I got married in 2000 and my husband’s biggest desire was to start a family of his own immediately after we got married. He was the only child born from his father and mother who separated when he was young. He later had step-siblings but never got to spend most of his life with them as he was raised by his maternal grandparents. His mother passed away when he was 16 years old, and his maternal grandparents who raised him passed on just after we got married. As a result of what he had gone through in life, he deeply longed to start a family of his own.
On the other hand, when I grew up as a teenager, I developed a medical condition that I was advised would threaten my ability to conceive later in life. Young ladies who suffered from that condition usually would struggle to conceive. My parents had taken me to several medical practitioners, but nothing had helped. I suffered a lot and remember a time in boarding school at Matopo High School when I was taken home in a critical condition, with bad abdominal pains. As I grew up, I had so much fear that I was not going to be able to have my own children as I would always hear this being echoed by the elders. However, I was also told that if I managed to conceive and give birth, that condition was going to disappear. I used to pray at a young age so that when I got married I would be able to conceive. My favourite Scripture was, “Trust in the Lord, with all your heart.”
My husband was made aware of the fact that my conceiving would most likely be a struggle and he was willing to do anything to help. There was a time when we visited our home town, Bulawayo, and we were advised by friends that there was a well-known specialist in town who had helped a friend who had a similar condition. We had so much hope that he would help us, so we visited his rooms with eager excitement.
“The doctor is away and will be back after two months,” said the Sister. The hot air balloon deflated in mid-air. We went back to Harare sad, but told ourselves that we would come back as soon as the doctor was back in town. Unbeknown to us, I had already conceived at that time and we were expecting a baby girl! What a surprise! What joy! God had done it! We didn’t need the doctor’s help. We were most likely going to give glory to the practitioner in Bulawayo. He is a God who defends his glory in mysterious ways. We were so excited and learnt to always put our trust in God and not in man. Our first daughter was born in 2002 through a caesarian section.
As years passed, we started praying and believing God for our second child. I struggled to conceive the second time, but we prayed and believed the God who had surprised us before would do it again. We anticipated the good news month after month, but nothing was forthcoming. I remember crying out to God to please remember us. It was in January 2008 when we attended a church conference in the city. We were late for the Saturday morning session. When we got to the Conference, the guest preacher was talking about ‘Barrenness’. I remember after the sermon, there was an altar call to pray for women who were either told that they were unable to conceive or were struggling to conceive. I remember feeling the manifest presence of God as the woman of God prayed for me. At that point, I knew something divine had happened in me.
I told my husband after the meeting that I knew without doubt that our prayer for a child had been answered. He wanted me to further explain what I felt and how I was so convinced, but I just strongly reaffirmed that God had done it. It was such a strong conviction in my spirit; I could not explain it in words. That was confirmed the very following month, in February, and we were so delighted and grateful to God for another miracle child. Our son was born that same year in October 2008 through another caesarian section, and we glorified God for the special gift.
One night while I was still in hospital, I had a peculiar dream. Two nurses came to me holding a baby girl wrapped in a towel and handed her over to me. I refused the baby and told them that she wasn’t mine, I already had mine. They went back with the baby girl but came back the second time with the baby. They said they were given an instruction to give the baby to me and I was supposed to take her. I then took the baby, confused. When I woke up, I was confused as to what the dream meant as I knew that God spoke a lot to me through dreams.  I knew it had a meaning.
Later in 2011, I conceived our third child, another baby boy. I was surprised because I thought that it was going to be that girl that God had showed me in the dream earlier in 2008. Our third son was born in October 2011, through another caesarian section. We were grateful to God that he had blessed us with 3 beautiful children. And we were done!
I had great plans to start focusing on the new manufacturing project that we had just started. I needed to be there as my husband was mostly working outside the country. I remember my prayer partner telling me one day that she dreamt I was pregnant again, and we laughed and declared that I was done with having children. I now wanted God to help me raise them and also manage my business.
When our third son was eleven months old, I started feeling sick. As the sickness persisted, I decided to visit our family doctor who diagnosed me with an infection and gave me antibiotics because my stomach was a bit swollen. I instantly reacted to the antibiotics and stopped using them. I then decided to visit another doctor who immediately asked to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy was far from my mind.
“Congratulations Mrs. Mavengere! You have a baby coming!” said the Doctor. I almost passed out! Questions ran through my mind. I had had three caesarian sections, the last one eleven months ago. Was it possible to have a fourth Caesar and survive? That was death! My son was still breastfeeding.
“God, how can you do this to me! So soon? I didn’t ask for it! What will people say?” This was a nightmare! When the doctor saw tears in my eyes, she said, “My dear, children are a blessing from God! Some people are praying and believing God for children.” And, here l was crying. It was then that I remembered the dream that I had in 2008. The baby girl! She was another gift from God that I had to embrace. Although it was difficult coming into terms with the news, I asked God to help me through that pregnancy. My husband was very supportive until I gave birth to the baby girl, Natalie, in January 2013 through a successful fourth caesarian section. What a bundle of joy! What a blessing she is! I learnt to say, “God, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” 

Siphathisiwe Mavengere is married to David, and they have four beautiful children. She is a businesswoman who is currently pursuing a degree course in Business Law