Esther Nyambura and her husband Cyrus Gitau tried for a baby for many years. As years went by, Esther became frustrated and had almost given up when her blessing finally came knocking. She shared her experience with MWAURA MUIGANA.
Thirty-eight-year old Esther Nyambura had been out of a job for a long time andso when she secured a teaching job as an information technology (IT) teacher at Moi Girls in Marsabit County , she was excited. She sought her husband’s blessings before taking up the job.The high school teaching job wasn’t very demanding but when she acquired a Masters degree in IT, shewas appointed lecturer in charge of IT at Kenyatta University, Marsabit Campus.
This job came with many responsibilities but she fully embraced it because she loved what she did, and was excited to play a pivotal role in the education of people in such a remote environment.With time, the stress of a long distance relationship became apparent.
The thought of being away from her spouse took its toil on her. It left her emotionally drained. Esther and her husband had been trying for a baby since getting married in 2007 without any success. Being away from each other didn’t make the situation any easier. Frustrated, Esther’s performance at work deteriorated and thoughts of returning home to her husband pre-occupied her mind most of the time.
The couple made use of every little time they had together during school holidays but a child was still
not forth coming.
“Giving birth is the most sacredand honoured task for a woman and many times childless women are labeled barren and have to deal with shame and ridicule that comes with the title. I was no exception and this put me down all the more,” she explains.
While going through her tribulations, Esther was aware that communication was key to keeping their relationship intact. Since she and her husband lived apart and were faced with the added dilemma of not being able to conceive, they needed to establish good communication channels so as to remain emotionally connected. Sharing their daily triumphs and difficulties, as well as seeking input into each other’s lives helped them build strong bonds and a support system despite the distance and the challenge.
It took an accident for Esther and her husband to have time to seek medical help in their attempt to have a baby. When Esther was informed that her mother was unwell and an operation was scheduled at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), she decided to travel to Nairobi to see her. The car she was traveling in was involved in an accident and rolled several times before landing into a ditch. Esther sustained some injuries and was admitted at the Marsabit District Hospital for two days. She was given a sick-off from work to recuperate at home.
She and her husband used this time to consult several gynaecologists in an effort to have a baby. Several tests revealed nothing wrong with either of them and all the doctors could do was encourage them to continue trying. Esther was advised to try not to be too anxious about getting pregnant and also try and be home with her husband more often to increase chances of conception. Because of the demands of her job, it wasn’t going to be possible to travel home often and she therefore started seeking for a transfer to a station closer to home.“Knowing that perhaps it was my job that was keeping me away from becoming a mother became very frustrating. I lost interest in teaching.
Every time I stepped into a classroom, the reality of being childless would hit home. I could hardly concentrate. I felt as if I was helping others yet I couldn’t help myself. Without a child to our name, my husband and I didn’t see the need to invest our resources and energy and instead we funded some of our relatives’ children school fees. I often visited different children’s homes during my free time to hold the babies. I often prayed that some day I will hold my own baby,” she says.
Esther got a transfer to St. Anne’s Girls’ Kiriari in Embu in 2009. Now a bit closer to home, she was able to spend most weekends with her husband but still there was no pregnancy in sight. She remained childless and frustrated. She had prayed so much over the years without any results and was now losing hope. Her husband never stopped praying and kept reassuring her that God would bless them with a child at His own timing. He would often retreat to Katoloni Prayer Centre in Machakos to seek God’s intervention.
Although her husband remained positive and often encouraged her, Esther felt desperate and helpless. She was further shaken when she was diagnosed with fibroids in 2010 and the doctor recommended surgery to remove them. This was successfully carried out at KNH. During the operation, the doctor found that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked and this was not good news for a woman who was desperate to conceive. This new diagnosis sent her on a roller coaster of emotions. She was extremely disappointed.
Esther finally got a transfer to Joy Town Secondary School in Thika in 2011 and this meant living with her husband in Nairobi and commuting to Thika. In June 2012, she began suffering from nausea, vomiting and morning sickness but didn’t attach much to it. She brushed off her husband’s suggestion that they do a pregnancy test, as she did not want to be disappointed.
“I visited a gynaecologist for a pregnancy test when my husband insisted and, unbelievably, the results were positive. My initial reaction was shock and a bit of sceptism and before celebrating decided to seek a second opinion. A second test at the Aga Khan Hospital’s Thika town branch also came out positive. I celebrated for the next one month thanking God for answering my prayers. I cannot even begin to explain how happy I was when it dawned on me that I was actually pregnant,” says Esther.
A double blessing
God was not done with delivering good news to Esther. A scan test showed she was carrying twins. She was overwhelmed with great joy, especially after recalling the difficult journey she and her husband had traveled in search of a child. On account of her age and medical history, the doctor ordered a complete bed rest and Esther was only too happy to comply, as she dared not do anything that could jeorpadise this long awaited pregnancy.
Her equally excited husband took over all the household chores. Perhaps due to the shock of learning that her mother had cancer, Esther developed high blood pressure during the eight month of pregnancy. She was admitted into hospital for close monitoring until the babies were
born. Her blood pressure rose to dangerous levels and an emergency caesarean operation was performed on April 10, 2013. Esther became the proud mother of a boy and a girl – God’swill Ndung’u and Precious Joy Njeri. The children’s names depicted the great blessing that came their way. The birth of her twins compensated for her seven-year wait for a child. Her joy was beyond measure.
Bringing up twins
“Raising twins has its share of joys and challenges. Anyone who has twins will tell you that there are practical difficulties in the early years such as which of the twins to give attention to first, feed first, or pick up first when they are both crying. Initially, the physical strain of managing two feeding and sleeping schedules simultaneously was not easy. When you have twins, everything comes in doubles – the good and the bad. Double loss of sleep, double expenses, double cries, double smiles…,” says Esther.
She encourages couples going through a problem like hers to wait upon God. She goes further to advice them to support each other through the difficult period and jointly seek medical solutions instead of pointing fingers at each other
Published in October 2014