Safinah Namukwaya had longed for a child and at the ripe old age of 64 has given birth
When Safinah married Badru Walusimbi in 1996, she was 40 years old. She hoped to be able to have at least one baby with her husband. However, after 24 years of marriage, she and Mr Walusimbi were never lucky enough to become parents.
In her first marriage, Ms Namukwaya had an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo implants in a fallopian tube which can be dangerous without medical intervention.
She had given up hope of becoming a mother when she reached menopause
She felt sad that she was not able to give her husband, of Nunda Village in Kalungu District, Uganda, the gift of a child. That was until March of 2019. That’s when she made an appointment at the Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in Bukoto, Kampala.
Her doctor there, Dr Edward Tamale Ssali, told her that she might still be able to become a mother, despite the fact she was in her golden years
Dr Ssali realised that she had blocked tubes, and suggested trying IVF could give her hope.
Dr Ssali explains, “She was lucky that her first attempt resulted in a successful pregnancy because some women may take several attempts and fail.”
Just over a year later, Ms Namukwaya gave birth to a baby girl to a healthy at the Masaka Regional Referral Hospital on June 25, 2020
The procedure costs typically Ushs 15 million, but Dr Ssali and the hospital staff were happy to lower the cost to 4 million to help her have a baby.
Ms Namukwaya is now the 25th Ugandan woman above the age of 50 to conceive a child and give birth thanks to IVF
She did not have a completely smooth pregnancy, as she faced high blood pressure, abdominal pain, trouble breathing, and swollen legs. Her doctors decided to deliver her baby early via caesarean section at eight months.
The little girl, named Sarah, weighed 2.6 kg and breastfed normally just after birth
Although she has received a backlash from some after the birth, Ms Namukwaya says that she feels very blessed. “I really feel excited. It is unbelievable and forever thankful”.