Mrs. Chioma Julian Okafor is a 30-year-old woman who recently gave birth to triplets in one of the government hospitals in Lagos. Julina is also a graduate of Entrepreneurship Study from Anambra State University.
She had already given birth to a baby girl before the triplets who all boys are making a total of four children.
Speaking in an interview with CHINYERE IKEANYI recently, she narrated the challenges she is facing taking care of the new born triplets with a meager salary. However, she appealed to well meaning Nigerians to come to her aid as the husband is virtually doing nothing.
Can you give a brief history of your journey in to delivering of triplets?
I got married to Chibuzor Okafor in 2016 after my Youth Service in Lagos. Immediately after the wedding, l conceived and gave birth to a baby girl in 2017. We did not plan to give birth to another baby at least after two years so as to enable us gather more money because at the private school where l teach, my salary is N15,000 monthly and my husband assist shop owners in Trade Fair market her in Lagos to get customers. He does not have a shop of his own. Along the line, l became sick, thinking it was malaria and typhoid, l never expected pregnancy because l was still breastfeeding. I took agbo severally, yet the fever persisted. It was then l went to the hospital and after they conducted test, it was discovered that l was pregnant. I and my spouse did not believe it because my baby was only seven months and l am still breast feeding her. So, we went to another place for another medical test and the result still showed that l was pregnant.
Did you and your partner expect twins or triplets?
Though we have twins in our lineage, l never expected to have twins let alone triplets. I am aware that it is not easy taking care of them, so, l prefer having children one -one than them coming as twins or triplets.
What was your reaction when you learnt that you will give birth to triplets?
Frankly speaking, l was shocked. But the funny thing is that the government hospital we went initially for the scan informed us that l was going to give birth to twins. They also told me that they do not have facility to take care of the twins during birth. They thought l was going to deliver through C S, so they directed me to another hospital where I was told that l will give birth to triplets. Initially, it was unbelievable, because l do not know how l am going to take care of triplets under this present economic crunch. But at a time, l decided to hold on to God, knowing that He is the giver of children and no one can question Him.
Normally, when a woman gives birth to twins, triplets, quadruplets among others, people may think that she became pregnant through the aid of Invitro fertilization (IVF). So, was there any time you attempted that?
Not at all, going through that is expensive and where do l keep such amount of money to go through that process. Secondly, my baby was only seven months and it was not as if l am looking for another baby desperately. One of the medical doctors that attended to me during my antenatal asked the same question.
Did you deliver through CS?
By the grace of God, l gave birth normally. I was told by the doctors attending to me that l must deliver through CS. On hearing this, my husband rejected it out rightly. He informed both the doctors and the nurses that l will not deliver through CS that l will give birth to the triplets normally. Because of that he was asked to sign an undertaking stating that whatever happens to me while giving birth normally should be his concern and not that of the hospital. He signed and maintained that l will not go through CS. Fortunately, the labour started earlier than the date given to me. When l got to the hospital, none of the medical personnel on duty wants to attend to me. They abandoned me, calling me village girl that wants to prove medical rules wrong. The Doctor that was assigned to me was there without even showing any concern. As at that time, l was lying on the bed and the first baby was almost out. It was then a Doctor came to my assistance. Within a short time, the first baby came out. Ten minutes later, the second one came out and after 15 minutes, the last baby was given birth to.
After I successfully delivered the triplets, all the doctors and nurses present were all happy with me, they congratulated me calling me mother of three. Some said that lam a very strong woman.
The reason my husband insisted that l will not give birth through CS was because after going through several scans there was no indication that l cannot deliver the babies normally. So, it was based on that he insisted that l will not go through CS. Secondly, the money involved in CS is quite expensive, we cannot afford it and there is no one to borrow from.
Are the triplets, identical? if yes, how have you been able to identify them?
They are not identical, but the first and the second look alike while the third one is different. I am able to identify them because each of them has a small band on the hand and with that, l know who is who. The first one is Ikemefula, the second one is Chidozie, while Tochukwu is the name of the last boy.
How has it been after you were discharged from the hospital?
It has been quite challenging; the triplets take a thin of NAN milk which costs N2,000 a day. It has not been easy. I am appealing to well -meaning Nigerians to come to my assistance so that l will be able to take adequate care of the children. After my Youth Service, l could not get a job, the private school where l served retained me and my salary is too small, it cannot go anywhere. My husband goes out every day to look for customers for sellers. In a day, where he did not get any customer, he will not come back with anything. If l had got a good job as a graduate, l do not think my situation will be like this, at least l should be able to take care of the babies. My prayer is that God should remember couples that are childless. He should bless them with their own children so that their joy will be full. I did not beg Him for triplets and He gave me because He is the giver of Children, let Him please, give those that are crying day and night for children. For those who will want to assist me and my husband, here are our account details:
Okafor Chioma Juliana,
Access Bank, Account Number: 0030572015
GSM: 08066569302, 08094115353
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