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My incredibly challenging journey to motherhood -The Waiting Room with Zyna host

After completing her first degree, Zyna Obasi got married in 2003, and her heart-wrenching journey to motherhood began to unfold. Come with us

Like many newlyweds, Zyna and her husband had dreams of having beautiful children, but little did they know that the path to parenthood would be incredibly challenging. While narrating her experience, Zyna said,

“Six months after our wedding, I became worried because I was yet to conceive. When we met a gynaecologist, he told us to relax and that it was too early to worry about anything. We went back home and kept trying for another six months. When nothing happened, we had to go back to the doctor.

Like many newlyweds, we had dreams of having beautiful children …I had tubal blockage, cyst, and battled with all kinds of gynaecological complications

“He carried out some tests, and the results showed that I had a hormonal imbalance. Before then, he had mentioned that I had fibroids, but he didn’t recommend surgery since we were still trying to conceive. The doctor recommended different treatments and procedures, and most of them were so painful.”

The conception
After undergoing medical treatment for two years, Zyna became pregnant in 2006. When she received the news, she was very happy. However, she didn’t know that there were challenges ahead.

During the pregnancy, she experienced different complications and the fibroids were increasing in size as the baby was developing. Although her doctor had warned her about experiencing pain due to the fibroids, it came earlier than he predicted and was very severe. Zyna recounted her pregnancy journey, saying,

“Due to the fibroid, my tummy was looking so big, and I was in constant pain. I was always weak and would literally faint at the slightest exhaustion. So, I was placed on compulsory bed rest at home and was also taking painkillers.

“During my 27th week of pregnancy, I went for antenatal care, and when the doctor checked me, he discovered that my cervix had dilated up to 4cm. I didn’t know that I was experiencing preterm labour because I wasn’t feeling contractions due to the painkillers.

in 2006, i became pregnant, but we lost the baby. I still believe that if the doctor had given me an episiotomy when we still had his heartbeat, we wouldn’t have lost him

“They had to transfer me to a bigger hospital. In order to stall the dilation, I laid on the bed with my legs elevated above my head level. One morning, when the doctor checked me, I was already 7cm dilated. Thereafter, labour was induced so I could be delivered of the baby.

“At 9cm, my baby’s head had engaged, and I was asked to start pushing. I pushed for a while, yet my baby didn’t come out. According to the doctor, one of the fibroids had held my baby back by his shoulder, so he could not move.

“Since I was already weak and pale, a cesarean section was not an option. So, while the medical team was trying to figure out what to do, we lost my baby’s heartbeat. I was asked to go for a scan, and even when the results confirmed that my baby had died, I refused to panic. I believed that my baby was still alive, and I kept praying.

“When we got back into the delivery room, I continued to push for another 30 minutes. It was after all the stress that the doctor decided to perform an episiotomy. Sadly, when my baby came out, he didn’t cry. I couldn’t hold back my tears when I saw him. He was a handsome baby boy, and I still believe that if the doctor had given me that cut earlier, when we still had his heartbeat, we wouldn’t have lost him.”

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Journey to in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy
Four months after that experience, Zyna went for surgery to get rid of the fibroids. In 2014, she underwent another major surgery. According to her, she had tubal blockage, cyst, and battled with all kinds of gynaecological complications.

As the years went by, we kept hoping for another child. We opted for IVF, spent millions of naira and attempted IVF twice, yet it wasn’t successful

As the years went by, they kept hoping for another child. When that didn’t happen, they opted for IVF. She said they spent millions of naira and attempted IVF twice, yet it wasn’t successful.

“At a point, I was tired. I told my husband that we could go our separate ways amicably. I even suggested he could remarry while I moved on. By then, I was done trying anything and just wanted to be left alone. I fell into depression, and it was during those dark moments of my life that the Holy Spirit told me to write my experience down.

“Thankfully, I obeyed, and in 2018, my book titled Zyna’s Waiting Room was launched, and it’s available on Amazon. Writing a book really helped my healing process. I also learned to live a happy and productive life, with or without a child.

“After the break, we attempted to have a child through surrogacy. We paid a huge sum to screen and boost the eggs of the surrogate mother. Thereafter, we expected to hear that she fell pregnant. Unfortunately, when I contacted the doctor, he said that it was unsuccessful and there was no explainable reason for that. So, that was how over three million naira went down the drain.”

At a point, I was tired. I told my husband that we could go our separate ways amicably. I even suggested he could remarry while I moved on

The journey to adoption
In 2008, Zyna and her husband relocated from Lagos to Port Harcourt. After they had settled in, they quickly registered at some fertility hospitals. The next year, they both chose to pursue adoption. It had been something they had considered individually, even before getting married.

When they applied at the state commission, they were informed that they didn’t qualify because they hadn’t lived in the state for a minimum of five years. While they were waiting to be eligible, they decided to apply in her home state.

“When we started the adoption process in Owerri, a close relative made us believe that she was a representative of the state commission. She promised us that we would be given a child within a period of eight months. However, as the months unfolded, our optimism turned into disappointment.

“Despite all the money we invested, the woman kept giving us different excuses. I was always sad and would cry at the slightest provocation,” she said.

we attempted to have a child through surrogacy. We paid a huge sum to screen and boost the eggs of the surrogate mother… It was unsuccessful and there was no explaination for it. n3m gone

After Zyna and her husband had lived in Port Harcourt for five years, they continued the adoption process. They went through all the screening stages, but when it was time to get a baby, they experienced another disappointment.

“Many months after we had completed the application process, we got a call from our lawyer saying that it was our turn to get a child. Unfortunately, upon getting to the state orphanage where we had submitted our Certificate of Eligibility, we were told there was no baby.

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“Our lawyer’s suspicion was that our opportunity was intercepted by a higher-up. And that was how we went home, disappointed and heartbroken.”

The arrival of Baby Fey
In 2020, Zyna’s cousin brought up the idea of adoption again. By then, she had this belief that God didn’t want her to have a child, and she wasn’t ready to experience another heartbreak. So, she told her cousin to submit the application on her behalf.

Some months later, they sent her a picture of an adoptable baby. Later on, they said that the baby was no longer available. This time around, Zyna said she didn’t feel bad because she had learned to detach her emotions from the whole process.

It took 17 years of marriage before I became a mother. She is the answer to all my prayers. Indeed, God gave me a child that has my mannerisms and allergies

After that, they sent a picture of another baby. When she saw the picture, she couldn’t stop admiring her. So she kept praying to God to cancel any form of disappointment. Thankfully, the next stage of documentation was successful, and that was how her daughter, Fey, was handed over to her in 2020.

“It took 17 years of marriage before I became a mother, and since my daughter came into my life, I have experienced immense joy. She is the answer to all my prayers. Indeed, God gave me a child that has my mannerisms and allergies.”

Advocacy for adoption
Zyna said her journey opened her eyes to some of the misconceptions about adoption, and it took her 11 years before she was able to adopt a child legally. Inspired by her own experiences, she took up the role of advocating for adoption in Nigeria.

She is the host of a talk show titled, The Waiting Room with Zyna, and through that platform, she addresses topics ranging from infertility, IVF, adoption, surrogacy, stigmatisation faced by TTC [Trying To Conceive] couples, and many more.

When asked to leave a word of advice for women who are still expecting a child, she said,
“The waiting period is a very challenging period. It is even worse when the couple is pressured by in-laws and friends. As a woman in the waiting room, ask God for wisdom on how to deal with the challenges.

“You can start by seeking the root of your problem. If it can be handled medically, then go for it. Don’t forget that God can give you a child through natural conception, assisted reproductive technology, or adoption.

“So, be open-minded towards any of them. Instead of worrying about what people will say, do what will make you happy.

“Finally, let your actions be guided by God, and He will surely see you through the waiting period.”

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