By Chioma Obinna
When Edo State-born Ewanle Omage, 35, and his wife, Foyeke, who hails from Osun state were blessed with a set of quintuplets after six years of agonising childlessness, their joy knew no bounds.
Right from when Foyeke, also 35, was confirmed pregnant, the couple had begun planning to welcome their bundle of joy.
Fortune smiled on the couple on the 18th of January 2021 when she was delivered with a set of quintuplet – three girls and two boys at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos.
While the arrival of the babies – Mary, Moses, Angela, Priscilla and Miracle – brought joy into their home, it also brought frustration. For the couple, the development is a total mixed bag of blessings.
While the family is thanking God for beautifying their home with children, they are also lamenting their lack of finances to cope with the responsibilities of taking care of five babies at the same time.
Ewanle, a Level 8 officer with the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria in Benin City narrated that to adequately care for his enlarged family; he would require more than 10 times his monthly salary.
Ewanle told Healthy Living that the babies were conceived through IVF, a technique that has continued to help couples with fertility challenges.
“The children are in sound health. Although they were in the incubator for two days and the hospital did not allow people to visit the hospital.”
He confessed that never in their wildest imagination did he and his wife anticipate that caring for babies would be so financially draining and emotionally demanding.
The five babies, who are healthy and growing very fast, eat voraciously. To be well fed, they need to consume plenty of infant formula daily, but because of hardship, their ration is restricted to just one tin per day.
Further, Ewanle lamented: “It has not been easy taking care of these babies. As you are putting one to sleep, another one is crying.
“As we speak, we have five persons including my wife in my house taking in care of them and my salary cannot cope with the daily expenses after the expenses during the time of pregnancy and birth.”
Although broke and struggling, Ewanle and his wife are however grateful for the gift of their babies
“We waited over six years without a child but we trusted God and our Pastor was with us every step of the way.
“The experience was so tough during that period many people stigmatised us even a woman insulted my wife that she couldn’t give birth, coupled with our financial challenges.
“We were called different names, some persons even said we would not be able to have children, but today, we have our own children not just one but five at a time. With these ones, we cannot even think of having any other baby with this economic hardship. Ewanle who resides at No. 5 Barnabas Ejide close off Kola Ogundeji Street by Orelope bus stop, Egbeda Lagos said their pastor was so helpful.
“My Church played a big role in our lives. I am proud to be a member of Foursquare Gospel Church, Olugbede Street Egbeda. I thank them all,” he added.
Narrating his experience during the birth of the children at the LASUTH, he said: “I had confidence in them as a Teaching Hospital but somehow, I was also scared because they told us they had never attended to such number since the hospital was established. I was also afraid because of the money to pay the bill because we are not rich.”
Ewanle was not far from the truth when he said he was afraid of the bill. Right now, the couple still owes the hospital. “No one picked our bill. We have paid the little we have and we still owe N257,350 as we speak.”
He explained that during the time his wife was admitted they paid over N1 million and at discharge, the total bill was N957, 350 for just discharge.
“My wife was on admission from 8th December 2020 to 29th January 2021. During that period, we spent over a million,” he stated.
Ewanle is appealing to good-spirited Nigerians to come to his aid and ensure the survival of his babies.
“We need help from the Federal, state governments, non-governmental organisations, religious leaders, and corporate organisations for the upkeep our babies.
Further, he advised couples seeking the fruit of the womb not to quit trying but hope in God and follow their medication as directed by their doctors.
If you are touched by the story of Ewanle and Foyeke Omage, kindly send your donation to Account Number: 6019995905, Fidelity Bank, Account name: Mr Omage Ewanle or call 07060813361 for more details.