Losing a child is traumatic enough but losing a child and believing it’s your fault is worse. On this week’s episode of #WithChude, media personality Tolu Oniru, popularly known as Toolz, opens up to host Chude Jideonwo about dealing with the loss of her first pregnancy, her father’s death and a COVID infected family.
Going from making full-blown plans to decorate a nursery to receiving the incapacitating news that she will never hold her child was far more than the Celebrity could bear.
Recounting this experience, she said, “The doctor walked up to me and said, ‘I don’t think your baby is going to survive another week.’ I remember I went cold. And she was like, ‘There are a few things wrong and I don’t think your baby is going to survive another week’. We had gone from talking about how we were going to decorate the nursery and all these things to there might not be a baby. It was horrible”.
Taking in the news, Toolz explained how her faith in God kept her anchored through the entire experience. She said that she heard a voice in her head saying, “This pregnancy is not going to work but you are going to be okay.”
Recalling the tragic evacuation process, Toolz said, “The doctor told me that the baby was not going to make it and advised that I go into labour. I am like, ‘What! I can’t do that. If you make me do that, I will literally run mad in the hospital.’ And she goes, ‘You will be fine.’ It was about seven hours of labour.”
In the midst of it all, Toolz took the common route that many mothers grieving after a miscarriage often take – shame and self-blame. She convinced herself that there was something wrong with her. However, with the help of a therapist, she let herself go through the grieving process, pray and get to a point where she eventually believed that it was not her fault.
In Toolz’ words, “I went from crying every day to going a week without crying. Then I went two weeks without crying. Then I went a month without crying.”
“I just managed to get through everything. I just kept praying. I was like, ‘God, you know why this is happening. I don’t understand this. I don’t understand why I am going through this but you know why”, she said.
She further revealed that the death of her baby prepared her for her father’s death. According to her, “Losing the baby before kind of toughened me up. So, at some point I could see it coming. So, I did start to prepare myself even though I was a bit in denial as well. I think the first made me stronger for the second.”
Dealing with stillbirth and the loss of her dad was harrowing enough, but Toolz had another curve ball thrown her way when three months after the birth of her second child, her entire household tested positive for COVID.
“I remember I was just in a state of panic. It was very, very scary. I couldn’t have my sisters or anybody come because we were a COVID house. It was terrifying”, she said.
Life has undoubtedly dealt Toolz some fatal blows, but in spite of all, she continues to comfort mothers in similar circumstances while seamlessly balancing motherhood and media.
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When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.