ω Woman who waited 11 years to have a child dies days after delivering twins
ω Babies die day apart
An occasion that should have ended in joy, euphoria and big celebration ended in a tragedy that threw a family, and indeed an entire village, into despair and mourning. It was a case of a double-portion-blessing-turned-tragic when a woman who delivered a set of twins after 11years of barrenness gave up the ghost and her babies too died all within three days of their birth. The tragedy was a big blow to Aveyina Agbadu, the bereaved 40-year-old husband and father of the deceased who is a native of Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Losing his wife Ankwase Agbadu, as well as their newborn babies, to the cold hand of death was too much of a tragedy to bear for the poor farmer.
Miracle in January, death in December
When Ankwase Agbadu, 38, missed her period in January 2017, the sign that she had taken in was taken as a miracle. The good news sparked wild jubilations in the village, that after 11 years of childlessness, the Agbadu family finally were on their way to parenthood.
Because of the remoteness of the village, a pregnant Ankwase Agbadu could not attend antenatal for the entire duration of her nine months of pregnancy. She was no exception though––the village has a tradition of its pregnant women not attending antenatal care due to non-existence of nearby medical facility. On December 1, 2017, the woman went into labour and delivered a set of twins the next day December 2.
The news sparked a communal jubilation. However, the joy was short-lived. Joy turned to sorrow two days later when the male twin died early in the morning of Dec 4. Unknown to the community, a bigger tragedy was waiting in the wing––and it came in quick succession.
The next day Dec 5, the mother died; a few hours later, by 10 pm, the surviving female twin followed suit. Overwhelmed by the double-barrelled tragedy, Aveyina Agbadu collapsed. He was whisked to the hospital where he remained unconscious and could not talk.
Poignant picture of aborted motherhood
Agbadu’s younger sister, Mwuese, spoke with Saturday Sun and gave a portrait of the late Ankwase Agbadu as an overjoyed woman when she was eight months old pregnant.
She recalled that sometime in late October, her late sister-in-law reportedly said to her: “I can’t hold back tears from my eyes because of the panic, worry and, worst of all, the shame I have been going through in recent past.”
Her sister-in-law’s words were deeply etched in her memory so much so that Mwuse Agbadu could recollect them verbatim.
Her recollection of the late Ankwase’s ecstasy in the last month of her pregnancy: “I don’t know what brings you joy but I could say to you that I have been made to believe that only children who are God’s heritage can bring a married couple extreme joy, this is the belief of the family members that surrounded me. I had my traditional wedding on July 18, 2005, celebrated on a low key in a traditional way since we were not buoyant but we love ourselves and respect each other. For five years after marriage, I was worried that I was yet to conceive, although my husband calmed me down and turned down the suggestion of a medical examination in Lafia. At a point, I concluded that the fault was from him, which I presumed was his reason for declining going the long distance from our village to Lafia. My husband was no longer having the patience he used to have for me any longer. Though, he could not send me packing because I was very hard working in the farm. Luckily, I finally made it, thank God.”
A village without antenatal
The younger brother of Agbadu who spoke with Saturday Sun blamed the death of his sister-in-law and her twin babies on the lack of antenatal care.
His words: “Because we are in the village, nobody has ever gone for antenatal care in the village, the reason is that we live far away from the hospital. At times, you’d wake up with the intention of going to the health centre but will discover to your dismay you don’t have an available means of transportation.”
He described the late Ankwase as a role model to other women, generous and humble and “never kept malice with anybody.”
Apart from serving God, she was a mother to everyone in the family, he added.
She was said to be seen walking freely in the village until she went into labour. This account therefore quashed any speculation of pre-labour stress.
He eulogised her further: “She was a great woman of value, she loved children of other people even though she was yet to have her own, she was a supportive wife and caring, she was a woman of colours in every aspect of her life who despite economic challenges worked tirelessly with her husband to make ends meet, her sudden and tragic end will never be forgotten.”