Proud mother of five raising twin sons
On Sunday, Kenya and the rest of the world marked Mother’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate and honour mothers. For any woman, there is something special about bearing the title ‘mother’. And one Vellah Murengu knows this too well.
Vellah is a mother of five children aged 12, nine, three and twin boys who are one year, nine months.
“Motherhood is an interesting and fulfilling journey. Whoever chooses to go this path should embrace it whole-heartedly. My babies give me a reason to go on regardless of the circumstances,” says Vellah.
Vellah gave birth to her twins in August 2020 in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and, raising them has not been a walk in the park.
“Having twins runs in our families, both my husband’s side and mine. Despite that, I never anticipated that one day I would be a mother of twins. It just happened and caught us by surprise and we had to gladly embrace them,” she says.
“With the harsh economic times, buying them clothes, diapers and other necessities as well as taking care of the needs of the other older siblings called for a lot of grace. Despite the challenges, God has been faithful,” she says.
Breech birth and otaher challenges
She adds, “Our parents have been a blessing in this journey and we have had friends who have supported us.”
Her pregnancy journey was not easy. “I had backaches, which I still experience up to date. I opted for a normal delivery despite one of the twins had its feet down in the birth canal. Ideally, a baby is positioned so that the head comes out first during a normal delivery. It was scary, but my doctor assured me it would be possible and I prayed for everything to go well something I thank God for. I was more scared of undergoing a caesarean section considering that my other three children were born through normal delivery. I was advised to go to a public health facility and my bundles of joy were birthed normally at 34 weeks.”
Today, Vellah says she is happy to be a mum of twins. Sometimes, we become the centre of attraction whenever we visit public spaces and get privileges such as going first in the queue and being attended to first whenever we are in the company of the boys. Some other times, I get a random person stopping me and asking what they can do in order for them to also get twins,” says Vellah.
The twins have had their fair share of sibling rivalry. “As young as they are, they do fight! Imagine having them bite or scratch each other. As a mother, I am always there to mediate and make them embrace peace with one another. It’s an interesting journey,” she shares.
Her older children interact well with the twins. “Sometimes, the eldest child offers to baby sit whenever she is on school holiday and I have errands to run. Their love for each other is so strong,” says Vellah.
She shares how she had different pregnancy experience for each child. With my first child, I felt like I was allergic to good. “Krest and roasted clay became my meals! I would buy the small pack of roasted clay twice or thrice a day. At the same time, I had a problem with my haemoglobin. Normal haemoglobin levels for men is between 14.0 and 17.5 grammes per deciliter (gm/dL); for women, it is between 12.3 and 15.3 gm/dL. I remember being at 7.5gm/dL at the fifth month into my pregnancy. I had to take a lot of beetroot though I detested it. I almost got a blood transfusion after delivery. With my second pregnancy, I ate almost everything, but experienced back ache and swollen feet. I was put on bed rest for a while,” she narrates.
When it came to breastfeeding, Vellah says she had an exciting time of her life. “My mother was always there for me whenever I needed help and she made sure that I had all the support and answers to my questions. I would call her at midnight and she would always answer my call. You would think she is a doctor on call,” she says.
Vellah says her children are her biggest priority. “They come first, and everything else can wait. I have learnt to talk and reason out with them when addressing issues concerning them. I would advise parents to always listen to their children and be friendly with them so that in case of a problem, they are able to speak out or better still, the children are able to engage them on the issues bothering them. Don’t let your children be afraid of you. Create that environment that enables them to open up to you always,” she advises.
Worry over their safety
As a mother, her biggest fear is the fear of uncertainty. “You never know what will happen to your baby when they are out playing, whether at home or school. At times, you worry so much about their safety considering the high rate of abductions and kidnappings in the recent past within Nairobi,” she says.
Apart from her mother, her husband is also on the list of people Vellah has been grateful for in her parenting journey. “My husband has been very supportive and continues to walk with me as we raise our children,” adds Velah.
To mothers out there, her advice is: “Be proud of your children and thank God for them. Being a mother is no right, but a privilege. Do not hide your child no matter how they are. Never deny them and always strive to make them happy and provide for them as God directs you to. Above all, always pray for them.”