After 15-month pregnancy: Woman gives birth to baby boy inside BRT bus
After carrying an unusual pregnancy for 15 months, 29-year-old Bridget Godfrey, finally delivered a baby boy miraculously inside a moving government-owned commercial bus popularly called BRT.
The dramatic delivery happened at about 9 a.m. on October 8, 2011, around Sanya Bus Stop on the ever busy Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, when Mrs. Godfrey suddenly went into labour as she was returning from church, after an all-night prayer session.
While in labour, the now joyous mother was aided and ‘midwife’ by three men, including her husband, while her two-year-old daughter, watched in tears.
In an emotion-laden interview session with EE, which took place at her home in Bale Estate, located at the outskirt of Ago Palace way, Okota, Lagos, the Delta State-born mother of two, who works as a secretary in a law firm in Surulere, narrates the bizarre circumstances surrounding her ordeal while giving birth to her second child.
Her story is as riveting as it is shocking. Although, she took in since July last year, by the seventh month (February this year) she had serious bleeding that scared her out of her wits. “I thought it was a miscarriage” she recalls. “I called my church rescue line and they prayed for me. After sometime, the bleeding stopped and I went for medical check up. I was assured that I was okay and the baby in the womb safe too.” Her ordeal started properly at a point when she was supposed to breathe a sigh of relief. In her words: “When the pregnancy clocked nine months in April, I ceaselessly had painful contractions, as if the baby was about to come out. But it seemed something was drawing the baby back into the womb.”
So began her tribulation after the third trimester lapsed. She was turned back from one hospital after another. Despite the recurring labour, nurses told her she was not due for delivery. Her predicament reached a poignant climax when she went for a scan during the ninth month. According to her, she was told “verbatim that there was no baby in my womb”. The news was shattering. Since then the rest was a ‘journey of faith’ as the painful contractions became a recurring feature for the next six months.
In the presence of her husband, Romeo Godfery, an Igbo man from Aboh Mbaise Local Government in Imo State, who earns his living as a technician that fixes generators and other electrical appliances, Bridget shares her experience.
How it started
On Sunday, October 2, 2011, I went for Sunday service with my husband at Living Faith Church, Canaanland, Ota. After the church service, I went to Gilead Hospital within Canaanland premises to check myself. After, the medical personnel there conducted a scan on me, it was actually the first time since after the pregnancy exceeded nine months that someone would confirm with certainty that my pregnacy was indeed a living foetus. How could I say that the hospitals that I have been going to for scanning could not see my baby? They asked me. They showed me the scanned image: “This is the baby’s head and leg”. I saw that everything about the baby was normal. I even listened to the breath of the baby; I could hear it so clearly. This latest proof of my pregnancy at that point, gave me some level of relief. But the labour pain kept on coming and going.
What happened on Friday night of October 7, the eve of the day you delivered your baby?
On that Friday, my husband and I went to our church to attend an all-night session in Canaanland, Ota. We joined the BRT bus, which always convey us and most of our members to and fro. That night, when I got to the church, I was concerned with my condition and did not want that contractions to start again and stop, because it was becoming an embarrassment to me. What I did was to lie down on the bare floor outside the church building and poured my heart all out unto God in prayers.
Tell us about the sequence of events of that fateful Saturday morning that ended your 15 months pregnancy ordeal.
In the early hours of Saturday, October 8, we were through with the service and already on our way back to Lagos to our respective homes. We joined the Lagos BRT bus. On our way home, between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., the labour pains came again as usual. By then, people in the bus were alighting one after the other as they got to their respective bus stops. When the driver got to Ago round about, which happens to be the last bus stop, I could not disembark due to the labour pains. Instead, I asked to be taken to any nearby hospital, so that I could have a safe delivery. Then, there was just two other men in that bus (Oladimeji and Toochukwu) together with my husband and my two-and-half-year old daughter, Princess Ugomma. The men pleaded with the driver to assist us by conveying us with the BRT bus to any nearby hospital. The driver obliged, and not quite long, we arrived at the nearest hospital called Bola Hospital, located opposite Mobil Petrol filling station, off Okota Road. With the help of my husband and the other two men, I was brought down from the BRT bus and taken inside the hospital. The matron on duty, while acknowledging that I was due for delivery, however, refused to attend to me, because according to her, I was not a registered patient of the hospital.
They pleaded with the matron, drawing her attention to the fact that it was an emergency situation. They even asked her how much it costs to register, and that they were willing to pay. The matron refused outrightly to attend to me. I could remember my husband telling her that “Madam you are a mother and also a woman, try and consider my wife, she is in labour pains”. All the persuasion fell on deaf ears. Therefore, my husband with the other two men carried me back into the BRT bus. Then I told him to take me to the hospital where I was duly registered. But on a second thought, the distance was too far from where we were. On our way again, on getting back to that Ago Palace way roundabout, there was serious traffic. My husband alighted from the bus shouting: Emergency! Emergency! With the help of the police on duty there, they were able to clear the traffic for our bus to pass through. On getting towards Ijesha, I had lost so much strength from the labour pain, and the baby was almost coming out. I could remember vividly, my little daughter Ugomma, crying because she saw me in tears and she witnessed what I was passing through. At that point, I told my husband to ask the driver to stop. I could remember myself shouting push! For the second time, the baby came out. While this was happening to me inside the BRT bus, my husband and the other men in the bus were praying for me. There was no woman in the bus to assist me with the job of midwifery. When I heard the cry of my baby, I just said “Glory be to God”. I delivered this child on a bare seat inside the Lagos BRT Bus; no cloth was laid underneath the baby, no wrapper at all was available. This happened along Sanya bus stop, after Ijesha bus stop, on the way towards Mile Two.
What happened after the baby was delivered inside the Lagos BRT bus?
My husband was there with me, but the two other men with us alighted from the bus and beckoned to the women that sell food ingredients’ by the roadside to come for help.
Those women were of immense help to me. They used a razor blade to cut the umbilical cord. Some of them brought out their cloths, wrappers and covered me and my new-born baby. People I don’t even know were contributing things for the baby, things like pads, pampers, olive oil and many other things needed to take care of a woman who just delivered and the baby. One of those women, whom I don’t even know took my baby and was accompanied by one of the men, to bathe and clean him up. By then the placenta had not been removed. Then the woman that went to bath my baby retuned. One of the women there said to me “My dear, you are like a daughter to me here, I cannot leave you in this condition like this. I don’t know how to help you. I am not a midwife but I can assist you in the best way I can.” She urged me to push outward and I did and the placenta was removed. But one woman still insisted that I should be taken to her family hospital. So, my husband hired a cab and I was taken to Crown Hospital, located at No.1 Adetola Street in Aguda, Surulere. There I was attended to promptly and properly without undue hassle over registration, knowing that it was an emergency case. The medical team on duty gave me immediate attention and not quite long, the placenta was evacuated. The head of the medical team told me if the placenta was not removed on time, I would have bleed to death. Another Good Samaritan, who came into the hospital, heard my ordeal, went out and bought me few baby things. She also made hot pepper soup for me. It was also that woman who eventually drove me and my baby home in her car.
Have you agreed with your husband on the name to give your newborn baby?
Yes, we have agreed to name him; Iyanu Akudinanwa David Prince Great.
What inspired the choice of these names and what do they connote?
“Iyanu” means delivered by miracle and it was inspired by the exclamations of those women who assisted me after the delivery of the baby.