After 22 years of childlessness, Florence Makena, 48, and her husband John Gitobu, 59 who are now parents share their journey of failed attempts, hopelessness, and how this situation almost cost them their marriage. The couple was forced to endure the shame of being in a childless marriage and the frustrations of seeking a solution from doctors to pastors with no fruitful results.
Speaking to one of the local media in Kenya, Makena narrated how her desire to become a mother forced her to take concoctions from herbalists, visit different hospitals, and even underwent surgery to fix her blocked uterine tubes yet none of this worked.
“There is nothing I didn’t do. I think all the pastors in Nairobi have prayed for me. I have been to both public hospitals and private gynecologists. I moved from pastor to pastor to receive prayers, but still I did not get a baby. I used to cry so much. It was very painful, but I never lost hope,” she stated
According to Makena, some gynecologists had expressed hope that she would eventually bear children but to her disappointment, after the surgery to fix her uterine tubes back in 2006, she was still stuck in the same old narrative.
Since they got married in 1998, what seemed like their only chance to get a baby was shuttered after Makena had a miscarriage only two months into the pregnancy; it was an ectopic pregnancy. After this incident which happened in 2001, the hope of getting a child grew dimmer and Makena recalls how she almost left her marriage to get away from the pressure of bearing a child.
During this difficult time, her husband encouraged her not to leave and constantly reminded her that their marriage was because of love.
“John told me he married me because of love, not so I can give him children. He told me to stop listening to negative voices,” she says
One of the things that kept her hope alive was the fact that she was still menstruating and her gut feeling kept on telling her that God would one day allow her to experience motherhood.
In October 2019, Makena who had turned 48 missed her period and she was certain that this was menopause for her. After going through several tests at a clinic, she learnt that she was pregnant.
“I started crying. My mind could not process it. I just could not believe it,” recounts Makena.
Makena broke the news to her husband and it was exciting news to the couple who then sought a second opinion to confirm that she was expectant.
“I was very surprised. It was unbelievable. But I told her to wait until she delivered so we that we could know for sure,” says Gitobu.
During a regular clinic check-up, Makena was informed that she was expecting three children and although this seemed unbelievable, her doubts were cleared when she delivered her three boys through cesarean section at a hospital in Nairobi On April 13, 2020.
“I could not believe it,” she says. “I only believed it when I finally held them.”
The couple named their sons Miracle, Emmanuel, and Junior, names they say reflect their burdensome journey to parenthood.
With these bundles of joy, Makena says that she finally feels a great sense of acceptance within the extended family and so far the couple describes their parenting journey as blissful.