A heavily pregnant 35-year-old Abena [not real name] lay supine in a theatre at the Pentecost Fertility hospital in Accra.
She is on anaesthetic to numb the pain of a baby breaking through beneath to gasp for fresh, first air.
The pain she has not been able to numb has been her childlessness – for eight years. Living every day with the thought that nature or nurture has forbidden you to pass on the baton of life.
Options for childlessness are faith or unfaithfulness or – technology. And talking about technology, there is no free fertility app download on Google Play store.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment in which sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are assessed for quality, and one or more are placed in the uterus through the cervix.
Technological solution for fertility is synonymous with great expense. Procedures such an IVF can cost an arm and a leg, Association of Childless Couple Gordon Nana Yaw Osei revealed to Joy News Maxwell Agbagba.
Maxwell Agbagba was there to find out about the prospects of Belgian IVF technology and how it is different from other conventional IVF options in terms of cost and treatment.
“…holding all other things constant, couples will pay not less than GHC18,000” Nana Yaw told Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba. But the Belgians hold nothing constant. Not even cost. There is a new technology that brings the otherwise prohibitive procedure closer to a man’s pocket and a woman’s womb.
For GHC6,000 cedis, it would have been cheaper but for taxes on importing the technology and treatment.
The cost left Abena and her husband with a rush of hope and optimism. Can we hope again? they must have thought. Past failures may have haunted the new hope – but hope prevailed.
So Abena monitored by beeping computer monitors and silent doctors at the hospital as the monitors hum the news of an impending delivery.
And on Monday afternoon, a baby boy grabbed a lungful of air and let out a lung full of cries to break an eerie silence that has descended on Abena’s marital home for eight years.