By Josephine Agbonkhese
A recipient of the Women Economic Forum 2020 Award, a style entrepreneur of repute, and an alumna of the Metropolitan School of Business and Management, United Kingdom; the Lagos Business School; Strathmore Business School, Kenya; and the Lagos State University, Olaedo Maureen Emelie is on a single mission— to inspire women who are struggling to conceive.
In this interview with Sunday Vanguard, the Founder of Tales of Trying To Conceive, a platform under which she is realising her passion, recounts her personal infertility experience, reveals why a lot of couples stay longer on the waiting list, and speaks on her recently unveiled book Finally Pregnant!
Why a book on delayed conception instead of one on business or management as an accomplished entrepreneur?
Infertility is a challenge many families are faced with and I was there at the early stage of my marriage. It’s a place where victims mostly feel alone and left out. I saw the need to remind us that our stories may not actually be the worse.
What you think might be your nightmare may actually have hopes written all-over it; and most times, it takes hearing another’s journey to understand it.
I once had a seminar educating women on what’s more vital in this journey. We decided to speak on our different stories and by the time it got to the fifth person, we knew it was the best decision, seeing and hearing all the different versions of life struggles women go through to have children. It is important we keep reminding ourselves of how everything happens according to the plans of God; and these are the reasons for the book Finally Pregnant!
Can you recount your experience on the waiting list?
Oh wow, it’s really a place I wouldn’t wish anyone to be in. For my husband and I, we wanted a baby as soon as we concluded the marriage rites; so, you can imagine how frustrating it was for me. Nothing else mattered at some point. I kept moving from one clinic to the other for a solution, test after test, and always ended up being told “you are fine”.
Our worst nightmare is our hopes being raised and dashed at the end of every test. I prayed to have a result that will point out what the delay was about but it almost took forever before the break came. Facing infertility is challenging and getting to the root cause is a quandary. It happened after the longest five years of our lives and we couldn’t be more grateful.
What’s the hardest part of hoping to miss a menstrual flow each month?
Oh, the dreaded two weeks wait. The simplest way to explain it is embedded in the word anxiety. Having to swallow the hard pill every month is troubling and most times, if care is not taking, one may begin to lose sanity and start dwelling in misery or self-pity. From the beginning of every cycle, there is always a feeling that it will be the last time. From planning the best ovulating time, to trying to avoid stress in order to achieve the aim—which is pregnancy. So, when it fails, it’s simply devastating.
How did it feel like to finally overcome the struggle?
It felt like I already had the child when I got a positive pregnancy test result. I was overwhelmed with joy. My praises to God was heard. In fact, I was so excited that I began to call everyone I know, announcing that I got a positive pregnancy test. I suddenly felt like a complete woman in five years. In a nutshell, it’s still one of the best news of my life. I was amazed that everything had suddenly fallen into place.
Looking back, do you think the anxiety was worth it?
To do justice to this question, I must not fail to mention that it is almost unavoidable. Wanting something and seeing others do it with ease while you struggle, is not easy; but at the same time, it’s best avoided if one can.
Not everyone can the handle pressure that comes with the wait. Wanting something so badly and finding it hard to cope with the environment, gets the victim anxious. To avoid or minimise it, one may need to intentionally do things that take their mind off the worries from time to time.
Intead of worrying each month, don’t you think couples should consider adoption after waiting a few years?
Well, adoption is a good idea only if the couple involved are willing to go that route. It is not in any body’s place to suggest. However, it is a good thing to do. Our background and understanding are different; suggesting adoption to anyone may come off as you stating that they are not capable.
It doesn’t mean that you are not a caring person but it is more like being insensitive. Everything about a couple going through infertility must be handled with care to avoid triggers.
But what’s your view on the child adoption process in Nigeria; how should it be improved?
The process involved in adopting a child in Nigeria is still cumbersome and it will be a welcome development if the time involved are shortened.
From your experience, are there attitudes or habits that further delay conception?
Yes. Many people are still struggling with infertility because of impatience. They tend to move from hospital to hospital without finding the major cause and finishing up a treatment or procedure. No one gets out of a trouble completely without understanding why and where it emanated from.
So, treating infertility requires a valid test result before anything. They are mostly eager to get a result, forgetting that what Mrs A did to get a result might not work for Mrs B because of the peculiarities involved. So by the time they are trying that out, it’s usually a case of back to square one.
A word of advice for women on the waiting list…?
I understand that it is a difficult challenge but you can always help by being intentional about all you do. For instance, what were the things you planned doing before infertility? If you planned to become a business owner, have you allowed infertility to deny you that too?
Have you been able to find out why the delay. If yes, are you consistent with a good fertility doctor? You need a fertility specialist to guide you through with all that you need to do.
Who do you have in your circle and how helpful are they? Do you keep quality friends? How helpful can they be?
All the above will help direct or redirect one trying to conceive.
What will be your advice to members of the public concerning their perception of infertility?
No one chose to be infertile. So, when you come across any couple facing infertility, be nice. Avoid the curiosity to ask questions; if you were not told, don’t get involved.
It takes a lot to put up a good smile while going through infertility; don’t ruin it. That weight she added is not about pregnancy, so, don’t ask. If it’s pregnancy, time will tell. If you feel the need to pray for them, you can go ahead without getting them involved.
Briefly on your book, Finally Pregnant!…
Finally Pregnant! is a riveting story of four women who found themselves drowning in misery but found a way to be a support system to each other. It’s a book to remind us of a few other stories like ours or may be worse.
It is to help you understand what and who is important in the journey, giving you tips on various ways to handle the challenge and most importantly, to remind you that you are not alone.
The post OLAEDO MAUREEN EMELIE: Tales of Trying to Conceive appeared first on Vanguard News.