?”

She had that trauma of counting down to 24 weeks. She kept asking me if we were going to lose the kids the same way we lost the quad. I kept reassuring her and praying. 24 weeks passed; 26 weeks came. We counted 27 weeks and the pregnancy was still intact. The kids became due and I had to leave the US to come back to Nigeria to welcome them because I said there was no way I would not be in Nigeria to welcome my kids.

I still followed her to the theatre and witnessed everything from start to finish. It was a Caesarian birth and I was the one who carried them from the theatre for the nurses to clean them up. They cried like normal kids and it gave me a good feeling. It was God blessing us for staying true to him and not turning our backs on him because we lost four of our kids. It has been months now and they are doing perfectly well.

What did all this teach you as a father?

It taught me that a man should stick with his wife and his kids no matter the challenge. My dad will always tell me that my nuclear family came first. This experience taught me patience. You will always not be on the same page with your spouse. It is how you treat them in those moments when there is a conflict that shows how much you love them. You can be angry but still be kind to your partner. It taught me responsibility. Even my dad was shocked when I told him I was coming to Nigeria to see the kids. He didn’t think I had to do that because we were talking about flying for more than 20 hours. I learnt from my father who did everything for us. He went through brick walls for us. I will always do the same thing for my family.

What advice do you have for men out there battling similar issues in their marriage?

I am sure there are men out there whose wives cannot conceive despite trying everything. Sticking with your partner is always the kindest thing you can do for your partner. If it were the man with the fertility issues, would the man be happy if the wife left?

I always shielded my wife from my people. Whenever they asked me what was wrong, I would say we were just taking our time. I advise men not to expose their wives to their families. She should be protected; don’t give them all the information about what is happening to her.

***

Source: The PUNCH



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