No one prepares you for motherhood. Mine came knocking in 2018. At month 2 of the pregnancy, I went for my first scan, and let’s say that the events of the day were unexpected. When you go for a scan expecting to be assured the baby’s heartbeat is alright, and the sonographer tells you the ‘’babies’’ are okay, this is bound to be some shocking news for a first pregnancy. I left the hospital and texted my better half (DK) because I was in no state to talk. I was unprepared for one baby, what about two? This was big news. At this point, DK thought it was a prank.
Later that evening, I showed DK the hospital documents, and he could not believe the news. I did not sleep that night. The only thing that was ringing in my head was how I was going to handle two babies. The news had still not sunk in. Day 2, after the news, I was suddenly tired and sleepy for not having a good night’s sleep. It was a typical Friday at work, but the news kept nagging me. I work half days on Friday, so immediately at 2 pm, I head out to an Imaging Center along Ngong Road for a second scan. Another scan? Yes, I thought maybe the sonographer at the first hospital had made a mistake, and so the paranoid me had to get another confirmation. To cut it short, the same results, different days.
The next few months were slow; it was hard being pregnant. Picture this: a small petite lady weighing 50 kgs, carrying two babies and a big protruding belly, and add a babyface to that frame. The stares I got, especially at the clinic, I could literally tell people thought this was an 18-year-old expecting a baby. I thank God that at the time, I had an understanding boss who supported me through the journey. Although she kept asking me about my due date, I could tell she thought the baby would come at any moment.
Fast forward to 9th November 2018, the day my world changed, two little humans were born. I thank God for Dr. Sikolia Wanyonyi, who was part of my pregnancy journey and birth of my twins. I would recommend him anytime. His field is in obstetrics, Gynaecology, and Fetal Medicine. Asante Daktari, those little humans, are now all grown up.
I came to realize that pregnancy and birth were the easiest part of my motherhood journey. The first two days, the babies would be brought to my side during the day, and at night they would sleep in the nursery. My doctor recommended that from the third night, the babies would be put to sleep in my room to give me a chance to get used to attending to the babies. Well, that was the night the circus started. The babies cried almost through the night. The boy would cry, and after putting him back to sleep, five minutes later, the girl would wake up, and that would be the trend for most of the night. I rang the bell so often, and while at it, I would be crying, thinking there was something not right with the babies. The nurses would either feed the babies or soothe them, and they would calmly assure me that the babies were fine; this did not work, and every day my tears freely flowed. I now understand how easily new mothers sink into depression; it is hard.
Even though I had so much support from DK, my family, and close friends, I was an emotional wreck. One early morning, I almost dropped my daughter on the floor while dozing off. I cried so much out of guilt. I was tired, emotional, and still trying to come to terms with the fact that I had two babies. On one of the evenings, I remember there was a nurse by the name of Florence who picked the babies for a bath and after bringing them back, she had one look at me and told me ‘‘tonight, the babies are mine,’’ and she wheeled them off to the nursery to give me time to rest. She was kind with her words and was of much help in trying to get my daughter to breastfeed. She could tell that the stress of motherhood was beginning to take a toll on me. I did not get time to appreciate the nurses, but a big thank you to the AKUHN nurses, especially Florence and Rotich, for being so helpful. They are paid to assist, but it takes a kind heart to be concerned about your welfare. Not everyone in this world is kind; there are nasty people out there.
On the day we were discharged, as usual, DK, family, and close friends were right there at the hospital to cheer me up. I was looking forward to going home because I thought it would be so much easier with several helping hands. I went back home with DK and my sister, who was to spend the night and head out the next morning. That first night at home, we did not sleep. The babies cried so much. It is at this point that my sister understood what I had been going through at the hospital. Sleep would take over her, and she would sing to the babies while dozing off. The next day, she went to work and requested two months’ leave so that she would be available to assist me. DK also took a month off from work. I had great support, and yet, motherhood was still a challenge though a bit easier with the help. We operated in shifts.
Motherhood has its happy and challenging moments, from having amazing moments when the babies achieve their milestones to emotional times when the babies are sick or cannot sleep, and you still have to go to work. It’s a journey like no other. Fast forward to today; the babies are 18 months, and the only song we sing all day is ‘stop it’.
I thank God for the gift of the little ones; motherhood has been a blessing. A big thank you to our families and close friends who have been part of our parental journey.
It is my prayer that God will bless those women longing to experience motherhood.