A 61-year-old retired nurse, Samba Greywood Dokubo-Briggs, from Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, who recently delivered a set of triplets as her first birth, has shared her story with Chukwudi Akasike.
According to her, she has been married for 34 years after her qualification as a registered nurse in 1983
Tell us about yourself.
I am Mrs. Samba Greywood Dokubo-Briggs, former Miss Bob-Manuel from Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
How old are you?
I am 61 years old.
When did you marry?
My marriage took place at Degema council area after my qualification as a registered nurse in 1983. We have been married for 34 years and we have been expecting to have a child. We moved from place to place to no avail.
Is this your first birth?
Yes, actually, after marriage, I had miscarriages. You know when a married woman is not pregnant years after marriage, there is a tendency to run around from one clinic to another to seek medical help. I did that to no avail until God directed me to Save a Life Hospital in Port Harcourt, where proper investigation was carried out. They were able to detect the problems and took care of it.
How were you able to cope psychologically while waiting to give birth?
It was not easy. The road was very long, but for God, it wouldn’t have been easy. After God, I want to thank my husband because he has been supportive and caring. He is one of the best men I have seen on earth.
What did people say when you have yet given birth?
People said many things. In my neighbourhood, people advised me to meet other men to have a child for my husband. I told them that because of my Christian life, I cannot do that and moreover, I believe in God. He is a God that never fails His own. His promise may tarry but it will never be denied.
Did you and your husband go for test at any point?
We did. It was after sometime that God directed us to Save a Life. This success story that has started will continue and it will be heard worldwide.
What did doctors tell you while trying to have a child?
During the period, they used to tell us that there was hope. I went into menopause and we all know that when a woman gets to that stage, humanly speaking, all hope is lost. But within me, I knew God would not disappoint me. I was confident. I have always told myself that one day, God would visit me.
When did you give birth?
It was on Monday morning, July 24, 2017 and the following day, I started moving around and eating.
How did you feel when you saw and held your babies?
When I heard the cry of my first child during the surgery, I asked myself; God can this happen? I saw myself as the happiest woman on earth. Tears of joy began to flow from my eyes. I couldn’t talk. It was one of the doctors that wiped my tears and asked me why I was crying. I told him that for me to hear the cry of my babies was enough reason to cry.
How did you handle the first trimester?
It wasn’t an easy task. If I wasn’t in this hospital, I don’t know what would have happened. The first 16 weeks were terrible, but God took control. I was attended to by good hands and the moment I entered the hospital, God told me that he was the foundation of the place. I made up my mind that as far as the place was built on the right foundation, I would succeed. After the first trimester, everything was under control; there was no problem. God was really in control.
You appear as a woman of faith. Does your husband have the same level of faith as you?
His (husband) faith may be higher than mine.
What did he do during the period of waiting to have a child?
He tried. I give him kudos because not every man can bear the stress. Even the insults from his family were unbearable. I visited his family one day and a little girl, my husband’s niece, mocked me. I have forgiven her.
What has changed about you since you put to bed?
As you can see, I am Sweet 16 now. Everything about me is getting fresher and fresher. In fact, a man told my husband that he (husband) too is looking fresher. Nothing has changed, but right now, my breasts are lactating, getting ready to breastfeed at 61. I have asked the matron if I can breastfeed, but the fear I have is whether I will be able to produce enough milk for the three babies or whether I will cut short my exclusive period.
What things were you told before pregnancy and delivery, which turned out to be false?
Even now, there is still suspicion that it is not possible that a 61-year-old woman will give birth. Some people that I don’t even know do come here; they will say they have just heard about it and they want to come and confirm. I have always told them that one must believe that with God, all things are possible.
What fears did your nurse about labour?
I didn’t have any fears because I was in good hands. It is only that sometimes, when I didn’t see nurses around me, I became afraid. I was always anxious to see my children. The day of the surgery was actually my happiest day on earth.
How are your babies doing?
They are still in the theatre, but because of the joy, I don’t even know how to explain. It is as if I am daydreaming. I usually go close to them and just be watching them. The babies are very strong. I don’t have any regrets introducing this hospital to anybody. The God that did it for me shall do for those looking for fruits of the womb.
How does your mother feel?
My mother is late. She expected this long ago. A year after my marriage and being the last child who she had in their old age, my parents were really expectant. But sadly, none of them lived to witness this great miracle except two of my relations.
What are the names of the babies?
Their names are God is great, God is good and God is awesome. They are two boys and one girl. They are doing well. Before they were born, I dedicated them in the womb. I told God: From day one, I have dedicated them to God and whatever profession they will go into, they will become ministers of the gospel. Every year, there will be dedication until when they have come of age, I will now hand them over to the Almighty God.
Where do you work?
I worked with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, Primary Healthcare Management Board. I worked for 35 years before retiring. Now, I am on pension, though the gratuity is still pending.
How has your husband been helping to cater to the babies?
The babies are not with us yet. Maybe when we get home, he will start. I am sure my husband will assist me. He is more than capable to help me. He is very happy, In fact more than happy to do so.
Did your husband at any time contemplate marrying another wife?
Never. He never thought of doing that.
What would you want to do differently now that you are a mother?
Now that I am a mother, God helping me, there will be no more laziness. I will be waking up very early to attend to daily chores and the babies starting with prayer to raise them in the fear of Almighty God till they can stand on their own.
What did you do more during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, I was always on bed rest because I was carrying multiple babies. Since it started with bleeding, I was advised to always get rest. I find it difficult because I am the agile type but I tried to rest.
Do you want to have more children?
God has done His part. I don’t intend to have more children.
What is your advice to women praying to have babies especially older ones?
My advice to them is that there is nothing God cannot do. Even when everything seems to be impossible, we must always depend on Him because He is able to do all things. He is God of possibilities. In the course of waiting, they should be committed to the service of God. They should serve Him with their whole hearts and at the appointed time, He will answer them. We adopted a girl and they told her that we were not her biological parents and because of that, there were some problems. Today, she is happy that she now has siblings she will be carrying. It is God’s divine intervention as far as I am concerned because humanly speaking, it is not easy.
How do you intend to take care of the babies?
God, who has given me these children, will also provide for them. I am a retiree and my pension, by the grace of God, will be for my children. God will multiply the money so that I will be able to take care of the babies. God can even touch people to provide for them.
Culled from Punch.