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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Independence Triplets: The story so far

AS the drums roll out to mark Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Day anniversary, millions of Nigerians are   heaving a sigh of relief and giving thanks for surmounting the travails of the past year, even as they  look forward with greater expectation to another year of life as citizens of Africa’s most populous nation.
However, amidst the “low key” activities earmarked simultaneously for Abuja and major cities and State capitals nationwide,  there is one distinctly special family that has reason, more than most, to be especially thankful for today. Kelly and Mabel Ighedosa , are particularly elated because their set of triplet, two boys and one girl, are marking their 2nd birthday on Nigeria’s most special day.
Kelly and Mabel are  special parents because their triplet  – Jakes, Treasure and Jason – were born just minutes apart in the wee hours of October 1, 2011, at  the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos. The proud parents hail from  the Ishan tribe in Edo State. Kelly, who holds a National Diploma in Business Administration  and a Degree in Accounting from the Lagos State University, is presently unemployed. He just does menial jobs while Mabel who studied Anthropology & Sociology from University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, is engaged full time with the triplets.

First reaction
The first time he learned Mabel was expecting multiples, Kelly was shocked. “To be frank I was dazed. I received the message with mixed feelings.  I kept wondering  how I was going to take care of triplets at my young age. I didn’t have a comfortable apartment, where was I going to put these children? I wasn’t earning much from the job I was doing at that time. As much as I was trusting God and  hoping that when my wife was delivered she would soon get employed and we would be able to make ends meet, but hearing this news was really disturbing.
I was very, very surprised.. Initially, when Mabel, who was registered at the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, and Golden Cross Hospital, Festac.  did a pregnacy test and ultrasound scan, the result indicated twins in her womb.
“But at six months gestation, we went to Golden Cross,Festac,  and it was there they detected the triplets. Our doctor, one Dr. Dele said come and see o. There is a third one o, and I was thinking it was a joke. Here was I who was still crying about the twins not even knowing there were actually three. I went to look and lo and behold, there were three. I was speechless, and didn’t know what to say, what to do. Even Mabel was astounded. “I was surprised and shocked at this wonderful gift,” she confirmed.
Said Kelly, “I was expecting one, and three came; one is a challenge, two is big challenge, three a very big challenge. That was how it was playing back in me, I was not even earning enough to take care of myself and wife. I had taken a N100,000  loan just to make sure my wife was okay.  I was then working at a cinema at Lekki, but I had to carve out time to be with her.
According to Kelly, it was not until after the delivery, that I confirmed there were twins in my family. “My mother was a twin,  and my wife told me that  her great grandmother once gave birth to triplets. Nobody in my family wanted twins but my mother used to tell me that I would be the one to give birth to twins. I love children but I knew having twins would be a great responsibility.
Day of birth
The day they were born, Kelly was on night duty at Lekki. “My mother-in-law called me around midnight that she had taken my wife to the Island Maternity Hospital. My manager then directed the driver to drive down.
“It was raining heavily. When I checked the ime, it was a little  after midnight on October 1, 2011. It didn’t even occur to me that it was Independence Day. I got in to the hospital  we went upstairs stood at the theartre doors. My mother in law was praying. My mind was blank, but was just able to talk to God.   All I was concerned about was my wife. It took me a whole year to fully realise the fact that I am actually the father of a set of triplets.
I was at the theatre door, when one nurse came out and asked for pampers, I asked her about my wife, and she said, Oga, you have triplets, a bunch of multiples; they are okay and your wife is okay.
“Somebody now wished me happy independence and then it hit me that these are actually independence children!
Jakes was born at 1.36 am. he weighed 1.8 kg. Next was Treasure at 1.37am, 1.6 kg, and finally Jason at 1.38am, weighing 1.15kg.
At home
At a point in time Mabel  was no longer in charge. To feed the babies was challenge. We were  expressing breast milk  mixing wioth pre-NAN, each tin cost N1,800 and lasted just a day. We used a syringe and fed them as we had been taught at th hospital”.Kelly went from pillar to post  looking for the special milk  and the children announced thy were hungry by crying very loudly.
It was Mbel’s first pregnancy. “There were no  unusual symptoms of pregnacy except that I was spitting for three months. It was very challenging  and it got to a point I just wanted to offload and have these babies.Funny thing was that my tummy wasn’t all that big. You wouldn’t event suspect I was carrying twins talk less of triplets. It was just like a normal pregnancy.”
Before the triplets came, Kelly was planning to get a new accommodation. “Now more than ever, I require a bigger place and to prepare for their education. I planned that they ought to have started school, but what is coming in now cannot sustain that. One dream I have is to  give these children  sound education in a very conducive environment.  I see them as peculiar children.
I am trusting God for a schorlarship for their education; accommodation and a good job. Where we are currently staying is inadequate. They need space  to move around. They have started climbing. If one is crying others are crying. We  have never stopped needing money. Before I’ve finished buying one thing, another has finished.  Because they are three, I have never stopped requiring finances.
On the average I require up to N100,000 every month to cater for them comfortably. There was a time I had to sell off my DSTV decoder, to raise funds to feed them. And I keep asking God to meet me at my point of need. I cannot  steal. It is the last thing I would do, God had better take my life rather than allow anything happen to these children. All my life has been struggling, I struggled to go to school, I do not want them to suffer, I cannot even respond to family needs.
My wife and I are barely making ends meet and need something substantive to survive on.
I would like a job offer or a realistic plan to become an entrepreneur. However, I still need money to carry out this vision while carrying my family along.
Source: Vanguard

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