Finally a mother - After 14 years of frustration, wife gives birth three months after discovering that she was pregnant
For 14 years, Janice Neita and her husband, Andrew, tried everything they could for her to conceive a child, without success.
Now, the two are parents to a son, Giovanni, whose birth came as a complete surprise to the couple who had lost hope of ever having a child.
Janice and Andrew started trying to make a baby one year after they got married, in keeping with their plan to start their family as soon as possible. But despite their best efforts, the joy of giving birth evaded Janice.
Desperate to find out the cause for her failure to get pregnant, the couple spent thousands of dollars trying to get medical help.
"They did all sorts of exams (and) tests, and they didn't see anything wrong, although one doctor told me that I had endometriosis," said Janice, who was prescribed a wide range of pills to regularise her hormones. "I used to be on pills daily," she said.
In applying for medical insurance, Janice chose to be honest and listed all the medications she was taking. Much to her annoyance, the insurance company placed a cap on what it offered her and charged her a higher premium, since one of the medications is used by diabetics.
"After a while, I was tired of pills and started to forget that I need to take them, because I was not seeing any results," she said.
As the years went by, the queries from friends, family and acquaintances regarding her childlessness grew, as everyone seemed to want to know when she would be giving her husband a child.
"If it is the Lord's will, it will happen," was the standard response from the woman who has a strong Christian belief.
"It became frustrating after a while. That is one thing that people need to be sensitive about when they see people married for certain years and nothing is happening. They need to understand that there might be some challenges; there is nothing that you can do."
Eventually, Janice decided to just give up on her dream of having a child.
"Sometimes you have to refocus and reposition yourself, so I told myself that this journey is not for me, and if God had wanted it for me, then he would have allowed it. Doctors can't help me, so it made no sense.
"I ruled it out and just started having a normal life. I got myself involved in taking caring of my little cousins and my brother, rechanneled my energy and got involved in community work," added Janice.
In keeping with her decision to focus on herself, Janice started going to the gym regularly at the start of 2013, so she "could get down to a smaller size".
At the start of 2013, her church announced that its theme would be, 'The Year of Answered Prayer', and Janice's desire to have a child came back in full force.
"I said, 'Lord, you said that if I delight myself in you, you are going to give me the desires of my heart, and I am standing and believing that this is going to happen.'"
Janice sought to get her husband excited as well, but according to her, he was a 'doubting Thomas'. Despite feeling ill in August, she continued going to the gym and asked her instructor to change her routine, as she thought her hectic workout was beginning to take it's toll.
With more symptoms of illness, Janice returned to her gynaecologist, who told her she had fibroid issues, and she was given more pills to regularise her hormones and to stop other problems.
She refused to take a pregnancy test, since she believed she had spent too much money over the years getting them done.
With the medical problems not going away, Janice went back to her gynaecologist in January 2014 to discuss having the fibroids surgically removed.
But during an examination, the doctor detected more than the fibroids. The doctor realised that Janice was well advanced in pregnancy and excitedly shared the news.
"I was speechless, and she was like, 'You are not excited? You are going to have a baby!'" recounted Janice as she admitted that she was confused by the news.
She had been married, at that point, for 14 years and had not conceived in all those years, so being told that she was six months pregnant came as a complete shocker. She had lost 45 pounds then from her exercise programme, and her stomach had only a small bulge, which she blamed on her fibroids.
"I went home and I just lay down in the bed, because I was still at a loss," remembered Janice, who was 38 years old at the time.
Her husband and family members were very excited about the news, but Janice was overwhelmed. However, by the next day, she and her husband jumped into action as it dawned on them that they only had three months to prepare for a baby.
"It's kind of embarrassing and exciting at the same time when you had to say to persons, 'I'm just letting you know I am having a baby in April. Don't penalise me for just telling you because 'I am just finding out myself,'" she said.
Their son, Giovanni, was born three months later, and Janice cannot get enough of his smile, while his father takes him everywhere with him. "He is a lively, happy, bouncing and energetic baby," said Janice.