After 36 years of marriage, four attempts on invitro fertilization (IVF), and spending over N10 million, a Lagos couple finally have their first babies – a set of twins.
The twins, delivered on Tuesday, April 14, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) were born to Mr Noah Adenuga, a 77-year-old retired stock auditor and Mrs Margaret Adenuga, a 68-year-old former caterer.
The birth of the babies was through Caesarean section at 37 weeks by a team of specialists at the federal hospital.
In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, Pa Adenuga said the children are healthy and doing fine at home. The new father, who could not contain his joy for the new addition to the family, shares part of his experience with the new kids at home.
“Ever since we arrived home, the babies no longer allow us sleep; one will sleep while the other will suck or play. When it is night, that baby that is sleeping now will not sleep. They will sleep late and won’t allow us sleep until 4:30am. Both of them hardly suck at the same time; while one sucks, the other plays. The breast milk flows well and they suck well too,” Pa Adenuga said.
As a retired auditor, how would the babies and their mother feed? Pa Adenuga says, “God is in control.” He noted that he is not financially comfortable but he accepts the responsibility because he has been yearning for his own kids for many years. If the country is good, he insisted, “government would intervene by giving some allowances, but it is not like that.”
The couple who lives at Fola Agoro in Shomolu, Lagos, said the last IVF done before they had the twins cost N6.5m. The doctor can charge up to N1.7m and it all depends on someone’s bargaining power. There are tests, drugs and some other things involved too. The three previous attempts, he hinted, were done in Lagos, but the last one which later resulted in the pregnancy was done outside Lagos.
In his advice, the consultant who delivered the babies at LUTH, Dr Adeyemi Okunowo, told our correspondent that the new parents need social and psychological support as well as motivation. Breastfeeding of the babies may not be easy for her exclusively and successfully, according to the Ob-gyn expert.
“She is going to be feeding two babies and the demand will be very high. She will need social support in caring for the babies, infant feeding and also for medical care, especially for the mother so she can be monitored to ensure she does not have health complications after birth. She should watch out for post-birth complications such as post-partum depression, psychological complications, and a likelihood of being naïve on the care of the babies since this is her first children, Dr Okunowo said.
He told Daily Trust Saturday that the elderly woman started antenatal clinic in LUTH in her first trimester and “that was why she was able to deliver the babies successfully.” He further explained that immediately she had the IVF and the baby was confirmed to be viable, “she was referred to LUTH and she has been managed here ever since.”
The doctor told our correspondent that she was admitted in LUTH some months (over two or three months) before she gave birth when she was having some issues. He said the admission was to ensure there were no complications to both mother and child.
“Carrying pregnancy for the first time, above 60, and a multiple birth for that matter, is a risk factor associated with pregnancy,” he said.
The expert further advised women within that age range to avoid attempting getting pregnant after 60 as they may not be as lucky, motivated or have a body that will accept the pregnancy just like Mrs Adenuga. Some may have multiple complications, a miscarriage, baby can die in the womb, give birth to a premature baby, or a dead baby or the woman may end up dying during pregnancy, labour, delivery or thereafter.
“I will not advice any woman to attempt what she did because it has its own complications.”
Explaining the complications attached to late pregnancy, Okunowo said, “There are complications attached to giving birth after the age of 35, this in medical term is called elderly primigravida. Carrying pregnancy on its own has its own risks and dangers. A woman who is over 60 may likely have other medical conditions associated with age which includes; cardiac problem, hypertension, respiratory problem, and other health challenges because the body is getting weak. Pregnancy is a normal physiology but it tells a lot in the body system. All other health challenge might not be feasible but with pregnancy, it will become obvious. Part of the complications is pre-eclampsia, hypertension due to pregnancy, the ability of the baby to grow well may be affected. Some other complications are baby not growing properly, early labour etc.”