A nurse, Mrs. Augustina Adekoya, talks about her journey into motherhood with MOTUNRAYO JOEL
How old is your boy?
He just turned four months.
What was his weight at birth?
He weighed 3.5 kg.
What is his name?
His name is Oluwadamilola Adekoya.
How did you come up with the name?
I remember a dream I had while I was pregnant. I was seated in a place filled with many people, but I was the only pregnant lady there. Someone then came to where I sat and asked me to look up. When I did, I saw different names written in different languages; the only name I could interpret was Oluwadamilola, and the person then said that should be the name of my child. When I woke up, I told my husband about the dream and he supported the name. Prior to my dream, we wanted a Yoruba name for our son that starts with Oluwa and has the letter ‘D’ in it. But the name, Damilola, never crossed my mind.
Is he your first child?
No, he is my second child. My first child is a girl.
Is nursing him much easier since he isn’t your first child?
The experience is totally different because children are different. My first child is three years and ten months old. While nursing her, I noticed that she always cried for attention. She was always crying for one reason or the other. But my boy is totally different; he is on the quiet side. The only problem I have experienced with him so far was during pregnancy. Probably because of age and work, that period was a bit challenging. Also, another reason why nursing him is much easier is because my maternity leave is for six months.
I work with the Lagos State Government. With my daughter, I had barely three months to nurse her to my satisfaction.
Are you happy with the Lagos State Government’s directive specifying six months maternity leave for nursing mothers?
Yes, I am so happy. I have always wanted a maternity leave to allow me nurse my child to my satisfaction. I am enjoying myself and taking care of my child.
Are you stopping at two children considering the fact that you have both genders?
Yes, my husband and I have decided not to have more than two children. However, even if I did not have a boy as my second child, I would still not give birth to more than two children. My husband and I are not particular about the sex of our children.
How does it feel nursing a baby again after three years?
It has not been easy to be honest. I heard fears about sleepless nights and all that comes with nursing a baby. I just had to summon courage and have a second child.
Some women who are pregnant with their second child also harbour fears about labour and childbirth, especially if their first was taxing. Did you have that fear?
Yes I had that fear. Even though I was going to give birth at the hospital where I work, I had fears about the birth of my child. I made up my mind to trust God and cooperate with those to assist with the delivery of my child.
Tell us about your labour experience.
I worked until the day I delivered; I still drove to work in labour. I was meant to run a test which I could not ignore at work. After the test, I went home. I still was not comfortable at all. It got to a point where I told my sister to check me internally; I needed to know how far I had dilated. When my husband returned from work at night, he suggested we go to the hospital but I objected. I told him it was not yet time. I woke up early the next morning to prepare my daughter for school. After she left for school, I went to the hospital. On getting there, the nurse on duty checked me internally to see if I had started dilating, after which she asked me to wait to see a doctor.
When the doctor arrived, he did not look serious about my case, he did not even know I work at the hospital. He was not concentrating on what he was doing; he kept talking with some of my students on posting while checking me. Then he said I had not gotten anywhere (in terms of the process to the actual delivery) and that I was just at the tip of delivery. He asked me to go back home, but because I knew how I was feeling I decided to wait. I was not given a bed so I sat on a chair. I was seated from 7am to 11am; it was a bad experience. I knew I had dilated to four centimetres so I was sure my baby was going to come out anytime soon. Another nurse who knew I work at the hospital approached me and I explained my situation to her. Not one single doctor came to attend to me while I was seated.
Around 2pm, I went to meet a doctor and explained to him that I was having serious back pains and pressure at my pelvic region. He then told a nurse to attend to me, when she checked me internally; she screamed and said I had dilated to seven centimetres. She said my baby was almost coming out. They quickly rushed me to a bed, immediately she ruptured my membrane, the pain increased and I pushed my baby out.
How do you feel about the way you were treated at the hospital where you work?
I am not happy about it. I intentionally did not want to let people know I work at the hospital and that I am experienced because something may have gone wrong which would have been irreversible. The same thing happened when my daughter was admitted at the hospital. After I was delivered of her, people were surprised at the calibre of people that came to greet me.
What challenges did you face when you began nursing your boy?
I found it challenging coping with two children; I was used to one child. Now, my two children including my husband want attention. Most times, I just have to relax and enjoy the moment. At the initial stage, I did not like the way I reacted to my daughter anytime she wanted attention. I just had to call myself to order. At a point, my daughter lost weight, being a mother is not a child’s play.
Do you breastfeed your son in public?
Yes, I breastfeed him anywhere. All I do is to ensure that I am dressed properly before leaving the house.
Did you suffer from post-partum mood swings?
I think I did a little but mine was not a medical condition. It was more of the condition I was facing. It did not last for long.
What was the hardest part about your pregnancy?
At a stage, I began to experience heart burns. I was always feeling hot at night when others were feeling cold. Most times, I had to sleep in a separate room.
What was the first thing you thought when you saw your boy for the first time?
I was extraordinarily happy. I began to pray for him, the nurses around kept shouting ‘amen.’
What is your advice to pregnant women?
Whatever they are facing with their pregnancies would not last for long. They should not get frustrated and do things they would regret later. They should enjoy the moment while it lasts.
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