It was a mixture of shock and amazement in the sleepy town of Ikugbomire in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State, on Wednesday as a woman was delivered of a baby from a pregnancy she had carried for four years. The question on every lip was, ‘could it be true that Mrs Oluwabunmi Ogidan was delivered of a baby?’ The obscure settlement instantly became a Mecca of sorts as people trooped to Alayo Vantage Hospital from far and near for a glimpse of the miracle baby.
Before she was delivered of the baby, the happy mother had become the butt of taunts and ridicule in the community, particularly after a scan conducted on her protruding tummy indicated that all she had in it was fibroid. Among the cruel jokes targeted at her was the question as to whether the baby in her womb would come out with a full set of teeth or walk and talk the very day it is born.
The arrival of the baby therefore marked the end of years of anxiety for 33-year-old Oluwabunmi and her 42-year-old husband, Bankole Ogidan. It was said that for two years after their well-attended wedding, there were no signs of pregnancy. And when the pregnancy finally came, it turned out to be their biggest headache. But all that came to an end after she was delivered of the baby girl in the natural way.
When The Nation visited Alayo Vantage Hospital yesterday, Oluwabunmi was still on the hospital bed, trying to come to terms with the mystery surrounding the birth of her baby. According to her husband, Bankole Ogidan, their wedding took place on August 27, 2011. “We were full of hope about having children and raising a complete family. But we had to wait till August 2013 before she got pregnant exactly two years after,” he said.
“We went for pregnancy test and it was confirmed positive. A few days after, my wife complained that she was feeling pains in her womb. We went to a midwife who told us that the pain was not a problem; that the pregnancy was intact. I was not satisfied, so I took her to another hospital (name withheld) where we did a scan but the doctor said he didn’t see any pregnancy. The doctor said there had been a miscarriage. I asked him that shouldn’t there be an outflow of blood if she had a miscarriage? The doctor said yes. I told him that we had not witnessed anything like that and he was shocked.
Scared by the doctor’s pronouncement, Bankole ran to the pastor of his church, Prophet Emmanuel Ogbara, who assured him that God had told him the pregnancy was intact. A couple of weeks later, Ogidan went back with his wife to the hospital but they were told that what she had in her womb was fibroid. They left for the General Hospital, Gbagada, where they were asked to see a gynaecologist. Again, the gynaecologist told them that what he saw in Oluwabunmi’s stomach was multiple fibroid with no chance of conception.
“All this while, my wife’s menstruation had ceased,” Bankole said. “It was only once after the pregnancy was sighted that we observed that little blood came out but stopped almost immediately. We left there for the Government Hospital in Owode, Ogun State.
“Thereafter, we returned for a scan session. The gynaecologist said there were three sets of fibroid where the baby ought to be, but that the way my wife looked, she appeared like a woman who was ready for delivery. He said he would act fast and do an x-ray that would reveal more. That was on March 25, 2014.
“We did the x-ray but we were told that though they believed in God, from all medical indications, there was no more pregnancy in the womb. They said the uterus was elongated, blocked with a concentration of urine fibroid and the white fallopian tube was outlined. They concluded that it was fibroid. I asked if she could get pregnant and they said no.”
Meanwhile, Oluwabunmi’s stomach had protruded as if she was due for delivery. People whispered wherever she passed in the neighbourhood and her story was used for jokes. Bankole said he could not even think of sleeping with his wife because of the delicate nature of her condition all through the period.
“There was pressure from all corners—family, friends and well-wishers—who all had their suggestions as to the solution. Some said we were hearing wrongly from God,” he said.
Asked if he was not afraid that his wife would die in the process of waiting for a baby, he said: “I did not worry about death at all. I was only more inspired to wait on God. As a matter of fact, we stopped going for medical opinion. As far as we were concerned, they had no good news for us, so we resorted to our church and prayer.
“On the 10th of September, 2015, my wife became terribly ill with signs of labour. I had to look for any hospital in sight because her condition was bad. That was how we got to this hospital.
“After giving her the initial treatment, we were told to go for another scan. To the glory of God, the doctor here said he had seen a baby; that my wife was carrying four months pregnancy.”
But the mystery again was how the pregnancy could be four months old when he was not making love to his wife, and his wife’s protruding stomach was there for all to see?
“At the church, the prophet confirmed again that the child had all along been there; only that scan could not pick it. So the hospital continued to nurture the baby for antenatal. But here again, they still saw fibroid in the womb. But to the glory of God 27th January this year, our baby finally arrived,” Bankole said.
But that was not all. After some time, the baby was said to have “got lost” in the womb.
The hospital’s matron said: “We had to do an operation. When we did, we found that contrary to scan reports, we met a different thing in the womb. It was a sac with pus inside. It was not fibroid. And looking inside, we didn’t see any baby. But I remembered that I used to hear sound inside Mrs Ogidan’s womb, so the doctor searched further; the baby was hidden in the uterus.
“We thank God. It’s a miracle. The sac was so big that it swallowed up the uterus where the baby was. The sac was so big that the uterus could not be easily found. The doctor said he had never seen such a thing before.”
But did science fail in the case of the Ogidans’ baby?
According to Dr Sam Akinyemi, a consultant on naturopathic gynaecologist, “This is an abnormal medical record. But nothing is impossible in this world. All homo sapiens must take note of that.
“It is the joy of every pregnant woman that at 40 weeks or before then, the woman must fall into labour. When it does not happen, it becomes a major concern to the physician and the patient herself.
“In natural medical gynaecology, we have had cases of that nature. It can be the result of retardation in hormonal production in the pregnant patient or mother. And metaphysically, nature won’t seize to amaze us in its power.”
On his part, a medical consultant, Dr O Salau, said: “Well there are lots of things people do to have children nowadays, especially with the fact that adoption these days is becoming a herculean task. Some put things under their wrapper, pretending to be pregnant, while others carry the pregnancy for them.
“I have seen a woman who came with protruding abdomen but no fetal part on examination or by scan. But the reality is that in a situation like the one you mentioned, the fibroid would be residual except she was delivered by caesarean operation and the fibroid was removed.
“Really, one could have a situation where the fibroid degenerates but usually incompletely. The issue of carrying pregnancy for that period is completely untrue.”