By Adesida Adewumi MD
The Jonathans in their 40s, walked in inside my consulting room looking dejected, out of this world. With his head bowed, Mr Jonathan told me “Doctor, it is now 15 years of marriage, no child, not even a miscarriage from morning till evening. I was about to give up when a friend told me to talk to you that you may be able to help. I looked at Mrs Jonathan, same frustrated look. I knew the couple had been through a lot.
I took over the depressed atmosphere in the consulting room. “Mr and Mrs Jonathan, I perfectly understand what both of you are going through and I feel your pains. Now let us do this consultation this way. I will see each of you one by one first then I will see two of you together as a couple. Is it okay by you?”. “
“Yes doctor ” they said together
“See my wife first doctor, I will be outside” said Mr Jonathan as he took his leave to stay outside the consulting room.
“Mrs Jonathan, It must have been so difficult for you for the past 15 years of tying the knot but trying your best to have your own child.”
She burst into tears ” Doctor I am the cause of my own problem. I had been pregnant before three times for different boyfriends when I was on campus but I removed them because I was not ready. Here am I, since I got married I have never been pregnant for one day. I am reaping the fruits of my wickedness,” she said as she sobbed deeply.
I consoled her. “Is your husband aware of this?”
“No, please and don’t tell him. He will divorce me and hold me responsible for our infertility problems.”
“Mrs Jonathan, are these your fears? What if I can help you handle the disclosure through counselling of both of you and everything goes smoothly? ” she was sceptical at first, but after more counselling she reluctantly agreed. I finished with her and she stepped outside.
Mr Jonathan came in. I equally shared in his pain and appealed to him to please tell me everything about his journey in life and much more about his sexual life from his first sexual experience to date. Has he ever impregnated any woman before?
He bowed his head, with tears rolling down his cheeks, he said ” doctor it is youthful exuberance that brought me this pain of childlessness in life.”
“Tell me more about that”.
He said doctor I impregnated my two girlfriends on campus. Both were aborted.”
He cried more like he was about to tell me something more painful and deeper.
He said, “doctor, can I confide in you? Can you promise me you will not tell my wife?” “
I told him I would see what I could do about that.
“I lost my right testis when I thought I was enjoying my life on campus. I was having fun with one of my girlfriends when I felt sudden pain in my scrotum. I was rushed to the hospital by my friends when the pain was becoming too excruciating. Then doctor said my right testis had twisted in the course of the fun I was having. He called it in medical terms Right Testicular Torsion. I was operated and my right testis was removed, so since then I never impregnated any woman to this day.”
“Is your wife aware of this Mr Jonathan? ” I asked
“Doctor, how do I tell my wife I have lost one of my testes on campus? She would not agree to marry me.”
Then I counselled him concerning disclosure to his wife. “It is always good for a couple to know every important information about each other, the battle is half won if there is no secret.”
I appealed to him. After much counselling and persuasion he too agreed to a disclosure of his secret to his wife.
I called in the two of them together as a couple and I encouraged them to tell the secrets they had kept from each other for 15 years. They did. There was a loud silence in the room. Reality shook two of them.
After allowing them to react and accept the new realities. I counselled them to forgive each other. They forgave each other in tears. Then I ordered for all the necessary tests for the two of them. Jonathan was confirmed as having low sperm count while the two tubes of his wife was blocked from infections and abortions from the previous unprotected funs she had on campus. The two problems causing their infertility can be traced back to their past youthful lives on campus.
Fast forward, I counselled them both on IVF as time was no longer on their side and given the diagnoses of two of them. They both agreed. Who said God is not forgiving and merciful? In no time at all, Mrs Jonathan conceived quadruplet, two girls and two boys. She had CS to deliver them. Joy returned to their home and faces. The day they came to show me their four babies, I asked what lesson they had learned from all their delay and suffering from infertility. They admitted that keeping secrets from the spouse is akin to living in the valley of darkness and dilemma.
For me, there were three basic lessons:
Youths need to fear God in the days of their youthfulness. You think you are having fun now on campus engaging in premarital sex, abortions, partying, smoking, cultism, etc. You are not enjoying, you are destroying your future and your life. Only time will tell.
Secondly, don’t keep any secrets from your life partner. Anybody who will make a great decision as important as sharing the rest of his or her entire life with you deserves the whole truth. By keeping secrets from your life partner, you undo yourself.
In addition to the above, learn to forgive your partner no matter the past sinful secrets they kept from you. Divorce should not be the next option. Out of the broken pieces of your lives, God can still build an edifice of hope.
▪︎ Dr. Adewumi is a Family Medicine consultant, based in Kano. Follow him on Facebook at “FROM INSIDE MY CONSULTING ROOM “; his health page on YOUTUBE and INSTAGRAM @doctorhealtheducation; on Twitter @doctorhealthed1; and on WhatsApp at: +2348068649694. He gives daily education on health plus free daily consultation.