July 14 will go down in history as a day of double joy for actress and talk show host, Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry.
Indeed, that day was her birthday and also the day she gave birth to her daughter, after 10 years of waiting!
In this chat, the versatile role interpreter talks about how her family supported her during her darkest days of childlessness, and the joys of motherhood among other interesting issues. Enjoy it.
Images of you and your hubby clutching your baby set social media on fire some days ago. Tell us how you felt when you delivered your baby?
Firstly, it can only be God, and we give God all the thanks and praises for this wonderful bundle of joy that He gave us; we cannot thank God enough. As for the reactions that greeted the arrival of our baby, it took us by surprise, and like I said in my first press statement, again I would like to thank everyone that celebrated us and most especially, the media, family and friends. The outpouring of positive emotions that greeted the arrival of our baby was mind blowing, and we say thank you!
Ten years is a long time to wait for a baby. What were your challenges and how did you cope during those 10 years of waiting?
This is a very good question and I would answer it from the depths of my heart. Obviously, like you said, it was 10 years of stigmatization, 10 years of ridicule, 10 years of unprecedented orthodox and traditional medical procedures, all in the quest to have a baby. But we thank God we are here to tell a positive story after this traumatic last 10 years. Be it physical, mental, spiritual, financial, psychological, anyway you can describe it; it wasn’t a pleasant journey. I managed to cope with my faith in God and His grace that strengthens me to this day.
Was there pressure from your in-laws and how did you handle it?
Fortunately, there was no pressure from my in-laws, my husband and family. I have a very superb family support system, which helped in coping as well. I know it is not the case with everyone and I would like to use this medium to plead with our society not to pressure women that are experiencing the same challenges like I did, because it is a very difficult journey which does not require unnecessary pressure from in-laws, family and friends. There are so many things physically, mentally and medically that these women are going through. These are parts of the things that motivated me in setting up my foundation about women and children christened, Boldfaces Women & Children Development Initiative. I truly pray that people will give women that are looking for the fruits of the womb more positive support.
How does it feel being a mother after 10 years of waiting?
It is exciting; we give God all the glory. It is every woman’s dream and our society’s expectation that once you get married, you start having children. But the most important thing is that children are the next generation. I am happy.
How was your husband able to cope for 10 years without a child, and what were those special things he did that encouraged and kept you going?
I want to believe that question is for him, but I can assure you that I didn’t get any stress from him since the day we got married on December 19, 2009 till date. I was the one more stressed out while he was super-chilled. He is a man that believes that children or no children, it is the man and the woman that will always grow old together, because the children will come, grow and move on into a new family. Also, he is a man of faith that believes that whatever that has been declared in heaven shall come to pass on earth. It is all about patience and God’s time is surely the best. In other words, like the scripture says, iron sharpeneth iron, which means his faith aligned with mine, and that kept us going. He is a very confident believer in the Almighty God and that is a strength on its own, strong enough to weather the storm. At the end of the day, our God came through for us.
What advice do you have for couples seeking children after years of marriage?
It is important for them to know that at the end of the day, children or no children, the couple’s bonding is most needed in handling their situation. I am talking about both physical and spiritual bonding, because they only have each other to deal with in all the adversity that comes with not having a child. Secondly, as a believer, unwavering faith is needed even when science states otherwise, because faith will unlock uncommon graces that will change the situation. Never give up, hold on to God almighty and keep hope alive no matter what happens.
Could you recall your labour room drama, was your husband by your side in the labour room?
On the 13th of July, my birthday eve, I was looking forward to my birthday when contraction started. I called Dr. Sharon, my doctor to inform her; she is an integral part of my journey and she advised we came in because that wasn’t my due date, which we did. Yes, my husband was there by my side as supportive as ever. And hours into my birthday, I gave birth to my lovely baby girl. We give God all the glory.
Your husband was in the labour room with you. What were the special things he did to encourage you?
I was in too much pain to know. But like I said, he was there and supportive as always; reassuring, calming and praying for me.
Was there any time you gave up hope on motherhood and considered adoption as a way out?
No, I never thought of it but that is not to say there is anything wrong with adoption, because I have always encouraged people to adopt. It depends on individual situation. With mine, I have always had positive results with near misses, and I knew that one day, I will get to the finish line. And as believers, we cannot give up on God because he never gave up on us. That is why I always say to people ‘keep hope alive, your miracle is on the way.’ 10 years or more, it doesn’t matter. Our God is on the throne and at His appointed time, He will come through like He did for me; He will do what He did for me for you.