When we read about multiple births on BellaNaija, we automatically start cooing. Everybody loves twins, triplets, quads, quints, sextuplets, Jon and Kate + 8. We love the idea of dressing them in identical clothes and trying to spot similarities between them. It’s absolutely adorable. On the other hand, we know that as cute as it is to have a multiple birth, there are a lot of expenses that come with the experience. There is also the challenge of raising them to be strong, smart and healthy. This is the real Nigerian story. It goes beyond the fluff, the awwing and all the ‘they are so cute’s. It is the reality that stares us in the face.
Raising 3 children at once is NOT easy and any parent will tell you this. Michael Ositadinma Udem, a trader in Lagos sent us an email in his distress. He had been blessed with triplets and he is torn between the feeling of blessing and the burden of raising them. He shares his story with us at BellaNaija and we found it very intriguing and we promised to share. They were born 11 months ago and for Michael, it has been a struggle. Read his story below.
My name is Michael Ositadinma Udem. I was born on the 13th of June 1971. I am a native of Nawgu in Dunukofia local government area of Anambra state. I attended my primary education at Ezza Road primary school, Abakaliki while my secondary education at Boys High School Presco, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
I was raised in a polygamous family. My late father Anthony Nwankwo Udem married two wives. My mother is Martina Oma Udem -and my step mother is Cecilia Udem. I was a trader at Alaba international market, Ojo but right now I’m not doing anything since I lost my goods to the Nigerian Customs service in 2010 along Idiroko road. I was trading in foreign furniture goods.
I met my wife at in a neighboring town – Ukpo – in my state. She is my second wife and we got married on the 3rd of January 2012. My first wife and I were married for 6 years and she didn’t bear any children for me and I believe she is the cause of my downfall. She looted all I had in life and ran away to Italy. I lost 11.7 milion Naira, both my house properties, cars and goods. My wife was a stylist when I met her but since she delivered the triplets she has not been working again all because of the stress of nursing the triplets.
We have 4 children. Our first child is a boy and the second pregnancy gave rise to the triplets. I wasn’t surprised by the triplets that God gave to me. My 1st marriage of 6 years wasted without yielding any fruits but God knows I’m innocent and blessed me with kids from my 2nd wife – Jennifer Chidinma Udem. Sincerely speaking, it wasn’t easy for me when my wife was pregnant for the triplets. I couldn’t go out to look for a job. I had to help my wife with the domestic works and others. I wasn’t expecting triplets even when we went for scan the scan showed triplets and I did not believe it nor take it very serious.
My triplets were born in Lagos at Albina Mejeel clinic along Lasu-iba road, Ojo Lagos. Since the birth of my triplets I have not received any support from individuals or from the government. I don’t think having more than one child at once is new in my family. My mother had a set of twins but they all died during the civil war. My aunty also had twins but I’m the only one in my family, home town and local government who has broken the record with triplets. My wife also broke the record in her own family as none had triplets and she is proud to be a mother of triplets and mother of 4 kids. In a marriage of less than 3 years she had 4 kids. People of God help me to praise the Lord for his goodness in my life. I named them Jennifer, Jeremiah and Joshua.
It has been an extremely difficult road since the babies were born. I have one motorcycle which delivers 1,500 Naira daily, that is the only way of feeding the triplets but it is not enough. This is why I had to reach out for help. I enjoy spending time with the triplets and I hope to see them grow with the fear of the Lord. It is my plan to train them in the best possible way.
The children have brought me so much joy. Those I was owing money all because my ex-wife looted their goods from my warehouse waived my debts. For the other creditors, I’m still paying them off at Festac and Lion building police station.
During my wife’s pregnancy, it was very difficult. I used to bath her daily and most of my family members called me woman wrapper for bathing my wife. I’m very glad that I did.
I think that all mothers who are expecting babies should always pray because the good Lord who has done it for me and my family must surely answer them. I prophesy upon expecting mothers and barren women to place their hand on the screen and believe the good Lord has answered them. Please if you have a sister, cousin or brother’s wife who is asking God for a baby, please kindly do the same by touching the screen…mark my words from today.