August 19, 1998, was a tragic day for me. After a very busy and stressful day, I retired early to bed with my four-month-old daughter. I bathed, nursed, and rocked her to sleep before dozing off.
I was breastfeeding exclusively, and over time, we had developed a routine. Usually, we had up to four sit-ups before daybreak because she was a heavy eater. So, I was subconsciously aware of when to expect her to wake up.
We slept in the same room every night. On this particular night, I woke up around 1 a.m. and wondered why my baby hadn’t woken up to eat. I opened the mosquito net on her cot and touched her. To my astonishment, she was cold!
My heart skipped several beats, but I shook it off instantly. It couldn’t be what I thought. I mustered courage and touched her again. My baby was still.
I recall calling my own name and saying, ‘This is not true’, several times. How could it be? My daughter had not been sick the night before. I had tucked her into bed as healthy and full of life as ever. If she had any trace of illness, I would have noticed it, being a qualified nurse and a meticulous mother. Besides, I was a child of God. This was not happening!
I passed out after screaming several times. A couple who lived in the next flat came in through the manhole. They were able to revive me, but my baby was truly gone.
My husband had been studying for his PhD in Canada for the past 7 months. He was yet to see our daughter. He had only seen pictures and videos of her and he adored his little girl. We were all looking forward to his return in November when he would eventually meet her for the first time. But now, she was no more.
The loss was terribly painful for us, and my heart ached for a long time. I was depressed for months but God and therapy helped me.
22 years later, I am yet to have another biological child. After years of anxious waiting, medications, and all, I’ve learned to have absolute trust in God. Now, I have 2 foster children and I am happy.