She is a former Beauty Queen, a successful Entrepreneur and loving wife to the Pastor of a teeming Church of believers. Ibidun Ighodalo recently announced that her foundation will oversee the cost of helping 28 couples achieve their dream.
She is currently using the Ibidun Ighodalo Foundation to award grants for fertility treatment such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Frozen Embryo Transfer and Intrauterine Insemination. The plan currently accommodates 28 couples as opposed to the one or two they planned to work with.
In her interview ThisDay’s Nseobong Okon-Ekong, she shares her challenges on the journey to Motherhood and how she has been able to stay strong.
Here’s an excerpt of her interview:
“I have heard stories of in-laws calling the woman painful names. Those are hurtful things to say. There are names you don’t want to call a woman that is looking up to God.”
“People may not want to be mean, but they don’t know that certain statements and body language hurt. When you are waiting on God, you can be sensitive to what people say or do and they might not know it will hurt or hit you. It is good to raise awareness and understanding about childless couples. Friends and relatives should be a bit more sensitive to women or couples who are waiting on the Lord. I know that because of our culture, the pressure is so much. The shoes of women who are waiting on the Lord are not very easy shoes. Emotionally, mentally and psychologically, hormonally, when you are going through treatments, it’s a rollercoaster-you deal with in-laws, society, friends, there’s a lot going on.”
“People who get married and have children don’t know how lucky they are. I mean you are even careful not to get pregnant again, you are so blessed by God, you should thank God every day. It is not easy to find yourself in a situation where your friends are doing school runs, you don’t know what that is, you don’t even know what your first trimester is. The friends you had bridal showers with are having baby showers, it takes the grace of God to remain sane, honestly.”
“I had tears in my eyes when I told God, ‘you know what? This is enough. You are going to do it when You want to do it, in Your own time and if You are not going to do it, let it be left undone. This is You. I trust You. Right now, it’s ok, I’m going to live my life. I found out that I had stopped living, because that was all I wanted. I said no, I’m going to be happy, live my life and leave it all to God. I’m grateful to God for my own family, for the family I’m married into.”
“My focus now is to help others, one at a time. I want to make a family happy and with the help of God, their prayers would be answered. I know the pain and what it feels like. It will give me joy to see them jumping and rejoicing, saying that they are expecting their own children. I have seen it happen. I have seen the two sides during my course of treatment. I said God help me, let me do this. When you focus on helping others, you don’t know the blessings that come back to you. It is difficult but I said Lord you have put this in me, You have to provide. You know when God gives you a vision, He makes the provision. I have been amazed at the response. It is unbelievable.
“When I was going through some treatment, I would get to the clinic and someone who has just done a pregnancy test was being told that it didn’t work, it was always so devastating for me to hear them wonder aloud where they would get money for the next treatment. I have met women who came to the hospital to get the treatment but they couldn’t afford it. Some couldn’t even afford the test to know what was wrong. I have also met women who decided to share their burden, this is how financially draining this treatment can be. If you have extra eggs, you can sell them in exchange for the treatment. When women share eggs left from a successful IVF on another women or they use the woman’s extra cycle that has been paid for, these are ways women support one another because getting an egg donor can be very expensive.”
“It is so strange and funny, but when you sit back and think about it, every family has somebody who is waiting on God for a child. The person might be your cousin or mum’s sister. There are certain ways we will treat the person. But do you know that there are certain ways we treat somebody else coming into our family with the same issue? We don’t treat them the same. It is not intentional. If you have in-laws who are not nice to you, they will think it’s your fault. They will call you names, talk down on you. If your in-laws have somebody in their family who is waiting, they will never speak to the person like that. We really need to have a support system and also learn to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”